STARDOM
Nagoya Golden Fight 2023
October 9, 2023
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
Nagoya, Japan

Watch: PPV via @we_are_stardom

AZM vs. Saori Anou

Originally scheduled to be a Goddesses of Stardom Championship match, AZM and Saori Anou will now go head-to-head in a 5STAR Special Singles Match after injuries to their partners have taken Utami Hayashishita and Natsupoi out of action. It doesn’t get much better than a singles match between these two in terms of a start for STARDOM Nagoya Golden Fight.

Formerly members of Azumi’s Army, these two do have a history that goes a long way back. However, this is a rematch from this year’s 5STAR Grand Prix, where AZM got a stunning win over Anou. These two were among the best in the two-month tournament, so there’s no reason to believe that this match should be anything less than really good.

In terms of picking a winner, expect Anou to get her win back over the 10-year veteran. Prediction: Saori Anou

Syuri vs. Mina Shirakawa in a UWF Rules Match

An exciting exhibition is set as Syuri and Mina Shirakawa will square off in a UWF Rules Match.

This will be the first UWF Rules bout in STARDOM since earlier this year when Syuri managed to destroy Saki Kashima in the MMA-style match. Syuri has been dominant in these in her career as a former UFC fighter. So when she made the challenge, it was all the more shocking that Mina Shirakawa stepped up to the plate to take on the challenge.

It’s been a banner year for Shirakawa. She’s taken on any challenge and succeeded. But this is her biggest challenge yet.

Shirakawa has trained her best for the match, but no matter how much training she puts together, this probably won’t be enough to take down Syuri. Prediction: Syuri

High-Speed Championship
Saki Kashima (c) vs. Mei Seira

Finally, after months of wanting a match for the High-Speed Championship, Mei Seira will finally get another shot.

Saki Kashima denied Seira countless times of a title match despite her getting wins over the champion, instead picking competitors she found to be weaker. Meanwhile, Seira has continued some sort of hot streak that has made her undeniable for this spot. And she should be the one walking out with the High-Speed Championship.

Kashima’s time with the High-Speed Championship has been more about the moment than the reign itself. She’s easily surpassed 100 days as champion, it’s a fine time to drop the belt now. Seira is the future of this division with Starlight Kid moving on, AZM having accomplished the winningest title reign, and the rest of the division being wide open.

It’s time to crown Seira and enjoy what should be a tremendous reign for the uberly-talented 21-year-old. Prediction: Mei Seira

Artist of Stardom Championship
Giulia, Thekla & Mai Sakurai (c) vs. Suzu Suzuki, Maika & Megan Bayne

The slow-building civil war of Donna del Mondo could be among us.

One week following the 5STAR Grand Prix Finals, Suzu Suzuki and Maika will team up alongside Megan Bayne to try and take the Artist of Stardom Championship from Giulia, Thekla, and Mai Sakurai.

There are a lot of factors at play here. First off is the relationship between Suzuki and Maika. The 5STAR Grand Prix winner has been determined to get Maika on the winning track, which is how this match came about. Taking on Giulia, someone whom both Suzuki and Maika are so connected to, is a unique way to do that. But how is the relationship between this duo? Suzuki just defeated Maika to become the 5STAR Grand Prix winner — they can’t just be all buddy-buddy when they already had problems prior. The problems, of course, were more like sisters butting heads than anything else, but the dynamic has changed since then. That could be what costs them the win in a match where they do feel like the favorites thanks to their dominance and Megan Bayne’s.

Giulia’s relationship with Suzuki and Maika should play a major part. Could this be where we see Suzuki finally join Donna del Mondo as Giulia wanted — win or lose? Or is this where something crazier happens depending on the outcome of the match? Who knows! But what we do know is that this match should be well worth checking out. The gut call is that Maika and Suzu Suzuki are on the same page for now. That’ll be the difference in this one. Prediction: Suzu Suzuki, Maika & Megan Bayne

Mayu Iwatani, KAIRI & Nanae Takahashi vs. Hazuki, Koguma & Saya Iida

KAIRI is on her way back to WWE — reportedly, at least. And this will be her final match in Japan before she makes the voyage back to America.

