It’s that time of year again folks. Time for the biggest tournament in Women’s Wrestling, the 5-Star Grand Prix! This year is absolutely stacked in both fields, with 26 total participants, but for this article, we’re going to take a look at the 13 participants in the Blue Block. It is worth noting that last year’s winner, Syuri, won out of the blue block. All that said, I’m not gonna waste too much time with a lengthy introduction, so let’s just get right into it. Just to add before the preview, as with the Red Block, I am putting the participants in order from who has the best chance to win perspective.
First up, we have Giulia. I firmly believe that if Giulia hadn’t gotten injured last year, then she would have won the whole thing. As it is, she did and the eventual winner ended up being Syuri. With that in mind, I can totally see Stardom giving her the win this year. Her and Syuri have a ready made program that they can run with and they can finally settle their differences one on one. If I were a betting man, I would totally put my money on Giulia winning the blue block and then going on to win the whole tournament. Stardom does seem to be really high on Giulia. She’s been in really good programs with Tam Nakano and Mayu Iwatani, so it’s believable that should she win, a really good program with Syuri would follow.
Mayu Iwatani should never be counted out of any tournament, no matter what it is. Sure, Mayu has already won it once and there have not been any repeat winners of the 5 Star GP, but if anyone can do it then it is Mayu. She’s finally won the belt that eluded her, the SWA World Championship, and she has brought STARS back from the brink of oblivion. The future is bright for Stardom’s GOAT and her unit and I fully expect Mayu to have yet another really strong showing in this years tournament. Mark my words, Mayu will be near the top of the standings at the end if not winning the entire block.
Starlight Kid has seen a massive surge in popularity since turning to the Dark Side and joining Oedo Tai. That she embraced her darkness has led to more title wins and better feuds than she ever had while under Mayu Iwatani’s thumb. There’s absolutely no way anyone can deny that. If Mayu and Giulia weren’t in her block, yet again, I would have no problem picking Kid to win it all this year. Unfortunately for her, her block is absolutely stacked with contenders and potential roadblocks on her way to the crown. Nearly half of the participants in this block have a decent to good chance of getting near the top of the rankings, so Kid will need to pull out all the stops if she hopes to win it all.
Momo Watanabe damn near won it all last year. She was the Red Block champion and made it to the finals but lost in a valiant effort to Syuri. Since she is in the Blue Block this year, she should be viewed as a favorite to win the tournament this year. Of course, there is some stiff competition for her to overcome. That said, Momo Watanabe has also had a career resurgence since she joined forces with Oedo Tai and betrayed Queen’s Quest. The sky is the limit for OT’s resident Joker, Momo, and I could see her getting to the finals yet again this year.
Hazuki hasn’t participated in a 5 Star in a number of years, so her first one after her return is exciting for me. Sure, she has to get past Giulia, Momo, Mayu, Saya, Natsupoi and SLK to win it all this year, but the Wild Heart of Stardom is someone who can absolutlely do just that. Hazuki nearly dethroned Syuri earlier this year and a win during the 5 Star would give her another opportunity at the title. I want to see it happen and I think Hazuki would be one of the best World champions in Stardom’s history should she win the gold.
The current Wonder of Stardom champion is placed in the Blue Block this year and has a rough road ahead of her if she wishes to win the GP. Saya Kamitani has had a career year so far and it’s so hard to believe that she is only a couple years into her career. She does moves that some of the most seasoned veterans won’t even try to do and she is one of the lankiest high flyers I have ever seen. There is no doubt in my mind that Saya can have a strong showing this year, but I don’t see her winning just yet. That said, I have been wrong before.
Stardom’s resident High Speed Fairy is up next, Natsupoi. Poi recently shocked the Stardom fan base when she betrayed Giulia and Donna del Mondo to join with Tam Nakano and the Cosmic Angels. That move and the subsequent events leading up to the Grand Prix has shown that Poi is thriving as an Angel and is in the best position possible for her to make a run at the top this year. It’s a long shot, but never count the High Speed Fairy out.
Suzu Suzuki is probably the biggest wild card in the blue block this year. The Nomad has been a thorn in Giulia’s side since she and her friends showed up in Stardom and this is gonna be the first time, if I recall correctly, that she has participated in the 5 Star GP. She could easily upset all of the favorites and put on a clinic against anyone she faces off against. Watch out for Suzu Suzuki everyone, she may surprise you this year.
Up next is Mirai, representing God’s Eye. Brought into Stardom by Giulia, Mirai has proven that she has the chance to be a major player in Stardom for years to come. She won the Cinderella tournament earlier this year, much to my surprise, and could be viewed by some as a favorite to win the 5 Star as well. I don’t personally see it as she has to get by Giulia, who should be the odds on favorite, but as I said earlier.. I’ve been wrong before. Watch Mirai folks, she’s gonna be a force this year.
I personally think that Mina surprised everyone last year with her showing in the tournament. She seemed to get better and better with every match and she gave all of the favorites a run for their money. While not a favorite to win the tournament this year, Mina can absolutely play spoiler and I fully expect her to do just that. Mina Shirakawa will surprise folks this year, I guarantee it. She won’t win many matches, she won’t be near the top of the standings, but I am willing to bet that she defeats at least one of the favorites to win this year.
Ami is another wild card in this years GP. I don’t honestly see her winning many matches, but that’s mostly due to the quality of opponents she will have to face this year. She has to not only contend with fellow member of God’s Eye, Mirai, but a plethora of top quality talent. She’s in for a rough road if she wants to make it to the top. I just don’t see it happening.
STARS got really unlucky this year for the tournament, they really did. They are sending 5 women in and four of them are in the blue block. In fact, the only member of STARS not to make it into the tournament was Momo Kohgo. Saya Iida is not going to have an easy time picking up victories this year, at all. The Powerhouse of STARS will put on really good matches, but she won’t rack up many victories.
Out of every woman in the Blue Block this year, there is no one with a more difficult road to victory than the current Future of Stardom Champion, Hanan. I’m sorry to say that, truth be told. Hanan is still really young, has a lot of growth left to do and she is a spunky spitfire in the ring. I just can’t see that working in her favor here, especially since she has to get through Mayu Iwatani, Momo Watanabe and Giulia.
There you have it folks, my preview for this years Blue Block of the Five Star Grand Prix. My prediction out of the Blue Block will be that Giulia wins the block this year. She’s clearly the favorite IMO and I think she would have won the whole thing last year if she hadn’t gotten injured.