Fightful Joshi Journal (8/3/22) | 5STAR Begins, Hikaru Shida vs. Ibuki Hoshi, And More

Some of the best Joshi wrestlers in the world can be seen in some of the biggest promotions in the world each and every week. IYO SKY (formerly Io Shirai) just made her WWE main roster debut at SummerSlam and wrestled Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair on Monday Night Raw days later. Hikaru Shida and Emi Sakura were on opposite teams on Monday's episode of AEW Dark: Elevation. Miyu Yamashita challenged Thunder Rosa for the AEW Women's World Championship a week ago at Fight for the Fallen. Joshi wrestlers are some of the most talented in the world and they are shining more and more in the United States.

That said, they are shining each and every weekend in Japan. STARDOM is leading the way in popularizing Joshi once again, trying to follow the footsteps of AJW back in the 1980s and 90s when the style was at its most popular. In an effort to spread what is some of the best professional wrestling in the world, Fightful has decided to start a weekly Fightful Joshi Journal with this being the first edition. It provides an opportunity to highlight the best of the best from the style of Joshi in the biggest of promotions (STARDOM) to the promotions on the indies doing what they can to contribute to the surge in popularity of the style. Let's get started.

Kenny Omega Addresses The Crowd After Return On 8/17 AEW Dynamite

STARDOM's 5STAR Grand Prix began this past Saturday with a two-night opening weekend showcasing the best of the best in the world of Joshi. Day 1 will go down as one of the strongest shows of the year inside the ring as the show was headlined by Hazuki vs. Giulia in the main event. With a 15-minute time limit, the rivals maximized their minutes by showcasing how much disdain they had for one another while also showing how much they wanted to open their tournaments with a victory. It was Hazuki's finishing sequence of a gnarly headbutt, Michinoku Driver II, and her signature Vertical Drop Brainbuster that put out the tournament-favorite Giulia and saw Hazuki, who was competing in her first 5STAR Grand Prix since 2019, get the win. The battle between these two exhibited (1) why the 5STAR Grand Prix has become one of the premier wrestling tournaments and (2) what makes Joshi special.

Day 2 provided just as much of a punch in the main event as the highly-anticipated rematch between Syuri and Utami Hayashishita stole the show. The reason it stole the show wasn't that it reached the critically-acclaimed marks it did in their first championship matchup in 2021 but because Hayashishita was finally able to defeat Syuri for the first time in her career. Utilizing her signature BT Bomb, Hayashishita pinned the World of Stardom Champion in the middle of the ring to show the reminder of the field that she's back in business. The win also highlighed how good Syuri has been in her STARDOM career, as this loss to Hayashishita was only her seventh singles loss overall since joining the company in 2020.

The other major stories outside of the two main events include KAIRI officially challenge Saya Kamitani for a Wonder of Stardom Championship match and Nanae Takahashi, the inaugural World of Stardom Champion, challenged Syuri for a title match. Both have been announced for the STARDOM x STARDOM show on August 21.

And finally, MIRAI defeated both Mayu Iwatani and Giulia in her first two matches of the 5STAR Grand Prix to give her the lead in the Blue Stars Block with four points. Risa Sera did the same in the Red Stars Block.

Here are the complete standings through two days of the 5STAR Grand Prix, courtesy of STARDOM's English Twitter account.

Ice Ribbon held its Summer Jumbo Ribbon 2022 show from Korakuen Hall on Sunday and it featured three major matches that continue to shape the new era of the promotion. The main match to follow was the one between former AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida and arguably Ice Ribbon's best young star, Ibuki Hoshi. This was as much of a "prove it" match for Hoshi as any match she's had before. She's challenged for the ICExInfinity Championship before against both Tsukasa Fujimoto and Tsukushi Haruka over the last year. Hoshi even teamed with Fujimoto against Shida and Arisa Nakajima at Yokohama Budokan II earlier this year but this match was the one where she had to show what she was made of. Oh, and Shida knew that going in.

There was nothing held back by Shida. She was going to do everything in her power to make sure Hoshi earned it. If you've seen Hoshi before, her offense is physical and many times devastating as she has some of the hardest hitting chops in wrestling. Still only 19, her whole career is still in front of her but with Ice Ribbon needing her, she's taking the step up now. Hoshi was defeated by Shida in the end but showed the heart and fight that forced Shida to take notice. So much so that she'd want to team with Hoshi to challenge for the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship. This all leads to the main event.

