Well, everyone, this is the final day of the Five Star Grand Prix.
I hope you all enjoyed both me and Andrew’s readings and since our final matches and the final day are all on the same show, we will be covering just our matches this time instead of doing a jointed show as we did for the previous ones and we’ll both be covering the final round in both of our reviews so you can get the perspective from both our sides. Who will win Blue Stars block and who will walk out the winner?
Will my block finally win the whole thing or will Andrew beat me with a clean sweep? All of these questions and more will be answered right now as we…dive right in.
Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter
Review: Both of our women who are in last place are set to face each other in the opening match of the tournament. Even though they have no chance of winning the tournament and they’re not fighting anyone that would ruin their chances of advancing, they would still have to fight each other and will give us a good match at least without worrying about points. Which of these two will no longer be in dead last?
Would you look at that, Saki changed up her attire and looks a lot better here. This match is honestly the worst one in my entire block and it’s a real shame since both of them are talented, but it was just sloppy and poorly constructed. Saki did a botched Crucifix pin and the bell rang despite it being a two count and the referee had to correct the timekeeper, but that was one of the few problems with the match. None of them would help carry the other and it was poorly paced, but at least it was less than four minutes otherwise I probably would’ve given it a lower rating. Jamie barely held her up for a Suplex and hardly hits a Backstabber when she dropped her as she got the win. Think the only good thing I can say about this match is Saki’s new makeover.
Rating: Vince Russo and a half (My first Vince Russo after I introduced this rating system)
Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy
Review: Right now, Kelly Klein has a chance to win the whole block right now since she has eight points and can go onto ten if she would somehow win and even if Mayu would defeat Momo tonight, Kelly would still advance due to her defeating Mayu in the tournament. Kelly’s last opponent for the block is Nicole Savoy who has a middle record and she could spoil it for Kelly if she plays it right. Will Kelly win or will her goal be out of reach by the edge of her fingertips?
Okay, while this one wasn’t that great of a match, it was at least much better than the first match is all I can say as much. Kelly was doing what she does best and it was overpowering the technical female any chance she would get or so she would think as Nicole found an opening on Kelly’s leg, which is smart to take out someone bigger than you. It was a basic six-minute match and it was fine with what they did work with and Kelly was about to pick up Nicole to go for the Fireman’s Carry, but her leg started giving out and that was all Nicole would need to put her in the Boston Crab as Kelly taps out meaning she’s eliminated.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 25, 2018
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire
Review: Nice Kelly was unable to win her match against Nicole, that means Hazuki now has a chance to advance and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. However, if she wants to get closer to advancing, she would have to defeat fellow Oedo Tai member, Natsu Sumire. This can work out in two ways, Sumire could eat the pin to help Hazuki advance despite it meaning she could fight their leader and Prime Minister for the title or she could fight and be the spoiler for Hazuki. What will Sumire do?
We have all of the Oedo Tai members here, Kagetsu, Sumire, Hazuki, Nao Yamaguchi, and Hana Kimura as they all do the dance together, this is awesome! However, Sumire would ruin the celebration as she attacked Hazuki from behind and the match starts. The match was just simply entertainment from Sumire’s character and Hazuki showing why she’s one of the companies top talents from her wrestling skills and how she can have control of the match so fluently to pretty much work with everyone. Sumire held herself pretty well when she was wrestling in the match and just played everything off exactly how she would in this type of match and I’m glad they actually had a match instead of her taking the pin and ending it. Hazuki gave Sumire a hard slap to the face and Sumire would give her one in return as Hazuki ran the ropes for Sumire to try and catch her into a cradle until Hazuki turned it around into the Hazukistral as she picked up the win and is now in first place! Sumire threw a tiny little tantrum before she shook Hazuki’s hand and they hugged it out before leaving the ring. Great work ladies and Hazuki is one step closer and it all depends on how the last match plays out.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
Review: Since Hazuki was able to defeat Natsu Sumire, she has a good chance of making it to the finals but we have one more match to go before we can decide a clear winner. Mayu Iwatani’s final match is up against the Wonder of Stardom Champion, Momo Watanabe. If Mayu somehow wins this match, she’ll be able to move onto the final round but if Momo wins then it would mean there will be a tie between her and Hazuki with nine points each and it’ll be interesting to see how management will decide who will advance there. Who will win it all, Mayu or Momo?
