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Stardom Shining Stars Day 3 Results & Review (6/10/2018)

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We continue our Io Shirai Farewell Tour as she has two shows left to do before she departs to the WWE and this will be where she does her traditional Gauntlet Match which we’ll get to later on in the review.

Last show, we had an unexpected result with Kagetsu defeating Toni Storm for the World of Stardom Championship and I am thrilled for her winning it since she definitely earned it, just the unexpected match-up without any build is what threw me off and hey, it worked. We’re close to having a brand new chapter in Stardom and all we need to close it up for good is for Io to have her final match and she’ll make the most of her last days.

So let us…dive right in.

 

Three Way Match
Hanan vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Zoe Lucas

Review: Our opening bout is a three-way dance between Hanan, Kaori, and Zoe and it’s good to see Hanan still working again and hopefully we get some good results here. The three would lock hands as Kaori and Zoe would both have Hanan’s arms and hit her back before throwing her to the ropes and it looked like Hanan was going for a Dropkick and missed it which gives Kaori a chance to pin Hanan but she kicks out and now Hanan sweeps Zoe down to go for a pin and kicks out, but now Zoe tries the same thing with Kaori and she kicks out as all three stood up in a stalemate. Hanan would suggest a truce with Kaori as they attacked Zoe and as Hanan threw Kaori into Zoe, she would roll her up for a two count and now offer to team up with Zoe as they now attack Kaori and they both went for a kick as they accidentally hit each other and Zoe had Hanan in for a German and Kaori jumps behind Zoe as well to have their arms in a submission until she broke it up. Zoe would hit a Running Crossbody on Hanan and Kaori would break the pin with the Senton and would try to hit another one on both of them, but they rolled out of the way and Hanan would do a variation of a Suplex for Zoe to break it up and Hanan hits Zoe with an STO and picked her up to try and put her away, but Zoe broke out of it and kicked Kaori out before hitting Hanan with a Backdrop and quickly picked her up to hit her Split Leg Drop and looks a lit nicer this time as she gets the win.

Recommended: It was a short match, but not the worst nor great either. So, up to you.

 

Tag Team Match
Deonna Purrazzo & Toni Storm vs. Saki Kashima & Shiki Shibusawa

Review: This is Toni’s first match since losing the championship as she partners up with Deonna Purrazzo to take on STARS members, Saki Kashima and Shiki Shibusawa.

Appears as if Shiki and Toni are gonna open this one off as Shiki attempts to do a test of strength with Toni, but it doesn’t work with Shiki using both her hands to try one of Toni’s and just doesn’t budge as she starts to overpower Shiki and step on her hands. Toni and Deonna would just tag each other back and forth to pretty much work on Shiki to make sure they can try and take her out without even giving her a chance to tag in Saki. Toni looked like she was gonna go for a Powerbomb and Saki runs in to hit her with a Sunset Flip to have her let go of Shiki while she Dropkicks Toni once Saki moved out of the way after doing the flip. The match was decent and was most impressed with Saki and Deonna in this bout, especially when they were in the ring together where Saki reversed her German Suplex into a Bulldog and then went to do an Underhook Suplex, she had a good flow with it. Deonna and Toni were a decent team while Saki and Shiki were okay at least and Saki does a lot better with Mayu as a partner since they could do more together. Shiki would take the loss from Toni Storm once she hits the Strong Zero Piledriver.

Recommended: It was a decent match, up to you if you wanna give it a watch.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Jungle Kyona, Leo Onozaki & Natsuko Tora vs. Mayu Iwatani, Starlight Kid & Tam Nakano

Review: Up next, we have JAN taking on STARS with Leo being on their team instead of Kaori due to wrestling earlier as they take on Mayu, Starlight, and Tam, so least they both have one member from the future division on their team.

