The 2021 Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Guide

What is it?

The 5 Star Grand Prix is the most prestigious tournament in Stardom, and is their equivalent to NJPW’s G1 Climax. Two blocks of ten wrestlers face off in a round robin series, pitting the best of the company against each other in a grueling stretch of shows, starting July 31st with a double header inside the Yokohama Budokan and finishing September 25th at the Ota Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo. Never before has the tournament taken place inside venues of this size before, highlighting just how big the event is this year.

Competitors score two points for a win and one for a draw, with the wrestler who earns the most points in each block facing off in the final. The winner earns not just the right to call themselves a Grand Prix winner while wearing the crown and robe, but they’re also entitled to a title shot. Winning the tournament is just as big an honour as holding the World of Stardom championship.

Who has won the tournament in the past?

Even if you’ve never seen Stardom before, you’ve probably heard of some of these names: Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo (aka Kairi Sane), Toni Storm, Hana Kimura, and Mayu Iwatani. Last year’s winner was Utami Hayashishita, who after surviving the tournament went on to defeat Mayu Iwatani to become the World of Stardom Champion, a title she still holds as we head into this year’s event.

How can I watch?

By far the easiest way to do so is to sign up to Stardom World, which costs 920 yen a month (just under $9USD). Shows are uploaded to the site in the days following a show, generally starting a day or two after the event (depending on if there are back to back shows or not). Promos are also subtitled in English, so don’t worry if you don’t speak Japanese! I know I don’t. And there’s a back catalogue from previous years to sink your teeth into if you’re hungry for more.

There is also a 30 minute weekly TV show in Japan called We Are Stardom, that is uploaded on the Stardom Youtube page. These shows will likely feature some of the biggest and best matches from the tournament and is free to watch. This is a good way to get your feet wet without diving right in, though there will be a notable delay between a match happening and its appearance on the TV show.

It is important to note that if you want to follow the tournament without spoilers, it is best to avoid the official Twitter pages, as results are posted as they happen.

Red Stars:


  • Representing Donna Del Mondo. Goddess of Stardom Tag Team Champion.
  • 2nd Tournament Appearance

The odds on favourite to wear the crown come September, Giulia made an immediate impact when she joined Stardom in late 2019. After her commanding run as the Wonder of Stardom Champion was ended in March at the hands of Tam Nakano (where she lost her hair as well), she’s kept herself busy in the tag scene. However it’s only a matter of time until she finds herself competing for the World of Stardom title, and winning this tournament would be one way of getting that chance.

Match to watch: Vs Mayu Iwatani, August 1st. The two biggest names not only in the Red Stars block but Stardom in general. It’s a big money match we’ve only seen twice before, and they’ve never faced off on as big a stage as the Yokohama Budokan.

Mayu Iwatani

  • Representing STARS
  • 8th Tournament Appearance, 2018 Winner

The Icon of Stardom, it’s impossible to think of one without the other. Nobody else has the kind of tournament experience Mayu has, and is also one of only two competitors to have won before. Things haven’t been going well for her since losing the World of Stardom title to Utami in November, so a tournament win here would bounce her right back into her natural spot at the top of the company. It would also make her the only two-time winner, which would go nicely with her two time Cinderella Tournament achievement.

Match to watch: Vs Starlight Kid, September 25th. Her friend and protege has recently been seduced by the dark side of Oedo Tai, and this will mark the first time they face off one on one since. This will be an emotionally supercharged war between two former tag team partners who know each other very well.

Momo Watanabe

  • Representing Queen’s Quest
  • 5th Tournament Appearance

There might not be a better in ring performer in the company than Momo Watanabe, however her resume has been looking a little lean lately as she’s struggled to find her spot on the card. Nonetheless once the bell rings you’ll see why she’s a favourite of many, combining powerful kicks with a variety of high impact moves and an undeniable smoothness. Win or lose you’re in for a show, and should finish comfortably in the top half of the block at the very least.

Match to watch: Vs Giulia, September 25th. There was a bit of back and forth earlier in the year during tag matches and on social media, but it never led to a one on one match. This will be their chance to sort out any unresolved tension. Expect the internet to be very vocal about the result of this match no matter who wins, especially since it’s on the final day of block competition and could decide who advances to the final.

Fukigen Death

  • Representing Oedo Tai
  • 5th Tournament Appearance

Serving as a replacement for Oedo Tai leader Natsuko Tora after she unfortunately suffered an ACL injury, Fukigen Death is a true wild card entrant. This bad clown has been corrupted by Oedo Tai’s influence since she was forced to join, so on top of her veteran savvy opponents also have to be wary of any nefarious tactics. By far the most experienced wrestler in the tournament, Fukigen excels in fast paced affairs and throwing people off their game.

