STARDOM continues its 2024 with a PPV in Osaka EDION #1 with nine matches in front of 1377 fans.
The undercard featured a Future of Stardom Championship match, where Rina defeated Yuzuki with the Pink Devil in the best Future Title match in a while. Yuzuki is just 3 months into her career and already a competent Wrestler. She & Rina killed it here and proved why both will be two of the top talents in the promotion in the next five years.
The High-Speed Championship was also on the line when Mei Seira & Hazuki fought to a 15-minute Time-Limit-Draw. It was a great match with incredible pacing and near falls. Seira was barely surviving and retaining her title for the fourth time. Mei Seira now has her first real roadblock on her way to becoming the ace of the High-Speed division.
The next match was an All-Star Tag Team Match to celebrate the 13th Anniversary of its existence, with the homegrown team of Mayu Iwatani, Utami Hayashishita, AZM & Nanae Takahashi teaming up to face the outsider team Giulia, Syuri, Suzu Suzuki & MIRAI. The homegrown team represents different eras of STARDOM while other side, there are four of the most dominant women in the 2000s with the winners of the past three 5STAR Grand Prix and two recent World of Stardom Champions being on the team. The match went over 20 minutes with incredible action, and an amazing finishing sequence, where Mayu Iwatani picked up the win by pinning Suzu Suzuki.
In the semi-final, Saori Anou defeated Starlight Kid to retain her Wonder of Stardom Championship for the first time. Starlight Kid, who won the Wonder Rumble at the last Korakuen Hall Show, got her first White Belt Championship match since losing to Saya Kamitani in July 2022. “The Black Tiger” came back from injury last 3 months ago and looked well here. She dominated the early parts of the match, which led to a great comeback by the Champion, who ended the match with the Japanese Ocean Suplex to win the match.
In the main event, Maika defeated Saya Kamitani to retain the World of Stardom Championship for the first time with a Hammerlock Michinoku Driver II. Their rivalry goes through both careers in STARDOM with them battling for the Future, Artist, Goddess, Cinderella Tournament, Wonder, and now World of Stardom Championship. Both looked great in this match and picked up the pace at the right time to deliver a great match with the right winner.
Unsurprisingly, Maika called out Tam Nakano to challenge her for the World of Stardom Championship. Nakano has never officially lost the Red Belt, after vacating it due to injury. It seems to be the main event for the Yokohama Buntai show in April. The show ended with a group picture of all the Wrestlers including Rossy Ogawa. Backstage, Natsuko Tora, Nanae Takahashi, and the returning Thekla have made clear that they want to challenge Giulia for the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship. Also, Maika & Shirakawa announced that they will challenge for the Artist of Stardom Championship together with the returning Xena.
Not even a day after the show, Bushiroad and STARDOM have announced that, effective immediately (February 4th, 2024), they have canceled the contract of founder and head booker Rossy Ogawa. The announcement states that Ogawa tried to “poach many STARDOM wrestlers and staff”, which is yet to be said to what extent this is the case. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that several talent departures are expected in March, with Mayu Iwatani being the only wrestler tied with STARDOM to a long-term deal due to her upcoming biopic.
In addition, Meltzer said that STARDOM President Taro Okada and Bushiroad Fight merchandise manager, Oyama will take over as the bookers for STARDOM effective immediately, with neither one having a background in professional wrestling booking. It has been rumored for some time, that Bushiroad has been overruling Ogawa’s Booking, and booking the promotion.
It seems that a huge exodus is nearing STARDOM, with many talents unhappy over the recent decision by Bushiroad, especially Giulia calling them out in an interview stating that the thing Rossy has built up over the last 13 years is being destroyed.
On Sunday, AWG announced that Asahi unexpectedly passed away recently due to an unexpected accident at the age of 21. In addition, the company is canceling its show scheduled for February 9 in Shinkiba.
Asahi made her debut in Pro-Wrestling at the age of 14 in Ice Ribbon and was meant to be a top star in the promotion, until she left and joined Actwres girl’Z in April 2023. She was a tremendous worker with a fantastic future in the business and is someone who will never be forgotten and will always be in Wrestling Fans’s hearts.
On behalf of WrestlePurstis, we send our condolences to Asahi’s friends, family, and fans.