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Thread: Mayu Iwatani

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    Mayu Iwatani

    I figured I'd get the ball rolling with our first Joshi candidate, & since she's often the forgotten daughter of Stardom & not given the respect of others. Similar to a Goto, sadly poor booking has led to that in many ways, but she's still gotten a lot of high marks as a purely in-ring performer so I figured I'd bat her leadoff to try to give her a little rub in addition to just her being arguably the best candidate anyway.

    "The Sky Blue Hyper Technician" started off in 2015 as primarily a midcard babyface as the third member of a Trio with Io Shirai who you all know, & a very talented wrestler named Takuma Iroha, who left the company that year. After Iroha left she had an absolutely phenomenal title challenge against Kairi Hojo & Thunder Rock, her team with Io Shirai really took off & she's been hailed as one of the best in-ring talents & pure babyfaces in all of wrestling.

    I would list her recommended matches (* indicates must watch) as:

    2015:
    *vs. Kairi Hojo - 5/17
    w/Io Shirai vs Star Fire & Nikki Storm - 6/14
    w/Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Io & Mio Shirai - 7/26
    w/Io Shirai vs DASH Chisako & Sendai Sachiko (Sendai Girls) - 7/30
    *vs Io Shirai - 8/23
    vs La Rosa Negra - 10/11
    vs Meiko Satomura - 11/15

    2016:
    *vs Kay Lee Ray - 1/17
    *vs Evie - 2/21
    *w/Io Shirai vs Meiko Satomura & Kairi Hojo - 3/21
    vs Hiroyo Matsumoto - 4/29
    *vs Io Shirai - 5/15
    *w/Masaaki Mochizuki vs Kenou & Syuri
    *vs Io Shirai - 12/22

    2017:
    *w/Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Io Shirai & Meiko Satomura - 3/14
    *vs Kairi Hojo - 5/14
    *vs Io Shirai - 6/21
    vs Kagetsu - 9/18

    2018:
    vs Rachael Ellering - 1/21
    w/Saki Kashima vs Hana Kimura & Kagetsu - 6/3
    w/Io Shirai vs Hazuki & Kagetsu - 6/17
    vs Kagetsu - 8/12
    vs Saki Kashima - 8/19
    *vs Hazuki - 9/16
    *vs Momo Watanabe - 9/24
    *vs Utami Hayashishita - 9/24
    *vs Momo Watanabe - 10/23

    So you're looking at about 15 must watch matches until now & a bunch that were really good and against a wide variety of opponents & styles. Give her a chance as she'll be way up on my list in all likelihood.
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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Would totally agree. Mayu has loads of matches to choose from with a wide variety of opponents. A big standout in Joshi amongst a large list of women to watch from. She is easily one of the best women's wrestlers in the entire world, and one of my favourites to watch. And that includes women and men. If you ask anyone to recommended matches from Joshi, odds are that Mayu would be in that list. A worthy contender.
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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Yeah Zero you said it man I've always had a high regard for Mayu and I think people forgot about her a little bit due to her Elbow injury and the way she was handled when she came back. It's crazy because if you remember she was a double Champion at one point holding the White Belt as well and one that injury changed everything. You would of thought it would of been so easy to have her feud back with Toni Storm to say the least was booked horribly as well as Red Belt Champion, but her Title shot was given eventually, but their was no momentum towards her possibly winning it back. Now she's the leader of the Stardom Stars teaming with Saki and Tam alot these days I wonder when will she get back to chasing for one of the Singles titles again.

    IF we do a 30-50 top list when it comes to workers it might be quite easy for me to somehow get her in, with Io and Kairi. Going through Ice Ribbon, Sendai Girls, OZ Academy, even TJPW might be a little harder due to find who should be some ladies that should be in as well due to me not having enough knowledge of the history of the company/matches going back before 2015ish.

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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    if you've got someone from TJPW in this then you're automatically turning this into something farcical. not one worker from TJPW is top 50 over the last five years and you'd struggle to find even just one worker from TJPW as top 50 from this year as well (case can probably be made for Miyu Yamashita... maybe.)


    Interesting Mayu is the first mentioned because I actually think she's weakest out of the Threedom trio. Kairi and Io have always stood out above her in terms of match quality (with the same opponents as Mayu). Though I haven't really watched much of Kairi or Io recently but I'm confident in saying their work in Stardom/Joshi is probably their highest point. Didn't moneybags Rossy say himself that Mayu was lazier than the other two and hadn't put it all together yet? Something along those lines anyway.

