The Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix is a professional wrestling tournament held each summer by Stardom. Similar to Bushiroad-owned male counterpart New Japan Pro-Wrestling (although NJPW has ownership stakes by TV Asahi) with the G1 Climax tournament, it is currently held as a round-robin tournament with wrestlers split into two pools. The winner of each pool will compete in the final to decide the winner. As is the case with G1 Climax, a win is two points and a draw is one point for each wrestler. It will take place between July 31 and September 25, 2021, with a limited attendance due in part to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In Part 1, I introduced you to everyone participating in the Red Block of the tournament. So today, we’re gonna take a look at the Blue side of things. The one thing about the Blue Block this year is it has a lot of serious contenders, it actually has the most participants in it that I could see winning the tournament this year. So we’ll kick things off today with the winner of the 2020 5 Star Grand Prix.
1. Utami Hayashishita – Queen’s Quest
Kicking us off for the Blue Block is the current World of Stardom Champion, the leader of Queen’s Quest, Utami Hayashishita. As I said above, Utami won the tournament last year and has to be viewed as a favourite to win the Blue Block this year. She won by defeating former winner Mayu Iwatani, who ironically defeated Utami for the crown back in 2018. I personally don’t think we will see a repeat win for Utami, but stranger things have happened. She holds a record in 2021 so far of 22-20-12, so far from stellar but of note is that she has a lot of time-limits draws. She also just had maybe the match of the decade against Syuri last month. No matter the outcome, I am sure Utami Hayashishita will have a stellar tournament this year.
2. Syuri – Donna del Mondo
Up next is the other half of the current Goddess of Stardom Champions and the other participant of the match of the decade contender, Syuri. Syuri pushed Utami Hayashishita to a 30-minute time-limit draw, and then to a double knockout in extra time last month. She is undoubtedly one of the best performers on the roster and has formed a killer tag team with Giulia. During this tournament, her skill and striking prowess should be an advantage for her. Syuri should be viewed as another favourite to win the Blue Block this year in my opinion. With a current 2021 record of 30-15-9, only her tag partner has a better win percentage than she does. This year could very well come down to Giulia vs Syuri for the crown, keep your eye on both participants.
3. Tam Nakano – Cosmic Angels
Up next is the leader of the Cosmic Angels and current Wonder of Stardom Champion, Tam Nakano. Tam holds a record currently of 25-21-8 and is one-third of the Artist of Stardom Champions with her stablemates Unagi and Mina. Tam has lethal kicks despite her diminutive size and can nearly kick anyone’s head off if she tries. Despite her size and cute exterior, Tam is a lethal striker and should be a favourite to win the tournament this year. Despite some stiff competition in the blue bracket, Tam is wildly popular and she has all the skills in the world that she needs to win it all.
4. Saya Kamitani – Queen’s Quest
Up next we’ve got another representative of Queen’s Quest, the “Shooting Star”, Saya Kamitani. The Allrounder will not be a favourite in the tournament, especially in the blue block, but she has the talent she needs to put up a fight and make any match competitive. She’s a bit green still but she has a record of 23-17-13 so far this year. She’s got a decent record so far and a lot of time to get even better in the ring. I can’t see her advancing this year, but she could be a serious contender in the years to come.
5. Maika – Donna del Mondo
Oh, Maika. Maika is lethal and in recent weeks have set her sights on Momo Watanabe, with whom she had an incredibly competitive match a few days ago that went to a draw. She’s only got two years of experience in Stardom but she’s really good in there and should be viewed as a dark horse favourite at least. But for me, she really has a legit shot to make it to the finals. She has a record currently of 29-19-7 and has the third-best win percentage thus far behind Giulia and Syuri. She has a hard road to get there, and she is going to have to contend with some serious competition, but if anyone can fight her way to the crown it’s Maika.
6. AZM – Queen’s Quest
With a 2021 record of 25-20-9 comes the next representative of Queen’s Quest, the teenage badass herself Azumi aka AZM. The High-Speed Bomb Girl is the eternal rival for Starlight Kid and it’s honestly a damn shame that we won’t get to see them go one-on-one during the tournament. They each bring out the absolute best in each other and if we were to see it, then both would have to make it to the finals. Honestly, I would love to see AZM win the Blue Block and SLK win the Red so we could get the next chapter of that rivalry for the Grand Prix title. However, as sad as it is to write this, AZM should be looked at as a Dark Horse this year. There is just too much competition in the Blue Bracket and I cannot see her making it to the finals this year.
7. Ruaka – Oedo Tai
Representing Oedo Tai is Ruaka. Ruaka has a really lopsided record this year of 12-41-0 and a lot of those loses have been due to disqualification. Such is the case for most of Oedo Tai’s losses this year. Like the rest of her stablemates, Ruaka isn’t above breaking and bending the rules to get the victory, as long as she isn’t caught. Of all the women on the Blue Bracket this year, Ruaka is the one person that I cannot see doing very well this year. She has no momentum behind her at all. There is another member of Oedo Tai on the Blue side that I think will do a lot better than Ruaka this year, and she’ll be talked about soon. The beauty of the tournament is that it is literally anyone’s game so Ruaka could prove everyone wrong.
8. Unagi Sayaka – Cosmic Angels
Up next is the final member of Cosmic Angels and the other holder of the Artist of Stardom Championship, Unagi Sayaka. Sayaka just had an incredible matchup against her stablemate Mina Shirakawa for the vacant Future of Stardom Championship and though she came up short, she has shown great growth this year as a performer. While definitely not a favourite to win it all, Unagi is definitely a dark horse pick to win it. Her record for the year thus far is 20-27-7 and doesn’t have the most momentum behind her at this moment however she has the skill and motivation to do well. She will more than hold her own, despite some really stiff competition.
9. Konami – Oedo Tai
Our final confirmed member of the Blue Block is the Submission Sniper herself, the incomparable Konami. Despite having a record of 24-27-2 thus far for the year, she is the clear favourite from Oedo Tai to do well in the tournament. Konami can make a match out of any opponent and she has brutal martial arts skills that add to her submission game. Perhaps I am biased, but the former runner-up of this very tournament should be viewed as a favourite to win it all. She has the skill and tenacity to go the distance. If she decides to be underhanded like her stablemates and doesn’t get caught, Konami can beat anyone in her block.
10. X – Takumi Iroha
So, unlike the Red Block who had an injury derail one of their announced competitors, the Blue block was given a mystery entrant. It has been revealed that the mystery participant is none other than Takumi Iroha, representing Marvelous. The eight-year veteran has to be viewed as a clear favourite to win the Blue block this year. She’s got a 9.55 Cagematch rating and she has all the talent and tools to make a legit run this year. Matches against Nakano, AZM, Hayasahishita and Syuri are all so intriguing. Hell, every match Iroha will be in for the tournament will be a must-watch.
Enjoy this year 5 Star Grand Prix everyone! I know that I will. My personal hope is that we get a Starlight Kid vs AZM final, but I honestly am predicting a Giulia vs Utami Hayashishita/Syuri final. It’s a tough tournament to call this year and time will tell just who ends up with their hand raised. Good luck ladies!