Welcome back to Stardom and despite the previous showing being Sapporo Fes, this is still part of the Shining Stars tour.
Technically, this is day two leading to Io’s retirement and this one we surprisingly have the World of Stardom Championship on the line here, so this should be an interesting bout along with having a stacked show today, so let’s just…dive right in.
Leo Onozaki vs. Shiki Shibusawa
Review: Last time I covered Stardom, I decided to make a little game with Leo Onozaki with her cutter as I write down how many times she’ll do the move in her matches since she can either do a bunch of them or a few while still not doing a whole lot outside of that and she only did two in her last match, so lets see if she beats that when she fights Shiki. This match really doesn’t have a whole lot to talk about since it was pretty much chaining, dropkicks, cutters, and bulldogs, oh my! But that’s really it and another thing Leo did was what looked like a Rolling Armbar, but she rolled her up a pin first and once Shiki kicked out, Leo would apply the submission. Shiki would hit her Missle Dropkick a couple minutes after that to get the win.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 16, 2018
Leo’s Cutter Counter: 2
Hanan vs. Natsuko Tora
Review: Oh hey, Hanan’s back as it’s been a while since we last saw her compete in a match here as she takes on Natsuko Tora, so let’s see how she fairs up. It looked like they were about to shake hands here and Hanan decides to kick Tora in the midsection and starts showing her aggressive side by going all out right away. I think she’s showed the most offense out of the rest of the younger Joshi wrestlers as she was able to do some submission hols, STO’s, and even almost get an upset victory with her roll-up, but Tora would still kick out of it and while Hanan showed a valiant effort, she would get caught in a Spinebuster and Natsuko would hit a Splash off the ropes to score the victory over Hanan. Nice try, kid and I hope to see more progression out of you soon.
Recommended: It was average, so this one is all up to you.
Three Way Tag Team Match
Deonna Purrazzo & Zoe Lucas vs. Jungle Kyona & Kaori Yoneyama vs. Hazuki & Natsu Sumire
Review: We got a three-way tag match this time involving two units such as JAN and Oedo Tai, and we also got Deonna and Zoe teaming up for this one. Natsu said the last time she and Hazuki teamed up, it was the greatest match in pro wrestling history and I for one believe them, why would you ever question them in the first place? Morons and also the Oedo pupper is there so automatically eight stars…suck it, Dave.
— Oedo Tai Gifs (@OedoTaiGifs) June 21, 2018
Deonna, Hazuki, and Kaori started the match off and it was going pretty well since they all had nice little counters like Hazuki jumping over Kaori as Deonna caught her for a German and would escape it to roll Deonna up but Kaori would roll Hazuki up once Deonna kicked out and all three of them stood up for a stalemate and once they tagged their partners in, it started to become a bit of a cluster fuck. I mean it when I say that the majority of the match was pretty much all over the place from time to time. Zoe did better in this match than her previous matches here and that’s not really saying much though. Natsu and Hazuki did team up pretty well as well as JAN as they would hit their tag team stuff when they needed to. Jungle looked like she was about to take out Hazuki for the win but she was able to roll out the ring in time with Deonna to sneak up behind Jungle to hit a German Suplex for a two count. Kaori and Jungle would kick down Deonna and Zoe and they attempted a charge in on one of them, but Zoe ducked causing Kaori and Jungle to hit each other instead. Hazuki would hit a Codebreaker on Zoe to go for a pin, but the pin gets broken up as Natsu would whip Deonna to get her back outside while Hazuki hits a poor Michinoku Driver and the Atomic Bombs Away to give Oedo Tai the win.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 20, 2018
Recommended: It was an average match but had cool spots and Natsu says it’ll be the greatest match ever and I will still believe her
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid & Tam Nakano vs. AZM, Io Shirai, Konami & Momo Watanabe
Review: This will be the last time Io Shirai would be teaming up with her fellow Queen’s Quest members as she has two shows left with Stardom as one of them is their traditional gauntlet and her final one is a surprise we’ll get to when I cover it soon. This will also be the last time she’ll be fighting STARS in a tag team match either and wants her last night with Queen’s Quest to count because Io is trusting them with her faction with Momo now the leader of it.
