STARDOM
Nagoya Big Winter 2023
December 2, 2023
Aichi Dolphins Arena
Nagoya, Japan

Watch: PPV via @we_are_stardom

Mina Shirakawa & Yuzuki vs. Miyu Amasaki & HANAKO

Yuzuki will get her first shot on pay-per-view at Nagoya Big Winter 2023 when she teams with Mina Shirakawa against Miyu Amasaki and HANAKO. The new STARDOM rookie has shown flashes already in her first handful of matches, creating excitement for her future. Elsewhere in this matchup is Shirakawa, who has fallen down the card considerably with the rest of Club Venus injured or no longer in STARDOM as of this current writing. Perhaps this is a chance to scout for some new talent for the group with Yuzuki on her side and HANAKO on the other. Overall, this match should come down to Shirakawa earning her team the win and giving Yuzuki her first win as a result. Prediction: Mina Shirakawa & Yuzuki

Mai Sakurai vs. Ruaka

Mai Sakurai and Ruaka getting a random singles match on pay-per-view surely wasn’t part of my expectations for this undercard but here we are. It’s no secret that even with these two being lower on the card, Sakurai still towers over Ruaka in terms of placement. She looked destined for a Wonder of Stardom Championship match somewhere down the line here. After losing to Saya Iida at NEW BLOOD WEST 1, it may be a ways off, but it should be coming soon. Sakurai’s momentum should start back up at this show by beating Ruaka. Prediction: Mai Sakurai

Saori Anou & Yuna Mizumori vs. wing*gori (Hanan & Saya Iida)

The two standing members of Cosmic Angels will collide with wing*gori in the first undercard tag team match of the main card.

Saori Anou will have to sit back and watch new Goddess of Stardom Champions be crowned later in the night. Never an easy way to go but getting a win at the very least would help her get some momentum while she waits for Natsupoi to return. The duo of Hanan and Saya Iida are the reigning NEW BLOOD Tag Team Champions and should be the stronger duo in this match, giving them the edge if they’re able to keep Yuna Mizumori tagged in. It’s a toss-up as to who will win this low-stakes matchup. Prediction: Hanan & Saya Iida

Syuri, MIRAI & Ami Sourei vs. Natsuko Tora, Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid

The most interesting part about this match isn’t the match itself but if anyone will challenge MIRAI for the Wonder of Stardom Championship at the match’s conclusion.

There’s been some mystery as to who will be stepping up to the champion for Stardom Dream Queendom 2023. Ami Sourei, MIRAI’s tag team partner, could be the one to do it but she is coming off a big loss to Maika in the one-night tournament at Korakuen this past Tuesday night. Perhaps Starlight Kid or Natsuko Tora could be the one to step up if they’re able to grab the win for their team in this match — making it a far more interesting trios bout than it looks to be on the surface.

God’s Eye and Oedo Tai are sending out their top trios for this match. There’s no doubt that these two teams could put on a killer match if they go all out. We’ll just have to wait and see on that, however, with five other matches taking the focus of Nagoya Big Winter 2023. It should be fun no matter how it goes. The Wonder of Stardom Champion should power her team to victory unless one of the Oedo Tai members are challenging her after this match. Prediction: Syuri, MIRAI & Ami Sourei

Nanae Takahashi vs. Scandinavian Hurricane in a UWF Rules Match

The Scandinavian Hurricane will step into another UWF Rules match just two weeks after her STARDOM debut against Syuri. She showed in that match that she has the ability to compete with the best, even in defeat. The challenge of Nanae Takahashi will be a difficult one, especially with the unpredictability of what Takahashi can bring in a UWF Rules match.

There’s little story to this matchup and Takahashi rarely loses, so it’s likely she will be the one getting the win. Prediction: Nanae Takahashi




High-Speed Championship
Mei Seira (c) vs. Thekla

Mei Seira will make her second defense of the High-Speed Championship when she goes one-on-one with Thekla.

I’ve said it for much of the year, but Seira has made herself an MVP candidate for STARDOM’s wild year. Whether it’s a house show or pay-per-view, her efforts have been among the best in the promotion. Being the High-Speed Champion is a perfect fit for her. She’s now trying to become the new ace of the division so defeating Thekla will be the next step in doing that.

