The following is a translation 5★STAR GP2023 press conference courtesy of Stardom
A press conference was held on June 26th, where the outline for the upcoming '5★STAR GP2023' that kicks off on July 23rd in Ota Ward was announced, and the participating wrestlers expressed their determination.
Detailed Report of the Press Conference
Rossy Ogawa, Executive Producer
"Since its inception in 2012, the 5★STAR GP is now in its twelfth year. This year, we've whittled down the roster from last year's 26 wrestlers to an even more select group of 20 who will participate in the league matches. Over the course of approximately two months, fierce battles for stardom will take place across the country. During this time, there will also be big matches at venues like the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, Ota Ward Gymnasium, and Yokohama Budokan. So please, don't miss a single moment. We appreciate your support."
When all wrestlers were called up on stage, Natsuko Toura kicked a chair and lunged at Utami Hayashishita as her name was called.
Hanan: "As a high school graduate, my theme for this year is to act vigorously like a young lion. I want to establish myself as a Young Lioness during this 5★STAR GP. I wish to claim the star I won in the Rumble in the 5★STAR GP as well. Thank you for your support."
Mariah May: "Hi, I'm Mariah May, the fighting princess, and the goddess of stardom champion. Thanks, Mina., thank you very much. So I was the very last pick to be in this tournament, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Because when everyone bets against me and writes me off, that's when I'm at my very best. That's why I'm in stardom. That's why I'm a champion. I'm the future foreign ace for a reason. And just like Tony Storm, I'm going to win the five star. Hi, Azumi. Hi. Well, she's a prodigy. That's true. And everyone talks about high speed. But whilst her little legs are working so hard to cross the ring, it takes her, what, 15 steps? I could do it in four. Thank you"
Mina Shirakawa: "I am Mina Shirakawa, the 28th Goddess of Stardom Champion. I won't break, I won't give up, I won't be crushed. Yesterday, I was very happy to bring this Goddess belt back to Club Venus, and my team members were all smiles. However, as an individual, I can't forget the frustration of losing the double crown match. Since that day, the red belt has come into my view. I decided to aim for the red belt with renewed determination. What do you think, Tam, about my red dress?"
Tam Nakano: "It's cute."
Shirakawa: "Isn't it? That's right, it's cute. That's why I want to go get a red belt that matches this red dress. Or rather, I am going to take the red belt from Tam Nakano. That's why I am in the 5★STAR GP. My first match is with Utami Hayashishita, who is known for the red belt. Everyone seemed to be in a bad mood earlier, but well, the season has come. Since my first match is with the champion of the red belt, I was so excited that I ended up drawing a picture of Utami-chan. Can I get a score for it? It would be better if you laughed a bit. How many points? Four points? Where do you give me these four points? The color? So you're observing properly, I see. Maika gives zero points? It's nowhere near enough. It doesn't look like her? I think it looks just like her. You haven't thrown your usual insults yet. I think that's a bit of an oversight on my part, so I'd like to cram in as many insults as I can before the opening match. Thank you for your support. Thank you very much."
AZM: "I'm AZM from Queen's Quest. This is my fifth time participating for five consecutive years. I have won awards for four years in a row, yet I haven't been able to claim a victory. But then again, I think I might be the only one who has received awards for four years in a row. Also, as the record holder for the most High-Speed defenses, my confidence has grown significantly over these past four years. I intend to turn this confidence into certainty. And, I would love to keep the promise I made with Tam-chan by winning."
MIRAI: "I'm MIRAI, the new combat princess of God's Eye, and the two-time winner of the Cinderella Tournament, the Real Cinderella. Last year at the 5★STAR GP press conference, I set my goal for a spring-summer victory, which sadly fell through. But now, as a two-time champion, the chance for a spring-summer victory is solely mine. Therefore, this year, I aspire to achieve a spring-summer victory. Upon accomplishing this, I intend to have a single title match at the 2024 New Japan Pro-Wrestling event on January 4th at the Tokyo Dome. Please look forward to the summer of 2023, which will be devoted to MIRAI's wrestling!"
