Natsuko Tora
All Photos Courtesy Of Stardom

Star Gazing is our series which will add to our already growing coverage of World Wonder Ring Stardom (Also known simply as Stardom) and the Joshi scene where we will get you up to speed with members of the Stardom roster. This edition will be focusing on the new leader of Oedo Tai Natsuko Tora

Since Making her debut in 2016 Natsuko Tora has had a fast rise through Stardom and now finds herself as the leader of Oedo Tai.  From her days in the popular Jungle Assault Nation (JAN) to now she has grown as a performer to be one of Stardom’s biggest and baddest.

Debut & Stardom Army

As can be seen from the photo above Natsuko Tora was a very different competitor when she debuted.  She was far from the tough brawler we see today.  Her actual debut was Stardom October Showdown where she teamed with Arisu Nanase in a losing effort against Azumi and Kaori Yoneyama, Yoneyama would become a big part of Tora’s career later on. Tora was mostly a part of the Stardom Army, a mishmash of babyfaces, and didn’t have much success in her early years.

Jungle Assault Nation

Jungle Kyona

Tora’s fortunes changed when Team Jungle, later JAN, came along.  Team Jungle was an unofficial group within the Stardom Army that allowed Tora to team with Kaori Yoneyama and Jungle Kyona more often.  With Hiroyo Matsumoto at the helm, the group was made up of power wrestlers who were different from the rest of the Stardom roster.  Team Jungle would later become JAN when Team Jungle went undrafted in the first-ever Stardom draft.  With the goal of proving everyone wrong in mind Yoneyama and Kyona became the elders of the group filled with rookies and helped Tora become the Natsuko we know and love today.  Tora became the 2nd in command and was thrust into big matches with the ever-reliant Kyona there to guide her if needs be.  Her time in JAN allowed Tora to become a better performer as there are no better teachers for a power style of wrestling than Yoneyama and Kyona.  She also tasted her first but of success when she won the Artist Of Stardom and the Goddesses Of Stardom championships while in JAN.

JAN’s Demise

All was not well in Jungle Assault Nation.  Natsuko Tora seemed to be growing more and more agitated by her faction mates culminating in her and Jungle Kyona wrestling to a time limit draw in December 2018.  JAN would be no more just months later when Jungle Kyona finished last in a five-way to decide draft order.  Natsuko Tora was drafted to Oedo Tai where the attitude she had begun showing could be fully embraced and Tora’s relationship with Kyona has never recovered.  Tora debuted a new look and became the badass bruiser many had hoped she would become in the dying days of JAN.  Unfortunately, Tora went from being at the top of JAN to being the pin taker for Oedo Tai and became anonymous by the end of the year.

The New Leader

Natsuko Tora

Kagetsu handed over the reigns of Oedo Tai upon her retirement, she even symbolically passed the torch by giving Tora her trademark Sai.  Tora once again adopted a new look and has taken Oedo Tai back to its roots as a heel faction that wreaks havoc when it wants.  She is currently in the midst of a push to build her up as Oedo Tai’s new leader and fans can only hope that we see Tora reach her full potential in this role.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.  And make sure to subscribe to Stardom World to see Natsuko Tora and the rest of the talented women of Stardom

2 COMMENTS

  1. I Just don’t see Natsuko been the leader of Oedo Tai leader for that long, maybe it’s just me but Natsuko never seemed that high up in Stardom’s booking when it came to talent they wanted to push. Unless the new owners see something with her. I’m still sticking with my bet that Bea will become the first gaijin leader of a faction at the end of 2020 or early 2021. Someone who’s won the Red Belt, who Rossy has been big on since she debuted, has improved a lot, has been booked strong to go play second fiddle to someone who’s been lower down the roster then her.

    I like Natsuko, and a lovely write up on her. But I think that was done as a favor for Kagetsu really. Could be wrong.

    • For me, Tora as the leader is a “wait and see” situation since Stardom’s show cancellations meant they’ve had no chance to build her up as a credible threat. She has the look and the necessary charisma to be the leader but the booking will be the most important part in getting her over the hump. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

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