Beginner’s Guide To Stardom: 2020 Update

Stardom

At the end of 2018, we produced a beginner’s guide to Stardom covering the in-ring style, where to watch the company, the hierarchy of Stardom, and the detailed the factions of Stardom.  Since then a whole lot has changed in the company from new factions forming, to retirements, to the much talked about Buhsiroad purchase of Stardom.  With Stardom currently on a hiatus due to the Coronavirus threat now is as good a time as any to provide a new and improved guide to help new fans jump into the wonderful world of Stardom.

Where To Watch

We Are Stardom

The promotion has its own Video On Demand service called Stardom World.  The site is fully translated and is very easy to sign up for (there will be a delay in receiving confirmation emails to verify your account so make sure you have 5-10 minutes free to wait on the email).  Another important note is you will be billed on the first of the month, even if you sign up at the very end of the previous month (similar to New Japan’s NJPW World), so for best value wait until the first of the month to sign up.

There is now another option for those looking to keep up with Stardom more casually, Stardom’s weekly TV show We Are Stardom.  This show is similar to NJPW’s AXS TV show as it keeps you up to date with the big title matches.  So far every episode has been uploaded to Stardom’s YouTube channel.

The Factions

STARS

STARS are the babyface faction currently sitting at the top of Stardom.  Mayu Iwatani and Arisa Hoshiki hold the top two titles in the company, the World Of Stardom and Wonder Of Stardom championships respectively.  The faction is made up of rather goofy characters that you can’t help but cheer, especially when they decide to kick some ass!

Oedo Tai

  • Natsuko Tora
  • Bea Priestley
  • Jamie Hayter
  • Natsu Sumire
  • Saki Kashima
  • Session Moth Martina

Oedo Tai recently went through a lot of upheaval with the retirement of leader Kagetsu and her second in command Hazuki, as well as Andras Miyagi leaving the faction (and the company).  Now under the leadership of Natsuko Tora the stable has gone back to its roots shedding the loveable rebels’ image it gained under Kagetsu and going back to doing what they want, when they want and just being plain despicable.  Oedo Tai is currently rebuilding itself after a tough spell so look for them to try and make an impact going forward.

Tokyo Cyber Squad

  • Hana Kimura (Kimura unfortunately passed away in May 2020)
  • Konami
  • Jungle Kyona
  • Death Yama-San
  • Ruaka
  • Rina
  • Bobbi Tyler
  • Rebel Kel (Drafted)
  • Mary Apache (Drafted)
  • Nastumi (Drafted)

One of the more popular factions in Stardom Tokyo Cyber Squad houses fan favorites Konami and Jungle Kyona as well as charismatic leader Hana Kimura.  The faction has had a mixed run since it’s inception capturing the Artist Of Stardom and Goddesses Of Stardom titles as well as the 5STAR Grand Prix.  Despite that, they frequently lose big singles matches.  The losses never really hurt them too much thanks to their popularity and attention-grabbing look.

Queen’s Quest

Once the most dominant faction in Stardom QQ has fallen on hard times recently with them dropping every title they held.  Following the precedent set by Io Shirai the faction is fueled by a desire to the best wrestler in the company and for a while, both Watanabe and Hayashishita could claim to be the best with Watanabe breaking records as Wonder Of Stardom champion and Hayashishita holding five belts simultaneously.  Slowly but surely they dropped those titles but with the recent recruit of 2019 Rookie Of The Year Saya Kamitani, their fortunes may be changing.

Donna Del Mondo

Donna Del Mondo

The newest faction on the block is Donna Del Mondo, which is supposed to mean Women Of The World (the literal translation is Woman Of The World), lead by recent signee Giulia.  In late 2019 Giulia made a controversial jump to Stardom while still under contract with Ice Ribbon, not to mention jumping on the day her tag partner was meant to retire, and has had a rocket strapped to her back since arriving in Stardom.  With Giulia in the lead, it’s easy to hate the Donna’s as they are rather stoic fighters with shoot influences which makes it easy to root against them in favor of exciting, athletic performers.  The current Artist Of Stardom Champions recently lost their first match in Stardom but are set to remain at the top of the company for some time to come.

The Champions

World Of Stardom Title (The Red Belt): Mayu Iwatani

Mayu Iwatani

The top title in Stardom is currently around the waist of it’s most recognizable star.  Mayu Iwatani is the aptly named “icon of Stardom” and the only remaining member of the famous Threedom (Kairi Hojo, Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani) still in Stardom.  She is only the second-ever two-time World Of Stardom champion and her current reign is all about her knocking back tough challengers as she builds the title back up after a couple of lackluster runs.  To hold this title truly means you have reached the top of Stardom and join a very reputable list of titleholders which includes Iwatani, Shirai, Hojo, Meiko Satomura and Nanae Takahashi.

Wonder Of Stardom Championship (The White Belt): Arisa Hoshiki

The White Belt is much like New Japan’s Intercontinental Championship, as it is often put on a big name and main event’s the odd big show. Io Shirai’s run brought the prestige of this title up as her star power made it more important during Toni Storm’s miserable reign with the Red Belt. Shirai’s reign was ended by Momo Watanabe who would have a record-breaking run with the title and put over Hoshiki as a major star when she dropped the title to the “Shining Star”.  Hoshiki has added to the string of strong runs with the title as she has had some of the best matches in recent Stardom history while defending the title.  We’re approaching record-breaking territory with Hoshiki’s reign so expect to see her put over a new star soon to continue this titles streak of elevating stars.

