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The 10 Women Who Shaped Oedo Tai

Oedo Tai was born out of the Kimura Monster-Gun faction in STARDOM, which was formed in 2012 by Kyoko Kimura and Hailey Hatred.  On 14th June 2015, the stable was officially launched, its members including Kyoko Kimura, Act Yasukawa, Dragonita, Heidi Lovelace, Hudson Envy and Kris Wolf.

The current iteration consists of Jamie Hayter (currently inactive due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Konami, Natsuko Tora, Rina, Ruaka, Saki Kashima, Fukigen ★ (against her will), Starlight Kid, and Sumire Natsu (inactive due to a shoulder injury).

Past alumni of Oedo-Tai include Act Yasukawa, Alpha Female, Kyoko Kimura, Dragonita, Heidi Lovelace, Hudson Envy, Kris Wolf, Nikki Storm, Thunder Rosa, Star Fire, La Rosa Negra, Holidead, Kaitlin Diemond, Viper, Diosa Atenea, Kagetsu, Leah Vaughan, Bea Priestley and Hana Kimura.

Here we take a look at the careers of the Women who shaped and grew Oedo-Tai into the top heel faction in all of STARDOM.

Kyoko Kimura

Kyoko Kimura began working for STARDOM in May 2012 after a lengthy career on the Japanese wrestling scene, joining the villainous Kawasaki Katsushika Saikyou Densetsu Plus One stable.

On 5th August 2012, Kimura formed her own stable after quitting KKSDPO due to being defeated for the leadership role by Natsuki☆Taiyo. She called it Kimura Monster-Gun, recruiting Hailey Hatred at the same time. Between 29th to 30th September she participated in the first 5★Star GP only to be defeated in the finals by Yuzuki Aikawa, leaving soon after to work in Ice Ribbon.

Oedo Tai Kyoko Kimura

Upon her return to STARDOM, Kyoko Kimura received her first title shot on 14th January 2013, winning the top title in the company, the World of Stardom Championship, by defeating Nanae Takahashi. She would follow it up by winning the Goddess of Stardom Championship alongside Hailey Hatred on 17th March, defeating Natsuki☆Taiyo and Yoshiko of KKSDPO. By that November, Alpha Female and The Female Predator “Amazon” would join Kimura Monster-Gun, with the three of them winning the Artist of Stardom Championship. This would not be the only achievement for Kimura that month, winning the Goddesses of Stardom Tag Tournament 2013 alongside Act Yasukawa.

On 26th January 2014, she would become the first two-time Goddess of Stardom Champion, this time alongside Alpha Female, and she would go to JWP Joshi Puroresu in May and then Pro Wrestling Wave in October. Kyoko Kimura would return to STARDOM on 18th January 2015 to form Oedo-Tai with Act Yasukawa, Dragonita, Heidi Lovelace, Hudson Envy and Kris Wolf. On 2nd October 2016, Kyoko would win the Artist of Stardom Championship alongside her daughter Hana Kimura, and Kagetsu.

Kyoko Kimura would retire on 22nd January 2017 at an event called “Last Afro” in Korakuen Hall in a mixed tag-team match, where she teamed with her husband Isao and daughter Hana Kimura to face off against Aja Kong, Minoru Suzuki and Meiko Satomura.  She would face off against her daughter Hana in a bonus match, refereed by her husband, where she was defeated and thus handed the mantle over to the young Hana Kimura.


Act Yasukawa

Act Yasukawa made her in-ring debut on 5th February 2012 for STARDOM. Yasukawa has Graves’ Disease which has resulted in a lot of health issues during her life, including blindness in her right eye; she incorporated wearing an eye patch into her persona to combat this. She is also known for carrying a bottle of rum to the ring to spit at people.

In January 2013, Yasukawa would win her first championship in STARDOM alongside Natsuki☆Taiyo & Saki Kashima, who would go on to join Oedo-Tai, winning a tournament to be crowned the inaugural Artist of Stardom Champions. The team would vacate the title due to Yasukawa suffering a Cervical Spine injury. In November 2013, she would team up with future stablemate, Kyoko Kimura, winning the Goddesses of Stardom Tag Tournament that same month. Yasukawa would win the Wonder of Stardom Championship, holding it until June 2014. Having vacated the title due to Graves’ Disease-related thyroid deterioration, this afforded her the opportunity to undergo cataract surgery, returning to in-ring competition on 7th December 2014 and quickly winning the Wonder of Stardom Championship off of Mayu Iwatani at the Stardom 4th Anniversary show.

