STARDOM had a packed week last week, holding three 5STAR Grand Prix show, and also the yearly STARDOMxSTARDOM PPV in Osaka on Sunday, with Megan Bayne challenging Tam Nakano.
The first of the four shows happened in Kyoto on Tuesday, with four 5STAR Block Matches that all delivered on a high level. This show is the perfect example of how consistent and great the annual STARDOM tournament is. The show featured Maika vs Momo Watanabe, Mariah May vs Giulia, Syuri vs Natsupoi, and in the Main Event, Mayu Iwatani vs Suzu Suzuki.
In the first tournament match of the show, Maika (1-0-1) faced Momo Watanabe. This was one of the very first rivalries that started when Maika made her debut in STARDOM in 2020. Their last encounter happened in the Cinderella tournament this year, when Momo Watanabe advanced by destroying Maika’s arm. This story continued in the match, with Watanabe instantly going for Maika’s right arm, which weakens her Lariats and power moves. The Black Peach didn’t hand the control to Maika at all in the next couple of minutes, ending every comeback the Empress tries with a submission counter that focuses the arm. Maika started her comeback when Rina pulled away the referee instantly and Momo tried to hit the Empress with her baseball bat. Maika ducked twice, took the bat, and hit Watanabe’s head off with it. From then on, this match got incredible. Both Wrestlers didn’t hold back and just brutally hit each other with every move they have. Momo finished the match with a Half and Half Suplex and the Peach Sunrise to reach 4 Points.
Mariah May (1-1-0) faced off against the NJPW Strong Women’s Champion, Giulia (1-0-1). When she joined STARDOM, May revealed that Giulia is her dream opponent, and now she’s wrestling her. The match starts off with a brutal slapping exchange between the two champions, but it instantly transitioned into Giulia taking over the match and working all over Mariah May. The self-proclaimed foreign Ace found her opening and dominated the former World Of Stardom Champion in the middle part of the match, even hitting the Power Bombshell, but it didn’t take long until Giulia found her way back into the match with a Double Underdog Suplex from the top rope that her mentor Hideki Suzuki gifted to her. From the 10-minute mark on, this match went back to being a slap battle. May seemed to take over the control again, but it was Giulia who decided the match with a brutal knee strike and the Glorious Driver II for her. Giulia wins her second 5STAR Match in a row and is now at 5 Points.
In the co-main event, Natsupoi (2-0-0) wrestled her former Stable Mate Syuri (1-1-0) for two important points in the tournament. Their only singles match yet was in the Cinderella 2021 tournament, which Syuri was able to win without problems. This was a totally different affair, the High-Speed Fairy developed a ton in the last two years and is slowly climbing up the ranks in STARDOM. She and Syuri started the match with grappling which leaned in the favor of Syuri, but Natsupoi didn’t look to be far behind, she mixed it with her high pace and was able to out-wrestle the former World Of Stardom Champion with that. Syuri was relentless and got control over the match at the five-minute mark, destroying her former Stable Partner with brutal kicks and submissions. From then on, Natsupoi fought from underneath, trying to find openings, but it was tough for her. She found her opening by countering a high kick of Syuri with a Roundhouse Kick and a German Suplex, but Syuri wasn’t impressed by this. From then on, both just went crazy, Poi continued her fast-paced offense while Syuri just tried to end the Cosmic Angels member. The ending sequence was one of the best of the entire year, only the time limit stopped them. Incredible match and likely the best of the entire tournament.
In the main event of the KBS Hall show, Suzu Suzuki (1-2-0) tries to take down Mayu Iwatani (1-0-0) in a match between two of the best in STARDOM. The match starts off at a high pace with great sequences and Suzuki taking over the match. Mayu found her way back in the match with a nasty Tope Suicida and a Frog Splash, Suzuki answered with the Dolphin Buster and an amazing-looking kick combination to set up the Tequila Shot for a two count. From then on it got a back and forth with both trying to hold the other down, whenever one seemed to be having the advantage, the other wrestler was able to pull out an unbelievable counter to get themselves in a better position again. Mayu was able to turn the match around on her side with a beautiful Moonsault Press that led to a close near fall. Mayu then went for the Two Step Dragon Suplex, Suzu tried her best to escape but Iwatani just had the match in the bag, hit the Suplex, and pinned Suzuki.
