Preview: Stardom Dream Queendom (12/29/12) – Stardom in Sumo Hall

Stardom Dream Queendom - Utami Hayashishita vs Syuri
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On December 29 Stardom returns to Ryogoku Sumo Hall for the first time since Yuzuki Aikawa’s retirement event.  This time around the promotion isn’t celebrating a retirement, instead, we will see the hotly anticipated World of Stardom Championship rematch between Syuri and Utami Hayashishita in the main event.  In addition, Saya Kamitani challenges Tam Nakano for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, four of Stardom’s best trainees of the past decade collide in a tag team match, and much more.  Let’s get into the card for Stardom Dream Queendom.

Stardom Dream Queendom Full Card – Syuri vs Utami Hayashishita

Lady C vs Waka Tsukiyama vs Saki Kashima vs Fukigen Death vs Rina

This is very much designed to give everyone something to do.  It also appears that this may be a pre-show match so it’ll kick off the proceedings on YouTube for any of those wanting to get some free Stardom action.  The main point of contention is that Kashima, Death, and Rina are stablemates which gives them an obvious advantage over their opponents.

Future of Stardom Championship: Ruaka (c) vs Hanan

Hanan and Ruaka have come up through Stardom together, so much so that Hanan debuted against Ruaka.  They have both grown up in front of the eyes of Stardom fans both from an in-ring standpoint and literally.  While they briefly belonged to STARS together they’ve never been on the same side for long. They now find themselves on polar opposite sides of the roster as Hanan has remained loyal to STARS, the babyface group of Stardom, while Ruaka turned on STARS to join dastardly heels Oedo Tai.  This disparity is clear in their work, Hanan is a fiery underdog who uses her judo background to fend off her foes while Ruaka is a gritty powerhouse who beats down all who stand in her way.

It is fitting that these two young women will battle it for the moniker of Future of Stardom Champion as they are two wrestlers who Stardom trained and developed from young teens to pro wrestlers with clear potential.  In our estimation, it seems like Hanan will come away with the win here to finally make her mark and begin to fulfill her potential.

High Speed Championship: Starlight Kid (c) vs AZM vs Koguma

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Three former High Speed Champions will collide on the big stage at Stardom Dream Queendom.  Koguma, dubbed the “high speed genius”, held this belt in 2015 after beating none other than Io Shirai for the title.  Earlier this year Koguma returned from retirement and has immediately shown why she earned the genius moniker in the first place.  Koguma challenged Kid for the title just last month but came up short in an impressive showcase of the high speed style.

After Koguma’s loss, AZM made her way to the ring to challenge her career rival Kid for the title they both strived to win for years – a milestone AZM achieved before Kid. Koguma reinserted herself into the equation and asked for a three-way match which Starlight Kid was happy to accept as she believes she can defeat both challengers.  There’s obviously a lot of history going into this.  Not only have Kid and AZM been feuding over this exact title for years but Koguma is aiming to win back the title she hasn’t held in six years.  We think Koguma could do it here and walk away as champion but Kid retaining would continue her and Oedo Tai’s strong run of form.

Artist of Stardom Championship: Donna Del Mondo (Maika, Himeka & Natsupoi) (c) vs Cosmic Angels (Mai Sakurai, Unagi Sayaka & Mina Shirakawa)

DDM and the Cosmic Angels did battle for these titles throughout the year as the Angels made their mark in history when they became the longest-reigning and winningest trio in title history. The thing is, that Cosmic Angels trio involved leader Tam Nakano who is not involved with this match, instead, Shirakawa and Sayaka have the inexperienced Sakurai on their side.  MaiHimePoi are an elite trio who should have little to no issue in dealing with a team involving someone as inexperienced as Sakurai.

Giulia Return & Konami “Last” Match

Giulia makes her return from injury after a number of months on the shelf while Konami has her final match with Stardom before her upcoming hiatus from professional wrestling.  In 2020 these two had two matches over the Wonder of Stardom Championship but more notably, Giulia’s first major feud in Stardom was with Konami’s then-stablemate Hana Kimura of Tokyo Cyber Squad.  It is likely that link that lead to the creation of this match which will hopefully see both women channel the spirit of Giulia’s classic with Kimura.