    I should watch more Mayu from this year but just can't do it. Stardom lost my interest a long time ago and it's going to take a seriously great match to get me even bothered about watching it again. But the Io matches alone are pretty much worth it tbh.

    I don't think Mayu's booking has impacted her negatively all that much - to me, she was always an underdog who was never going to be like Io or Kairi in terms of popularity. Stardom's booking, in general, was just a joke at the time Mayu should've been put on a pedestal. But I don't think Rossy had enough faith. And I don't think he ever will. Mayu also had bad luck with injuries. But, yeah, I would've loved to see her get a long reign and a shot at being the 'ace' but I honestly think it wouldn't have been all that successful.

    Is Mayu still popular? Who's the most popular girl on the Stardom roster not named Tam Nakano or Utami Hayashishita? Has Momo overtaken Mayu in overness yet?

    In any case, yes, Mayu should be top 50 but I'm not sure I'd have her infront of Io, Kairi, Meiko, Nakajima or Tsukka. Probably forgetting some others. But yeah.
    Last edited by RainShaker; 12-26-2018 at 06:31 PM.


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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Miyu is for sure top 50 this year, she's in my top 10 but nobody from TJP should be in this. It's not a workrate fed at all & was a blip on the wrestling radar until 12 months ago. Don't nominate them.

    I think Kairi you could easily argue was better than Mayu but then she left then got stuck with Shayna for 2 years. Io pass. She's not that great to me without Mayu until this year to where she stepped up huge to make Momo and even then after that her MYC was far from great.

    Funny you say that it wouldn't work, since despite Stardom's shit booking & her supposedly not being over the top 3 drawing Stardom shows outside of the Zenjo knockoff show all had Mayu in the main event & her not being on YEC due to injury got huge complaints in Japan as many fans liked her better than Tam as a main eventer. (They're much better booked now than they have been tbf but it's probably Momo's company once she gets the title)
    As long as you remember me, I will always live within you. Not as a phantom limb or a phantom anything...As part of your heart. I will always be your angel of peace. So I know exactly how to finish...



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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Kairi got stuck with Shayna and went on to have the best feud in NXT this year so yeah.

    But to add a different and fresher perspective on this, I would put Mayu over Kairi and Io if I'm honest. On performance wise alone. I think Mayu's individual performances in her matches are far better than Io, Kairi's and a few others, even if there are better better non Mayu matches out there. Mayu on her own is easily the most enjoyable out of the three, and she is someone you can get so invested in throughout the match nine times out of ten. Compelling is the word for it. She has that over the others imo.
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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    Kairi got stuck with Shayna and went on to have the best feud in NXT this year so yeah.

    But to add a different and fresher perspective on this, I would put Mayu over Kairi and Io if I'm honest. On performance wise alone. I think Mayu's individual performances in her matches are far better than Io, Kairi's and a few others, even if there are better better non Mayu matches out there. Mayu on her own is easily the most enjoyable out of the three, and she is someone you can get so invested in throughout the match nine times out of ten. Compelling is the word for it. She has that over the others imo.
    I disagree that Mayu has the whole "compelling" thing over the others. Kairi and Io have that in spades too - you could say that Kairi vs Io matches outshine Mayu vs Io or Mayu vs Kairi in terms of emotion and being 'compelling' in all honesty.

    Mayu has always been third best to those two - in the ring, in terms of booking and in terms of aura. Absolutely no shame in that but there's a reason why WWE didn't bother with her.

    The way I see it - Io is the star power/big deal, Kairi is the lovable underdog who fights tooth and nail to win and Mayu is stuck somewhere inbetween.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Miyu is for sure top 50 this year, she's in my top 10 but nobody from TJP should be in this. It's not a workrate fed at all & was a blip on the wrestling radar until 12 months ago. Don't nominate them.

    I think Kairi you could easily argue was better than Mayu but then she left then got stuck with Shayna for 2 years. Io pass. She's not that great to me without Mayu until this year to where she stepped up huge to make Momo and even then after that her MYC was far from great.

    Funny you say that it wouldn't work, since despite Stardom's shit booking & her supposedly not being over the top 3 drawing Stardom shows outside of the Zenjo knockoff show all had Mayu in the main event & her not being on YEC due to injury got huge complaints in Japan as many fans liked her better than Tam as a main eventer. (They're much better booked now than they have been tbf but it's probably Momo's company once she gets the title)
    The thing with Mayu is that, in her role at the time, she was/is super over. But taking over the Ace role would mean a few changes to her personality and demeanour. Mayu is fairly goofy albeit tenacious and violent but she just isn't cut out for an Ace run long term unfortunately imo. No matter how good her in ring performance is.

