STARDOM: 5 ★ STAR GP – September 4th

Let’s review the Stardom show from September 4th, shall we? I’ll review the whole thing since there were not a lot of GP matches on the card, but Stardom will make up for that -very- soon. Like, on the 6th soon. That said, let’s get into it.

A big surprise coming to Stardom is that Waka Tsukiyama has signed with the promotion. She’s 29 years old and has less than a full year of experience in puroresu. She’ll make for an exciting addition to the card, yes she is still really green but she has some serious potential, if you’ve seen her on Gatoh Move, then you know what I’m talking about. She gets welcomed by Unagi Sayaka, of course, and has her very first match for the promotion against Sayaka for the Future of Stardom Championship. This match will take place on the September 6th card.

Hanan vs Fukigen Death (Desu)

Not much to say here folks. Short but competitive match with the usual Desu shenanigans throughout. It was fun for a super short match. Fukigen Desu won with an O’connor Roll. This was not a GP match so no points were tallied.

Winner: Fukigen Death (O’Connor Roll)

Unagi Sayaka vs Natsupoi

First thing… The Stardom Twitter didn’t use the updated graphic for Natsupoi. She lost that High-Speed Title to Starlight Kid so this is not a champion vs champion match. This was an absolute banger of a match between two fast and supremely talented women. It was fun, and funny, from bell to bell with some hilarious shenanigans early on in the match involving the referee.

There was one point in the match where Natsupoi tied her ribbon to Unagi’s top and dragged her outside the ring. She even tied the ribbon to the ring announcer to try and earn a count-out win. Of course, this backfired hilariously as Unagi kept Natsupoi from getting back into the ring to force a double count-out as the referee reached the count of 20. The two women kept going at it after the bell rang for a few seconds, just making me want to see more between them. This was also a non GP match, as it featured a red block competitor vs a blue block one.

Double Count-out. No victor.

Mayu Iwatani vs Rina

The Icon of Stardom, Mayu Iwatani, faces off against the youngest member of Oedo Tai, Rina. Rina is a former member of Tokyo Cyber Squad and Mayu’s Unit, STARS so this is kind of intriguing given the history between them. Rina calls Mayu an old tramp as soon as the match begins, this had the crowd laughing. Mayu even bites Rina’s arm at one point. Clearly, there is still some bad blood here, which I fully expected.

Rina did turn her back on STARS to join Oedo Tai, after all. Rina used her Judo as much as she could, and made it a damn good match between her and Mayu. Mayu always impresses me when she’s in the ring. She can make anyone, even someone less talented than she, look amazing in the ring and she did that for Rina. She won with a modified Dragon Sleeper submission, and once again this was not a GP match so no points.

Winner: Mayu Iwatani (Modified Dragon Sleeper)

We continue on with the Mai Sakurai Stardom Challenge

Mai Sakurai vs Giulia

The newest member of the Cosmic Angels unit, Mai Sakurai, challenges the leader of Donna del Mondo Giulia. So far, no matches have been for points in the GP and this match will be no different. So, this was a slower-paced match than I was expecting to be honest. It seemed like they took a long time getting a feel for each other, which I understand since Mai is really new to Stardom. Was it a bad match? Absolutely not. Stardom has never had a bad match since I’ve been watching it.

You could just feel by watching it that Giulia was taking Mai lightly and didn’t think much of her as an opponent. She was her usual cocky self and Mai really fought as hard as she could. It just seemed like Giulia had an answer for everything Mai tried, and that was despite taking the newcomer lightly. Giulia picked up a relatively easy submission win with her Stealth Viper move.

Winner: Giulia (Stealth Viper Submission)

Mai’s proving to be scrappy but thus far she has had no answers to any of her challenges.

5★STAR Grand Prix: Himeka vs Mina Shirakawa

Our first official GP match for the show features Himeka, who has lost her first two GP matches, against Mina Shirakawa. Mina jumped Himeka before the introductions, which I did not expect, but after that Himeka controlled a good part of the match with her strength advantage. Mina is a scrappy wrestler though and she gave Himeka everything she had. I admire Mina for that, and I love to see how she keeps improving in the ring. She tried her best to use speed and agility to topple Himeka but every time she had her down, Mina couldn’t get the win.

