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Wrestling's Greatest Rivalries #1 Mayu Iwatani vs Io Shirai

2020 has been an odd year for me. From the lowest of lows in a tricky headspace in the middle of lockdown consuming videos of American police deal with protestors in horror. To the highest of highs, getting pregnant and beginning to truly appreciate the strides i've made with my own mental health.

In terms of wrestling, AEW has been a wonderful weekly tonic, NXT has completely fallen out of my weekly rotation and NJPW has flirted with turning into the WWE of Japan in terms of screwy finishes. Then there is Stardom, the wonderful, cheery and high-quality newcomer to my wrestling sphere!

Just like when I started with NJPW, I went back and sought out a series of matches that would add to my understanding of the promotion. My Cagematch investigation pointed me firmly in the direction of the Okada/Tanahashi-esque Mayu Iwantani/Io Shirai series.

Familiar with both competitors due to a few Iwatani matches in my initial exploration of modern day Stardom and Io Shirai's work in NXT, I was still surprised by the quality of the matches I watched. Below you will find match statistics and analysis for all 5 singles matches int he Iwatani/Shirai anthology.

1st Meeting - 5 Star G1 2015

Io Shirai 0-0 Mayu Iwatani

2nd Meeting - May Gold 2016

Io Shirai 1-0 Mayu Iwatani

3rd Meeting - End of Year Climax 2016

Io Shirai 2-0 Mayu Iwatani

4th Meeting - Korakuen 2017

Io Shirai 2-1 Mayu Iwatani

5th Meeting - Cinderella 2018

Io Shirai 2-1 Mayu Iwatani


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