    I mean, it speaks volumes to me that Stardom are going in on the dull as fuck and totally not Ace-ready (from what I remember) Momo Watanabe over Mayu at this point. Mayu the homegrown, been there since day one, talent.


    Regardless of those things, her in ring resume definitely holds up but I feel Io and Kairi have done better and are a bit infront of her.


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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Quote Originally Posted by RainShaker View Post
    I disagree that Mayu has the whole "compelling" thing over the others. Kairi and Io have that in spades too - you could say that Kairi vs Io matches outshine Mayu vs Io or Mayu vs Kairi in terms of emotion and being 'compelling' in all honesty.

    Mayu has always been third best to those two - in the ring, in terms of booking and in terms of aura. Absolutely no shame in that but there's a reason why WWE didn't bother with her.

    The way I see it - Io is the star power/big deal, Kairi is the lovable underdog who fights tooth and nail to win and Mayu is stuck somewhere inbetween.
    I'm not saying they aren't compelling because that's not true and I'd be lying if I said that I believed it. Both Io and Kairi are very compelling, and I can easily get invested in their matches whether it's beforehand or during the matches themselves. I'm just saying that that Mayu is more compelling to me then either of them. Especially when it comes to the wrestling which is what this whole project is based on.

    Your description of Mayu being inbetween Io and Kairi is one I agree with though.
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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    First of all, Momo's close. She's one of the most improved wrestlers of the year. They did a phenomenal job in all honesty with her.

    I think the questions about Mayu as Ace are actually pretty legitimate & I agree with you about her underdog demeanor. But my counter to that is Ace Io dragged the entire company way down from when Kairi was champion & Mayu should have gotten her shot before they ran Io into the ground & I think we'd all be better off right now.

    Here's the real reason why Rossy & WWE didn't believe in her is something I think you know in your heart, Shake...she's not as hot as Io & Kairi & now Momo & so she gets the short end of the stick since that's what really matters to Rossy.
    As long as you remember me, I will always live within you. Not as a phantom limb or a phantom anything...As part of your heart. I will always be your angel of peace. So I know exactly how to finish...



    Say..."Peace".

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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    First of all, Momo's close. She's one of the most improved wrestlers of the year. They did a phenomenal job in all honesty with her.

    I think the questions about Mayu as Ace are actually pretty legitimate & I agree with you about her underdog demeanor. But my counter to that is Ace Io dragged the entire company way down from when Kairi was champion & Mayu should have gotten her shot before they ran Io into the ground & I think we'd all be better off right now.

    Here's the real reason why Rossy & WWE didn't believe in her is something I think you know in your heart, Shake...she's not as hot as Io & Kairi & now Momo & so she gets the short end of the stick since that's what really matters to Rossy.
    Rossy changes what he wants on the fly though. Bare bones about it Mayu is third behind the other two ladies, even the last year of Io with her Matches alone with Momo trumps alot of the work Mayu did for me. Kairi has been up and down for me in the year, but Stardom wise even the way she went out she went out with a bang loved that Match she had with Mayu that the White Belt Title changed.

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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    I made a thread in the Platinum section with matches from every recommended match (& if I couldn't find it online I added a couple more of equal & greater value).

    Io's run as Ace was bad & drove away fans which is indisputable though obviously not all her fault, but things went up & got better throughout the whole company with Mayu & the younger girls as the centerpiece of Stardom so I'm really not buying Mayu not having a big enough aura or whatever. Only to Western fans who only know Io's the top pushed star. But Rossy's poor decision making has nothing to do with Mayu's in-ring ability and I already said Io stepped up big to help make Momo & honestly these first 6 months were the most I've enjoyed Io...& actually Mayu's match with Utami was even better the same year anyway.

    Mayu as a worker is one of the best in the world & deserves more credit than she gets. I hope people check out her matches & let them speak for themselves because the woman in those matches looked excellent in nearly every category.
    As long as you remember me, I will always live within you. Not as a phantom limb or a phantom anything...As part of your heart. I will always be your angel of peace. So I know exactly how to finish...



