STARDOM x STARDOM 2023
August 13, 2023
Edion Osaka Arena First Stadium
Watch: PPV via @we_are_stardom
Tag Team Gauntlet: Suzu Suzuki & Mei Seira vs. Hazuki & Saya Iida vs. Momo Watanabe & Rina vs. AZM & Miyu Amasaki vs. Yuna Mizumori & Momoka Hanazono vs. Waka Tsukiyama & Billiken Death vs. Hanan & Hina vs. Maika & Thekla vs. Syuri & HANAKO vs. MIRAI & Ami Sourei
The opening contest for STARDOM x STARDOM 2023 will be a tag team gauntlet featuring everyone on the roster that isn’t scheduled for a big match on the card. More often than not, these tag team gauntlets are often entertaining and rather harmless. There are plenty of normal tag teams in here to take your pick on who walks out with the win. Prediction: MIRAI & Ami Sourei
5STAR Grand Prix: Red Stars
Natsuko Tora (6) vs. Starlight Kid (0)
STARDOM x STARDOM has one 5STAR Grand Prix match set for the show and it’ll be an inner Oedo Tai battle.
Natsuko Tora has been a force so far in this tournament with her key win over Syuri being the signature of it. She’s added a number of elements from former Oedo Tai leader Kagetsu that have brought Tora a new level of success. Not only does Tora feel like the leader once again but she feels like a dangerous competitor capable of anything.
Starlight Kid enters the night at 0-2. She’s not in danger yet but she needs to get winning making this as close to a must-win as there can be. Having a must-win scenario against her faction leader is as good as it gets. They’ve upped this from just an Oedo Tai vs. Oedo Tai match to a bout of destruction vs. desperation.
Starting 0-3 feels unlikely so even with Tora’s success, a Kid win is necessary. Prediction: Starlight Kid
Saki Kashima (c) vs. Koguma
Saki Kashima will defend the High-Speed Championship for the first time since winning the title as she takes on handpicked opponent Koguma. And we say handpicked because Mei Seira has asked twice for a title shot and Kashima refuses so here we are with a Koguma challenge instead.
This is as good of a first challenge as any with Koguma being a former High-Speed Champion, testing Kashima to show that she truly deserves to be the reigning champion.
Kashima has been through a lot since winning the title as her removal from the Oedo Tai in the Steel Cage match back in June forced her to focus on finding protection instead of defending the High-Speed Championship. She has since found herself a new home in God’s Eye, leading to her having to endure the training led by Syuri. Hopefully that training has prepared her for this challenge because losing the gold in the first defense would be a real heartbreaker for both her and her fans.
Koguma probably wins the High-Speed Championship again someday but a Revival via Kashima has her name all over it. Prediction: Saki Kashima
Goddesses of Stardom Championship
ROSE GOLD (Mina Shirakawa & Mariah May) (c) vs. Saori Anou & Natsupoi
The darkhorse for the match of the night.
Following their Indian Strap Match, Saori Anou and Natsupoi were back on the same page and ready to take STARDOM by storm. There was no better way for them to do that than challenge the Goddesses of Stardom Champions ROSE GOLD to a title match. There isn’t a match on the card that has competitors with more momentum and excitement surrounding them than this one right here.
Mina Shirakawa and Mariah May are superstars. Bona fide superstars. And winning the Goddesses of Stardom Championship was the moment that Club Venus needed to set themselves apart. May has impressed in her first year with STARDOM. You can see the support she’s getting and only want to root for her more and more. The connection with Shirakawa has been, well, perfect. When they defeated THE NEW ERAS for the titles, they quickly defended the belts one week later where Shirakawa successfully pinned Syuri for the victory. They have what it takes to defeat anyone but what this match will come down to on Sunday is how Saori Anou and Natsupoi work together.
We know what Anou and Natsupoi are capable of. The former has made herself a superstar since joining STARDOM, getting on every radar in wrestling and putting on some of the best matches of her career in the meantime. Natsupoi, on the other hand, has done nothing but delivered with her confidence growing more and more by the day. If SaoriPoi can be on the same page for this match, it very well may be their match to lose.
