The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived as we are now on the final day of Stardom’s 5Star Grand Prix. We’re excited to bring this to a close as it is a very busy tournament month and we’ll also be covering the final match with our last block matches. My block has only three people who can advance to the final and very exciting stuff.
Remember to check out how the Red Stars representative made it to the Finals as well!
Who will advance to the final? Who will win!?
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 Blue Stars Match
Syuri vs. Maika
Review: We have two people that are a match behind, so that will start first before the last block matches begin and those two are Syuri and Maika. Maika is in second place and she would need to win both her matches but for better chances, she would need to beat her partner and hope Syuri beats Utami later. Syuri needs to win two matches to advance and a win here would solidify that. Which one will be one step closer?
Before the match begins, we get a little handshake between the two DDM members, and the two begin to lock up. Syuri had the first advantage after the small chain sequence and Syuri would start off by taking control after. Syuri is the more well-rounded wrestler out of the whole group, which makes sense since she has more experiences compared to everyone else and does her best to make Maika look good in the process. Beautiful knee to Maika’s face when she was sitting down by the ropes and gives her a Penalty kick to top it off and has some of the best kicks in Stardom, I wish Arisa was still around for the two to have a singles match. How great would that have been.
Maika was able to judo throw Syuri down to the mat when she found an opening and tries to take control of the match. Syuri quickly turned it into an Armbar and would try to make her tap but fails as Syuri would hit a running knee instead as Maika kicked out at two. Syuri has a modified Single Leg Crab locked in while having Maika’s arm in a hammerlock type position, trying to inflict pain in both parts of her body as Maika grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Syuri would land a couple of stiff kicks to her chest and it looked like she was going for the Buzzsaw as Maika caught her leg and went to hit it but Syuri pulled her leg back and kicked her again. The two punched each others chest back and forth with Maika getting more aggressive with it, making it look like she won that fight and ran the ropes, only to be met with Syuri’s knee to the midsection. Syuri would land a kick to her face a couple of times and has Maika down for now. Syuri kept kicking her chest and Maika doesn’t quit as she punches Syuri, attempts the Lariat but Syuri ducked and catches her for a German Suplex as Maika kicked out. Maika had a shred of hope as she hits Syuri with the Spinebuster as Syuri kicked out! Maika attempts to choke her out with the Rear Naked Choke but fails to as she would now attempt a straight jacket position but Syuri fought her off and hits the Buzzsaw Kick, giving herself the victory she needs. Both are still in the race for the time being.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
AZM vs. Maika
Review: We start our official matches are we have AZM taking out Maika. Maika recently lost to Syuri, so she would have to win right here to save her chances of winning. AZM is already out but she could play a spoiler here to take her out completely. Will Maika stay in the race or is this it for her?
Nothing like a little flash pin sequence to start your AZM match, which she would, of course, fail to pin her. It looks like AZM is going try to go for her arm to try and make her tap, which is a good strategy since her body is probably weak from her match with Syuri and those kicks. AZM had her in a Fujiwara Armbar but Maika got to the rope. Maika would now try to make her tap with a Boston Crab to work on her back as AZM would get to the ropes now. I dig their chemistry, it’s quick, smooth, and wouldn’t mind more matches with them in the future.
AZM was on the top rope and would apply her Tornado Armlock, which I am calling that now since I’m not sure what she calls it herself. She has both of her arms locked in, trying to make her tap while Maika was struggling to get to the ropes with her feet, which AZM tries to stop her by pulling her leg and fails as Maika reaches to rope in time. AZM hits a Double Stomp from the top rope as Maika kicked out at two and would quickly apply the La Mistica, which Maika grabbed the ropes right away before she could do any damage. AZM ran towards her only to be caught for a Spinebuster as AZM kicked out at two. Maika attempts the Brainbuster but AZM catches her for the Guillotine and attempts to choke the life out of her! Maika was motionless for a brief moment but she powered out of it to hit the Brainbuster, only to get a two count. Maika calls for the finish as she attempts the Maika Cutter but AZM rolled over her to do her flash pin, the Azumi Sushi as she gets the victory over Maika! This loss means that Maika is now eliminated!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Natsuko Tora vs. Saya Iida
Review: Our next match is between Saya Iida and Natsuko Tora. Saya is the only one who doesn’t have a win under her belt and she looks to end her Prix run with a victory under her belt. Will Saya get a win finally?
