Last May, the wrestling community received the very sad news that Stardom fan Sean Williams had passed away. Sean and I talked sporadically over the years about Stardom, and he was a big supporter of the promotion. He had a Stardom blog site (which is still up) and also at one point wrote reviews for the official Stardom English website. He also wrote articles for Voices of Wrestling as well. More than just being a Stardom fan, Sean was also a genuinely great guy, always trending towards being positive and enjoying spreading the word of Joshi.
A year later, I was reading through my DMs with Sean which I can’t bring myself to delete and looking through his twitter feed, and was reminded of the last project he was working on but did not post before his passing. Sean was planning on predicting the card for the final Stardom show of the year, based on the results up to that point:
Now obviously a lot has changed in Stardom since May of 2018, but I thought it would be a fun way to remember Sean and bring attention to his work by trying to predict where Stardom’s booking was going to close out 2019. For setting up the card, Sean set the following rules which I will follow as well:
To summarize the rules:
- The goal is to book one single show, not a weekend/series of big shows.
- Every wrestler gets used once, so no double duty.
- Some titles probably don’t get defended.
- Due to the time frame, some title changes will likely take place before the end of the year.
We will take care of the final bullet first. No doubt there will be some title changes before December but I won’t go too crazy with it, for the card let us assume these will be the champions going into December:
- Artist of Stardom Championship – Hana Kimura, Jungle Kyona, and Konami
- Future of Stardom Championship – AZM
- Goddesses of Stardom Championship – Mayu Iwatani and Arisa Hoshiki
- High Speed Championship – Starlight Kid
- SWA Undisputed World Women’s Championship – Utami Hayashishita
- Wonder of Stardom Championship – Momo Watanabe
- World of Stardom Championship – Bea Priestley
Here is the card I think Stardom will book, and below I will explain why I chose each match:
Event: Stardom Year End Climax 2019
Date: December 24th, 2019
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
- Five Way Match: Ruaka vs. Saya Iida vs. Leo Onozaki vs. Saki Kashima vs. Hanan
- High Speed Championship: Starlight Kid vs. Natsu Sumire vs. Kaori Yoneyama
- Bobbi Tyler, Rina, Mary Apache, and Natsumi vs. Viper, AZM, Hina, and Chardonnay
- Artist of Stardom Championship: Hana Kimura, Jungle Kyona, and Konami vs. Kagetsu, Natsuko Tora, and Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani, Arisa Hoshiki, and Tam Nakano
- World of Stardom Championship: Bea Priestley vs. Andras Miyagi
- Wonder of Stardom Championship: Momo Watanabe vs. Utami Hayashishita
Last year’s Year End Climax had six matches, so I just followed the same pattern since that is their average for Korakuen Hall events. And I figured it would be cheating to do a massive ten match card or something. Let’s look at each match.
Five Way Match: Ruaka vs. Saya Iida vs. Leo Onozaki vs. Saki Kashima vs. Hanan
This is pretty self explanatory, as Stardom does usually like to get all their healthy contracted wrestlers on each card if possible. But this is a pretty diverse group and all of these wrestlers have experience opening the show (or close to it). I’d probably have Saki Kashima win but it doesn’t really matter as its just killing time until the bigger matches start.
High Speed Championship: Starlight Kid vs. Natsu Sumire vs. Kaori Yoneyama
Starlight Kid by December will be done with school so I think she will quickly get a bit of a push, plus getting the title off Hazuki will let her go after one of the bigger titles. The title fits Starlight Kid’s in-ring persona well, and three different factions are represented. Starlight Kid would retain, and it would get her out of the opener so she’d get a bit more attention.
Bobbi Tyler, Rina, Mary Apache, and Natsumi vs. Viper, AZM, Hina, and Chardonnay
Stardom tends to have random faction tag matches on their Korakuen Hall cards, so this match is basically the best wrestlers from Tokyo Cyber Squad and Queen’s Quest that aren’t in bigger matches. The winner of this match doesn’t matter, as its just to further draw the line between the warring groups.
Artist of Stardom Championship: Hana Kimura, Kyona, and Konami vs. Kagetsu, Tora, and Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani, Hoshiki, and Nakano
This match is a mouthful but I think it fits in with where Stardom is going. Rossy has said he wants more emphasis on the Artist of Stardom Championship, so I think he will want some of his bigger wrestlers as part of the program. Here we not only have three factions but the leader from all three of them with two of their best underlings. Give these nine wrestlers 20 minutes and they can have a hell of a match, further elevating the titles. I’d have Oedo Tai or Tokyo Cyber Squad win the match but really there are no wrong answers here.
World of Stardom Championship: Bea Priestley vs. Andras Miyagi
This prediction may be off base but I think that Stardom has plans for Andras Miyagi and it isn’t just to be a lackey to Kagetsu. Since Bea just won the belt I assume she will still have it come December. Logically the match makes sense as Bea and Andras are in different factions and Bea took the title off of Kagetsu so Oedo Tai will want revenge. Andras will need to do some growth to earn this spot but she has seven months to get there and I think as Kagetsu’s #2 she’ll be the one to try to get the belt back for the faction.
Wonder of Stardom Championship: Momo Watanabe vs. Utami Hayashishita
Barring injury, I am pretty confident this match is happening sometime towards the end of the year. Yes, these two just wrestled in April but that was for an American audience and I am sure that Stardom will want to give them a big platform for their home fans as well. Even though they are in the same faction they have a friendly rivalry, and I do see the “friendly” part slowly eroding when they (inevitably) lose the tag team titles. I still don’t think Utami will win the belt yet but she may go to a Draw this time, showing her growth.
I hope you enjoyed reading my predictions for the end of the year for Stardom, it is harder than it looks. This won’t be a regular feature of the site as I find fantasy booking quite difficult and ultimately not rewarding when I am terribly wrong, but I wanted to do something to honor Sean and this seemed like the best way to do it. Please do swing by his old blog site, The Stardom Project, as there is still a lot of great information there. Sean will always be remembered fondly by those that met and talked to him, and I don’t want his memory or contributions to the wrestling community to fade away. He was a big part of bringing the popularity of Stardom to the United States, and both his knowledge and his presence will continue to be greatly missed for many years to come.