STARDOM held the 15th Night of the 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 in the Korakuen Hall in front of 1327 fans. The show featured four 5STAR matches, including MIRAI and Anou battling, Starlight Kid wrestling Hazuki, Suzu Suzuki trying to avoid elimination against the World Of Stardom Champion Tam Nakano, and Giulia & Maika fighting in the main event in a Donna del Mondo vs. Donna del Mondo match.
Before the opening match, Azusa Inaba, the sister of God’s Eye Member Tomoka, came into the ring to call out the Future Of Stardom Champion Rina, who proposed at the latest NEW BLOOD show that Rookies outside of STARDOM should challenge her for the belt. Azusa Inaba is 15 years old and debuted six months ago in the Korakuen Hall show of JUST TAP OUT against Tomoka Inaba. She challenged for the NEW BLOOD Tag Team Championships together with her Sister earlier in the Summer, but came short, so this will be her second shot at STARDOM Gold. The Match was set for the next NEW BLOOD show at the end of the month.
In the first 5STAR Match of the night is a battle between two champions – The Wonder Of Stardom Champion MIRAI (3-2-0) faces Goddess Of Stardom Champion Saori Anou (2-3-2) in a Blue Stars Block Match. Anou is just one loss away from getting eliminated, with her maximum being 10 Points, while MIRAI is coming off a hard-fought victory over Konami to retain her White Belt Championship.
The match started off with great groundwork that ended with the Wonder Of Stardom Champion taking over control of the match, and she stayed in the role for a good chunk of the match, but the Goddess Of Stardom Champion wasn’t easy to hold down and found her footing in the match. The ending sequence was great, with MIRAI continuing her offense, but it wasn’t enough to finish off Anou, who then countered the finishing blow into the Pottering for a three count and an upset win over the White Belt Champion.
Starlight Kid (2-4-0) has no chance to win the Red Stars Block anymore after a tragic defeat to Tam Nakano. Now she is in the spoiler role, and with Hazuki (2-3-0) being one point drop away from being out as well, Starlight Kid is motivated to ruin the Wild Heart’s chances.
Starlight Kid attacked Hazuki during her entrance and started a crowd brawl up the Korakuen Hall stairs that peaked with SLK locking in the leg submission right in front of Jun Kasai, who was there as a fan and pushed the STARS Member down the stairs. SLK’s dominance continued when the match found its way back to the ring, but Hazuki eventually started a comeback, that got her the victory with the Hazukistral to win her third match in a row. Starlight Kid on the other hand now lost five matches in the 5STAR and won’t finish with a positive record, and showed her frustration by locking in the leg submission again after the match.
Suzu Suzuki (2-3-0) needs to win all of her matches to have a chance to advance in the tournament, but her opponent in the Korakuen Hall show is the reigning World of Stardom Champion Tam Nakano (3-1-1) who is coming off a victory against Starlight Kid at the Hiroshima show on September 3rd.
The match was from the beginning a 50-50 affair, with Tam Nakano hitting the running knee strike early in the match. Suzu took over the match by getting her offense in by throwing the Champion on the apron and bringing the match to the outside. The two brawled to the West and East Sign of the Korakuen Hall and smashed each other’s heads against it. Back in the ring, it was everyone’s match again, with both hitting each other with their signature moves for close near falls. Towards the end, Suzu got more offense in, successfully prevented the big moves of Tam Nakano, and was able to hit the Avalanche Dolphin Buster, countered the law roll-up of Nakano, and pinned her with the Locomotion German Suplex for the three count.
Suzuki gets a huge win over the World Of Stardom Champion and is back in the mix for the Block victory, but for that, she needs to win her final three matches. The same goes for Tam Nakano, who is now one point drop away to be eliminated from the tournament.
In the Main Event, Giulia (3-2-1) faces Maika (2-1-1) in an important match, not only for the tournament but for the role of Maika in DDM and STARDOM. It has been teased in the past months, that she might split up from the group to form a faction together with Mei Seira, Megan Bayne, and Suzu Suzuki since they have teamed up successfully in STARDOM.