Saya wasted no time as she gets into the ring and quickly rushed behind Natsuko to hit her with the Dropkick and would assault her into the corner as the match has officially started. That was the only good thing that happened in this match as this one was the worst one of my block. Whatever Saya did in this match whether it was a quick pin, her failed attempt at a Splash from the top rope where she slipped, or just a slam, it was just a mess on Saya’s part. Natsuko tried her best in the match and not even she was able to make it look good except her Lariat which always looks nice.
Saki distracts the referee, making Oedo Tai come in to attack Saya, and what’s this? Bea Priestley has made her return to Stardom and has hit Saya with the Bea Trigger! Bea kept attacking Saya with Natsuko coming in with the chain, and the referee doesn’t stop them as he sees them clear as day. Natsuko would wrap her chain around Saya’s neck and hangs her over the ropes as the referee calls for the bell and is disqualified. Saya’s only win in the tournament and it was done poorly and Bea’s return was wasted on this match. Happy to see her back but not for this match.
Rating: Vince Russo and a half
5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Momo Watanabe vs. Jungle Kyona
Review: We’re past the halfway point now as we have Momo Watanabe taking on Jungle Kyona. It’s a shame both of these women are out because they could’ve been great finalists but it seems like Stardom will have other plans for them. Even if they can’t advance, we can still get a great match out of it. Which one of them will win?
These two start off hot with the two trying to pin each other quickly and the two were just going back and forth in the match. If these two didn’t have low scores and were already eliminated, this would’ve been the match to try and decide who could go to the finals and that would’ve been great. The two are now fighting on the apron with them punching each other but Momo would catch her for the Package Driver, hitting it on the apron and Jungle is out.
Momo gets her back in the ring and climbs to the top rope as she almost slipped hitting the Somato as Jungle kicked out at two. Momo would attempt the Crossface Chickenwing and Jungle fights out of it but Momo would catch her arms to go for the Tequila Sunrise as Jungle broke off and hits a Lariat. Jungle would hit a few more to get her down and she climbs to the top rope, hitting the Jungle Splash and looks like this could be it but Oedo Tai pulled the referee out of the ring, storming in to attack them both to make it a no contest. Why couldn’t you just save the Bea return for this match instead of using it for the last match? This would’ve been a lot better if it was saved for this match. After the match, Jungle and Natsuko hyped up their big tag match in ten days and Momo would challenge Bea to a singles match soon.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Syuri vs. Utami Hayashishita
Review: We’ve finally arrived at the final match of my block as it’s between Syuri and Utami Hayashishita. These are the only two that can advance to the final and we get to see who tasks on the Red Stars Block winner. Syuri already has a title match booked but winning the block and tournament will be a big momentum booster for her. Who will advance to the final?
Looks like Syuri is well-rested as she had over an hour to recover after the opening match. The two locked up and we get a small chain sequence and much like the first match, Syuri had the first control of the match. Syuri would have a different strategy in this match when she would work on Utami’s arms since that would get rid of her arsenal since most of them involve her arms. The match is slowly paced and I mean it in a good way because it doesn’t drag at all while the two of them were nicely balanced to make things even between them. Utami gets small wind of a comeback as she choked Syuri with the Rear Naked Choke and Syuri got to the ropes. Utami picked her up before running to the ropes as Syuri would hit her with a knee onto the ropes and hits a German Suplex, making Utami get up quick and hits her with a Lariat. Utami attempts the Torture Rack Bomb as Syuri fought off her and goes for the Powerbomb but Utami got her over to hit the Kryptonite Krunch, and Syuri got up quickly to hit a running knee and both women go down.
