Welcome back to Sports Obsessive. Stardom 5 Star GP returns on July 31st and today we will be previewing each block, which competitors that we believe might win and last but not least, explaining what the 5Star GP is, for those who might be unaware.
Natsuko Tora will not be competing in this year’s event, having been previously announced, she suffered a knee injury in her title match against Red Belt holder (World of STARDOM Championship) Utami Hayashishita at Yokohama Dream Cinderella 2021, earlier this month.
What is Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix?
Stardom’s 5Star Grand Prix, also known as 5Star GP, is an annual tournament where competitors from Stardom are split into two blocks to fight for the chance to face Utami Hayashishita, unless she wins and gets to pick her opponent, for the World of Stardom Championship. The tournament is a round-robin style, very similar to New Japan’s G1 Climax, with each winner gaining points in order to win their block and head to the final. The final will take place at Ota Ward Gymnasium this year on 25th September 2021.
If you want to watch Stardom and the 5Star GP 2021, head over to Stardom World to subscribe to their service and check back here for reviews of the whole tournament.
Who exactly is in the Red and Blue Stars Block this year? where do they stand? what faction are they representing? And who will make their way to the finals?
Who Is In The Red Stars Block?
Giulia is the leader of Donna del Mondo and her star has risen to insane proportions in the past two years. There is a good chance she could win this year’s 5Star GP but in saying that other members of DDM seem to be coming to the forefront. Giulia alongside teammate Syuri, Alto Livello Kabaliwan, is the current Goddess of Stardom Champion.
Starlight Kid has recently joined Oedo Tai and what a transformation, she has fully embraced her dark side, being lovingly dubbed online as Dark Starlight Kid, becoming more vicious in the ring while still retaining all her skill and high-flying ability. My love for Starlight is well known and she is one of my picks to make it to the finals of this years 5Star GP, with her change in character and the love she is getting both in Japan and internationally, maybe now is the time to pull the trigger on her. Plus, it’s been over a year since Oedo Tai has had the World of Stardom title.
Mina Shirakawa is the current Artist of Stardom Champion alongside her ‘Cosmic Angels’ teammates Unagi Sayaka and Tam Nakano. While Nakano and Sayaka both also hold singles titles in Stardom, Shirakawa does not this could be the opportunity she has been waiting for to reach the top of the mountain and challenge for the World of Stardom Championship.
Mayu Iwatani is the leader of STARS and one of the three pillars of Stardom, she is a solid worker who is charismatic and has stayed with the company, helping build it into one of the best Joshi Puroresu promotions in the world. She might be the dark horse of the tournament, but even though Iwatani is one of the best wrestlers in the world, the GP this year needs to be a moment to establish a new star to challenge Utami Hayashishita’s dominance.
Momo Watanabe of Queens Quest has had many ups and downs in the last year, she is a phenomenal talent and I hope that she will reach the top of the mountain in the next few years.
This isn’t her time but keep an eye on her during this tournament.
Fukigen Death has been added into the tournament due to the previously mentioned injury to Natsuko Tora, the leader of Oedo Tai. Fukigen Death was previously a part of STARS before being made to join the villainous Oedo Tai, her matches are always fun and with over a decade of experience, you know things will get interesting.
Saki Kashima of Oedo Tai is another solid worker who has been around in Stardom for quite a while, I personally don’t think she will be scoring high this year, but her matches are always great fun to watch and I’m very excited to see her face off against Iwatani, Starlight Kid and Watanabe.
Natsupoi is the cutest member of Donna del Mondo as well as being Stardom’s High-Speed Champion, but don’t let her big eyes and lean frame have you fooled, she is fast and hard-hitting taking no prisoners. I don’t think this year will be the year for her 5Star GP victory, but I’m expecting her to do really well.
Koguma was brought into STARS by leader Mayu Iwatani to bring up their numbers after the departure of Starlight Kid and Fukigen Death to Oedo Tai. I’m not expecting Koguma to win but do look out for her matches against the Oedo Tai members in this block, it could get very dangerous.
Himeka of Donna del Mondo is also a great worker, everyone from that team deserves to be given a spotlight. Giulia may have put this group together but Himeka along with tag team partner Maika have stepped out of that shadow and could be huge contenders in both their blocks.
