STARDOM: 5 ★STAR GP – Review of Day 5 & 6 | Red & Blue Block 2021

Our stagnated reviews of the 5★STAR GP shows continue, as the pandemic plays havoc with yet another Japanese based tournament. Like last time, instead of doing play by plays for all the matches, we need to catch up on all of the standings and how the matches have gone thus far! So, let’s go, Days 5 & 6 of the 5★STAR GP.

5★STAR GP Unagi Sayaka vs Konami

So our first match of this review features Unagi Sayaka, sitting at four points, facing off against Konami who has none to this point. Let’s see what Unagi can do against the Submission Sniper today. Konami is absolutely no nonsense from the opening bell and I love it, slapping Unagi across the mouth when she is forced into a handshake. Focused Konami is always lethal and shouldn’t have to rely on cheap tricks and bending the rules. They really let Konami control the pacing of the match from the onset which was smart I think, given she’s got four years more experience than Unagi. Of course, she does use some cheap tricks and underhanded tactics. Such is the way of Oedo Tai. Konami controls the vast majority of the match and Unagi really does her best but just never seems to get any momentum going. It’s like each time she had some, Konami just took it right back from her. Unagi did have some big moments, and some brief sustained control, but it was all for nought as Konami locked in the Triangle Lancer and picked up the submission victory. It’s as she says, no one escapes the Triangle Lancer.

Konami – 2 points | Unagi Sayaka – 4 points

We follow up Konami’s win with…

5★STAR GP AZM (Azumi) vs Maika

We’ve got the lightning-quick youngster AZM against the powerful Maika in this one. Maika seems to understand just what AZM’s game is and she keeps the youngster grounded, unable to use her speed. Smart by Maika as few can rival AZM for speed and aerial ability in Stardom. When AZM does get some control, it’s because she used her speed to counter Maika. I noticed too that Maika’s upper back is pretty heavily taped up for the match… AZM doesn’t seem to target it at all which I expected, since her game is all about speed to create opportunities. Later stages of the match saw it be a bit more competitive with some back and forth, AZM using some submission holds on the arm of Maika. Maika does pick up the win after a hard-fought match with the Michinoku Driver II. Good match from both women, AZM really is something else in the ring. Maika’s also looking better and better each time I see her in there. Her star is trending upwards for sure.

Maika – 6 points | AZM – 2 points

I’m a little bit disappointed with how Stardom is booking AZM here, she’s a lot better than two points. But she has some really tough competition in the blue block so I guess it’s just gonna be harder to see her getting a lot of upsets.

Next up we’ve got…

5★STAR GP Starlight Kid vs Fukigen Death

We’ve got a wily veteran in Fukigen Desu (Death) against the dark tiger herself, Starlight Kid. Both are members of Oedo Tai, so let’s see what they can do against each other. Desu has no points thus far and Kid has three. I’m starting to think, as I watch this, that Desu is just there to put over the younger and future talents in this tournament. Kid got the better of most of the exchanges and was able to counter Fukigen several times. Kid’s got one of the prettiest looking standing moonsaults I have ever seen, if you’ve never seen her hit it then youtube it. Death really bruised up Kid’s midsection in this match too, she’s got a massive one on her right side and a smaller one on the left. Kid hits a -beautiful- and perfect moonsault (Eat your heart out Charlotte Flair, that’s how it is done) and picks up the win. She once again masks her opponent and makes the throat slice motion, making me wonder if she’s doing this to her own teammates then what will she do to someone, not in Oedo Tai… Anyway, good win for Kid.

Starlight Kid – 5 points | Fukigen Death – 0 points

We’re gonna keep chugging along folks. Up next we have…

5★STAR GP Saya Kamitani vs Konami

We saw Konami pick up her first win in her last match and Saya took a tough loss. Does Saya have what it takes to beat out the Submission Sniper? Time will tell. Side note… Purple hair Konami is the best Konami. Saya definitely needs to stay on her feet and keep moving for this match, if Konami slows her down it is over. But Konami is no slouch in the speed game either, she is deceptively quick for a techniker like her. At points in the match, I feel like Konami took Saya lightly or got a little overconfident. A bit of fun on the outside as we had some scraps between Queen’s Quest and Oedo Tai when OT tried to interfere and attack Saya. Konami controlled a good portion of the match, focusing on the arm, but Saya got a good bit of offence around the midpoint of the match. It always surprises me just how good Saya has gotten in the short time she’s been active in wrestling. She’s easily top 50 in the world already and she is just getting better with plenty of time to improve. Konami did the job for Saya, eating the pin after a beautiful Frankensteiner. Unfortunately, Konami is not getting more wins thus far in the tournament, but Stardom clearly sees Kamitani as the future of the company. Great match between these two.

