Sometimes you’re watching a Pro Wrestling Match and when you’ve finished it, you just know you’re going to be thinking about it for days. That’s what happened to me with The Main Event of the STARDOM Sunshine Show on June 25th.
It was incredible, a must-watch for every Wrestling Fan. A 12 Woman Tag Cage Survival Match between Oedo Tai (Momo Watanabe, Natsuko Tora, Rina, Ruaka, Saki Kashima & Starlight Kid) and Queen’s Quest (AZM, Hina, Lady C, Miyu Amasaki, Saya Kamitani & Utami Hayashishita) with the stipulation being that the last Wrestler in the ring needs to leave their current unit.
The background story was around Utami Hayashishita and her tensions with her stable. Tora used this to talk them into this stipulation since the Stable Wars are the pride of Oedo Tai, and they never lost one under Tora’s leadership, having won over STARS and Queen’s Quest. On the other side, Queen’s Quest has had tensions recently, especially with Utami not being seen as a real leader who steps up when the stable needs it the most. On top of that, there is her fighting with Saya Kamitani. It felt like the stable Io Shirai once founded was about to fall apart and this match was the last chance to save it for Utami, and oh hell she did.
It all started with two amazing entrances, Oedo Tai came out in all-black gear and looked like a unit, while Queen’s Quest all had their solo gear on and felt more like separate Wrestlers than a unit. The match began with the heels taking control of the match and destroying the Queen’s Quest Members. Including Ruaka hitting Lady C with her Splash. This continues until the sisters, Rina & Hina took over the match getting some shine by Judo throwing everyone and then facing off before both getting out of the cage, which was the correct choice, they’re kids and this was an extremely dangerous match.
From then on, it was really an all-out war. Crazy exchanges between everyone, brutal weapon shots, and bumps. Everyone gave everything they could have and put their body on the line to help their Stable. AZM doing a double stomp, the Starlight Kid Moonsault from the top, and near the finish, that incredible Tora Swanton Bomb from the Cage. Also, a word to Lady C who had one of her best performances ever here. She took a ton of offense, bumped well, sold fantastic for the heels, and did a fantastic Choke slam. It continues her improvement and shows that she’s ready for bigger spots. Also, the other less experienced wrestlers had a great performance here. Miyu Amasaki had great babyface spirit, Ruaka continues to show out and proves that she’s a future player in the higher ranks, and the Twin Sisters are getting better and better in every match. The future is in safe hands.
The ending of the match was poetic. Natsuko Tora bloodied Utami Hayashishita with a steel pipe shot and escaped from the match, which left the Leader of Queen’s Quest and Saki Kashima last in the ring. Utami planted Saki and climbed up the cage to escape, but Momo Watanabe tried to attack her from the outside with her Baseball bat, but in doing so gave the bat to Saya Kamitani so that Saya can betray Utami and cost her the match. This goes back to the June 11th House Show in Osaka, where Momo also gave Saya the bat to tease Kamitani betraying Utami, but it backfired. It backfires again here because instead of hitting her Tag Team Partner, Saya hits Momo with the bat, reaches her hand out, and helps Utami out of the cage with the entire crowd cheering on. With that, every one of Queen’s Quest left the ring and Saki Kashima is out of Oedo Tai. The moment of a bloodied Utami climbing the cage, making peace with Saya while the rest of QQ cheers her on and the crowd loudly chanting her name is a moment we will remember forever. A career highlight.
Natsuko Tora and the rest of Oedo Tai were embarrassed by Kashima’s loss and attacked her after and turned on the current High-Speed Champion. Queen’s Quest made the save and AZM offered Saki Kashima a handshake, but she declined and walked out alone. That was the first time Kashima got turned on, since normally she’s the one to turn on other wrestlers. She was the first one to betray a unit in STARDOM back in 2012 when she betrayed Yuzuki Aikawa’s Zenryoku Joshi to join Kawakatsu-gun, and now she was the latest to get betrayed. She had a tough last couple of weeks after winning the High-Speed Title and then not making the 5STAR line-up, getting kicked out of her stable, and having no friends left. Furthermore, she’s on her own now, with no one she can trust in STARDOM except for herself. Dream possibilities where she could land is a reunion with Mayu Iwatani in STARS is likely, but also her teaming up with Syuri in God’s Eye would be fun, but for now, she’s alone.
This match was built around one person – Utami Hayashishita. The doubtful leader shined the brightest here. Utami nearly sacrificed herself for QQ in this match, taking many bumps, helping her stable mates to escape, and of course, getting the trust back of Saya Kamitani. She was there to step up when her Partners needed it the most. She proved in this match that she’s the right Leader of Queen’s Quest and that she can be the one to help the stable, even in dark times. This match achieved the goal of establishing Utami as the Leader that her stable trusts & believes in. Now Utami feels like the undisputed front-runner for the 5STAR GP and might be the first 2x 5STAR Winner in the history of the tournament.
This match was styled similarly to many of the big Dead or Alive Cage matches done in Dragon Gate, and it worked perfectly here. It was poetic and showed what Wrestling and STARDOM are all about. A fantastic match that had great storytelling, great use of weapons, and more. The feel-good story was wonderful and kicked off the second half of the year for STARDOM.