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AJPW Champion Carnival A Block Results & Review: Part 6

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Hello and welcome to the final day of A Block as we find out who goes onto the finals. At the last show, the winner of B Block was crown and congrats to Naomichi Marufuji for winning his match against Jun Akiyama and if you haven’t seen that match, check it out because it’s a great match and probably the best in the whole Carnival.

Now who will be the one to fight him in the finals? Well let’s not waste any time and….dive right in.

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
The Bodyguard vs. Ryoji Sai

Review: With both of these able mathematically eliminated from the finals, either one of them winning or losing will now affect the other three matches at all. However, they still do need to fight each other much like how NJPW does with the G1 Climax and must face everyone on your block. It appears as though Bodyguard’s leg has healed up a little bit since he’s not limping or having a hard time moving like he did with his match against Shuji, so that’s a good thing at least since his last match at the Carnival shouldn’t be slowed down due to an injury. Aside from his match against Shingo, I think this one is his best bout against Ryoji since he felt a little bit more like himself here and actually was able to do some more stuff.

Ryoji has been an underrated performer throughout the entire Carnival since his matches have been really solid and this one is no different right here. Bodyguard would get a strong offense near the end as he hits his Lariats to the corner and gives him another one for a pinfall, but Ryoji kicks out of that one to stay alive, but then tries to go for a powerbomb until Ryoji flipped him over for a pin shades of his match with Shuji, but now Bodyguard kicks out of it. After a stiff Shinning Wizard by the corner, Ryoji attempts to go for a Double Stomp off the top rope, but Bodyguard moves and his another Lariat, but only for another two count, then Bodyguard would actually get the win when he applies the Camel Clutch! With Bodyguard getting the win here, I wonder if it will also put him as a future contender for Sai’s All Asia Heavyweight Championship, only time will tell.

Recommended: Solid match actually, so yes.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Joe Doering

Review: This the first out of the three matches that can determine the entire outcome of the Champion Carnival as Joe is tied with Kento, Yuji, and Shingo as a win here could put him one step closer to being one of the finalists to fight Marufuji, but for him to almost secure a spot, he would need to defeat a guy who only has one win in his name, Naoya. But if Naoya can actually win this match, then Joe would be eliminated from the tournament completely, so he could ruin his chances if he can somehow pull off a victory over the former Triple Crown Champion.

Soon as that bell rings, Naoya knew what he had to do to get some momentum as he charges in at Joe to make sure he didn’t get an early advantage over him and would keep on going til Joe made Naoya hit the ropes, leading him to fall outside. Joe regained his composure and started to work on Naoya now til he got him back in the ring in which Naoya starts to get a bit of a comeback, hitting his first Spear to at least knock him down. You gotta admire Naoya’s fighting spirit throughout this match and wants to give it his all despite not making it to the finals, but he can at least try to take someone down with him here. Joe would knock him out with his famous Diving Body Press and that looked vicious, but Naoya kicked out of it somehow! Joe doesn’t waste any time as he picks him up for a Firemans Carry to slam him down, but holds his arm to pull him in for a Short Arm Lariat, but he still kicked out! Joe has had enough and goes for a Revolution Bomb, but gets countered with a Sunset Flip, but only for another two count! Naoya would roll him up one more time and he gets the surprise victory over Joe! Joe is now eliminated from the tournament and Naoya gets a huge victory in his final match in the Carnival! Looks like Andrew’s uneducated guess for A Block ends right here since he picked Joe to win, now I still have a chance.

Recommended: Short match, but it was still good for what it was. Naoya is definitely the future.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 A Block Match
Shingo Tagaki vs. Shuji Ishikawa

Review: Now that Joe Doering is eliminated from the tournament, it means that Shingo has a 50/50 chance of making it to the finals and all he has to do is defeat Shuji right here, and Kento would have to win his match for Shingo to become a finalist due to Shingo defeating Kento on day one of the tournament. If he loses however, then he will be eliminated from the tournament as well and it would only come down to the main event to see who would make it. I really want this dream match between Shingo and Marufuji to happen, so I’ll be rooting for him to get one step closer to making it a reality, but Shuji is no laughing matter either as he’s one of All Japan’s best and even won it last year too, so he can pull a victory here and derail him.

