STARDOM
5STAR Grand Prix Finals
September 30, 2023
Yokohama Budokan
Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

Watch: PPV via @we_are_stardom

The 2023 5STAR Grand Prix concludes this Saturday as the two-month tournament will crown its winner.

It hasn’t been an easy road to get to these finals, as the opening night kicked off with an injury to Saya Kamitani, resulting in her having to miss the entire tournament. As the reported winner, everything had to shift afterward but it hasn’t taken away from what will go down as a very special tournament.

For the past two months, we’ve witnessed some of the best 5STAR matches ever as STARDOM has put together what can easily be called the best tournament in all of pro wrestling in 2023.

As we prep ourselves for the final night, eight wrestlers out of the 20 who competed remain in contention. And for the first time in a number of years, predicting who will walk out as the winner is unpredictable. Almost everyone remaining has a legitimate shot at this thing, making it one of the most highly anticipated nights in the history of STARDOM.

If Utami Hayashishita is able to compete, we will see her go one-on-one with Giulia for the first time ever. That match alone is worth checking out — whether you’re a diehard fan of STARDOM/Joshi or not. It should be a special 15 minutes. Other major matches include Maika and MIRAI colliding with the winner having a chance to win the block as well as meltear’s Tam Nakano and Natsupoi squaring off as the World of Stardom Championship has a legitimate shot to win the whole shebang.

There’s no doubt that this is going to be another special night in STARDOM and pro wrestling this year and that’s why we have you covered.

Here’s a look at everything you need to know heading into the show including the standings, card, scenarios, prediction, and matches to check out if you want to see the tournament for yourself.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Standings

Red Stars

♦ 12 ptsNatsuko Tora (6-2)
♦ 12 ptsSuzu Suzuki (6-3)
11 ptsTam Nakano (5-2-1)
♦ 11 ptsSyuri (5-2-1)
———————-
♦ 9 pts Natsupoi (4-3-1)
♦ 9 ptsMayu Iwatani (4-3-1)
♦ 8 ptsHazuki (4-4)
6 ptsAmi Sourei (3-5)
4 ptsStarlight Kid (2-6)
0 ptsSaya Kamitani (0-9)

Blue Stars

11 ptsGiulia (5-3-1)
10 ptsMIRAI (5-3)
10 ptsMaika (4-2-2)
9 ptsMina Shirakawa (4-3-1)
———————-
8 ptsUtami Hayashishita (4-5)
8 ptsSaori Anou (3-3-2)
8 ptsMomo Watanabe (4-4)
8 ptsAZM (4-4)
6 ptsMariah May (3-5)
4 ptsHanan (2-6)

5STAR Grand Prix Finals Card

Red Stars Block

  • Suzu Suzuki (12) def. Saya Kamitani (0) (due to injury)
  • Mayu Iwatani (9) vs. Starlight Kid (4)
  • Tam Nakano (11) vs. Natsupoi (9)
  • Syuri (11) vs. Ami Sourei (6)
  • Hazuki (8) vs. Natsuko Tora (12)

Blue Stars Block

  • Giulia (11) def. Utami Hayashishita (8) (via forfeit due to injury)
  • MIRAI (10) vs. Maika (10)
  • AZM (8) vs. Momo Watanabe (8)
  • Hanan (4) vs. Mariah May (6)
  • Mina Shirakawa (9) vs. Saori Anou (8)

FINAL

  • Red Stars Block Winner vs. Blue Stars Block Winner

5STAR Grand Prix — Red Stars Block Scenarios

Natsuko Tora

  • Win or Draw vs. Hazuki

Suzu Suzuki

  • Natsuko Tora loss AND Syuri loss AND Tam Nakano loss or draw

Tam Nakano

  • Win vs. Natsupoi + Natsuko Tora loss

Syuri

  • Win vs. Ami Sourei + Natsuko Tora loss AND Tam Nakano loss or draw

5STAR Grand Prix — Blue Stars Block Scenarios

Maika

  • Win vs. MIRAI
  • Draw vs. MIRAI + Mina Shirakawa loss AND Giulia loss + Win vs. MIRAI in tiebreaker

Mina Shirakawa

  • Win vs. Saori Anou +  Maika vs. MIRAI draw (potential tiebreaker*)

MIRAI

  • Win vs. Maika
  • Draw vs. Maika + Mina Shirakawa loss AND Giulia loss + Win vs. Maika in tiebreaker

Giulia

  • Mina Shirakawa loss AND MIRAI vs. Maika draw
    • STARDOM has Giulia still listed with a chance so the tiebreaker — depending on how the tiebreaker would be handled, she’s likely out already

*Note: Tiebreaker hasn’t been officially announced

5STAR Grand Prix Finals 2023 Prediction

Unlike last year, I have zero confidence in what the actual 5STAR Grand Prix Final will be. I nailed it last year as Giulia vs. Tam Nakano was natural and fitting of the story for Giulia’s ultimate victory. At the start of this tournament, the final looked like it’d be Saya Kamitani vs. Utami Hayashishita simply based on the story between Queen’s Quest heading in, the potential of the story they could tell, and either one of them having a real chance to walk away with the win. Now, with both of them injured and eliminated, there’s just no clear final. So that’s where we dive in.

