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Opinion

Top 5 Stardom Matches of 2018

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Well you didn’t think we’d have all these Top 5s and forget Stardom did you? We have a Joshi Expert just for these reasons! Let’s see Mathew’s top Stardom matches of 2018.

This one is a bonus list I wanted to do for a couple of reasons and one will be at the bottom of countdown later.

I’m sure people were surprised that a single Stardom match didn’t make it to my list this year and it’s not that they were bad by any means, it’s just that the matches I listed were just a little bit better.

However, I decided to give them their own list with my Top 5 favorite matches of the promotion as they do deserve to be viewed. So out of just Stardom, which five were my favorite for the year? Well, let’s check it out.

 

5. Starlight Kid vs. AZM (Queen’s Fes in Sapporo 6/3/18)

– This one even I’m surprised that it made it on here too but at the same time, Both AZM and Starlight have been tearing it up lately this year every time they face each other that it’s hard to ignore them for that reason alone. Stardom recently created a new title called the Future of Stardom Championship and it’s a title qualified for people that are under twenty years old and/or have less than two years of experience which they both qualify for due to their age as they both have years of experience. Starlight won the title in April against AZM and she would then tell her that she would love to defend the title against her sometime and it looks like she now has an equal when it comes to the division.

AZM would eventually earn that title opportunity after pinning Starlight in a tag match and it took place at one of their Queen’s Fes shows in Sapporo in June and it was a test for herself to try and take that belt away from her. The two women have unbelievable chemistry in the ring that they would hardly mess up and if they ever did, it’s hardly noticeable and they catch it real quick to make it look like nothing happened. When it comes to this new division, these are your two best right now that can carry it to new heights to make it a must watch if they keep it up throughout 2019 alone with the other females involved. The match ended in a no contest due to the time limit and we were unable to get that proper conclusion to see who was truly better as they never had a one on one match after this, but they still fought off in tag matches for the time being. When will they fight for the title again? Who knows, but it’ll be worth seeing when that day happens.

 

4. Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani vs. Kagetsu & Hazuki (Goddesses of Destiny 6/19/2018)

– This would be Io Shirai’s final match with the Stardom promotion, the company she has carried for years with her legendary title reigns and the career she made of herself there to make the company a must watch. Before Io would depart Stardom to head to the WWE, she would need to have one final tag match as she teams up with her old rival and former Thunder Rock partner, Mayu Iwatani. Thunder Rock was formed in 2012 before they would disband in 2016 when Io would turn heel to form Queen’s Quest but for one night only, the two would team up for her final show in Stardom as they fight two members of Oedo Tai, Hazuki and the World of Stardom Champion, Kagetsu.

For Thunder Rock, they looked like they never lost a step as a tag team after being away from each other for so long but then again, these are the companies best women that can have a great match with nearly anyone but their opponents are no laughing matter either as they could hold out on their own against them. They would fight all over the place in and out of the ring and Io would even hit one last Moonsault off the balcony to send the fans home happy before she would depart. Thunder Rock would win the match at the end and the ceremony they had for Io Shirai was just beautiful. Mayu would surprise Io with a kiss to make her weak in the knees and Kagetsu would tell Io that while she’s gone, she’ll be the one to lead the company where she left off as they give each other that final respect. Very fun tag team match and a perfect way to send Io Shirai off who’s doing more in the WWE to represent Japan and the place she made famous, Stardom.

 

3. Konami vs. Kagetsu (5 Star Grand Prix 8/18/18)

– Talk about a stiff fest right here since that’s what Kagetsu and Konami would do together. This was the first day of Stardom’s Five Star Grand Prix show which is their biggest tournament of the year, and the two would be paired off in the Red Stars block and even be involved in the first day right off the bat. Kagetsu is the reigning World of Stardom Champion and we haven’t really seen her do much with the title except for defeat Viper and Mayu Iwatani, so she needed the challenge to prove herself as the top champion of the company. Kagetsu was up for the challenge to try and be undefeated in her block to go onto the finals and prove she’s the actual future of the company and the focus should be set to her instead.

Konami has gone through a character change ever since she got drafted to Queen’s Quest and has made herself more lethal with her strikes and submissions that she made sure to capitalize all of them in her matches, especially against Kagetsu since she wanted to prove herself against the champion to thinking that she deserves to hang with the best and won’t be overlooked anymore. They went back and forth pulling everything they could against each other here and made themselves feel each impact placed upon them as the match went on. Konami would pull off the surprise as she made Kagetsu tap out on the first night and not only did she defeat her, but she would also leave her with an injured neck in the process to show her who serious she can be and she wanted Kagetsu to remember that should they ever fight again. Both intense and brutal, this is one fight I would check out to see what both of these women are made of and Konami will show you why the Triangle Lancer is indeed 100%.