Saya Kamitani – 4 points | Konami – 2 points

We’ve got a few more to get through to catch up folks. Let’s keep moving!

5★STAR GP Tam Nakano vs Maika

Cute moment of the match, Unagi and Mina dancing to Tam’s theme. Tam’s been really selling a right arm injury the last few matches and it’s still taped up pretty heavily, so we’ll see if Maika targets it or not. Holy cow Tam hit an RKO out-of-nowhere early! Well, she hit something like an RKO. Tam’s got the striking and speed advantage here but Maika is definitely stronger and does indeed target the right arm. Maika controls a good portion of the match, though Tam does get some offence in. I couldn’t quite figure out why Tam was trying to outmuscle Maika though, she has a clear advantage with her kicks and her speed and yet she tries to go to power moves a lot, even with the injury. Tam hit this Widow’s Peak type move and had one of the most unique moments of rising to their feet I have ever seen. Tam gets the pinfall with this sick counter of a strike into a unique armbar roll-up, moving her up to six points thus far.

Tam Nakano – 6 points | Maika – 6 points

An intriguing one is up next, at least for me.

5★STAR GP Natsupoi vs Mayu Iwatani

The High-Speed Fairy, Natsupoi, against The Stardom Icon Mayu Iwatani. This should be really fun and one of the better matches of the tournament. Mayu showing she’s still got some of that high-speed talent in her by keeping pace and countering with Poi, though she’s definitely nowhere near as quick as Poi is. At one point Mayu sits in the middle of the ring and calls a time-out, apparently, Poi got winded or something and the ref checks on her. But seems she is good to go, which is good since Poi has had some injury issues in the past. Mayu gave her a lot of ‘rest’ holds, apparently giving Poi a chance to better recover in the match. For her part, Poi is selling them pretty well but you can tell she is winded or something, just from how Mayu has changed tactics in the match. Poi finally recovers and you can tell because she uses her gymnastics and acrobatics, whatever had happened to her she’s finally back to normal. Once the injury scare was over, the match really got going with some solid action and plenty of big moments for both women. We get the pinfall when Mayu hits a Dragon Suplex ‘Hold’ and picks up the pinfall. Great match from both women, especially after the bump that Poi took.

Mayu Iwatani – 4 points | Natsupoi – 3 points

It is a fantastic match by two of the best in Stardom. Mayu is always fun to watch but Natsupoi really has returned to form after her injury. It’s great seeing her competing again. Next up.

5★STAR GP Giulia vs Koguma

We’ve got Giulia, who is the favourite to win it this year, trying to rebound after two straight losses in the tournament against Koguma, who has only had one match thus far and that was a victory over Natsupoi. Giulia will definitely try to keep Koguma grounded, even though the High-Speed Genius isn’t what she once was. She’s still damn good in there, but Giulia is a beast. She came out with a focus she hadn’t had in her last three matches and that served her well, she probably got a wake-up call after losing two straight. Giulia used her strength advantage well throughout the match and even did a good job of selling for Koguma. People hate on Giulia all the time and I don’t get it, she’s really solid in the ring and she works well with pretty much everyone on the Stardom roster. Plenty of points in this match where you could think that either woman was mere moments away from victory. It really could have gone either way and was really solid. One thing I noticed from Giulia in this match was that she has some nearly Ric Flair level flops which were just fun for me to see. On the other hand, she really needs to work on her rope moves as she struggled with one to the outside. All in all, it was a solid and fun match, if a bit overshadowed by Natsupoi and Iwatani. Giulia picked up the hard-fought win with a Northern Light Bomb, earning herself another two points.

Giulia – 4 points | Koguma – 2 points

Here are the standings after these two days of action.

Current 5★STAR GP Red Stars standings:

5 points Starlight Kid
4 points Mina Shirakawa
4 points Mayu Iwatani
4 points Giulia
3 points Natsupoi
2 points Saki Kashima
2 points Koguma
2 points Momo Watanabe
0 points Himeka
0 points Fukigen Death

Current 5★STAR GP Blue Stars standings:

6 points Tam Nakano
6 points Maika
4 points Utami Hayashishita
4 points Saya Kamitani
4 points Unagi Sayaka
4 points Syuri
2 points Konami
2 points AZM
0 points Takumi Iroha
0 points Ruaka

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Coronavirus threat in Japan, Stardom has had to cancel several shows for the safety of fans and athletes. I wish them all the best of health and I hope that we can resume the tournament as quickly, and safely, as possible. So far it has been really fun and I’m surprised at how the points have been tallied so far. Can the leaders of the blocks keep it up? Time will tell. Until next time folks!

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