Oedo Tai

With the return of Kyoko Kimura to STARDOM on 18th January 2015 and the formation of Oedo-Tai, Act Yasukawa would be reunited with the woman she won the 2013 Goddesses of Stardom Tag Tournament with. On 22nd February 2015, Yasukawa challenged Yoshiko in the main event at Korakuen Hall for the World of Stardom Championship but the match was ruled a no-contest, resulting in Yoshiko being stripped of the title, when Yoshiko decided to shoot on Yasukawa. This resulted in a fractured cheek, nasal and orbital bones for Yasukawa, which required surgery. She would have to vacate the title on 1st May that same year due to her injuries, not returning to the ring until the end of September and being forced to retire from in-ring competition on 23rd December 2015. Yasukawa would continue working for STARDOM as the manager of Oedo-Tai until sometime in 2016.

“I am a loner, but with acting, I could be anything that I wanted to be. I could be the action hero that I dreamed of. I couldn’t be a samurai in real life, but I could be one in film.”


Kris Wolf

Kris Wolf started her wrestling career in STARDOM, being trained by Fuka Kakimoto, Io Shirai and Nanae Takahashi before debuting on 10th August 2014 at Stardom X Stardom in a three-way match, facing Reo Hazuki and Koguma. Her first singles match with the company would take place seven days later in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan and she would compete in the 5STAR Grand Prix on 24th August.

After previously being around Kimura Monster-Gun and their leader Kyoko Kimura since her debut, Wolf would join the newly established Oedo-Tai during its formation in 2015. Wolf would be known as ‘Oedo Tai no Kuroi Okami,’ meaning Oedo Tai’s Black Wolf, establishing herself as one of the most popular and talented gaijin wrestlers in Stardom, along with the likes of Toni Storm, Viper and Bea Priestley.

Oedo Tai Kris Wolf is all smiles for the camera

2015 would be a very busy year for Kris Wolf. On 6th May, she and Oedo-Tai teammate Star Fire would join forces during night two of Stardom’s Golden Week Stars event, competing in a tournament for the Goddesses of Stardom Tag-Team Championship. They made it to the semi-finals before being eliminated by Mayu Iwatani and Io Shirai.  At that year’s Stardom X Stardom event, Wolf would challenge for the High Speed Championship, held by teammate Star Fire, but was unsuccessful in capturing the belt. Her next championship opportunity would come on 6th December at the Stardom Goddesses Of Stardom event, competing in a three-way tag-team match for the vacant Artist of Stardom Championship.  Wolf would team up with Act Yasukawa and Kyoko Kimura, but they were beaten by the team of Evie, Hiroyo Matsumoto and Kellie Skater, known as the Hyper Destroyers.

Oedo-Tai would face off in a faction war for the Goddesses of Stardom Tag-Team Championships, which were held by Kagetsu and Kyoko Kimura, on 5th August 2016 during the Stardom Shining Stars Tour. Wolf and Leah Vaughan would be unsuccessful in their quest for gold.

Kris Wolf would finally capture gold in STARDOM on 23rd February 2017, winning the High Speed Championship from Mayu Iwatani in a three-way match which also involved Kagestu also of Oedo-Tai. Wolf would drop the belt to Shanna at Stardom X Stardom on 16th July that same year.

Kris Wolf would have her last match as a part of STARDOM on 25th March 2018.


Kagetsu

Kagetsu debuted in STARDOM as a part of Oedo-Tai in April 2016, making a mark on the championship scene by winning the Goddess of Stardom Championship along with Kyoko Kimura. The pair held the title for over six months, losing the belt to the team of Yoko Bito and Kairi Hojo [Kairi Sane] on 22nd December 2016.  By 2nd October, she had captured the Artist of Stardom Championship alongside Kyoko and Hana Kimura, dropping the belts on 7th January 2017 to HZK, Io Shirai and Momo Watanabe.

She would take a short break from wrestling between 13th April—11th June 2017 after spending nine years in the squared circle. Upon her return, Kagetsu and Hana Kimura would recapture the Goddess of Stardom Championships from Hiroyo Matsumoto and Jungle Kyona on 21st June, holding them until losing them to Mayu Iwatani and Saki Kashima of STARS on 3rd June 2018.

Kagetsu makes a point on the mic

That same year, 2017, she would become the leader of Oedo-Tai after Kyoko Kimura retired on 22nd January 2017, and would finally become an official member of the roster that November. On 9th June 2018, Kagetsu would win her first and only singles title in Stardom, defeating Toni Storm for the World of Stardom Championship and holding the belt till 4th May 2019, when she dropped the belt to Bea Priestly. But she would not be without a championship for long, teaming up with Oedo-Tai members Andras Miyagi and Sumiri Natsu and winning the Artist of Stardom titles for a second time on 20th July 2019, holding them for four months.

Kagetsu would announce her intention to retire from professional wrestling in 2019, taking her place among the legends of Stardom in 2020 upon her retirement. She is still one of the most recognisable members of Oedo-Tai and is missed for her in-ring work and character by the fans.


