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Mercedes Moné one of several champs to drop their belts at Stardom All Star Queendom

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Stardom — the women’s or joshi wrestling promotion owned by New Japan Pro-Wrestling parent company Buishiroad — held their All Star Queendom event today (April 23) in Yokohama Arena. It was touted as being Japan’s biggest women’s show in decades, and long figured to be a key date of Mercedes Moné’s run in the country.

Moné (fka WWE’s Sasha Banks) was working her first match in a Stardom ring at All Star Queendom. She’s made several appearances for NJPW since debuting for that promotion in the Tokyo Dome back in January, including winning its IWGP Women’s championship. She was defending that belt today against The Icon of Stardom, Mayu Iwatani.

There were attacks and taunts in the build-up to Moné vs. Iwatani, the co-main event in Yokohoma. But a lot of the uncertainty about the match’s outcome came from reports Mercedes’ Bushiroad contract ended after the show. The Mandalorian actress spent almost as much time over the past week shooting down those reports as she did campily clowning Mayu, and made it so few would have been surprised if she’d retained at All Star Queendom. Especially after Wrestling Observer reported last night she’s agreed to a contract extension of unknown length.

Into that situation, the champ hit the ramp in an Eddie Guerrero-inspired look...

The match itself was very good, but may have been a victim of high expectations, and lack of build compared to almost everything else on the card. A hard-hitting affair that got about 12 minutes on a loaded show, the story continued to be Moné’s arrogance as she talked a lot of trash while she and Iwatani traded stiff shots — one of which left Mecedes with a mouse on her forehead. It was a suplex that put her away, ending her IWGP Women’s title reign after two months and one successful defense.

The Boss Legit C.E.O. dropped the heel act in the aftermath, returning during Mayu’s celebration to put over the new champ and the promotions she represents.

“I love being your C.E.O. of Stardom. And tonight, Mayu, you really showed me you are The Icon of Stardom Pro-Wrestling. Take care of that IWGP Women’s championship, and show these girls all over the world why you are truly The Icon.”

We’ll have to wait and see what Moné & her dirt sheet nemeses say about her next move. Someone Mercedes has been circling on social media followed her match, as Giulia defended her World of Stardom championship against long-time rival Tam Nakano in the main event.

The story here had seen the usually pure babyface Nakano go to a dark place in her quest to beat Giulia. Their nearly 25 minute match was fittingly more of a brawl, as the enemies fought in and around the ring, delivering big spots like this:

Finally, a Violent Screwdriver gave Tam her first-ever World of Stardom championship.

It wasn’t as cordial after this one. Nakano threw back some of the insults Giulia’s hurled her way over the years. The now-former holder of Stardom’s top belt put over the match, and told her rival “bye for now”.

Those were only two of the title changes on All Star Queendom. In fact, every belt in the line-up in Yokohama changed hands. Here’s all the results:

Mai Sakurai won Yokohoma Rumble, last eliminating Super Strong Stardom Machine, Super Strong Stardom Giant Machine & Super Strong Stardom Big Machine

Oedo Tai (Momo Watanabe, Natsuko Tora, Ruaka & Saki Kashima) def. Club Venus (Jessie, Mariah May, & Xena) & Thekla via pinfall (Kashima on Jessie after Thekla inadvertently hit her with a weapon

Mei Seira & Starlight Kid def. AZM & Mei Suruga via pinfall (Seira on AZM)

Queen’s Quest (Miyu Amasaki & Utami Hayashishita) def. Hazuki & Fuwa-chan via pinfall

Maika def. Himeka via pinfall after Enka Otosh

God’s Eye (Ami Sourei & MIRAI) def. 7Upp (Nanae Takahashi & Yuu) via countout to become the NEW Goddesses of Stardom champs

REstart (KAIRI, Natsupoi & Saori Anou) def. Prominence (Hiragi Kurumi, Risa Sera & Suzu Suzuki) via pinfall ( Anou on Suzuki) to become the NEW Artist Of Stardom champs

Mina Shirakawa def. Saya Kamitani via pinfall after a Glamorous Driver to become the NEW Wonder of Stardom champion

Syuri def. Chihiro Hashimoto via TKO after Hashimoto couldn’t beat the count after a Syu-sekai and a kick (This was a Submission, Knockout or Stoppage match)

Mayu Iwatani def. Mercedes Moné via pinfall with a Dragon Suplex to become the NEW IWGP Women’s champ

Tam Nakano def. Giulia via pinfall after the Violent Screwdriver to become the NEW World of Stardom champion

There were great matches up and down the card, and the wrestlers did a superb job conveying the emotions behind each story to draw in even folks like me who aren’t a regular Stardom watchers. All Star Queendom is a good use of any wrestling fan’s time and money.

Mercedes future will remain a hot topic, whether or not the latest reports she’s re-signed with Bushiroad are correct (or if she was always contracted for more than just a handful of dates). Giulia is now an option for her next opponent if she sticks around, without any titles to worry about. And with a summer of big shows on both sides of the Pacific (and Atlantic, when we include NJPW partner AEW), there will be lots of options for where to run that match.

Let us know what you thought of All Star Queendom (or make of these results), and what you think is next for Moné, in the comments below.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post previously, mistakenly indicated Nakano hadn’t beaten Giulia in singles competition prior to All Star Queendom. Apologies for the Sunday morning screw-up, especially since I’d just written about Tam’s win in their 2021 hair vs. hair match. Nakano also defeated Giulia in Block action during 2020’s 5Star Grand Prix tournament.

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