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Andrew’s Stardom 5 Star GP Blue Stars Ratings & Analysis: Day 1

Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix is here! Blue Stars block action gets started!

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Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix is here! Blue Stars block action gets started!

Now this is Blue Stars, eh? Last year I was on Red Stars…so it’s only fair to switch right?

There’s definitely some fun to be had with this block. Arisa Hoshiki is the White Belt champion and Bea Priestley is the Red Belt champion. So having champions in a block add to each match.

Jamie Hayter is always a fun addition, as well as, Utami Hayashishita.

Since Mathew did a whole series of his Top 5 choices, I’ll just list out my top 3 picks for this block.

  • Jungle Kyona
  • Utami Hayashishita
  • Jamie Hayter

Now let’s see who kicks things off right?

Blue Stars Day 1 Ratings:

  • Arisa Hoshiki vs Jamie Hayter: Hayter wins via Curb Stomp @7:15 – ***
  • Bea Priestley vs Andras Miyagi: Bea wins via Regal Suplex @5:45 – ** 1/4
  • Utami Hayashishita vs Jungle Kyona: Utami wins via Torture Rack @9:30 – *** 3/4
  • Kagetsu vs Konami: Konami wins via Triangle Lancer @12:00 – ****

 

Blue Stars Day 1 Analysis:

Arisa Hoshiki vs Jamie Hayter – Blue Stars starts off with an interesting match up. Arisa is the Wonder of Stardom Champion, and undefeated since her return to Stardom in late 2018. Jamie is the Zombie Hot British Chancellor of Oedo Tai. Oedo Tai is Stardom’s version of LIJ for a quick comparison. They are just lovably crude and Hayter fits the group perfectly.

The match is heavily character driven to start with. Jamie spits on her hand for the ole Spit Swear, and Arisa runs off, very obviously disgusted. Jamie offers the shake to the referee, who is a wimp as well. From yelling at the ref to stop counting to Jamie’s condescending Japanese, it is all adorable. She used most of the anime staples, of Gomen and Daijobu, but it was still insanely entertaining.

Once Arisa lays in a couple of her signature kicks, that’s when Jamie stops messing around and lights up the plucky White Belt champion with some mean overhand chops. From this point we get a lot of back and forth. Arisa goes on a small run of strikes, but Jamie counters with a few Backbreaker variations and I do like her swinging the leg back, using momentum to drive Arisa’s face into her knee. Arisa misses her Brazilian Kick, Jamie counters and it gives her the opening for a Curb Stomp and the pinfall! So Jamie picks up the win, breaks Arisa’s undefeated streak, and all with relative ease.

Bea Priestley vs Andras Miyagi – Bea Priestley is the World of Stardom champion, so wins against her, much like the G1 Climax, can result in a title shot. Andras is still fairly new to Stardom, coming over from Sendai Girls. A major player in Oedo Tai, Andras seems to be vying with Hazuki for number 2 in the group. Can Andras earn herself a title shot?

Miyagi attacks before the bell, and puts together a few suplexes and gets a near fall with a Full Nelson with Body Scissor submission. After that point Bea fights back, and Andras never really puts together a believable sequence from that point. Bea wins with some kind of Cradle Fisherman Suplex. I remember her using a Curb Stomp, but since Hayter uses that as well, I guess Bea had to pivot.

Utami Hayashishita vs Jungle Kyona – This is a fun match up. Kyona was Utami’s first opponent and they went to a time limit draw. I believe they faced each other last year in the 5 Star, and drew again. So this is a bit of a grudge match. Kyona always puts up a good fight, but rarely gets the big wins or the big pushes. Utami is Stardom’s Big Rookie (which I’m pretty sure if a play off of her father’s nickname of Big Daddy in a popular Japanese TV show), who was drowning in gold within the first 6 months of being a fully-fledged professional wrestler.

This match was damn good. Both went at each other hard and fairly unforgiving. Suplexes, strikes and even a few submission switches. Kyona nearly had Utami when she locked in a Boston, into a Half Boston. Then after the break, she slapped on the Scorpion Deathlock, but Utami scuttled to the rope quickly. Utami returned the favor with a modified Scorpion of her own, which nearly saw a victory right then and there.

Our Big Rookie continued the offense with a devastating German Suplex, but Kyona barely rolls the shoulder. Torture Rack follows up and Kyona passes out, so the referee stops it.

Kagetsu vs Konami – The rematch from last year’s round 1 match! Konami’s Triangle Lancer injured Kagetsu’s neck last year, which may have impacted her ability to win as champion. So does Kagetsu get her win back? Will Triangle Lancer’s winning percentage remain 100%?