Singles matches between members of Donna del Mondo always go extra hard and stiff, and this wasn’t different. In the last and only singles meeting, Maika busted open Giulia with an apron Brainbuster, here the match opened with a violent crowd brawl that included both getting thrown into the chairs, and Maika hitting a brainbuster on the floor. Back in the ring, the pace of the match changed drastically in a territory that we aren’t that used to from both, with Maika and Giulia throwing bomb after bomb at each other. Maika even debuted two new moves, a Powerbomb and a move that looks similar to Risa Sera’s rhythm Buster. The drama increased the longer the match went. Giulia hit the Glorious Driver, but the Empress of Stardom was able to kick out at one, which kicked off a great finishing sequence that showed Maika’s fire, but the Kneestrike from Giulia was the end for Maika. The NJPW Strong Women’s Champion ended the match then with a devastating headbutt, multiple slaps, the double Underhook Suplex from the top rope, and the Nothern Lights Bomb to finally hold her friend down in one of the best matches of the entire tournament.
After the match, Giulia and Maika seemingly seemed to be fully on the same page again until Suzu Suzuki came out and blamed Maika for her loss once again, similar to what happened after the Generation Battle, which motivated Maika, and they challenged together with Megan Bayne, Giulia for the Artist Of Stardom Championship, which has been announced for October 9th in Nagoya.
On Sunday, STARDOM held a Dream Tag Team Show with fan-voted teams facing each other in Tag Team Matches. The Show featured some teams that fans of the promotion wanted to see like Giulia teaming with Suzu Suzuki in the co-main event against Maika and Utami Hayashishita or Saki Kashima and Mayu Iwatani teaming together again after three years against the high-speed duo of Starlight Kid and AZM.
The show opened with Dream H reuniting against Saori Anou and Natsupoi – the current Goddess Of Stardom Champions. Mina and Tam Nakano team here up for the first time since Shirakawa left Cosmic Angels in April, shortly before Nakano’s World Of Stardom Championship win, It’s their first 2 vs. 2 Tag Team Match since January 2022, where they lost to Hazuki and Mayu Iwatani on a house show. Shirakawa is the only Wrestler in this match who isn’t in Cosmic Angels, with Saori Anou joining just moments after Mina left the stable on the finals show of this year’s Cinderella Tournament.
Dream H started off with their typical tag team combination, but it failed, due to the miscommunications of the two former Tag Team Partners, which got the champions the control of the match. Out of nowhere, Mina saw herself in a 3 vs. 1 situation, after Tam Nakano started to do Tag Team moves together with Natsupoi on Shirakawa. The match then turned into a heated affair, with the Leader of the Cosmic Angels battling Natsupoi and Saori Anou, and especially having promising sequences with Anou. Tam Nakano was able to pick up the victory for her team by pinning Natsupoi
KAIRI came to the ring and said she had wanted to wrestle in front of Stardom fans one more time, but opportunities hadn’t arisen yet. Then Hazuki, Saya Iida, and Koguma from STARS came out to challenge the former World Of Stardom Champion to a Six-Woman Tag Team Match. KAIRI accepted and chose Nanae Takahashi and Mayu Iwatani as her partners. The match is set for the Nagoya show on October 9.
In the second match, Hina and Rina team up to face MIRAI and the returning Mai Sakurai, who were stable mates in Donna del Mondo before the Wonder Of Stardom Champion left the stable to follow Syuri to form God’s Eye. This was Mai Sakurai’s first match since the opening of the 5STAR Grand Prix after she took time off for personal reasons.
MIRAI and Sakurai dominated at the early beginning of the match, but the bratty attitude of the Future Of Stardom Champion gave the Twins an opening that they used, with Hina getting close near falls on the Wonder Of Stardom Champion, but the two Champions were a level above them on that day. MIRAI locked in the Miramare submission on Hina to force her to tap out, while our Ladyship used Rina as her chair and hit her signature pose. After the match, Mai Sakurai proposed to team with MIRAI in the upcoming Tag League, and the God’s Eye Member accepted.
