Within the last year, NXT has signed some of the best female talent in the world. The likes of Kairi Sane, Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai have all been brought in with much fanfare, and for very good reason. Prior to being signed with WWE, many of the competitors in the first two Mae Young Classics were associated most with the Japanese joshi (female wrestling) promotion, World Wonder Ring Stardom, or just Stardom for short.
Out of all the active joshi promotions today, Stardom has managed to become arguably the most well known of them all amongst Western fans, despite only being around for the past eight years. Luckily, for anybody wanting to check out Stardom, or just watching a bit more joshi wrestling in general, this promotion has an accessible streaming service for fans around the world. So if you’re curious about checking out Stardom, here’s all the basics, tips, and important info you need to know about Stardom World.
The Basics of Stardom
- There are seven active championships currently, which is a lot for a company of this size.
- Stardom hosts four tournaments across the year:
– 5 Star Grand Prix: A round-robin style tournament similar to the G1 Climax
– Goddesses of Stardom Tag League: Tag team tournament that is mostly round-robin but has been single-elimination in the past.
– Cinderella Tournament: The winner literally gets to put on a gown and make a wish to challenge for the championship of their choice.
– Rookie of Stardom: Some years this can barely be considered a tournament, yet Stardom does do a good job of spotlighting their younger talents.
- Stardom is split into several factions (although not everyone is in a faction):
– STARS (typical babyface wrestlers)
– Queen’s Quest (Serious and interested solely in the sport of pro wrestling rather than the fun of it)
– Oedo Tai (Lovable heel types that do whatever they want. They can be dangerous or they can be ridiculous, yet they’re always entertaining)
– Jungle Assault Nation (Bundles of energy that are intent on making a name for themselves)
- Many Western talents are brought in to work for Stardom on a regular basis, most notably the likes of Toni Storm, Viper, Kay Lee Ray, and many more.
- Stardom are big on having fun, yet they also do host some fantastic wrestling matches. Regardless of what type of wrestling you enjoy, there should be something on offer for you to enjoy.
Stardom World Price and Payment Info
- Priced at 750 Yen, which works out at less than £6/$7 a month, making it one of the cheaper wrestling streaming services.
- Please note that there is no free trial period available, so you will need to purchase the service in order to watch.
- Like all Japanese subscription services, you are BILLED ON THE 1ST OF EVERY MONTH REGARDLESS OF WHEN YOU SIGN UP – IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON SIGNING UP, DO IT AS CLOSE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH AS POSSIBLE.
- Once you cancel your subscription, you immediately cannot use your account, even if you have weeks left until your next billing date – IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON CANCELLING, DO IT AS CLOSE TO THE END OF THE MONTH AS POSSIBLE.
Why You Should Consider Signing Up
- Some fantastic talents have competed for Stardom over the years, and have produced some really good matches.
- There’s a good mix of ridiculousness and comedy wrestling too.
- It’s a great way of finding out about many of WWE’s current female wrestlers’ careers before reaching the WWE.
- The service is cheap, so if it isn’t for you, you haven’t missed out on much.
- There is some non-wrestling English language content on there involving Western wrestlers.
- Stardom’s production quality is consistently good, and they run shows at some gorgeous, atmospheric buildings, including the legendary Korakuen Hall and Kyoto’s stunning KBS Hall.
Is it Easy to Use and Accessible?
- On the surface it appears to look very simple compared to most streaming service, but it’s one of the easiest Japanese streaming services to navigate for English language fans
- All menu options are in clear English
- Usually quick to upload shows, but each match is uploaded separately
- The vast majority of promos come with English subtitles
- Sadly, there’s no search feature. IF YOU WANT TO FIND A SPECIFIC MATCH, YOU WILL HAVE TO FIND OUT ON WHAT DATE THAT MATCH TOOK PLACE, AND SCROLL THROUGH THE LIST OF SHOWS FROM THE RELEVANT YEAR TO FIND THE SHOW FROM THAT DATE.
- Stardom World can only currently be watched on web browsers, and it may not work with all web browsers (PS4 browser for example has problems playing the videos).
Other Things to Note
- Their social media accounts post a lot of match spoilers, so be aware if you plan on following them.
- There are no live shows, it’s strictly VOD.
- No English commentary is currently available.
- At present, Stardom World does not have a rich archive of past shows, it’s mainly for keeping up to date with current content. They are slowly adding more past shows over time.
- Unlike the likes of DDT Universe and Demand PROGRESS, Stardom World isn’t partnered with any other companies, so it’s strictly Stardom content available on this service.
Recommended Matches with Links
- Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura
- Kagetsu vs. Toni Storm
- Kairi Hojo (Sane) vs. Io Shirai
- Mayu Iwatani vs. Evie
- Bea Priestley vs. Momo Watanabe
- Utami Hyashishita vs. Mayu Iwatani – 5 Star Grand Prix 2018 Finals
- Viper (Piper Niven) vs. Toni Storm
- Kairi Hojo (Sane) and Yoko Bito vs. Kay Lee Ray and Nixon Newell (Tegan Nox)
- Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai
- Jungle Kyona vs Toni Storm
- Kay Lee Ray vs. Viper (Piper Niven)
- Session Moth Martina vs. Io Shirai
- Io Shirai and Tam Nakano vs. Kagetsu and Natsu Sumire – Explosion Deathmatch
- Kris Wolf vs. Mayu Iwatani
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