AZM and Starlight start it off as they have a little score to settle due to a draw at the previous show and I don’t mind since I love their work together since they’re two of the best in that division. I love how they do their Lucha style beginning with doing arm drags and jumping over each other, but AZM would offer her hand to Starlight and would attack her which signals Queen’s Quest to run out and attacked STARS from the ring apron and then they all team up on Starlight ending with Io hitting a Running Dropkick to the turnbuckle. Momo gets tagged in next and starts to work on Starlight for a moment until she tagged Io in as she starts attacking Starlight and does her Moonsault landing on her knees on top of Starlight and then tags in Konami and delivers a stiff kick to the face and goes to attack some more, but Starlight would reverse her and hits a Standing Moonsault which gives her enough time to tag in Saki.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 21, 2018
Saki would start to beat down Konami in which AZM tries to help her out, but backfires when they’re both on the mat as Io and Momo come in to help, but Tam and Mayu run in to get them on their knees so Mayu and Saki ran towards them to hit a dropkick on both of them while landing on AZM and Konami, that was a cool spot. Tam gets tagged in now and would do some damage to Konami before tagging Mayu in while Momo gets tagged in as well with Mayu normally one-upping her throughout their time together in the ring until Momo actually gets an opening and hits a Suplex for a two count. This gives Queen’s Quest a chance to attack STARS from the apron again as Momo hits the Somato on Mayu for a two count and that was a close call and would hit another one for another two count, but now tags in Io as Saki gets into the mix now. Saki actually hits the Killswitch and Queen’s Quest broke it up before they could get the three count. Tam and Mayu would hit a Double Dropkick to AZM and Momo and just about everyone is on the outside as Mayu looks to do a Splash off the top rope and it appears as if she landed on her fellow STARS members by accident. Io would get Saki back into the ring as all four members of Queen’s Quest would hit Saki with a Dropkick in stereo and then Momo slams Saki down for good measure as Io hits her Diving Moonsault Press for the pinfall as Queen’s Quest wins it. Io would pose with Queen’s Quest after the match one last time as they ended it on a high note for them, now the rest is up to Momo to lead them.
Recommended: Very good match, worth the watch.
World Of Stardom Title Match
Toni Storm (c) vs. Kagetsu
Review: The last time Toni defended her World of Stardom Championship was against Mayu Iwatani on April 1st and I thought for sure there that Mayu would reclaim that title and it looked like I was wrong. In my first Stardom coverage where we had Toni’s team taking on Oedo Tai, I assumed Kagetsu was gonna be the next challenger when she came out with the fake belt to mock and and three months later, the match actually happens with no official announcement that I’ve heard of and I’ll take it since Kagetsu needs her chance to shine now that she lost the Goddesses or Stardom Championships and now has a chance for a solo run in Oedo Tai while the other members go for the rest of the gold and Hana betters herself in Mexico for the next three months. It’s make or break for Kagetsu since she did lose to Io Shirai for the Wonder of Stardom Championship last month and is now hoping to bounce back to try and dethrone Toni Storm.
The two start off with some chain wrestling as they both appear to be going back and forth and first it looked like Toni had control of it, but Kagetsu would reverse it around to come out on top for a moment until Toni would turn it back around as the two break it up. Toni would put Kagetsu in a Headlock and pushes her off to kick her to the outside as she now goes for a Suicide Dive until Kagetsu hits Toni with a chair before she could land and starts to hit her with the chair a few times. Kagetsu would start to pick up the heat as she starts to throw Toni around outside through the chairs while burying her in them as she makes it back into the ring, but Toni does also in a bit until Kagetsu hits a Dropkick off the top rope. They would go back to mat wrestling with both of them trying to go after their arms to make the other tap out as the two don’t seem to be able to make the two tap out and Kagetsu would go for the Michinoku Driver and doesn’t have the strength to pick her up and Toni hits a stiff forearm as the two would go back and forth with strikes as Kagetsu would go for a kick, but Toni ducks and hits a German Suplex.