There’s not much to this other than KAIRI getting to team with two key wrestlers of her past. Mayu Iwatani and KAIRI have had an interesting road, specifically since KAIRI walked back in the door. They partnered in KAIRI’s first match back in STARDOM at Stardom World Climax against Tam Nakano and Unagi Sayaka. But by the end of 2022, they were at odds facing one another for the IWGP Women’s Championship. Two-thirds of Threedom teaming up one final time before “The Pirate Princess” heads back to WWE is right.

The revival of 7Kairi was a bright spot of KAIRI’s STARDOM return, so it’ll be nice to see KAIRI and Nanae Takahashi wrap up their story together as well at Nagoya Golden Fight.

Hazuki, Koguma, and Saya Iida are a fun challenging team, but their shot at winning is next to impossible. If they pull off the shocker, great, but it’s difficult to expect it at this stage. Expect the veterans to get the win as STARDOM says farewell to KAIRI. Prediction: Mayu Iwatani, KAIRI & Nanae Takahashi

Wonder of Stardom Championship
MIRAI (c) vs. Momo Watanabe

MIRAI will defend the Wonder of Stardom Championship for the second time in her reign, taking on Momo Watanabe.

To win the championship, MIRAI had to defeat reigning World of Stardom Champion Tam Nakano to do so. She then had to face fellow God’s Eye stablemate, Konami. Both of these challenges were giant for the “Ash-Covered Cinderella,” but she took them down and has only been able to get stronger. But now, MIRAI has another gigantic challenge ahead of her in the once most-dominant Wonder of Stardom Champion ever.

Momo Watanabe earned herself momentum in the 5STAR Grand Prix, even if she wasn’t able to win her block. The most important win came against MIRAI, leading us to this title match. If you’re looking for interest in this title match outside of these two destroying one another in the ring, it should come in the form of Watanabe’s thoughts about the Wonder of Stardom Title these days.

She has little interest in the belt itself. She’s been there and done that. But taking away gold from MIRAI and holding that title hostage from those who want it could be of interest to the “Black Peach.”

MIRAI vs. Momo Watanabe is the favorite to be the match of the night. It’s going to be violent, hard-hitting, and personal. Watanabe is going to go in there with plans to take down MIRAI — by any means necessary. But the champion will do everything in her power to keep that title around her waist. MIRAI isn’t losing this belt this soon. Prediction: MIRAI

World of Stardom Championship
Tam Nakano (c) vs. Natsuko Tora

Tam Nakano is going to need help because she’s taking on the best Natsuko Tora we have ever seen.

Tora steamrolled through the 5STAR Grand Prix, defeating Syuri, Mayu Iwatani, and Nakano on her way to a 6-3 record. She likely would have won her block had she not been greedy against Hazuki, who eliminated her with a Hazukistral flash pin. But that’s in the past — it’s about what’s next. And for Tora, this is redemption that is two years in the making.

Flashback to Yokohama Dream Cinderella In Summer on July 4, 2021. In her World of Stardom Championship match against Utami Hayashishita, a freak accident left Tora injured and out for the next year due to her knee. Ever since coming back last year for the Goddesses of Stardom Tag League, Tora has been working herself back to top form so she can get this chance again. Little did we know that the top form of Tora post-injury would be her very best. And that’s dangerous for Nakano.

Nakano’s reign as the World of Stardom Champion has been… different. She defeated Giulia to win the gold at All Star Grand Queendom before going on to defend it for the first time in a Double Championship match against Mina Shirakawa. After successfully defending, winning the Wonder of Stardom Championship, and then losing the Wonder of Stardom Championship — she took on the mountain of a challenge that was Megan Bayne.

Unpredictability — that’s what Bayne had going for her. The champion took that challenge with stride, however, fending off Bayne and walking out with her belt. But there’s something about Tora that is so intimidating. After losing the Steel Cage match against Oedo Tai, Tora has been on a mission. Destroy and conquer. Simple as that. That creates enough uncertainty heading into Monday to create the excitement you want in a World of Stardom Championship match.

Nakano isn’t going to drop this belt with Suzu Suzuki awaiting her at GOLD RUSH, but there’s a good chance that the drama and tension in this match, as Nakano attempts to overcome the Oedo Tai leader, will be off the charts. Prediction: Tam Nakano

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