Somehow we are already into March 2022 (damn you time you cruel cruel mistress) so that means it's time to look at the Stardom Power Rankings for 2022.
These rankings are based on both my collected statistics for 2022 so far, available at Stardom 2022.xlsx but also on my own personal, and extremely correct, feelings about who is on the rise in Stardom right now. For a few snapshots of the important statistics that have helped me compile this list, keep an eye out for a companion piece coming soon to a PWM near you.
A quick word on three women who didn't make the top 10 this month as I know people will jump all over it...also I haven't included KAIRI yet even though I really really wanted to.
Utami Hayashashita - Utami remains one of the faces of Stardom, but at the moment she's going through that post-title reign humdrum period that means she's not on the list this month. Surely she'll be back soon though.
Starlight Kid - She's probably one of the most entertaining people in Stardom right now, and her match against AZM deserves to be in Match of the Year lists long after this month. Yet a poor win/loss record coupled with her losing her High Speed Championship means that SLK misses out again.
Momo Watanabe - Momo hasn't been pinned since joining Oedo Tai, and February was a much better month for her in terms of wins and losses. However she still just misses out due to some excellent records elsewhere. The Black Peach does seem to be finally moving in the right direction though.
Right...enough about those who didn't make the top 10...let's get into those that did.
It's been an odd month for the World of Stardom Champion. The Red Belt itself has taken a back-seat to pretty much everything else in Stardom, including Syuri's own role in the feud between Giulia/DDM and Prominence. She's also been involved in 5 draws in February, which is less than ideal for your main champion. Yet Syuri still clearly sits at the top of the tree in Stardom and with matches against both Giulia and Mayu Iwatani to come for that coveted title, perhaps it's best that Syuri had a relatively quiet month.
Put simply, Hazuki is on absolute fire at the moment. She may not currently be in the picture for the main singles belts, but one half of the Goddess of Stardom Champions simply has too many stats supporting her to be any lower than number 2 on our rankings. She has the best win percentage of anyone in 2022, as well as the most total wins. In addition she has recorded 7 pinfalls in her 18 matches, and is yet to be pinned herself in 2022. On top of that Hazuki and Koguma comprehensively held their tag-titles at Stardom Cinderella Journey and a big confrontation with Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid awaits.
January was a very busy month for the de-facto leader of Donna Del Mondo, and things have not quietened down for Giulia since. She is preparing to face stablemate Syuri (or potentially Mayu Iwatani) for the Red Belt in March. She successfully poached Mai Sakurai from under the noses of Cosmic Angels. And she's also managing a pretty brutal reunion with the members of Prominence, which seems set to be part of Giulia's long-term concerns. Finally, Giulia has also main-evented more shows than anyone else so far in 2022, and I wouldn't bet against her being at least a step higher on these rankings come the end of March.
Mayu's win/loss statistics are actually better than Giulia's so far in 2022, bolstered by 5 wins in the month of January. Remarkably though, Mayu is one of only 4 regular roster members (along with Fukigen Death, Hanan and Momo Kohgo) not to headline a show yet in 2022, and that speaks to a relatively low-key run for the Ace of Stardom. She remains joint number 1 contender for the Red Belt though and also, let's face it, she's bloody Mayu Iwatani!
A superb defence of her Wonder of Stardom Championship against Natsupoi at Cinderella Journey sees Saya Kamitani flying into March with a lot to look forward to. She may have bitten off more than she can chew however with her nomination of both Tam Nakano and Utami to face at Ryogoku days 1 and 2. If the White Belt holder can come out of those two bruising encounters with her belt still intact, you'd have to think she'd be starting to think about moving up to Red Belt contention.
Technically Koguma could head this list as having brainwashed everyone in Stardom with her nefarious bear antics, she can presumably now beat anyone she wants. Even without ursine voodoo however Koguma is having a great 2022. Not only is she Goddess of Stardom champ with Hazuki, but she also boasts a 60%+ win percentage and has more pinfalls than anyone else in Stardom this year. Unlike her partner however, Koguma has taken a couple of falls herself this month so that's why she has to make do with 6th this month.
An absolute breath of fresh air to a roster that hasn't been able to recruit Gaijin stars during the pandemic, Thekla already feels like a superstar. February saw her building on this early promise with her first defence of the SWA belt and playing her part in DDM's first skirmishes with Prominence. She has started to experience a few defeats and pinfalls recently, but this doesn't feel like it has derailed what has been a massively impressive start to Thekla's time in Stardom.
First of all AZM deserves massive credit for being part of a match with Starlight Kid that I expect to see on Match of the Year lists when we get to December. It was a brilliant, high-octane, technical and brutal example of what the High Speed division can deliver, and it feels right that AZM is once again the standard bearer. Where does she go from here though? Her record in 2022 hasn't been superb so far, but with the High Speed belt back around her waist it feels as if big things could be coming for AZM.
Only Hazuki boasts a better winning percentage than Himeka so far in 2022 and it feels like a matter of time before that is converted into more title opportunities for the Jumbo Princess. Already one third of the Artist of Stardom champs, Himeka has also been on the winning side in all 4 main event appearances so far in 2022. Is she a contender for the upcoming Cinderella Tournament? I dare you to tell her no.
Maika is just edged into 10th by Himeka's slightly better statistics, but otherwise she is on as much of a tear as her DDM and Artist of Stardom cohort. Maika has already had Red Belt opportunities in the past and has also beaten some of the top stars in her relatively short time in Stardom, but as with Himeka she will go into the rest of 2022 looking for much more and she feels like a very real contender for at least the White Belt some time this year,