The tour continued with a show in Okayama on Thursday with two Red Stars Block Matches, with Suzu Suzuki facing Natsuko Tora, and Natsupoi trying to defeat Mayu Iwatani in the Main Event of the show.
The show kicked off with Suzu Suzuki (1-3-0) who is now in a must-win situation after her three loses and needs to beat the undefeated Natsuko Tora (3-0-0). Suzuki didn’t waste any time and attacked Tora during Tora’s entrance. They went to an outside brawl where the leader of Oedo Tai got control over the match. Their brawl continued inside the ring, with Suzu not being able to hit her trademark moves, struggling to lift Tora. Suzuki was close to losing her fourth match, with her just barely escaping Tora’s Swanton Bomb. Suzuki’s opening started with her removing the turnbuckle, she connected multiple kicks before hitting the Tequila Shot, but Rina pulled away the referee. Tora tried to hit Suzu with a steel pipe, but just like Maika yesterday with Momo, she took it away and hit Tora with it, then hit two German Suplexes to get her second win.
In the Main Event, Natsupoi (2-0-1) and Mayu Iwatani (2-0-0) battle in a match of the undefeated. Mayu defeated Hazuki and Suzu Suzuki. Natsupoi defeated Starlight Kid and Suzu Suzuki, while also drawing to Syuri in Kyoto. The match kicked off with a quick high-speed sequence where Iwatani was able to take control. Just like Syuri, Iwatani started to kick the living hell out of Natsupoi. The fairy tried multiple comebacks, But Mayu stiffed her as hard as she can to keep her down. In the end sequence, it felt to be Iwatani’s match to win. She hit all of her big moves, was able to keep Natsupoi’s quickness under control, and even had her in her modified Dragon Sleeper hold that made some of the best in STARDOM tap out. Natsupoi got desperate, but that brings the best out of her. She never gave up and waited for the last chance and that was when Iwatani tried again to go for the Two-Staged Dragon Suplex but Natsupoi countered it and rolled up Iwatani for the three-count. The Fairy now has a victory over the IWGP Women’s Champion and climbs to 7 Points.
The Saturday show in Himeji was packed with three important Blue Stars Block Matches, in the first Hanan and AZM were fighting on the verge of getting eliminated early to get important points. In the last two matches, Giulia fought Mina and Utami fought Saori Anou, with all four having a chance to not only win two points but also potentially getting an important tiebreaker over a favorite to win the Block.
Hanan (0-4-0) just celebrated her 19th Birthday a day before the show and will face the former High-Speed Champion AZM (1-3-0) in an important match for both Wrestlers. Just like in her other 5STAR matches, the Young Lioness kicks off the match with a Dropkick right at the bell, trying to get the advantage in the early moments of the match. This tactic worked against everyone yet, but AZM’s strength is her quickness and reversals, which she used perfectly to instantly stop the momentum of the STARS Member here.
The pace of the match is the highest in the tournament yet, with non-stop action and a great structure behind it, that establishes the Young Lioness as the underdog here. The Bomb Girl is always one step ahead of Hanan, instantly notices what the Young Lioness wants to go for, and counters it with ease. After dodging the Double Foot stomp, Hanan starts her opening with a Fallaway Slam and a running Uppercut but wasn’t able to capitalize on it and lost her momentum instantly, when AZM was quicker on her feet again. Hanan’s only chances, at that point, were quick roll-ups which lead to multiple close two counts, which opened up a huge opportunity for AZM and put her in the Armbar Submission. The Queen’s Quest Member went once again for the Double Foot Stomp, and this time it connected, which lead to a close near fall. AZM’s counterplay was at perfection in this match, except for one moment, where she didn’t pay full attention and Hanan was able to hit the Backdrop Suplex and a Fallaway Slam for a near fall. Hanan then hit a Backdrop Suplex and two Backdrop Drivers for the three count and her first victory of the 5STAR this year. AZM was the far better Wrestler in this match and countered everything possible, but one moment was enough for Hanan to turn the match around and secure the win. She never gave up and gained well-deserved two points and the respect of AZM.
