31 May 2017

2015 Stardom 5th Anniversary Japanese Wrestling Cards from Stardom

In late April and early May, I posted about some cards put out by the Stardom wrestling promotion in Japan. So far there have been two sets released, a 5th Anniversary set in 2015 and another set in 2017. I purchased some singles on eBay, and I purchased some singles from the Puro Central Shop. The Puro Central Shop also gifted me a pack of the 2017 cards after I was unable to get some from the Stardom website. Both sets sold out pretty rapidly after the news broke that Kairi Hojo and Io Shirai from the Stardom promotion had accepted or were considering contract offers from the WWE.

Since the 2017 Stardom cards were sold out, I purchased a 5-pack of the 2015 Stardom 5th Anniversary cards. Like the 2017 cards, these shipped with the cards in a foil pack, tucked inside a paper insert, packed in a team bag. The paper insert has the checklist on the back. Autographs in the checklist are denoted with stars. Since autographs are numbered along with the other cards, this is a base set that is going to be difficult/impossible to complete, especially since the packs are sold out in the official Stardom store.

I didn't scan all of the cards, but I did scan some of the standouts, including cards of the previously-mentioned Io Shirai and Kairi Hojo. I've started a small Alpha Female wrestler collection, but her cards are pretty much limited to Stardom releases and that doesn't leave me with a lot of options to choose from. The card fronts are mostly in English, apart from outliers like Kellie Skater at the top center. As far as I can tell, that text says, "Kellie Skater!" I'm not sure why it's not in English.

The backs are not in English. I haven't taken the time to run my translation app across them yet, but I imagine they contain biographical data and maybe a paragraph describing a match or career highlights.

Here are a few more base cards. Some of the cards highlight the winners of specific tournaments, and some of the more interesting cards are found in a subset showing posters for different events, like Stardom Mask Fiesta, which appears to be exactly what it sounds like.

Card fronts tend to show portraits or posed photos, while card backs tend to show in-ring action. There are exceptions, and there are also cards that focus more on modeling than on wrestling. Stardom is kind of a hybrid organization. They aren't afraid to flaunt the looks of their wrestlers, and most of the wrestlers have done some kind of modeling. Stardom also seems to be the promotion that uses the most gaijin (foreign or non-Japanese) wrestlers as guests in their events. They show up in other promotions, but Stardom really leans on them and cross-promotes with organizations in other countries. That's why there are so many German, British, Australian, and Canadian wrestlers in the Stardom card sets.

I was lucky enough to pull five autographs out of my five packs of cards. I know that some packs didn't have autographs in them, but it seems like most packs did. I did pull doubles of Act Yasukawa's signature card. Haruka Kato's autograph is also a double for me, as it was one of my eBay purchases. Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid were new ones for me, though. You can see there is some smearing and bubbling in the ink on these. Both Stardom sets used a glossy card coating that didn't take ink well. It is rare to find an autograph in these sets that isn't flawed in some way.

Like I mentioned earlier, the autographs are numbered along with the base set, and the card backs are similar to the ones found on the base cards. It looks like the text on most of them consists of birth date and hometown (not for mysterious masked wrestlers, though!), height, weight, debut, and signature move. Haruka Kato's card is different, though, and I don't know what the backs of the other autographs look like.

That's about all I know about the 2015 Stardom 5th Anniversary trading cards. It is unlikely that I will get my hands on any more packs of these, and I'm sure singles will dry up relatively quickly. It would be neat to get a full set, but that would probably take more money and effort than it would be worth.


  1. 5 for 5? Congratulations! As usual... those Japanese wrestlers don't disappoint. The signatures are beautiful.

    1. I did pretty well on the autograph front. These packs weren't cheap, especially with shipping tacked on, so it was good to get an autograph per pack. They definitely go all out on their signatures, for the most part. There are a few wrestlers whose autographs are just a squiggle, but they are in the minority.