The last two years Mathew and I have covered one half of the 5Star Grand Prix. He’s also had the winner come from his block the last two years. So people who have been following Stardom coverage here should know to expect it; as well as, knowing I need to get a winner dammit! If YOSHI-HASHI can win a title in 2020, I can get the winner coming from my block!
So we should all know my favorite to win the block, Tam Nakano! The most kawaii in the cosmos has had a special place in my heart for a while. Aside from Tam, I suppose Konami or Giulia might have a shot at winning the whole thing.
But we root for Tam in this house! Now let’s see how the first day goes!
- Starlight Kid vs Death Yama-san: Kid wins via Yoshi Tonic – **
- Saya Kamitani vs Konami: Konami wins via Triangle Armbar – ** ½
- Himeka vs Tam Nakano: Himeka wins via Running Powerbomb – ***
- Giulia vs Mayu Iwatani: Giulia wins via Glorious Driver – *** ½
Starlight Kid vs Death Yama-san
So any real context for newer fans, there isn’t much. This is more of a generational battle since Yama has been on the verge of retirement (I think even retiring once a few years ago), but found a new lease on gimmick life with DEATH. Starlight is athletic, cute, and bubbly with a very bright future. She’s just on the younger side, so she hasn’t received a huge push since normally the girls who are still school age aren’t pushed too far. Since she recently graduated high school, we could see Starlight in line for some big things.
This went how you’d expect from two lower card wrestlers, but one on the rise. There was a fun locomotion cradle spot, and a few quick reversals, but Death is too much gimmick to really be expected to win much. Kid got control after Death ran into her foot a few times, Tiger Feint from Kid and Kid delivers a Yoshi Tonic for the victory.
Saya Kamitani vs Konami
Recent drama between these two comes from the fact that Saya and Utami beat Kyona and Konami for the vacant tag team titles recently. So there’s a little bit of a revenge story for Konami or Saya could establish some momentum. Simple little story, but for a tournament, it’s adequate.
We see a solid bit of back and forth. Konami is the mat technician of Stardom, so she was aiming to catch Saya, but Saya is a little smart to her ways. Saya tried to keep her space with some well-placed knees and decent striking, but Konami kept searching for the submission. Saya tried one of her own, but the attempted Muta Lock looked awkward to say it nicely. Konami did say she was aiming for Saya’s neck, and managed to get the submission with a Triangle Armbar.
This match was a good reminder that Konami was trained by Kana (WWE Asuka), since her offense is almost identical (meant as a compliment).
Himeka vs Tam Nakano
There’s no real backstory here. Tam and Giulia (leader of Donna del Mondo) have had their issues, but it hasn’t really bled through the whole faction. Himeka and Tam actually start the match off with a hand shake and playful smiles.
We actually saw a solid in-ring story here. Himeka attacked Tam’s back with submissions, power moves and strikes focused on crippling the cutest in the universe. Whereas Tam went after Himeka’s legs and arms with her potent kicks, to try and take some power out of the Jumbo Princess. Part of the beauty in Tam’s wrestling is her selling. As she tried to matrix out of a pin cover or even hold the bridge on her Tiger Suplex, she crumpled selling the back.
As a testament to Tam’s resolve, she refused to tap out during the Torture Rack. Tam had a small flurry which gave her a near fall after the Idol Knee, but Himeka’s power and Tam’s injured back, just made it too hard to come back. Sure, there was one sloppy part with Tam countering a Powerbomb attempt with a Frankensteiner that just looked rough…but aside from the one bad spot, everything else in the match was solid.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) August 10, 2020
Tam lost, so I’m not happy, but Himeka held her own and it was pretty solid.
Giulia vs Mayu Iwatani
Giulia is the recently crowned Wonder of Stardom champion, and Mayu is the current World of Stardom champion, as well as the Icon. So this feels more like the established main eventer against a new young starlet. Will the red or white belt champion be first on the board?