This is the first time both teams are fighting each other with Mayu involved ever since JAN decided to form their own group due to Mayu not picking them in the draft, so they wanna make sure that they beat STARS here to prove they can be taken seriously…sorta. Kyona and Mayu started the match with Kyona going for a handshake and then kicks Mayu to beat her down, but Mayu turned it around and hits a sloppy arm drag and then Kyona swept her up off her feet to pin her as Mayu kicks out and they both stand up. Starlight and Leo get tagged in now and in the pre-match interview, Leo said she learned a new technique she wanted to use in the match and I hope it’s a Double Cutter, but the two would chain wrestle with Starlight getting the upper hand as she tagged in Tam who hits her handstand and lands her knees on Leo and rather poorly might I add. STARS worked on Leo until she made the tag to Kyona and knocks Starlight down until Starlight would hit her Bow and Arrow submission before tagging in Mayu as the two go at it again. Mayu went to go for a German Suplex but Natsuko would attack Mayu and the two would double-team her until Mayu flipped it around to throw the two of them into the ropes with Tam catching them both for a Stunner to make their throats hit the ropes with Mayu and Starlight hitting a Standing Moonsault right after that. Kyona was going for a Powerbomb and Mayu reverses it into a Frankensteiner for a two count and hits a Thrust Kick to daze Kyona to attempt her Dragon Suplex, but Kyona breaks free from it to hit a German Suplex, making Mayu land on her head on that one, ouch. Kyona would tag Natsuko in and tried to get the momentum, but Mayu would roll her up for a two count and hit her with a Roundhouse Kick and tagged in Tam due to her neck being in pain. Natsuko would hit Tam and attempted to go for a Spear, but Tam kicks her head to knock her down before she could connect. Everyone starts going into the ring now and ended with Kyona hitting a Double Clothesline onto Tam and Mayu as she turned around for her and Natsuko to hit Tam, but they hit each other by accident as Starlight Dropkicks Kyona out the ring and Mayu runs after Natsuko to only be Speared this time. You know, I’m surprised Leo hasn’t hit a single Cutter in this ma…nevermind! After a valiant effort by Leo, Tam would hit her Spinning Kick on her to win the match for STARS.

Recommended: Couple of sloppy spots, but it was still solid for what it was. Worth one view.

Leo’s Cutter Count: 1

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Hazuki, Kagetsu & Natsu Sumire vs. AZM, Konami & Momo Watanabe

Review: Our first show with Kagetsu as the World of Stardom Champion and since Hana is gone until September, looks like Hazuki is gonna replace her for the six-man tag bouts as they fight Queen’s Quest in our pre-main lead by Wonder of Stardom Champion, Momo Watanabe. Can Kagetsu gain more momentum going forward as the new champion or will Momo derail her and prove she’s the future? Looks like Oedo Tai extended their dance a little bit and I already love it, probably did it for Kagetsu’s title victory the day before.

Soon as Queen’s Quest got into the ring, Oedo Tai would attack them right away with four of them fighting around the outside while Sumire would kick around AZM after bringing her back into the ring until Konami would grab Sumire’s leg to stop her and all three members of Queen’s Quest would hit their Triple Dropkick for a two count. Momo would get tagged in to do some work on Sumire before tagging AZM back in as she kicked her from the turnbuckle and it looked like AZM was attempting another Dropkick to the corner, but she stops herself to slap Sumire in the face. They would punch each other back and forth and Sumire would yell out “you little brat” while AZM yells out back at her “you old bitch” in which Sumire replies “it feels good to be in my mid-twenties” while slapping AZM, but AZM ended by saying Sumire had a grandma face…damn girl.

Konami gets tagged in now and kicks Sumire in the back and before she could kick her face in, she saw Hazuki sliding the flogger in for Sumire to grab and Konami picks it up before she could and whips Sumire in the face before throwing it away, but Sumire would attack Konami once she threw it away and would roll her up for a two count and quickly tagged in Kagetsu. Kagetsu and Hazuki would kick Konami down and do a Running Senton on top of her before Kagetsu would pick Konami up as the two start kicking each other back and forth for a while and it looked like Kagetsu had it, but Konami would kick her chest once she ran the ropes and hits a PK for a two count, but Konami didn’t stop as she ran towards her but gets caught in a Samoan Drop and the two are down until they crawled to their corners as Hazuki and Momo are tagged in now. The two start going at it with Momo hitting a Dropkick to Hazuki on the corner to her first and then Hazuki would do it back in return and hit a Half Nelson Slam and a Running Senton, but now Momo would start to get some punches in until they went back and forth again till Momo caught her for a Crossface Chicken Wing. Momo attempted to turn the hold into a Tequila Sunrise and Hazuki fights it off with a Codebreaker and Momo kicks her head in to make them go down. I smell money for this feud, a former Queen’s Quest member taking on the new current leader and feels like it could be a jealousy issue here and if done right, can have an amazing delivery.

