STARDOM held the 16th Night of the 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 in Fukuoka on Saturday. The show featured three 5STAR matches, including Tam Nakano and Ami Sourei battling, Natuspoi wrestling Hazuki, and Maika fighting in the main event against AZM.
The 5STAR weekend kicked off with Ami Sourei (2-4-0) trying to spoil the tournament of Tam Nakano (3-2-1). The God’s Eye Member already got eliminated after a devastating loss to Mayu Iwatani, while Nakano is just one loss away from being out of the tournament as well. Ami is now in the role of the spoiler who wants to get the victory of the World Of Stardom Champion.
The tensions were seen from the beginning since the match featured a fast pace with both Wrestlers trying to win the upper hand, but only Sourei succeeded with a devastating brainbuster on the floor. From then on, Nakano was in deep trouble with Sourei continuing her dominant phase, but the fighting spirit of the Red Belt Champion is undeniably strong, and she kicked out of everything that Sourei hit her with. Nakano started her comeback with multiple kicks and the Tiger Suplex to keep Sourei down for the three count to pick up an important victory just two weeks before the final night.
Natsupoi (4-1-1) tries to get back on the winning tracks against hometown hero Hazuki (3-3-0). The situation for Hazuki is clear here, with her needing to win her last three matches to even have a chance to advance to the final.
The match started off with a counter sequence until the “Wild Heart” took over the match under loud cheers from the fans. Natsupoi didn’t back down, and countered Hazuki in a moment of distraction, hitting the cross body to the outside, and changed the flow of the match with both getting offense. The STARS Member hammers elbow on the fairy without any remorse, while Natsupoi counters with her spin kick and multiple German Suplexes for close two counts. The Goddess of Stardom Champion came close to victory several times, but she wasn’t able to finish off the hometown hero. The end sequence featured multiple close roll-ups until Hazuki finished the match with the Diving Senton and the Brain Buster for the victory.
Now, both Natsupoi and Hazuki are on the verge of being eliminated and both need to win their next match to still be in contention on the final night.
In the Main Event, AZM (3-3-0) faces the second hometown hero from Fukuoka with Maika (2-2-1) in a crucial Blue Stars Block Match with both needing a win to be a front winner in the Block.
The Bomb Girl does what she is best at in the match, and that is trying to outpace the Empress of Stardom, it worked fantastically in the opening minutes of the match, with her giving Maika no chance to breathe. The power of Maika still gave her offense, but AZM was able to counter close to all of them in the first minutes. She especially countered Maika’s middle rope Brainbuster. Maika slowly found her footing in the “Speed vs. Power” match-up, which developed the match into an exciting match. AZM counters Maika’s Powerbomb and hit the Canadian Destroyer- Azumi Sushi combination for a near fall. AZM went for the Buzzsaw kick, but the Empress saw it coming and straight up hit the Powerbomb on the Queen’s Quest Member From then on, Maika had it in her bag, countering the La Mistica attempt into the Enka Otoshi and then hit the Michinoku Driver II to gain two points.
AZM is now on the verge of being eliminated, with her facing Giulia next in a must-win scenario for her, while Maika still has the two Club Venus Members Mina Shirakawa and Mariah May in front of her before the final day.
On Sunday, STARDOM held the 17th Night of the 5STAR Grand Prix 203. The show featured three great 5STAR matches, including Hanan trying to upset Momo Watanabe, MIRAI and Mariah May fighting in a crucial Blue Stars Block match and Suzu Suzuki trying to avoid elimination in the main event against God’s Eye’s Ami Sourei.
In the first 5STAR match of the show, Hanan (1-5-0) faces Momo Watanabe (3-3-0) in an interesting match-up for the Blue Stars Block. The Young Lioness still only got two points in the 5STAR, and Watanabe isn’t an easy match-up either for the former Future Of Stardom Champion. Momo needs a victory to stay in contention for the Blue Stars Block win.
Watanabe gets the early advantage of the match, beating up Hanan with vicious kicks. The Oedo Tai Member totally got control over the match, and gave the Young Lioness no chance to breathe, which led to Momo being overconfident, and gave Hanan an opening shortly after the 5-minute call, and she started a comeback. The Black Peach stayed calm, but the fighting spirit of Hanan was incredible, and she came close to victory multiple times. Watanabe was able to prevent the upset and won the match with the Hitodenashi Driver
Mariah May (3-3-0) and MIRAI (3-3-0) are going into this match with the same record, and both need a win here if they want to keep their chances to advance in the 5STAR high, while the loser would be on the verge of elimination. May already beat Mina Shirakawa and Momo Watanabe, who both beat MIRAI in the 5STAR, and Mariah wants to join them and potentially earn a future Wonder Of Stardom Championship match on the road to Queendom.