She even pulled out a hanging DDT from the corner to no avail. Himeka picked up her first win of the GP, following a gutsy showing by Mina, with a big powerbomb dead centre in the ring. After the match, Himeka stole Mina’s Artist of Stardom Championship, which is a total WWE thing and I really didn’t like seeing that in Stardom. If you’re unaware, the Artist of Stardom Championship is a trios title currently held by the Cosmic Angels Unit.

Winner: Himeka (Power Bomb)

Himeka: 2 points (1-2-0)

Mina Shirakawa: 4 points (2-2-0)

That devil Himeka… Give Mina back her title! Anyway… Up next is a match I’ve been waiting for…

5★STAR Grand Prix: Konami vs Takumi Iroha

Ever since Takumi Iroha was announced for the GP, I’ve been waiting to see her go face to face with Konami. This should be fun for our second GP match of the day. For those who don’t know, Takumi Iroha is on loan to Stardom from the Marvelous Women’s Wrestling Promotion in Japan for the tournament. Her match against Himeka was amazing, there are no other words for it. Of course, Oedo Tai (Fukigen Desu and Rina) tried to interfere in the match. Konami even tried using a chair, which failed, but it didn’t seem to affect Iroha.

Konami seemed to realize about halfway through the match that she needed to start isolating a body part if she wanted to get the advantage, but Iroha was game and kept wrestling control away from Konami every time she got an advantage. I gotta give it to Iroha too, every match thus far during her Stardom stint has been super impressive. She has one of the best looking sidekicks (Superkicks) that I’ve ever seen. It was fun seeing her and Konami trading kicks too, just going back and forth hitting each other with the strongest kick they could muster. There was even a point where Iroha hit Konami with a trio of brutal head kicks that seemed to KO her but she couldn’t finish the job. Konami reverses a strike with a small package roll-up and picks up a shocking but hard-fought win against Iroha, earning her two more points.

Winner: Konami (Small Package)

Konami – 6 points (3-2-0)

Takumi Iroha – 2 points (1-1-0)

Our main event.. a rematch of the clear Match of the Year contender…

5★STAR Grand Prix: Utami Hayashishita vs Syuri

The rematch that everyone has been waiting for.. Utami Hayashishita vs Syuri 2. This time it’s for GP points and not the World of Stardom Championship. The last time these two were in the ring, the match went to a 30 minute draw and then a 13 minute extra time double knock-out. This is a highly anticipated match in the tournament. These two picked up right where they left off, beating the hell out of each other and damn was it fun to see. These two are so evenly matched and they have such good chemistry together that it puts anything out of WWE to shame. The match was everything I expected coming into it and then some.

They each had an even time in control, they beat each other up and the crowd absolutely loved it. The match, honestly, could have gone either way as each woman had ample chances to finish it off but couldn’t. I want part three of this rivalry as soon as possible, and I hope the third match has a clear winner this time. Was this as good as their last match? Yes and no. It was still phenomenal and clearly match of the night, but it didn’t quite come close to their match of the year contender. The finish saw the women battle to a 20-minute time-limit draw, but there was no opportunity for extra time.

Time-limit Draw 20 Minutes

Utami Hayashishita 5 points

Syuri 5 points

After the match, Syuri challenges Utami Hayashishita to one more match, this one with no time limit. Utami accepts and says that it’s time to end this, after 60+ minutes. Of course, both women guaranteed victory in the GP, so we will see what happens.

Current 5★STAR Grand Prix Standings:

Red Stars

Starlight Kid 7 points

Mayu Iwatani 6 points

Natsupoi 5 points

Mina Shirakawa 4 points

Giulia 4 points

Momo Watanabe 2 points

Koguma 2 points

Saki Kashima 2 points

Fukigen Desu ★ 2 points

Himeka 2 points

Blue Stars

Maika 7 points

Tamu Nakano 6 points

Konami 6 points

Unagi Sayaka 5 points

Syuri 5 points

Utami Hayashishita 5 points

Saya Kamitani 4 points

Takumi Iroha 2 points

AZM 2 points

Ruaka 0 points

Keep your eyes peeled folks, the Grand Prix continues very soon. In fact, the next big show is on 9/6.

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