The most believable finals for this year’s tournament are:

  • Tam Nakano vs. Mina Shirakawa
  • Suzu Suzuki vs. Mina Shirkawa
  • Tam Nakano vs. Maika
  • Suzu Suzuki vs. Maika
  • Syuri vs. Maika

The reasoning for these possibilities are simple — Natsuko Tora has her World of Stardom Championship a week after the finals, MIRAI winning the tournament doesn’t feel like the road we’re on for her and the year-end event, and Giulia is pretty much eliminated as is.

With the possibilities at hand, there are stories to be told. One is, of course, Tam Nakano winning the 5STAR Grand Prix and earning her chance to pick her own opponent for Stardom Dream Queendom. The second is Maika finally overcoming the odds, getting the biggest win of her career — whether it’s against her current frenemy Suzu Suzuki, her former stablemate Syuri, or the World of Stardom Champion. Then there’s the possibility of Suzu Suzuki getting every possibility to fall into her lap, heading into the final fresh, and rising to the top of STARDOM in meteoric fashion. And finally, it’s the continuation of Mina Shirakawa defying the odds, getting herself a shot at Tam Nakano one more time after she had taken the Wonder of Stardom Championship from her.

STARDOM has options — good ones at that. But as we head into the most unpredictable final night in years, it’s only fitting that we go with a final that either participant could truly win.

Tam Nakano vs. Maika

A gut call on this one. But one that has two of the biggest stories in STARDOM crossing over.

Tam Nakano has been the story of STARDOM in 2023. Nakano won the World of Stardom Champion, became a double champion by defeating Mina Shirakawa, and has rolled her way through the 5STAR Grand Prix with a chance to win it. She’s been all about making history in the biggest moments. This is just another chance to do so.

Maika, on the other hand, has had a dominant year. She’s rarely lost with Giulia and Momo Watanabe being the only two to pin her. “The Empress” walks into the final night with a chance to win and advance. This is as close as she may ever get to the final, so why not see her pull it off? If Saya Kamitani had been on the opposite side, it would have been just as likely.

By earning her way to the finals of the 5STAR Grand Prix, Maika would get the long-awaited level up to a main eventer without even having to win the tournament. And if she defeated MIRAI to get there? It’s all the more impressive.

But when it comes to who wins the tournament, injuries really do make you think — what’s the safest play at this stage? The safest play is Tam Nakano getting the win and earning the opportunity to name whoever she wants as her challenger at Stardom Dream Queendom. A two-match effort by Maika to try and take down both champions of STARDOM in one night makes her. A win would take her to another level, but with all that has happened injury-wise with Kamitani and Hayashishita, going safe feels like the best bet.

Suzu Suzuki vs. Maika, for the story and tension alone between the duo, would be the final I’d go with but Suzuki would have to win seeing she won’t be competing in a big match like Maika will, it’s tough to go with.

Nakano is the safe bet at this stage but it’s the only one I’m confident in. If Maika loses here, having her go after MIRAI and the Wonder of Stardom Championship at Stardom Dream Queendom feels like a good runner-up prize. She’s ready to win some gold.

No matter who is in the final and who does win, it’s going to be a special night in STARDOM. You’re not going to want to miss this show! Prediction: Tam Nakano

Tam and Maika

5STAR GRAND PRIX 2023: MATCHES WORTH CHECKING OUT

The 2023 5STAR Grand Prix has been a long, grueling tournament. As a result, it’s been one of the best start-to-finish tournaments of the past few years. But as often happens for many fans trying to watch a round-robin tournament, it’s hard to keep up.

STARDOM’s roster put every ounce of them into their matches, delivering must-see battles, all-timer moments, and great professional wrestling. To make life easier for you as a fan, here’s a list of the matches that are worth going out of your way to see prior to the final — in chronological order. Every single match is available on Stardom World, so make sure to check them out!

7/23/23

  • Syuri vs. Suzu Suzuki
  • Giulia vs. Saori Anou

8/8/23

  • Giulia vs. Mariah May
  • Syuri vs. Natsupoi

8/10/23

  • Mayu Iwatani vs. Natsupoi

8/12/23

  • AZM vs. Hanan

8/15/23

  • Syuri vs. Hazuki
  • Tam Nakano vs. Mayu Iwatani
  • Utami Hayashishita vs. AZM

9/3/23

  • Mayu Iwatani vs. Syuri

9/9/23

  • Tam Nakano vs. Suzu Suzuki
  • Giulia vs. Maika

9/20/23

  • Tam Nakano vs. Syuri

9/23/23

  • Hazuki vs. Suzu Suzuki

Check out Voices of Wrestling’s reviews for every 5STAR Grand Prix show here.

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