I've posted a lot about BBM's True Heart trading cards that feature female wrestlers from a number of promotions in Japan, but there is one notable wrestling promotion that doesn't participate in the True Heart sets. That promotion is called Stardom, and they kind of do their own thing when it comes to trading cards. They put out a 2017 card set, and a 5th Anniversary card set in 2015. The 2015 cards were available on their website for a long time, but when two Stardom wrestlers, Io Shirai and Kairi Hojo, got signed by the WWE, the cards sold out within days. I was able to get 5 packs of the 2015 cards and was gifted a pack of the 2017 cards, so I'll post about them soon. In the meantime, here are a few cards I picked up from eBay.
First up is this autograph card from the 2015 5th Anniversary set featuring Haruka Kato. She has actually appeared in the True Heart card sets, probably because she has worked with several other promotions that are heavily featured in those sets. There seems to be some tension between some fans of Stardom and fans of other promotions, possibly because Stardom is seen as models who wrestle, while other promotions are more focused on wrestling, although some of them also model on the side. I don't know. I'm a fringe lurker when it comes to fandom, so I'm not as invested as some of these folks, Stardom does seem to be more focused on reaching out to the English-speaking crowd, though. They have an English website, a webstore on that site that ships to American addresses, and a video subscription service that uploads every event with English subtitles.
Stardom is also pretty active about bringing in guest wrestlers from outside of Japanese promotions. Kellie Skater is a wrestler out of Australia who has also wrestled in the United States and Canada, but did some wrestling with Stardom in Japan. She retired earlier this year. All of the base cards I picked up in this lot are from the 2017 set. You can tell because 2017 is in the set name on the front, while the 2015 cards don't list a year.
Kaitlin Diamond is a Canadian wrestler who wrestled for Stardom for about three months in 2016. It looks like she is back in Canada now, though, working for many wrestling promotions there.
I mentioned this card yesterday, as I picked up a Topps UFC autograph of Shayna Baszler recently. She's out of the UFC now, but had an MMA bout in early 2017 while she was in Japan wrestling for Stardom in early 2017. It looks like right now she is wrestling in the United States again. Most of these foreign wrestlers seem to do tours for three or four months with Stardom before returning to their home promotions. She also appeared during the Stardom USA tour a while back. I kind of wanted to go to one of those shows, but couldn't justify a trip to California at that time.
That's a quick intro to the Stardom trading cards. I'll have a couple more posts about them over the next month or so. Unfortunately, they aren't really available anymore, so if you want them you'll have to find singles on eBay or at a place like The Puro Central Shop.