Well, everyone, this is it, this will be Io Shirai’s final appearance with Stardom before she departs to the WWE.
Io has been with the company in 2011 around when Stardom wasn’t even a year old yet and has been with them ever since. She has won every title Stardom has and also set a bunch of records for the company with lengthy reigns and title defenses. Only accolade that evaded her grasp was the Cinderella Tournament (she really wanted to wear that dress too).
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 18, 2018
There might be a huge gap open once Io is gone, but the past few months have shown that the company can still shine bright and still have a promising future even without their ace. It’s a stacked show and has a special match for her final day which I’ll get to when the match comes up, and we got Momo defending her belt in the main event. So let us close this chapter together and…dive right in.
Tag Team Match
Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka vs. Leo Onozaki & Natsuko Tora
Review: It looks like all members of JAN except Kyona are fighting off in a tag team match with one of the champions teaming up with one of the rookies and looks like Natsuko got Leo and Kaori has Ruaka, let’s see who picks it up in this friendly competition. All four of them shook hands and soon as Kaori and Ruaka turned their backs, Natsuko and Leo would attack them from behind and would hold Kaori’s arms so that Ruaka could jump on her own partners back to do the jungle pose, but Natsuko see’s her and pushes her off. The match itself was incredibly sloppy with poor and unbelievable strikes from all of them except for Kaori who was surprisingly the best part out of this whole match. Leo, you used to do like four to five cutters a match and now you’re here doing one or two the minute I made a counter for you, the hell girl? The last part of it was Leo and Ruaka in the ring together to see who can get the win out of these two while Natsuko and Kaori are fighting outside, but Ruaka would win it with a Fisherman Suplex.
Recommended: Not really.
Leo’s Cutter Count: 1 (Gotta up your game)
Hanan vs. Natsu Sumire
Review: Been a while since I saw Sumire in a singles match and makes sense since Nao is still technically not medically cleared, Kagetsu and Hazuki are booked, and Hana is still in Mexico…I hope she’s doing well. So with Oedo Tai all busy, she has to do this match solo against one of the younger talent, Hanan. Sumire pointed out that she’s fighting a middle schooler tonight and she’s not wrong there, but since she’s in charge of the declining birth rate, she must give the kids a bright future.
Hanan would offer her hand for Sumire to shake and once she does, Hanan would kick her in the midsection and would start to get the early advantage with the Dropkick and now Sumire would turn it around to make Hanan lose any momentum she had. The majority of the match is Sumire beating her down, not giving her any chances to have a comeback at all and I like the idea of that since it builds sympathy for the babyface and Sumire is a good heel to do it with. It was only a matter of time when Sumire would pull out the flogger out and start whipping Hanan with it and I have faith in her call since she is the Counselor for the Declining Birth Rate and I trust her judgment. The would still use the flogger for a good couple of minutes until the referee tried to play tug-o-war with Sumire to try and grab it as Hanan used this opportunity to Dropkick the flogger and would start to take Sumire down to finally get her shine in. Hanan started to take her down with an STO and quickly applies the Armbar until Sumire would grab the ropes and hits a few more STO’s for good measure just in case, but Sumire would turn it around on her to attempt a Reverse DDT and gets reversed into a roll up. Hanan had another close call with a roll up and Sumire would barely kick out of it and before she attempts to finish Sumire off, she would reverse it into a Reverse DDT and hold her in that position for a while before actually hitting it but she surprisingly kicks out of it! Sumire looked a bit annoyed and hits a Suplex with a bridge for the win..a bit anti-climatic to a fairly good match.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 30, 2018
Recommended: Not gonna lie, I was fairly surprised. Give it a watch.
Tag Team Match
AZM & Konami vs. Shiki Shibusawa & Starlight Kid
Review: Next up is a tag match with Queen’s Quest taking on STARS members and since AZM and Konami are the only two active members right now, they’ll be paired up to take in Shiki and Starlight Kid for this bout. AZM and Starlight, of course, start us off and that is fine by me because I will gladly watch these two fight each other any time since they have such great chemistry together and always do something different in their matches whether it’s tag team or singles to make the rivalry much more interesting and I cannot wait for the payoff once it finally happens. Konami, not gonna lie has some pretty deadly kicks and apparently, she made Starlight bleed in the last match they were in together and even hits a Dropkick right on her forehead when AZM had her in a Camel Clutch, that had to hurt. Starlight would hit a Running Crossbody onto AZM and she kicked out of the move by bridging out it only to be Dropkicked by Shiki and Starlight would hit another Dropkick for good measure before hitting a Standing Moonsault for a two count. Shiki and Konami would get in the ring now as Konami would attempt to make Shiki tap with the Fujiwara Armbar and wouldn’t work just yet as Starlight would come in to help Shiki out as Shiki hits Konami with a Bulldog onto the ropes to Starlight can hit a 619 and tops it off with a Slice Bread #2 before throwing her over to Shiki for a Missle Dropkick and it looked like she had it, but AZM breaks up the pin. Konami would get Shiki into the Armbar once again only for Starlight to break it up and AZM pushes her out of the ring before Konami would hit a modified Armbar to make her tap out, giving Queen’s Quest the win.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) July 1, 2018
Recommended: Very solid match, worth watching.