10th Anniversary Tag Match – Takumi Iroha & Mayu Iwatani vs Hazuki & Momo Watanabe

This star-studded tag match is part of Stardom’s continued celebration of its 10th anniversary.  To celebrate they are putting four of the best active Stardom graduates in one match which could steal the show.  While some fans are unaware of this fact, Iroha was actually trained by Stardom and even won the Artist of Stardom titles alongside Shirai and Iwatani in the short-lived Heisei-Gun faction which Hazuki and Watanabe were loosely aligned with.

All four women have had different paths since that time, Iroha left to become the protege of Chigusa Nagayo, arguably the greatest women’s wrestler of all time. Hazuki was on course to be a superstar before retiring in 2019, Watanabe had a record-breaking run as Wonder of Stardom Champion, Iwatani of course became Stardom’s transcendent icon.  At Ryogoku these four paths will converge once again as four of Stardom’s best homegrown talents collide.

The added layer of Momo Watanabe’s recent heel turn adds some extra excitement to this one as the new Watanabe will be out to destroy her tough opponents by any means necessary.

Wonder of Stardom Championship: Tam Nakano (c) vs Saya Kamitani

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Saya Kamitani’s origins as a pro wrestler date back to Stardom Idols, a short-lived brand that Nakano was heavily involved in.  Tam Nakano, herself coming from a dancing background, was the perfect person for such a brand to help other idols assimilate to pro wrestling.  Saya Kamitani was one of the only Stardom Idols members to stick around, Kamitani also comes from a background in dancing, and was linked with Nakano early on in her career.

That link lasted until Kamitani made the choice to join Queen’s Quest instead of joining Nakano in STARS. This decision never sat well with Nakano but the two rarely had a chance to come to blows to settle the dispute.  In both the 5STAR Grand Prix 2020, and 2021 Cinderella Tournament, Kamitani pulled out shock victories over her senior Nakano.  Saya Kamitani went on to win the Cinderella tournament and immediately challenged Nakano for her newly won Wonder of Stardom title.  In July at the Yokohama Budokan these two former associates had a battle filled with drama which saw Nakano emerge victorious to reverse her recent trend of defeats to Saya, Nakano’s winning streak didn’t last long as she once again fell to Kamitani in the 5STAR Grand Prix 2021.

If one thing has been made clear between these two, it’s that Kamitani has the advantage.  Despite Nakano’s vast experience, there is something about the agile former dancer Saya that she can’t quite figure out. And that puts her reign in serious danger. This feels like Saya Kamitani’s time to take that next step and beat Nakano for the title, likely by pulling out her rare Phoenix Splash.

World of Stardom Championship & SWA Undisputed World Women’s Championship: Utami Hayashishita (c) vs Syuri (c)

Stardom Dream Queendom - Utami Hayashishita vs Syuri

Earlier this year Hayashishita and Syuri catapulted themselves and Stardom into the eye of wrestling fans everywhere with their critically acclaimed match at Ota Ward. This 43-minute draw made both women into instant contenders for end-of-year awards and their eventual rematch was going to be one of the biggest matches in Stardom history.  Well, now its time for that rematch! While Syuri and Hayashishita did face off in this year’s GP that match went to a draw and never really saw either woman hit top gear, it was clear to see on that day that they were holding back for something bigger down the line.

That something bigger was the main event at Sumo Hall with both Hayashishita’s world title, and Syuri’s SWA title on the line. Syuri earned this match by winning the 5STAR Grand Prix this year and dutifully defended her right to challenge against a number of challengers, putting her SWA title on the line was her personal choice to add more stakes to this bout.

Thi match, unlike most Stardom matches, has no time limit meaning that they will wrestle until one, or both, competitors are unable to continue.  Whether they can again last for 43 minutes or not remains to be seen.

As for who wins, Stardom fans are split down the middle.  Syuri is a fan-favorite veteran of the Joshi scene and one of the best wrestlers in the world. Her journey to the World title climaxing at Sumo Hall in a win that she would dedicate to her late mother is the ideal situation for many fans. For others, they see no end in sight to Hayashishita’s reign of excellence, Utami has made herself the centerpiece of Stardom and Syuri is merely another obstacle for her to overcome as she chases down some of Io Shirai’s record reigns.

We fall more in line with the latter line of thought and can only see this show ending with Utami Hayashishita and Saya Kamitani holding the top two titles in Stardom. Where Hayashishta’s reign goes from here is anyone’s guess but she is not short of challengers.

Make sure to check out the show live on Pay-Per-View:

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 want to see more from Stardom, you can check out their subscription service Stardom World for all your wonderous Joshi needs.