Momo Watanabe: "After what happened yesterday, I'm really pissed off. I have nothing to say to such shitty viewers in such a place."
Saori Anou: "I am the absolute resilient girl, Saori Anou, participating in the 5★STAR GP for the first time. I've watched the 5★STAR for years. My team is Blue Stars. The members are the masculine, fervent Utami Hayashishita. Maika, who has a good atmosphere. Momo Watanabe, who seems really wicked. Intriguing MIRAI. I get to fight here with my senior, AZM. ... (Mina: "Got nothing, huh?") The straightforward idiot, leg-attacking zombie, Mina Shirakawa. The real Barbie, Mariah. I wonder if Hanan remembers me. And the opening fight, I really wanted to mess it up with Giulia, the person I wanted to become. I'm going to fight with all these people? I am going to fight these people? This is the 5★STAR. Absolutely fantastic. I will win."
Maika: "I'm Maika from Donna del Mondo. I will definitely win this year's 5★STAR. And then, I will challenge Tam Nakano for the red belt and become the champion. Then furthermore, I will challenge for the IWGP Women's belt and become a double champion. And then yet again, I want to have a singles match with the top male competitor. Do you think it's impossible? But, I believe that dreams don't come true unless spoken about, so I will definitely make it happen. This year, no, starting from this year, I want to make it my year."
Utami Hayashishita: "I am Utami Hayashishita, the leader of Queen's Quest. Over the past few years, my goal in the 5★STAR Grand Prix has always been to deliver the best summer to all of you. However, this year, I want the 5★STAR to be for me. In the same 'Blue' block, there are many who I'll be facing for the first time in a singles match or are from the same faction. But, I'll prevail, regardless of who ascends from the other side. In 2023, the champion will be Utami Hayashishita."
Giulia: "Good day to all those watching the broadcast. We've come to my favorite season of the year. Why, you might ask? Above all else, I hold single matches in professional wrestling most dear. In other words, I love this season. In this year's block, there are three people who I will be facing for the first time in a single's match despite being in Stardom for four years—Mariah May, AZM, and Utami. An unknown entity, truly. I've only ever faced them in tag matches. I see it as a golden opportunity to thoroughly savor these matches. I will definitely secure my victories, starting from the opening match. The single match I most desired, an exquisite encounter against Saori Anou. This time, allow me to say it: I'll be counting on you to help shine a light on Giulia. The first-ever back-to-back 5★STAR Grand Prix champion will be Giulia."
Ami Sohrei: "I'm Ami Sohrei, the Big Girl chosen by God's Eye. Last year, I earned my spot in the 5★STAR GP through qualifiers, but this year, I've directly secured my spot. I believe this shows that I am gradually being recognized by Stardom. Just yesterday, I lost the Goddess of Stardom belt, so I no longer have anything to protect. However, I've set a new goal for myself - I want to claim the red belt. To achieve this, I intend to win the 5★STAR GP. While I've improved my skills as a tag team in the Goddess of Stardom, this summer, I aim to become even stronger as a single player. My first match is against Natsuko Toura. It seems she's still hot-headed from our match yesterday, but I'm determined to defeat her in the opening battle and make a strong start."
Natsuko Toura: "Enough with all the chatter, you lot! Stop using my name, you bastards! Hey Utami, don't you dare make ambiguous speeches. You don't know who's going to make it to the finals? It's going to be me you'll be fighting, idiot! This time it won't just end with blood, you'll see!"
Hazuki: "I'm Hazuki from STARS. My first match this year is against Mayu Iwatani from the same faction. She couldn't make it today, but she tends to lose the opening match of the 5★STAR GP. So, I feel bad for Mayu, but I'll beat her in the opening match and aim for a perfect victory this year. Last year, I won 7 matches and lost 5, but this year I'm planning on a perfect victory and want to win the 5★STAR GP. Thank you."
