HomeWrestlingJapanese WrestlingSTARDOM: 5 ★ STAR GP 2022: Red Block Preview

STARDOM: 5 ★ STAR GP 2022: Red Block Preview

When you compare the blocks for this year, the Red Block of the 5-Star GP is at a severe disadvantage when it comes to names. Almost all of the biggest names in Stardom wound up in the Blue Block, names like Mayu Iwatani, Momo Watanabe, Starlight Kid and Giulia. While I say that, the Red Block is not without its intrigue. There are some strong contenders for the crown this year coming out of the red side of things and I actually think the eventual winner of the tournament will be out of the Red Block. More on that particular prediction later. As I did with the Blue Block, I’m going to go in order of who I personally think has the best chances of winning the block this year

Tam Nakano

Right off the bat, the first name that stands out to me in the Red Block is the Cutest in the Cosmos, the leader of the Cosmic Angels, Tam Nakano. For me, Tam Nakano is the clear favourite when you look at the Red Block. Sure, she has to get past Syuri to win it all, but there has never been a repeat winner for the Grand Prix and I don’t see it happening this year. Tam Nakano has too much to lose by not winning the block this year, in my opinion.

Syuri

Syuri won last years Grand Prix and is likely a favorite to win the Red Block this year. As much as I want to disagree with that notion, I can’t. Syuri is currently the World of Stardom Champion and is entering the tournament having recently defended that belt against Tam Nakano. I don’t think Syuri will go back-to-back this year, no one has ever done that, but she has a decent chance of winning the block.

Utami Hayashishita

Utami Hayashishita won the 2020 5 Star Grand Prix, defeating Himeka to win it all. She did fairly well in last years tournament but came up short in her bid for a repeat win. Technically speaking, Utami has one of the easiest roads to try and win the tournament for a second time but I cannot see it happening. In the ten previous tournaments, no one has won the crown more than one time and I do not see Utami becoming the first to do it. She has a good chance of coming out near the top of the block however.

AZM

AZM, the current High Speed Champion, always seems to be one of the biggest underdogs when it comes to this tournament. She always performs well, putting everything she has into her matches, but ultimately she ends up falling short. I feel that some day, the 19 year old will end up winning the Grand Prix. Will it be this year? I don’t think so, but this block could be her best chance so far.

Saki Kashima

Someone in Stardom has become really high on Saki Kashima lately. She’s been getting a lot of the wins and is even one third of the Artist of Stardom Champions. Saki can absolutely be the Red Block Spoiler this year and I think that she will be. She’s got one of the most efficient roll-ups in the company and she has grown a lot in the ring over the last couple years. Watch out for Saki Kashima, she will surprise folks this year.

Maika

One of the two Donna del Mondo powerhouses in the Red Block this year, Maika has a lot of fan fair behind her and she seems to have more of an upward trajectory than her companion Himeka. Her road to the finals won’t be easy, there are a lot of smaller and faster women who can use their speed against her. That said, Himeka can be a force in the tournament should she stay injury free.

Thekla/Momo Kohgo

The Poison Spider would have been your red block wild card this year, however it was recently announced that she will not be participating in the tournament due to continued injury rehabilitation. Momo Kohgo of STARS will be taking her place in the tournament this year.

Himeka

The Jumbo Princess is a former finalist for the Grand Prix but has had some issues in trying to get back to that spot. Injury did play a big role in that, but it’s safe to say that a lack of momentum has also been an issue. Himeka does not have an easy road to the finals. She has to get through a number of other powerhouses to even come close. I don’t think Himeka makes it out of the middle of the pack.

Unagi Sayaka

Unagi Sayaka did a lot better than anyone predicted last year, same with teammate Mina Shirakawa. While I don’t see her being the tournament spoiler this year, she has a good chance of doing just that. Unagi is a slippery and lanky eel and she will give all her opponents fits, I’m sure of it. I wish Unagi lots of luck this year but I think she will finish near the middle of the pack.

Risa Sera

With Thekla out due to injury, Rise Sera is your true wild card in the red block this year. While I don’t think she will do as well as Thekla, she has a lot to prove this year. Especially since she will be going up against several members of Donna del Mondo. Risa Sera looks to send a message to Giulia with her performance against those DDM opponents. Watch out for Risa Sera.

Koguma

Poor Poor Koguma. She’s the only member of Stars in the Red Block this year and she has found herself needing to face several powerhouses to make it to the top this year. The High Speed Ace of STARS will not have an easy climb to reach the top and frankly, I don’t think she will. Koguma will earn her points, but they will be hard to come by.

Mai Sakurai

Mai Sakurai has turned her Stardom career around since joining up with Donna del Mondo. She seems to be more comfortable in her role and she has been gaining more wins recently. That said, she has three other Donna del Mondo teammates to get through if she even wants a chance at winning this year. I don’t see it happening.

Saki

Representing Colors/Cosmic Angels is Saki and unfortunately for her, I cannot see her doing very well this year. This is her first big tournament in Stardom and I think that the pressure will be a bit overwhelming for her. Not to mention, she has one tough road to even try to earn points. Saki will not be winning the tournament, that’s just fact.

Prediction:

So I found some precedents where the same colored block won back to back years. That happened in 2013/2014 as well as 2020/2021. Both instances were a case where the Blue Block winner won the entire tournament. Every other year the tournament has taken place, since 2012, there has been an alternating winner from a different block. No one has ever won the crown twice either. With all that said, I predict that the winner of the Red Block this year will be Tam Nakano. I am also predicting that she will be the eventual winner of the entire Grand Prix this year and will be carrying the World of Stardom championship by the end of the year.

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