Giulia (wrestler)

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Giulia
Giulia in 2023
Birth nameEimi Gloria Matsudo
Born (1994-02-21) February 21, 1994 (age 30)[1]
London, England[2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Giulia
Billed height162 cm (5 ft 4 in)[1]
Billed weight55 kg (121 lb)[3]
Trained byHideki Suzuki[4]
Milano Collection A. T.[4]
Mio Shirai[4]
Tsukasa Fujimoto[4]
DebutOctober 29, 2017

Eimi Gloria Matsudo,[5][6][7] better known by her ring name Giulia (ジュリア, Juria, born February 21, 1994), is an English-born Italian-Japanese professional wrestler. She is currently signed to Dream Star Fighting Marigold and is speculated to be signed to WWE on the NXT brand, though no official announcement has been made. [8] She is best known for her time in World Wonder Ring Stardom, where she wrestled from 2019 to 2024, being one of the promotion's top stars during her tenure.[9]

Matsudo made her professional wrestling debut in 2017 in the Ice Ribbon promotion where she held the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship once alongside Tequila Saya. She left Ice Ribbon in October 2019 and debuted in Stardom, where she became a one-time World of Stardom Champion, one-time Wonder of Stardom Champion, one-time Goddesses of Stardom Champion, and a two-time Artist of Stardom Champion. She was also the winner of the 2020 Cinderella Tournament and the 2022 5 Star Grand Prix and was the founder and leader of Donna Del Mondo. In 2020, Matsudo was the recipient of the Tokyo Sports Women's Wrestling Grand Prize.[10]

Early life[edit]

Eimi Gloria Matsudo was born in London, England, to an Italian father and a Japanese mother, who was studying there. One year after her birth, they moved back and she was raised in Japan's Chiba Prefecture. She worked as a manager in an Italian restaurant before applying to train as a professional wrestler with Ice Ribbon in 2017.[2] In an interview for Shūkan Bunshun in 2022, Matsudo disclosed that she suffered bullying as a child due to her mixed race background, which was the reasoning for her attending a private high school.[11]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Ice Ribbon (2017–2019)[edit]

Giulia in August 2018

Matsudo, going by the ring name Giulia, made her professional wrestling debut at New Ice Ribbon #845, an event promoted by Ice Ribbon on October 29, 2017, teaming with the legendary Takako Inoue in a loss to Nao Date and Satsuki Totoro.[12] In November, she entered the Young Ice Tournament where she was eliminated by Totoro in the first round.[13] In April 2018, she wrestled Ice Ribbon's ace, Tsukasa Fujimoto, for the first time, losing in 39 seconds.[14] On September 24, Giulia got her first singles victory when she defeated Asahi.[15] In the latter part of the year, Giulia began a feud with Tequila Saya, which eventually bought in male wrestlers Shinya Aoki and Hideki Suzuki, who acted as mentors for the female wrestlers and taught them new moves throughout their feud.[citation needed] After a match on December 31 where Tequila Saya and Hideki Suzuki were defeated by Giulia and Shinya Aoki, Giulia and Saya reconciled and formed a tag team known as Burning Raw.[16] At the end of the year, she was presented with Ice Ribbon's New Face award, the equivalent of winning rookie of the year.[citation needed] On January 27, 2019, Burning Raw unsuccessfully challenged Kyuri and Maika Ozaki for the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship.[17] After February 17, Giulia announced she would be taking a month off from pro wrestling due to nerve damage in her hip.[citation needed] After returning, she began a feud with Maya Yukihi, which culminated in Giulia unsuccessfully challenging for the ICE Cross Infinity Championship on May 25.[18] In July, Burning Raw defeated Maya Yukihi and Risa Sera to win the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship.[19] After 3 months as champions, Burning Raw lost the titles back to Yukihi and Sera on September 23.[20] On October 13, Giulia announced she would be leaving Ice Ribbon.[21][22]

Independent circuit (2017–2024)[edit]

On October 1, 2017, Giulia was invited by the legendary Toshiaki Kawada to compete on one of his Holy War shows, where she was defeated by veteran Command Bolshoi.[23] Days later, Giulia was defeated by Aja Kong in a singles match for the Oz Academy promotion.[24] Giulia made several appearances for Big Japan Pro Wrestling in events where joshi puroresu was also promoted. The first one was a house show from June 9, 2018, where Giulia lost to Tequila Saya.[25] At Pro Wrestling Zero1's Tenka-Ichi Junior Tournament 2018 on November 18, she picked up a victory against Mochi Miyagi.[26] At AWG Act In Osaka, an event promoted by Actwres girl'Z on July 21, 2019, Giulia unsuccessfully challenged Saori Anou for the AgZ Championship.[27]

