On July 24th, Stardom will be holding a big show in Nayoga. The main event will feature the World of Stardom champion (Red Belt), the ACE of Stardom, Mayu Iwatani defending the her Red Belt against hometown challenger Jungle Kyona. This matchup was supposed to happen earlier this year, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The buildup for this match is everything that you want in a World Title match. You got an ACE of a company who has been a special champion and proven to be hard to beat. Then you have a the challenger who has great spirit, but have had the knack of not winning the big match. Here is my quick preview and thoughts on the two individuals in this ultimate showdown.
Champion Mayu Iwatani – Accomplishments (2x World of Stardom champion, 2x Wonder of Stardom champion, 5x Artist of Stardom champion, 2x Goddess of Stardom champion, 1x High Speed champion, 1x ROH Women of Honor champion, 2018 5*Grand Prix, 2016 Cinderella, 2015 Goddesses of Stardom Tag League and 2015 Cinderella Champions Fiesta). Mayu Iwatani is the first person that comes to mind when you think about the Stardom roster currently. She has accomplished everything there is in Stardom. The ACE of Stardom title does belong to Mayu and she has held that for a while now. Her current Red Belt title run has been great, defending it twice defeating Kagestu and Momo Watanabe. Mayu looks to add to her title run by defeating hometown favorite Jungle Kyona.
Mayu will not be the favorite by fans to win the upcoming match against Jungle Kyona but make no mistake, Mayu should be the favorite. She is very much battle tested in Red Belt title matches with 13 matches holding a record of (6-7). Mayu learned how to become a champion and fight on the big stage at in early age going against the best of the best for the Red Belt championship early in her career. She lost to legends like Meiko Setomura, Kairi Hojo, Io Shirai. That type of early experience in title matches has made her the dangerous badass she is now. She hold Red Belt victories against Io Shirai, Yoko Bito, Kagestu 2x. Right now for Mayu is just legacy building, looking to collect championship victories in her 2nd Red Belt title reign to become the greatest Stardom wrestler ever.
If Mayu is successful what’s next for Mayu is a great question. There is a certain woman who let it be known that she wants Mayu to retain against Jungle Kyona because she wants to take away the Red Belt title for her. Her name is Momo Watanabe. Momo who lost earlier this year to Mayu in a spectacular match wants revenge. Mayu is the best and Momo wants to beat the best to become the best. Could this be what’s next for Mayu if she retains against Jungle Kyona. What about another match with Takumi Iroha who defeated Mayu in a special match earlier this year. Mayu previously said she wants to put the Red Belt against Iroha in the future.
Challenger Jungle Kyona – Accomplishments (3x Artist of Stardom champion and 3x Goddess of Stardom champion) Jungle Kyona who is highly spirited, has great charisma and is hungry to become Red Belt will have a great opportunity to do so in her hometown of Nagoya. Jungle Kyona is the exact opposite of Mayu Iwatani. She is known to be someone who puts on great matches but can never get the job done in big singles title matches. Kyona has a record of (0-1) in Red Belt matches and (0-5) in White Belt matches.
Jungle Kyona going into this match will have the support of the fans. The fans know her story about her not doing well in singles title matches. She is one of the most important figures in Stardom. Winning the Red Belt would be the ultimate dream for Kyona and it would put an end of her not winning big matches. The victory would also be in honor of her good friend and stablemate Hana Kimura who passed away in May. Jungle Kyona deep motivation and focus for this match will give her the best chance she has ever had to win her first singles title and it would be the big one the Red Belt.
If Jungle Kyona wins the Red Belt what’s next. Now it’s gets interesting because there will be brand new Red Belt matches we can see. Momo Watanabe again would the first person who comes to mind because she is gunning for the Red Belt. Although Momo would rather take the Red Belt from Mayu, she wouldn’t have no issues beating Jungle Kyona for it. Syuri, is another one i can see get the first crack at Jungle Kyona. Natsuko Tora is someone who is trying to prove she is a main event player could make a play as Jungle Kyona first title defense. What about her rival Utami. Jungle Kyona vs Utami for the Red Belt sounds good to me.
My prediction for this upcoming showdown is that as much as i want Jungle Kyona to win this match, and it would be an amazing ending to a journey to become Red Belt champion. I’m going with the champ Mayu Iwatani to retain in a classic hard fought match. I think Mayu isn’t ready to let go of the Red Belt and she is chasing history to became the greatest wrestler in Stardom history.