AZM gets tagged in now, but Oedo Tai would gang up on her into the corner while they all hit their moves on her and Sumire throws her into Hazuki to hit a Double Axe Handle for a two count. Hazuki had AZM in a Full Nelson and both Kagetsu and Sumire attempted to go for a kick but they accidentally hit Hazuki instead, giving Momo and Konami time to get them out of the ring and they kicked Hazuki down before AZM would hit a Lionsault for a two count. AZM went running to the top rope and AKgetsu sprays water into her eyes before Konami kicked her down and Hazuki would deliver some stiff kicks to both Momo and AZM for a two count, but she went to pick her up quick and AZM caught her with a Small Package for a two count as well. Hazuki had enough playing around as she hits a Michinoku Driver and goes to the second rope for the Atomic Bombs Away as she wins the match for Oedo Tai.

After the match, Kagetsu cuts a promo saying Queen’s Quest is basically useless without Io Shirai and she talked about how she defeated Toni Storm the night before as she will now be known as Prime Minister Kagetsu, and I for one welcome our new Prime Minister. Kagetsu has also appointed roles for both Sumire and Hazuki as Sumire will now be in charge of declining birthrate and Hazuki will be Chief Cabinet Secretary and awards them both title opportunities with Sumire saying she’s going for the Goddesses of Stardom Championships and will increase birthrate, now Hazuki wants to fight Momo for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. Mayu and Saki came out and said they’ll defend their belts against Sumire and Hazuki at the next show, but Kagetsu pointed out that Mayu already has a match with Io Shirai as her partner meaning we have a Thunder Rock reunion!

Recommended: Very solid match, worth watching for sure.

 

Io Shirai Gauntlet Match
Io Shirai vs. AZM, Deonna Purrazzo, Hanan, Hazuki, Jungle Kyona, Kagetsu, Kaori Yoneyama, Konami, Leo Onozaki, Mayu Iwatani, Momo Watanabe, Natsuko Tora, Natsu Sumire, Saki Kashima, Shiki Shibusawa, Starlight Kid, Takumi Iroha, Tam Nakano, Toni Storm & Zoe Lucas

Review: Well, this is Io Shirai’s second to last match with Stardom before she’s gone from the company and in the traditional matter, she is set to fight the roster in a Gauntlet Match. Rules are the same as the last one with Io fighting one person at a time with a one-minute time limit and once the time runs out, the next person comes in right away and it keeps on going until the last one is in the match. Even if Io wins or loses in one of the matches, it keeps going until all of them participated. I’m gonna do it a bit different this time and write it down as a list with who came up, who won, and if it was good or not and will write something if anything big happens in that minute. So let’s see how many Io can defeat or if anyone can even defeat her in this gauntlet match.

Entry 1: Leo Onozaki. Leo didn’t do any cutters in the match, so I’m disappointed with that and Io makes quick work of her by making her tap out to the Cloverleaf.

Entry 2: Hanan. Hanan had a better effort into beating down Io, but she would hit her Underhook Facebuster for a second win.

Entry 3: Zoe Lucas. Zoe would propose to Io with pocky and she refuses to take it and throws it out of the ring and now Zoe is made, she misses a Split Leg Drop and Io wrenches her leg till the draw happened.

Entry 4: Deonna Purrazzo. Deonna would mostly out maneuver Io and had her in the Fujiwara Armbar for the duration of the time to make it a draw due to not making Io tap out.

Entry 5: Shiki Shibusawa. Io would hit a 619 and a Dropkick off the top rope before applying a Boston Crab for a draw.

Entry 6: Starlight Kid. Starlight actually came close to winning when she hits her Tornado DDT, Moonsault Press, and a Code Red before Io kicked out for a draw.

Entry 7: Natsuko Tora. Io didn’t waste any time smacking her around soon as Tora got in. Tora hits a Spear and Io kicks out as we have another draw.

Entry 8. Jungle Kyona. Mostly testing their strength and Jungle had her in the Cesaro Swing til time ran out and kept going for a few extra seconds till she lets go

Entry 9: Kaori Yoneyama. Kaori asks Io to Moonsault her one last time and lays down for her, but would push her off once she got to the top and hits a Moonsault of her own, but misses and gets caught in a Cloverleaf til time ran out.

Entry 10. Tam Nakano. Tam pretty much kicking the living shit out of her even when Io to hit with everything she’s got til a draw.

Entry 11. Saki Kashima. Saki would get emotional and hug her till she tricked her into an Uppercut and even kissed Io a few times to try and hold her off for a Killswitch, but didn’t work as we get a draw.

Entry 12: Konami. She would hug Io to pin her down for a pin and mostly does strikes and has her in a submission until time ran out.

Entry 13. AZM. Had Io in the Black Widow for most of it and went back and forth until AZM caught her in a submission soon as time ran out.