World Wonder Ring Stardom (2019–2024)[edit]

On October 14, 2019, Giulia announced that she had signed with World Wonder Ring Stardom.[2] On December 8, Giulia made her in-ring debut on Stardom where she defeated Hazuki.[28]

During January 2020, Giulia formed a new unit named Donna Del Mondo, recruiting Maika and Syuri to the stable in the process.[29] On February 8, Donna del Mondo defeated Queen's Quest (AZM, Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashishita) to win the Artist of Stardom Championship.[30] On March 24, Giulia defeated Jungle Kyona, Momo Watanabe, fellow Donna del Mondo stablemate Syuri, and finally Natsuko Tora to be crowned the 2020 Cinderella Tournament winner.[31] In July, a feud began between Giulia and Tam Nakano, initially for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, that would continue intermittently for several years.[32][33] On July 26 at Cinderella Summer in Tokyo, Giulia defeated Tam Nakano in the finals of a four-woman tournament to win the vacant Wonder of Stardom Championship.[34] On October 3, Giulia had her first successful title defense where she defeated Nakano in a rematch.[35] In October and November, Giulia and Maika competed in the Red Goddesses block of the 2020 Goddesses of Stardom Tag League under the team name Crazy Bloom. They reached the finals of the tournament, in which they lost to MOMOAZ.[36] On November 14, Donna del Mondo lost the Artist of Stardom Championship to Oedo Tai (Bea Priestley, Saki Kashima and Natsuko Tora).[37] At Sendai Cinderella 2020 on November 15, Giulia successfully defended the Wonder of Stardom Championship against Konami.[38] On December 20, Giulia defended the Wonder of Stardom Championship in a title vs. title match against fellow Donna del Mondo member Syuri who defended the SWA World Championship.[39] The match ended in a time-limit draw, with both titleholders retaining their titles in the process.[39]

On March 3, 2021, at All Star Dream Cinderella, Giulia was defeated by Tam Nakano in a hair vs. hair match for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, ending her reign at 220 days. Post-match, she had her head partially shaved in the ring, with the rest cut off backstage.[40] At Yokohama Dream Cinderella 2021 on April 4, Giulia teamed up with Syuri to win the Goddesses of Stardom Championship from fellow Donna Del Mondo members Maika and Himeka after an inter-stable clash. Giulia and Syuri would later name their tag team Alto Livello Kabaliwan, often shortened to ALK, meaning High Level Madness.[41] Giulia made it to the second round of the 2021 Cinderella Tournament on May 14, where she lost to Maika.[42] At Yokohama Dream Cinderella 2021 in Summer on July 4, ALK successfully defended their Goddesses of Stardom Championship against Stars (Mayu Iwatani and Koguma).[43] Giulia took part in the 2021 5 Star Grand Prix, competing in the Red Stars block, but pulled out of the tournament after three matches due to dealing with several injuries.[44] She made her in-ring return on December 29 at Dream Queendom where she successfully picked up a victory against Konami, who was departing from Stardom.[45][46]

On January 3, 2022, Giulia revealed Thekla from Ice Ribbon and Mirai from Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling as the two masked superstars who kept attacking various other wrestlers at the end of 2021. All three of them teamed up to defeat Cosmic Angels (Tam Nakano, Mai Sakurai and Unagi Sayaka) in a six-woman tag team match.[47] At Nagoya Golden Fight on January 29, Giulia battled Mayu Iwatani into a time-limit draw in a number one contendership match for the World of Stardom Championship, which awarded both of them an opportunity to challenge for the championship at World Climax 2022.[48] On the first night of the World Climax 2022 from March 26, Giulia unsuccessfully challenged Syuri for the World of Stardom Championship. After their match, Syuri announced she will leave Donna Del Mondo to walk on her path and form another stable, later revealed to be God's Eye.[49] On the second night from March 27, Giulia teamed up with Maika, Himeka and Thekla to take out Prominence's Risa Sera, Suzu Suzuki, Akane Fujita and Mochi Miyagi, with whom all the Donna Del Mondo members had been in a feud. However, Suzu Suzuki stated that she was not finished with Giulia despite her unit's loss, which meant that the feud was still standing.[50] At the 2022 Cinderella Tournament, Giulia reached the second rounds on April 10, where she lost to Koguma.[51] At Flashing Champions on May 28, Giulia teamed up with Mai Sakurai to unsuccessfully face FWC for the Goddesses of Stardom Championship.[52] At Fight in the Top on June 26, Giulia, Maika, and Mai Sakurai unsuccessfully challenged Oedo Tai (Saki Kashima, Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid), and God's Eye (Syuri, Mirai and Ami Sourei) in a three-way match for the Artist of Stardom Championship.[53] Giulia was announced compete in the 2022 5 Star Grand Prix on July 30.[54] She won the whole competition on the last day of the tournament from October 1 by defeating Tam Nakano in the finals.[55] On December 29, at Dream Queendom 2, Giulia defeated Syuri to win the World of Stardom Championship for the first time in her career.[56]