I’m gonna go on record by saying that this match just blew me away, definitely my favorite match out of my entire A Block. Shingo Tagaki has been the highlight of A Block due to giving us great and entertaining matches with all of his opponents here and I didn’t expect him to top his matches with both Yuji and Kento, but this one definitely did. I felt their energy, the power, the passion, I felt all of that here in this match with these two competitors. Shuji Ishikawa has also been great in this tournament despite some having a couple of hiccups, but his bigger matches definitely delivered in this tournament as well and I’m glad that these two fought on the final day since to me, it felt like it was more special. Both of these guys have hit some of their strongest moves like Shuji hitting his deadly knees along with his Fire Thunder, but Shingo even kicked out at one on that one! Shingo would hit his Pumping Bomber which looked great and even his MADE IN JAPAN, but Shuji would also kick out of that as well as these two will just not give up.

In almost twenty minutes, Shuji would pick up with win with his Giant Slam and eliminating Shingo in the process, meaning that I failed in my prediction also. I’m not even mad with this decision even though it was something I would like to see, but the two gave us a great match that it left me satisfied with it. After the match, the two would bow, shake hands, and hug each other in a show of respect to these two fantastic wrestlers and even said they wanted to fight each other again, so I think we’ll get that soon. Bravo to both of you guys.

Recommended: Definitely watch this one.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 A Block Match
Yuji Hino vs. Kento Miyahara

Review: Well, it all comes down to this now as both Joe and Shingo have lost their respective matches, it is now down to these two men right here. First we have Yuji Hino who has surprised most of us with his performance throughout the whole thing since a few others such as myself didn’t expect him to make it this far in. He even defeated Joe Doering and Shuji Ishikawa, two former Triple Crown Champions in the beginning of his matches along with Shingo to give him a heavy lead in the thing along with being considered a crowd favorite with his famous FUCKING BOMB. He unfortunately would have terrible luck near the end after being defeated by both Ryoji Sai and The Bodyguard to ruin his undefeated streak and his chances of securing a final spot early on, but still in good shape since he can still win this one and all he has to do is defeat Kento Miyahara.

Next, we have our current Triple Crown Champion, Kento Miyahara. Kento has made his Champion Carnival in 2014 and since then hasn’t made it to the finals, even during times when he wasn’t the Triple Crown Champion as he would come close the last couple of years, but would always end up short to not make it in the end. So for Kento, he needs to win this to solidify himself more as AJPW’s top guy even though he is considered their ace, a win here would do him wonders. Despite losing on the first night against Shingo Tagaki, he would bounce back by winning three of his matches and also having one bye due to The Bodyguard being injured and kinda wonder what would happen if the injury didn’t occur. Despite that though, he was on a roll and could’ve won the whole thing right here except that Joe Doering ruined his chances when he defeated Kento in the previous show to make himself tied with the others. But now that the only two people that have defeated are eliminated, he has a chance to win A Block finally and all he has to do is defeat Yuji Hino. Who will fight Naomichi Marufuji in the finals on April 30th? Let’s find out.

The match didn’t even start yet and Kento is getting Naito like chants with just his entrance alone, that’s how much the All Japan fans love Kento Miyahara and why he’s their new ace. The match started off evenly matched as none of them was letting up, but Yuji would get the upper hand on him and would control the majority of the match and I love the story with that since Yuji is just so confident in his in ring ability, it really does show in this match since his expression is pretty much “You’re the champ and I’m gonna make you my bitch when this is over.”, and he just has that mentality during the whole bout. Yuji attempted the FUCKING BOMB early, but Kento would start to make his comeback for a short while, but gets knocked back down again! Yuji isn’t someone you want to mess with here and just destroys Kento’s chest with both chops and Lariat’s that looked painful every time he hits him. Kento would eventually get more momentum as he hits some Blackout’s and a German Suplex Hold, but would kick out since he didn’t get the whole Shutdown. Yuji would try to put him away with another attempt at the FUCKING BOMB, but Kento counters it as he hits his Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the win! Great match and fantastic story here between these two. After the match, Yuji would tell Kento that his move hurt as they were being friendly with each other. They both attempted a handshake, but Yuji would flip Kento off while Kento held up his finger saying he’s number one, but the two laugh and fist bump each other with them showing good sportsmanship.

Kento would be making his way to the back, he went back into the ring as he talked about being in the finals and that it’s his first time making it this far as he now is set to fight Naomichi Marufuji in the finals in another AJPW vs. NOAH type match and what better place to do it? Even the kids would be by the ring to chant Kento’s name as the chants go on throughout the rest of the show, this man is going to be one of the greatest of all time.

Recommended: Absolutely yes.

Overall: This was one of the best nights for A Block as all four of these matches delivered with what it needed to do. Both A and B Block have been great as we’re now set for the finals to take place the next day and I’m looking forward to it. Also they had over 1600 people attending this event, so it’s good that a bunch of people still go and got to witness a big night.

