Despite being a banner year for the promotion, 2021 already feels but a distant memory for Stardom.
One month into 2022 and we find ourselves with a host of new roster members, new champions, and, most importantly of all, new power rankings. These monthly power rankings will be partly based on titles, win/loss records and appearances in title matches and headlining slots. For those nerds who really want to look at such numbers, my rather darling little spreadsheet can be found at Stardom 2022.xlsx
Yet these rankings are not based on science alone my good friends, as wrestling is about gut feeling and personal intuition as much as it is about the numbers, so if you disagree please feel free to let me know. Just don't act like Saki Kashima whilst you're doing it (unless you are in fact Saki Kashima...in which case you can say what you want).
So....on with the show!
Who else could be at number 1 right now? Even in a month where Syuri has technically lost two belts, losing the Goddess tag belts and surrendering the SWA title, she still feels at least one head and a few shoulders ahead of the rest of the field right now. She fairly handily saw off newcomer MIRAI in her first defence of the Red Belt, and few would bet against her holding the World of Stardom Championship for a significant period of time.
It's been a tough month for the woman that Syuri toppled to win that Red Belt. Dealing not only with the loss of that title, but also the treachery of former ally Momo Watanabe, Utami experienced defeat with AZM to Momo and Starlight Kid at the year's first big show. But the lustre of that extraordinary title reign doesn't just vanish into thin air, so for now at least, Utami is still high in these rankings.
Here's a wrestler with a lot on their plate only one month into 2022. Giulia has introduced Thekla and MIRAI into Donna Del Mondo, causing a fair bit of tension in the ranks, and has also gone to a Time Limit Draw in the no.1 contenders match with Mayu Iwatani. How that situation resolves itself is yet to be made clear, but in the meantime, Giulia also seems to have caught the attention of the rogue unit Prominence which promises some fascinating developments in the next month or so.
The Ace of Stardom and heart of the promotion, Mayu Iwatani feels like she's heading back towards the top again. Drawing with Giulia in that no.1 contenders match, Mayu is back in the mix for the Red Belt and has had a great start to the year with 5 wins and 2 draws. She also hasn't seen anyone defect from Stars in at least 2 months, which is a bonus, and the unit as a whole feels significantly stronger now than during the relative misery of 2021.
As with Syuri, Saya Kamitani has been enjoying the first month of her new belt, successfully defending the Wonder of Stardom Championship against Unagi Sayaka. She's had a total of 5 wins and a draw in 2022 so far, so is in great form as she awaits the next challenger for that coveted White Belt.
Who could have foreseen this a few short months ago? Hazuki back in Stardom, back winning matches and back winning titles. Hazuki has the joint best stats for wrestlers who have had more than 5 matches so far in 2022, and in addition to that she and Koguma have both won the Goddess of Stardom Championships against Giulia and Syuri, and also successfully defended them against the other DDM threat of Himeka and Maika. Quite a return I think we can all agree.
Koguma may have spent most of the month trying to turn everyone into a bear, but this hasn't stopped her from partnering Hazuki to that Goddess of Stardom Championship and a first successful defence. She is just shunted into 7th place by her partner's superior overall record, but Koguma is on the rise.
A new face to many Stardom fans, but what an impact Thekla has made in her first month. Equalling Hazuki with the best record so far in 2022, Thekla underlined her credentials by defeating Mina Shirakawa to take the vacant SWA Championship. On top of that she's been in three headline spots already this year, and was on the winning side in all of those matches. And finally...that spider walk is awesome.
Another new entry to this list and MIRAI didn't waste any time in setting her sights at the top of the card. A lack of Stardom experience and the fact the belt was held by her stable-mate didn't stop MIRAI immediately going after Syuri's Red Belt. Whilst she was unsuccessful, MIRAI has had a great start to 2022 losing only 1 of 9 matches and featuring in 5 main event slots. Clearly a wrestler to keep an eye on.
It was very tight between Himeka and her DDM partner Maika but a slightly better win percentage gave the Jumbo Princess the final slot on our list. Himeka did fail in her bid with Maika to get the Goddess of Stardom titles back, but I suspect that her menacing gaze may soon be drifting towards the singles belts, and that likely spells bad news for whoever is holding them at the time.