On February 4, 2023, at Stardom Supreme Fight, Giulia had her first successful title defense of the World of Stardom Championship by defeating Suzu Suzuki.[57][58] On March 4, Giulia's second title defense, against Maya Yukihi, ended in a double countout.[59] It was later reported that the reason for the match ending in a double countout was due to real-life heat between the two.[60] On April 23, at All Star Grand Queendom, Giulia lost the title to Tam Nakano, ending her reign at 115 days.[61] On May 27, at Flashing Champions, Giulia, Mai Sakurai and Thekla, together known as the Baribari Bombers, defeated the Artist of Stardom Champions REStart (Kairi, Natsupoi and Saori Anou) to win the titles.[62]

At New Years Stars 2024 on January 3, 2024, Baribari Bombers participated in the 2024 Triangle Derby. After reaching the finals and deciding to defend the Artist of Stardom Championship, they lost the match and titles to Abarenbo GE.[63]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2020–2024)[edit]

Giulia has taken part in exhibition matches organized by New Japan Pro-Wrestling in relationship with World Wonder Ring Stardom to promote female talent.[64] In her first match, Giulia teamed up with Hana Kimura in a losing effort to Mayu Iwatani and Arisa Hoshiki on the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 4, 2020.[65] On January 5, 2021, the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 15, Giulia teamed up with fellow Donna Del Mondo stable member Syuri to defeat Mayu Iwatani and Tam Nakano.[66][67] On the second night of the Wrestle Grand Slam in MetLife Dome from September 4, Giulia teamed up with Syuri to defeat Momo Watanabe and Saya Kamitani.[68] At Historic X-Over on November 20, 2022, Giulia teamed up with Zack Sabre Jr. and defeated Syuri and Tom Lawlor in a mixed tag team match.[69]

At NJPW Independence Day on July 5, 2023, Giulia defeated Willow Nightingale to become the second Strong Women's Champion.[70][71] On August 20, at Multiverse United 2, Giulia wrestled in the United States for the first time in her career, where she successfully defended the Strong Women's Championship against Deonna Purrazzo, Gisele Shaw, and Momo Kohgo.[72] Giulia lost the Strong's Women's Championship to Stephanie Vaquer on night 2 of Stardom Cinderella Tournament 2024.

WWE (2024–present)[edit]

On April 5, 2024, Giulia was spotted taking photos with fans at the WWE World convention. The next day on April 6, 2024 it was rumored that Giulia had signed with WWE and would start in their developmental brand NXT once she is done with all of her planned appearances in Japan.[73] At NXT Stand & Deliver she was shown in the crowd sitting with Vice President of Global Talent Development William Regal and Rossy Ogawa. On April 11, 2024, in an interview with Tokyo Sport, Giulia said she could not confirm any reports but would make an announcement "in the not too distant future".[74]

Dream Star Fighting Marigold (2024–present)[edit]

On April 15, 2024, Rossy Ogawa held a press conference to announce his new promotion Dream Star Fighting Marigold, with Giulia being one of the initial members of the roster.[75][76][77][78] On May 20, she participated in the main event of Marigold's debut production, Marigold Fields Forever, tag-teaming with Utami Hayashishita in a losing effort against Sareee and Bozilla. At the end of the event, Giulia and Sareee were scheduled for a singles match at Marigold Summer Destiny on July 13, 2024. [79] However, the next day, it was announced by Marigold that Giulia had suffered a wrist fracture, with her near-term matches cancelled, and putting her Marigold Summer Destiny match with Sareee in doubt. [80]

Wrestling style and persona[edit]

During her time in Stardom wrestling, Giulia received the moniker "Beautiful Madness".[81] One of Giulia’s signature wrestling maneuvers is "Bianca", a variation of the Scissored armbar crossface/Rings of Saturn.[81]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • ESPN
    • Ranked No. 11 of the 30 best Pro Wrestlers Under 30 in 2023[82]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Tam Nakano (hair) Giulia (hair) Tokyo, Japan All Star Dream Cinderella March 3, 2021 [40]

References[edit]

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