Favorite Match: Shingo Tagaki vs. Shuji Ishikawa

Least Favorite Match: Naoya Nomura vs. Joe Doering

Score: 8.5/10

Join us as me and Andrew will both cover the finals together along with the rest of the card. We’ll see you then.

Final Standings:

Kento Miyahara (5-2) (10 Points) (Winner)
Yuji Hino (4-3) (8 Points)
Joe Doering (4-3) (8 Points)
Shingo Tagaki (4-3) (8 Points)
Shuji Ishikawa (4-3) (8 Points)
Ryoji Sai (3-4) (6 Points)
Naoya Nomura (2-5) (4 Points)
The Bodyguard (2-5) (4 Points)


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International Coverage

AJPW Super Power Series 2018 Results & Review (5/24/2018)

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We are back with some All Japan Pro Wrestling coverage again! Finally, we get the much anticipated rematch with our Champions Carnival winner, Naomichi Marufuji taking on the current Triple Crown Champion, Kento Miyahara. The last time these two fought was at the Carnival final where they both won their respected blocks and Marufuji would come out the winner to get a future title match despite him saying he had no desire to go for the belt at this time.

However, they still gotta follow rules and keep the ball rolling, so here we are now. We got what looks to be a stacked show tonight and even the return of Jake Lee, something to look forward to. So let’s not waste anymore time and just…dive right in.

 

Singles Match
Yohei Nakajima vs. Ishikiri

Review: Before the majority of the show gets covered in tag matches, we get a singles matches to kick the show off between Yohei and Ishikiri. I see Ishikiri wearing the Mortal Kombat logo on the side of his pants there, thumbs up to you. The match started really fast paced and fairly impressive might I add. Both of these men have done well for the opening bout and was mostly impressed with Ishikiri as he stood out for me a little bit more than Yohei, which I’m not saying he’s bad either. Around six minutes, Yohei would hit a spinning back kick which he calls Tobiushiro-Mawashigiri and then get the win in a pretty solid opener.

Recommended: Good match to get the crowd going.

 

Tag Team Match
Jun Akiyama & Osamu Nishimura vs. Takao Omori & Masanobu Fuchi

Review: This tag match is special to them since this is also a tribute match to one of All Japan’s greats, Jumbo Tsuruta who has passed away eighteen years ago this month. So this match between the people that remember this legend is for the respect they had for him and how much he meant to these four men right here.

I think it’s amazing that the crowd reaction whenever Fuchi is in the ring is one of the loudest in the company right now next to guys like Kento, Suwama, Shuji, etc. Whenever Jun would hit Fuchi with an open fist or move out of the way when he goes for a dropkick, the crowd showers Jun in a ton of boo’s an it’s just entertaining and a bit heartwarming to see that they still love Fuchi. The match wasn’t great, but it was exactly how I expected it to go with four vets working together to give people still something entertaining at least and it was all in good fun, so what more could you ask for? Jun would do the Wrist Clutch Small Package Hold on Fuchi to get the win for his team. After the match, all four of them would honor the passing of Jumbo Tsuruta who is considered one of the greatest of all time and just the great in All Japan by many people, his spirit lives on with the company to to help shine All Japan to a brighter future. JUM-BO!

Recommended: Fun match, touching tribute, and a nice call back to the stuff that happened during Jumbo’s era. Worth a watch.

 

Eight Man Tag Team Match
Suwama, Shuji Ishikawa, Atsushi Aoki & Hikaru Sato vs. Zeus, Joe Doering, Atsushi Maruyama & Black Tiger VII

Review: Up next is a eight man tag with both teams consisting of two heavyweights and two junior heavyweights with Violent Giants teaming up with Sato and current Junior Heavyweight Champion, Atsushi Aoki taking on Zues minus Bodyguard who is resting his legs finally, teaming up with Joe Doering, Atsushi Maruyama, and Black Tiger VII. Last time the two Atsushi’s were in the ring, it was for the Junior Heavyweight Championship on the May 12th show where Aoki would retain over Maruyama, but it looks like they could go again if this match goes well.