Mariah May and Hanan are teaming up against Momo Watanabe and Momo Kohgo – Double Momo. Hanan and May developed some kind of friendship over the last few months and came out wearing each other gear and doing each of the other’s poses during the entrance.
This match was a mix of serious wrestling and comedy bits, May and Hanan have great chemistry together as a tag team and showed potential for a future run. On the other side, Watanabe instantly pushed Kohgo from the apron, but they eventually tried Tag Team offense, but it backfired with Kohgo accidentally hitting Watanabe in the process. The anger of the Oedo Tai Member was shown, when Watanabe got disqualified by beating up Kohgo, May, Hanan, and the referee with the baseball bat. She then proceeded to challenge MIRAI for the Wonder Of Stardom Championship afterward, she earned that spot by defeating MIRAI in their 5STAR GP Match on the opening night.
Hazuki and Tora will team up again for the first time since 2019 when both teamed together in the Oedo Tai stable led by Yuu Ishino, fka Kagetsu. They even came out with matching gear in Oedo Tai colors. Their opponents are Nanae Takahashi and Ruaka, who feel like a mother-daughter duo and had a great Passion Injection Match four months ago at NEW BLOOD.
Nanae and Ruaka took a beating early in the match since the chemistry of Hazuki and Natsuko Tora was still on point, and it felt like they never stopped teaming with each other. Nanae and Ruaka were positioned as the underdogs in this match, that needed to overcome the chemistry of Hazuki and Tora. The crowd was cheering for Ruaka loudly, and eventually, she and Takahashi found their way back into the match, with Nanae starting the comeback sequence, that Ruaka continued, even hitting a double Refrigerator Bomb, but Tora broke it up in the last second. Nanae and Ruaka went for the Double Lariat, but Hazuki ducked, and she and Tora hit a double Red Mist that led to Hazuki landing the Senton Bomb on Ruaka for the pinfall victory in a fun contest.
In the semi-main event, Suzu Suzuki and Giulia are finally teaming up again. They have bonded since their Ice Ribbon days, when Giulia was Suzu’s senior, but left the promotion in 2019 for STARDOM. Their opponents are Maika and Utami who have bonded with each other since their Judo days, Maika has explained that she wanted to start with Pro Wrestling after she saw Utami transitioning from Judo to Wrestling and did the same. The drama is high in this match, with Giulia and Maika being together in the Donna del Mondo stable, but the Empress and Suzu Suzuki developing a friendship rivalry over the last few months, that is teasing a split between Giulia and Maika.
The match started as violent and wild as you could expect, with Giulia and Suzuki building up two tables on the outside just two minutes into the match, but Maika and Utami were able to prevent the Double Piledrivers with two Torture Racks. Back in the ring, the Judo Tag Team took over the match and did great Tag Team moves. Back to the outside, Maika and Utami used their alcohol bottles and drowned Suzu and Giulia in alcohol, and tried to do a double splash through the tables, but their opponents countered it, and finally were able to hit the Double Piledrivers through the table. At the 15-minute mark, Maika and Giulia were going at it in the ring, continuing what they started at the Korakuen Hall Match the day before, The last 5 minutes of this match were outstanding. They gave everything until the bell rang for the time limit draw. A fantastic Tag Team Match. Suzu and Giulia were standing in the ring but got attacked by Prominence’s Risa Sera and Hiiragi Kurumi, who announced their entry into the Tag League.
Mayu Iwatani and Saki Kashima team up for the first time since Kashima betrayed Iwatani to join Oedo Tai back in 2020 against Starlight Kid and AZM, who have been rivals since the start of both careers. The VTR before the match included some of the most important moments in the career of both Kashima and Mayu, including their Goddesses of Stardom Tag Title win in 2018 against Kimura and Kagetsu.
