Welcome back to Stardom as the last time we were here, Io Shirai defeated Kagetsu to set a new record with the Wonder of Stardom Championship. It was her tenth title defense and it adds another record to strengthen her legacy in the company.
Her next challenger is the winner of this year’s Cinderella Tournament and fellow Queen’s Quest member, Momo Watanabe. Will Io still retain her championship to keep her reign going or will Momo finally come out of her shell and get a big win in her career? Let’s not waste time and…dive right in.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Candy Floss, Hanan & Starlight Kid vs. Kaori Yoneyama, Leo Onozaki & Ruaka
Review: We get Team Jungle starting off the show with Kaori leading the team with our younger girls, Leo and Ruaka as they fight fellow STARS members, Starlight Kid lead by Hanan and Candy Floss. On the May 6th show, Starlight had her second successful defense of the Future of Stardom Championship against Ruaka in an average match, but now it looks like her next title defense will be against AZM at a future date.
Team Jungle would start off by doing their pose on top of Hanan while the other two held her arms in place, but STARS would get payback and have all three members between the ropes and stood on top of them to do their STARS taunt. The match was okay at best with Starlight and Kaori being the better two of the match and that’s very weird for me to say, but Kaori has been used quite frequently and well ever since the draft happened and I can’t be mad at that while Starlight Kid is great as always in the ring. Team Jungle picked up the win by rolling up Hanan even though she tripped mid-roll up.
Recommended: Average, but not mandatory.
Martina vs. Zoe Lucas
Review: We get Martina in singles action this time…I can hardly hold my excitement on this one. But, she takes on Zoe Lucas who is known to be a freelancer and is no stranger to Stardom as she has done a few shows for them last year and earlier this year also. In the pre-match interview, Zoe would talk about how she always wanted to fight Martina and how she was one of the biggest names in the UK scene, but I still don’t see it and I’m sorry for that, but she just doesn’t impress me at all.
Soon as the bell rings, Martina would just roll around the ring for being drunk until she falls down and has another beer while Sumire calls for a timeout. I get that the crowd loves her due to her character and making them laugh, but I don’t know what it is for her to not have me fully back her up and if you somehow like her, more power to you. I will give her credit though that she can throw a mean forearm when she wants to. The match was sloppy and Martina would throw Zoe over her shoulders, but it looked like Zoe didn’t jump in time and almost landed horribly if Martina didn’t help guide her, so I will give her points on that one. There was also a moment where Zoe did a Scissor Kick variation and Martina would fall down a bit early before Zoe would even touch her. Anyway, Martina would hit the Codebreaker from the second rope to get the pin.
Recommended: Skip it.
Tag Team Match
Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora vs. AZM & Konami
Review: We get more Team Jungle action, but we now know they changed their name to JAN or Jungle Assault Nation, which sounds so much better, and this time, they’ll be taking on two members of Queen’s Quest, AZM and Konami as it looks like these two will be paired up in tag team action for the time being. AZM would taunt Jungle and Momo by saying she wanted to fight the fat one in which both of them leave the arena, then AZM told them she wanted to fight the cute one instead, which then made both of them come back in the ring and cause a fun little argument between the two as both AZM and Konami took advantage of that to attack them.
I don’t know what it is with Team Jungle, they have been stepping up quite a lot lately and specially Kyona since she’s been showing more of herself this year and I’m glad for it because I talked about before how underrated she is in the ring, but the gimmick she has can only get her so far. It seems like both Konami and AZM were doing a mean girls thing with bullying the two members of Jungle and I like that side of them since it just gives them more character for themselves in their matches. The match was fun and did its purpose as Natsuko would get the surprise pinfall over AZM.
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) May 30, 2018
Recommended: I thought it was fun and worth a viewing.
Best Two Out Of Three Falls Eight Woman Tag Team Match
Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima, Shiki Shibusawa & Tam Nakano vs. Hana Kimura, Hazuki, Kagetsu & Natsu Sumire
Review: No pre-main event involving STARS and Queen’s Quest? Why I haven’t seen that in eons. Joking aside, We got Oedo Tai taking on STARS in a Two out of Three Falls match in an eight-woman tag match with four of their top females of each faction. A win by STARS could possibly give two of the members a future shot at the Goddesses of Stardom Championship, but if Oedo Tai wins this match then it could maybe lead Kagetsu to future opportunities, so this could definitely benefit either unit. Oedo Tai came out with a little toy puppy with Hazuki walking it, it was adorable and guess because of Nao Yamaguchi being injured.