Entry 14. Natsu Sumire. Sumire would bat Io with her photo book and would show it to the referee as they looked at the pictures. Sumire would mock Io by attempting her Moonsault but stood on the top rope till time ran out.

Entry 15. Hazuki. Would hit a Springboard Dropkick before the bell rings, they Crossface each other back and forth, and Hazuki hits her Atomic Bombs Away as the bell rang.

Entry 16. Takumi Iroha. Well, this is a very pleasant surprise and they hold each other’s hand so they could forearm each other back and forth until they both delivered stiff kicks to their heads and as Takumi went for the pin, the bell rang.

Entry 17. Toni Storm. Toni attempted the Strong Zero early on and backfired as Io attempted to beat her down, but gets knocked out. Toni would headbutt her till the bell rang and hits a Strong Zero before taking off.

Entry 18. Kagetsu. Kagetsu hits Io with the belt and would attempt a Chokeslam but Io reversed it into a Frankensteiner for a two count. Kagetsu would hit the Oedo Coaster to finally get a pinfall over Io, go Prime Minister!

Entry 19. Mayu Iwatani. Two went back and forth and played paper, rock, scissor as they slapped each other. Gonna miss these two fighting each other and wish they had one more match. Mayu hits a Standing Moonsault as the bell rang.

Entry 20. Momo Watanabe. Momo would attempt her Cradle but Io reversed it into her Underhook Facebuster as the time ran out, but Momo would allow her to hit her Diving Moonsault Press one last time as she does so and even lets Io pin her despite the time running out. (2-1-17)

This whole gauntlet was a lot of fun with a nice surprise from Takumi, everyone gave it their all and was an emotion fun ride. After the match, Io would cut a promo saying that she has one final match left before she leaves and would say to her that pro wrestling is life. Io said that even with her gone, Stardom will still shine and create a brighter future as she saw that today when she fought everyone. Everyone would come into the ring as she leads them to say their phrase which is ‘Believe now, shine tomorrow, we are Stardom”. They pose in the ring as everyone group hugs her.

Recommended: Great gauntlet match and an emotional one as we have one more show to go.

Leo’s Cutter Count: 0 (What sorcery is this!?)

 

Overall: The show was a solid one for what it was and we had a very nice gauntlet match. It’s now dawning on me that we may never see Io Shirai in Stardom again and it’ll be hard to see, but they’ll still shine brightly with or without her and they proved that tonight.

Favorite Match: Io Shirai vs. Stardom

Least Favorite Match: Hanan vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Zoe Lucas

Score: 7/10


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Andrew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Ratings & Review: Day 7 & 8

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We get another combined article because of the way Stardom likes to stagger matches in this tournament.

Day 7 actually didn’t have any Blue Star matches at all, so now the articles will be titled a little differently. I need that Rick and Morty clip about getting your shit together and direct it at Stardom booking. Oh wait, I can!

via GIPHY

 

So with that established, I guess we should look at the matches to come. Tam is eliminated but still has 3 matches to go. So she can go from a measly 2 to a respectable 8 if she can put a few wins together. Utami and Rachael however are still very much in the thick of things, and even face one another on Day 8.

Let’s find if anyone else gets eliminated, or if we continue to have the top half stay alive.

 

Day 7

Rachael Ellering vs Tam Nakano

Rachael’s promo is fake and over enthusiastic, whereas Tam’s was realistic and a little bubbleheaded. So it’s really hard for me to ever connect to Ellering’s promos, cause she’s not convincing and her matches thus far have been…umm…shall we say, sub par. So sadly Tam seems to be in the plucky underdog role this year and always getting close with not much of a pay off. So let’s she if she picks up a win to play spoiler, or continues to come up short.

I have no clue what it is about most of Rachael’s matches, but they are hard to watch. Rachael’s Pump Kick that she over uses never looks impactful, she doesn’t take or sell offense well, and it’s just a schlog. This match was no different.

Tam’s kicks are usually crisp, but they hit awkwardly and slowly. Tam even went for a bottom rope assisted Back Body Drop, but Rachael’s foot cause the middle rope and it just looked sloppy. Tam still sold her back, while Rachael focused it, so that was good.

We also see a decent barrage at the end of the match with some false finish rollups, Rachael’s Bossman Slam and then Ellering finally finishes this with the Fallaway Powerbomb.