I just need to get this out of the way, but how is Zeus not won the Triple Crown Championship by now? I mean it because this guy is amazing and has a great fan following, I’m just surprised he hasn’t won their main title just yet, but I hope he does soon because I think he would be a fantastic champion if given the opportunity. Also another thing I want to point out and I feel like that it should be addressed here since it involves the junior division, and all I gotta ask is who is their leader? I ask this because the junior division is severely lacking leadership and while Aoki is probably the better one there so far, there’s still not enough that really stand out fully. When you look at WWE, NJPW, Impact, or Dragon Gate, you can see they have enough people to carry their respective division with a solid roster and giving us quality of matches, while All Japan really doesn’t and as Andrew said when we were special guests on Dave’s podcast called Uncle Jun’s Junction, there’s no spice there and when you had to rely on guys like TAJIRI and Ultimo Dragon to help carry that title and division (no disrespect to both men), then you need to rebuild it and soon.

Anyway, onto the match before I ramble on about their weak division and how Zeus isn’t champion, this is probably my favorite tag match on this show since all eight of these guys showcased their stuff wonderfully here with great action between whoever was fighting who in the ring, even Joe did pretty well for himself there despite my previous complaints while still liking him at the same time. Think my favorite part was the abuse Maruyama took from Suwama when they shared the ring together and Suwama would hit him with a stiff Lariat every time, it just made me chuckle.The Violent Giants picked up the win with their Last Mountain (Double Powerbomb) on Maruyama.

Recommended: Very good tag match, definitely worth viewing.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Ryoji Sai, Dylan James & Keiichi Sato vs. TAJIRI, KAI & Kotaro Suzuki

Review: I must’ve read something wrong because I could’ve sworn we were supposed to have a Tag Team Championship match between TAJIRI and KAI taking on Dylan and Ryoji on this show, but I guess I’ve heard wrong or they changed it since we’re getting a six man tag instead while the title match will take place on the June 3rd show. I will admit that the team of TAJIRI and KAI is actually going pretty well as they have a good chemistry between humor and actual tag team wrestling, and it somehow works while on paper you would think it shouldn’t, but for some odd reason it’s working and you can’t explain it. Sato and Suzuki started off the match with some fast paced action and they were very crisp with their time together which made me wanna possibly see them in the junior hunt since these two were awesome.

My one problem with the match was both teams of KAI/TAJIRI and Sai/Dylan were mostly doing their stuff outside of the ring and the fact they were away from each other, the camera had to go back and forth, and while I don’t mind stuff like it, but it did feel like it dragged on a little bit and they even did it for a brief moment a couple of minutes after that while Sato and Suzuki were just staying in their corners while these four kill each other. When everyone is finally back in the ring, TAJIRI would spray his poison mist on Sai to get him out of the ring while Kai took care of Dylan, and Sato picked up the win for his team with the Blue Destiny on Suzuki. TAJIRI and KAI now get more momentum leading in their upcoming title match and we will see if it pays off.

Recommended: Not bad. Enjoy the flow of the show.

 

Tag Team Match
Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto vs. Naoya Nomura & Yoshitatsu

Review: After being sidelined for ten months, Jake Lee makes his return to the ring as he teams up with Koji to take on his former partner, Naoya and Yoshitatsu, so let’s see if Lee has any ring rust from the time being spent away from the ring. Jake Lee didn’t do too bad for his first time back since there were times he felt like he was a bit out of it, but he did pretty well for the other times and not gonna harp on him since he just got back from injury. I know I said in the Carnival that Naoya could be one of the bright future of the company and I also mean that with Jake Lee since he also has that untapped potential and I saw that when he fought Shuji last year for the Triple Crown Championship. these two can definitely become great in the upcoming years. The match was solid for what it was despite some sloppy moments and a botched Tornado DDT by Yoshi, but also didn’t do bad despite that, and of course Lee won in his return match with hitting a vicious High Angle Backdrop on Nomura. Welcome back, Jake Lee.

Recommended: Decent match, Jake Lee is definitely something special.

 

Triple Crown Title
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Review: Now it is time for the main event as Kento defends his Triple Crown Championship against the winner of this years Champion Carnival, NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji. I feel like this is more of a continuation of the story between AJPW and NOAH as NOAH is already 2-0 when Marufuji defeated both the president of AJPW, Jun Akiyama and the current champion, Kento Miyahara. The history and story between these two companies is long and historic despite some of the bad blood they had over the years and I’m glad that they’re using this to help rebuild that bridge to have at least some type of closure, and also Marufuji looking to take their championship as an extra added aalt on the wounds he left there and bring it to NOAH before his GHC Heavyweight Championship match on the 29th of this month against Takashi Sugiura. Kento however is looking to avenge not only his loss to Marufuji (Which is a fantastic match and you should definitely check it out), but to avenge his companies honor since he felt like Marufuji disrespected it. So can lightning strike twice or will Kento get his revenge on Marufuji? Let’s not waste any time and see.