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 2, 2018
The two teams would brawl to the outside with Mayu and Kagetsu fighting till they reached the top of the stairs in the crowd and I thought Kagetsu was gonna try to hang her off of the balcony again, but this time she kicked Mayu causing her to roll down the steps kinda like how Hiromu did when he fought Taiji Ishimori in the Super Junior Final (Which you should totally check out if you didn’t).
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 2, 2018
Sumire and Shiki appear to be starting off the match once they got back into the ring and Sumire, of course, does her little antics with the flogger to whip her opponent while the referee wasn’t looking until the end of the beating. Tam would get a chance into the ring as she applies the Dragon Sleeper on Sumire until Kagetsu tries to break it up only to get caught by Tam so she can hit her with a DDT while giving Sumire a Reverse DDT at the same time, that was awesome. Kagetsu and Mayu would eventually get in the ring, and things start to pick up between with the back and forth fast paced action, Mayu hitting her Springboard Armdrag and would quickly go into a Slingblade to top it off. Mayu and Tam would work together for a moment with Tam kicking Kagetsu which caused her to roll back into a Wheel Barrel and Mayu slams her down face first for a two count. Hana would help come into the aide of Kagetsu to make her hit a Chokeslam on Mayu for only a two count. Hana would then hold Mayu up for a Suplex for Kagetsu to grab her from the top turnbuckle and hit a Powerbomb before going back up to the top rope again to hit her Oedo Coaster to give her team the first fall.
Kagetsu wouldn’t have time to celebrate as Shiki would Dropkick her down until Hazuki and Sumire came in to try and help Kagetsu, but only for them to both get hit with a Bulldog. Kagetsu was by the corner as STARS would throw Mayu’s unconscious body over to the corner to pretty much flop on Kagetsu before the other members would hit their own moves on her. Kagetsu would then try to hit a German on Mayu only for Hazuki to try and knee Mayu but misses and hits Kagetsu instead, giving Mayu him to hit a German Suplex hold for a two count. Kagetsu was gonna try to end it early, but Mayu would push Kagetsu off to make her eat Sumire’s flogger by accident and hits another German. Mayu would then hit her Dragon Suplex Hold to get the win as they are now tied 1-1.
Their respective members would drag their unconscious bodies over to their corners so the two could rest up after that battle and tag someone else in as we get Hazuki and Tam starting it off for a moment and then things start going a bit chaotic with the reversals and kicks til Hazuki got the advantage to knock Tam down as she attempts to hit the Atomic Bombs Away only for her to miss and eat a Superkick by Mayu. The two would then attempt to kick her in the head, but Hazuki ducked to make them kick each other, but Mayu attempts a Superkick again for her to hit Tam by mistake and Mayu gets Dropkicked out as Saki is now tagged in. Saki and Hana would be the two fighting now as Hana applies a deadly Black Widow to try and make her tap out, but it won’t last long as the hold breaks. Mayu had Hana up in the Gory Bomb position as Saki jumped off the rope to Bulldog her and nice teamwork by these two. Saki would then hit her Killswitch with Sumire breaking the pinfall just in time. Kagetsu held Saki up and gave Hana their sign for her to hit Saki with, but it backfires with her hitting Kagetsu as there has been a lot of miscommunication attacks in this match, but Saki would then roll Hana up to give STARS the win.
Recommended: Very entertaining match, worth a watch.
Wonder Of Stardom Title Match
Io Shirai (c) vs. Momo Watanabe
Review: We have arrived at our main event of the evening as Io is set to defend her Wonder of Stardom Championship for the eleventh time as she now sets to defend against Momo Watanabe as this was the request Momo made when she won the 2018 Cinderella Tournament. They have fought for the championship before, but Io came out on top as Momo would then look to prove herself that she can defeat her, which is why she was determined to win the previous tournament and wants to not only defeat Io but take her championship away from her in the process. Can she do it again or will lightning strike twice with Io being on top as usual? We shall see.
The crowd is pretty even as they both chanted both of their names while the two would start to chain wrestle for a bit and Io uses her veteran experience to outsmart Momo during the match as she should since she is better and smarter than her in the ring, so it makes sense for her to control the majority of the match. Io would, however, throw Momo into the turnbuckle only for Momo to jump up and Dropkick Io into the corner with Momo running towards her with another Dropkick.