Winner: Ellering via Fallaway Powerbomb

Rating: * 1/2

 

Kagetsu vs Kimber Lee

Kimber always has this oddly endearing way of cutting a promo. She talks fairly slowly (the way people do when you’re speaking a language people might not understand), which I find ridiculous, but she says all the correct babyface things. Kagetsu however has a skull mask on her head, pops up into frame and just starts talking casually about things. She just wants to end the match, eat some good food and head to Osaka. It’s casually dismissive of Kimber, but not cruel, perfect tweener kind of temperature.

Kagetsu takes the early advantage and does the cocky heel thing by throwing Kimber to the outside. Hazuki and Sumire get in a few cheap shots before rolling her back in. Kagetsu takes a drink of water and then we get her water spit/mist spot. Which I’m still not sure why that isn’t a disqualification, but I like it, so I’m not questioning it.

After the initial cockiness, Kimber takes advantage of Kagetsu taking her foot of the gas and puts together some offense. A few well placed kicks and suplexes lead to the Swanton Bomb attempt, but Kimber misses. After a little more struggle, Kagetsu eventually hits a Chokeslam and then enough of the Oedo Coaster to get the pinfall.

Not Kagetsu’s best work, but it was a fairly short match and Kimber isn’t positioned as a threat in this tournament.

Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Day 8

Kimber Lee vs Tam Nakano

The opening promos are pretty low energy for both women. Kimber talks about being eliminated but fighting for herself and Tam tries her best to psych herself up. The lack of points is effecting both of these women. Who will get the ball moving to end on a high note?

Not a bad match, just fairly short. Given that all of the Grand Prix matches have a 15 minute time limit, even the longer ones are a little short. Both women utilize a fair amount of kicks and flexibility in their offense, so the mirror aspect was on full display.

Kimber does her split spot, Tam goes for a Buzzsaw Kick, but Kimber blocks it and tries to sweep the leg, but Tam does a split and they both start throwing forearms from the split position. Kimber hits a kick combination first, which drops Tam but only for two. In her opening promo Tam put some emphasis on not wanting to lose to kicks, since those are kinda her thing.

Maintaining advantage, Kimber goes to the top rope but Tam shows some fight. Eventually hitting the Avalanche Snapmare and going up for her Diving Idol Knee, for only a near fall. After a few more close calls, Kimber catches Tam coming off the ropes for a Brain Buster, pulls her to a corner and lands the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall.

Valiant efforts in all her matches, but Tam really can’t catch a break.

Winner: Kimber via Swanton Bomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Rachael Ellering vs Utami Hayayshishita

Well, ya know I’m usually overly disinterested in whatever Rachael’s been doing, but this match was a little different. She basically got to play the heel since she was being very tough on Utami and showing some personality while arguing with the referee. So when it comes down to Rachael’s involvement, it wasn’t the thing that brought the match down, for a change.

However, after the initial burst from Rachael and the playing up a few strikes on the outside, the match never kick it into another gear. It basically was treading water for the last half. Signature moves were hit, Utami landed her Sleeper Hold takeover into the Coquina Clutch, but Rachael got out of it. I’m guess the high point was supposed to be Rachael hitting a Superplex, but nothing felt important, desperate or impressive.

The match ends just as Utami cinches in an Inside Cradle, but the time expires. All of the draws in this tournament are a little off putting.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: ***

 

Red Stars Standings:

Kagetsu 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Rachael Ellering 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Jungle Kyona 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Utami Hayashishita 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Konami 3-3 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Kimber Lee 2-4 (4 Points) – Eliminated
Tam Nakano 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated
Natsuko Tora 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated

 

Thoughts:

You know Stardom, you know what happens when you make Tam look good but don’t give her wins? Nothing happens, it’s actually decent story telling and could set up for a big upset of Kagetsu on the Finals day. So as much as the fan in me hates watching Tam come up short (Naito fans around the world know that feel), her determination and the storyline wrinkles could pay off later.

As for the two days…meh? Nothing stood out and these really just felt like matches to set up for the final swerve. These kind of days happen in all tournaments, it just hit really hard in these four matches. I just really really hope Rachael doesn’t win Red Stars.


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Mathew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Results & Review: Day 8

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So tomorrow is the last day of the Five Star Grand Prix where we will have our final four matches and the final match on the same day but we got two matches left to cover before we go to the final day.

This show is for people that didn’t have their six matches before the final day and we’re using this to make sure they’re all caught up to speed and we can see who has a chance to make it and who doesn’t. I know it says day 8 in my headline but I had no matches on the seventh day, so I decided to just skip it and go where I have my actual matches. So who wins these two matches?