Match of watch: Vs Giulia, September 18th. There’s a special magic between these two, with Giulia one of the wrestlers most likely to lean right into Fukigen’s antics. It won’t be a five star match by any means, but will bring out the funniest in both performers

Saki Kashima

  • Representing Oedo Tai
  • 4th Tournament Appearance [Last Appearance 2019]

If there was ever a bracket buster in Stardom, it’s Saki Kashima. Her Revival flash pin is a move she can hit at any time and has proven to be near inescapable. Nobody is safe from it, and even if she can’t catch them off guard she can use her wrestling IQ to control the match. Saki is a better wrestler than her resume suggests, but even if she doesn’t win it all she’ll walk away with one or two big scalps.

Match to watch: Vs Mayu Iwatani, September 20th. These two have been at each other for over a year after she betrayed her to join Oedo Tai. Mayu always brings an extra level of viciousness when facing Saki, but despite how dominant The Icon looks in the ring against her the rivalry has been fairly even, thanks in large part to Saki’s ability to catch Mayu with The Revival.

Starlight Kid

  • Representing Oedo Tai
  • 2nd Tournament Appearance

It’s been an interesting couple of months for The Sky Tiger. Once the shining future star of the company, her world was turned upside down when she was forced to join the villainous Oedo Tai. Though hesitant at first, she has begun to embrace the dark side in an effort to surpass her former tag partner Mayu. Starlight Kid excels when the pace quickens, and given much of the block prefers a fast paced affair, she’ll be in her element.

Match to watch: Vs Giulia, July 31st. These two squared off for the Wonder of Stardom title back in February, and it resulted in Kid’s mask being torn off (something Giulia promised to do again during the press conference). Ever since things have gotten feisty whenever they’re around each other, and Kid is still looking for her revenge.


  • Representing Donna Del Mondo
  • 2nd Tournament Appearance

Debuting just a couple of months before last year’s tournament, Himeka made a strong impression as she won her block, only to fall short against Utami Hayashishita in the final. Himeka’s shown great promise in singles action but has yet to score that big accolade. The Jumbo Princess has a size advantage over everyone in the block, and will be looking to add a crown to match her nickname. It feels like it is only a matter of time until Himeka takes that next step, and has to be one of the favourites to advance once again, providing her recent injury hasn’t slowed her down too much.

Match to watch: Vs Giulia, September 20th. In last year’s tournament Himeka handed Giulia her first single’s loss with the company, and in the post match seemed very pleased with herself. She couldn’t get the job done when Giulia put her title on the line, so with their singles record at 1-1, the two stablemates will be looking to win the rubber match.


  • Representing Donna Del Mondo. Current High Speed Champion
  • 2nd Tournament Appearance [Last Appearance 2016]

The only singles champion in the Red Stars Block, The High Speed Champion has several key potential challengers to square off against, all who will be hungry to stamp their claim on a title shot with a win over Natsupoi. The High Speed Fairy has had a strong year slowed down by missing the past month and a half due to injury. How this affects her remains to be seen, but ‘Poi’ will take any chance to run circles around the opposition. Expect a much better showing than her two point effort back in 2016.

Match to watch: Vs Himeka, September 6th. The long and the short of the Donna Del Mondo faction, Himeka might not be a threat to her High Speed title, but they will provide one of the most interesting speed vs strength matchups in the tournament. The two are close friends and it should make for a really fun encounter.


  • Representing STARS
  • 2nd Tournament Appearance [Last Appearance 2014]

It’s been a seven year wait between tournament appearances, but Koguma is back! She returned from retirement earlier this year, and has quickly stepped up for a depleted STARS faction. This will be a big chance for her to showcase her skills and firmly establish just where she sits on the Stardom pecking order. Don’t underestimate Koguma, she’s capable of big things, having won her sole championship back in her first stint by defeating Io Shirai. Having only just recently returned, Koguma may have an innate advantage against opponents who are not quite sure what to expect against her.

Match to watch: Vs Natsupoi, July 31st. Koguma made her name in the High Speed division during her first run with the company and currently goes by the ‘High Speed Genius’ nickname. She’ll be looking to earn a title shot by toppling the champion, and by doing so will also get her tournament campaign off on the right foot.