Hana Kimura

Hana Kimura began working for STARDOM in September 2016, joining up with her mother Kyoko and her stable Oedo-Tai, although she didn’t become an official member of the stable till 2017.

She would win gold less than a month into her STARDOM career, teaming with her mother and Kagetsu to capture the Artist of Stardom Championship on 2nd October 2016. Hana would be replaced by Viper in their title match after suffering an injury, but Oedo-Tai would be unsuccessful in this defence, losing the belt to HZK, Io Shirai and Momo Watanabe of Queen’s Quest on 7th January 2017 at New Year Stars.

Oedo Tai Hana Kimura

Even though she was injured, Hana would appear at her mother, Kyoko Kimura’s, retirement show on 22nd January 2017 at an event called “Last Afro” in Korakuen Hall.  Hana would take part in two matches, the first being a mixed tag-team match, where she teamed with her mother and father, Isao, facing off against legends Aja Kong, Minoru Suzuki and Meiko Satomura. The second match was a bonus match, refereed by Isao, which saw Hana defeat Kyoko.

She would yet again win gold by teaming with stablemate Kagetsu during Stardom’s Galaxy Stars event on 21st June 2017; this time it was the Goddess of Stardom Championship she claimed. They defeated the team of Hiroyo Matsumoto and Jungle Kyona, ending their 108 day reign. Kimura and Kagetsu themselves held the titles for 347 days, only being defeated by the team of Mayu Iwatani and Saki Kashima of Stars on 3rd June 2018.

Kimura would leave Oedo-Tai on 24th September 2018 after attacking its leader, Kagetsu, and going on to lead Tokyo Cyber Squad, previously known as the International Army.

Hana Kimura was a shinning light in the Joshi Puroresu scene but her life was tragically cut short. Hana’s legacy can be seen in Oedo-Tai to this day, with her friends and stablemates in Tokyo Cyber Squad, Konami, joining Oedo-Tai in October 2020, Rina, and Ruaka and Death Yama-San [Fukigen ★].


Hazuki

Hazuki would debut for STARDOM on 6th July 2014, losing to Koguma. As a rookie she wasn’t a part of any faction, instead building up wins over the course of two years, winning the Rookie of Stardom tournament in December 2015.

She would change her name to HZK on 20th November 2016 upon joining Queen’s Quest, winning the Artist of Stardom Championship alongside Io Shirai and Momo Watanabe on 7th January 2017 at New Year Stars. This would be the first of four championship reigns as a part of Queen’s Quest.

Hazuki holds the gold up high

She would join Oedo-Tai on 15th April 2018, after leaving Queen’s Quest during the Stardom Draft, soon changing her name from HZK to Hazuki. On 24th December that same year, she would capture the High Speed Championship off of Mary Apache during the Stardom Year End Climax show. Hazuki would lose the title to Death Yama-san on 20th July 2019 after a 208-day reign.

Also during this time, Hazuki would get the chance to wrestle in Madison Square Garden at the New Japan Pro-Wrestling/Ring of Honor co-promoted show, G1 Supercard, over WrestleMania weekend. She teamed up with Jenny Rose and Kagetsu to defeat the team of Hana Kimura, Stella Grey and Sumie Sakai.

Hazuki retired from professional wrestling on 24th December 2019 in a match against stablemate Natsuko Tora.


Bea Priestley

Bea Priestley made her debut for STARDOM on 14th October 2017, doing a six-month stint before leaving in 2018. She would return in 2019 as a part of Queen’s Quest, defeating Kagetsu for the World of Stardom Championship on 4th May 2019 at Golden Week Stars 2019, a Queen’s Quest-produced event.

Bea would return in January of 2020, teaming with friend and Oedo-Tai member, Jamie Hayter, and capturing the Goddess of Stardom Championships. This would be a ground-breaking moment, not just for Priestley and Hayter, but for STARDOM too as this was the first foreign tag team to hold the titles. She would turn on friend Momo Watanabe, joining Oedo-Tai and carrying on her reign until being stripped of the title on 20th July 2020 due to being unable to defend the belts during the ongoing COVID-19.

Bea Priestley

After a short hiatus, Bea Priestley would return to STARDOM on 19th September 2020, attacking Saya Iida during her match against Oedo-Tai member Natsuko Tora, and later attacking Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashishita. While with Oedo-Tai, Priestley would defeat Watanabe for the vacant SWA World Championship on 3rd October at the Yokohama Cinderella event. She would lose the title to Syuri of Donna del Mondo on 15th November 2020. On 26th December 2020, she would, along with Konami, would win the Goddess of Stardom Championship, holding the belt till 14th February 2021. She would also hold the Artist of Stardom Championship with Oedo-Tai members Natsuko Tora and Saki Kashima between 14th November and 16th December.