Mariah May and MIRAI delivered a good build match with both having an equal amount of offense. May took over the match in the early stages, working the arm of the Wonder Of Stardom Champion, but it didn’t take long for MIRAI to counter May’s offense and hit moves of her own. The self-proclaimed “foreign Ace” ate move after move, but countered MIRAI’s lariat into the Butterfly Suplex. The end sequence was class, with great reversals. It was MIRAI’s Miramare shock that scored the victory in the end in a hard-fought battle
In the Main Event, the eliminated Ami Sourei (2-3-0) tries to spoil the 5STAR for Suzu Suzuki (3-3-0), who is on the verge of elimination after already losing three matches. Just like in her match against Nakano, Ami wants to finally get two more points on her scoreboard and end the hopes of Suzuki.
Sourei starts off hot by instantly tackling Suzuki down, and firing multiple chops on the chest of Suzu. Suzuki fought against the power of Sourei, but in the early parts of the match, she didn’t stand a chance against the God’s Eye Member’s Lariats and Chops. Eventually, Suzu found a counter and with that started to find her way into the match more, but it was still tough for her to get control since Ami didn’t give up and continued to throw bombs at the former Artist Of Stardom Champion. The turnaround for Suzuki was an incredible German Suplex from the Middle Rope, and from then on it was only Suzu with the offense, but Sourei didn’t want to lay down again, kicked out of multiple moves, but the Tequila shot finally held her down for the three count. Sourei suffers her 5th loss in the tournament while Suzuki continues her winning series with her 3rd victory in a row.
Next Week’s 5STAR Grand Prix Matches:
Day 18 – September 18
- Red Stars: Natsupoi vs Ami Sourei
- Blue Stars: Mina Shirakawa vs Momo Watanabe
Day 19 – September 20
- Red Stars: Syuri vs Tam Nakanao
- Blue Stars: MIRAI vs Utami Hayashishita
- Blue Stars: Giulia vs AZM
- Blue Stars: Maika vs Mariah May
Day 20 – September 23
- Red Stars: Hazuki vs Suzu Suzuki
- Blue Stars: Mina Shirakawa vs Maika
Day 21 – September 24
- Red Stars: Syuri vs Starlight Kid
- Blue Stars: Hanan vs Utami Hayashishita
Official 5STAR Grand Prix Standings following Day 17:
RED STARS BLOCK –
12 – Natsuko Tora (6-2-0)
9 – Natsupoi (4-2-1)
9 – Syuri (4-1-1)
9 – Tam Nakano (4-2-1)
8 – Hazuki (4-3-0)
8 – Suzu Suzuki (4-3-0)
7 – Mayu Iwatani (3-3-1) (OUT)
4 – Starlight Kid (2-5-0) (OUT)
4 – Ami Sourei (2-5-0) (OUT)
0 – Saya Kamitani (0-7-0) (OUT)
BLUE STARS BLOCK –
9 – Giulia (4-2-1)
8 – Saori Anou (3-3-2)
8 – Utami Hayashishita (4-2-0)
8 – Momo Watanabe (4-3-0)
8 – MIRAI (4-3-0)
7 – Maika (3-2-1)
6 – Mina Shirakawa (3-3-0)
6 – Mariah May (3-4-0)
6 – AZM (3-4-0)
2 – Hanan (1-6-0) (OUT)
Mizuki Endo Retirement
Mizuki Endo, also known by her alter ego Aiger, had her retirement show on September 10th in the Korakuen Hall in front of 950 fans. The event featured six matches, including the retirement match of the Aiger character and the retirement match of Mizuki Endo.
In the Aiger retirement match, Aiger teamed together with Mayumi Ozaki against former AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida and Aiger’s biggest rival Sakura Hirota. The match was full of comedy spots that Aiger was known for and everyone, even Ozaki, took part in it to create a fun atmosphere in front of a hot crowd. Aiger pinned Hirota in the last match of the character.
The Main Event was the Mizuki Endo retirement match, where she teamed up with legendary Joshi Wrestler Michiko Omukai against SAKI and the Princess Of Princess Champion Mizuki. Endo is from LLPW-X the same promotion that trained SAKI and Mizuki. Unlike the opener, this was a work-rate match with all four having a great performance, and Endo showing one last time what she can do in the ring. Mizuki pinned the retiring endo with the Cutie Special.
After the match, SAKI and Endo decided to have a 5-minute exhibition singles match that ended in a time-limit draw, and both cried and hugged in the ring. With the ten-bell salute, the 32-year-long career of Endo ended.