Star Gazing: “Prime Minister” Kagetsu

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Kagetsu
Photo: Stardom

The nearly 11-year veteran and current World Of Stardom champion Kagetsu is an important part of the Stardom roster. Her character work is fantastic and her role as a veteran is crucial when it comes to a company like Stardom that has so much young talent.  Her cool look and consistent in-ring style have helped make her one of the Big Four since the departure of Io Shirai and Kairi Hojo (now Kairi Sane) to the WWE Universe, as she not only is a draw for Stardom but helped to stabilize the main event scene after a period of turmoil in late 2017 and early 2018.

Before all of this though, Kagetsu was a Sendai Girls roster member who was trained by the legendary Meiko Satomura which means that she is not only good at mat wrestling but she can hit stiff strikes when necessary and even pull out her signature 450 splash.  She debuted as Yukari Ishino in 2008 and wrestled primarily for Sendai Girls until 2014, during this time she freelanced in various other Joshi companies and won the Princess Of Pro WrestlingJWP Junior and Oz Academy Tag Team championships during this time.  After spending 2015 as a freelancer without a home Kagetsu joined Stardom in 2016.

She almost immediately joined Oedo Tai as the right hand woman of Kyoko Kimura who was the leader of OT at the time.  Kagetsu slot in as Kimura’s tag team partner as the two captured the Goddesses Of Stardom championships as well as the Artists Of Stardom championships, they were a formidable duo that raised hell the Oedo Tai way.  In 2017 Kyoko retired and the group almost disbanded due to many factors.  After disappearing and seemingly retiring Kagetsu returned better than ever as leader of Oedo Tai and intent on keeping it alive.  This leads us to the Oedo Tai that gained popularity in Stardom, under Kagetsu the group was all about doing their half-ass best but was always in chaos as Kagetsu revels in chaos going as far as to add members without consulting her teammates.

Kagetsu’s Oedo Tai were still heels but the Stardom fans soon grew to love the rebel group, and now laugh at the groups’ antics and inventive ways of bending the rules.  This popularity led to Kagetsu defeating Toni Storm for the World Of Stardom championship in June 2018 to put an end to a turbulent 12 months for the title.  The fact Kagetsu was chosen to take the title after Toni Storm’s disastrous reign speaks to how highly Stardom sees her.  As the leader of the popular tweener group Kagetsu walks the heel/face line perfectly as she is too cool to boo but she isn’t a typical hero in any way.  While her reign as World Of Stardom champion has been overshadowed by Stardom building up its new ace Kagetsu’s role in stabilizing a main event scene that briefly lost all three members of The Threedom (Mayu Iwatani, Io Shirai and Kairi Hojo) is an important part of Stardom’s growth throughout 2018 and into early 2019.

Photo: Stardom

Not only is she important on screen but Kagetsu is an important figure backstage.  As the trainer of Stardom Kagetsu has proven she has a mind for wrestling, producing multiple really good rookies who are just getting better and better with each class.  She has also helped young and new talent in her role as leader of Oedo Tai, a faction which has helped Hazuki become a star, welcomed gaijin like Session Moth Martina and Jamie Hayter find a home in Stardom and recently poached Andras Miyagi from Sendai Girls.  Both behind the scenes and on screen she is all about new talent and seems to revel in the chaos caused by adding new elements to Stardom and turning them to the ways of Oedo Tai.

Saying Kagetsu might be one of the most underrated performers in Stardom looks insane considering she’s the current world champion but it’s safe to say that she is so much better than she is often given credit for.  Be it in a tag team match, a trios spot fest or random multi-man tag she always manages to make the match entertaining through her character work and in ring skills.  Her consitency in singles matches is something a promoter craves in a world champion and to top it all off she isn’t selfish, always making sure other people get over when needed.  Every promotion needs a Kagetsu, someone with a wrestling mind, someone that brings out the best in others and someone that doesn’t need to rely on in ring work to be entertaining.

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