Red Stars keeps rolling, this time with a Fukuoka Day & Night double header! Himeka is still setting the pace, but the Draw to Saya Kamitani has taken a little wind out of her sails. With matches against the comedic upsets of Death-Yama and the Icon of Stardom Mayu Iwatani; the Jumbo Princess may have hit a road block.
With all that said, there are still plenty of ways this block could shake out, so coming into the back half of this tournament, most of the participants are still alive for the Finals.
Let’s see if we get any shocking eliminations!
- Himeka vs Death-Yama: Himeka wins via Argentine Backbreaker @4:31 – ** ½
- Tam Nakano vs Saya Kamitani: Kamitani wins via Cradle Roll @11:06 – *** ¼
- Starlight Kid vs Giulia: Giulia via Bianca @9:27 – ** ½
- Mayu Iwatani vs Death-Yama: Mayu wins via Moonsault @4:13 – ***
- Death-Yama vs Saya Kamitani: Death wins via Roll-Up @4:36 – **
- Starlight Kid vs Konami: Konami wins via Triangle Lancer @6:31 – ** ¾
- Mayu Iwatani vs Himeka: Mayu wins via Dragon Suplex Hold @8:10 – *** ¼
9.12 Day Results:
Himeka vs Death-Yama
Our beloved Jumbo Princess faces…Death-Yama. Great, so my sadistic angel is facing the love child of Gene Simmons and a Pokemon. I hope she doesn’t fall victim to comedy like Minoru Suzuki tends to.
Himeka’s facial expressions are hilarious during this match. As soon as the bell rings, Death does her “Death Pose” to each side of the ring, Himeka just stands there, completely uninterested in playing along with the charade. Then there are a few cute comedy spots with the height difference, Death dodging back elbows and peeking out between her legs like Japanese Caddyshack.
As things continue, you can see Himeka get frustrated since this should be an easy win. Death does her running corner spot and the first counter, Himeka was selling the toss, but then on the second she resumed the “You’ve got to kidding me” posture. Before killing Death with a Shoulder Tackle during attempt number 3.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 13, 2020
Thankfully, Himeka didn’t get the random upset and still remains undefeated (with a Draw).
Tam Nakano vs Saya Kamitani
Now there’s an interesting dynamic since they aren’t in the same faction, but Tam is partially responsible for getting Saya’s foot in the door. Saya was part of the Stardom Idols group that Tam put together a few years ago, and after graduating from the Stardom dojo, found herself befriending Queen’s Quest. So it’s not quite kohai/senpai, but they do have interesting history.
This was a well wrestled match, where Tam actually took Saya’s Water Wheel Kick well and made it look decent. Saya has a height advantage, but surprisingly Tam was pretty equal in power. Tam went after her former idol group member’s left leg pretty relentlessly. Saya proved she’s pretty good at selling, and making believable comebacks while nursing an injury.
Tam focused strikes and Knee Bars on the banged up leg and looked about ready to try and put the finishing touches on the match; before Saya just grabbed her leg and arm, tucked her in and won with the flash Cradle. A quick win to finally get Saya a W, but this loss could’ve sealed the end for Tam’s hopes at the Finals.
Starlight Kid vs Giulia
Kid surprisingly tried to go toe to toe with Giulia. Anyone who follows her Twitter will see that she’s been in the gym a lot during Japanese quarantine limitations. So it appears she’s looking to test her slightly more muscular frame and see if she can go head to head against the White Belt champion.
For as decent as the striking between the two looked, the submission work was questionable. Giulia tries to lace arms or do wrap around flying armbars, but she’s never very clean with it. Many of the submissions take an extra second to reposition, or we have slight mispositioning; like towards the end when Kid was a little too far behind her after a countered Code Red, which made the leg pick look awkward.
Giulia isn’t the most veteran wrestler, Kid is still very young and the excessive down time this year could lead to clunky looking moments. I’m not going to hold it too much against them, since most of the match made sense and was enjoyable, but the missteps were obvious and a little amateurish.
Mayu Iwatani vs Death-Yama
We get double Death on the day show, since she’s behind in match count. We also get the classic Mayu pre-match promo of just being cute and adorable. She doesn’t know what city they’re in and you hear the camera man whispering “Fukuoka” – so it was just derpy, dorky and awkward…just like Mayu. It’s part of her charm.
Death comes out selling the pain from the first match, but it could’ve just been a ploy to bait in Mayu for a fast couple of pinfall attempts. She then quickly rolls out mumbling stuff and Mayu is just amused in the ring. After Death comes back in, she produces a copy of Mayu’s autobiography and starts reading it during Cobra Twists, Camel Clutches, very cartoony. She even has Mayu read an excerpt while in a Camel Clutch, and it’s about her losing a match, so once she says the words she gives Death a little glare before Death smashes her head into the mat.
