Preview: STARDOM Flashing Champions 2023 Card (5/27/23)

Stardom Flashing Champions 2023 - Mina Shirakawa vs Tam Nakano graphic

STARDOM continues to control the conversation when it comes to women’s professional wrestling. One month following their historical outing in Yokohama Arena, STARDOM will return to Ota Ward Gymnasium, the dominion of joshi wrestling, for STARDOM Flashing Champions 2023 on May 27. Four championship matches are set to take place, including a double championship match in the show’s main event. 

STARDOM Flashing Champions 2023 Full Card

  • Syuri and Aya Sakura vs. Ram Kaichow and Maika Ozaki (Rebel X Enemy)
  • Saya Iida and Momo Kohgo (STARS) vs. Lady C and Miyu Amasaki (Queen’s Quest) Due to an injury to Miyu Amasaki this is now a pre-show match: Saya Iida vs Momo Kohgo vs Lady C
  • Utami Hayashishita, Saya Kamitani, and Hina (Queen’s Quest) vs. Starlight Kid, Ruaka, and Rina (Young OED)
  • Mayu Iwatani, Koguma, Hazuki and Hanan (STARS) vs. Mariah May, Xena, Jessie and Waka Tsukiyama (Club Venus)
  • Maika, Suzu Suzuki, and Mei Seira vs. Nanae Takahashi, Yuna Mizumori, and HANAKO
  • High-Speed Championship Match: AZM(c) vs. Saki Kashima vs. Fukigen DEATH
  • Goddesses of Stardom Championship Match: MIRAI and Ami Sohrei (THE NEW ERAS)(c) vs. Natsuko Tora and Momo Watanabe (Oedo Tai)
  • Artist of Stardom Championship Match: KAIRI, Natsupoi, and Saori Anou (REstart)(c) vs. Giulia, Thekla, and Mai Sakurai (Bari Bari Bombers)
  • World of Stardom/Wonder of Stardom Double-Crown Championship Match: Tam Nakano(c) vs. Mina Shirakawa(c)

Has AZM Gone Too Fast For Too Long?

The presumed first championship bout of STARDOM Flashing Champions 2023 will see AZM defend the High-Speed Championship in a three-way dance against Saki Kashima and Fukigen DEATH. Both challengers have attempted to take AZM’s prized possession in the past though each wound up being unsuccessful in their attempts. As of now, AZM stands as the longest reigning champion in STARDOM today, with many people wondering how long she can hold her spot atop the high-speed mountain.

In recent months AZM has hinted at her ambition to use the high-speed style she has mastered to pursue STARDOM’s top titles, leading some to believe her days as champion are numbered. Furthermore, while AZM has successfully defended her title in three-way bouts twice before, Fukigen DEATH and Saki Kashima are both wildcards in a match of that kind. Can AZM hold onto her spot as the High-Speed Ace, or will a member of Oedo Tai claim the High-Speed Championship in Ota Ward Gym?

Can the New Era Live On?

The Goddesses of Stardom Championships have found themselves in a strange spot in recent months. While Yuu and Nanae Takahashi thrived with the titles for the first four months of the year, THE NEW ERAS’ controversial countout victory over the former champions got the duo off to a rocky start as champions. MIRAI and Ami claimed their first successful title defense earlier this month, but they are now tasked with facing Oedo Tai’s Natsuko Tora and Momo Watanabe at STARDOM Flashing Champions 2023.

Two stalwarts of the golden era of STARDOM, Natsuko and Watanabe have limited experience as a team but are confident leading into their bout against Sourei and MIRAI. Oedo Tai’s antics have already cost Ami Sourei one championship earlier this month when Rina dethroned the Future of Stardom Champion at NEW BLOOD 8. If isolated from her Cinderella Tournament-winning partner, Ami could once again fall to Oedo Tai’s rulebreaking style in an even more significant championship battle on Saturday.

ReSTART of Donna Del Mondo

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Himeka’s retirement from professional wrestling and Giulia’s loss of the World of Stardom Championship have both severally affected the strength of Donna Del Mondo over the past month. The group looks to find its footing when its Bari Bari Bombers sub-faction challenges Saori Anou, KAIRI, and Natsupoi for the Artists of Stardom Championship. This match will mark Mai Sakurai, Thekla, and Guilia’s first trio’s championship challenge to date and also means the continuation of the neverending feud between DDM and Cosmic Angels.

While KAIRI is merely an affiliate of the members of Kozuen, Anou and Natsupoi are both co-members of ReSTART and the Tam Nakano-led stable. With Natsupoi’s betrayal of DDM last Summer still on the mind of Thekla, the Austrian star has made her ambition the make Poi pay for her actions clear and plans to use this match to get the job done. Furthermore, KAIRI and Giulia will meet inside the ring for the first time, an encounter many have been waiting to see since KAIRI’s return to Japan last year.

Space Race To The Double Crown

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The main event of STARDOM Flashing Champions 2023 will see the second-ever Double Crown matchup in STARDOM history when Tam Nakano faces Mina Shirakawa in a winner takes all match. Following Shirakawa’s departure from Cosmic Angels last month, animosity instantly grew between the former tag team partners. Weeks later, a historic champion vs. champion match was made to settle the score.

Mayu Iwatani currently stands as the only woman in STARDOM history to hold the Wonder of Stardom and World of Stardom Championships simultaneously. However, “The Icon” won both belts in isolated championship matches in 2017, never competing in a double-crown match of this kind. Instead, the first and only match to see both of STARDOM’s top titles on the line came a year later when Kagetsu and Momo Watanabe fought to a double-knockout in September 2018. While the belts will likely continue to be defended separately, the double-crown match could instantaneously alter the landscape of STARDOM if a winner is decided. However, many fans believe that, much like the Double Crown match in 2018, it is most likely that the bout ends in some kind of draw. 

If one woman does walk away the victor, she will have earned the highest-known accolade in STARDOM history. While this fact favors the more established Tam Nakano, Mina Shirakawa’s momentum in the past 6 months has made her somebody you can never truly count out. Will either woman make history, or will a stalemate keep both women’s championship reigns alive at STARDOM Flashing Champions 2023?

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.