Soon after the bell rang, Mayu would start to go for the Dragon Suplex Hold and Momo would quickly reverse it to go for the Tequila Sunrise and I loved that was how they started this match off because it gave it that feeling that it could end at any given time if you’re not careful enough. One thing I enjoy about this match is that we now get to see how Momo does against a top talent in a singles match since last time that happened was when she defeat Io Shirai, so now this is just another test to herself. The match was smooth, intense, and gave both women an equal amount of time to showcase their stuff together in the match to make them both look strong. Momo started to step it up when she hits the Somato to Mayu and doesn’t stop there as she hits two more in a row to show how much she wants to win this match. I know I keep talking about how great Mayu is at selling and it still is with how she takes everything and selling the injuries of her elbow in the match, her selling is enough to tell the story of her matches and she just delivers in it. When they were outside the ring, Momo would hit her Package Driver on the floor and she brings her in to hit the Tequila Sunrise as Mayu kicks out of it. Momo went to go for another Tequila Sunrise but Mayu would roll under her to try and get the pin but Momo kicks out of it, but Mayu hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and just as the referee is counting, the bell rang meaning the match ended in a draw.
Since the match ended in a time limit draw, Mayu has nine points and Momo has eight points, meaning that Mayu and Hazuki are tied for first place. And now that both Mayu and Hazuki are tied for first place, it would go to the person that won the match involving these two, meaning that Mayu Iwatani has won the Blue Stars block and will now advance to the final round against the winner of the Red Stars block, which you should check out in Andrew’s coverage or you’re an idiot for missing out. Not all is lost for Momo Watanabe because in a press conference about a week ago, it was announced that Momo would be taking on Kagetsu and it’ll be a title for title match and it will take place on the September 30th show. I’m sure it’ll end in a time limit draw, but there are also different scenarios they could plan out if they do decide to go with one of them being a double crown champion.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 26, 2018
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Final Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2-1 (9 Points) (Winner)
Hazuki: 4-2-1 (9 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-3 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-2 (8 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 4-3 (8 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 3-4 (6 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-5 (4 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-5 (4 Points)
Grand Prix Final Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Utami Hayashishita
Review: It looks like I got one of my finalists right since I said Mayu and Konami would be fighting each other in the finals, but Konami was eliminated from the tournament and Mayu was able to advance due to a tiebreaker between her and Hazuki, so my top pick barely made it. Mayu Iwatani will be taking on the winner of the Red Stars block and Stardoms Super Rookie, Utami Hayashishita. I was very surprised to see Utami make it this far in the tournament since I expected her to have an average record, but she blew my expectations away as she only lost to Kagetsu and had two draws while she won the rest of her matches and even defeated Konami to advance to the finals. One of these two talented women will win and go on to fight Kagetsu for the World of Stardom Championship. Which one will win?
For those of you that do remember, I wrote an article about four months ago about the departure of Io Shirai in Stardom and I asked people who should take her spot as the top person and while it’s now both Mayu Iwatani and Kagetsu, we’ll soon have to look at the future of the company with Momo Watanabe being one of them, I saw another one right in front of me and that woman is Utami Hayashishita. Is it a bold thing to say? Probably and is she still green? Of course, she is, she’s only been wrestling for about a month and a half, but she’s already been in the ring with some of the best that the company has to offer and has been keeping up with them in a surprising pace to show that she is a quick learner. Utami just has the look of someone you see at first glance and go, “She’s a star.” and she is, in fact, a star in the making if you polish up her style a little bit more and in a couple of years, she could be the face of the company.
Onto the match now, Utami was again able to keep up with the best wrestler Stardom has to off and that right now is Mayu as they gave us fans a great match to end the whole tournament. Utami displayed her power with her strength and technical ability to wear and tear Mayu’s body, especially her elbow which was exposed in the match and you can see the bandages surrounding it. Mayu has done an excellent job in the match to make Utami look like a real threat in the match with her selling and how she was telling the story in the ring, and that’s one of the reasons why Mayu is great at what she does and has been for quite some time. Utami had Mayu up for the Torture Rack and she was gonna try to make her tap out but she decided to do a Reverse Samoan Drop which was a thousand times better than when Kona Reeves did it and Mayu was able to kick out of it. Mayu starts to get fired up as she would deliver a stiff kick to her head for a two count but quickly goes up the top rope to hit the Frog Splash as Utami kicks out again just barely. Mayu would pick Utami back up and she held her for the Dragon Suplex Hold and she hits it for the pin and Mayu has won the Five Star Grand Prix!