Tag Team Match
Deonna Purrazzo & Zoe Lucas vs. Saki Kashima & Tam Nakano
Review: We got another tag match with the remaining members of STARS, Tam Nakano and Saki Kashima taking on Zoe Lucas and Deonna Purrazzo. Saki and Deonna are starting off the match as they both lock up and Saki would be thrown into the ropes and springboards off it for an arm drag and Deonna would do an arm drag in return and both Dropkick their feet before quickly standing up to tag Tam and Zoe into the ring.
The two are known for their kicks and they try to kick each other but either dodge or hit their own legs to deflect the kick and Deonna got tagged back in and hit a Double Flapjack on Tam to knock her down and once picked back up, Tam would have Deonna in a Reverse DDT while Zoe tries to break it up, but Tam would kick her in the midsection and hits the DDT on both of them and once Saki came in, they both would hit the Stunner on both Deonna and Zoe to knock them down. Deonna would hit the Three Amigos for a two count and would try to make her tap with an Armbar and fails to do so and the two would start to kick each other a few times until they both fall down to make the tag to Zoe and Saki. Zoe looked to get the early advantage until Saki would turn it around for a moment and even knocked her down for Tam to do a Senton off the second rope and gets a two count. Deonna would come in to hit a forearm Saki in the chest to daze her enough for Zoe to try and get the win, but Saki would hit the Killswitch to give STARS the win here.
Recommended: Average match, so really up to you if you wanna watch it.
Tag Team Match
Hazuki & Kagetsu vs. Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani
Review: So Io Shirai’s final match is a tag team match where he partner is Mayu Iwatani and they actually have teamed up before when they were called Thunder Rock in their early Stardom careers before Io formed Queen’s Quest and the two became rivals with some fantastic matches together. Now they will team up one last time as they take on Hazuki and current World of Stardom Champion, Prime Minister Kagetsu. Will Kagetsu be able to pin Io again like she did last time or will Io end her Stardom career on a high note?
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) June 18, 2018
Oedo Tai didn’t have a pre-match interview it looks like and that made me sad because I wanted to see what our Prime Minister had to say about the match. Mayu talked about saying she thinks they’ll still have that Thunder Rock chemistry after not being partnered for about two years and wants to go do their best together in the match. Io and Hazuki will be the ones that will start us off as they lock up and would have Hazuki by the ropes to tap her chest, shades of Okada since she’s just been toying with her during their time together, not even taking Hazuki seriously before she goes to the corner to tag in Mayu. Kagetsu would get tagged in as well and would start to kick her down and Mayu would jump onto the ropes to roll Kagetsu up and Dropkick her right away and once she ran to the ropes, Sumire would drag her to the outside so that Kagetsu and Hazuki would attack Io to send her outside as well. Sumire would be working on Mayu and having a chair on her throat to choke her out while Hazuki would slam Io by a sign in the crowd to make her get knocked out before Hazuki made her way back to the ring with Mayu back into the ring as well as Oedo Tai would do their pose on Mayu and Kagetsu would spray water on both Mayu and the referee, and I’m sure she had a good reason to spit at the ref since she’s the Prime Minister after all. Hazuki would get tagged back in as she had Mayu on the turnbuckle and would run the ropes until Io grabbed Hazuki to hold her still, which made Kagetsu run in to attack Io and drag her to another turnbuckle so the two would kick their faces to knock them out and Hazuki pins Mayu for a two count and applies the Crossface on Mayu until she grabbed the rope only for Kagetsu to step on her arm. Mayu would hit her Slingblade to give herself time to tag in Io as she would have Hazuki by the turnbuckle and hits her knees onto her chest and as she ran to the opposite turnbuckle, Hazuki would charge at her with an elbow and Kagetsu would come in for both of them to throw her into the ropes as Io would do her cartwheel and backflip before Dropkicking both of them to the outside and before she would attempt a Suicide Dive, Kagetsu would throw their sign at her.