Natsupoi: "Hello, it's me, Natsupoi...Natsupoi! This 5★STAR GP is a story about me, Natsupoi. What does 'the strongest' mean? This summer, I'll overcome various challenges and discover what 'the strongest' truly is. I'll start by crushing Saori Anou, then fight the monstrous women of the pro-wrestling world, and finally take on all the strongest wrestlers in Stardom. Natsupoi will become the strongest in Stardom! I'm sure there's a wonderful reward waiting for me, including the victory of this 5★STAR GP. Natsupoi will do her best! Bye-Poi!"
Starlight Kid: "A press conference the day after our match, really? I've got a lot of pent-up frustration. The first match? Natsupoi. What's this story about Natsupoi, shut up. Our single record stands at 2 wins, 2 losses, and 2 draws. I'll finish you off in this year's 5★STAR GP with my Eternal Foe move. Your story ends there. Now, for the Red Stars, there's a lot of us who consciously don't want to lose. And some of us must start winning. Also, the first single match against Natsuko, a fellow faction member, is extremely important to me. That's why, from this week's match against Nanae Takahashi to the final of the 5★STAR GP, I want to experience the most intense fights this summer. In order to finally claim a single's belt, I'll give it my all. So, look forward to it."
Suzu Suzuki: "This is my second time participating in the 5★STAR tournament, and my first match is against Syuri. Well, she doesn't seem to be here today, but we have been adversaries in a generational feud. However, this time it's a one-on-one fight. I absolutely love singles matches. They allow me to understand everything, absolutely everything, about my opponent. Then, we can definitively decide who is stronger. There's no doubt that the winner of this 5★STAR tournament will be Suzu Suzuki. Do you all remember why I came to Stardom? To claim all the best, and become the face of the professional wrestling world. This summer, Suzu Suzuki will make good on her words."
Syuri: "(Video Message) I am Syuri, a woman whose prowess transcends global standards. I'm supposed to be at today's conference, but due to my commitments to the movie 'Runaway Wrestler,' I can't participate in person and am sending this video instead. I aim to win the 5★STAR GP 2023, as there is a championship belt I wish to challenge for. In 2022, I held the red belt for a year and received the Women's Professional Wrestling Grand Prize. For my new goal, I will demonstrate results in the 5★STAR GP 2023 through my evolution and an even greater stage. I look forward to an exciting fight with Suzu Suzuki in the opening match."
Saya Kamitani: "I am Saya Kamitani of Queen's Quest, the Golden Phoenix. My first match has been decided against Tam Nakano, the champion of both the white and red belts. I am truly grateful for such a golden opportunity. Whether it was when I started as an idol, or when I wore the white belt, Tam Nakano is always there ahead of me. It's the same with the red belt. Through generational fights and daily struggles, I have found a new goal - to wear this red belt. Although it's a given that I plan to conquer the 5★STAR GP, I believe the first match against Tam Nakano will be a crucial one. I will definitely defeat her."
Mayu Iwatani: (Absent from the conference)
Tam Nakano: "Hello everyone in the universe, I am Tam Nakano, the world's cutest idol wrestler, and the double champion of World of Stardom and Wonder of Stardom. Ah, what a spectacular sight. Having heard the fervor of these twenty women and receiving numerous love calls, my blood is boiling! I believe the 5★STAR GP is a journey where each of us collects the dreams of our wrestling lives. Rivalries we can't afford to lose, reunions of fate, new encounters, we will navigate various battles, overcoming extreme hopes and despairs. Only one person, who has shown their full spirit in this process, can truly grasp the real dream. Last year, I was a runner-up and it was very frustrating. But, I overcame despair and became the double champion. There's a jinx that champions can't win, but I'll break that jinx and create a miracle in 2023. Because I want to win and there is still a belt that I want! I'm sorry for being greedy. For these two belts, and all those who gave me love calls, I'm looking forward to battling with the strong ones. Please leave your mark of life on this Tam Nakano. Everyone, please come and sear this journey of twenty people's lives into your eyes in 2023."