One year ago, she injured her elbow and was forced to vacate the World of Stardom Championship and for the past year, Mayu would try to prove herself in the ring to crawl all the way back to the top spot, she failed to capture the title twice, lost the Cinderella Tournament, and she now won the Grand Prix to show that she’s the best Stardom has to offer. After the match, Mayu was presented with a robe and a crown that was placed on her head until it fell off of her, way to go. The rest of the participants would get a smaller trophy as a little participation thing as least while Mayu would get the bigger trophy. Mayu grabs the microphone to talk about that she won the tournament and how her journey has been for her these past few years about how she would start off in three-way matches and now she’s on the top of the promotion. She said she had to talk about something important to the audience despite winning the tournament and it was about retirement, and how she’s not gonna retire soon and her wrestling life is far from over, but she did have someone she would like to introduce to people. Arisa Hoshiki has made her return to Stardom!
Arisa was one of the first graduates of Stardom and has competed in their very first show, they also paired up together when they were rookies, but she left the company around 2012 and had the Saki Kashima route where she hasn’t wrestled ever since. However, she said after being away from wrestling for six and a half years, the 23-year-old wrestler has announced that she will be making her return to Stardom and hopes to tag with Mayu again real soon. I think this is wonderful news and from what I have seen from her old matches, she was a lot of fun to watch and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. Mayu talked about how every time she wins a big match, someone would return to Stardom like how Yoko Bito came back when she won the Cinderella Tournament a couple years ago and now Arisa Hoshiki when she won the Grand Prix, so now she believes that if she keeps winning big matches that everyone will come back to Stardom. She’s aware that Kagetsu and Momo are fighting in a few days in a double title match and she said she’ll challenge the World of Stardom Champion whoever it is out of those two next month. So what’s next for Utami? I thought it would be a good idea for her to win the Future of Stardom Championship as her first belt, but Andrew did bring up a good point about how while she does have the qualifications to go for the belt, it would feel a little bit of a downgrade due to the fact that she fought all of these big names and is now a well-established star in the making that it wouldn’t feel right and he has a point there, plus she’d be too good compared to the others in that division with the exception of Starlight Kid and AZM of course. Since that’s the case, maybe she could be the one that could possibly dethrone Momo if she still has her Wonder of Stardom Championship? Either that or go for the Goddesses of Stardom Championships if she can get a partner. Anyway, congrats to Mayu Iwatani, you have earned this and now go do what you gotta do and that is win it all next month.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Overall: The tournament is now officially over as my block finally won the whole thing after losing the last three tournaments and it couldn’t have happened to a better wrestler. Both blocks have had enjoyable matches with great stories and probably one of my favorite events this year and tied in G1 with tournament quality. Now that Mayu has won the Grand Prix, can she reclaim what’s hers?
Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
Least Favorite Match: Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter
Joe’s AAA Review & Results (12/9/2018)
Joe Dinan checks in with your AAA review and results for the week ending 12/9/2018!
AAA on Twitch 12/8
La Parkita, Nino Hamburguesa, and Dinastia vs La Parkita Negra, Arkangel Divino, and Ultimo Maldito
The match starts with chaos. Everybody is doing moves to each other. Mini Parka and Parka Negra get in there and trade moves. Maldito and Hamburger Boy are in next and Hamburger boy hits a shoulder block. Negra hits a reverseranna on Parkita. They team up on Hamburger Boy. Boy counters with a headlock, head scissors take over on Negra and Maldito. Dinastia and Divino are in and Dinastia hits a power slam on him. Negra beats on Dinastia and Parkita works on him. Maldito then works over Parkita. Maldito hits a tiger pile driver on him. Dinastia hits a asai moonsault, then celebrates even though he hit his teammate. Divino does a moonsault off the top. They get everyone seated in the corner and Hamburger Boy does a running senton. Then he goes to the top and splashes them for the win. Hamburger Boy pins Parkita Negra with a top rope splash.