I’m gonna get my one complaint out of the way here so it doesn’t take away from the rest of the match and what I’m about to say, and it’s that most of the felt very similar to their previous match and I mostly mean it with the opening sequence since aside from Kento being more aggressive, I felt like I saw it before and around the same time too instead of giving us a little bit something different to make it a completely new match and to me personally it did hurt it a little, but the match is still fantastic despite the one complaint. Kento showed more of his aggressiveness in the match here since he knew he had to win here or else All Japan would look like a joke compared to NOAH and Marufuji, and even Marufuji wasn’t giving him any mercy whatsoever during this match since he felt more aggressive as well and it was a much needed element to the both of them.

Another thing I can say about this match is that it felt bigger and in a way it was since there was a bigger prize involved and the crowd was much more into this one, even gave it a New Japan type atmosphere with how the crowd was reaction to everything they would do and even with just chanting their name, and it was awesome. I felt like they hit the nail with everything they needed to do with progressing the story and adding another chapter with this rivalry, and the final five to ten minutes were tremendous and it was exactly how it should end with high impact and pretty much last resort to try and give it your all to win. Kento would finally hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold and he avenged his loss while also retaining the title, and defending All Japan’s honor.

After the match, we have a new challenger into the mix and for some reason it’s….Dylan James. Why is it him again? What did he do to earn a title opportunity since his team lost earlier? Why are we awarding Dylan a Triple Crown match after having a weaker performance than Bodyguard in the Carnival? Did they just wanna give Kento an easy defense before the next big show? I got no faith in this match, but Jun apparently does, so we’ll see what happens. Now that Kento and Marufuji have one win against each other, when should they fight again? In the Carnival final, Marufuji did invite Kento to come down to NOAH sometime to perform and his 20th anniversary show is coming up in September, so I think we could have the final match of the trilogy there if they choose to go forward with it. It could even be a champion vs. champion bout if Kento keeps the belt til then and if Marufuji defeats Sugiura on the 29th to take his belt and keep it til then. Either way, I’m excited to see what they do with this next since you can tell it’s not over.

Recommended: I liked their first encounter a little bit better by a hair, but still an amazing match and should be viewed a bunch of times.

 

Overall: I thought the show was very enjoyable as none of the matches were bad at all and basically solid all around with a great main event to close it off. Looking forward to see what new chapters come their way except for Dylan/Kento.

Favorite Match: Kento Miyahara vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Least Favorite Match: Yohei Nakajima vs. Ishikiri (Not a bad match, but if I had to pick one.

Score: 8/10

See you all next time.


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Stardom Cinderella Tournament 2018 Final Results & Review (4/30/2018)

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Welcome to the second part of the Stardom Cinderella Tournament! If you missed part one, Cinderella Part 1. Our final eight are Hazuki, Jungle Kyona, Io Shirai, Bea Preiestley, Brandi Rhodes, Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima, and Momo Watanabe. Who will get their wish granted?

Well, let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 Quarter Final Match
Hazuki vs. Bea Priestley

Review: In the first round we have Bea defeat Martina in…what I think was a match and then we had Hazuki defeat Hana Kimura in an actual good match and one of the best in the first round next to Mayu/Tam. Hazuki would come out in her Oedo Tai outfit for the first time and all of the members have their own entrance robes and masks now while even doing the dance despite it being kinda lazy, still amazing to see.

Okay…where the hell has this Bea been since I’ve been watching her? She was actually doing really well in his match and even connected a lot in more of her strikes, this is probably her best singles match in the company since I’ve been watching her, I want more of that and she would be fine. Hazuki still did great as always and had Oedo Tai try to help her out once Bea hit the Tree of Woe and would hit her Atomic Bombs Away to go for the pin, but Konami made the save to keep her alive. Bea would hit a stiff kick and a Curb Stomp to advance to the semi-finals where she will fight either Jungle or Momo.

Recommended: Yes actually, her best match here so far in my opinion.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 Quarter Final Match
Saki Kashima vs. Mayu Iwatani

Review: In their first round matches, Saki Kashima defeated Candy Floss to advance and Mayu defeated Tam Nakano and now the two STARS members will fight each other to advance to the next round. Saki I think is slowly becoming one of my top favorites in the promotion and these singles matches have proved that to me, I definitely think she’ll be a Wonder of Stardom Champion at least if she sticks around more, she’s very good at what she’s been doing so far and even added more submissions into the mix.

The match was very solid with back and forth action between both of these women and Mayu still proving why she’s still one of the best there. Match was around five minutes and gave them plenty of time to showcase their work with Mayu hitting her Dragon Suplex hold to advance as she now fights either Brandi or Io.