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 2, 2018
Momo would attempt to hit her Cradle Piledriver on the ring apron, but Io crossed her legs on her arms to make sure she lost her grip on her which was smart thinking by the champ and she would top it off to hit a German Suplex on the ring apron to give herself control of the match once more. I’m loving the story here with Io establishing her dominance as not only the champion but as the leader of Stardom in general as she wasn’t ready to give up that crown fully just yet. Momo would eventually get this boost of adrenaline and kick Io in the head, give her a Running Cradle Piledriver, and topped it off with the Tequila Sunrise, but Io would slowly kick out at two and it wasn’t enough to put her away. Io would ruin Momo’s comeback with her signature palm strikes and delivers a Tombstone Piledriver onto Momo as she now looks to end it quickly with her Moonsault Press, but she would miss and get hit with the Somato for a two count again! Momo went to go for another cradle only for Io to reverse it and attempt to hit the Last Ride, but Momo would counter with another Somato and it looked amazing to see and try to find that clip or GIF so you can see for yourself. Momo hits another Tequila Sunrise as Io would weakly kick out at two again, but Momo isn’t done since she stayed on Io hit one more Tequila Sunrise, but she would clutch her wrist this time and soon as she hits it, it was a three count and we have a new Wonder of Stardom Champion!
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 2, 2018
This is how you help elevate someone right here, you get a well-established wrestler like Io to carry one of their bigger titles next to the World of Stardom Championship, give it much needed prestige, and then when the time is right you put someone over worthy of it and that woman was Momo tonight. After Io lost the title, there have been rumors about her future until it was confirmed a few days later that Io Shirai has signed with the WWE and this was gonna be her last appearance in Stardom as the champion as she would pass the torch to one who has a bright future in Stardom and it was the right call. As I said before, Momo has come a long way for the past couple of years that she’s been with the company and her hard work paid off here with the biggest wins in her career this year and it’s well earned. What will be next for Stardom once Io leaves the company, well if you go to one of my previous articles, I try to tackle down some possible people that will lead Stardom as the new top woman in the company. This match though had an incredible story and I love these passing of the torch type ordeals if done right and it most certainly delivered at the end result for sure.
Recommended: Highly recommended.
Overall: A couple of weak matches in the beginning, but the last two matches make the show worth watching and we saw one seed planted for Stardom’s future and now we must see how things go here as the Io Shirai farewell tour will begin soon as she leaves on June 16th.
Favorite Match: Io Shirai vs. Momo Watanabe
Least Favorite Match: Martina vs. Zoe Lucas
See you all next time!
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.22 ~ 9TH FEBRUARY 2019
Hisame brings us the NOAH news leading up to the Navigation to The Progress tour and assorted NOAH information.
Hisame brings us the NOAH news leading up to the Navigation to The Progress tour and assorted NOAH information.
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
Since finishing up “Navigation For The Future 2019”, NOAH will not be active until the 11th February when the next tour, “Navigation for The Progress” starts in Fukushima.
Yoshiki Inamura will continue with his “Seven Match Series” facing Masa Kitamiya.
Naomichi Marufuji and Kaito Kiyomiya will be building up to the GHC Heavyweight title defense on the 10th March in Yokohama, as will Daisuke Harada and Minoru Tanaka over the GHC Junior Heavyweight. This tour will also see a rare match (twice) which will put Marufuji and Harada facing each other in the ring.
Atsushi Kotoge and Eddie Edwards will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight tag tiles on the 24th March at Korakuen Hall. Edwards (due his schedule in IMPACT) will not be appearing in any earlier dates, and at the time of writing as NOAH have not announced the cards for the last two dates of tour (2nd or the 3rd March), so it is unknown as to whether he will be appearing on them.
The Hooligans will face Takashi Sugiura, Masao Inoue, Akitoshi Saito, Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada on the 24th February. The match will be an elimination and comes with stipulations; should The Hooligans win, Sugiura enters and is their lackey, should The Hooligans lose, they have to disband.
The Backbreakers will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag against Kotaro Suzuki (who gets a chance to team with his “older brother”, Naomichi Marufuji, on the 22nd February) and Yoshinari Ogawa on the 24th February.