Hazuki would fight Io outside of the ring while Kagetsu would the same with Mayu, but you won’t see what they do since they’re too focused on Io’s end since it’s her last match and all, Hazuki would fight with Io as they go up the stairs into the crowd and it looked like Kagetsu had the same idea since all four of them were in the middle section of the crowd and they would attempt to throw Io and Mayu at each other and they would switch it around so Hazuki and Kagetsu would fight each other and now Io would go to the bleachers as she would hit her Diving Moonsault on the both of them to knock them down as she made her way back to the ring with Mayu dragging Hazuki back in as well. Io doesn’t give Hazuki any time to rest as she would hit a 619 and then a Springboard Dropkick before she attempts to put her away with her Diving Moonsault Press, but Hazuki would push her down and held her up for a Tombstone until Io flipped it around and Hazuki would roll her up for a two count and quickly gives her a Codebreaker to make them both go down. Hazuki would make her way back to her feet to hit her own Springboard Dropkick and tagged Kagetsu in as she kicked Io around and even hits Mayu just in case as Kagetsu now uses her sign to hit both Io and Mayu with it to get that heel heat from the crowd and hits her Michinoku Driver on top of the sign and the referee would refuse to count due to her using a weapon and Kagetsu would push the referee down and use the weapon some more as both Konami and AZM have had enough and started to attack Kagetsu to the turnbuckle before Io would get thrown into Kagetsu just to miss as everyone lines up. Much like the last retirement match we had in March, the roster would line up to hit a move onto Io while she was on the turnbuckle and would mostly take Dropkicks except for Konami who would just hug her tight and then Sumire would take a selfie with Io until it was Mayu’s turn as she hits a Running Dropkick and a Standing Moonsault and tells Kagetsu to pin her so she could break it up as we get back to the match. Kagetsu would attempt a Brainbuster as Io would roll her up only for Kagetsu to pick her back up as she hits the Brainbuster this time for a two count and would pick her up for a Chokeslam, but Io hits a Frankensteiner for a one count and Mayu gets tagged in now as she hits a Super Kick to Kagetsu and then her and Io would hit their Uppercut/Thrust Kick combo before Mayu hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and it looks like she’s got it until Hazuki hits a Senton on top of Mayu to break the count. Kagetsu would have Mayu on the turnbuckle for a Shattered Dreams position and Hazuki would hit a Codebreaker while she was in that position and it looked awesome as Kagetsu would top it off with an Oedo Coaster for Io to break up the pin and Kagetsu would throw Io to the outside but she makes herself do a Suicide Dive to the outside landing on Hazuki and Mayu would attempt a dive of her own but trips by accident as she saves herself by just stomping on her from off the apron, but Thunder Rock would go to the top rope to hit their Double Dropkick for a two count. Hazuki would make her way back to the ring until Io turned her around to hit her Uppercuts and Mayu has her set up for a Tombstone as Io jumped off the top rope looking like their own version of the Metlzer Driver but without the flip and they would do it to Kagetsu before Io would hit her final Diving Moonsault Press and then Mayu hits her Dragon Suplex Hold to get the win.
After the match, Mayu would grab the mic to cut a promo saying teaming up with Io one last time was a lot of fun and turned her attention to Kagetsu saying she pinned her in the match and how the World of Stardom Championship belongs to her and she may not know when she’ll get it back, but it will come back to her. Kagetsu would reply saying that Mayu is worse on the mic as usual and told her that the red belt doesn’t belong to her as she earned this belt and told her that she is the Prime Minister and don’t you forget it. She also told Io what no matter where she goes, she told her not to forget that they fought in this ring and told her to rise to the top while she makes Stardom bigger than how she created it, now she thanks her as they both hug it out. Io would start to thank the fans for making her not feel alone until Mayu would give her a bouquet of flowers and would pull her in for a kiss on the lips to even make her go weak in the knees, but they hug it out laughing after. The President of Stardom would give her a second set of flowers followed by Io’s family as she told the crowd that she wouldn’t cry in this ring, but would fly around the world with everyone’s smiles in her heart as she thanked everyone one last time.
Recommended: Great match, worth a watch.