 

2. Mayu Iwatani vs. Utami Hayashishita (5 Star Grand Prix 9/24/2018)

– The Five Star Grand Prix will once again make its way to the list but this time, we’ll be talking about the final match of the tournament as the Icon, Mayu Iwatani takes on Stardom’s Super Rookie, Utami Hayashishita. Utami is someone who has had a lot of pressure on her ever since making her debut in Stardom since she’s also a reality star which set a lot of eyes on the product and people didn’t know who she would fair off in the squared circled but to everyone’s surprise, she was a quick learner during the training camp and made so much of an impression in her debut that Stardom’s President, Rossy Ogawa would even invite Utami to take the final spot of the Red Stars block for the tournament in which of course, Utami would say yes as this would be a perfect opportunity to see what she really is all about.

Utami has impressed a lot of people in this tournament that she would even win her block to even get a chance to fight Mayu as this was now the big test to find out if she can be a future star of the company. The answer to that question is yes as she has had solid matches against a lot of people to prove her worth and did that with Mayu to show the amount of potential she has in the ring and why she has the nickname of Super Rookie. Mayu did a great job in making Utami look like a star with her selling and even making it fairly even with her when it came to their abilities. Mayu would win the tournament to show that she can still be the top star of the company to get a future rematch against Kagetsu for the World of Stardom Championship, which we still don’t have an official date for it yet. The main part of the match was still building towards a better future as we seem to know who will be our top stars going forward after the departure of Io Shirai such as Mayu Iwatani, Kagetsu, Momo Watanabe, Jungle Kyona, and now Utami Hayashishita. Still a great match wit ha proper story to back it up that it’s a must for those to see how the future of Stardom will be.

 

1. Io Shirai vs. Momo Watanabe (Gold Star 5/23/2018)

– My favorite match in Stardom for many reasons, one of them is this would be the last time we’ll see Io Shirai be a champion in Stardom since she one day had to pass the torch before leaving and two, it was a great match, to begin with. Momo Watanabe fought Io for the Wonder of Stardom Championship in February and she would eventually lose that match but Momo wouldn’t give us as it motivated her to do better to one day top her Queen’s Quest leader and mentor. Momo had a second chance when she won the Cinderella Tournament and was able to request any match she wanted against any opponent and she would decide to fight Io one more time in a rematch for the Wonder of Stardom Championship since she felt like she was ready this time to defeat her. The match was made official and it would take place at their Gold Star show in the main event.

Momo has been wrestling since she was fourteen years old and already has four years of experience under her belt, and the progression she has made in those four years has been an experience since you can tell she was groomed for success someday when the time was right and it just so happens to be the day where they would pull the trigger. Momo would finally defeat Io to win her first major title as the new Wonder of Stardom Champion and thus, creating a star in the process when she defeated the now former ace. Ever since she defeated Io, she has been pushed to be the future of Stardom while being the main focus for most of their shows, even more so than Kagetsu who is their World of Stardom Champion, so it shows who their prime focus is for the company despite not being their World of Stardom Champion. Momo has successfully retained this title eight times and is three more defenses away from beating for mentors record of ten title defenses. Momo has also had a chance to fight Kagetsu for the World of Stardom Championship which she lost due to a double knockout and has made new rivalries along the way with Hazuki and Mayu Iwatani, who she has defeated in the Icon vs. Ace match a couple of months ago and solidified herself as the top star.

Io Shirai can now be content with the fact that she left Stardom in good hands.

 

Thoughts:

Thank you all for tuning in for just the Stardom countdown and I do have an announcement or a goal for this one.

Recently, Stardom called out a certain journalist about them complaining that New Japan doesn’t have a women’s division, but ignore just the female promotions in Japan. The point is to Stardom, I’m interested in being the one to cover more of your shows to give you that much-deserved exposure.

True while I might not have a big credential list, I care a lot about the Stardom product and have been following them for years now that I want to help more people see this promotion since it really is a great company and deserves such recognition. Let’s get a #HireMat trend going on Twitter and gonna hope for the best.

Thank you all again and see you all next time!


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Opinion

King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

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Randy Orton 4

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.

While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.

Randy Orton’s Return to WWE

On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.

‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.

The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.

The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!

This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Opinion

AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt

So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.

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Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.

As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.

Initial Thoughts

Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.

Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.

Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends

We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.

Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.

After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.

Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)

In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.

Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)

Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)

Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.

…Okay…… (4)

Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.

O…okay…… (5)

The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…

Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble

I absolutely hate it.


This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…

Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.

I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.


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