This will be NOAH’s last tour using the iconic green mat outside of the Misawa memorial shows.
DIFFER ARIAKE TORN DOWN
“Next to the venue is the former NOAH office and dojo. You go up the stairs where the commemorative photographs of the wrestlers were held at the inaugural meeting in 2000, you go through the office next to the Differ offices, and then to NOAH’s office. There was once a dojo on this floor where the training equipment and ring was installed.”
(Differ Ariake, “Holy Land of Noah”, looking back in records and memories)
Masa Kitamiya recently retweeted a post a fan had sent him, of the empty lot where the venue, and once the “Holy Land of NOAH” once stood.
Differ Ariake started life in July 1988 not as NOAH’s home or a sports venue, but as a venue for disco and other music related events, later foreign bands would play here, and it saw a boom during the “Bubble Era” of the 1980s and early 1990s before closing and reopening as a sports venue in 2000.
NOAH moved into the venue soon after Misawa led the exodus from All Japan, and set up their offices and dojo there (their home was not the main stadium, but rather the complex to the left of the picture, the famous staircase can be seen on the main building).
Three generations (arguably from Marufuji’s to Kiyomiya’s) would grow up here until 2016 when the venue changed hands, and NOAH moved out.
NOAH would return to the venue one final time in November 2017 for the last ever Differ Cup. After the event they walked sadly through a place that they once called home. Each corner, each room, each inch must have held some memory for all of them, whether good or bad.
It was here in 2000 that NOAH held their inauguration event, “Departure”, which sold out in twenty minutes and for those fans who couldn’t get tickets, monitors were set up in the parking lot. Round about 6pm that evening, Misawa came out to talk to the fans who were waiting in line.
It was here that NOAH had held SEM, and filmed all their Christmas (and otherwise) specials, and in June 2009 after the tragic death of Misawa, 25,000 came to pay their respects.
It is ironic that with NOAH’s new owners changing the promotion and doing away with the iconic green, changing the new logo and laying the memory of Misawa to rest, that the home of NOAH should also disappear, like a final break with the past.
Differ may have now physically gone, NOAH may be changing and heading out to new and unknown waters out of Misawa’s shadow, but the picture taken of a vanished era in NOAH standing on the steps of their new home, their faces young and full of hope for the future, no matter their individual fates and that of the promotion they all turned their faces towards, will always remain part of the landscape, no matter what fills the now vacant lot filled with so many memories, emotions and history.
Toshiaki Kawada held his 4th “Holy War” produce. This is the first time that he has not had a “Talk Battle” with a NOAH wrestler (the others being Naomichi Marufuji, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Akira Taue).
- Hiroshi Yamato defeated Junta Miyawaki (7 minutes and 1 seconds)
- Kazushi Miyamoto, Mitsuya Nagai & Shiro Koshinaka defeated Shunsuke Sayama, Tomoya Hirata & Yoshiki Inamura (13 minutes and 59 seconds)
- Go Shiozaki & Shotaro Ashino defeated Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda (18 minutes and 19 seconds)
IPW have announced that Fight Network (SKY Channel 192) will start broadcasting an edited version of their shows. This a great way for NOAH fans to catch the roster members when they appear in the UK, especially (at the time of writing) Daisuke Harada, who is the current IPW Junior Heavyweight champion. You can watch the inaugural show (featuring Harada) here
Yahoo Japan are hinting that there may be a coalition or an alliance between NOAH, All Japan and W-1. However, it looks as if NOAH’s new owners will be instituting a policy of isolation at the present time and not entering into any partnerships with other promotions, besides the ones they all ready have. Naomichi Marufuji, however, has spoken of the importance of co-operation.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion & IPW Champion: Daisuke Harada
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Quiet Storm & Mohammed Yone (“50 Funky Powers)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Hitoshi Kumano & Hajime Ohara (“The Backbreakers”)
~ Due to his injury, Naomichi Marufuji had to cancel his one day stint as the manager of “Yoneya” (Mohammed Yone’s restaurant), the rescheduled date took place recently.