Kagetsu would go for another kick which Toni would catch before hitting Kagetsu with another German Suplex and it looks like she’s about to charge at her, but Kagetsu catches her for a Samoan Drop and the two are down as the crowd starts to chant for Kagetsu over Toni. Toni would then apply the Guillotine Choke and it looked like Kagetsu is gonna be out for the count, but she would find a way to power out of it and picks her up for a Brainbuster and tops it off with a Michinoku Driver for a two count! Kagetsu would go to the top rope to try and hit the Oedo Coaster, but Toni pushes her off and hits not one but two Suicide Dives to the outside and would get her back in to go for the Powerbomb as Oedo Tai distracts the referee so Kagetsu could spray blue mist into Toni’s eyes to hit two Michinoku Drivers for a two count. For those that don’t know real quick, the blue mist is a sign for the person to fall asleep while the regular green is for vision and I like that the different colors of mist have a different meaning, definitely look at them if you don’t know which ones mean what. Back to the match as Kagetsu would finally hit the Oedo Coaster and Toni would surprisingly kick out, leaving Kagetsu a bit frustrated here and would pick Toni up, but she reverses it with the Strong Zero and that looked painful as Kagetsu would kick out as well. The two would slowly get up as Kagetsu hits a stiff kick to Toni’s head but she is still standing and tells her to bring it on as Kagetsu would deliver at least seven Roundhouse Kicks to her head and would still be conscious until she caught her leg for a submission to try and make Kagetsu tap out until she got to the ropes. Toni would try to put Kagetsu away with another Strong Zero, but Kagetsu would push her into the referee and sprays the red mist into her eyes this time which means burning sensation into her eyes and hits a Death Valley Driver and would top it off with an Oedo Coaster as we have a new World of Stardom Champion!
Kagetsu winning here was a bit of a shocker since I expected Toni to hold it at least till the winner of the 5★Star GP, but I’m more than okay with Kagetsu winning it now as she has definitely earned his opportunity and working so hard to get here over the years. Last year during Kagetsu’s produced show, she actually was considering retirement until Io Shirai would talk her out of it and I’m glad she did otherwise we wouldn’t have this moment right here. Her winning was the right call and I can’t wait to see where this leads and who will be the one to take it from her.
Recommended: Very good match with a nice story in it, watch it.
Overall: This was a solid show, but the Oedo Pupper and Kagetsu won…so fuck you and watch it. Joking aside, it was was a decent show and the last two matches are definitely worth watching. We got a new champion and I’m definitely excited to see where this leads for Oedo Tai and Kagetsu.
Favorite Match: Toni Storm vs. Kagetsu
Least Favorite Match: Leo Onozaki vs. Shiki Shibusawa
Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 4 B Block
Second night for the B Block! Jay White and Tetsuya Naito need to get on the scoreboard. Did it happen?
Second night for the B Block! Jay White and Tetsuya Naito need to get on the scoreboard. Did it happen?
Sapporo is a fun city for the main event, with a lot of general history.
Will Ospreay having a neck injury means he’s not working the undercard tonight.
Those are probably the two points that matter the most. So I guess let’s get to the show!
- Jyushin Thunder Liger & Kota Ibushi vs Yota Tsuji & Shota Umino: Ibushi wins via Half Boston Crab @8:20 – **
- Toa Henare, Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma vs EVIL, BUSHI & SANADA: BUSHI wins via MX @7:20 – ** 1/2
- Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr & Lance Archer vs KENTA, Clark Connors, Karl Fredricks & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Kanemaru wins via Deep Impact @11:30 – ***
- Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI: Okada wins via Rainmaker @8:45 – ** 1/4
- Block B: Shingo Takagi vs Toru Yano: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @6:15 – ** 3/4
- Block B: Juice Robinson vs Hirooki Goto: Juice wins via Pulp Friction @12:20 – *** 1/2
- Block B: Jon Moxley vs Jeff Cobb: Moxley wins via Draping Deathrider @8:55 – *** 1/4
- Block B: Tomohiro Ishii vs Jay White: Ishii wins via Vertical Drop Brainbuster @19:15 – **** 1/2
- Block B: Taichi vs Tetsuya Naito: Taichi wins via Last Ride @21:00 – *** 3/4
Liger and Ibushi take on Young Lions because Will Ospreay is nursing an injury. So this was unexpected, but who’s gonna argue with some Liger? Bare bones basic Young Lion match, but Liger and Ibushi kept the interest high.
EVIL and SANADA are facing one another on Thursday, but they were on the same team tonight. Part of this story was BUSHI remaining to look strong since the end of the BOSJ, while EVIL and SANADA had the tension building up. Instead of the LIJ fist bump after the win, EVIL tries to cheap shot SANADA, SANADA counters and then they have a stand off.
This Suzuki-Gun match was beautiful. It was just a gang fight, with each member of Suzuki-Gun taking someone off and Lance Archer even joined commentary at some point. House show quality match was a good way to describe this, but it was still fun and got across the point for future matches and just great character work.
It might be a little mean to say, but YOSHI-HASHI is in this match, so who cares? Chase Owens does prove why he’s the glue that holds Bullet Club together. He’s a great tag team player and this year he’s looked a lot better than he has in the past. So we’ve got an alright match, Okada wasn’t gonna eat a pin, but I guess they wanted to protect YOSHI a little, so Chase ate the Rainmaker.
