It’s been some time since I’ve last written something for the website, especially for Stardom but now, we’re back! I said I’d be back for Stardom’s 5Star Grand Prix and here we are. I’ll admit, it’s been months since I’ve last watched Stardom since Kagetsu left but I have been keep track of everything still for when I was ready to jump back in and this seems like the right time to start back up.
Last year, I’ve covered Red Stars while Andrew did Blue and now we’ll be switching it up as I’ll be covering Blue Stars. We have a great line-up and excited to see how things have been for Stardom. Who will be 2020’s Grand Prix winner?
We’ll take that first step as we…dive right in.
- Red Stars: Giulia
- Blue Stars: Jungle Kyona
- Winner: Jungle Kyona
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 Blue Stars Match
AZM vs. Saya Iida
Review: Our first match in the Grand Prix for my block is Saya Iida taking on the new High Speed Champion, AZM. Originally, Saki Kashima was supposed to be apart of this tournament but was pulled due to poor health and was replaced by Saya Iida. AZM had her Grand Prix debut last year and did well as she hopes to do better this time around. Will AZM get her win in the first round or Saya wins in her Grand Prix debut match?
Saya has been improving in the ring from the last time I’ve watched her perform and I can see why she was considered as a back-up, she can be considered a threat in the upcoming years if she sticks around. AZM is a perfect first opponent for her to start off with someone simple but a well-season person in Stardom. AZM having her first singles title in Stardom helped give her more of that credibility as a singles star, and she’s still young to top it off, so she still has plenty of time to grow and eventually be a top star here. The match itself was standard to kick things off as it did enough for the both of them but was still missing that little thing to really impress the crowd if they wanted to.
Beautiful Dropkicks by Saya during her little comeback and hypes herself up before applying the Boston Crab with a nice arch done to AZM. It wasn’t enough to make the champ tap but Saya pulled her in the middle of the ring as AZM slides under to roll her up for the quick pin and kickout. A lot of back and forth between the two but Saya hulks up and hits a Missle Dropkick and a Northern Lights Suplex but AZM kicked out at two! This is where the match loses points as the ending of in starts to get sloppy with Saya trying to do a quick pin with a bridge but AZM had her shoulders up while the referee was still counting. Also, it seemed like Saya lost direction when AZM was trying to set her up for the finish that she had to turn her around to make her face the right away while applying the La Mistica as Saya tapped out, giving AZM the win.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
5Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Momo Watanabe vs. Maika
Review: Time for our second match as Momo Watanabe takes on the current Future of Stardom Champion and one-third of the Artists of Stardom Champions, Maika. These two are no strangers to each other as the two had a match on July 26th and Momo was able to defeat her. Maika now has a chance to try and redeem that loss in the tournament. Will Maika beat Momo for revenge or will Momo put her back in her place like last time?
Soon as the bell would ring, Maika would charge towards Momo and begin stomping her down into the corner. I’ve followed Maika since her JTO days and glad to see she was able to showcase her stuff more here in Stardom for the world to see since she can go far. Maika was ruthless during the match here since you can tell there’s some pent-up aggression towards Momo from losing to her and wants to show she’s different this time around. Momo is still no slouch, however, as she does her best to show why she was considered their ace before Bushiroad took over. Like the heat Maika gets taking control for the first half of the match and wants to take down her opponent as much as she can to help secure that victory.
Maika hits Momo with a modified Uranagi and Momo kicked out at two. Maika decides to go to the top rope but Momo follows her to try and fight her off and then fails once Maika lifts her off the ground to apply a Sleeper Hold from the top and let’s go of her. Maika went for the Sleeper again as Momo made her way to the ropes to break it off. Momo had a small momentum boost when she roundhouses her on the side of the head but Maika catches her one more time for a modified Cobra Clutch and has it locked in tight. Momo does her best to fight it off but Maika swings her around to try and make her pass out as Momo couldn’t handle it anymore and taps out, giving Maika the victory! Love the intensity from Maika in this match and was much needed.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
5Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Syuri vs. Natsuko Tora
Review: We’re halfway done with day one as we have the new leader of Oedo Tai, Natsuko Tora taking on another one-third of the Artists of Stardom Champions, Syuri. Syuri is also the current number one contender for Mayu Iwatani’s World of Stardom Championship at a later date but she’s using this to give her that extra boost to show she can be a credible threat to Mayu. Natsuko and Oedo Tai have lost a lot of momentum once Kagetsu retired and she could use winning this tournament to build up credit again. Which one of these two will win?