Her last match for STARDOM took place on 4th April 2021 at the Dream Cinderella in Yokohama event, in a match for the World of Stardom Championship against former friend Utami Hayashishita. The match was the perfect send-off for Priestley and one of the best of her career.


Konami

Konami joined STARDOM on 22nd December 2016. Since her debut she has been pushed as a strong contender, joining Queen’s Quest in April 2018 and spending a year with the group before joining the newly established Tokyo Cyber Squad a year later.

Konami

Konami would join Oedo-Tai on 3rd October 2020. During a no disqualification match between Natsuko Tora and Saki Kashima [Oedo-Tai] and Jungle Kyona and herself [Tokyo Cyber Squad], where the loser would have to disband their group, Konami would betray Kyona, allowing for Oedo-Tai to pick up the win.  By 26th December that year, she would win the Goddess of Stardom Championship with Bea Priestley, holding on to the title till 14th February 2021, being defeated by the team of Himeka and Maika of Donna del Mondo.

While her time in Oedo-Tai has been short, Konami has proven to be an essential part of the stable, showing her worth on more than one occasion and capturing gold alongside her teammates. It’s only a matter of time before she rises to the top of the faction and of STARDOM.


Sumire Natsu

Sumire Natsu joined the STARDOM ranks and Oedo-Tai on 4th November 2017, teaming with Hana Kimura, Kagetsu and Kris Wolf to defeat Hiromi Mimura, Konami, Jungle Kyona and Natsuko Tora in her in-ring debut on 12th November.

On 21st January 2018, Natsu would compete in the main event of Stardom’s 7th Anniversary show at Korakuen Hall.  It was a gauntlet match with high stakes, with the last wrestler to be defeated in the match having to leave their faction: Oedo-Tai or Queen’s Quest. Sumire Natsu was successful in staying in Oedo-Tai, but the same could not be said for teammate Tam Nakano.

Sumire Natsu gets on the mic

She would receive her first title opportunity on 28th January that same year, teaming with other members of Oedo-Tai to challenge HZK, Io Shirai and Viper for the Artist of Stardom Championships; they were unsuccessful in winning gold. More opportunities presented themselves as the year went on. Natsu challenged for the Goddess of Stardom Championships with Hazuki [24th June 2018] and for the Wonder of Stardom Championship against Momo Watanabe [25th November 2018] but was unsuccessful both times.

20th July 2019 would be her next opportunity for gold, and this time she and Oedo-Tai would be successful. The team of Natsu, Andras Miyagi and Kagetsu beat Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima and Tam Nakano of STARS for the Artist of Stardom Championships, holding the belts for 126 days.

Sumire Natsu is currently out after suffering a shoulder injury, in October 2020; she has had surgery and, while rehabbing, is devoting her time to Twitch. Currently, her status is unknown, not wanting to make a comment about if and when she will return to the ring, but if she does not it would be a real shame. STARDOM needs more people with the comedy chops and star power of Natsu.


Natsuko Tora

Natsuko Tora debuted in STARDOM on 30th October 2016, joining J.A.N. [Jungle Assault Nation] in 2017 and staying with the group until being drafted to Oedo-Tai in April 2019. Before her time with the faction, Tora would win the Artist of Stardom Championships and the Goddess of Stardom Championships alongside Kaori Yoneyama and Jungle Kyona.

Upon joining Oedo-Tai Tora would embrace her villainous side, becoming more vicious in the ring. With a chain in one hand and a sinister smile, Tora has gone on to be one of the most recognisable and respected members of the group.

In 2020, Natsuko Tora would become the new leader of Oedo-Tai after Kagetsu retired from professional wrestling. 2020 would be a great year for Natsuko, competing in the Cinderella Tournament on 24th March and making it to the final, only to be defeated by Giulia.

Natsuko Tora Oedo Tai

But that’s not all; after STARDOM came back from hiatus, Tora would team up with Saki Kashima to face off against Jungle Kyona and Konami in a loser disbands their faction match on 3rd October 2020. Konami would betray Kyona, allowing for Oedo-Tai to pick up the win and officially disbanding Tokyo Cyber Squad.

Natsuko Tora would win her second Artist of Stardom Championship, alongside Bea Priestly and Saki Kashima, defeating the team of Giulia, Maika and Syuri of Donna del Mondo, but the title reign would be short-lived—the belts were won by Mina Shirakawa, Tam Nakano and Unagi Sayaka of COSMIC ANGELS on 16th December 2020.

In her career she has been a two-time Artist of Stardom Champion and a one-time Goddess of Stardom Champion, Tora still has so much more to achieve, and Oedo-Tai will help her on the way to that.

Written by Amber McCrudden

Writer | Podcaster | Streamer | Photographer | Content Creator | Wrestling's Sweetheart

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