Mina Shirakawa

  • Representing Cosmic Angels. Artists of Stardom Trios Champion.
  • 1st Tournament Appearance

Mina’s brief moment in the sun as the Future of Stardom champion ended quickly, losing the title to teammate Unagi Sayaka back on July 17th. It was a short reign, and now she has to turn her attention to the gruelling 5 Star Grand Prix. Mina will have to scratch and claw for every victory, but the tournament should give her a great chance to prove that her brief title run wasn’t a fluke.

Match to watch: Vs Momo Watanabe, August 15th. The two squared off on PPV back in April in what was essentially a ‘prove yourself’ match for Mina. She fell short, but forced Momo to take her seriously towards the end. Now with some time to improve, she’ll get the chance to take another swing at The True Heart of Stardom. Momo is one of the easiest wrestlers to have a great match with on the roster, so this will be a great chance for Mina to showcase her talents.

Blue Stars:

Utami Hayashishita

  • Representing Queen’s Quest. Current World of Stardom Champion.
  • 4th Tournament Appearance, 2020 Winner

If anyone in this tournament has reason to be confident, it’s Utami Hayashishita. She’s made the finals of this tournament two out of the three times she’s entered, with a broken thumb hindering the 2019 campaign. Winning the tournament last year, she used that victory to catapult herself into a World of Stardom title match against Mayu, claiming the title that she’s worn around her waist since. Still just twenty two, she’s one of the brightest stars in the industry and will be looking to further cement her legacy by going back to back when nobody has even won it twice. Of course, that’s easier said than done, even for the champ.

Match to Watch: Vs Syuri, September 4th. The last time these two squared off it turned heads, going as far as to earn a 5.5 star rating from Meltzer. That match ended in a draw after 40+ minutes of wrestling. Can a victor be determined in half that time?


  • Representing Donna Del Mondo. Current SWA Champion and Goddess of Stardom Tag Champion.
  • 2nd Tournament Appearance

A former UFC fighter and Pancrase champion, nobody in the company carries more legitimacy than Syuri, and she’s backed up her reputation in the ring since signing with Stardom at the start of 2020. She came so close to winning the World of Stardom Championship last month, and winning the 5 Star will put Syuri straight back at the front of the line. Has to be one of the favourites, there are very few in Stardom who can claim to have defeated her.

Match to watch: Vs Takumi Iroha, September 25. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that two of the block favourites are positioned to face off on the final day. It’s a match that could very easily determine who advances to the final in a battle between the two best strikers in the tournament. The kicks these two will trade will echo through the building and remain as marks on their bodies for some time.

Tam Nakano

  • Representing Cosmic Angels. Current Wonder of Stardom Champion and Artists of Stardom Trios Champion.
  • 5th Tournament Appearance

2021 has been a good year for Tam. She completed her years long quest to win the Wonder of Stardom Championship, doing so on the biggest stage in the company’s history and vanquishing a long term rival in the process, all while the faction she leads has continued to grow. The last couple of years has seen Tam get close to the finals of the 5 Star, but she’s never quite gotten there. It’s a big ask in a stacked Blue block, but she also has all of the momentum to carry her forward.

Match to watch: Vs Utami Hayashishita, September 25th. Whenever the two top champions square off it makes for a special moment. Tam has argued that her title is the more important one due to it representing the spirit of the company, and she’ll have a chance to prove it on the final day of block action.

Saya Kamitani

  • Representing Queen’s Quest. 2020 Cinderella Tournament winner.
  • 2nd Tournament Appearance

There is precedent for the Cinderella Tournament winner being able to win the 5 Star in the same year, with Toni Storm doing so back in 2017. Saya has the chance to join that exclusive club if she can win in just her second appearance in the tournament. It’s been a busy year for her, riding the high of the Cinderella Tournament but falling short in challenging for both top singles titles when she came up short against Utami in March and Tam in June. An exciting high flyer and one of the faster rising stars in Stardom, where she ends up in the block could go a long way to determining her true place on the roster.

Match to watch: Vs Tam Nakano, August 8th. Tam Nakano brought her into Stardom and has been a big influence on her young career. They’re split 2-2 in career singles matches with each picking up a win this year, but Tam owns the big win in June when the lights shone brightest. Expect Saya to be looking for revenge in the tournament.


  • Representing Donna Del Mondo
  • 2nd Tournament Appearance

Her debut showing in the 5 Star Grand Prix was a very successful one, being in the running to win the block on the final day of action and earning a win over eventual winner Utami Hayashishita in the process. Maika will be looking to do more than come close to making the finals this time around, and her well rounded wrestling ability will make her a threat to anyone in the block. She was also a finalist in this year’s Cinderella Tournament before falling to Saya Kamitani. Maika has shown she can get within striking distance, now she just needs to finish the job in this high pressure tournaments.