Giulia (2-0-1) battles Mina Shirakawa (2-1-0) with the winner making an important step into the contention of winning the block. The match goes quickly to the outside, which normally plays into the card of Giulia, but this time it was Shirakawa who took over the match and starts to work on the leg of Giulia, putting her in all kinds of leg logs early in the bout. Giulia does work on her own and gets her offense in with a Double Underhook Suplex, but Mina throws the NJPW Strong Women’s Champion with Suplexes of her own. It was an open contest with both getting their moves in to try to get the advantage without success, but Mina’s leg work starts to pay off with her countering the Big Boot of Giulia with a Dragon screw that instantly led to the Figure Four submission being applied. The leader of Donna del Mondo was struggling and about to tap out several times, and was only barely able to reach the top and escape the hold. Giulia tried her best in the end, but Mina caught her with an Enzuigiri, then hit the implant DDT and the Figure Four Driver MINA for the three count and her third win in a row.
In the Main Event of the Saturday show, Utami Hayashishita (1-0-0) wrestles her second 5STAR Grand Prix match against Saori Anou (1-1-2) in a first-time-ever singles match between the Ace of STARDOM and one of the biggest freelancer Stars in Joshi Wrestling just one day before both are in major Championship matches. The star power was visible from the moment the bell rang and both Wrestlers started to lock up. Utami took over the control of the match and worked on the back of Anou, but Saori found her way back with two consecutive Fisherman Busters and a face lock submission hold. From then on it was a bomb fest with both busting out one big move after another with bumps on the neck and head from Shirakawa and Giulia. At the ten-minute mark, both Wrestlers pick up the pace. The ending sequence was fantastic, with multiple great near falls from both. The challenger for the IWGP Women’s Championship hit the Torture Rack Bomb for a two count. Then she hits the Shocking Baszler and the German Suplex to win the match on her 5th Anniversary in a great match.
The yearly STARDOMxSTARDOM happened on Sunday and featured five major title matches, including Mayu Iwatani vs Utami Hayashishita for the IWGP Women’s Championship, and Megan Bayne’s first actual match in STARDOM against Tam Nakano for the World Of Stardom Championship.
The first real match on the show was a Red Stars Block Match between factions members. Natsuko Tora (3-1-0) is trying to get her momentum back, while Starlight Kid (0-2-0) wants to get on the scoreboard. The match starts off with SLK attacking Tora right before the bell. Tora took over the control quickly and dominated the Sky Tiger until the very end when Starlight Kid counters Tora’s tries and rolls up her leader with the Momoracci to get her first two points of the tournament. The Faction Leader instantly accepted her loss and showed respect to Starlight Kid.
In the first title match of the show, Koguma tries to win the High-Speed Championship for the second time in her career by challenging Saki Kashima. The Bear held the belt back in 2015 when she defeated Io Shirai in a fantastic match for it, since coming out of retirement, she challenged a couple of times for the Championship but was never able to win it again. The match starts off untypically slow for a High-Speed Title match, with both doing bits at the beginning, but the pace of the match changes quickly. Reversal after reversal from both Wrestlers with quick pin exchanges and close near falls until Kashima rolls up Koguma with the Kishikaisei for the three count and successfully defends her Championship for a second time. Mei Seira then appeared ringside, and asked once again for a title shot, Kashima surprisingly shook her hand and announced that Momo Kohgo is the next challenger on the Hiroshima show on September 3rd.
Next up was the Goddesses Of Stardom Champion, with Natsupoi and Saori Anou trying to claim gold as a Tag Team, challenging Mariah May and Mina Shirakawa. This match has a lot of backstory with Mina and Natsupoi being faction partners until Shirakawa decided to leave to make Club Venus its own faction together. Instantly after that happened, Saori Anou came out and joined Cosmic Angels. The Tag Champions are controlling the early part of the match, with Shirakawa working the leg of both Natsupoi and Saori Anou. The Cosmic Angel’s duo came into the match more in the middle part, but multiple double team moves by Rose Gold, but the Champions back in control. The final sequence happened between Natsupoi and Mariah May, where the Cosmic Angel representative wins over the control the longer it goes. Mariah struggled to get her offense in and needed help from her Tag Team Partner more than usual. Anou and Natsupoi saw that and took out the former Wonder Of Stardom Champion with a Superkick-German Suplex Combination, and then May was on her own, and before Mina was able to interfere again in the match, Natsupoi hit the Fairy Strain for the Title win. It’s Anou’s 2nd title since coming to STARDOM four months ago, while Natsupoi won her 5th Championship in the promotion. Mei Seira and Suzu Suzuki, who won the Gauntlet Tag Team Match earlier in the show, challenge for the belt next.