Winners: La Parkita, Nino Hamburguesa, and Dinastia
Starfire and Lady Maravilla vs Mamba and Lady Shani
Shani and Starefire start the match out with some grappling. Maravilla comes in quick to double Shani. Afterwards they double Mamba. Starfire hits a drop kick off the top. Mamba hits a big move on Maravilla and now they’re getting the heat back doubling Starfire. We get back to normalcy in the ring. Shani hits a drop kick on Starfire. She gets to the top and hits a hurricanrana on Shani. Maravilla drop kicks Mamba to the outside and hits a cross body to the outside. Starfire hits a michinoku driver on Shani for a two count. Shani hits the Okada neck breaker and the ref counts slow. Shani argues with the ref and Starfire comes from behind and hits a german suplex for a fast count. Starfire pins Lady Shani with a german suplex and fast count.
Starfire wants a title fight after the match. Not immediately, in the future. They brawl after the match and promo.
Winners: Lady Maravilla and Starfire
Laredo Kid, Hijo Del Vikingo, and Myzteziz Jr vs Taurus, Australian Suicide, and Jack Evans
Match starts with Jack Evans and Laredo Kid. Evans gets crotched on the post and Kid drop kicks him. Vikingo and Myzteziz dive to the outside on the others. They triple drop kick Evans in the corner. Kid code breakers Suicide then holds him. Vikingo jumps off Myzteziz and stomps the back of Suicide. Taurus gets Myzteziz on his shoulders then catches Kid for a double fall away slam. Suicide does a press slam into a code breaker on Vikingo. He holds him and Evans hits a 450, then Taurus hits a splash. Taurus holds up Myzteziz, Evans on the top bounces off him and helps Suicide complete his pile driver on Vikingo. Vikingo makes all of them miss corner attacks. He does a moonsault off of Myzteziz and Kid’s hands on the top, then they hit their own moonsault dives after that. Incredible spot, Luchablog has the gif of it on twitter, find it.
Myzteziz hits a Canadian destroyer on Evans but Suicide breaks up the pin. Suicide then does a springboard destroyer to him, but Vikingo breaks up the pin. He does knees to the corner but Taurus breaks up the pin. Taurus shoulder blocks Vikingo and sends him flying. Laredo Kid and Vikingo go for springboard attacks but get pulled out of the ring. Evans then hits an asai moonsault on everyone. They fight on the stage and throw Taurus and Evans off and do dives. Vikingo then does a Spanish Fly on Suicide off the stage on to the rest of them. Evans and Kid are back in the ring. Evans slams him and goes to the top but gets kicked. Laredo Kid hits the Laredo Fly for the win. Laredo Kid pins Jack Evans with the Laredo Fly.
Winners: Laredo Kid, Hijo Del Vikingo, and Myzteziz Jr
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.13 ~ 7TH DECEMBER 2018
With a vacant Heavyweight Tag Title to figure out, and some finishing touches leading up to Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2, let’s see what Hisame brings us this week!
Most of the roster (except for Naomichi Marufuji, who, much to his disappointment, couldn’t go due to injury, and says he has never been) went to China to participate in “Eastern Hero Wrestling”.
Despite the fact that they had broken up a few days beforehand at “Global League 2018”, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya teamed up. Nakajima’s only comment was that this was how the card had been arranged, and he walked off at the end of the match leaving Kitamiya behind.
It was a sold out over capacity crowd in Tianjin, and the crowd said in Japanese “please come back”.
Hi69, in particular, said he learned a lot of things from the trip. There were also some new athletes o the card which hadn’t been introduced to NOAH yet, Tiger God and Dragon God.
Article with results can be read here
Daisuke Harada has been announced for IPW’S Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament on Tuesday 16th January 2019 at Milton Keynes.
For those unfamiliar with him, a small guide can be found here.
Tickets can be purchased here
Further names hopefully to be announced (I know YO-HEY & HAYATA are being hoped for)
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
Noah kicked off “Winter Navigation 2018” at Korakuen Hall, not a great attendance for the first night, but it needs to be factored in that it was a 6.30pm start on a Friday night, round about the time when people get out of work, plus there was a big event going on at the nearby Tokyo Dome.
