STARDOM had a busy weekend with two live shows.
On Saturday, they held the Gold Rush PPV in the Osaka EDION Arena. The Main Show opened with the High-Speed Title Match, where Osaka’s own Momoka Hanazono challenged AZM. It was a fast-paced match that reminded a bit of the Mei Suruga title defense. An exciting, fast-paced match with the best individual performance of Momoka’s career, but it wasn’t enough to win the gold. AZM retained for the 8th time after the rolling up Hanazono with the Azumi Sushi.
The first-round matches of the Moneyball Tournament were next. The Donna del Mondo trio of Thekla, Giulia and Mai Sakurai advanced after defeating the Cosmic Angels trio of Waka Tsukiyama, Tam Nakano and Natsupoi while in the 2nd First Round Match Koguma, Mayu Iwatani and Hazuki were able to defeat Tomoka Inaba, MIRAI and Ami Sourei to advance to the final.
In a Red Stars Goddess Of STARDOM Tag League Match, the former Champions Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid picked up their first victory of the tournament after defeating their Oedo Tai partners Saki Kashima and Fukigen Death in quick fashion. The Blue Stars Tag League Match between Maika & Himeka and Nanae Takahashi and Yuu was way closer. 7 Up did a great job isolating Maika from Himeka and got the match early under control, but the former Goddesses Champs came back multiple times and fought back against the more experienced team. Maika was able to surprise roll-up Nanae just under a minute before the time limit was reached to get the two points.
The Wonder of Stardom Title Match was the match everyone was looking forward to on this show. This was a very intense match, from the beginning you could feel the tension and the urge to win from both women. From the entrance, you can tell that KAIRI was going to approach a more aggressive and heelish side of herself, and that happened from early on when she threw chairs in Saya Kamitani’s direction. Everything felt like it mattered in this match, from KAIRI working the rib area of Saya with a spear into the corner post and an Insane elbow from the apron to the floor, to Saya working the arm of KAIRI. Close to the time limit, KAIRI went for the Insane Elbow but Saya got the knees-up and went instantly into an armbar on the worked arm, but the time ran out. Both weren’t able to get the job done and had a lot of stamina left to do this for 20 more minutes. A rematch will happen down the line.
Syuri defeated Utami Hayashishita in the Red Belt title match of this show to be the second-ever Wrestler to reach the 10 title defenses in a single reign. These two know each other so well, and the action from bell to bell was very well-paced without having to take much of a breather. They just can’t miss and that match was another banger between two of the best Wrestlers in the world. This Match isn’t worse than their first two World Of Stardom Title Matches last year. After the Match, the former ALK partners Giulia and Syuri had a staredown to make their Title Match at Queendom official.
The final of the Moneyball Tournament was hilarious, but in a great way. Just a few minutes into the Match, Hazuki destroyed the Moneyball with a dropkick and all the money was laid on the ring mat. The Match was then for the rest of the Moneyball. All Six did amazing spots and gave everything to win the money here. In the end, Koguma took out Donna del Mondo with a Splash from the top of the Ladder to the outside, so Hazuki & Mayu were able to hang the Moneyball down and win the match and the money for their team.
The NJPW/STARDOM Historic X-over Show on Sunday had three cool special Mix Tag Team Matches. In the first one, Syuri and Tom Lawlor faced Zack Sabre Jr. and Giulia. Both teams worked really well together and showed a lot of chemistry. Syuri and Giulia even had a small ALK reunion when they beat up Tom Lawlor to beat each other up again. Zack pinned the Leader of Team Filthy to win the match for him and Giulia.
The second Mix between Natsupoi, Taichi, Kanemaru and Tam Nakano against El Desperado, DOUKi, Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid was a lot of fun and likely the best one of the three. Poi and Kanemaru doing the stereo whisky mist and then Tam and Taichi doing the stereo Superkicks and Tam having no pants to rip like Taichi were all absolute gold moments in the middle of some good actual wrestling. Taichi won the match by pinning his stablemate DOUKI with the Black Mephisto.
The last Mix Tag Team Match was the Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi teaming up with Utami Hayashishita to face the Empress Maika and Hirooki Goto. A great match here, where especially Tanahashi was really motivated. He didn’t hold back and even slapped Maika right in the face. Maika responded by hitting a Backdrop Driver on Tanahashi to fulfill her promise to throw the Ace of NJPW. Utami picked up the win by pinning her rival Maika.