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Natsu Sumire

Review: It’s pretty clear that Sumire is pretty much eliminated and even if she does win this match and her last one, the fact that Mayu would hold the tiebreaker over her if she lost today and won tomorrow, but would still be out if Momo won on the final day since she’d have nine points while Sumire would still have eight if she won both and wouldn’t matter, but she has been one of the highlights of this tournament due to her personality flourishing a lot more here and the fans loving her more and more. Sumire in her pre-match interview seems to be more focused on her bust size and even talked about the supplements she’s been taking for a couple weeks now and is disappointed that there’s been no change in her results just yet and hopes to provide progress updates. Kelly is her opponent tonight and if Kelly does win here, she’ll be in the top spot of the standings and would have a strong chance of winning. Can Kelly win again or will Sumire ruin it for her?

Once again, Sumire made the match fun when it was needed due to it not being the best bout in the tournament here but they did work with what they got, even if it was as pretty standard as they come. Kelly did an okay job in the match as well and probably my least favorite outing of her in the Grand Prix and she just wanted to dominate Sumire. Sumire was mostly doing her antics that you would see in her matches with the false handshakes, cradling them up when they least expect it, and just whipping them. It looked like Kelly was going to go for the win here and when she ran the ropes, Kagetsu kicked her in the back to stun her long enough for Sumire to grab the Oedo Tai sign so she could hit Kelly with it, but Kelly moved out of the way causing the sign to bounce off the ropes and hit Sumire instead in which it gets turned around for Kelly to hit the Fireman’s Carry Slam for the victory and she’s now in first place.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Review: A win here is very crucial for Mayu Iwatani if she wants to tie it up with Kelly, otherwise she would be eliminated from the tournament and her opponent, Hazuki would take the top spot with nine points and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. The last time the both of them fought one on one was around February during the ROH Women of Honor tournament and Mayu would come out the winner of that match and Mayu wants to beat her again to show she’s on a whole different level now. Who will take the top spot of the standings, Mayu or Hazuki?

Hazuki is in my top 5 wrestlers of Stardom right now and this match here with Mayu just solidified my statement for this claim. This whole tournament, she has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in her matches with her sequences being on point, her moves are crisp, and how to handle a match lately has been outstanding that she should be under peoples radar. Hazuki right away was being aggressive with Mayu before the bell even rang when she attacked her from behind and kept rolling her up which failed, but she kept on the attack by throwing her around into chairs on the outside and even destroyed Mayu’s arm during the whole match and not holding back on her, I love this side of Hazuki.

This match is one of my favorites in my block next to Hazuki/Momo still being my favorite one, but this one was still pretty damn close with their chemistry in the ring together gave us a special match and it’s not even their last one for their block. They told a great story in the ring, executed everything almost flawlessly, seeing a more aggressive side of Hazuki in her previous two matches, and Mayu selling it all to make it look more dangerous than it probably is, but they were just on point with everything together. Hazuki was pulling out all the stops with having her in the Crossface, working on her arm, stiff Dropkicks and a Codebreaker, but it still wasn’t enough to take Mayu out as she hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and gets the victory to tie first place with Kelly Klein. After the match, she told the crowd that she was now in first place and hopes the crowd will still support her as she looks to win it all at the final.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: Can’t really give it a fair assessment due to only having two matches with one being average and the other one being great, but the average of it was solid enough. I’m glad to see that all three of my picks are in the top 4 of potential winners and excited for the last day since it’s stacked.

Favorite Match: Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Score: 6/10

Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2 (8 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-2 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Hazuki: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 3-3 (6 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 2-4 (4 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-4 (2 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-4 (4 Points)

Now that we have our final standings before the final show tomorrow, we see that our top 4 people that could still win this are Mayu Iwatani, Kelly Klein, Momo Watanabe, and Hazuki. We’re gonna break down the final card for tomorrow and see who has a real chance and how can it be done.

  • Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
  • Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire
  • Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy
  • Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Here is how these four can win.

Mayu Iwatani: Defeat Momo Watanabe and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Momo Watanabe: Defeat Mayu Iwatani and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Kelly Klein: Defeat Nicole Savoy

Hazuki: Defeat Nicole Savoy, Momo Watanabe defeats Mayu Iwatani, and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein

If Momo and Hazuki do win their matches and Kelly loses, these two will be in a tie and it’ll be interesting to see who gets the final spot since they did tie it up in their outing, interesting direction if that’s the case.