There were two match signings, with Takashi Sugiura saying that he was not going to lose the belt or the era to “this young man” (Kaito Kiyomiya) and Kotaro Suzuki actually turned up for his with Daisuke Harada.
Kimiya Okada made his long overdue debut, and was beaten by fellow rookie, Yoshiki Inamura. Hajime Ohara (who had helped train Okada for the debut) looked on. Although Inamura picked up his first win, it should be noted that this is only a small one, and against a very green rookie. They will have a rematch on the 9th (check)
Both Atsushi Kotoge and Hitoshi Yamato were on top comedy form.
Hitoshi Kumano and Seiya Morohashi squared up as their grudge deepened.
The Hooligans announced the 5’10 and 243 lb Yuji Hino as their new member, and he picked up the 5’10 Akitoshi Saito and slammed him as if he weighed nothing.
YO-HEY defeated Shoki Kitamura with the Super Face G, and then said to SUGI that he wanted to continue this, but SUGI said that Yokohama was impossible as there was an ZERO-ONE show on the 16th. So, it looks like the New Year will be the resumption of it.
Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima defeated Kenoh and Masa Kitamiya for the vacant GHC Heavyweight tag team titles, and were later challenged by Yuji Hino and Maybach Taniguchi.
Then Hino cut the promo of the evening:
“Shiozaki, you are a good looking guy, but your chops mean nothing. Nakajima-kun! Growing up! You are becoming an adult. You look like you’ve graduated from being a virgin”.
This is the kind of trash talking which is sadly missing from NOAH.
Kaito Kiyomiya and Daisuke Harada teamed up to take on Takashi Sugiura and Kotaro Suzuki. The ref stopped the match when Sugiura got Kiyomiya in a Olympic slam into a chokehold, afterwards Sugiura stood over the fallen Kiyomiya and told him that “on the 16th, I will show you the difference between NOAH’s future and the man who has supported NOAH for eighteen years”.
Detailed event recap can be read here
GHC BELT NEWS
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
- GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69
All titles will be challenged for on the 16th December at “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2”
Kaito Kiyomiya will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight
Daisuke Harada will challenge for the GHC Junior
Yuji Hino & Maybach Taniguchi will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag
The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano) will challenge for the GHC Junior Tag
~ Maybach Taniguchi came out with his “Sasumata” pole (literally “speared fork”) that he had used when he was part of “The Super Violent Army“.
~ Takashi Sugiura said he learned the bidets in Japan, Taiwan and China were all of equal quality.
~ Masao Inoue is holding another bowling tournament
~ Senior referee, Shu Nishinaga, said that someone had “dumped” a load of Masao Inoue’s CDs in the waiting room.
~ Go Shiozaki gave a talk for “Wrestle Talk Mania”, one of the subjects he covered was mental training in wrestling; something which Shiozaki has extensive experience in, especially in dealing with what happened to Mitsuharu Misawa right in front of his eyes, and of course getting Kaito Kiyomiya over his own nerves.
~ Naomichi Marufuji is not cleared to return to the ring yet, although he can now walk more easily, except he has a slight limp.
KING SHAMELESS CORNER
None. He’s been good this week (aside from being a bidet inspector)
The final night of Global League, 25th November, will be broadcast at 6pm on Saturday 8th December
The event on the 7th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December
Today’s child of puroresu: Kaito Kiyomiya’s Story
150 people at debut?! Praise from Kobashi! Winning Global League! Kaito Kiyomiya special feature!
MINI INTERVIEW WITH KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA: 7th December tag championship decision at Korakuen Hall, “I want you to hear the sound of Noah changing”
The scene of pro-wrestling Vol.23 ~ The wish for the soul that inherits the light of the emerald green.
Nakajima and Shiozaki to combine to take the championship
“Everybody’s Energy” ~ interview with Kaito Kiyomiya (Weekly Pro, December 2018)
“I want to advance the era” ~ mini interview with 2018 Global League winner, Kaito Kiyomiya
Takashi Sugiura’s determination for defense, “I will not hand over the belt or the era”.