The book was a prop through most of the match, Death trying to use it during a Senton, Mayu moves, grabs her book, does a perfect Moonsault onto Death with her book, and has a big smile on her face as she pins Death with the autobiography next to her.
Death’s comedy doesn’t always work, but there was something great with how Mayu played along with it.
Now on Stardom World! Mayu Iwatani battles DEATH Yama-san in Red Stars 5★STAR GP 2020 action! https://t.co/q8dHnF58vW
*All matches from the 9.12 Fukuoka daytime show are now available pic.twitter.com/Qek8CtwFY6
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 14, 2020
9.12 Night Results:
Death-Yama vs Saya Kamitani
Remember when I said the comedy doesn’t work with everyone? Scroll up about 2 centimeters if you don’t remember. This was one of them. Granted I feel it was more that Saya is still learning and coming into her own, so making her do a comedy match is a little odd.
Saya was jumpy when getting ready for spots, her Water Wheel Kick looked terrible because Death is so short, Saya tried a Muta Lock but didn’t bridge to Death’s face, so it looked odd. I will give Saya credit on the goofy nose smack spot; she let out a high pitched yelp which is different from how she normally sells, so it worked. She also pulled off a single hand back cartwheel break dancing kind of move before her Running Shooting Star, which I did like a lot. If she could figure out to how implement more of her dancing background into her offense, it might help her look more natural.
Death does take advantage of the fact the Shooting Star was a little off, so as Saya repositioned herself, Death caught her with the Roll-Up. So Death won’t be shut out this Grand Prix!
Starlight Kid vs Konami
Pre-match promos are odd here. Starlight comes off like the adorable plucky babyface she is where she says Konami has a lot of submissions, and she’s not good with dealing with those. But she’ll try her hardest for the two points! Konami on the other hand takes a page from Mayu’s book and is a bit succinct and awkward. No real animosity between the two, just stoic Konami against chipper Starlight is a dynamic even in their promos.
Not a bad match, but at this point in the tournament it’s hard to believe that Kid would defeat a superior opponent. You may say to me, “But Death just won!”, which I could believe, because she’s a comedy wrestler and they pick up random spoiler wins. Kid on the other hand, is the type of wrestler who uses these losses to build off of, to become stronger when she’s no longer in that High Speed/Future of Stardom category.
As I’ve pointed out a few times, this is really Starlight’s first real push since she was in school previously, so couldn’t get a full-fledged push. In regard to the match, it was alright, but some spots were clunky. Kid was going to attempt her Code Red, but instead of running to ropes that made Konami’s placement correct, she tried to adjust her for where she wanted to run. That’s little, but it’s also enough to take you out of a match because no one would gently move their opponent to face a different way because you can’t deliver offense from that angle.
Mayu Iwatani vs Himeka
A solid back and forth match, where Himeka was able to push her power advantage at crucial points, but it wasn’t quite enough. Himeka had Walls of Jericho, Liontamer and a Torture Rack locked in at different points, but Mayu fought out of them. Prior to the match, Himeka refereed to Mayu as a Zombie because she absorbs so much offense, but still comes back to life to win.
I bring up the pre-match comments, because that’s what does in Himeka. She knows this about Mayu, and she tried to finish things with the Inverted Michinoku Driver off the Torture Rack. Then she looks for a big Powerbomb, but the Zombie aspect of Mayu kicks in, and you can see it on Himeka’s face that she missed her opportunity.
Mayu gets the ball rolling with a Crucifix Bomb, then starts looking for the Dragon Suplex. Mayu catches Himeka with a Super Kick, which helps to weaken her for a German Suplex, followed up by a Dragon Suplex Hold for the win.
Himeka looked to be in control for a good portion, but the zombie aspect kicked in and Himeka’s undefeated streak fall to pieces.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 16, 2020
Overall Score: 7.5 + 7 = 7.25/10
Now I may have been critical about a few of the matches, but nearly all of these (except Death and Saya) were entertaining. I can enjoy something from an entertainment level and still find things to critique.
As I kind of figured, Himeka is starting to lose a little momentum after starting off 3-0-1 before this double header. Like a good portion of the current Stardom roster, Himeka, Saya, Starlight, AZM, Saya Iida, Maika and Utami are all young and early in their careers. So there’s a lot to look forward to beyond this tournament with their growth.
If we look at the Standings and where the momentum has gone, it’s very believable for this to be Konami’s block. Konami can almost afford 1 more loss. Konami has the most potential points, and faces Himeka on the final day; in what most of us will expect to be the match to decide the winner. Giulia, Mayu and Tam are mathematically still alive, but Himeka and Konami control their destinies.
Starlight Kid, Death-Yama and Saya Kamitani are mathematically eliminated as of this article.