~ Hitoshi Kumano celebrated six years in wrestling on February 9th. Ge debuted at Korakuen Hall in 2013 against Atsushi Kotoge
~ Naomichi Marufuji did some clearing out, and found old phonecards with Takashi Rikio during his sumo days on them
~ Takashi Sugiura was given a chocolate gorilla for Valentine’s Day
~ Because the NOAH dojo has no heating or air conditioning, Kiyomiya and Miyawaki trained in tracksuits (the picture Miyawaki took revealed the dojo to have a CD collection and remote controls for the player)
~ YO-HEY celebrated his 31st birthday on February 6th
~ Naomichi Marufuji commented that he doesn’t know what KENTA’S plans are, but he wants him to go somewhere where he can be himself again. Takashi Sugiura came out and basically asked him what his plans were.
~ NOAH will be holding an event called “Navigation TO A NEW ERA” on May 2nd. Further details to be announced.
~ President Fuwa has started a Twitter account
KING SHAMELESS CORNER
He’s managed to behave himself this week, no pictures of Masao Inoue at the urinal or his dog defecating.
“Great Voyage in Yokohama” on the 10th March will be broadcast by G+ plus on the 16th March on G+ at 8.30pm (JST)
Jun Akiyama wrote a book called “Inheriting The Giant Stars” (thanks to GuyOnInternet for telling me about this); the book has been added to my shopping basket and will be purchased and then translated in due course.
If you do know of any NOAH\All Japan related books, by all means, do let me know. My ambition is to one day build up a digital library translated into English for Western fans.
The “Green Guide to the History of Pro Wrestling Noah” has been updated
Eddie Edwards Mini Interview
Press conference: Naomichi Marufuji vs Tetsuya Endo
The Last Showa Born Heel: Can Masa Kitamiya be the new era Masa Saito?
Naomichi Marufuji to challenge Kiyomiya, defense plans after taking the championship
Stardom 8th Anniversary Results & Review 1/14/2019
Stardom, the leader in Joshi wrestling, celebrates another year! Mathew brings us a breakdown of their anniversary show!
Welcome back as we adventure to Stardom for their eight-anniversary show!
Stardom has been around for about eight years now and they’ve been through so many changes from when they first started and they can only go up from here. We have some big matches planned for this show that you don’t wanna miss and I’m excited to get right into it.
Will they start their anniversary show strong? Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
Match Rating List
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Natsuko Tora vs. Saya Iida
Review: Our opening match is a singles match between Natsuko Tora and the debut of Saya Iida. From the last show I covered, Saya came to the ring to challenge Natsuko to a match for this show in which she would accept. I don’t have any info about Saya at this time but I do wish her luck here and excited to see what she’ll do. Will Saya get a big win in her debut of does Natsuko defeat her?
For this match, I’m mostly focusing on Saya’s abilities and how she faired in the ring since I didn’t fully expect someone like another Utami to come in here to have a stellar match in her debut. How did Saya fair? I think she is so far better compared to the previous rookies we have currently outside of Utami since she pulled off stuff well when she needed to, she did fine selling and was just getting into the match. Natsuko is a great first opponent for someone like her since she is a solid worker to help work with the rookies in the promotion and made her look good in the match as well. Saya hits a few Dropkicks but Natsuko wouldn’t bump them all as she landed on the ropes. Natsuko would try to get momentum back when she had Saya on her shoulders but Saya would get off to roll her up for a two count. Natsuko would miss a Splash off the second rope only for Saya to attempt a La Magistral but turned it into a different pin which looked different but not terrible. Natsuko would finally hit the Steamroller and a Splash off the top rope as she gets the victory.
After the match, Natsuko would congratulate Saya on her debut match as she said she will be a more complete wrestler in the future. Saya would thank her and promised the crowd that she would become a better wrestler as she requests to join JAN. Jungle Kyona would come into the ring and would quickly accept Saya as a new member of JAN. I think it’s a good move for her and she can definitely learn from them. I wish her the best of luck on her new journey.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) January 20, 2019
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
Gauntlet Tag Team Match
Alex Gracia & Starlight Kid vs. Hanan & Ruaka vs. Hina & Rina vs. Mary Apache & Natsumi
Review: Our next match is an elimination tag gauntlet as the participants consist of four teams and aside from Mary Apache and Starlight Kid, the rest of them are from the rookie class to give them a chance to try and showcase. As always, both teams will enter first and the next one will come out once one is eliminated. Which of these four teams will win it?