Kagetsu hits a Dropkick at the bell, Michinoku Driver and then goes for the Oedo Coaster…but she misses. This was nearly a 30 second match, which would’ve been disappointing. We see some great chain wrestling between the two, Armbar transitions everywhere, great mat work, and a very even back and forth.

Konami lands a Round Kick to Kagetsu’s head, but it just pisses her off, she trips her, slingshots in for a Footstomp, extends Konami’s arm, springboards to the top rope and Footstomps the arm, all setting up for a Fujiwara Armbar attempt. The Prime Minister of Oedo Tai dominates from that point forward. 3 Michinoku Drivers, Avalanche Michinoku Driver and then she hits the Oedo Coaster! It’s over! 1-2-and…Kagetsu picks up Konami. Oh hubris…you cheeky monkey…

Kagetsu tries to drive home the point, but then we get a myriad of counters. Michinoku Driver attempts, Triangle Lancer attempts…and then Konami finally catches Kagetsu and sinks in the Triangle Lancer. Damn well wrestled match.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

Jamie Hayter started this day off great with some fun personality, while Utami/Kyona and Kagetsu/Konami were damn good wrestling matches. I suppose I can tolerate Bea since the rest seem to be quite enjoyable.

The fact that each match has a 15 minute time limit makes for quick and fun matches. Hard to judge much after just one day, but Utami and Jamie definitely looked good in their opening day victories.

Blue Stars Standings:

  • Jamie Hayter 1-0 ( 2 Points)
  • Utami Hayashishita 1-0 (2 Points)
  • Bea Priestley 1-0 (2 Points)
  • Konami 1-0 (2 Points)
  • Natsuko Tora 0-0 (0 Points)
  • Kagetsu 0-1 (0 Points)
  • Arisa Hoshiki 0-1 (0 Points)
  • Jungle Kyona 0-1 (0 Points)
  • Andras Miyagi 0-1 (0 Points)

 


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.124 ~ 28TH FEBRUARY 2021

Leading into March we learn of two fun produce shows and the lead in for Keiji Mutoh’s first GHC Heavyweight title defense! Read along with Hisame’s Emerald education!

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Leading into March we learn of two fun produce shows and the lead in for Keiji Mutoh’s first GHC Heavyweight title defense! Read along with Hisame’s Emerald education!

NEWS

“CyberFight Festival 2021”

On the 26th February CyberFight held a surprise press conference, which was broadcast on both the NOAH and the DDT YouTube channels. The purpose oft the conference was to announce that on the 6th June 2021, they would be holding an event they hope will become an annual one each year, at the Saitama Super Arena, which is one of the largest in Japan. The event will feature all the promotions that CyberFight manage (NOAH, DDT, Tokyo Joshi Pro & Ganbare ☆ Pro Wrestling), and will have the major titles defended, plus inter-promotional matches. CyberFight president, Sanshiro Takagi, said that it would be up to individual promotions as to whether they wanted to bring in anyone from outside from another promotion.

The one person who wasn’t excited, or even remotely happy by this news, was naturally and unsurprisingly, Kenoh. Rather than start angrily growling on social media, Kenoh’s reaction to the news when announced on NOAH’s official Twitter was, “….”. Naomichi Marufuji tried to explain to Kenoh that all this was was a festival of wrestling, not a merger or anything else. Kenoh made no response, and has only resurfaced on social media to say grumpily he was at a RISE SHOW.

Katsuhiko Nakajima, however, has taken a different approach by saying, “What is this?”. It should be noted that this was said in the manner of a shark finding wounded prey.

 

Simulacrum Mask

Kendo Kashin was up to his usual tricks, by first of all attacking Kenoh after his match in Sendai on the 21st, by storming the ring dressed as a pirate wearing a Jason hockey mask over a Lion mask, and claiming he was Takashi Sugiura, and then intruding into the ring in Gunma after Kenoh’s match, dressed all in white and with a Lucha style mask. He was beaten down by Kongoh (not Katsuhiko Nakajima, who had walked off and didn’t look back), before Masa Kitamiya threw him out of the ring. Backstage, the mysterious masked man, claimed he was Kazushi Sakuraba and had been sent to do this by Takashi Sugiura. No one was fooled, least of all Kenoh, and Takashi Sugiura said he was weary.

Although Kenoh entered looking around him at Korakuen Hall, he need not have worried, the only strange masked man in the match was Kendo Kashin, who nonetheless tried to blindside him. Kashin was up to usual tricks in the match, kicking Kenoh in the groin, and winding him so badly that they ended up fighting in the lift. Kenoh kept the doors open just long enough for the assembled journalists to take pictures.

