Here we go again eh? The Stardom Power Rankings are back meaning we will be giving you a monthly rundown of the movers, shakers and butt-kickers in Stardom in 2023. These rankings are based on my always correct opinion, but also the incredibly exciting statistics for the year which you can find at https://1drv.ms/x/s!Ap6qdh-YeTPumx-23sngMEE8v4ll
The opening month of the year has been a slightly odd one in Stardom with the Triangle Derby taking centre stage. This means there hasn't been a huge amount of one-on-one action with the nature of trios matches also slightly skewing some of the statistics.
Nevertheless we've seen title defences, rising stars and something called a Naniwa Roulette match (I'm still not sure what that was) and of course we also saw Stardom in the spotlight, albeit briefly, at WrestleKingdom 17.
So with all of that going on, who has shot to the top of our rankings and who are some of the surprise faces in the Power Rankings following the 4th February Supreme Fight PPV? You'll have to read on to find out, because that's how articles work, but once you have done so please feel free to let me know your opinion on Twitter at https://twitter.com/winsDANlosses
And now....on with the show!
Of course Giulia is top of this list. She holds the World of Stardom Championship and has just seen off Suzu Suzuki in her first defence in a vicious and engaging battle. Having said that though Giulia has been on the losing side on 3 occasions already in 2023, although without being pinned. Will she be able to exude a bit more dominance once the Triangle Derby is over? And who will be the next big contender for her crown? Either way, it feels like the holder of the Red Belt is gearing up for a big couple of months in Stardom.
Saya Kamitani now holds the record for the most defences of the Wonder of Stardom Championship with her victory over Momo Watanabe taking her tally to 14. On to'p of that she's also only been on the losing side once in 2023 and it's hard to see where her White Belt juggernaut will be run off the road. Could it be Mina Shirakawa? Well it could...but she would have to do something that everyone else in Stardom is finding very tricky and beat Saya Kamitani.
It probably shouldn't have been in doubt that Syuri wouldn't let her loss of the Red Belt stop her being awesome, and 2023 has borne that out so far. Her God's Eye team look formidable in the Triangle Derby and as a result Syuri only has one defeat to her name so far this year. Any thoughts of going back after Stardom gold will need to be put on hold though as Syuri targets former Sendai Girls World Champion Chihiro Hashimoto. Juding on Chihiro's impressive win over Syuri's God's Eye stable-mate MIRAI, Syuri is going to need to be on the ball to avoid suffering the same fate.
As with many others, AZM has been focused on the Triangle Derby so far in 2023, meaning she hasn't had a singles match or High Speed Championship title defence so far this year. Nonetheless she sits on over 350 days holding that belt, and has picked up more wins than losses in the opening part of 2023. Next on the horizon for AZM is the always-dangerous Saki Kashima, but I certainly wouldn't bet against AZM carrying that belt into our next round of Power Rankings.
Slightly controversial one here as technically KAIRI hasn't even wrestled on a Stardom show in 2023. But she remains as the representative of the brand in New Japan Pro Wrestling, defeating Tam Nakano at WrestleKingdom to hold onto the IWGP Women's Championship. That title is of course on the line against Mercedes Mone on 18th February, and whatever the result of that titanic encounter it would be good to see Kairi mixing it up on Stardom television a bit more in the coming months.
One half of the Goddesses of Stardom Champions, Nanae Takahashi is on a roll in 2023. Not only does she have 6 wins in 7 matches, but she has also picked up the pinfall in 5 of those 6 wins. She also took some time to show she's still a singles threat by defeating Waka Tsukiyama in January, but it is in the tag and trios division where her dominance is currently on show. That was underlined with the victory over Maika and Himeka on 4th February, and it's currently tricky to see who can take those belts off the Neo Stardom Army.
Yuu has arguably been the more impressive of the Goddesses of Stardom Champions in terms of in-ring performances in 2023. Her power and athleticism make her a fearsome prospect for anyone to face, and it will be very interesting to see if she gets more time in the singles division soon. She only sits below Nanae due to the latter's extra win and impressive number of pinfalls, but don't let that distract you from the fact that Yuu is a powerful presence in Stardom in 2023.
Suzu Suzuki will obviously be disappointed in losing her deeply personal encounter for the Red Belt with Giulia. However it was a performance that should live long in the memory and it will not be the last time the Prominence figurehead is in the mix for top singles titles. In the meantime she is one-third of the Artists of Stardom Champions and even if Prominence aren't able to win the Triangle Derby, they will form a terrifying prospect for whoever does win that tournament. And Suzu Suzuki will be the focal point of that ominous presence.
Ami Sohrei's debut year in Stardom was hugely impressive, and that has continued in 2023. The early disappointment of losing in her bid to unseat Saya Kamitani for the White Belt was quickly swept away as she again successfully defended her Future of Stardom Championship against Mai Sakurai. Ami has also only lost 2 in 11 matches this year and has only been pinned once, so anyone who is looking to prove they are the future of the company is going to have a very tough task unseating Ami Sohrei.
Is Mina Shirakawa still part of Cosmic Angels? Or will Club Venus splinter away from it's parent stable sooner rather than later? The smart money suggests the latter, but whilst that story plays out Mina and Co are picking up a decent number of wins in the Triangle Derby. Even if Club Venus aren't able to lift that particular trophy, it appears that Mina has set her sights on Saya Kamitani and her White Belt. One year ago many wouldn't have given Mina much of a chance of dethroning the champ, but the new hard-hitting Shirakawa is a different prospect and one that Saya would be well-minded not to underestimate.