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Japan: Previewing Mayu Iwatani vs Oedo Tai | 5 Vs 1 ‘Recapture Match’

On the 6th of July, the war between Oedo Tai and STARS intensified as Konami issued a challenge to Mayu Iwatani. The challenge? Konami offered Mayu the chance to face Oedo Tai one versus five. If Mayu wins, Starlight Kid can return to the STARS unit. Here’s the transcript…

  • Mayu: “Oedo Tai” x5 “Your leader is gone, but this all-out war between Stars and Oedo Tai isn’t over! STARS needs Kid and Kid needs STARS. STARS will get justice and win back Kid! With that in mind, let’s do it again Oedo Tai!”
  • Konami: “Hey Mayu Iwatani. You’re like a damn looter, trying to come in and take back Kid. On behalf of Oedo Tai, I’m making the rules. Mayu Iwatani vs Oedo Tai. 1 vs 5. Understand? You have to beat all five Oedo Tai members to win it, ok? And we’re only going to have over-the-top rules. In the unlikely event that you win by a fluke… Kid, we’ll let you go with your feelings.
  • Mayu: “1 vs 5. 5. gotta beat all 5. 1 on 5..”
  • Koguma: “Mayu-san. You’re the leader, right? It’s ok! You’re strong! Mayu is strong, so go for it! 1 on 5. You can win Kid back! For sure!”
  • Mayu: “Mayu is strong! 1vs5. Let’s go! Let’s do it! Let’s do it in Takadanobaba this month. Next month? It’s July 17th. July 17 in Takadanobaba. 1vs5. I’m bringing you back to STARS, Kid! The kid belongs in STARS!
  • Konami: “Ok. Belle Salle Takadanobaba. Mayu Iwatan,i STARS, The End!”
  • Mayu: “Wait for me. I’ll definitely win.”

The odds are not in Mayu’s corner here, at all. Because this match is extremely interesting to me personally, I thought I would take the time here to preview the match for you all. So let’s get right into the meat and potatoes of this match and feud.

Mayu Iwatani is considered by many to be one of the best female performers in the world today. To some, she is the absolute best, the pinnacle of women’s pro wrestling. She is the current leader of the STARS unit which is composed of Hanan, Koguma, Mayu Iwatani, Jungle Kyona and Saya Iida. Unfortunately for Mayu, Kyona and Iida are both sidelined with injury. So it’s just been her, Koguma and Hanan ever since STARS lost a stipulation match against Oedo Tai that saw Starlight Kid forced to join up with Oedo Tai.

Oedo Tai is lead by Natsuko Tora, who suffered an unfortunate knee injury against Utami Hayashishita and tore her ACL. The unit is comprised currently of Natsuko, Fukigen Death, Konami, Rina, Ruaka, Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid, Jamie Hayter and Sumire Natsu. With Natsuko and Natsu inactive due to injury, and Jamie Hayter unable to travel to Japan due to the COVID pandemic, Oedo Tai is down three members. That isn’t anything to really worry about in their minds though, as they still have a significant numbers advantage over STARS.

In the last few months, Oedo Tai won both Fukigen Death and Starlight Kid from STARS in matches where the last person pinned had to join the opposing faction. These losses have significantly weakened STARS and Mayu Iwatani has made it her mission to bring not only Fukigen Death back to STARS but Starlight Kid as well. You could tell by her promo’s after each match that she feels personally responsible for the loss of both women. Which, let’s be honest, as a leader, it is understandable that she feels this way. You never want to lose your soldiers to the enemy, especially when your unit is the Good Girls and the opponents are the resident Bad Girls.

So that’s the backstory of what’s been happening between STARS and Oedo Tai. Since joining Oedo Tai, Starlight Kid has begun to unleash her dark side, beginning to use underhanded tactics and stretching the rules more than she ever used to. It’s been an interesting ride so far in this young tale of the pure and innocent Kid joining the dark side. When Mayu Iwatani accepted the match against Oedo Tai, she spent a few minutes addressing Kid directly, speaking to her and trying to make her look at her. You could tell that Kid was conflicted and has been since being forced out of STARS. It’s like she’s fighting her good girl nature to survive with Oedo Tai, and that is an interesting development to me.

I believe that Starlight Kid has a match on the 17th, so she should not be a participant in the match against Mayu Iwatani. If I had to guess, it will be Iwatani vs Konami, Ruaka, Fukigen Death, Rina and Saki Kashima. Even with this line-up, the match is seriously stacked in Oedo Tai’s corner. Iwatani has absolutely no backup available to her in this match, she’s going to be totally alone against a team who will cheat and use every dirty tactic in their arsenal to win. It’s not uncommon to see Oedo Tai using weapons and other foreign objects when they have the referee distracted. With Iwatani facing them alone, how will she be able to keep her opponents from distracting the ref so they can beat on her with whatever weapons they want? The answer is simply that there is no way for her to do this.

I admire Mayu Iwatani for wanting to win back Starlight Kid and Fukigen Death. She wants to bring STARS back to prominence and she knows that she needs her old members back to do so. I do, however, feel that her accepting this match was absolutely foolish. The Icon of Stardom has had a very good career thus far and has overcome significant odds in the past, but I cannot recall a time when the odds were this much against her. I honestly think her pride as a leader is getting the better of her here. Knowing what I do about Oedo Tai, I feel that there is absolutely no chance for Mayu Iwatani to walk out of Takadanobaba victorious. Honestly, I can even see Starlight Kid getting involved somehow and ensuring that Iwatani does not win. She seems to have accepted Oedo Tai as her unit and I love her new attitude, so I really can’t see them pulling the plug on this change already.

That said, I could also see Iwatani managing to win this match, only for Starlight Kid to try and destroy STARS from the inside. It would be rather drawn out, but if Natsuko Tora and Oedo Tai wanted to destroy STARS, then having a fox in the hen house is always a good option. That said though, that seems a bit complicated for Stardom and I do not foresee that turn of events happening.

With the match coming up fast, we will undoubtedly know sooner than later what Mayu Iwatani is capable of on her own against five women who will be trying to break her. As much as I love Iwatani, I cannot see this going well for her at all. Her guilt and pride made her accept this match, and her pride will be her downfall.

My prediction is that Oedo Tai wins, but Starlight Kid costs Mayu Iwatani the match. I think that Mayu is game enough to make this a match, but there are just way too many variables to take into account for this match and it seems way too early to pull the plug on SLK’s heel turn. All that said, I do believe this will be an absolutely fantastic match and one that every Stardom fan should be turning in to see.

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