Mayu’s right shoulder was taped pretty heavily and Giulia went right after the tape. Cobra Twists, Arm Breakers, just a really malicious gameplan from the exotic leader of Donna del Mondo. Mayu did fight back with a lot of her classic moves. Running Three, Frog Splash, Dragon Suplex, but nothing seemed to sting as much as whatever Giulia put together. Mayu had to find a few ways to position for rope breaks, just never seeming like she had a chance to get any real momentum.
Giulia hit the Glorious Driver, shook her head, stood back up and did it again. Giulia seemed surprised she won, but it was a solid gameplan, in a match that nearly went the full 20 minute limitation.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) August 8, 2020
Overall Score: 6.75/10
When it comes down to Day 1 tournament matches, this was a pretty solid show. We had two matches that were fairly entertaining, and even if I don’t like Giulia or the fact Tam lost, I can’t deny decent outings. Not a ton of big storylines to look out for since it’s only the first day, but at least it was a fun start.
Tam and Mayu starting out with losses lends you to believe they will pick up points fairly soon and we’ll get a close block. Now let’s check out the current points standings and get ready for the next day of matches!
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/18/21)
Will Raw be on fire tonight?
Will Alexa Bliss have a twisted surprise for the Raw Women’s Champion?
She gave Randy Orton a taste of his own medicine, but she might be hungry for something more! Will Alexa be ready for Asuka and earn herself a shot at the title?
- Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce; wins.
- Six Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Matt Riddle & The Lucha House Party; win(s).
- Asuka VS Alexa Bliss; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
“Now is the time.”
Martin Luther King Jr’s dream lives on, but only if we live it. Do not judge by the color of one’s skin, but by the content of their character. We will reach the promised land together. #LongLiveTheDream.
Randy Orton speaks.
“There is a saying that people who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes. Ashes of the one responsible for their affliction.” Orton wears a mask to cover his burned face. “The voices in my head have never been louder. Encapsulating my every thought, just like this mask encapsulates my face.” Orton held Alexa Bliss’ fate in his hands, yet showed a side of himself he didn’t know he had: compassion. Orton rewatches the footage for himself. The hatred he had for himself needed to be redirected, and he was ready to make Triple H “like a lamb to the slaughter, until she interrupted.”
It was only just last week that HHH was shockingly spirited away so that Alexa could throw a literal FIREBALL at Orton! “And now look at me. LOOK AT ME! This is the damnation I receive for showing compassion? I haven’t been able to sleep because every time I close my eyes, all I see is that ball of fire hurtling towards my face.” Orton seethes as he says “that inescapable feeling of the fire burning my flesh will never go away.” Whatever compassion was in him, it left with that inferno. Orton wears this mask to not only protect himself, but to shield everyone else from the horrors that he endured.
Orton watches himself from last week flail and writhe as he clutched his face in pain. “Despite the agony I felt that would mortify a lesser man, I consider myself… lucky.” Orton came away with just first degree burns and not much worse. He could’ve been disfigured forever! But Orton doesn’t blame Alexa. He blames THE FIEND! Orton already sent him straight to Hell. “There’s no doubt The Fiend is responsible for this. Alexa was merely the vehicle. And I know exactly what The Fiend wants. He wants to stop me from achieving the inevitable.” That is to say, winning the Royal Rumble again, going back to WrestleMania, and becoming a world champion.
Orton is sure everyone else in the locker room loved seeing his face burn, “knowing that their biggest threat may have just been eliminated from competing in the Royal Rumble match. But you could chop off all my limbs and it wouldn’t stop me from winning this year’s Royal Rumble match. Because despite my sickening affliction, I vow to remain in the Royal Rumble match. I can only compete as long as I can tolerate the pain, but the funny thing is… I enjoy the pain. It fuels my every move.” Orton has a match! Orton wants everyone to thank The Fiend when he burns their dreams to ashes and goes on to main event WrestleMania! He lights the match, watches it burn, then blows it out. Will this new, even darker Orton extinguish 29 other lights before going back to the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Ric Flair arrives at the ThunderDome, with Lacey Evans!
