The Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix comes to a close! How does it all shake out? Who wins, Blue or Red?
Welcome back everyone and this is it, we are now at the final day of Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix.
AZM, Saki Kashima, Natsu Sumire, and Avary are all eliminated from the tournament and we’re now down to five people winning the tournament.
We’ll also have the final match against the Blue Stars Block at the end of the show, so both of us are gonna cover that in our respective articles. Who will win the Red Stars Block and who will win the tournament?
Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
Star Rating System:
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Block Match
Natsu Sumire vs. Avary
Review: We have our first match up as Avary will be taking on Natsu Sumire. Both of these women are eliminated from the tournament but they still have to do the match. Sumire is considered to be in last place but she could defeat Avary to be tied with her but she would still kinda be considered the bottom of the block, however, since she would defeat her and Saki, she won’t be the worst. Will Sumire get two more points or will she be dead last?
Avary started with licking her hands again and Sumire would be grossed out by this and at one point, she would even wipe her hands after touching them as she feels violated. This is where it’ll get a little bit weird as Sumire would lick her cheek wise as if she tasted a liar or something. Kudos if you get that reference. Unfortunately, both of their performances weren’t memorable as well as the match and it’s a shame too since they’re not bad, but just underwhelming. Think the only thing I liked was when Sumire was stealing moves during the match like Momo’s Somato, Hazuki’s Hazukistral, and Saki’s Revival as Avary kicked out of that and Sumire’s copy technique didn’t work. Avary would hit the Backstabber onto Sumire and hits the Hammerlock DDT to get eight points and Sumire is officially in last place.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Block Match
Tam Nakano vs. Saki Kashima
Review: In our next match, we have Tam Nakano taking on Saki Kashima. Saki is already eliminated from the tournament but Tam has a chance to move forward if she could win this match. Will Tam get two more points in her final match or will the flash pin queen steal another victory?
Saki attempted to hit the Revival right away but Tam caught on and tried to hit her spinning kick as it was a stalemate right now. Was the only good part as it would sadly go downhill from here since Saki was rather sloppy in this match with her weak kicks, her Bulldog off the rope being poorly sequenced, but I think Tam had a bit of fair share on this one. As much as I like Saki, her performance was probably the weakest next to Sumire as very little was left to be desired here. I get that the Revival is a nice flash pin but I think she would be better off with an actual finisher as well instead of just that, something to call her own and for people to remember. Anyway, Saki tries to go for the Revival again but Tam rolled her body to try and pin her as it goes like that for a bit and Tam hits a spinning kick. Tam would hit two Running Knee Strikes to take her down and hits the Tiger Suplex to get the pinfall as Tam is still in the race.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Block Match
Hana Kimura vs. Hazuki
Review: We’re halfway done with our block matches as e have Hana Kimura taking on Hazuki. This is a tricky spot for Tam Nakano since she has a chance to move forward if Hazuki wins this match but if Hana somehow wins the match, she’ll eliminate Tam in the process. Will Hana be able to eliminate Tam if she wins or does Hana get eliminated?
Nice and fast-paced for the beginning as the two were consistent with their kicks to each other and the two would even fight outside of the ring for a few minutes, going all over the ring while the referee was starting the count. I was gonna be worried for a second since the referee was almost at the twenty count but the two would luckily get back in the ring before he could call a double countout. Much more enjoyable match compared to the previous two and while nothing really big happened for the majority of it, it was still smooth and enough to enjoy it for the nearly twelve minutes that the match went on for.
Hazuki gets Hana down to the mat and would go to the top rope to hit a Diving Senton and she connects for Hana to kick out at two. Hazuki tried to get Hana onto her shoulders but she jumped off her and caught her arm to apply the Hydrangea and she has it in except for her leg and soon as she got it, Hazuki fought it off for a rope break. Hana gets off of her and attempts a Running Big boot but Hazuki moved out of the way to hit a Codebreaker and not she tried to kick her as Hana moved and kicked her face in. Hana would start to hit a series of kicks but Hazuki slides to catch her for the Hazukistral but Hana kicked out and hits her with a vicious Big Boot. Hana goes to the top rope to hit a Diving Dropkick and she picks her up to hit the Package Piledriver, which she now calls the Tiger Lily and pins Hazuki to get the victory and eliminates Tam in the process. It now comes down to two people who can win now, solid match.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 24, 2019
5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Block Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
Review: It’s now time for our final match for our blocks as we have Ace vs. Icon with Mayu Iwatani taking on Momo Watanabe. These two fought last year in the Blue Stars Block and it ended in a draw with them going over the time limit. The winner of this match would mean a couple of things since Momo is considered eliminated now due to Hana winning. If Mayu wins, then she’ll advance just like last year but if Momo wins though, Hana will now go to the finals. Will Mayu go twice in a row or does Momo win to make Hana advance?