Thekla has a history with this championship. It’s the last singles championship that she challenged for and that was over a year ago. When she faced AZM for the gold at Flashing Champions 2022, she was injured and ultimately had to miss the 5STAR Grand Prix because of it. Her biggest opportunity took away her momentum and eventually so much more, which is why this is such an important match for her.

Both Seira and Thekla are coming into the match with a lot to lose. It has all the potential to be the best High-Speed Title match since AZM lost the belt. Prediction: Mei Seira

STRONG Women’s Championship
Giulia (c) vs. AZM

Giulia will have her best challenger to date since winning the STRONG Women’s Championship with AZM stepping up.

AZM has a determination to travel the world and go to America. Her ticket? Winning the STRONG Women’s Championship. She unofficially earned the opportunity to challenge when she defeated Starlight Kid and Suzu Suzuki at GOLD RUSH. This might be the biggest match of the 21-year-old’s career, making her potential performance all the more exciting come Saturday night.

Giulia is in an intriguing spot. There are tons of rumors swirling regarding her future with interest coming worldwide for her services. However, until she’s actually available, she’s going to do everything in her power to raise STARDOM up and she will do so with the STRONG Women’s Championship around her waist. She’s already shown this past weekend that there is another level that we haven’t seen from her in quite some time in her draw against Megan Bayne. If she brings that Giulia-level we’re so used to against AZM, we could have one of the best matches in STARDOM all year on our hands.

There’s little question about who will win but AZM is going to put on a show and so should Giulia. Prediction: Giulia

World of Stardom Championship Challenger Certificate Match
Suzu Suzuki vs. Hazuki

After her World of Stardom Championship challenge was canceled due to the injury of Tam Nakano, Suzu Suzuki will now defend her World of Stardom Championship opportunity that she earned by winning the 5STAR Grand Prix. And she will do so against Hazuki.

The frustrations of Suzuki have been apparent for months now after Nakano got injured and took the World of Stardom Championship with her. If it all went right, there’s a chance that Suzuki could be defending the World of Stardom Championship here, rather than her chance to contend for the belt. Yet, here we are and the fear of potentially losing her opportunity is real. The challenge of Hazuki is a scary one. Anyone who has followed Hazuki’s career knows she is more than capable of this moment. “Wild Heart” has all the talent and ability — it just takes the opportunity and that’s what she has right now.

If we were making guesses for what match ended up being the best of the night, this would be the heavy favorite with how great they are in big matches. There’s a real chance as well that this match main events Nagoya Big Winter 2023, raising the stakes all the more. If Suzuki lost this match though, it’d be a true shock. She’s destined to face Maika in the Stardom Dream Queendom main event at this stage. Prediction: Suzu Suzuki

Goddess of Stardom Championship
Divine Kingdom (Maika & Megan Bayne) vs. AphroditE (Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani)

Due to the injury of Natsupoi, the Goddess of Stardom Championships were forced to be relinquished. That has left us with a special match to crown the new champions as the Goddess of Stardom Tag League winners Divine Kingdom will face off with the returning AphroditE.

Megan Bayne has made it perfectly clear that this isn’t a match for the vacant Goddess of Stardom Championship but instead the first title defense for Divine Kingdom. They’ve gone on to carry the championships around, claiming them as their own. It’s a risk but seeing that they won the Tag League, there’s no doubt that they have the claim if any team does. But their first “defense” isn’t going to be easy. There’s a real chance they walk out of Nagoya Big Winter 2023 with nothing but an L.

AphroditE came back with a vengeance, proving that it’s like they never missed a day of action. Utami Hayashishita and Saya Kamitani were dearly missed in the STARDOM machine. Can’t stress enough that their return felt like the spark that the promotion has desperately needed since the 5STAR Grand Prix ended and wrestlers continued to get injured. With AphroditE back, the feeling of STARDOM is beginning to return in every way. But how good are they already?

They’re good enough to earn their second Goddess of Stardom Championship reign — that’s how good. It’s been long overdue and they’ve both had year-long reigns as the top champions of STARDOM since the last time they held these titles.

Not only can this be the best match of the night, but the best tag team match of STARDOM’s year. All four of these wrestlers are hungry and it should be special when it’s all said and done. Prediction: Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani

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