Giulia defends her Strong Women’s Championship for the first time against Yuu from 7Upp. The EVE International Champion and yet to be pinned and submitted inside a STARDOM ring and looked as dominant as no one before. The match starts off slow with Giulia and Yuu grappling, but the intensity started to pick up once Giulia slapped Yuu across the face. They were building up a great David vs Goliath dynamic, with Giulia playing the underdog for once. The match started to pick up in the end, but the match was over before kicking into the next gear when Giulia put Yuu into an arm submission and made her force to give up. After the match, a video was played, with Deonna Purrazzo AND Gisele Shaw both challenging Giulia for the NJPW/IMPACT Show on August 20th. After the show, a video was posted where Momo Kohgo added herself to the Championship match. Giulia will defend her Championship in a four-way!
Mayu Iwatani won the IWGP Women’s Champion at the All Star Grand Queendom Show from Mercedes Mone and is defending the Championship for the first time against former World Of Stardom Champion Utami Hayashishita. In preparation for this match and the 5STAR Grand Prix, the leader of Queen’s Quest was in the States wrestling in Ring Of Honor and Game Changer Wrestler and hasn’t lost a Singles Match since. Mayu on the other side just lost to Natsupoi in the 5STAR Grand Prix. Both Wrestlers represent two different eras of STARDOM at their peaks, with Mayu being the Icon Of Stardom while Utami feels to be the current Ace of the Promotion. This match had it all, from physical strikes to sick neck bumps that could have ended the match at any minute. The match was build-up like a typical epic STARDOM Match, that picked up really in the end with a fantastic finishing stretch. Mayu actually kicked out of the Shocking Baszler, which many thought is the new finisher of Utami. Iwatani pulled out the viral Poison Rana to pin Hayashishita and take down the Red Queen for her first title defense in a great match, that has the potential to be even better. It’s yet to be revealed when, where, or against who Mayu’s next title defense will happen.
Tam Nakano defended her World Of Stardom Championship for the second time in the Main Event against Megan Bayne. The Megasus has not been pinned or submitted inside a STARDOM ring, has defeated everyone in her way, and looked strong in her run. She is a tough opponent for Nakano and showed it in the early moments of the match by dominating the Champion. The match totally went in the Brock-Cena Summerslam 2013 direction, where Bayne destroys the World Of Stardom Champion, threw her around, and didn’t give her any chance to get her offense in. She bounced off Megasus and got tossed around, she eventually found a way to bring her down, there were some near falls, including the F5 that held anyone down yet, where it looked like Megasus might win. Tam Nakano shines the most when she is on the verge of losing, and it was the same here. She found a way to overcome the odds, defeat Megan Bayne and retain the Championship for a second time.
Next Week’s 5STAR Grand Prix Matches:
Day 9 – August 15
- Blue Stars: Momo Watanabe vs Saori Anou
- Blue Stars: Mariah May vs Mina Shirakawa
- Blue Stars: AZM vs Utami Hayashishita
- Red Stars: Syuri vs Hazuki
- Red Stars: Tam Nakano vs Mayu Iwatani
Official 5STAR Grand Prix Standings following STARDOMxSTARDOM:
RED STARS BLOCK –
9 – Natsupoi (4-0-1)
6 – Natsuko Tora (3-2-0)
4 – Tam Nakano (2-0-0)
4 – Mayu Iwatani (2-1-0)
4 – Suzu Suzuki (2-3-0)
3 – Syuri (1-1-1)
2 – Starlight Kid (1-2-0)
2 – Ami Sourei (1-1-0)
0 – Hazuki (0-2-0)
0 – Saya Kamitani (0-3-0)
BLUE STARS BLOCK –
6 – Mina Shirakawa (3-1-0)
5 – Giulia (2-1-1)
4 – Saori Anou (1-2-2)
4 – Utami Hayashishita (2-0-0)
4 – MIRAI (2-2-0)
4 – Momo Watanabe (2-0-0)
3 – Maika (1-1-1)
2 – Mariah May (1-2-0)
2 – AZM (1-3-0)
2 – Hanan (1-4-0)
Tokyo Joshi Pro
TJPW held two Korakuen Hall shows last weekend to decide who the winner is of the 10th Tokyo Princess Cup and challenge Mizuki at Wrestle Princess IV – the biggest show in the calendar year of Tokyo Joshi Pro.