Natsuko would attack Syuri before the bell and the match begins, thinking Natsuko was getting the upper hand with that little sneak attack but nope, Syuri was able to turn it around and hits a knee to her face on the outside. Been some time since I’ve seen Syuri in Stardom and glad she’s coming back after her last appearance six years ago. For Natsuko, not sure how I feel about her being leadership material still but it might change during the tournament or just down the road. Match itself was still solid with Syuri being able to showcase a lot more here to show the fans what to expect when she soon faces Mayu one on one.
Syuri attempts a Roundhouse Kick but Natsuko blocks it to hit a Lariat to stop the momentum. Natsuko gets onto the attack more and hits her Spinning Side Slam as Syuri still kicked out at two. Natsuko slammed her near the corner as she makes her way up to the top rope to hit a Frog Splash as Syuri kicks out again! Natsuko gets fed up and grabs her chain to wrap around her leg, poorly mind you, and attempts a Leg Drop with the chain as Syuri moved out of the way. Syuri has her right where she wants her as she kicks her head in a few times along with a PK on top of it. Natsuko would kick out at two but Syuri delivers another knee to the face and one more Roundhouse Kick for good measure, and good night, Natsuko as Syuri pinned her for the victory.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
5Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Jungle Kyona vs. Utami Hayashishita
Review: Our final block match for the first day takes place between Jungle Kyona and Utami Hayashishita. This is the third year in a row where the two have fought each other in this tournament and they can’t seem to get away from each other. The first time they fought, it went to a time limit draw but the second time, Utami was able to defeat her. During their singles matches, Jungle was never able to defeat the Super Rookie and she looks to try and do that for round four in their series of singles matches. Will Jungle be able to defeat Utami this time or does Utami score another win over her?
Fairly even start between these two and should be that way given the history between them and with how well-established they are on top of that. The chemistry these two have can be rather odd at times and not in a bad way since it does seem to work but at the same time, it shouldn’t if that makes sense? Like, it seems like they don’t fully click but are also able to make it work, it’s weird. The two are now outside as Utami applies the Torture Rack to do some damage to her back until Jungle was able to fight off of her and hits a Powerbomb onto the ring apron.
Utami has the Sleeper locked in and it seems Jungle has nowhere to go as she’s struggling to hold on but Jungle slowly rises up and falls backward to make her break the hold. The two are on the top turnbuckle fighting each other until Utami lifts her onto her shoulders but Jungle fights off of her and hits an Exploder Suplex off the ropes! Jungle hits a Lariat and climbs to the top rope to hit a Splash as Utami kicked out at two. Jungle looks to end it as she hits the Jungle Bomb and pins her as Utami kicked out again! Utami looks to hit the Kryptonite Krunch but Jungle caught her arm to stop her as she pulls it back, looking for a submission but Utami lifted her up and hits the Krunch for a two count. Utami picks her up for a Torture Rack and turns it into a Powerbomb to pin her but now Jungle kicks out! Utami has had enough and pulls shades of Kurt Angle with three German Suplexes in a row and uses the last one to pin her, securing the victory and defeating Jungle once again.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Overall: Solid first day, nothing spectacular but these things happen on the first days of these tournaments. Still, a lot of fun and good to be watching them again and see where this goes.
Favorite Match: Jungle Kyona vs. Utami Hayashishita
Least Favorite Match: AZM vs. Saya Iida
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