This block is very Donna del Mondo and Oedo Tai heavy, but that is understandable as both groups have a large membership, and it seems most likely that someone from one of those teams will take the win this year. I’m looking at Starlight Kid or Himeka but we could get a surprise in the form of STARS and their key member Mayu Iwatani or even the adorable but deadly Mina Shirakawa of Cosmic Angels.
The Blue Stars Block
Saya Kamitani of Queens Quest is the current winner of the Dream Cinderella tournament which is a prestigious accolade in Stardom. Although she went on to face friend and teammate Utami Hayashishita, she wasn’t successful in her attempt to win the gold. Could this finally be her time and the best way to keep the belt in Queens Quest?
Utami Hayashishita of Queens Quest is the face of Stardom and the holder of the World of Stardom Championship. If Hayashishita wins she gets to pick her opponent, but I don’t think that will be the case, these tournaments are et up in a way that will allow for new challenges for the Queen’s crown, and I can’t wait to see who steps up to the plate.
AZM is my personal favourite member of Queens Quest, she is fun, hard-hitting and exciting in the ring being able to use submission and big power moves to her advantage. With a big Queens Quest presence in the Blue Stars Block, I would love to see AZM get to the finals this year.
Syuri is the current Goddess of Stardom Champion alongside teammate and leader of Donna del Mondo Giulia, their tag team name being Alto Livello Kabaliwan, alongside that she is also the SWA World Champion. Syuri has had a great run and I would advise watching pout for her match against Utami Hayashishita which should be absolute classic judging by their bout earlier this year, I don’t think she will win the tournament, but she will be a huge point scorer.
Tam Nakano of Cosmic Angels is the current Wonder of Stardom Champion, the white belt, and the Artist of Stardom champion alongside Mina Shirakawa and Unagi Sayaka. Nakano is a huge star of the Joshi Puroresu scene and a living legend whose matches are absolute classics. She is one to watch, maybe not the winner this year but definitely someone who will be putting on great matches with everyone in her block.
Maika of Donna del Mondo is another one of my picks to possibly win this year’s 5Star GP, her in-ring work has really progressed over the past year while her charisma makes her likeable in a world of other colourful characters. Her matches against Konami and AZM will be the ones to watch this year.
Konami of Oedo Tai is a personal favourite of mine, and to be honest, it’s hard to pick just one favourite member of Oedo Tai, she is one of the most lethal strikers in Stardom and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty when the time calls for it. This could ultimately be her downfall during this year’s tournament, but I would love to see her make that leap to near the top of the card.
Takumi Iroha, another Japanese wrestling legend, returns to Stardom for the first time since her departure in 2015, apart from a one-off appearance in October of 2017. Since then, she has worked for Pro Wrestling Wave, Seadlinnng and is currently signed to Marvelous That’s Women Pro Wrestling. Her return will put a cat amongst the pigeons and bring together some dream matches for many Joshi Puroresu fans, who will want to see her face off against the likes of Konami, Tam Nakano and Saya Kamitani.
Ruaka of Oedo Tai is still finding her feet in the premotion, embracing her new villainous side and working well with her teammates this will be the moment she needs to shine. Her in-ring work has taken on a new dynamic in the last year, especially since joining Oedo Tai, and the improvement we have seen might make her one to watch in the coming years.
Unagi Sayaka of Cosmic Angels is the current Future of Stardom champion, after winning a tournament to crown a new champion after Saya Iida had to relinquish the belt due to injury. Alongside this she is also the Artist of Stardom champion with teammates Tam Nakano and Mina Shirakawa, being a dominating presence in the ring while having a colourful attire that will be sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
With Queens Quest having a dominating presence in the Blue Star Block it wouldn’t be surprising if we see AZM or Dream Cinderella winner Saya Kamitani winning their block. In saying that Maika has been on a huge run of her own as of late, really getting the crowd behind her and showing everyone why she is not to be messed with, could we have an all Donna del Mondo final? Only time will tell on that one.
Thank you once again for joining us here at Sports Obsessive. We hope that your enthusiasm for this event matches ours and we look forward to continuing this conversation with you over on our social media @SportsObsessive on Twitter and Facebook.