Our first two teams taking part in this match is Hina and Rina taking on Starlight Kid and Alex Gracia, so let’s see how the sisters do against them. Hina and Rina are kind of showing a little bit of progress but are still very green and it shows in this match here. Starlight, of course, was the one to carry this part of the match and Alex didn’t do a whole lot in the match just yet except for hitting a nice 619 on Rina. Starlight Kid would eventually hit the Rounding Frogsplash onto Rina to pin her as Mary Apache and Natsumi are next to come out. Alex and Mary had a fun little sequence to get the crowd into it before Alex would hit a nice Hurricanrana to get Mary down before having Starlight in the match with Natsumi. This part of the match was rather shorter than the previous one as Mary is in the ring with Alex again and Mary would Alex with a Lariat to eliminate her as Ruaka and Hanan are the final participants. Hanan doesn’t last very long in the ring with Mary before she tagged Ruaka in to try and fight her off but doesn’t really work as Mary hits a Rolling Senton onto her for a two count. Natsumi gets in the ring to apply the Paradise Lock before hitting a Double Stomp for another two count. Ruaka would try to fight her back with some forearms and tried to hit the Fisherman but Natsumi powered out of it and does a Frankensteiner to pin Ruaka and get the victory.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Six Man Tag Team Match
Oedo Tai (Hazuki, Jamie Hayter & Natsu Sumire) vs. Bobbi Tyler, Hana Kimura & Sadie Gibbs
Review: Our next match is our first six-man tag match of the evening with Oedo Tai members, Jamie Hayter, Natsu Sumire, and current High-Speed Champion, Hazuki take on Hana Kimura, Bobbi Tyler, and Sadie Gibbs. I’m sure Hana would like to get another shot at payback against Oedo Tai due to Jamie betraying her and the others. Will Hana’s team get a victory or will Oedo Tai win this one?
I have no idea what the letters on Sumire’s outfit mean on her outfit and since it is Sumire we’re talking about, I’m kinda afraid to find out. Jamie would rush into her opponents to attack them before the bell would ring and the match starts to get underway. Jamie did take quite a beating early on in the match and it was expected since Hana wanted to get a little bit of retribution on her. Why is Hazuki so damn good? She keeps showing why she’s great in that ring by being so damn consistent and able to work with just about anyone and give them a good match. Now that I saw more of both Bobbi and Sadie, I can safely say that I’m becoming fans of both these women after seeing their work in Stardom as they’re a much better crop of gaijins compared to the ones they had last year. I thought it was a solid tag match with good enough wrestling from all six of these women, Hana is slowly starting to show off her character a little bit more here finally, Bobbi and Sadie are showing that they’re wonderful additions to the roster, Sumire is Sumire, and Hazuki is still great. Most of the wrestlers are outside as Sadie does her dive to the outside, shades of Will Ospreay and gets the crowd into it before ducking Sumire’s flogger. Sadie would hit a Twisting Moonsault on Sumire to get another victory and I’m getting a feeling that Stardom might have some plans for Sadie in the future with all these victories.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) January 23, 2019
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Six Man Tag Team Match
STARS (Arisa Hoshiki, Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima) vs. Queen’s Quest (AZM, Bea Priestley & Konami)
Review: We got another six-man tag match in the mix here as Queen’s Quest members, AZM, Bea Priestley, and Konami take on STARS members, Arisa Hoshiki, Mayu Iwatani, and Saki Kashima. Last month, Mayu would have a small injury on her left leg that made her unable to compete for a short period of time but it looked like she was cleared to do this match. Not only is this Mayu’s return match, but it is also her eight-year anniversary as a wrestler as well, so it’s a big deal for her to be apart of his match. Do STARS win or will Queen’s Quest reign supreme?
It looks like Bea finally changed her attire into something a little more badass and I gotta say that I’m digging the new look. Mayu, of course, will be starting it off and she would have a strong opening until she got kicked in the back as AZM would use this time to attack Mayu’s injured leg to do some more damage to it for that little bit of heat from the crowd. I love how Bea was first one of my least favorites in the roster from 2018 to being someone that I wanna see more of in Stardom this year since she was made a lot of improvements in the ring as she’s just more crisp with her delivery while adding some new stuff to her arsenal like a modified Bow and Arrow along with a Cross-armed Electric Chair onto Mayu. I got to see a little more of Arisa this time around not involved in a gauntlet match like the last time I saw her and I really love her kicks in the ring since she’s very agile in the ring and makes them look vicious with the training she had recently.
