Monday, September 25, 2023

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Five wrestlers we’d like to see in Stardom

Stardom is in the midst of an attempted expansion into the western market. Mayu Iwatani, formerly of the dominant stable Threedom with Kairi Hojo and Io Shirai, is enjoying a run as Women of Honor World Champion, and will defend her title at G1 Supercard. Other Stardom performers on the card include World of Stardom Champion Kagetsu and High Speed Champion Hazuki. Stardom will also be running a show in New York on WrestleMania weekend, and their streaming service was recently overhauled to make it more attractive to viewers. Obviously, increasing their international fan base is a major priority.

One avenue that Stardom will surely continue to pursue is importing western wrestlers for tours with the company. Several such gaijin – including Toni Storm and Bea Priestley – built their careers in Stardom and made themselves into scoutworthy stars in the making. Half or more of the entire NXT UK women’s division have worked or currently work there. These women took things to the next level in their careers while Stardom added some variety to their roster. But the imports also serve an important function in attracting western audiences who might find Stardom alienating in the same way that comic books can be difficult to get into because of their dense, unfamiliar history. The gaijin wrestler’s existing fans are more easily lured into trying out Stardom than those without a reference point.

Stardom tours, then, are an opportunity for talented young wrestlers to raise their game and for Stardom to make themselves more widely marketable. Given that, I have a few suggestions of wrestlers that Stardom should actively target to bring on tour, wrestlers ready to elevate their work and elevate Stardom at the same time.

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