Recommended: Another solid match, I like to think it’s worth a watch.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 Quarter Final Match
Io Shirai vs. Brandi Rhodes

Review: In their first round matches, Io Shirai defeated Chardonnay while Brani Rhodes defeated Natsu Sumire to advance into the next round as Brandi is the only surviving Oedo Tai member left in the tournament, but she would need to defeat Io first if she wants to fight Mayu and advance.

This one is probably the weaker of the quarter final rounds and not saying that it’s bad or anything, but just compared to the previous two, this one was just average. Brandi still has a lot of growing to do in the ring and that’s perfectly fine too, and luckily Io was fighting her to help her out in the ring too and still gave a solid performance. Brandi would even hit a rather nice Cross Rhodes on Io that only Cody would be proud of, but wasn’t enough to put her away. Io would hit her Moonsault Press and advance to the semi-finals where she will fight..Mayu Iwatani and let me tell you, I am already excited and I will explain as to why when I get to them shortly, but strap yourselves in.

Recommended: This is all up to you, but may as well if you watched the rest.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 Quarter Final Match
Momo Watanabe vs. Jungle Kyona

Review: In their first round matches, Momo Watanabe defeated Konami while Jungle Kyona defeated Kagek- I mean Kagetsu to advance to the next round with Queen’s Quest fighting Team Jungle where the winner will advance to fight Bea Priestley in the next round.

This one might be my favorite in the quarter final with two of their underrated talent fighting each other in the ring and started exploding soon as the bell ring, playing out their strengths to get the best out of each other here and it just worked out nicely. Momo is just fantastic in the ring and it’s one of those moments where you go how was she not been a champion yet? Both would be over the top rope and onto the apron as they would each try to knock each other off since ring outs are still a rule in the tournament, Jungle would try to hit her Powerbomb, but Momo would counter it with a cradle back to belly piledriver on Kyona, and then kicks her lifeless body to the ground for an over the top win. Momo will now fight fellow Queen’s Quest member, Bea Priestley.

Recommended: Solid match, check it out

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 Semi Final Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Io Shirai

Review: Now let me tell you about these two right here, this is pretty much the female variant of Tanahashi/Okada when it comes to one ace holding the top spot while the other trying to take her down. Mayu and Io have been on my MOTY list for three years in a row now and they never disappointed me with their storytelling and match quality in the ring every time that they fight. I didn’t expect them to have a one on one match here, but I will gladly take this one for right now.

For those that are subscribed to the service, I highly recommend that you check out their outings together because it is some of the best that this company will ever produce.

These women would deliver once again and I’m glad they did here with Io doing the smart thing and working on her injured elbow while Mayu selling the injury. One thing Mayu is really good at is how she sells in her matches and it just enhances the stories to her matches while not being over the top with it like how Dolph Ziggler is with his selling. Io controls the majority of the match by outsmarting her every time Mayu would try to do something and it even frustrates her each time they’re in the ring, making it seem like she still can’t get one over on her at a constant basis. Eventually Mayu would get her opening by working on her back when she did a Double Stomp to her back while they were both on the top turnbuckle and that was awesome. Mayu would keep working on her back for a little bit until Io made her little comeback on her and went for the Moonsault Press, but Mayu moved out of the way just in time so she could start delivering stiff kicks on her head, seeing the frustration on her face. However, once Mayu applies her Dragon Suplex Hold and delivers it, the bell would ring leading to a no contest due to time limit before Mayu could get the actual win.

Both women are eliminated as the match between Momo and Bea is now the final round. One thing that this match tells me is that they’re definitely going to fight again and I feel like that we will get that at 5★Star GP which is later on this year and I’m very excited for it.

Recommended: Fantastic match by both of them and definitely my favorite in the whole tournament

.

Cinderella Tournament 2018 Final Match
Bea Priestley vs. Momo Watanabe

Review: Since both Mayu and Io are eliminated, these two will now meet off in the finals to see who will win the tournament with Queen’s Quest pretty much taking the win to their team since they’re both in the same unit.

The match starts off pretty quick with plenty of kicks between both of them, making them stiff enough to try and daze them long enough to get the early advantage over the other, but none of them would succeed that time. Momo would try to eliminate Bea by having another ring out like her previous match and even hit her Avalanche, but Bea found a way to avoid getting tossed out and the match would still continue. Around seven minutes, Momo would hit a Half Nelson Suplex and finally win the Cinderella Tournament. I’m glad they went with this route since Stardom needed to establish new stars in the company and this was the best way to do it without involving Mayu and Io in the final since both of them couldn’t afford a loss at this time. Momo has definitely came a long way from Stardom and has improved tremendously and having her win here was the right call.

