Get a primer to STARDOM before Historic X-Over with a new column series
As we approach Historic X-Over on November 20 in Ariake Coliseum, Karen Peterson will be providing a fortnightly introduction to the world of STARDOM, its factions, and its history. This time, a look at the championships in STARDOM!
In the first installment of Historic X-Column, the three major tournaments in STARDOM’s calendar year were discussed. Here is a quick breakdown of the active championships currently in STARDOM.
At the top of the card on November 20 will be the newest addition to the STARDOM and NJPW championship lineup. The IWGP Women’s Championship will have its first champion crowned in Ariake Arena before its first defence takes place at Wrestle Kingdom 17. Inidicative of STARDOM and New Japan’s global expansion, the title will be a truly international one, and defended on big STARDOM and NJPW events in Japan, as well as on major international cards. As generational rivals KAIRI and Mayu Iwatani clash, who will emerge as the first champion?
World of Stardom Championship – “The Red Belt” The company’s top championship. Typically the winner of the annual Five Star Grand Prix challenges for the championship at one of the final shows of the year. With the announcement of STARDOM Dream Queendom at the end of December, the new goal for the Five Star winner is to close out the year in the final match of the final show as the new champion. Notable past champions include Io Shirai, Kagetsu (retired), Mayu Iwatani, and Utami Hayashishita, who was overthrown by last year’s 5 Star GP winner Syuri in Ryogoku. Does the same fate await her at the hands of this year’s 5 Star champion, Giulia?
Current Champion: Syuri (God’s Eye)
Wonder of Stardom Championship – “The White Belt” The company’s second championship often likened to an intercontinental championship. The name synonymous with Wonder is KAIRI (then Kairi Hojo) and the longest running champion is Momo Watanabe. Winners of the Cinderella Tournament often challenge for this title, with other notable champions including Arisa Hoshiki, (retired) Giulia and Tam Nakano.
Current Champion: Saya Kamitani (Queen’s Quest)
Goddesses of Stardom Championship – STARDOM’s Tag Team Championship. Along with title matches throughout the year, the winners of the Goddesses of Stardom Tag League Tournament will receive a championship opportunity. Historic X-Over takes place in the middle of this year’s tournament. Notable champions include AphroditE (Saya Kamitani & Utami Hayashishita), MaiHime (Maika & Himeka), Fukuoka Double Crazy (Hazuki & Koguma) and BLACK DESIRE (Starlight Kid & Momo Watanabe), who were recently deposed by the Meltear side of Tam Nakano and Natsupoi.
Current Champions: Meltear (Tam Nakano & Natsupoi; Cosmic Angels)
Artists of Stardom Championship – The Trios Championship of STARDOM. In recent years, the Artist championship scene was one with relative stability. Notable Artists Cosmic Angels (Tam Nakano, Mina Shirakawa & Unagi Sayaka) and Donna del Mondo (Maika, Himeka, & Natsupoi) captured at seven defences apiece, before the devious current champs in OedoTai took the gold!
Current Champions: OedoTai (Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid & Momo Watanabe)
High Speed Championship – With the fast and furious pacing of the matches, this could be likened to the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, or indeed, the new NJPW World Television title. This championship is a launching pad for singles success and often a milestone for those destined to be the future of STARDOM. Notable champions include: Mayu Iwatani, Starlight Kid and Natsupoi, but wrestling prodigy AZM has made the title her own with a dominant reign in 2022.
Current Champion: AZM (Queen’s Quest)
SWA World Championship – The main stipulation of the SWA Championship is that the competitors must be of opposing nationalities. When international travel was thriving, Toni Storm set the bar at fifteen successful defenses. During the height of the pandemic, Syuri embraced her Filipina heritage and her UFC roots with nine successful and unique defenses before vacating it in January 2021 after winning the World of Stardom Championship. STARDOM Icon Mayu Iwatani took the title for Japan in a bout with Austria’s Thekla, and now has to defend against KiLyn King Friday in New York at Rumble on 44th Street.
Current Champion: Mayu Iwatani (STARS)
Future of Stardom Championship – Designed for wrestlers who are either under the age of 20 (adult age in Japan) or have careers of less than three years. Hanan shattered Utami Hayashishita’s defense record with ten successful defences, before finally being defeated by Ami Sohrei in Tokyo this past weekend. With the NEW BLOOD series highlighting young talent from within and outside STARDOM, this championship has become a staple of the program.
Current Champion: Ami Sohrei (God’s Eye)