The two would shake hands this time before the bell rings and once it does, Mayu quickly went for a Dropkick to hit her and then gets her up for the Dragon Suplex but Momo fought out of it to kick her and quickly hits the Somato. These two are making it exciting and it hasn’t even been a full minute yet. When you look at this match, you will see Stardom’s top 2 wrestlers fighting each other and every single second used in this match was nothing but magic. Everything was nicely executed, the selling was unreal, storytelling was excellent, it was just a beautiful match and probably one of my favorites this year, it was that damn good.
The two were fighting on the apron and Momo looked like she was gonna hit the Package Driver but Mayu fought out of it and gets her down to the floor before she climbs to the rope and does a Diving Crossbody. Mayu hits Momo with the Bible and perfectly executed for a two count and Mayu goes to the top rope to attempt the Moonsault but Momo catches her foot before she had a chance to go up and hits the Package Driver this time but Mayu kicked out at two. Momo goes to the second rope to hit Mayu with the Somato not once but Twice as Mayu would find a way to kick out still. Once Momo locked in the Crossface Chickenwing, the fans were going back and forth with the chanting since they wanted both of these women to win but Mayu had her foot on the rope. Momo tried to pull her off for the Tequila Sunrise but Mayu wasn’t budging as Momo lets go running the ropes as Mayu attempted a Superkick, however, Momo ducked and caught her for the Tequila Sunrise and another Somato as Mayu kicked out again! Momo had Mayu on the top rope to hit the Package Driver but Mayu flipped over her to hit a Powerbomb and Momo is down! Mayu goes to the top rope now as Momo kicked her leg and catches her to hit the Peach Sunrise, however, Momo rolled Mayu around to hit another Peach Sunrise as Momo wins the match! Momo may be unable to advance, but she stopped Mayu from doing so as Hana Kimura is officially going to the finals. Fantastic match, look for it, right now.
Rating: Jim Cornette
5 Star Grand Prix Final Match
Hana Kimura vs. Konami
Review: Here we are, we’re now down to the final round of the tournament. On our Red Stars Block, we have Hana Kimura and on the Blue Stars Block, we have Konami as the winner. It’s a Tokyo Cyber Squad final as both of them are members of that unit. This is also the second time that Konami was in the finals in a tournament, so this could be the chance for her to win it this time. Who will win the 5 Star Grand Prix and face Bea Priestley for the World of Stardom Championship?
Since Konami is fresh since she didn’t have a block match and only opened in a tag, she had plenty of energy while Hana was still trying to recover from that match she had with Hazuki. So what does Konami do? She would attack Hana the very second she came into the ring and would just attack her legs. That’s pretty much the majority of how the match would play out and the story behind it, Hana trying to survive the assault on her legs by her fellow Tokyo Cyber Squad member. Attacking the legs is a great strategy for Konami too since it would limit Hana’s offense, make it harder for her to run or lift with her legs, and makes it easier for her Triangle Lancer to be 100%. How did this compare to last year’s final? To me, it didn’t feel like a final round match left it very underwhelming and I’m not sure if it had something to do with both Utami and Jungle Kyona being injured, but I’m sure it did put quite the damper as to who would actually be in the final and just didn’t scream main event. It’s a shame too since I do like Konami and does deserve this chance but it just didn’t work for her here.
Konami would try to make Hana tap out with a modified Sharpshooter and Hana is struggling to fight it off but would eventually make her way to the ropes to break the hold. The two would get up and would go punch for punch now and it looked like Hana won that little brawl and picked up Konami for a Sidewalk Slam and tops it off with an Axe Kick and pins Konami for a two count. Hana was somehow able to get to the top ropes and hits Konami with the Dropkick and would pick her up to go for the Tiger Lily, but Konami countered it to try and apply the Triangle Lancer but Hana rolled her up and kicked out at two. Konami applied more pressure to her legs with another submission as Hana grabbed the ropes again but Konami quickly hits her with a German Suplex when she lifted her. Konami would finally go for the Triangle Lancer as Hana countered it with the Hydrangea and she had it locked in as Konami tapped out and Hana wins the 5 Star Grand Prix! After the match and awards being given out for certain categories during the tournament, Hana would talk in front of the crowd and was so happy to win as she can now fight the World of Stardom Champion, Bea Priestley. Hana told Bea that she wanted to kick her ass and take her red belt while calling her Bitch Priestley. Bea would reply by telling her to bow down to the queen, bitch. There’s no official date for the match yet but I’m sure we’ll get it real soon. Congratulations, Hana Kimura on winning the tournament.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 22, 2019
Overall: A little anticlimactic compared to last year’s final but it was still enjoyable for the most part. I at least had a MOTYC or my final block match with Mayu and Momo, so I’m very content with that. It looks like I won twice in a row during our Stardom predictions with myself and Andrew, now to hopefully go for three next year. A fun tournament but now I’m intrigued to see where the stories go from here.
Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
Least Favorite Match: Tam Nakano vs. Saki Kashima