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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Think this is the only thread I haven't commented on. Was always impressed with Mayu when watching the highly rated Stardom stuff of 2016, I didn't think there was any great drop off in talent level from her to the other two big stars, but a drop off in interest. Think her December 2016 match with Io is my favourite I've ever seen of her.

    I decided to check out the recent Momo match since it makes more sense for me to check out her 2018 matches first. I had just watched the Sugiura/Kaito match which was a slog and a half, so this one really jumped out to me as being more engaging and funnily enough harder hitting as far as title match main events go. I thought they were going to work a really quick match to start with how they went right for each other from the bell. Do they hate each other? is this some big rivalry of the year in Stardom? because there were moments like the start of the match and Mayu spitting water in Momo's face that hinted this ain't a standard title defence, it's a bit feisty at times. I don't know if it's watching her without Io or Kairi for a change, or just seeing her a little further down the line from when I last saw her, but she feels a bit more mature in her performance and not an underdog at all if that makes any sense. Mayu definitely has some good kicks on her, makes good use of her long pins. I did enjoy the bridging back to back finishers from Momo, you don't see that too often. Good stuff.

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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Think this is the only thread I haven't commented on. Was always impressed with Mayu when watching the highly rated Stardom stuff of 2016, I didn't think there was any great drop off in talent level from her to the other two big stars, but a drop off in interest. Think her December 2016 match with Io is my favourite I've ever seen of her.

    I decided to check out the recent Momo match since it makes more sense for me to check out her 2018 matches first. I had just watched the Sugiura/Kaito match which was a slog and a half, so this one really jumped out to me as being more engaging and funnily enough harder hitting as far as title match main events go. I thought they were going to work a really quick match to start with how they went right for each other from the bell. Do they hate each other? is this some big rivalry of the year in Stardom? because there were moments like the start of the match and Mayu spitting water in Momo's face that hinted this ain't a standard title defence, it's a bit feisty at times. I don't know if it's watching her without Io or Kairi for a change, or just seeing her a little further down the line from when I last saw her, but she feels a bit more mature in her performance and not an underdog at all if that makes any sense. Mayu definitely has some good kicks on her, makes good use of her long pins. I did enjoy the bridging back to back finishers from Momo, you don't see that too often. Good stuff.
    Yeah Momo and Mayu have beef/rivalry going back awhile now. Before Momo joined Queen's Quest and became one of the top ladies in Stardom she was knocking on the Door of Mayu's wanting a Title Shot for the White Belt or High Speed belt she held at the time I think it was the High Speed belt, but it feels like so long ago I forgot. It looked like Momo was going to get that push to have it and Momo gets injured and is out for like a year killing all the momentum she gained especially from the Grand Prix she had years ago when she was rolling with Kyona and Team Jungle back then. I knew when Momo came back it was just a matter of time before these two clash and when we got it was awesome and Mayu being happy that Momo beat her finally, the win Momo has been looking for was great.

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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Momo was positioned as Io's protege & took over Queen's Quest after Io left. In the 5*GP (their G1) 1 month earlier Mayu faced Momo on the Final day & they went to a Time Limit draw which allowed Mayu to advance through points & eventually win the tournament. Momo, desperate to prove she's better than Mayu & is the Ace immediately challenged World Champion Kagetsu to a World Title match a week after so she could face Mayu for the World Title & solidify herself as the new Ace, but then Momo & Kagetsu had a double KO finish. Then she still wanted to face Mayu by any means necessary, including putting her own Title on the line before Mayu's shot against Kagetsu.

    It was actually a pretty cool storyline, especially considering how well Mayu put her over & how big their rematch would have been after Mayu beat Kagetsu for the World Title. (Too bad for the injury)

    I thought Mayu was awesome in that match btw, although it in particular was more about Momo & she was good stuff too.
    As long as you remember me, I will always live within you. Not as a phantom limb or a phantom anything...As part of your heart. I will always be your angel of peace. So I know exactly how to finish...



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    Re: Mayu Iwatani

    Checked out some Iwatani as she is one of the few workers I am really unfamiliar with who has been nominated. My first thought was god lord is this girl skinny. She is all skin and bones with no muscle. Just a really strange body type to see in wrestling. She looks less delicate than Alexa Bliss but not by a lot. Anyway nothing I saw put me off, but nothing made me want to check out more either. I came away from the matches I saw more interested in Evie/Dakota Kai, Watanabe and Shirai (how does she not have a thread yet?) than Iwatani herself.

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