I thought this was a much better tag match on this show and had fantastic delivery from all six of these women since they were able to tell a story in the ring, all of them doing enough to showcase to make a solid match. The selling with Mayu is still one of the best in the company with how she takes the moves and even her reactions while giving moves back in return when she had a little kick off with AZM, which Mayu won and fell down as she looked defeated despite kicking AZM out. AZM looked like she was going to make Mayu tap with the Fujiwara Armbar but Saki would break the hold before she hits a Springboard Bulldog onto both Konami and Bea to get them out of the ring and does a Splash to the outside. AZM went for a Wheel Barrel as Mayu caught her for a Dragon Sleeper which looked great and Mayu would hit the Moonsault off the top ropes, shades of her old finisher as she would pin AZM for the victory!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
EVE International Title / SWA Undisputed World Women’s Title Match
Viper (c) vs. Utami Hayashishita
Review: Our first of three title matches of the show as it’s a battle between two Queen’s Quest members, Viper and Utami Hayashishita. Utami claimed she wanted to go for all of the gold last month and she already has two titles under her belt with the Goddesses of Stardom and Future of Stardom Titles as she now challenged Viper for now just one, but two of her titles. Viper is currently the SWA Undisputed World Women’s and EVE Internation Champion as she would gladly accept the challenge to her fellow member to see what the Super Rookie can do. Will Viper ruin Utami’s goal or does Utami add two more belts into her collection?
The match went exactly how it needed to go, with Viper controlling most of the match due to her size while Utami struggles to try and lift her up for the Torture Rack. I know I talked about how Viper’s matches are usually a hit and miss but this one was definitely a hit and possibly one of her best matches in Stardom since she just works so well with Utami and was able to showcase how good she is in the ring unlike when she fought the Hanan sisters. Utami I believe has solidified herself more like a star here in Stardom these past couple of months when she started going on this little crusade to win these championships to prove she is the new queen of Stardom. Viper would go on the attack for the majority of it with her Cannonballs which have proved to be pretty deadly to Utami as she does hit a couple of them in the match while Utami would keep failing to get the Torture Rack up on her.
When Utami eventually does pick her up, she would attempt the Reverse Steamroller to make it look a little sloppy but also expected due to Utami struggling to sell it, but at least she was finally able to lift her up for the time being. Utami gets hit with two more Cannonballs but she would kick out of them to keep the match alive. Viper goes to the top rope to hit the Splash but Utami rolls out of the way and quickly applies the Sleeper Hold to get here right where she wants her and she’s not done as she would lift Viper up for the German Suplex Hold and would pin Viper to get the victory! Utami now officially has four titles under her belt and it looks like Stardom might actually go through with this plan of Utami All Belts for a little longer, but I do wonder what championship will she be eyeing next? My bet is the Artist of Stardom Titles next.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Wonder of Stardom Title Match
Momo Watanabe (c) vs. Tam Nakano
Review: Our second title match is next as Momo Watanabe is set to defend the Wonder of Stardom Championship against Tam Nakano. This one has been a bit of a personal rivalry between the two as Tam looks like she’s ready to show herself as a legitimate threat to Momo and to the rest of the Stardom roster with her new look and change in her persona a little bit. Momo looks like she might want to surpass Io Shirai’s record for title defenses as this will be defense number eight and would be a bit closer towards that goal. Will Momo retain the title once again or will we finally have a new champion to dethrone the new ace?
The match would start with a little bit of a kickoff but the two evenly matched with the crowd giving them a round of applause. Momo would be the first one to take control of the match with Tam getting the underdog type of story treatment of this one and it makes sense since Momo has been on a roll lately by blowing away through most of her competition. Tam eventually got the upper hand on Momo when she would apply the Kneebar to weaken up her arsenal a little bit but Momo grabbed the ropes to break the hold. I thought this is probably Tam’s best match in a while since she really stepped up her game these past few months and it shows right here how good she actually can be in the ring and in the top spot if they ever did give her a singles title run during her time there.