It’s a win-win here. Both teams are excellent and deserve all the praise — but only one can win. Prediction: Saori Anou & Natsupoi
NJPW STRONG Women’s Championship
Giulia (c) vs. Yuu
Giulia has a busy couple of weeks coming up and it all begins with her first defense of the STRONG Women’s Championship against Yuu.
The return of Yuu came in a shocking form when Oedo Tai attacked Giulia at the STARDOM x STARDOM press conference, accepting the open challenge made by Giulia on Yuu’s behalf. There’s no doubt that this match is going to be a hard-hitting affair that should leave everyone on the edge of their seats. The real question is how does this match end?
Last time we saw Yuu, she lost the Goddesses of Stardom Titles to THE NEW ERAS via countout. Not exactly what you’d expect when it comes to a title switch but it happened and now we have to see how this goes.
Since coming to STARDOM, Yuu hasn’t been pinned. Can Giulia be the one to do it? If there’s anyone to believe that can, it’s her. The STRONG Women’s Champion will walk out #AndStill one way or another. Prediction: Giulia
IWGP Women’s Championship
Mayu Iwatani (c) vs. Utami Hayashishita
Finally. Mayu Iwatani will make her first IWGP Women’s Championship defense since defeating Mercedes Moné in April and it’ll be against one of the best in the world.
In July, Utami Hayashishita took a trip to America to find herself with the goal of returning to find singles success for the first time since dropping the World of Stardom Championship in 2021. She went 4-0 by defeating Billie Starkz, Janai Kai, LuFisto, and Trish Adora. In her first match back, she defeated Mina Shirakawa on the opening night of the 5STAR Grand Prix, and then by the end of the night, she laid down a challenge to Iwatani for the IWGP Women’s Championship.
Her journey felt like it was to get her back on track for the 5STAR Grand Prix but she didn’t want to wait long to potentially get some gold. The problem for Hayashishita is that Iwatani isn’t just going to roll over.
Mayu has been waiting for this first defense. She’s clearly wanted it but it’s only now that it’s been made official. It does feel like Iwatani is entering the match as the underdog because of what Hayashishita has been doing but that might be the best-case scenario for Iwatani. Being the underdog is Iwatani at her very best. Time and time we’ve seen her enter as the one overlooked and she’s more often than not walked out proving people wrong. It’s what Iwatani does. It’s why she is “The Icon.”
This is going to be your match of the night and it can easily be the match of the year for STARDOM. That’s what these two are capable of. And it’s hard to expect anything but greatness.
Iwatani and Hayashishita are going to show the world why they’re two of the best. Prediction: Mayu Iwatani
World of Stardom Championship
Tam Nakano (c) vs. Megan Bayne
Can Tam Nakano take down Megan Bayne? The answer is… I don’t know.
No one has been able to come close to stopping Bayne since her debut as the F5 has become the most devastating move in STARDOM in short order. The “MEGASUS” is a force to be reckoned with, one STARDOM hasn’t seen in quite some time. Her mixture of size and power is unlike anything in Joshi, let alone STARDOM. So again: how in the world can Nakano take her out?
The World of Stardom Champion has pulled off something special time and time again. She’s overcome odds, doubts, and everything else imaginable in an effort to become the world champion of STARDOM. Heck, she even managed to become the second-ever Double Champion in history only a few months ago. So even with the “David vs. Goliath” story that this match has become, overcoming Bayne feels like just another mountain that Nakano can climb and will.
Guessing what kind of match this turns out to be isn’t all too easy but Nakano is going to have to do everything in her power to cut down Bayne and defeat her. Whatever she does to make it happen will be a sight worth seeing.
If this year in STARDOM is anything to go by, the shock of the year with Bayne as World of Stardom Champion wouldn’t even be that surprising. That’s all to say this — do not bet against Tam Nakano at STARDOM x STARDOM. Prediction: Tam Nakano
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