Lacey wants to hear some Four Horsemen stories but Charly Caruso comes over to ask about this “relationship” first. Lacey says that’s so nasty. This isn’t TMZ. This is beneath Charly! Charly is compelled to ask because Ric helped Lacey beat Charlotte Flair, his own daughter! Lacey says to show respect to the 16-time world champion, and a living legend. But to answer the question, there’s a reason Ric is the Dirtiest Player in the Game. He was just living up to that name. As far as the relationship goes, Lacey is simply learning from the greatest man to ever step in the ring. Now, they are going to go watch Peyton Royce knock the nasty Queen of her throne.
Charlotte Flair VS Peyton Royce!
But speaking of dirty, Peyton attacks Charlotte from behind at the ramp! They brawl, referees hurry to separate them but this match is going to happen, after the break!
Raw returns and the bell rings and Charlotte tackles Peyton to a corner! Then stomps away on her! The ref backs Charlotte off but she goes right back for more! She RAMS Peyton, RAMS her again, but Peyton sends Charlotte into buckles to fire stomps back! The ref counts, Peyton stops at 3 and brings Charlotte out to hammer away. Charlotte trips Peyton, gives some ground ‘n’ pound, then tackles her to ropes! They spill out of the ring and Charlotte CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Charlotte puts Peyton in but Peyton rolls out the far side. Charlotte pursues but Peyton kicks back, only for Charlotte to CLUB her, and bounce her off the desk!
Charlotte stalks Peyton around the way, they go back in the ring, then back out the ramp side. Another CHOP, CHOP and CHOP into the post! Peyton shoves Charlotte into the post, then into the ring! Cover, TWO! Charlotte is still in this but Peyton drags her around to drop elbows. Peyton puts on a thrashing chinlock but Charlotte endures. Charlotte fights up, arm-drags free, and CLOBBERS Peyton! Charlotte looms over Peyton, drags her up and bounces her off buckles. Charlotte bends Peyton against ropes, lets go at 3, and brings Peyton around for another buckle bump! Peyton dodges, Charlotte hits buckles, and Peyton throws Charlotte down by her hair! Cover, TWO!
Peyton is frustrated but she kicks Charlotte down and around. She pushes Charlotte to ropes, bumps her off buckles in return, then digs her boot into Charlotte’s face! The ref counts, Peyton lets off and bumps Charlotte off more buckles. Peyton whips corner to corner, Charlotte goes up and out to shoulder back in! Slingshot and roll up, TWO, but Charlotte ROCKS Peyton with a right! Charlotte blocks boots, has Peyton in the ropes, DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! But now Ric makes his entrance?! Ric swaggers on stage and Charlotte is annoyed, because here comes Lacey in one of Ric’s robes!
Charlotte is confused as ever, but Peyton catches her with the HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Peyton is furious that Charlotte survives and Raw goes to break.
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Hard to Kill Results & Match Ratings: 1.16.21
Three title matches, the return of Decay, Barbed Wire Massacre and a main event with Kenny Omega. Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill definitely sounds like it’s got a little bit of everything. Check out how it went!
So the news that made many people cry a few days ago, was that Alex Shelley would be out of the main event. He went out of his way to film a response/promo/apology so fans knew it was something non-pandemic related, so that was an effort that wasn’t necessary, though appreciated.
Aside from losing it’s “Dream Match” luster, we get Moose as a replacement, which could really work for the cold calculated persona he’s taken on after his EC3 encounter. We also get to crown Knockouts Tag Team champions for the first time in seven and a half years. Let’s also not forget, this could end up being Taya’s swan song from Impact, so we should expect a good match but no Wera Loca victory.
Let’s see if we get any surprises!
- Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb: Steve wins via King Kill 33 @8:55 – * ½
- Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake: EY wins via Piledriver @9:55 – ** ½
- Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok: Kiera wins via Face the Music @8:40 – *** – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona: Cardona wins via DQ @2:30 – N/A
- X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey: Manik retains via Ole Cradle @13:50 – *** ½
- Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay: Deonna retains via Venus de Milo @11:40 – *** ¼
- Ethan Page vs The Karate Man: Karate Man WINS…Fatality – 200 Stars
- Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards: Eddie wins via Diehard Flowsion @18:50 – *** ¾
- Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows: Kenny Omega wins via One Winged Angel @20:30 – ****
During the last few moments of the Countdown, Madison Rayne officially retired from wrestling and from Impact Wrestling. Not sure how long she’ll stay a house wife, but good for her. She did great to actually prove to people she was a decent wrestler since her run during the WOH tournament, she was a fun commentator, so good for her.