I think the last half of the match was the best part of it since it was more emotional between the two women and still evenly matched with a lot of close calls that it could go either way with one of them. When they were outside of the ring, Momo would attempt a Tequila Sunrise to the outside but Tam moved out of the way to hit a German Suplex outside of the ring and Momo went down. Momo would hit the Tequila Sunrise to top it off and she would quickly transition it to the Peach Sunrise to try and put Tam away with that instead of pinning her with just the one, but Tam would roll out of it to go for the pinfall and she almost got the win when Momo kicked out of it. Tam would kick Momo in the face and hits the Tiger Suplex as it looks like this could be it but Momo kicked out of it. Tam would bring Momo to the top rope to go for a Super Tiger Suplex but Momo would push her off and hits a Somato off the top rope for a two count! Momo would then pick Tam up for a Tequila Sunrise and Tam kicks out at two but Momo quickly picked her up for the Peach Sunrise and it connects this time as Momo retains the title in a great match!
After the match, Momo would give Tam some respect and also tell her that she’s not on her level yet as she hopes Tam would get there soon so they could do this again. Tam would tell Momo that she won’t give up on getting the white belt. Jamie Hayter and Sadie Gibbs would both come out to make a challenge to Momo and it looks like that Jamie will be taking on Momo next.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) January 24, 2019
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
World of Stardom Title Match
Kagetsu (c) vs. Jungle Kyona
Review: We’re up to our main event now as Kagetsu is set to defend the World of Stardom Championship against Jungle Kyona. The two have reignited their rivalry during the 5 Star Grand Prix when they fought to a no contest due to the time limit, and then they would fight again in a Fatal Four Way where Jungle would actually get a victory over Kagetsu as she made a challenge to go for the title. This will be a big test for Kagetsu as she now has the main event with the title over anyone and has a big match to show she can be the main eventer when both red and white belts on the line. Will Kagetsu retain her title once again or will Kyona finally win the big one.
The match started off fairly even as the two would just start with chain wrestling in the ring and it has that nice little slow start in the beginning, which is fine since it’ll pay off at the end of the match. Kyona started to get a little more momentum until Kagetsu would start with the heel tactics when she punched her in the gut with a pair of brass knuckles a couple of times before putting them away. Kagetsu would then pull the sleeve off of Kyona’s arm to expose the injured elbow and she used this to start attacking her until Kyona rolled outside as Kagetsu would come out to attack her around the arena. The part did drag a little bit in my opinion but it also did the job when she slammed her elbow against the wall and does a Triangle Choke off the balcony to do more damage to Kyona’s arm before getting her back into the ring. What I do love about this match is how Kyona sold the injury and used her emotions to tell the story in the ring, which Kyona can do great in if given the right opponent just like Kagetsu.
Jungle would try to get some momentum back as she attempts a Lariat as Kagetsu would hit her injured arm and instead of selling it more, she would unwrap the tape and hits another Lariat as it connected this time, causing Kagetsu to do a backflip from the power. Jungle would hit the Splash for a two count but KAgetsu would turn it around into a Kimura Lock as she locked it in tight as Kyona looked like she was going to tap out until she grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Kagetsu went to go for a Frankensteiner as Kyona caught her to drop her on her neck with a Powerbomb before picking her back up for a Sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Kyona would then try to go for the Jungle Bomb until she dropped Kagetsu as it appeared to spat green mist into her eyes when the referee wasn’t looking and did it again before hitting the Michinoku Driver. Kagetsu would get to the top rope to hit the Oedo Coaster and instead of pinning her right then and there, she would pick her up for the Death Valley Driver and pins Kyona to get the victory in a great match!
After the match, Kagetsu told the crowd this was her sixth successful title defense and mocked Kyona asking if she really thought that she was going to wrestle a clean match from bell to bell and she called Hazuki into the ring now. Kagetsu announced that she would like to defend her title against her own Oedo Tai member next at the January 27th show as Hazuki would accept the challenge. I cannot wait for this match to go down.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) January 24, 2019
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought it was a much better show compared to the last two I covered and it was exactly the show that needed to get them on the right track again. None of the matches were considered terrible, the six-man matches were fun, we had a successful debut, and three great title matches on top of it. Next show I’m gonna cover is the January 27th one which is also the 8th anniversary in Osaka. Be sure to look out for that one.
Favorite Match: Kagetsu vs. Jungle Kyona and Momo Watanabe vs. Tam Nakano
Least Favorite Match: Alex Gracia & Starlight Kid vs. Hanan & Ruaka vs. Hina & Rina vs. Mary Apache & Natsumi
Final Score: 8/10