On January 3rd, 2018, I attended my first World Wonder Ring Stardom event at 1st Ring in Shinkiba, Tokyo, Japan. It was the second joshi puroresu event in my Japan trip and my third puroresu event overall. This event drew a lot of people because a lot of people were in town for NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 and wanted to check out other wrestling organizations that benefitted for having a large scale event in Tokyo. In this case, a ton of people from all over the world came through to see what Stardom is all about.
Unlike Big Japan Pro Wrestling and Ice Ribbon, I was a little bit more familiar with the roster. Attending independent wrestling shows really helped as some of the talent do wrestle on some independent shows. Some of them also wrestled in WWE’s Mae Young Classic tournament which helped in getting more familiar with the roster. I already knew about Kairi Hojo (Kairi Sane in WWE), and I knew Io Shirai is one of the best wrestlers in the world, not just for women.
This was actually one of the events I really wanted to attend months in advance after doing some research online. I took the time to get familiar with names, rivalries, stables, history and more. I was able to narrow down my favorites in no time and made it my mission to meet at least one or two of them primarily Tam Nakano.
I had previously attended Japanese pro wrestling shows days prior at Korakuen Hall. This time, the event was held at 1st Ring which is a wrestling specific venue. It was my first time there. It’s a smaller venue, but I loved the venue. There was plenty of space to place banners of pretty much the entire rosters. Everyone is closer to the action, and there wasn’t a bad seat in the house even the standing room area.
The event was filled to capacity which was great news. Once the show started, the audience was treated to a dance performance as an intro. I was already hooked as I had never seen anything like it. Afterwards, we got the introduction to the entire roster that was there. There were representatives there from places like Japan, United States, and Europe.
The crazy thing about this show was the ages of some of the wrestlers. In a lot of men’s organizations, you have people wrestling from their 20’s all the way to their 50’s. In this one, there were wrestlers as young as 15 possibly younger to ones in their 30’s. At age 15, I was playing sports against kids the same age as me. These gals were combating against some of the best women in the world.
This also marked an important event as the participants from Stardom were announced for the Women of Honor championship hosted by Ring of Honor. It was cool to be a part of a historical moment.
The main event was complete mayhem. It pitted the two biggest factions against each other in a four on four match with Queen’s Quest vs Oedo Tai. After seeing the dance intro for Oedo Tai, I had no problem with my allegiance towards them as it was something I had never seen before too. They also had Tam Nakano who quickly became my favorite.
After the match, announcements were made for future events, but for me, it meant going to the merchandise area along with the meet and greet. Obviously, I purchased the opportunity to get a picture with Tam Nakano, and I also bought a print for her to sign. She was super nice and was able to chat with folks including myself that paid to meet her especially since everyone had to brave the cold. I told her I came from the United States and was happy to meet her which she was happy that I came too. She noticed that my name was almost familiar as her so she dubbed us as “Tim Tam” which really made my night. I never had a fan interaction like that at any wrestling event.
I noticed a lot of interactions with other people with the other stars too. They all went through what I went through. The fans were happy to meet their favorite stars while the stars were happy to meet the fans. The domestic talent were extremely happy that the international fans came out in numbers to see them. The language barrier didn’t stop any interaction and communication. Merchandise was being bought out and everyone got to meet their favorites despite the inclement weather.
I honestly had more fun at this wrestling event than any other one I’ve ever gone to and that includes both Wrestlemania and Wrestle Kingdom. Stars that didn’t perform on this show included Toni Storm, Viper, and Mayu Iwatani. I really want to come back next time to see them perform. I really love the atmosphere no Stardom. Even Rossi (the person in charge of Stardom) came out to meet the attendees. The fans were really respectful and everyone did a great job to put on fantastic matches.
Written by: Timtastic