5 names in Stardom that would be big stars in the United States

TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 27: Utami Hayashishita enters the ring during the Women's Pro-Wrestling "Stardom" at Yoyogi National Gymnasium on November 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 27: Utami Hayashishita enters the ring during the Women's Pro-Wrestling "Stardom" at Yoyogi National Gymnasium on November 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

Stardom has some of the top women wrestlers in the world who would be stars in any promotion.

Stardom has arguably never been more relevant than right now. With their appearances on New Japan shows becoming more and more frequent, and a controversial ex-fed worker in Mercedes Moné all but guaranteed to appear for the promotion, more eyes than ever are on Stardom and their ridiculously talented workers.

But as the former Sasha Banks crosses the Pacific, it is only a matter of time before another Joshi wrestler follows in the footsteps of the likes of Iyo Sky, or Asuka, and makes a splash in the Western wrestling world. Stardom is home to a lot of great workers, and great personalities, so let’s take a look at the potential candidates who could make it in the Big 2.

Utami Hayashishita

The Red Queen of Stardom is the kind of worker WWE dreams of. With years of experience in front of the camera from her childhood as part of a family reality TV show, and a power-based offensive style that would lend itself beautifully to WWE’s slower, moment-focused pace, Utami would slot right into the fed. Plus, Utami comes equipped with a WWE backstory. It was watching Tajiri in WWE that made her a wrestling fan-you just know WWE would like that backstory for all it’s worth.

Similarly, over in AEW, Utami could be the type of person to rehabilitate the TBS championship once it eventually is pried from the grasp of Jade Cargill. Utami is much smoother within the ropes despite only having five years of experience, and can fill Jade’s function of being a base for the more high-flying members of the roster.

Sign this woman.

Starlight Kid

This entry could have just as easily been AZM. I’m only going to mention one of the two high-speed rivals in this list, because what I have to say about them boils down to basically the same, but if you think AZM should be here instead of Starlight Kid, I won’t argue with you.

Starlight Kid is ridiculously talented.

At just 21 years of age at time of writing, SLK has already put together quite the resume for herself, with her matches against Io Shirai, the previously mentioned Hayashishita, and eternal rival AZM earning critical acclaim. Though she is only 21, SLK has been wrestling since  2015, meaning enters this new year with almost eight years of experience. She’s a veteran at 21. Now, which WWE competitor does that remind you of?

The wrestler formerly known as Paige.

The Smackdown women’s division is in a dire state at the moment. They need more talent that can lead a match, and make the fans care. As the career of Rey Mysterio shows as evidence, if you’re small, fast, and wear a mask, the crowd is almost automatically invested. Pair that with SLK’s skills as a heel, and you have one hell of a young, cocky champion to build the division around. Plus, think of that potential Iyo/SLK fight for supremacy. Doesn’t that make you excited just thinking about it?


Speaking of young talent, enter, Giulia.

When the Donna Del Mundo leader jumped ship to Stardom in 2019 (just two years into her career!) there were, from some, cries of Giulia being over-pushed. Much like WWE’s Roman Reigns in the mid-2010s, Giulia had the presence of a star, but still had a way to go in terms of being main event quality when it came to the wrestling side of things.

I think it’s safe to say Giulia has managed to shut up any doubters.

Now that her in-ring capabilities match her star power, Giulia has rightfully ascended to the top of the card in Stardom, currently in her first reign as World Of Stardom champion. She can talk, she can wrestle, and she’s versatile. Imagine how useful Giulia would be in WWE. Charlotte Flair, as skilled as she is in-ring, is often wasted by being miscast as a babyface. It’s just not a role Flair can pull off. But Giulia could, in this writer’s humble opinion, be everything Charlotte is not.

Giulia looks amazing. She’s effective as a heel because she’s beautiful and believably arrogant. Yes, it could be argued, that some of this has been handed to her. But when she’s the case as a babyface, working hard, and earning her spot in the main event, it doesn’t feel forced or phony. Last year’s 5 Star Grand Prix is proof of that. And as for AEW, which often attracts criticism for a lack of characters amongst the stellar in-ring work, Giulia is what Jade Cargill could be in just a few years’ time, an arrogant yet capable heel who can take a loss without being damaged.

Giulia is an undeniable asset just five years into her career. And at 28 years of age, her best years are ahead of her.

Mayu Iwatani

And at 29 years of age, Mayu Iwatani reminds me of Impact-era AJ Styles, in that she is already an undeniable Ace of her promotion. Like Giulia, Mayu’s best years are ahead of her, but the years behind Giulia are so. Bloody. Good.

Mayu has done it all in Stardom, winning every title currently on offer in the promotion aside from the recently introduced IWGP Women’s Championship, and since her debut in 2011, the Mine, Yamaguchi native has been what so many workers aim to be in the wrestling industry.

Consistent. Even when she was at the bottom of the card, even when she was considered, to quote her Wikipedia article, Stardom’s “weakest wrestler,” Mayu has been consistent in the effort she puts in, and is always growing and improving.

Mayu is no stranger to the States, having won the Women Of Honor Championship at one point, and with over a decade of experience, and decades left in her career, she has all the time in the world to find a good balance between her current style and the American Independent style if she were to join AEW tomorrow. Which is, in my opinion, where she should go.

Mayu is a legend, but a legend only to those who care. AEW, to me, seems to care a lot more than WWE has in decades about Joshi wrestling. In a company full of developing talent, Mayu could be a well-used and much-needed leader alongside the Jamie Hayters and Serena Deebs of the division. Sign her Tony. Sign her now.


WWE hasn’t quite nailed the MMA gimmick in their women’s division, have they? They had it, I’ll admit for a while. That while being Shayna Bazler’s combined reigns atop NXT. That, in my opinion, was as close as WWE has come to perfecting the “MMA Woman” gimmick. If they wanted to take another crack at it, however, once the Rousey dust settles, I can think of no finer candidate than Syrui.

With a background in Karate, shoot-boxing, kickboxing, and MMA, Syrui has an air of legitimacy about her that many workers spend years looking for. She doesn’t need all-black outfits, or to be constantly scowling to sell her toughness, her in-ring work does that for her, and if anyone has any doubts as to her credibility, just one look at her 13-1 kick-boxing record should solve that.

Next. 2023 can be a big year for women's wrestling. dark

Syrui has shown she’s capable of being a main event talent, with a year-long reign (exactly a year, 365 days) as World of Stardom Champion before being dethroned by Giulia late last year. Syrui is still young, at 33 years of age, (making her the oldest on this list, but come on. 33 years is nothing,) and she could be to WWE what Asuka once was, (and could be again, I have hope for the rebrand,) a legit killer, a sweet-looking dangerous woman, a force to be reckoned with.

Or, she could go to AEW. Imagine all the hard-hitting bouts she could have there. Syrui vs Hayter, Syrui vs Deeb, Syrui vs Athena. Syrui might have taken breaks from wrestling in the past, but she is not lacking in skill. Her series of matches against Utami Hayashishita has been called the Okada/Omega of Joshi wrestling. When you attract those kinds of comparisons, you’ll be set wherever you go.