 Junta Miyawaki’s return, challenges for GHC Junior Tag Titles

Following the six man tag (STINGER vs Momo No Seishun and Kinya Okada) on the 24th February at Korakuen Hall, and after the usual fight between the assembled Juniors, it took Junta Miyawaki to get in the ring and separate his warring seniors, after which when another fight broke out, he took out all of STINGER by repeated dropkicks. There was a quick consultation in the ring between all three of Momo No Seishun, which ended with Daisuke Harada challenging STINGER for the tag belts on behalf of himself and Junta Miyawaki. Title match has been set for 21st March at Korakuen Hall, but Miyawaki will make his return to the ring on Saturday March 6th at the FULL THROTTLE produce.

Backstage, naturally STINGER made no comment, Miyawaki had plenty to say, and in a loud voice, yelling he would be the “center of the NOAH juniors” and that “I WANT TO GET A BELT”

 Kaito Kiyomiya vs Keiji Mutoh, the first pre match

The first pre-match between Kaito Kiyomiya and Keiji Mutoh ended in frustration for them both, with Mutoh getting the win over Daiki Inaba. Mutoh after the match compared Kiyomiya again to a “low risk” Mahjong move, and said he wanted him to grow faster. Kaito Kiyomiya has made no comment, but he has been seen undertaking MMA training with Kazushi Sakuraba.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Sendai PIT (February 21st)

Event recap: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Maebashi Sub Event Arena, Gunma (February 23rd)

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Maebashi Sub Event Arena, Gunma (February 23rd)

Event recap: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Korakuen Hall (February 24th)

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Korakuen Hall (February 24th)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

~ NOSAWA Rongai and Tadasuke had a stand off over sunglasses, after which NOSAWA started stalking Tadasuke to ringside, as he thought that with blonde hair and shades, Tadasuke has been stealing his look.

~ Naomichi Marufuji has finally bought the Ghost Busters themed Reebok that he wanted.

~ Following Kazushi Sakuraba’s ankle kick and submission, the “Calf Slicer”, Takashi Sugiura said he asked Sakuraba to explain it, which he did, in detail, when they were both in the shower. Sakuraba asked why he asked then, Sugiura said he was the one who chose to tell him.

~ 5’4 Haoh was almost sent flying over the ropes by the GEKITOZ from Yoshiki Inamura

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima thought that Go Shiozaki losing the GHC Heavyweight was very funny.

~ YO-HEY has compared the NOAH Juniors to the “Warring States Period

~ “Kongoh” are enjoyable company, except for Kenoh.” NOSAWA Rongai

~ Atsushi Kotoge was thrown a major shade by Go Shiozaki, who in Gunma shook hands with Daisuke Harada as he said he thought he was the champion, then when Harada pointed out it was Kotoge who was challenging for the singles, Shiozaki looked as if to say, “Really? Him?” and then joking refused to shake hands with him.

~ Mohammed Yone says he has made a new a costume for Shuhei Taniguchi, which will make him “Dazzle”.

~ In usual style, Takashi Sugiura wished Masato Tanaka happy birthday, and then asked when The Bullet Yankees are getting back together.

~ NOAH’s official photographer has been taking pictures of the roster set against a spring woodland background or else in a springtime Tokyo. It looks like some new pictures may be coming out.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Keiji Mutoh
    Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Seiki Yoshioka
    Challenger: Atsushi Kotoge (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba)
    Challengers: The Aggression (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
    Challengers: Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada & Junta Miyawaki) (21st March, “NOAH THE INFINITY 2021”)
  •  GHC National Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Kendo Kashin (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

Tuesday, 2nd March: Kenoh debut anniversary (2nd March)

Friday, 3rd March: Naomichi Marufuji, as tourist ambassador of Saitama, will be making another appearance on the “Love Saitama” YouTube channel.

Saturday, 6th March: Masao Inoue (51)

Saturday, 6th March: FULL THROTTLE Produce (Starts 17:30 JST)

Sunday, 7th March: “Great Voyage 2021 in Yokohama” (16:00 JST)

BROADCASTS

*Please note, unless stated it is a free stream, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world.

Both events will be broadcast via WRESTLEUNIVERSE.

  • NOAH have not yet announced whether the FULL THROTTLE  it will be live or whether it will be broadcast at a later date, only that it will be VOD.
  • Great Voyage 2021 in Yokohama” will be broadcast live, and with English commentary. If you are not a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE, you can purchase the event through FITE TV for $19.00. This will also have English commentary, but you cannot purchase this if you live in Japan.

LINKS

Affiliated promotions to have all-star matches on the 6.6. at the Saitama Super Arena

Kazushi Sakuraba continues to evolve, victory following submission from calf kick

GIFS taken from ABEMA and WRESTLEUNIVERSE.

 


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.123 ~ 21ST FEBRUARY 2021

Following up the historic Mutoh victory, another champion in NOAH has a storied challenger making their life miserable. Hisame breaks down what else is going on during this Mutoh title reign!