High Speed Championship: Riho

The High Speed title does exactly what it says on the tin.  It shows off a high paced style of wrestling that’s totally different from anything you’ll see on a Stardom card.  The title itself fades in and out of relevance with current champion Riho only making one defense in her 217-day reign.  Compare that to Hazuki who made eight defenses in a 208-day reign.  Whenever Stardom does decide to feature the title it’s always a good addition to the card but since Riho won it they’ve seemed disinterested.  Although it must be noted Stardom was running a High Speed Grand Prix prior to their hiatus to crown a number one contender for Riho.

Goddesses Of Stardom Championships: Oedo Tai (Bea Priestley & Jamie Hayter)

Stardom 9th Anniversary

The tag team championships are always good for delivering really good matches and the division has had some stability with the last few teams having strong reigns.  Much like the old All Japan Pro Wrestling method of booking tag titles, you usually have a main event level star holding one of the two titles which makes them more prestigious.  With faction warfare being a big storytelling method in the company, there is never a lack of teams to deliver fun matches for these titles.

Artist Of Stardom Championships: Donna Del Mondo (Giulia, Syuri & Maika)

Donna Del Mondo

Stardom’s trios championships are used for action-packed, balls to the wall trios matches that every Joshi company seems to excel at.  Currently held by Donna Del Mondo who are taking on all comers and establishing themselves as a strong faction.  These titles will continue to be the source of some of the most enjoyable matches on any Stardom card.

Future Of Stardom Championship: Vacant

 

To qualify for this title you must be either under the age of 20 or have less than 2 years experience.  It plays a good job in giving the rookies something to fight for and providing them with the opportunity to work big singles matches.  Stardom handcuffed themselves when they put this on Utami Hayashishita who was being pushed far more than any other member of the division which caused her to vacate the title.

SWA Undisputed World Womens Championship: Jamie Hayter

Originally meant to be defended by other promotions within the Stardom Wrestling Alliance it has not been defended outside the main promotion since December 2017.  The title can’t be defended against a wrestler from the same country as the titleholder so having it on Hayter opens up the number of possible opponents.  It’s not the most prestigious title ever but winning it is still a positive sign.

The Tournaments

Stardom 5STAR Grand Prix

5 Star Grand Prix

The 5STAR GP is a round-robin tournament broke down into two blocks (Red Stars & Blue Stars) with the winner of each block facing off in the final, so think G1 Climax.  The winner of the GP gets to challenge for the title of their choosing.  This is the biggest tournament of the year for Stardom and winning it is a great accolade to have.  Matches have a 15-minute time limit in the blocks which means the shows never overstay their welcome, unlike the G1 which can quickly get away from people who miss one show.

Cinderella Tournament

The cinderella tournament is a single knock out tournament with a twist.  Each match before the final has a 10-minute time limit AND matches can be won by throwing an opponent over the top rope.  If the match ends in a time limit draw both participants are eliminated.  With all the added stipulations this tournament is often unpredictable and provides some excellent sprint matches with different psychology than we usually see in Stardom.  The winner of the tournament earns one wish that must be granted, so far this wish has always resulted in a title shot but who knows when we could see something out of left field.

Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League

Similar to the 5STAR GP this is broken down into two blocks with the block winners facing off in the finals.  The tag team that wins gets a shot at the Goddesses Of Stardom Championships

Rookie Of The Year

A smaller single-elimination tournament pitting some young rookies against one another to see who wins.  Winning it is a positive sign that Stardom likes a certain wrestler and sees potential in them.

High Speed Grand Prix

Stardom High Speed Grand Prix

Introduced earlier this year the High Speed GP was a single block round robin tournament where the top 2 would face off in the final.  All matches had a rather short time limit encouraging the high speed style.  With the cancellations of shows this tournament doesn’t seem like it will have a conclusion as both Zoey Skye and Leyla Hirsch have gone home, Hirsch was also one of the frontrunners.

The Hierarchy

The Faction Leaders

The faction leaders are the most protected members of a faction and the ones that are most likely to pick up the wins in smaller tag matches.  They’re the most likely candidates to win the Red Belt and are rarely, if ever, will take falls in tag matches.  The faction leaders as things stand are Natsuko Tora, Giulia, Hana Kimura, Momo Watanabe, and Mayu Iwatani.

Second In Command

The right-hand women of the faction leaders this is where you’ll find Arisa Hoshiki, Konami, Syuri, Utami Hayashishita, and possibly Bea Priestley, the new Oedo Tai has yet to establish a very clear hierarchy.  They are most likely to hold the White Belt and will often challenge for the red belt but come out on the losing side.  They’re more protected than the lower card women but not invincible by any means.

The Midcard

This is the comedy wrestlers, the pin eaters in factions, and people who may gain momentum for a brief period but that’s usually to put over someone higher in the totem pole.  This is where you’ll find Jungle Kyona (although she’s moved up and down the card like a yo-yo at times, Tam Nakano, AZM, Natsu Sumire etc.  Usually going to take the pin when involved in multi-person tags but can get wins if being pushed and always are always at the very least above the rookies.

 

The Future Of Stardom

The rookies usually found in the opening two matches of the card, and usually seen on ring duty during later matches.  Mostly under the age of 18 with a lot of room to grow this is the division of Itsuki Hoshino, Hanan, Rina, Hina, Saya Kamitani, and Ruaka.

While there are obviously exceptions to every rule and some people can’t be confined to one single position on the roster this is the best skeleton we can provide for anyone looking to jump into Stardom for the first time.

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2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I think Kyona is more the second for TCS. She gets more title challenges and has held more belts.Plus she was the leader of her own faction. Konami is awesome but doesn’t have as much personality and isn’t as sympathetic. Thank you for doing a story about Stardom. They work hard and deserve much more recognition. I’ve been a wrestling fan for decades and right now they are about the only federation I follow and have ever subscribe to.

    1. That’s valid and it was a tough choice as they’re fairly fluid, at times Kyona is pushed way more but can also eat more pins. Thanks for reading!

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