PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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Stardom announced today the full list of participants for this year’s 5Star Grand Prix.
The annual round robin tournament has taken place every August through September since 2012. Wrestlers are divided into a Red Stars block and a Blue Stars block for matches with 15-minute time limits. The two finalists in each block then face off in one final singles match to conclude the Grand Prix with the winner receiving a match for the World Of Stardom Championship later in the year.
This year’s Grand Prix will consist of twelve shows running from August 17 to September 22 and is the largest ever at 18 participants. (The first four years featured 12 wrestlers while the last two installments featured 16.) The list of past winners boasts Yuzuki Aikawa, Nanae Takahashi, Io Shirai, Kairi Sane, Yoko Bito, Toni Storm, and Mayu Iwatani.
Blocks and matches have not been announced yet but the full list of competitors is as follows.
representing Oedo Tai
• Hazuki – current High Speed Champion
• Natsu Sumire
• Natsuko Tora
• Andras Miyagi – Grand Prix debut
• Jamie Hayter
• Mayu Iwatani – 2018 Grand Prix winner
• Arisa Hoshiki – Wonder Of Stardom Champion, Grand Prix debut
• Tam Nakano
• Saki Kashima
representing Queen’s Quest
• Bea Priestley – World Of Stardom Champion, Grand Prix debut
• Momo Watanabe – Goddess Of Stardom Champion
• Utami Hayashishita – Goddess Of Stardom, SWA World, & Future Of Stardom Champion, 2018 Grand Prix finalist
representing Tokyo Cyber Squad
• Hana Kimura – Artist Of Stardom Champion
• Jungle Kyona – Artist Of Stardom Champion
• Konami – Artist Of Stardom Champion
• Kasey Owens – Irish wrestler who previously competed in Stardom fall 2016 with her twin sister Leah, Grand Prix debut
• Avary – Australian wrestler who has never competed in Stardom, Grand Prix debut
The biggest names on the roster not to be included in the tournament are Starlight Kid and AZM. While both are still often considered members of the junior class they also regularly compete against the older wrestlers who are participating in the Grand Prix and Starlight Kid is second only to Konami in terms of most matches wrestled for Stardom in 2019 at 46.
(Pageot’s Perspective: If you’ve been intrigued by the work of Kairi Sane and Io Shirai in NXT, Mayu Iwatani in ROH, or Toni Storm, Piper Niven, Xia Brookside, and Jazzy Gabert in NXT UK this tournament marks a great entry point for jumping into Stardom. A subscription to their Stardom World streaming service costs you only $8.50 American per month and includes every event with English subtitles usually posted only a couple days after they occur live. I’ll have a more in-depth look at all of the competitors as we draw closer to the August 17 kickoff.)