Shingo proved he watched the Naito match by trying to get Yano to take off his shirt. Anyone who saw Shingo in Dragon Gate knows he’s got some comedy chops being a former…wait…the current, Open the Owarai Gate champion (Owarai means comedy). Shirt, wrist tape and turnbuckle shenanigans ensue, but the right person won. Shingo gets on the board and doesn’t suffer the shame of getting bamboozled.
This tends to be an issue with Goto and Juice a lot of the time. By this, I mean boredom. Goto and Juice have bumped heads a few times and they both try very hard, but they aren’t exciting together. Juice being a quirky but not overly animated just means you get a snarky line and one move that may be entertaining (usually Left Hand of God) and then the action stalls. So both did good work, it was a tough match, but it wasn’t really anything crazy. Solid enough match though.
Moxley focused on Cobb’s left shoulder, so the story was to take out Cobb’s power and try to figure out how to end the match. We saw another solid match, and Moxley gets across more of his character. He does borderline heel tactics and then apologizes to the referee. So this brawling, unstable babyface is an old school gimmick in Japan, but not often seen in New Japan. It’s nice to watch, and Moxley taking advantage of Cobb’s positioning to hit the Draping Dirty Deathriding Paradigm DDT.
Jay White starts off against two of the heavier hitters from Chaos, his former stable. After taking Goto lightly, Ishii comes into this match after a big win over Jeff Cobb. White came into the match less relaxed, but still playing up his smarmy character. Ishii laid into Jay the whole match, where Jay tried to outsmart the Stone Pitbull, but Jay isn’t as clever as he thinks he is. A great match with well placed false finishes and a lot of tension. Fantastic back and forth, plus Ishii picking up the win is something special.
There were so many story threads going on here. Sapporo is the place of their Intercontinental Championship match earlier in the year where Taichi had Takashi Iizuka interfere. Iizuka left the Iron Fingers for Taichi, but he hasn’t used them in the 6 months he’s had them. This was a great struggle of wrestlers who were once rivals, but Naito has since eclipsed Taichi. Hell, Taichi even hit a Ganso Bomb, shades of his mentor Toshiaki Kawada. References, call backs and a solid match from a story telling perspective. Work rate might not have been fantastic, but that’s the beauty of professional wrestling being more than the moves in the ring. Plus part of the fun of Taichi matches is watch Miho Abe react, since she’s such a lovely devoted valet.
Overall Score: 6.75/10
A lot of this show was driven by the stories and the historical threads between participants, opposed to the in-ring action. I appreciate the mixture of angles that New Japan shows attack with. Many newer fans just know NJPW for great hard hitting work rate, but the beauty of puroresu in general is how deep the stories go.
Sometimes the wrestlers reference things from their mentors/trainers, sometimes it’s just a story line from the isolationist politics that each puro company has dabbled with or sometimes it goes all the way back to when someone was a Young Boy in a dojo. The layers are there for those who wish to know, so part of the fun in nights like this, are what personally floats your boat.
The show was the weakest so far, but there were plenty of satisfying moments outside of ring work.
B Block Standings:
- Tomohiro Ishii – 2-0 (4 Points)
- Jon Moxley – 2-0 (4 Points)
- Juice Robinson – 2-0 (4 Points)
- Toru Yano – 1-1 (2 Points)
- Hirooki Goto – 1-1 (2 Points)
- Shingo Takagi – 1-1 (2 Points)
- Taichi – 1-1 (2 Points)
- Jay White – 0-2 (0 Points)
- Jeff Cobb – 0-2 (0 Points)
- Tetsuya Naito – 0-2 (0 Points)
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.43 ~ 14TH JULY 2019
Global Junior Tag League has started! Hisame let’s us know what’s going on in Pro Wrestling NOAH!
Global Junior Tag League has started! Hisame let’s us know what’s going on in Pro Wrestling NOAH!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
After a long break in which it was thought that due to the silence coming from the roster, they had all gone on a short summer break, NOAH returned on the 12th July to hold a show in Tokorozawa.
In Global Junior Tag League, YO-HEY defeated Junta Miyawaki (although he did praise him afterwards in a rambling promo), and Chris Ridgeway defeated fellow STINGER, Kotaro Suzuki by making him tap.
