Coming to PPV this weekend is the biggest show in the 1st Quarter of Stardom’s calender, the 2023 Grand Queendom! This year we have five title fights that are highlighted by three massive single’s matches as well as the official retirement match for the Jumbo Princess Himeka. There is a lot to unpack and preview today so we are going to jump right into things without me rambling on and on too much. So let’s jump right into things with, perhaps, the biggest match on the card.
IWGP WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP: MERCEDES Moné (c) vs. MAYU IWATANI
Mercedes Moné, fka Sasha Banks in WWE, signed with Bushiroad for three matches and has delivered on her first two. She defeated KAIRI in her Japanese debut and captured the IWGP Women’s Championship.. much to my dismay since I feel KAIRI deserved so much better than she got. That said, Moné has defeated both AZM and Hazuki in a triple threat match as well, which stole the show at NJPW’s Sakura Genesis. Sure, she has the credentials and the attitude to be the best, but as the saying goes “To be the best, you have to beat the best.” Mayu Iwatani -is- the ICON, the absolute GOAT in Stardom and the only woman who has won literally everything that Stardom has to offer. She may have come up short against KAIRI in her first bid for the title but Mayu is the woman who should have been champion this whole time. As I said before, Mayu is the absolute Icon in Stardom and she will go down as one of the greatest Joshi of all time, if not the uncontested GOAT. While Moné has the skills and the ring presence to give Mayu a match to remember, she has made the mistake of attacking Mayu on numerous occasions leading up to this match. You never want to awaken a sleeping dragon and I feel like Moné has done just that. Mayu Iwatani will put Moné in her place and will walk out with the title she deserves, the IWGP Women’s Championship.
Predicted Winner: Mayu Iwatani
WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP: GIULIA (c) vs TAM NAKANO
In what will likely be the main event of the show, the World of Stardom Champion Giulia takes on her arch rival Tam Nakano in what will be the most personal match on the card. They have been at each others throats for years with Nakano famously defeating Giulia for the Wonder title and shaving her head in the process. This rivalry has only gotten more and more heated over the years with each woman stealing the others unit members, famously Mai Sakurai for Giulia and Natsupoi for Nakano. Blood has been shed, hair has been cut, who knows how far these two will take things in this match. If I were Stardom, I would make this a Deathmatch and let them go all out and do whatever they want and need to do to win. No rules would make this match so much better than it will be but if any match has the chance to be chaotic and violent, it’s this one. There will likely be blood and there will be brutality.. I predict that, unfortunately, the title stays where it is.
Predicted Winner: Giulia
WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP: SAYA KAMITANI (c) vs. MINA SHIRAKAWA
The match that will likely steal the show is this one for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. We have the champion, Saya Kamitani, defending her belt for the 16th time in her 474+ day reign which is second all time for the title behind Io Shirai for defences and Yuzuki Aikawa for longest reign. She’s been an insane champion, improving in every match and thrilling audiences with a high flying style that is ridiculous for someone of her height. Kamitani is not afraid to take the match anywhere it needs to go but she will need to rely on her speed and aerial assault to best Mina Shirakawa. This will be Mina’s second attempt at Saya’s title but has gained so much more momentum than their last fight. Mina just left the Cosmic Angels to focus on her unit, Club Venus and she has done everything in her power to get into the head of Kamitani. This is gonna be a tough match to follow and I think that we may see a new champion when the dust settles.
Predicted Winner: Mina Shirakawa (New Champion)
SPECIAL RETIREMENT MATCH: HIMEKA vs. MAIKA
Unfortunately, this match will be the last one in Stardom for the Jumbo Princess Himeka. She has decided to retire after a relatively short career and hand picked her final opponent which happens to be her best friend and long time tag partner Maika. This one will be a highly physical match since both women are known for their power and using it to their advantage. Neither woman can really claim superiority in the power department in this one but Himeka does have a distinct size advantage. That said, it is Stardom tradition that those retiring go out on their back and I think that Maika will take this one after a hard fought match.
Predicted Winner: Maika
ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP: PROMINENCE [RISA SERA, Suzu Suzuki & Kurumi Hiiragi] (c) vs. REstart [KAIRI, Natsupoi & Saori Anou]
Our fourth title fight on the card is for the Artist of Stardom Championship with the current champions Prominence taking on the new trio known as REstart. Sera, Suzuki and Hiiragi took those belt by force from Oedo Tai and have defended the titles only once in their 110+ day reign. This isn’t too shocking since none of the women are technically signed to Stardom but one defense in 100 days is really bad in my opinion. Their challengers are the Pirate Princess KAIRI, The High Speed Fairy Natsupoi and the returning Saori Anou. I am so happy that Kairi and Anou are back in Stardom and now they are joined by one of the most exciting stars in Stardom in Natsupoi. These three will give Prominence a run for their money, they definitely have the experience edge in this one and I think that will aid them massively. Don’t get me wrong, Prominence is a strong team with a true prodigy in Risa Sera but I don’t think they retain in this one. Just a feeling mind you but we will see how it plays out.
Predicted Winners: REstart (KAIRI, Natsupoi & Saori Anou)
GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP: 7Upp (Nanae Takahashi & Yuu) vs. THE NEW ERA’S (MIRAI & Ami Sourei)
The last actual match that I will preview this time is the Goddess Championship as the champs 7Upp take on the New Era’s. MIRAI and Ami Sourei have been on an absolute tear since they came into Stardom with MIRAI being the second back-to-back Cinderella Winner and Sourei being the current Future’s champion. They’re a dangerous tag team with power and technical abilities that few in Stardom possess. That said, the newbies do take on one of Stardom’s founding mothers in Nanae Takahashi and her partner Yuu. Experience and size are on their side and I believe they can out power the God’s Eye duo. This will be a fun match and it will be highly entertaining. I believe that the champs will retain but don’t be shocked if the titles change hands since Stardom is really high on both MIRAI and Ami Sourei.
Predicted Winners: 7Upp (Nanae Takahashi & Yuu)
THE REST OF THE CARD
The rest of the card looks like this folks:
Yokohama Rumble Match (announced participant Momoe Nakanishi)
Hazuki & Fuwa-chan vs. Utami Hayashishita & Miyu Amasaki
Thekla, Mariah May, Xena and Jessie vs. Saki Kashima, Momo Watanabe, Ruaka & Natsuko Tora
Syuri vs. Chihiro Hashimoto
Mei Suruga & AZM vs. Starlight Kid & Mei Seira
The entirety of the Grand Queendom card is looking to be great, apart from the Rumble which only has one annouced participant. Remember folks, Allstar Grand Queendom is going to be live on PPV on April 23rd at 4PM JST, 3AM EST, Midnight PDT and 8AM BST. If you love Stardom as much as I do, you’ll join me in checking this show out. Well, either that or you want to see if Mercedes Moné can put her money where her mouth is. Have a good one folks!