Decay (Rosemary & Crazzy Steve) vs Tenille Dashwood & Kaleb
The weird thing about this match was the dynamic between who was involved and what went on. Crazzy Steve showed a very high work rate in this match, with his strikes and moves looking fantastic. But Rosemary got exposed a bit on still being less than 100% with the knee and generally sloppy on a lot of spots.
Kaleb and Tenille definitely tried to add comedy and their quirky personalities, but the fact that we saw a lot of sloppiness, Steve working his ass off and just comedy spots or gimmick spots too often; this was a giant mess of a match. It also didn’t help that D’lo and Striker are still getting used to each other, so the announcing was distractingly bad.
It can only get better from here!
Old School Rules Match: Violent by Design (Joe Doering, Eric Young & Deaner) vs Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Cousin Jake
This starts the same way every Tommy Dreamer match starts, with a brawl and weapon use. This wasn’t a terrible match, but it’s really not anything worth going deeply in to. EY did the flair corner to top rope spot, which ended with Dreamer hitting him with a cookie sheet. We had a Tower spot in the corner, with Joe Powerbombing a Suplex, and it landed right into Dreamer’s face.
Doering got to look like a beast when the entire team took the chairs to him, and he still fought back, ending up in control. Dreamer introduced tacks, then we saw the Signature/Finisher spam which ends with EY breaking up the pinfall and hitting Cousin Jake with the Piledriver.
Again, decent enough, but nothing really special.
Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok
Oh, Brian Hebner is back for this match. Slightly surprising.
Kiera and Tasha try to start fast, but the bigger women over power the smaller team and throw them around a little bit. Havok beats up on both of them, Neavaeh comes in to keep up the momentum, but eventually Tasha and Kiera start making a comeback. We see Fire and Flava go for a lot of quick spots, fast tags and trying to spin around the larger women, but they just get taken for a ride more often than not.
It’s not until Kiera hits a High Round Kick, followed by Tasha with the Springboard Neckbreaker actually takes Havok off her feet. Nevaeh tries to make a save and get things back on track, but Tasha picks her leg, Havok gets wiped out after a great Super Kick from Kiera, Tasha and Kiera use some tandem attacks on Nevaeh, then Tasha slows down Havok as Kiera hits Face the Music and we have new Knockouts Tag Team Champions!
Ace Austin comes out to declare himself into the X Division Triple Threat to make it a 4 way! D’Amore comes out, says he can have a match, just not the title match. Matt Cardona comes out.
Ace Austin w/Madman Fulton vs Matt Cardona
Ace tries to go at Cardona before the ring jacket is off, but Cardona absorbs some offense and then fires back a bit. Fulton gets in the way quite often during this match, so the finish is a little telegraphed. But right as Cardona starts building momentum; Fulton slides in to cause the DQ.
Decent enough way to protect Ace and give Cardona quick win.
X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey
Rohit went after Manik to try and prove his point that it’s TJP. Bey seemed dead set on finding a way to win, and as we expected in an X Division match; there were a lot of spots, but they all made sense. Rohit does manage to take off the mask, but TJP painted his face under the mask, so it still throws off Rohit. TJP strings together a few moves, goes for the Mamba Splash, but gets caught by Bey with a Cutter. Bey then hits a Double Art of Finesse, but his brief moment of not knowing who to pin, caused the pinfall breakup.
Rohit almost won the title back after his call back to hitting his Tiger Knee after a Mamba Splash but Bey kicked out. Haymakers get thrown, Rohit hits the Dragon Stomp on Bey, and looks to finish things, but TJP slides in for the style of Cradle he’s used a bit lately, and retains his title after a fun, hard fought match.
Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay
Early on all of the seconds get kicked out, with the beauty of the situation being that Susan pulls out her phone and says she’s filming the whole thing. So Susan, really may be a middle aged transformation of Su Yung. Susan might as well be named Karen.
EVERYBODY has been ejected from ringside.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
As we focus on the actual match, Deonna starts slowly picking apart Taya. Going after her left arm, then her left knee and just trying to apply submission and weaken different limbs. Taya was able to push back and have her own submission attempt moment. Taya went for an STF, but the submission game isn’t her wheelhouse.
Deonna was able to pick her apart, counter a pinfall attempt and keep Taya grounded long enough to work in some holds. The normal Fujiwara didn’t get her submit, so Venus de Milo followed up and Taya verbally submitted.
Ethan Page vs The Karate Man
Since this is cinematic or at least green screen, I won’t rate this as a real match. But it was amazingly entertaining. Dragon Ball Z references, Karate Kid, and Mortal Kombat references, it was just amazing.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
Interesting pacing to get across the familiarity, twisted respect and love for punishment between these two. We saw Barbed Wire Tables, Chairs, Baseball Bats, Kendo Sticks and even an…N64 Controller!
Sami took a ton of punishment, but the story was basically playing with Eddie’s emotions to bait him into bad dives, and openings for Sami to move out of the way, or sneak in a barbed wire shot. Eddie hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on a barbed wire chair, Sami hit an Avalanche Piledriver through a barbed wire table, but none of this was enough. If anything, the Piledriver just pissed Eddie off.
Going for the callback that started it all, Sami tries to hit a Barbed Wire Chair into Eddie’s face with a Barbed Wire Bat, but Eddie hits a low blow to get a moment. Sami tries to bring himself up with a chair, Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party, then the Diehard Flowsion for the win!
Eddie hasn’t hit that Flowsion in a long time. I did appreciate Sami paying homage to Cactus Jack and Striker acknowledging Jun Akiyama and Mitsuharu Misawa on commentary though.
Moose, Rich Swann &Chris Sabin vs Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows
The early onset is interesting. Karl Anderson and Chris Sabin start off and there’s some solid technical counter wrestling, and it’s fast paced action. Moose and Gallows come in to do a big boy showdown which worked fairly well, where Swann and Omega had a brief lockup before the Brothers come in to start heeling it up.
We get a lot of Japanese tag stylings, from the triple team that Team Impact pulls off, to the way the Club breaks up any type of momentum with their own train attacks into the corner. Moose looked amazing in this match. He went toe to toe with everyone, pulled off great moves like a Standing Moonsault, leaped to the top rope for a Spanish Fly and was a really good teammate, regardless of his issues with Rich Swann. Hell Swann and Moose even hit a Doomsday Device variant together. Small aside, I did like seeing Chris Sabin pull off Cradle Shock, which just doesn’t happen often enough anymore.
Omega almost has the match one on Rich, but the only one able to break it up was Moose, and he did so. Omega went into V-Trigger spamming mode to wipe out Moose, rock Rich and then a One Winged Angel won the match for the Bullet Club former members.
Overall Score: 6.75/10
Well this started off pretty bad, but at least it built upwards. The main even had a lot of fun wrinkles which increased the storytelling, psychology and overall enjoyment of the show. Hell even when Callis nearly jumped into the ring to break up a pin on Kenny was a good little nugget.
As I said in the weekly coverage, this is probably Taya’s final match, or at least one of the last, especially since they logically moved Rosemary back to Decay with Crazzy Steve. Eddie and Sami had a hell of blood feud and it was nearly cathartic. Let’s also not overlook the fact that Tasha and Kiera actually won the Knockouts Tag titles. I almost thought they wouldn’t win just because they are so charismatic and attractive without the titles, where Havok and Nevaeh don’t exactly have electric personalities. But I’m ecstatic that Kiera finally has a title in Impact!
With the pretty awful start for the wrestling and the commentary, which put the show behind the eight ball; but it did recover fairly well. Not nearly as good as Genesis, but it managed to keep the stories rolling and end on an interesting note. A pretty good show after all was said and done.
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