Match to watch: Vs Utami Hayashishita, July 31st. These two have a long standing rivalry dating back to before Maika even joined Stardom. These matches always mean a lot for Maika, and it’d come with the added bonus of beating the current top champion.


  • Representing Queen’s Quest
  • 3rd Tournament Appearance

An eighteen year old dynamo who has been wrestling in Stardom since 2013, AZM shocked everyone when she entered the 2019 tournament as a fill-in and ended up one win short of winning the entire block. Nearly impossible to keep up with at full speed, AZM is able to overwhelm her opponents with her pace and her technical prowess. She’s yet to get a shot at one of the big two championships in Stardom, but with both the Red and White belt champions in her block, she’s well positioned to force herself into the title picture with a win against either.

Match to watch: Vs Utami Hayashishita, September 11th. Queen’s Quest members love to square off against one another as they look to prove themselves the best. AZM and Utami have shown great teamwork when tagging together, and expect equal chemistry when they stand at opposite corners. Even if she might seem outmatched, AZM has the experience advantage and a dangerous flash pin she calls the AZM-Sushi. It’s the perfect combination to cause upsets.


  • Representing Oedo Tai
  • 5th Tournament Appearance

One of the most dangerous wrestlers on the roster, Konami has proven to be a killer in the recent 5 Star Grand Prix tournaments, defeating both the Red and White Belt champions during last year’s tournament and making it to the finals in 2019. She’s yet to secure a big moment as a singles wrestler, but there are plenty of champions to defeat in the Blue Block this year. Whether it’s throwing kicks or trapping opponents in submissions, Konami has all the tools to win with, she just needs to put it together when it counts.

Match to watch: Vs Takumi Iroha, September 4th. It’s been four years since these two faced off in a singles match in Marvelous, and both have come a long way since then. This match will hit hard and fast, and even if Konami doesn’t win the tournament she’s good enough to hand a rare loss to the Ace of Marvelous.

Unagi Sayaka

  • Representing Cosmic Angels. Current Future of Stardom Champion and Artists of Stardom Trios Champion
  • 1st Tournament Appearance

It’s been a busy year for Stardom’s eccentric eel. She fought through a seven match trial series, won the All Star Rumble, broken records as one third of the Artists of Stardom Champions and has found herself in several notable matches. Now a double champion, Unagi will be looking to carry her form through a difficult block. She’ll be hard pressed to win many matches here, but she’s tenacious and won’t go down without a fight. An underdog in every sense of the word.

Match to watch: Vs Syuri, August 15th. Earlier this month Unagi suffered a knockout loss in her attempt at winning the SWA Championship, but it was a match that showcased that she is no pushover. She has beaten Syuri before, but she won’t have the benefit of being able to win via over the top rope elimination this time around. She’ll have to do it the old fashioned way.


  • Representing Oedo Tai
  • 1st Star Grand Prix Appearance

The youngest entrant in this year’s tournament at just 16, Ruaka has made great strides ever since defecting from STARS to join Oedo Tai. The new attitude suits her well, and her hard work has been rewarded with a spot in the tournament. While it’s unlikely she manages more than maybe a single win, the experience she’ll gain in the series of singles matches against some of the best in the company will do wonders for her as she continues to gain confidence in the ring.

Match to watch: Vs Unagi Sayaka, September 18th. This will be Ruaka’s best chance to win a match, and I’m sure she’s aware of this as well. She has the experience edge here, and expect her to use every trick in the book to try and get points on the board. A win here would also put her in line for a Future of Stardom title shot.

Takumi Iroha

  • Representing Marvelous
  • 3rd 5 Star Grand Prix Appearance [Last Appearance 2014]

When thinking of who Stardom could bring in from outside the company to take part in the tournament, there would be few options more tantalising than Takumi Iroha. She initially got her start in Stardom back in 2013 before joining Marvelous, and has gone on to become not only the Ace of that promotion but also one of the best wrestlers in the Joshi scene, winning top titles in other promotions like WAVE and SEAdLINNNG. Her vicious kicks and hard hitting offence will be right at home in the Blue Block, and her addition will throw a spanner in the works for any early predictions. There’s a slew of dream matches on the table now.

Match to watch: Vs Utami Hayashishita, September 20th. During a Marvelous v Stardom tag match last year some early seeds were planted between these two. If Takumi had toppled Mayu for the World of Stardom Title, Utami would have been the first challenger. As it was Mayu retained only to lose to Utami in her next defence. Now we finally get the match. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s beaten a Red Belt Champion in a non-title match.