It’s now officially 5 Star Grand Prix season as Stardom’s most exciting annual tournament returns on July 31st at Yokohama. It will be the biggest and the longest-running tournament that the company has put on to date as the tournament will last 21 days, finishing September 25th.
While the single-elimination Cinderella tournament in the spring focuses mostly on who the future stars of the company will be, such as Saya Kamitani winning this year, the 5 Star GP league based tournament is all about who the biggest star is right now.
The 5 Star GP launched the careers of current World of Stardom champion Utami Hayashishita (2020), former NXT Women’s Champions Io Shirai (2014), Kairi Hojo/Sane (2015) and Toni Storm (2017) as well as the late Hana Kimura (2019) which was the tournament that truly kicked off the success that Stardom is having right now.
Every year there’s a lot of intrigue on how the blocks will line up and this year was no different. Being announced during Stardom’s Yokohama Cinderella in the Summer, each block is stacked and with the possibility for more in-ring time compared to past years, there is certainly going to be some match of the year contenders.
The blocks currently look like this:
- Momo Watanabe
- Natsuko Tora*
- Saki Kashima
- Starlight Kid
- Mina Shirakawa
- Mayu Iwatani
*Natsuko Tora is currently out injured, her replacement has yet to be announced at the time of the article.
- Utami Hayshishita
- Tam Nakano
- Saya Kamitani
- Unagi Sayaka
The biggest shock was the Blue Stars block having an ‘X’ which stardom confirmed would be a wrestler from another company. Names that the fans have been throwing out point towards Takumi Iroha and Rin Kadokura of Marvelous however many fans are also hopeful that Jungle Kyona will make her return.
A lot of the stardom roster makes a return to the tournament such as Mayu making her 8th appearance and Konami making her 5th appearance but people such as Unagi, Mina and Ruaka will be making their tournament debuts.
The beauty of this tournament is that it truly is anyone’s game, another person’s result could easily change who the finalists are. As usual, this tournament is going to be a must-watch and is a great way to get into watching Stardom for those who haven’t already.