Wrestlers like Manami Toyota, Akira Hokuto and Aja Kong are some of the wrestlers in the GOAT debate when it comes to women’s wrestling. A wrestler that can be considered on the same level as those mentioned above is none other than Mayu Iwatani of STARDOM.
Iwatani’s STARDOM career has been full of accolades and accomplishments. Being the ace of the top women’s promotion in the world should without a doubt put her in that GOAT debate…
Big Shoes To Fill
Mayu Iwantani’s career started in 2011, she was trained by legendary joshis Fuka and Nanae Takahashi. Since day one, Iwantani showed potential of becoming the star she is today. Iwantani, Kairi Hojo (AKA Kairi Sane) and Io Shirai were the three musketeers of STARDOM. They helped the promotion gain major attention from fans and critics.
When Hojo and Shirai left for WWE, Iwatani took the position of ace of STARDOM seriously, carrying the promotion when needed. She also helped build STARDOM after they lost two of their biggest stars to the biggest promotion in the world. Iwantani’s role in the success of STARDOM as a major promotion in Japan and the biggest women’s promotion in the world cannot be ignored.
The most amazing thing about Mayu Iwatani’s career is how young is she, and how much she has already accomplished. She is in her late 20’s and her career has been so good that she is already being mentioned on the same level as Toyota or Kong – and it’s not that outlandish to many. Mayu still has many more years, and the promotion doesn’t depend that much of her as it once did because of her work helping them grow. Thanks to her, STARDOM is not only the biggest women’s promotion in the world, but the second biggest promotion in Japan in terms of attendance, only behind NJPW.
What’s next for Iwatani?
She still has a lot to offer and there’s no signs of slowing down. An interesting idea would be for Iwatani to have a run in the U.S., maybe working a few programs in AEW considering how much the success Forbidden Door was for both AEW and NJPW (also owned by the same parent company as STARDOM). However, there’s no signs that AEW and STARDOM will work together in the short term.
Never say never though, something could happen down the line, especially considering the relationships AEW has with other Japanese promotions like NOAH, TJPW and DDT…