In the main event of Summer Jumbo Ribbon 2022, Makoto and Hamuko Hoshi defeated Totoro Satsuki and Yuna Manase to become the new tag team champions. A major shift (and good match) as they'll now play their part in helping craft the new era of Ice Ribbon with gold around their waists. As noted before, Shida and Hoshi would lay down the challenge to the new champions for a future title match down the line, creating an interesting dynamic but an opportunity for Ibuki Hoshi to learn from and develop with the guidance of Shida.

And finally, the ICExInfinity Championship number one contender's match between Maika Ozaki and Asahi really flashed the future of Ice Ribbon and where it is going. Ozaki was able to earn herself a shot at Saori Anou and the ICExInfinity Championship, marking her second challenge this year, but it was Asahi who stood out the most in defeat. The 19-year-old has become a star in the making when Ice Ribbon has needed her to.

Asahi exhibits the personality and style in the ring to get fans behind her no matter who she is facing. She already has a special quality about her as a wrestler that you can't teach. Fans want to see her succeed. They want to cheer her on. It's what makes a good wrestler become a great wrestler. The day Asahi wins the ICExInfinity Championship will be extra special because of it. The eventual ascent to the top of Ice Ribbon is taking longer than she may be hoping for but it's one Joshi fans should be following. Still so early in her career, make sure to remember Asahi's name as she continues to improve and get better.

Full results from the show are below.

ICE RIBBON Summer Jumbo Ribbon 2022 (7/31/22)

  • Nao Ishikawa & Saran def. Kiku & Yuko Sakurai
  • Tae Honma def. Kyuri
  • Dalys & Stephanie Vaquer def. Hikari Shimizu & Kaho Matsushita
  • KISSmeT PRINCESS (Amin & Misa Kagura) def. Ram Kaicho & Sumika Yanagawa
  • ICExInfinity Title No. 1 Contendership: Maika Ozaki def. Asahi
  • Hikaru Shida def. Ibuki Hoshi
  • International Ribbon Tag Team Championship: Hamuko Hoshi & Makoto def. BIG DEKAI (Totoro Satsuki & Yuna Manase) (c) to crown new champions

TJPW has found the semifinals for the Tokyo Princess Cup as Sunday's event saw two major upsets happen with Suzume defeating former Princess of Princess Champion Rika Tatsumi and Miu Watanabe beating current Princess of Princess Champion Shoko Nakajima in the main event. Miyu Yamashita and Yuka Sakazaki also found their way into the semifinals.

Here are the full results of the show.

TJPW Tokyo Princess Cup Day 5 (7/31/22)

  • Arisu Endo & Maki Itoh def. Juria Nagano & Moka Miyamoto
  • Yuki Kamifuku def. Haruna Neko and Mizuki
  • Pom Harajuku, Raku & Yuki Arai def. Hyper Misao, Kaya Toribami & Mahiro Kiryu
  • Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 Quarter Final: Suzume def. Rika Tatsumi
  • Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 Quarter Final: Miyu Yamashita def. Nao Kakuta
  • Tokyo Princess Cup 20222 Quarter Final: Yuka Sakazaki def. Hikari Noa
  • Tokyo Princess Cup 2022 Quarter Final: Miu Watanabe def. Shoko Nakajima

Matches Worth Checking Out (8/2/22)


    • Maika vs. Risa Sera
    • Syuri vs. AZM
    • KAIRI & Nanae Takahashi vs. Saya Kamitani & Lady C
    • Mayu Iwatani vs. MIRAI
    • Utami Hayashishita vs. Himeka
    • Giulia vs. Hazuki


    • Maika Ozaki vs. Asahi
    • Hikaru Shida vs. Ibuki Hoshi
    • Saya Kamitani vs. Starlight Kid
    • Syuri vs. Utami Hayashishita

Other notable Joshi results from the weekend:

OZ Academy Battle Big Bonus In Nagoya (7/31/22)

  • Yuko Miyamoto def. Yuu
  • OZ Academy Tag Team Title No. 1 Contendership Tournament First Round: Ryo Mizunami & Sonoko Kato def. Itsuki Aoki & Tsubasa Kuragaki
  • OZ Academy Pioneer Championship: AKINO def. Mask Do Hanahana (c) and Momoka Hanazono to crown a new champion
  • Ozaki-gun (Maya Yukihi, Mayumi Ozaki & Saori Anou) def. Beast Friend (Aja Kong, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Kaori Yoneyama) in a Best Two-Out-Of-Three Falls Match

You can check out the latest episode of the Joshi Dream Cast here.

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