As part of our series looking back at some of the marquee wrestlers of the decade for some of the major companies around the world, we turn our attention towards the premiere Joshi company in the world. World Wonder Ring Stardom. Starting up in 2012 the company has packed a lot into the 8 years with three different aces and a tonne of roster turnover. All accolades including impact on the company and lasting power has been considered.
Stardom All-Decade Team
Years Active In Decade: 2011-2013
Accolades: First Ever & Longest Reigning Wonder Of Stardom Champion (618 Days), Goddesses Of Stardom Champion, 2011 Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League (With Yoko Bito), 2012 5STAR Grand Prix Winner
Yuzuki Aikawa was the first ace of Stardom and was the biggest star they ever produced. Aikawa was a successful idol before ever starting wrestling she voiced characters in video games, reached 20 million hits on her blog within three weeks, was part of an idol group that released an album and a movie, and even starred in a television show. Aikawa represented the perfect mix of what Rossy Ogawa and Nanae Takahashi wanted in their talent she had good looks that could gain a hardcore fanbase but also delivered in the ring. Her matches were often no-nonsense fights revolving around her using her kicks to put her opponent away. She was only active for two years but she was an important part of helping the company establish itself in its early days and her retirement show remains the biggest attendance Stardom has ever had as 5,500 fans attended the show.
— LARIATOOOO!! (@MrLARIATO) July 30, 2017
Years Active In Decade: 2011-2018
Accolades: 2x World Of Stardom Champion (468 & 546 days), High Speed Champion, 2x Wonder Champion, Longest Reigning Goddesses Of Stardom Champion (407 days), 6x Artist Of Stardom Champion, 2014 5STAR Grand Prix, 2015 Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League (With Mayu Iwatani), SWA Undisputed World Women’s Title Tournament
The first-ever grand slam champion in Stardom history Io Shirai was a dominant force in the company for years and took the role of ace from Aikawa. Shirai’s time on top as one of the Threedom saw the company capture international eyes for the first time as her matches with Kairi Hojo and Mayu Iwatani became popular outside of the Joshi bubble and most wrestling fans have seen at least one match between a combination of the three. Whatever your opinions on her work Shirai was the Centrepoint of the company for years and was involved in some of the biggest angles in the history of the company.
“The Icon Of Stardom” Mayu Iwatani
Years Active In The Decade: 2011-2019
Accolades: 2x World Champion, 5x Artist Champion, 2x Goddesses Champion, 2x Wonder Champion, Longest Reigning High Speed Champion (501 days), 2015 Cinderella Champions Fiesta, 2015 Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League (With Io Shirai), 2016 Cinderella Tournament, 2018 5STAR Grand Prix
Mayu Iwatani has become synonymous with Stardom. Of all the stars they’ve created she is the only one that has stayed. Mayu was one of Stardom’s many OG talents when it debuted and back then she was notably sloppy and was the last original roster member to win a singles match. Despite this, Iwatani strived to get better and over time showed off more and more of her personality and over time she won over the fans. By the time the Threedom peaked she was arguably the best wrestler of the three, despite being the least pushed. As we approached the end of the decade and more and more people left Mayu became more and more important to Stardom, especially when Io and Kairi left for WWE. To end the decade Mayu is the leader of her own faction (STARS), is set to wrestle on Wrestle Kingdom and is only the second-ever two-time World Of Stardom Champion. Mayu Iwatani is the heart and soul of Stardom and is a hit with fans worldwide. Add to that her string of great matches and she more than deserves a spot in the all-decade team.
Years Active In The Decade: 2011-2015
Accolades: First & Longest Reigning World Of Stardom Champion (602 days), 2x Goddesses Champion, 2013 5STAR Grand Prix
Nanae Takahashi debuted in 1996 and her importance to Stardom in its infancy can’t be understated. Her legitimacy and experience was necessary to compete with the rookies and idol talent. She held down the main event scene of the company for the first two years as she held the top title in the company for almost two years. While she left in 2015 following the Yoshiko/Act Yasukawa incident she was an important part in Stardom gaining a foothold in the scene. Behind the scenes, she was not only one of the owners but she also played a part in some training, although Fuka was officially the trainer.
Years Active In Decade: 2013-2019
Accolades: World Champion, 2x Artist Champion, 2x Goddesses Champion
Kagetsu hasn’t got the longest list of accomplishments in the world and there are many people who held more gold that would deserve a spot on this list. Kagetsu is on here for her being the leader of Oedo Tai. Oedo Tai was arguably the most popular faction in Stardom and it was under Kagetsu’s leadership that they became one of the best acts in the company. In the post-threedom era she was also a main event talent that had a solid run as World Of Stardom champion whilst Stardom built up it’s newer stars. No matter what Stardom asked of her she entertained and helped young talents like Hazuki and Hana Kimura find themselves while under her wing. Kagetsu is not the most obvious choice but the work she did during Stardom’s rebuild in 2018/19 was a big part of the company bouncing back as well as it has. Outside of the ring, she has also produced one of the greatest rookie classes Stardom has ever seen as head trainer with Saya Kamitani, Saya Iida and Utami Hayashishita just some of the talents that have trained under Kagetsu.
Honorable Mentions: Meiko Satomura, Kairi Hojo, Yoko Bito, Momo Watanabe
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. And make sure to subscribe to Stardom World to see more from these women’s careers