Wonder Of Stardom Title Match
Momo Watanabe (c) vs. Jungle Kyona
Review: This will be Momo’s first title defense after defeated Io for the title a few weeks ago and was challenged by Jungle Kyona who is a good first test to prove herself since Kyona is a highly underrated worker and can go in a big match when she wants to. Momo is shaping up to be one of Stardom’s futures and has a long mountain to climb and defeated Io was the first step, and now she has to keep proving her worth. The two wouldn’t waste any time as they start charging in at each other with Kyona tackling her down and the two would just have this intensity with Dropkicks, stiff kicks, and shoulder tackles back and forth to each other as you can tell how badly they both want to win this match here since, for Kyona, it’s her first singles main event for a title and wants to win it to be taken seriously as a competitor and for Momo, it’s to prove she’s Stardoms future after defeating Io Shirai for that very same belt and wants to show that she has earned her way to this level. It appears Kyona has found an opening since it looks like Momo has tweaked her knee a little bit as Kyona would use this as her advantage as she begins to do some more damage to her leg if she wanted to go for a submission victory and would even Splash herself on top of her leg for good measure before grabbing it to wrap around her neck to crank her leg more until Momo grabbed the ropes to save herself. Momo would try to get a shine in and would attempt a kick only to have her foot caught in the rope and Kyona kicks her knee out to do more damage and Kyona throws Momo to the turnbuckle only for Momo to find a way to get onto the ropes to hit her with a Dropkick to make Kyona go outside and would go to the ring apron to kick Kyona in the face and goes to do it one more time until Kyona sweeps her leg to make her go down and roll to the outside so she could attempt for Jungle Bomb only for Momo to flip it around to hit her Package Cradle to the outside and hurts her knee in the process.
The referee would begin to count Kyona out due to her being knocked out for so long and once they got to the fifteen mark, Momo would go out the ring since she didn’t wanna win like this and would bring her back inside and do another Cradle until Kyona would flip it around to try and get the pin, but Momo kicks out of it. Momo would eventually get Kyona to the corner as she would hit two Running Dropkicks and Kyona kicked out of it and I’m loving the determination between these two with every sequence they do together in the ring and Jungle would hit Momo with a Powerbomb and instead of going for the pin, she would pick her up to do a Sitout Powerbomb and gets a two count. Kyone would hit a Lariat onto Momo once she was able to sit up and Momo would find a way to roll her around and hits a running Somato for a two count as Momo would get Kyona up to attempt another Somato, but Kyona would catch her before she could land it but it wouldn’t last long as Kyona falls down to take the move and still kicks out of it. Momo would lock in the Crossface Chickenwing to try and make her tap out and once Kyona was on her feet, Momo would attempt to hit the Tequila Sunrise but Kyona would turn it around to try and go for a German and once she saw she wasn’t going to hit it, she would hit a Lariat to get her down and after Momo would attempt a kick, Jungle would get behind her to hit the German Suplex and would hit her with two Lariats with the last one hitting her in the back of her head for a two count. Kyona goes to the top rope and Momo would go up with her to try to hit a Superplex as she fails and falls to the ground and Kyona hits her Jungle Splash and instead of covering her, she goes for a Gutwrench Powerbomb only for Momo to flip her over for a pin and Kyona would flip her over too as Momo would kick out. Momo would hit the Uranagi and would hit a Package Cradle on top of that for a two count, but she picked her up real quick to try and do it again from the second rope as Kyona would attempt a Sunset Flip Powerbomb as Momo would hold onto the ropes and kicks her off so she could hit the Somato off the second rope the another two count. Momo had her in the Chickenwing one more time and she would just keep the submission hold in this time until Kyona would stand up on her own and tries to grab the rope, but Momo kicked her arm and used this opportunity to hit the Tequila Sunrise and retains the championship.
After the match, Momo would grab the mic and say she was successful in her very first title defense with this belt and said she loved how fired up Kyona was during the match, but told her she just wasn’t good enough and the belt is far out of her reach, but tells her to do her best if they were to fight again and the two shook hands before Kyona left the ring. Momo would say she wants to nominate her next challenger who she wants to fight former Queen’s Quest member, Hazuki but before that happens, Deonna Purrazzo came out and said she doesn’t know if this will be her last tour in Japan but wants to end it on a high note and challenge Momo for the championship first before she fights Hazuki, which Momo accepts as Hazuki comes out and tells her that even if Momo somehow loses the belt, she still wants to fight her one on one and slaps her face before leaving. Momo would stop talking as she says this is Io’s moment due to it being her farewell and Io comes out saying it should with Stardom’s past and future in the ring together as the roster would come out to the ring as they say their motto together. “Believe now, shine tomorrow. We are Stardom.” Io would then take the Wonder of Stardom Championship and would wrap it around Momo’s waist to make it the official passing of the torch as Io has chosen her successor once she’s gone.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) July 3, 2018
Recommended: Great match, worth watching.
Overall: Aside from the opening contest being a dud, this was a pretty solid show since the rest of the matches were very well executed. While I am sad to see Io Shirai leave Japan, I do wish her nothing but love and support for her next chapter in her wrestling career and I know she’s gonna show the world who Io Shirai is. Thank you for seven amazing years in Stardom and good luck, Io Shirai.
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