The match started with Mayu Iwatani working at high speed against Starlight Kid and AZM, but Kashima had no interest in the fast-paced and slowed the match down the moment she tagged into the match. The High-Speed Tag team continued to use their flashiness as an advantage to get the upper hand on the former Goddesses Of Stardom Champions, but Kashima and Iwatani always fought their way back into the match, getting close near falls with their Tag Team combinations. The final sequence between AZM and Saki Kashima was fun, with AZM pinning Kashima after a roll-up.
Next Week’s 5STAR Grand Prix Matches:
Day 16 – September 16
- Red Stars: Ami Sourei vs Tam Nakano
- Red Stars: Natsupoi vs Hazuki
- Blue Stars: AZM vs Maika
Day 17 – September 17
- Red Stars: Suzu Suzuki vs Ami Sourei
- Blue Stars: MIRAI vs Mariah May
- Blue Stars: Hanan vs Momo Watanabe
Official 5STAR Grand Prix Standings following Day 15:
RED STARS BLOCK –
12 – Natsuko Tora (6-2-0)
9 – Natsupoi (4-1-1)
9 – Syuri (4-1-1)
7 – Tam Nakano (3-2-1)
7 – Mayu Iwatani (3-3-1) (OUT)
6 – Hazuki (3-3-0)
6 – Suzu Suzuki (3-3-0)
4 – Starlight Kid (2-5-0) (OUT)
4 – Ami Sourei (2-3-0) (OUT)
0 – Saya Kamitani (0-6-0) (OUT)
BLUE STARS BLOCK –
9 – Giulia (4-2-1)
8 – Saori Anou (3-3-2)
8 – Utami Hayashishita (4-2-0)
6 – Mina Shirakawa (3-3-0)
6 – Momo Watanabe (3-3-0)
6 – MIRAI (3-3-0)
6 – Mariah May (3-3-0)
6 – AZM (3-3-0)
5 – Maika (2-2-1)
2 – Hanan (1-5-0) (OUT)
STARDOM announced the Tag Teams for the 13th Goddess Of Stardom Tag League, which is the annual Tag Tournament in the fall of every year. The tournament will begin on October 15 and end on November 11 in Nagaoka with the winner getting a Goddess Of Stardom Tag Title match at Queendom in December against the Champions
Red Goddess Block
Giulia & Thekla
Syuri & Saki Kashima
Hazuki & Koguma
Suzu Suzuki & Mei Seira
Mina Shirakawa & Waka Tsukiyama
Risa Sera & Kurumi Hiiragi
Natsuko Tora & Starlight Kid
Utami Hayashishita & Lady C
Blue Goddess Block
Maika & Megan Bayne
Mayu Iwatani & Hanan
Saya Iida & HANAKO
MIRAI & Mai Sakurai
Tam Nakano & Natsupoi
AZM & Miyu Amasaki
Momo Watanabe & Ruaka
Ami Sourei & Yuna Mizumori
Tokyo Joshi Pro
TJPW announced that they are holding a mini-tournament for the Princess Tag Team Championships after the Magical Sugar Rabbits needed to vacate the Titles due to Yuka Sakazaki’s injury. The tournament format is that six Tag Teams face each other in two three-way matches with the two winners advancing to Wrestle Princess IV to fight for the vacant Championships.
In the first three-way match, Hikari Noa and Nao Kakuta defeated Pom Harajuku & Raku and Hyper Misao & Shoko Nakajima to advance to WP. In the second match, Mahiro Kiryu and Yuki Kamifuku surprisingly advanced by defeating Suzume & Arisu Endo and Miu Watanabe & Rika Tatsumi. With that, the Princess Tag Title match is Free WiFi (Hikari Noa & Nao Kakuta) vs. Toyo Mates (Mahiro Kiryu & Yuki Kamifuku) which is a match that could go either way.
The announced card for Wrestle Princess 4 on October 9
Maki Itoh vs. Nyla Rosa
Free WiFi (Hikari Noa & Nao Kakuta) vs. Toyo Mates (Mahiro Kiryu & Yuki Kamifuku) – Princess Tag Team Titles
Mizuki (c) vs. Miyu Yamashita – Princess Of Princess Championship