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Following up the historic Mutoh victory, another champion in NOAH has a storied challenger making their life miserable. Hisame breaks down what else is going on during this Mutoh title reign!

NEWS

Kenoh attacked by “Sugiura”

Fans in Sendai on the 21st February were looking forward to seeing “Kenohara” (the former team of Kenoh and Hajime Ohara from their NOAH Junior days), fight in a ultra rare singles match. The match only lasted seven minutes however, and just after Kenoh had got the pin, a masked man (dressed almost like a pirate, and wearing a black Jason hockey mask on top of a lion mask) rushed into the ring and attacked him with a crutch. Later, the masked man was to give his name as “Sugiura” and said he had been sent to do this “on behalf of Kashin”.

No one was fooled as to who this masked intruder was. He didn’t have either the height or the cyborg like physique of Takashi Sugiura, and Sugiura himself later said that he was an “old man” who wasn’t fooling around; that was Kashin. Kenoh said later (after a strange spell of not flying into a verbal meltdown), that whoever it was would pay, but after experience of fighting with Sugiura many times, he knew it wasn’t him. Suspicions were further aroused, when it was revealed that Kashin had worn exactly the same outfit (minus the Lion mask) in 2017.

Kashin had promised Kenoh that the title match would be a “clean fight” with no ring intrusions (he’s a NOAH junior, he has to promise these things) and no “seconds interfering”, but he never promised anything in the build leading up to the title match. With no one to restrain him, like they normally would in matches, expect to see Kashin on the loose. I just hope he knows what Kenoh is going to do to him in the title match.

Junta Miyawaki returns to training

Junta Miyawaki returned to training this week, after being hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy. He has returned to the dojo to train, but his return to the ring has not yet been announced.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

“STEP FORWARD 2021” (21st February, Sendai PIT, Sendai)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

~ Following a conversation about calf kicks (which Sakuraba turned into “scarf kicks” and joked his neck was cold), Katsuhiko Nakajima said he preferred kicking people in the face.

~ Daisuke Nakamura (who so far has only appeared once for The Sugiura Army), won his match at the MMA event “DEEP100” and announced himself as “Daisuke Nakamura of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Sugiura Army!”, while wearing one of the Sugiura Army t-shirts. Tadasuke had said at the produce, he wanted to have a singles match with him.

~ Tadasuke and NOSAWA, had a stand off which ended with them both removing their sunglasses very slowly and at the same time. After the match (it was a tag between Tadasuke and Masa Kitamiya, and Takashi Sugiura and NOSAWA Rongai), NOSAWA left with his thoughtful face on. Which usually means trouble.

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima thought that Go Shiozaki losing the GHC Heavyweight title to Keiji Mutoh was the funniest thing ever, and made fun of him for it. After the match he indicated that he had no interest in it, and turned his attention back to the GHC Heavyweight tag challenge, hinting that the champions had something to hide by not doing a pre-match with THE AGGRESSION (he never mentioned Kongoh), together.

~ Even Takashi Sugiura admits that The Sugiura Army is chaos, and therefore he makes no effort to try and control it.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

 Tuesday 23rd February: Mohammed Yone (45)

Tuesday 23rd February: “STEP FORWARD 2021”: YAMADA Green Dome Maebashi Sub-event area, Gunma (17:30 JST)

Wednesday 24th February: “STEP FORWARD 2021”: Korakuen Hall (18:00 JST)

Friday 25th February: Kenta Kobashi celebrates 33 years in Pro Wrestling

 BROADCASTS

Please note, unless stated, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world.

  • NOAH’s show at Sendai PIT on the 21st February, will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on Wednesday 24th.
  • NOAH’s show on the 23rd February in Gunma, will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVRSE on Friday 26th.
  • NOAH’s show at Korakuen Hall on the 24th February will be broadcast on ABEMA. However, it does not currently say whether this will be a free worldwide broadcast or not. Should it not be, I do not recommend that you try and watch it via a VPN, unless you know it works with ABEMA and you already subscribe to the service. VPN can be notoriously hit and miss with the service, with some working for some people, and not for some others.

LINKS

Daily Battle Award ~ Go Shiozaki’s first MVP & Best Match of The Year

Keiji Mutoh’s GHC Win commemoration, exploring the story of Mitsuharu Misawa

Jun Akiyama candidly talks leaving NOAH eight years ago. Naomichi Marufuji, “This was an aspect of life, rather than pro wrestling”

“It’s not good to expect too much”…”There is an opportunity to enjoy him if you can find it…” Jun Akiyama & Naomichi Marufuji’s discussion about Shuhei Taniguchi

“The tag of freestyle and Greco is the strongest”, the unconfirmed relationship of the 50 year old tag champions, Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba

Picture credit: NOAH GHC Twitter 


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