Minoru Tanaka vs Daisuke Harada for Global Junior League, was the main event of the evening, and what a match it was. They pulled everything out of every drawer they had, Tanaka worked on Harada’s knee, while Harada worked on the neck. The match went to a thirty minute draw, and both spoke afterwards about it. Minoru Tanaka says that he won today, and he will win the league. He also mentioned that he wants to see more junior matches main event shows.
Daisuke Harada said that he would not let “that stranger” win, and he would challenge for the belt again, whether the fans liked it or not.
Takashi Sugiura and Hajime Ohara took on Masao Inoue and Kinya Okada, and there was the usual amusing Inoue\Sugiura interplay. Earlier in the evening, joining in with Marufuji not remembering Kenoh’s name, and vice versa, Takashi Sugiura joined in, but changed it so that he couldn’t remember Masao Inoue’s name. Inoue is a sufferer of gout, and naturally Sugiura targeted his foot by keeping him in the ankle lock after Kinya Okada had tapped, and then when his arms were lifted in victory, he continued stamping on Inoue’s foot.
Speaking of Marufuji and Kenoh, Kenoh (when the team of Marufuji, Yoshinari Ogawa, Hiroshi Yamato and Keisuke Ishii took on Kongoh), timed it just right when Marufuji bounced into the ring, landed and turned so that he was there waiting for him, and they both got in each others face. Inamura was chopped to ribbons.
As Go Shiozaki was still absent (he will return to the ring on the 15th), Katsuhiko Nakajima came to the ring carrying both of the tag belts. As he said at the match signing which took place on the 13th June, he was preparing more for the GHC Heavyweight than the singles, and so he started the match off against Kaito Kiyomiya. However, it wasn’t Nakajima who took the win, but Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex on Hi69.
Tokorozawa City Gymnasium, Sub Arena (12th July 2019)
Post match promos – 12th July 2019
Current Global Junior League Scores (as of July 14th 2019)
Minoru Tanaka 5
Daisuke Harada 3
Yoshinari Ogawa 2
Junta Miyawaki 0
Chris Ridgeway 4
Hajime Ohara 2
Hitoshi Kumano 2
Kotaro Suzuki 0
In keeping in the theme of using pets on merchandise (a silhouette of one of Hitoshi Kumano’s little French Bulldog appeared on the back of one of his t-shirts, and Akitoshi Saito had a cat t-shirt) continued when NOAH put the head of Takashi Sugiura’s beloved Shiba Inu on a t-shirt, complete with dog tags which read “company dog”. Naturally, this was a shot at Kongoh (in specific Kenoh, as he is the only one who speaks), who are currently feuding with The Sugiura Army, and the use of the phrase “Company dog” (i.e. someone who does his masters bidding unquestionably, comes goes, fetches, wags tail etc).
The t-shirt will be released on the 15th July at Korakuen Hall, with mail order to follow (a white version is also available).
NAOMICHI MARUFUJI’S COMIC STRIP
Naomichi Marufuji has started illustrating a comic for “Weekly Pro”. The comic is a condensed version of his autobiography, “Heir To The Ark”, and starts off with his childhood growing up in Saitama with three older brothers, and wrestling with them which inspired his love of the sport. The comic starts off with two of his brothers arguing about who they are going to be, then they tell little Marufuji that they feel sorry for him, as being the youngest and the smallest, he is going to get it from them (which he did in reality), and Marufuji fighting back by saying that Tiger Mask (Mitsuharu Misawa) is strong.
You can find an ongoing translation on my blog.
The main event for TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2 will be Hideki Suzuki and Minoru Suzuki vs Naomichi Marufuji and Masato Tanaka. Event will be held on Monday, August 26 2019 at Korakuen Hall.
Broadcast most likely will be through ABEMA (a Japanese PPV subscription channel, only available to those in Japan).
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
~ HAYATA’S garden has produced Daikon. YO-HEY celebrated by putting it in his mouth.
~ NOAH held a joint fan birthday party for Kaito Kiyomiya and Junta Miyawaki. Miyawaki turned 22 in June, with Kiyomiya turning 23 this month.
~ Naomichi Marufuji says he has a new gown for Korakuen Hall on the 15th June
~ YO-HEY made a summer vacation to see his family in rural Yabu. One of his young nieces asked him if he was married to HAYATA.
NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 12.30am JST
NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+
GIF OF THE WEEK
GHC Heavyweight tag & single championship signing
Picture credit: Noah GHC, PKDK, YO-HEY
GIF credit: Noah GHC