On May 20, 2020, it was announced that Arisa Hoshiki would have to retire from professional wrestling due to injuries. It was a heart-breaking result for many, including Hoshiki, as she was forced to relinquish her Wonder of Stardom Championship and fans were never able to really say goodbye to the incredible talent. Only recently as Hoshiki began to jump back into the world of wrestling, taking part in sit-down interviews and even taking on the name of Arisa Hoshiki once again. And while her career was incredibly short-lived, her impact was a major one. Hoshiki dazzled the world of professional wrestling with her unique in-ring style featuring devastating strikes and unmatchable heart. Hoshiki is remembered for what she brought to the ring every single match.
So, it would only be right that we take a look back at Hoshiki’s career in the squared circle — highlighting the best matches from her career. Fans of Hoshiki know that her career was really split into two parts as a member of Stardom, as she was a star from the very beginning. In this article, take a look back at the best of Arisa Hoshiki.
vs. Yuzuki Aikawa (Stardom Grow Up Stars, 4/10/11)
There was a beauty in the way Arisa Hoshiki performed at the beginning of her career. At a very young age, she was showing the greatness that she was going to display nearly a decade later when she returned to wrestling. Hoshiki’s first match with Yuzuki Aikawa displayed a fighting spirit that you cannot teach. Aikawa was well on her way to being at the top of Stardom, as she would win the Wonder of Stardom Championship not too long after that. But what these two were able to do was simply hit each other with their best shots and really was Hoshiki’s first match that made people notice how special she was going to be. Aikawa walked out with the victory, but the young Hoshiki left with confidence that she could hang with the best.
vs. Yoko Bito (Stardom Season 2: Grow Up Stars, 5/8/11)
It’s easy to forget how great Yoko Bito was as a wrestler. And it’s easier to forget that she had possibly Hoshiki’s best match with her in “The Shining Star’s” initial run. The ability that both these wrestlers possessed is nothing short of impressive considering both had similarly short but exciting careers. Hoshiki hit her signature Brazilian Kick in this match to the skull of Bito that had you certain there was a knockout inside the ring. While the match only went nine minutes in time, it highlighted what made the early days of Stardom so great, while letting both women show out in the process. If you want just raw skill against raw skill, this is the one for you.
Wonder of Stardom Championship: vs. Yuzuki Aikawa (c) (Stardom Year-End Stars, 12/23/11)
As stated prior, there was something special in Hoshiki. And when she got her first-ever title match, she made sure to do her best and make it count. Once again it was a matchup with Yuzuki Aikawa, and in this second match between the two, they displayed an immense amount of chemistry that you want to see in a major match. Maybe this one more than the others before was the most telling in the sense that Hoshiki was on her way to be so special in this business. This match happened a mere five months before she retired for six years, only adding an enhanced aura to it that you may not bring into it otherwise. Hoshiki and Aikawa not only put on a show but had one of the most fun early title matches in Stardom’s history.
Cinderella Tournament Final: vs. Konami (Stardom Cinderella Tournament, 4/29/19)
When Arisa Hoshiki returned to professional wrestling and more specifically Stardom in 2018, she was instantly a star. There was this magic that we have been talking about this entire time that Hoshiki displayed time and time again, so it was only fitting that she would win the Cinderella Tournament in 2019. Hoshiki stormed through the tournament to face off with Konami in the finals. It was almost a perfect final, as these two were rising through the ranks of Stardom at an incredible rate. It made this match have the uncertainty of anyone could win and went on to be one of Hoshiki’s best. The win would set her up to take on the legendary reign of Momo Watanabe and her Wonder of Stardom Championship. That instantly became one of the biggest matches in Stardom history and saw both deliver.
Wonder of Stardom Championship: vs. Momo Watanabe (c) (Stardom Gold May, 5/16/19)
A clash of titans, if you will. The undeniable record reign of Momo Watanabe against the rising “Shining Star” of Stardom, Arisa Hoshiki. The beauty of what these two do comes through their strikes, particularly kicks, and they told a story of just two of the best going at it. There were multiple occasions in the match where it felt Watanabe would actually retain. She’d nearly fend off the woman that many believed would finally take the title from her. But Hoshiki had an immense showing of the “fighting spirit” that brought her to the top, which is what happened in this very match. Hoshiki defeated Watanabe, having her crowning moment as champion and it was the long-awaited conclusion to when her career began eight years earlier. Everyone should check this one out because of how great it was.
