STARDOM Flashing Champions 2024 (May 18) Preview & Predictions

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STARDOM is presenting Flashing Champions on May 18th in Yokohama Budokan. It’s the first major PPV after All Star Grand Queendom and will be the next big test for STARDOM under Taro Okada, who has been struggling lately as the head of creative, which was not only seen in the build-up to this show but also by the match announcements. After initially announcing all the matches on Sunday, a statement followed quickly from Taro Okada that due to the health of some wrestlers, matches that were announced earlier as “finalized” would be determined as “currently planned” in case someone is missing the show. At a press conference a day later, STARDOM then posted an updated version of the Flashing Champions card, where four matches got changed including a No.1 Contenders Match for the Goddess of Stardom Championship due to Rian, who was in the opening match against Ranna Yagami, missing the show.

Still, the card has a couple of great match-ups that make you want to tune into the show. The nine-match card features a good mix of special tag matches and multiple championship bouts, with Ami Sohrei & Saori Anou main eventing the show with the Wonder of Stardom Championship on the line.

Let’s dive into the main card of the show.

Crazy Star (Suzu Suzuki & Mei Seira) vs. Mutual Love (Natsupoi & Starlight Kid)


A special tag team is opening the show, and it’s between four of the best wrestlers STARDOM has to offer, with Crazy Star facing Starlight Kid & Natsupoi, who call themselves “Mutual Love”.

Poi & SLK only have teamed up once in a straight-up Tag Team match, where they defeated the 02Line at All Together Again. They have shown that they have good chemistry as a duo and have begun introducing some tag team moves already. It’s still unknown if the pair will be a long-term team because STARDOM has teased SLK teaming with Crazy Star, who she will face on that show. Suzu & Mei just recently lost the Goddess of Stardom Championships to FWC in an amazing match at the Fukuoka show and want to regain momentum in this match and potentially challenge FWC to a rematch.

The match obviously will be fantastic, which should be a given with these four involved. Predicting a winner is tough here since all four of the wrestlers potentially need a big win to gain momentum after their recent losses, so I’m going with the team that seemingly has the bigger stories lined up in the near future and that is Natsupoi & Starlight Kid.

Prediction: Natsupoi & Starlight Kid

Maika vs. HANAKO

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Next up is a special singles match between the World of Stardom Champion and her EXV stablemate HANAKO. The match came about as HANAKO is sick of losing and wanted to be judged by her mentor & leader.

The biggest question mark here is.. why is Maika not defending her World Title? My explanation for that is that STARDOM doesn’t want to burn through challengers since the ‘Empress’ is already at V4. At the same time, STARDOM hasn’t held a Red Belt Championship match in Yokohama Budokan since July 2021, when Utami Hayashishita defended her title against Natsuko Tora, so I guess they want to save the Red Belt title matches for the bigger venues. While it’s not ideal, Maika not defending is okay since this match has a big meaning for HANAKO’s upcoming few months.

This isn’t about whether HANAKO can pull an upset or not, but just about how well she can perform against the World of Stardom Champion. She’ll almost certainly be losing here, but she can gain a lot with a fantastic performance.

Prediction: Maika

E-neXus-V (Mina Shirakawa, Xena & Waka Tsukiyama) vs. OEDo Tai (Fukigen Death & Rina) & Azusa Inaba

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After their clash for the Future of Stardom Championship, Rina & Azusa Inaba agreed to hunt “old hags,” and now they have the chance as they face Shirakawa, Xena & Waka of EXV.

This came about last minute and has no real meaning behind it as it replaced the No.1 Contenders Match for the Goddess of Stardom Championship. It will be the typical STARDOM PPV undercard trios match, where all six have a solid performance, but nothing more.

Looking at the teams, EXV is likely winning, and it could set up a Goddess of Stardom challenge for Shirakawa & Xena

Winner: Mina Shirakawa, Xena & Waka Tsukiyama

STARS (Momo Kohgo, Hazuki & Koguma) vs. Oedo Tai (Momo Watanabe, Thekla & Natsuko Tora) vs. Cosmic Angels (Sayaka Kurara, Aya Sakura & Yuna Mizumori) vs. Queen’s Quest (Lady C, AZM & Miyu Amasaki) vs. God’s Eye (Konami, Saki Kashima & Syuri) – No. 1 Contenders Gauntlet Match for the Artist of Stardom Championship

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The gauntlet match for the Artist of Stardom Championship has many interesting teams in it that potentially could challenge EXV for STARDOM’s trios titles. The rules are simple: Two trios are in the ring at the same time, and an elimination occurs via pinfall, submission, or throwing your opponent over the top rope. With that, trios can be protected, and that is likely what STARDOM will do here.