The Main Event of the show was for the IWGP Women’s Title. KAIRI and Mayu put on an emotional classic in the biggest STARDOM Match of all time. It was intense, it was dramatic, it was emotional, it was fabulous and that from the very first minute. The expectations were up in the sky for these two and they not only matches them but totally knocked it out of the park. Mayu goes into the “Zombie Mode” multiple times in the match. The near falls cut it extremely close and only added to the tension, there was no way of knowing who was going to win. Not even the first Insane Elbow was enough to finish the match, but the second one did the job. KAIRI is the first ever IWGP Women’s Champion after defeating the Icon and the Heart & Soul of STARDOM. After the Match, Tam Nakano made the challenge and will face the new Champion at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4th.
Full results STARDOM Gold Rush 2022 on November 19th
Lady C & Miyu Amasaki vs Saya Iida & Momo Kohgo vs Natsuko Tora & Ruaka
AZM (c) defeats Momoka Hanazono to retain High-Speed Title
Giulia & Thekla & Mai Sakurai vs Natsupoi & Tam Nakano & Waka Tsukiyama in a First Round of the Moneyball Tournament
Koguma & Mayu Iwatani & Hazuki defeats Tomoka Inaba & MIRAI & Ami Sourei in a First Round of the Moneyball Tournament
Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid defeat Fukigen Death & Saki Kashima in a Goddess Of STARDOM Tag League Match
Maika & Himeka defeat Nanae Takahashi & Yuu in a Goddess Of STARDOM Tag League Match
Saya Kamitani (c) vs KAIRI for the Wonder Of STARDOM Title ends in a 30 minute time limit draw
Syuri (c) defeats Utami Hayashishita to retain the World Of STARDOM Title
Koguma & Mayu Iwatani & Hazuki defeat Giulia & Thekla & Mai Sakurai in the Moneyball Tournament Final
Full Results for NJPW/STARDOM Historic X-over on November 20th
Oskar Leube & Kosei Fujita & Ryohei Oiwa & Yuto Nakajima vs Kevin Knight & Gabriel Kidd & Alex Coughlin & Clark Connors
MIRAI wins the STARDOM Rambo
Lio Rush & YOH & YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii defeat Dick Togo & SHO & Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL
Lady C & AZM & Saya Kamitani defeat Mai Sakurai & Thekla & Himeka
Zack Sabre Jr. & Giulia defeat Syuri & Tom Lawlor
Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Tam Nakano & Natsupoi vs El Desperado & DOUKI & Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Utami Hayashishita defeat Maika & Hirooki Goto
Gideon Gray & Francisco Akira & TJP & Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis defeat BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA & Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito
The Great Muta & Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada defeat Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb
Will Ospreay (c) defeats Shota Umino to retain the IWGP United States Heavyweight Title
KAIRI defeats Mayu Iwatani to win the IWGP Women’s Title
Official Goddesses Of STARDOM Tag League Standings following the Gold Rush PPV
RED STARS BLOCK –
8 – Saya Kamitani & Utami Hayashishita (4-0-0)
6 – Giulia & Thekla (3-1-0)
4 – Natsupoi & Tam Nakano (2-1-0)
3 – Syuri & Tomoka Inaba (1-1-1)
3 – Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid (1-2-1)
2 – Mayu Iwatani & Momo Kohgo (1-1-0)
2 – Fukigen Death & Saki Kashima (1-3-0)
0 – Lady C & Mai Sakurai (0-4-0)
BLUE STARS BLOCK –
8 – Natsuko Tora & Ruaka (4-1-0)
6 – Himeka & Maika (3-1-0)
4 – Hazuki & Koguma (2-2-0)
3 – Nanae Takahashi & Yuu (1-1-1)
3 – Ami Sourei & MIRAI (1-1-1)
2 – Waka Tsukiyama & SAKI (1-3-0)
2 – AZM & Miyu Amasaki (1-2-0)
2 – Hanan & Saya Iida (1-3-0)
Match Of the Week
KAIRI vs. Mayu Iwatani for the IWGP Women’s Title is rightfully the best Match of the Week. This was easily Kairi’s best match since returning and Mayu, well, she always delivers in spots like this. The atmosphere was amazing, the tension was thick from the start and you could tell you were witnessing something special. This was an instant classic
Performer Of The Week
KAIRI had two amazing performances and matches this weekend and all that with an injury. On Saturday she faced Saya Kamitani in a 30-minute time limit draw for the Wonder of STARDOM Title and just 24h later she defeated the Icon and her friend Mayu Iwatani to get crowned the first ever IWGP Women’s Champion. It is her first title since leaving WWE and it is a big one.