After the match, Stardom would present Momo with her Cinderella dress and it looks gorgeous by the way. She would cut a promo about how this was the biggest win in her career and rightfully so, but before she would fully celebrate, she has made her request to fight Io Shirai for the Wonder of Stardom Championship once more.

Io would come out and would tell her that while she’s frustrated that she still didn’t get to wear that dress, she still congratulates her for the victory and accepts her challenge for the match. Kagetsu would come out after the challenge was made and finds it funny that Io thinks she’ll even make it to that match since Io’s next defense is against Kagetsu at May 5th where Io will either break the record for title defenses with that belt or Kagetsu will get what she wanted and get Io out of the picture, and Kagetsu stated that she will challenge Momo instead once she takes the belt away from Io, so Momo will get her title match regardless of who wins this match. Queen’s Quest will be in the ring for a photo shoot and they celebrate to close the show.

Recommended: It was a solid final and the right person won the whole thing as Momo has earned this big time.

 

Overall: The whole tournament was a success with some up’s and down’s sure, but definitely some matches that picked up as we had some great performances from certain people like Saki for one and very proud of her since it felt like she hasn’t left. I’m looking forward to next year and the next show coming up with Io and Kagetsu.

Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani vs. Io Shirai

Least Favorite Match: Io Shirai vs. Brandi Rhodes

Score: 7.5/10


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International Coverage

Stardom Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Results & Review (4/30/2018)

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Welcome to the first part of coverage for the Cinderella Tournament and let me tell you how this works before we get started.

It’s a one day tournament involving 16 people and all matches have a ten minute time limit and you can also win by throwing them over the top rope. The winner of the match will not only get a pretty dress to wear and take home, but they also get a wish. The wish, can be any match they want of their choosing as it could be a rivalry you wanna settle, someone from another company for a dream match if allowed, or of course a title match of your choosing. Since it’s a long show, I will be splitting it up into two parts as the tag match and first round will be in this article and the rest of the tournament will be in part two. So who will advance to the next round? Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Ten Woman Tag Team Match
AZM, Leo Onozaki, Natsuko Tora, Ruaka & Shiki Shibusawa vs. Hanan, Mary Apache, Nao Yamaguchi, Natsumi & Starlight Kid

Review: Before we start the actual tournament, our Future of Stardom division with the exception of Natsuko Tora and Mary Apache will start us off in a tag match to give them something to do. Nothing really to talk about for this match as it was pretty standard with people doing some work on each other and not a while lot since it was like five or six minutes. Started sloppy at first and then it ended up being average with Starlight Kid hitting her Rounding Frogsplash on Leo for the win.

Recommended: Skippable really.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Match
Konami vs. Momo Watanabe

Review: Our tournament is starting up with two our of members from Queen’s Quest. It’s Konami’s second time while Momo’s possibly third since she doesn’t remember as she said before how she never made it past the first round and hopes to break that here tonight with some friendly competition.

Momo and Konami definitely delivered for the first match of the first round as we had beautiful kicks towards one another, nice reversals, and a crisp finish with Momo hitting the Soba Sword for the win as she advances to the next round. Great job, Momo.

Recommended: Fun match, worth the four minutes.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Match
Candy Floss vs. Saki Kashima

Review: For Saki Kashima, this is her first singles match since making her return in March as she looks to show she can still go and she has been doing better in tag matches, but now this is the real test to see how she’ll do. Saki didn’t do a whole lot, but she sold her moves pretty well, but I would work on that Shining Wizard to the turnbuckle a bit better since it looked really slow. Candy did pretty well for herself and I’ve been taken a liking to her lately since she’s not terrible in the ring, but mostly entertaining. Saki would advance with her first singles win since her return with the Killswitch.

Recommended: Decent match, your call.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Match
Bea Priestley vs. Martina

Review: Well, time to kill me since my two least favorites in the roster are fighting off against each other, but I can at least tolerate Bea more than Martina since she’s had shown progress lately. And..it’s a match and I did try to get into them, but with Bea having weak strikes and almost missing them like the Double Stomp after reversing the Sunset Flip and the Helluva Kick, that lost me a little. I will give Martina credit for giving Bea stiff forearms near and end and Bea hits another good Curb Stomp! You get points and even with winning the match with it too. Despite the plus, the match wasn’t really good.