While the match quality will be secondary, the interesting part is predicting the outcome. Many trios actually have a good case. OEDo Tai is the top favourite, as Thekla, Momo & Tora are undefeated as a trio so far since Thekla joined OEDo Tai at All Star Grand Queendom and they have a story with EXV going on. At the same time, if Mina & Xena are challenging for the Goddess Tag Titles, a potential STARS win could be possible to continue the little STARS/EXV rivalry with two title matches over the Artist & Goddess Titles. I also wouldn’t count out a sneaky God’s Eye win with Saki Kashima stealing a pin at the end of the match.

It’s tough, but I’m leaning toward the STARS team since they were one of the few teams that were already planned for this match before the massive changes

Prediction: Momo Kohgo, Hazuki & Koguma

Saya Kamitani (c) vs Saya Iida – High Speed Championship

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The Sayas are battling it out for the High Speed Championship as Saya Kamitani is defending her title against Saya Iida.

Both have history with each other, as Iida & Kamitani used to be a tag team in the Goddess of Stardom Tag League in 2019, and both are part of the Golden Generation. Iida has often been seen as the weak link of the Golden Gen as the other members have all been at least one step above her, including Kamitani being the most successful Wonder of Stardom Champion.

Iida has been gaining some momentum over the last couple of months having beaten Utami Hayashishita in her last match in STARDOM and wants to continue that momentum by winning the High Speed Title, but since it’s Kamitani’s first defense, it’s likely that she’s retaining here.

Prediction: Saya Kamitani

Eye Contact (Mayu Iwatani & Hanan) vs Best Friends (Tsukasa Fujimoto & Arisa Nakajima)

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As part of her retirement tour, Arisa Nakajima stops by in STARDOM to team together with Tsukasa Fujimoto against Hanan & Mayu Iwatani in a special tag team match. This match has been set up after Tsukasa Fujimoto, who is the Ace of Ice Ribbon, appeared after Iwatani’s match against Sareee and challenged her to a tag team match.

Mayu sharing the ring with Arisa Nakajima and Tsukasa Fujimoto makes this match incredible already as the ‘Icon of Stardom’ has never faced Nakajima before, while she only had a little high speed sequence with Tsukasa in a battle royal back in 2017. The addition of Hanan on top makes this must-watch.

Fans who haven’t seen the Best Friends yet are in for something amazing. They have been on one hell of a run since they reunited last month and have had some great matches so far. They will just beat the hell out of Eye Contact for the entire match, and it’s all about if Hanan & Iwatani can fight back and overcome the barrage of elbow strikes & kicks coming their way.

Prediction: Best Friends

Willow Nightingale (c) vs Tam Nakano – AEW TBS Championship

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Tam Nakano will challenge Willow Nightingale for the TBS Championship at Flashing Champions. Willow is the first AEW wrestler to wrestle in Japan for STARDOM outside of Megan Bayne since Riho in 2020, and this is another step into a deeper AEW-STARDOM partnership. The last time Willow competed in Japan, she lost her NJPW STRONG Women’s Championship to Giulia.

While the match doesn’t have a story or anything, it will be a great match as Willow is on a good run in AEW this year, and Nakano is having her best performances right now after coming back from her injury in February.

The most interesting part about this match is that Tam Nakano said to Tokyo Sports that she still holds a grudge against Mercedes Moné for stealing the attention when Moné appeared after Tam’s loss against KAIRI at Wrestle Kingdom in 2023. She felt as though she served as a foil to Mercedes Moné that night and wants to avenge that incident by defeating Moné. If Tam defeats Willow, she will defend the TBS Championship against Mercedes Moné at AEW: Double or Nothing.

This will likely not happen as Willow is not losing here, but a draw is a possibility to build up a potential TBS Championship match at Forbidden Door between Moné & Nakano.

Prediction: Willow Nightingale

Saori Anou (c) vs. Ami Sohrei – Wonder of Stardom Championship

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Ami Sohrei will challenge Saori Anou for the Wonder of Stardom Championship in the main event of the show. To get this opportunity, Sohrei was able to defeat Natsupoi in a Number #1 Contender Match during Golden Week.

She’s been playing the disrupter in the Anou-Natsupoi story throughout the build. Ami also mentioned forcing Anou to bring out her “messy and emotional” side instead of the stoic & focused persona to force her to make more mistakes that Ami can use to her advantage. At the same time, Sohrei was able to counter the Pottering into a roll-up to pin Anou at the Korakuen show, which adds much-needed drama since Anou pinned Hanan in their title match with the move

The match needs to deliver, because Anou’s title run & Ami need it. I’m rooting big for Ami to have her best career match here. The winner should be obvious with the big Anou vs. Natsupoi clash still in play.

Prediction: Saori Anou

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