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

NOAH finished up their mammoth five day in a row event (14th September to the 18th September), fortunately no-one was injured, but both Hajime Ohara (neck) and Hi69 (knee) seem to be carrying injuries.

After losing the GHC Heavyweight Tag Title challenge against Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito, Kaito Kiyomiya intimated that he would be interested in challenging for them again, but with another partner (i.e. Go Shiozaki). Shiozaki was seen watching Kaito Kiyomiya in the tag match against 50 Funky Powers in Hakata Stalene. Later in the tour he mentioned on Twitter about “shutting them up” and their GHC Heavyweight Tag Challenge

.Speaking of Go Shiozaki there was a very sweet moment that took place in Hakata, involving both himself and Atsushi Kotoge. When they made their entrance in their match against The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi), a little boy could be seen dressed in a homemade “Revolutionary Cloak”. When Kotoge appeared the little boy and the little girl next to him (most probably his sister), did the revolutionary fist pumps (to the delight of Kotoge who joined in), and when he had gone, Shiozaki noticed, did it for half a second, and then went bright red (Shiozaki gets very shy when he has to do physical comedy, he also has a tendency to start giggling as well when others do it).
During the match, the brawl went into the crowd, and a little girl was upset by it and started crying. Go Shiozaki, gave her a hug to comfort her, and once back in the ring got The Hooligans in the corner, pointed to her and said “this is for you”, and proceeded to chop them.

Despite his claim to “bring the revolution to Hakata, and defeat the villains!”, Atsushi Kotoge took the Zwei Bomb from Taniguchi.

Naomichi Marufuji is still not accepting the challenge of The Hooligans, and gave a somewhat bad tempered promo in Ehime saying they were “a fool, a baldie” and “even though I am an asshole with a lack of sleep, I am going to crush you all. Come and line up with your heads bowed. I am not going to accept your challenge! I’m not in the mood!” Marufuji is still being obsessively hated by Kenoh, and he certainly has taken it from him on this tour, but the person the five days really belongs to, is Katsuhiko Nakajima, who utterly obliterated Takashi Sugiura and did the cocky pin on him. I don’t think anyone has ever at any time or anywhere ever done this…

Nakajima, being Nakajima, wasn’t finished there as he draped the belt over him, and then threw Sugiura out of the ring. When Sugiura had recovered and scraped himself off of the floor, Nakajima had gotten the microphone, and standing on the turnbuckle he told him that he would continue to plague him like he did today, he would plague him again tomorrow and the day after that and forever afterwards.

At the end of the five day tour, having been thoroughly battered by Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura said tiredly he couldn’t keep up and says that he has had no choice but to get better, and rethink his strategy. I can only imagine that Sugiura is playing the spider and the fly…

“Black or white, this is a league.” (Hi69) 

The NOAH Juniors, despite being divided over Junior Global League, are all gunning for Kotaro Suzuki (Hitoshi Kumano says that he is going to “crush the beat so no sound comes out”). Kotaro Suzuki has dismissed even the freelancers amongst the NOAH Juniors as being “weak”.

The biggest build so far is Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, which will take place in Yokohama (Suzuki has already lost to the other “elder” of the Juniors, Hajime Ohara). Daisuke Harada in Kochi, delivered the message to Suzuki that he would beat him down, and then he would “tell you this”…Harada spoke silently to the camera and walked off. Kotaro Suzuki later said that he had no idea what he was saying, but would find out before they faced each other.

Suzuki has made unflattering comments about various NOAH juniors, Hitsohi Kumano is “heavy” and “bulging with fat”, and Tadasuke, due to “too much hair treatment” is “greasy”.

Kotaro Suzuki, known for being just as “slippery” as Tadasuke (maybe even more) has promised something special for his “vision of Korakuen” (he also posted a picture of himself and Yoshinari Ogawa out drinking and said they were “discussing strategy”), well, whatever he has planned, it is probably a lot better than what Tadasuke has promised, he says that he may have to “poison the rice of the winning candidates” if he doesn’t win.

Suzuki and Harada clashed in a tag match on the 18th September on the last day of tour with Harada getting in his face with the belt, and Suzuki playing the innocent after attacking him while standing on the ring apron.

There has been no rift between The Backbreakers, with Hitoshi Kumano defeating Hajime Ohara. Kumano said he had to win, even though Ohara’s neck was very bad.
Part of his reasons for wanting to beat Ohara was due to the comments made by Daisuke Harada when he was aiming for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship a few months ago, Harada had basically said that Kumano was “below Ohara” or that he was his “subordinate”.