The Saturday show featured the two semi-finals, with the winners facing off on Sunday in the final. It was certain that the Trophy will be lifted by someone who never won the Cup before.
In the first Semi-Final Match, Yuki Arai tries to upset the “Pink Striker” Miyu Yamashita. The Genius Girl was the total underdog in this match but put on the best performance in her career, and improvement was seen compared to their last singles match. On the other side, Miyu played the dominant part in this match, hitting Arai with multiple devastating kicks to hold her down. But Arai’s strength is her fire, she never gives up even when her situation looks as bad as it did in this match. The crowd bit every near fall, and believed that Arai could make the upset here and defeat the Ace of Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. She came closer than ever before, but Miyu is just a level too high for her. Yamashita finished her off with the Skull Kick and advances to the final.
In the main event, Yuki Kamifuku and Rika Tatsumi face each other for the second spot in the final. This match was solid, with Tatsumi using her usual tactic and targeting the leg of Kamifuku, which forced the former International Princess Champion to change up her game plan to have a chance. The end sequence of this match was great, with the fans being behind Kamifuku and her coming close with multiple pinfalls. She showed a lot of heart and shocked once again the fans by hitting the top rope famouser to defeat Rika Tatsumi and advanced to the final to face Miyu Yamashita.
The final happened on Sunday in front of 657 fans. In the middle of the show, it got announced that the new Champions for the vacant Princess Tag Team Championships will be decided at Wrestle Princess 4, also Maki Itoh will face All Elite Wrestling’s Nyla Rose on the sho
The main event is between Miyu Yamashita and Yuki Kamifuku for the chance to wrestle Mizuki at Wrestle Princess 4. The match went as expected, Miyu dominated Kamifuku from the early beginning, with Kamifuku struggling to find herself in the match. She never looked in danger to lose control of this match or lose it, but Kamifuku tried her best. She got a red-hot Korakuen Hall crowd chanting for her and was able to force the match into an exciting back and forth, and the drama was amazing. Furthermore, she ate the Skull kick and was even able to reach the rope with her foot, which made the crowd even louder, but at that moment Kamifuku’s fate was already decided. Miyu hits the Crash Rabbit Heat to defeat Kamifuku and win her first Princess Cup in her 10th try and will challenge Mizuki for the Princess Of Princess Championship at Wrestle Princess 4 on October 8th.
Kitsune Women’s Wrestling
Kitsune Women’s Wrestling is a new Joshi Promotion that is holding its first show on October 22nd in Los Angeles. The owner (TheJoshiPod) has various contacts with all kinds of Joshi Wrestlers and is flying them over to the United States to let them wrestle Indy Wrestlers from the United States. Their last announcement was former STARDOM Wrestler Konami who will be facing Knockouts Tag Team Champion Masha Slamovich in a special singles match. The former Goddesses Of Stardom Champion will join the line-up that includes Trish Adora, Billie Starkz, Unagi Sayaka, Tae Honma, Haruka Umesaki, and many more. The Promotion is hoping for a big turnout and putting on future shows both in the US and internationally.
Kitsune Rumble-Kitana Vera, Johnnie Robbie, J-Rod, Zara Zakher, Tara Zep, Delilah Doom, Alex Gracia, Karisma, Aspyn Rose and Miyako Matsumoto.
Rina Amikura vs Trish Adora
Chikayo Nagashima vs Rachael Ellering
Magenta (Maria & Riko Kawahata) vs Black Swan & Kidd Banditt
Risa Sera vs Billie Starkz
Hibiscus Mii vs Nicole Savoy
Rumble Winner vs Haruka Umesaki for the WWWD Singles Championship IF Umesaki still holds the belt
Konami vs Masha Slamovich
Unagi Sayaka vs Dark Sheik vs Tae Honma – Kitsune World Championship