The two finally got up on their feet and would punch each other back and forth until Syuri attempts a kick, making Utami punch her leg down and hits a Lariat as the two go down again. Utami was able to lift Syuri for the German Suplex hold as Syuri kicked out at two. Utami would pick her up to apply the Torture Rack but Syuri rolled off to apply a modified Fujiwara Armbar and turned it into an Armlock as she has it locked in but Utami finally got to the ropes, fighting off the pain. Syuri was able to hit the Buzzsaw Kick and it looks like it’s over but Utami kicked out at two! Syuri wasted no time and would run the ropes to hit the Running Knee Strike and pins Utami again as she kicked out again! Utami slowly got to her hands and knees as Syuri kicked her face in to knock her down but Utami grabbed the ropes before getting the three count. Syuri calls for the finish and runs the ropes but Utami pulled her in to hit a German Suplex as the two do down and we have a couple of minutes left! Utami got Syuri up and finally hits the Torture Rack Bomb and this could be it but Syuri grabbed the ropes before the three count as well! The two are punching each other until Syuri got up to hit another Buzzsaw kick, she’s done but Utami kicked out again! Utami flipped Syuri over and applies the Rear Naked Choke, looking to get the submission victory as she’s forced to let go when Syuri turned it into a pin. Utami quickly picked her up for the Torture Rack and the bell rang once she hits the Torture Rack Bomb, making it a no-contest with one point each, making Utami the winner of the Blue Stars Block with ten points! What an incredible match, best for my block!
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
5 Star Grand Prix Final Match
Utami Hayashishita vs. Himeka
Review: Utami may have advanced to the final due to a time limit draw but she has no time to rest as it starts right now as she faces the winner of the Red Stars Block, Himeka. Himeka was a lot like Utami where a rookie advances to the final on the first try and she looks to win the whole thing. This is the second time for Utami to reach the finals and she looks to win it this time around. Who will be our winner?
Poor Utami has to start the match right after that twenty-minute battle with Syuri while Himeka is just fresh and ready to go. The two charge at each other right away with shoulder tackles but Utami came out the winner of that little battle. Himeka would mostly use strikes to beat down Utami, smart thing to do since Utami’s body is already beaten and battered, so why not take advantage of that by beating it down some more to try and go for that easy victory? It looked like Himeka was gonna lift Utami up but Utami turned it into a Rear Naked Choke already, which doesn’t last long since Himeka elbows her ribs to make her let go and ran the ropes, only to be caught with a Dropkick and Utami has momentum.
Utami climbs to the ropes before a couple of throws and hits Himeka with a Missle Dropkick, showing she still has fight left in her. Utami has her set up for the Kryptonite Krunch as she slowly gets onto her knees, looking like Himeka was fighting her off for a moment but Utami got up, still holding her as she hits the move, making Himeka kick out. Utami attempts to lift her up but Himeka would try to do the same as that fails, making Utami hit her with a Lariat. Himeka quickly got up and hit Utami with one of her own and now she gets up, having them both hit each other with a Lariat as they go down. The two punch each other but Utami catches her with the Rear Naked Choke again! Himeka makes it to the ropes as Utami pulled her in to attempt the German Suplex but she fights her off and hits another Lariat. Himeka lifts Utami up for the Torture Rack and has it up for a while before turning it into a Facebuster and goes for the cover but Utami kicked out! Himeka tries to make her sit up but Utami rolled her over to choke her out as she has it locked in tight, center of the ring, will she tap!? Himeka looks like she’s out but she has life in her and Utami lets go of the hold. Utami picked her up quickly and would hit two German Suplexes in a row and goes for the cover but Himeka kicked out. Utami picked Himeka up one more time and has her up on her shoulders, hitting the Torture Rack Bomb and goes for the cover, she does it! Utami Hayashishita is the winner of the 5Star Grand Prix!
That’s right, Utami has finally done it and has won her first Grand Prix! She’s been around for two years and she’s grown so much as a competitor that I believe she’s ready to take home the gold. She won’t be next in line since Mayu is already scheduled to defend her World of Stardom Championship against Syuri and will face the winner of that match, which I have no doubt will be a classic. Congratulations to Utami, well earned!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Overall: Aside from two matches, the rest was excellent. Four great matches on my block while having some on the other side as well to make this a great final show. The right person won the tournament and thank you so much for following us during this journey as we had a lot of fun doing this. Fun tournament and looking forward to next year.
Favorite Match: Syuri vs. Utami Hayashishita
Least Favorite Match: Natsuko Tora vs. Saya Iida