Recommended: Skip.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Match
Brandi Rhodes vs. Natsu Sumire

Review: No this is not a typo and you’re reading it right, this is the same Brandi Rhodes that is married to Bullet Club member and ROH sensation, Cody. It looks like Brandi will be joining Stardom for a while to hone her skills and this is my first time seeing her in a singles match, so let’s see how she does against Sumire.

As we see in the pre-match interview, Brandi is actually considered a member of Oedo Tai and I can get behind that. Nice little comedy before the match with Kagetsu and Nao choosing to be in Brandi’s corner over Sumire and have playful banter, I love this group.

While it wasn’t a great match, it was very entertaining to say the least with Kagetsu having fun teasing Sumire by cheering for Brandi throughout the match and I gotta say that while Brandi is still green, she didn’t do bad at all and was pleasantly surprised with her performance. I think she can do good work here if she sticks around. Brandi would pick up the win after reversing Sumire’s roll up and advances.

Recommended: I had a good time with it, specially if you’re a Oedo Tai fan.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Match
Hana Kimura vs. Hazuki

Review: We get another Oedo Tai match-up with Hazuki getting another match against Hana as you can tell how badly she wants to get her hands on her again, and Hazuki even changed her look as she looks to be wearing white and pink now instead of her black and pink look, it looks nice.

The match started off exactly how it needed to, just Hazuki beating the crap out of Hana before the bell rings, it should be mostly treated as a fight instead of a wrestling match and they did exactly that throughout the whole thing. The match felt personal and it did what it needed to do with both of them going back and forth almost like they wanted to kill each other. Hazuki would get the win by throwing Hana over the top rope and was the best way to do it to protect Hana from an actual clean loss. After the match, Hazuki would offer her hand to Hana to end the rivalry as Hana shakes her hand and Oedo Tai hug in the ring, making Hazuki fully embrace her new home.

Recommended: Very solid match, worth a view.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Tam Nakano

Review: Now that both Oedo Tai matches are out of the way, we now have both members from STARS fighting off with Mayu taking on the returning Tam Nakano who we haven’t seen since the Exploding Death Match. Mayu won the first two Cinderella Tournaments and now looks to win her third one this time around.

This match was actually really good as Tam actually showed progress in singles action here against Mayu and even getting some close calls in there also. Mayu still showing she’s one of Stardom’s best here as the two worked very nicely together and hardly anything bad to say about the match. Mayu got the win with her Dragon Suplex Hold.

Recommended: Probably my favorite first round match so far, watch it.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Match
Chardonnay vs. Io Shirai

Review: We got Queen’s Quest fighting each other this time as Chardonnay takes on the Wonder of Stardom Champion and leader of the faction, Io Shirai. Who actually, never won this tournament in her career and looks to get that accolade added to her collection here. Chardonnay is definitely one of the better gaijins in the roster next to Toni Storm and Viper since she’s a very solid worker and has been nothing but impressive since this tour started and gets to work with one of the best at the same time. Very good back and forth match, but Io would work on her legs and eventually make her tap out with the Cloverleaf to advance, but Chardonnay did great.

Recommended: Very solid match, worth a go.

 

Cinderella Tournament 2018 First Round Match
Jungle Kyona vs. Kagetsu

Review: This is the last match of the first round as Jungle looks to take on…not Kagetsu as this her identical twin sister wearing a dress and a wig named Kageko…this is awesome and the crowd loves it. Kageko wrestles nothing like her twin, Kagetsu and looks to be more clean with her ability than dirty tactics, but Jungle would ruin the fun by ripping off her wig and it was Kagetsu the whole time!

The nerve! It was entertaining while it lasted, but now Kagetsu starts to show off her aggressive side once again and even have Oedo Tai try to pull Jungle off the apron until Natsuko came in to try and fight them off. Kagetsu would run after Jungle to be thrown over the ropes with the two of them fighting on the apron until Jungle caught her with a Powerbomb and slams her onto the apron, but picks her up one more time to throw her outside, leaving Kagetsu eliminated. It was better this way since she can’t afford a pinfall loss right now with her upcoming title match.

Recommended: It was enjoyable.

 

Overall: Aside from one bad match, the first round of the tournament was a success as most of the matches were actually really solid and enjoyable to watch. Now I’m excited for the second round which is what it looks like down below.

Bea Priestley vs. Hazuki
Momo Watanabe vs. Jungle Kyona
Saki Kashima vs. Mayu Iwatani
Brandi Rhodes vs. Io Shirai

Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani vs. Tam Nakano

Least Favorite Match: Bea Priestley vs. Martina

Score: 7.5/10

See you all for the next round and the finals!


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