Wonder of Stardom Championship: vs. Tam Nakano (Stardom Shining Destiny, 6/16/19)
To many fans, this is the best match of Arisa Hoshiki and Tam Nakano‘s careers. Everything makes sense as to why it would be. The friendship, the story, and what was told between the ropes. Nakano’s friendship with Hoshiki became anger. When Hoshiki had walked back into Stardom, she seemingly took the spot of Nakano was the No. 2 person in STARS behind Mayu Iwatani. And her star began to soar as Nakano had to play catchup. After Hoshiki won the title from Momo Watanabe, it became Nakano’s goal to be the woman to take the Wonder of Stardom Championship from Hoshiki no matter what. This was her first chance and eventually her only one. As you can imagine, they had the match that only they could.
Friends wrestling each other is a tale as old as time in wrestling and this was no different. These two held zero back against one another. Every strike, every move was a blast to the other. The emotion on their faces as they competed told the story just as much as the in-ring part did. They didn’t miss and rather everything had a plentiful purpose. Nakano would fall as Hoshiki would secure her first successful defense as champion. Nakano’s promise would never be fulfilled in terms of her taking the gold from Hoshiki, but what was fulfilled is that she now holds the title Hoshiki had her incredible reign with. A truly extraordinary match between these two.
Wonder of Stardom Championship: vs. Hazuki (Stardom World Big Summer In Tokyo, 7/24/19)
Here’s a match where, as a fan, you realized you should always appreciate what you have before it’s gone. Both Hoshiki and Hazuki are retired from the wonderful art and both were fantastic as the art that is pro wrestling. It was only natural that when they faced off with the Wonder of Stardom Championship on the line and it would nothing short of fantastic. Get the point? Not holding back was characteristic of Hoshiki that was retroactive of older styles. The action between her and Hazuki in this title fight was marvelous action, as they went all around the arena with Hazuki having the edge before getting back into the ring. When it came to the close, these two had one of the better final stretches you will see. Wrestling fans miss these two and this match is the perfect example of why.
Wonder of Stardom Championship: vs. Kagetsu (Stardom World Champion Wars, 10/14/19)
To think that this match happened less than two years ago and neither are still active is quite upsetting. But they are amongst the best to do it and when they faced off for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, it proved to be as good as one would believe. While Hoshiki always plays the babyface of a match, she also is far more offensive in her bouts than on the defense. These two just hit haymaker after haymaker with each other, as Kagetsu was surviving knee after knee towards the end of the encounter. The survival of the former World of Stardom Champion was great, but Hoshiki was not going to be defeated. And really that was the standard of sorts when it came to Hoshiki matches. She was not going to ever go down without hitting her best shot. She managed to do so and defeated the legend, Kagetsu.
Arisa Hoshiki & Mayu Iwatani vs. Hazuki & Kagetsu (Stardom Goddess of Stars, 12/1/19)
Hoshiki was a fantastic singles competitor, but teaming with Mayu Iwatani was never a bad thing either. They would team together to face off with Kagetsu and Hazuki as they were both on their retirement tours. Best part about it was that Kagetsu and Hazuki realized it was their final run, so nothing was held back between any of the four women. There wasn’t even anything on the line but these four had one of the best tag team matches that you’ll see. The physicality at times was unmatchable and the pace never stopped. Great tag team matches are an art form in itself. It’s nearly a niche inside of a niche. And these four bright that to the table. The World of Stardom and Wonder of Stardom Champions Iwatani and Hoshiki came out on top in one of the most enjoyable tag matches a fan will see.
The Forever Lasting Light of Arisa Hoshiki
Professional wrestling is all based on perspective. Some love matches more than others and in this writing, this is what I view as Hoshiki’s best. Whether it was from her first run or her last, there was an effect for her every single match. It’s expected that not all will agree with this and really, that’s fine. That’s the greatness of pro wrestling and the tremendous quality of everything Arisa Hoshiki did. She was a once-in-a-lifetime type talent. There was an ability to bring everyone in and give people what they want in her matches. We all miss that light she brought to professional wrestling every single day. But as she continues her career elsewhere through music and whatever other creative avenues she goes down and succeeds at, fans will always have her to brighten their day.
Arisa Hoshiki may be retired from professional wrestling, but “The Shining Star” is one whose impact will shine forever.
More from LWOS Pro Wrestling
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. If you wanna see more from Stardom, you can check out their subscription service Stardom World for all your wondrous Joshi needs.
Looking to talk wrestling, pro football, or any number of sports? Head on over to the LWOS Boards to engage in conversation with fellow fans!