Between RATELS, Daisuke Harada is too busy to comment on Tadasuke beating him, and YO-HEY and HAYATA still appear to be friends (better description might be master and pet).

Junta Miyawaki is still to get his first win, but the boy has earned a lot of accolades with people praising him and saying he was “insanely good” in his matches. NOAH are really teasing his first win with many near pinfalls.  He has also been likened to a young Kenta Kobashi, which means that now in NOAH we have almost the Four Pillars for a new generation with Misawa (Kiyomiya) and Kawada (Kenoh) – now we just need a Taue.

NOAH have had very good attendances out in the provinces for this tour, not all venues have been sold out, but attendances have been very high. The promotion has a policy whereby they travel outside of the metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka) and the big city areas and bring the show to the “provinces” (i.e. the countryside or the more rural areas on the edge of the suburbs). While this doesn’t always result in a full house (something a lot of people don’t seem to understand and they think its a reflection on NOAH ), what it does do is bring a company who unlike New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan etc doesn’t have a streaming service and\or a TV show, to people who wouldn’t see them otherwise. They have also attracted a lot of new fans too.

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

NOAH are back on the 29th September at Radiant Hall, Yokohama, bell sounds at 17.30

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

His tag team partner, Mohammed Yone, presented him with flowers in the ring.

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

OTHER NEWS

Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)

Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)

Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will be having what will be their last match ever in IPW on Sunday the 23rd September. Their history was made not in NOAH or even in Japan, but in Europe. You can read about their history in an article I have written, “Farewell Europe

Hajime Ohara, (who quite rightly is called “NOAH’s treasure”), has taken part in more municipal activities in Kawasawki by lecturing the Staff Hygiene Committee about exercise that can be done at the office and at home.

Thanks to Metal-Noah who very kindly sent me a copy of “Heir to The Ark”, Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, English translation has started, and can be found here. This is a work in progress, and I hope to update it daily. The book is ranked #3 on the Japanese book charts. TOUR TIDBITS

  • Tadasuke used a chair on Seiya Morohashi (which is unusual for him).
  • Whilst in Shikoku, a big crab turned up on Hi69’s cigarette packet (its probably HAYATA shape-shifting)
  • The ceiling was so low in Hakata Stalene that people’s feet and heads grazed it.
  • Naomichi Marufuji watched “the youngsters” going off together after NOAH arrived in Kochi, and said “the old man is going to bed”
  • Tadasuke announced to Kotaro Suzuki “Hey, Fool! I am today’s NOAH Junior!” (and Kotaro Suzuki beat him down in ten minutes with the Tiger Driver)
  • Naomichi Marufuji wrapped Yoshiki Inamura in Atsushi Kotoge’s cloak, and forced him to do the “Revolution Pose”, right in front of Kotoge.
  • YO-HEY’S rambling promos include him having all his teeth knocked out (he hasn’t), and likening himself to a 16th century Japanese warlord, a champion stallion racehorse which was put out to stud (don’t ask) and then forgetting what he was talking about. He is still convinced that he will be facing Yoshiki Inamura in the finals of Global Junior League, despite the fact that Inamura isn’t in Global Junior League.
  • Yoshinari Ogawa took Atsushi Kotoge’s cape and used it to wipe his boots, much to Kotoge’s horror.
  • Ehime Pro did an opening exhibition at Noah’s show at TEXPORT Imbari
  • Yoshiki Inamura getting good reviews.
  • Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kotoge, but Kotoge drew his hand back, wiped his head and walked off (Shiozaki, notorious for giggling, couldn’t keep a straight face)
  • NOAH have had a crack down on people filming at the event, Atsushi Kotoge said “Heroes obey the rules”.
  • Masao Inoue is holding another bowling event, wrestlers participating will be Atsushi Kotoge, Kaito Kiyomiya and Tadasuke
  • On September 17th, Atsushi Kotoge, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya went to a sports bar and spent until the early hours watching classic Four Pillars era All Japan (the match Kotoge photographed on the TV was Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi on the 21st October 1997. When this match took place, Kotoge and Kenoh would have been 12, Kitamiya 14 and Nakajima 9).
  • Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi now have a finisher called “The Hooligans Bomb”.

  • On the long drive back from Tottori to Tokyo, (about nine to eleven hours), Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (twice), and then predictably, things got even worse when Marufuji filmed Inoue eating an ice cream on the bus, and then pausing to look briefly at a passing woman. Between Marufuji and Sugiura, this turned into Inoue thinking about “licking” women…

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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