Mayu Iwatani thinks best match of her career was against Syuri at STARDOM’s 1/4 show

Photo Courtesy: World Wonder Ring STARDOM

The 1/4 bout against Syuri is one that Iwatani ranks at the top of the list. 

Dating back to April 2023, Mayu Iwatani has been in possession of the IWGP Women’s Championship. Her most recent defense was against Mina Shirakawa at NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo

Ahead of that match, pushed out an interview with Iwatani. She told them that she thinks the best match of her 13-year career was on January 4th of 2024 when she defended the IWGP Women’s Title against Syuri at STARDOM’s Tokyo Dome City Hall show. 

January 4th in T.D.C. Hall with Syuri was awesome. The adrenaline was pumping, I went all Super Saiyan (laughs)… I was so beat up, I shouldn’t have been moving, but instead of having all this pain, it was just like a fire shot through my whole body. I’ve never felt an adrenaline rush like it. Up to now, I’ve had a list of my best matches in mind, like against Io Shirai and against Kagetsu… Right (the match with Syuri is joining the list). That’s a hard thing to do. I’ve always felt like I cling onto my past a little, nostalgia’s a bit of a factor. But I really think on January 4th, I had the best match of my 13-year career. Right after the match, I just had this huge sensation of, this is it, I did it and it felt amazing.

Elsewhere in the conversation, Iwatani shared her thoughts about Mina Shirakawa and how her time in STARDOM has panned out. She then recalled seeing a match Shirakawa wrestled and thinking it was bad enough that she had to get on her case about it. 

Well, to explain what Mina Shirakawa has done up to now, she was in STARS, which is like our Hontai, for a while. Then she joined Tam Nakano’s Cosmic Angels. She spun away from that to make her own team called Club Venus. They didn’t get much done and now she’s made another faction called E Nexus V. I think her attitude is new team, new title, yay, but she’s not taking this seriously enough if you ask me.

Honestly, I can’t really tell you (what kind of wrestler Shirakawa is). When I think of Shirakawa, I think of when she had her face smashed in (11/3/22)… I’ve always been someone to encourage wrestlers who are newer to this than me. But there was one time when she was in STARS, she had a match with Unagi Sayaka that was so bad, I chewed her out, like, ‘Can you expect people to pay money to watch that?’

Iwatani was in action at STARDOM’s 3/2 event. She teamed with Yuzuki and they fell in defeat to Tam Nakano and Saori Anou. 

The IWGP Women’s Champion is one of the talents confirmed for ‘STARDOM American Dream 2024 in the Keystone State’ on 4/4 from the 2300 Arena.

About Andrew Thompson 8812 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.