Since Bushiroad purchased STARDOM in late 2019, it has felt like some type of crossover between the joshi company and NJPW was bound to happen. And while it took three years, a global pandemic, and the introduction of the IWGP Women’s Championship, that crossover is set for November 20th inside Ariake Arena. The NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over card will feature competitors from both companies competing in mixed tag team matches, championship bouts, and much more on their first-ever fully co-promoted event.
NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over Card
Be a part of history LIVE IN ENGLISH on @njpwworld PPV!
Kickoff at 4PM local time!
US: 2AM eastern/11PM Pacific
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) November 17, 2022
–Pre-Show Match: Oskar Leube, Kosei Fujita, Ryohei Oiwa, & Yuto Nakashima (NJPW Noge Dojo) vs. Gabriel Kidd, Alex Coughlin, Clark Connors, & Kevin Knight (NJPW LA Dojo)
–Pre-Show STARDOM 15-Person Ranbo Match
-Lio Rush, Tomohiro Ishii, YOH & YOSHI-HASHI (CHAOS) vs. Dick Togo, EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi (House Of Torture)
-AZM, Lady C & Saya Kamitani (Queen’s Quest) vs. Himeka, Mai Sakurai & Thekla (Donna del Mondo)
-Mixed Tag Team Match: Syuri & Tom Lawlor vs. Giulia & Zack Sabre Jr.
-Mixed Eight-Person Tag Team Match: Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid (Oedo Tai) and DOUKI & El Desperado vs. Natsupoi & Tam Nakano (Cosmic Angels) and Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Suzuki-Gun)
-Mixed Tag Team Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Utami Hayashishita vs. Hirooki Goto & Maika
-BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables De Japon) vs. Francesco Akira, Gideon Grey, Kyle Fletcher, Mark Davis & TJP (United Empire)
-Great Muta’s final NJPW match: Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada (CHAOS) and The Great Muta vs. Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare & Jeff Cobb (United Empire)
-IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Shota Umino
-IWGP Women’s Championship Match: KAIRI vs. Mayu Iwatani
Mixed Tag Team Mayhem in Ariake
'As soon as this mixed match was announced that I wanted us to have the best mixed match on the card.'
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) November 15, 2022
When the NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over show was first announced, the draws of the event were mixed tag team matches that would pit the stars of both companies against and alongside one another for the first time ever. While it was then announced that the matches would all feature mixed tag team rules, each of the female competitors made it clear that they will attempt to neglect the rules and attack their male counterparts in their match. First, it will be the duo of Syuri and Tom Lawlor taking on the unlikely tandem of Zack Sabre Jr. and Giulia. Lawlor and Syuri share the common bond of being former UFC fighters while also having immense respect for one another inside the ring. However, both ZSJ and Giulia have the power of unpredictability on their side and could cause a disaster for the two Martial Artists in this matchup.
Then, an eight-person tag team will see an inter-faction battle between Suzuki-Gun members, with DOUKI and El Desperado teaming alongside Black Desire to face off against Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and the reigning Goddesses of Stardom Champions, Meltear. The Meltear side has already been pictured training together in recent weeks, with Natsupoi learning Kanemaru’s Suntory Surprise and Tam working on a stereo thrust kick combination alongside Taichi. However, the masked contingent (and Momo Watanabe) have already pledged to use any and all rudo tactics to take the victory.
And finally, the final mixed tag tea match on NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over will see Hiroshi Tanahashi and Utami Hayashishita battle Hirooki Goto and Maika. Utami and Tana’s “Itsuzai” connection – which literally means absurdly talented – makes them the heavy favorites in this bout. However, Goto and Maika’s similar style and vibe make them one of the most interesting pairings of the night and could surprise the world if they muster out a win in Ariake.
Muta Says Goodbye To NJPW
Ahead of Keiji Muto’s retirement in January, one-third of NJPW’s original Three Musketeers will say goodbye to his first home in professional wrestling. Alongside Toru Yano and Kazuchicka Okada, Muto will reintroduce his “Great Muta” persona to NJPW audiences one last time, and his sight is seemingly set on “The Dominator” of the United Empire. Costing Great-O-Khan his match against Yano in the NJPW World Television Championship Tournament, Muta’s final goal in NJPW seems to be the destruction of the new “Great” homegrown competitor in the company. Can Muta find another victory on his retirement road, or will Great-O-Khan be able to overcome the all-time legend in one of his final matches?
“Shooter” Seeks His Birthright
In the semi-main event of NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over, “Roughneck” Shota Umino will make his in-ring return to New Japan proper when he challenges Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. While this will be the returning young lion’s first championship challenge in his NJPW career, fans of Umino are well aware of his history with the US Title. After being taken under the wing of one Jon Moxley, “Shooter” would carry the United States gold around for his mentor throughout Mox’s US title reign in 2019.
Beyond his history with the championship itself, Umino has also been seeking retribution on The United Empire, who were a constant thorn in his side during his time in the UK on excursion. While some may view this as a mere speedbump on the road to whoever might await Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 17, it’s hard to deny Umino’s determination to continue on the “Death Rider” legacy by becoming IWGP US Champion.
One Ring, One Destiny
The card is SET for Historic X-Over on November 20!
First IWGP Women's Champion determined in the main event!
Mayu Iwatani v KAIRI!
IWGP US Championship
Shota Umino v Will Ospreay!
Great Muta's last NJPW match!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) November 6, 2022
In the main event of the show, the inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion will be crowned as two of the most instrumental women in STARDOM’s 11-year history will go one-on-one for the first time in over five years. KAIRI and Mayu Iwatani have to be considered two of the greatest STARDOM-trained competitors to date, and their long history competing with and against one another will be renewed in Ariake, with the opportunity to usher in a new era of Puroresu at stake.
When looking at the competitors, while they share the bond of being two-thirds of THREEDOM alongside Io Shirai, their paths to get to this point cannot be more different. After KAIRI’s last match with Mayu, the “Pirate Princess” left the company to compete in the WWE for four years before returning earlier this year. During that time, Mayu became a Grand Slam Champion, the only woman to win all three major tournaments, and the undisputed “Icon” of the company.
While the duo’s singles record up until this point favors Mayu 3-2, both women have grown immensely in the past five years. While it seemed as if Mayu would be the last Daughter of STARDOM to compete for the company just a few years ago, KAIRI’s return has changed the course of history and led to this moment; two of the greatest competitors in STARDOM history main eventing one of the most monumental events in company history—The way it was destined to be.
To watch the Historic X-Over card viewers will have to purchase the PPV via New Japan World.
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.