It’s time once again to play catch-up with the 5 Star Grand Prix. I know we’re a fair bit behind, but that has never deterred me before. So without further ado, I bring you the Stardom show from September 6th! Let’s get right into it.
Maika vs Mai Sakurai
The first match on the card was the continuation of Mai Sakurai’s Stardom Challenge against Maika. It was a bonafide squash match ala WWE. Maika utterly dominated Mai and made her look like she didn’t belong in the same ring. All I can say is… Ouch.
Future of Stardom Championship Match:
Unagi Sayaka vs Waka Tsukiyama
Waka Tsukiyama’s first official match in Stardom came against Unagi Sayaka for the Future’s title. What followed was a much more competitive match than I actually expected. Especially after Maika made Mai Sakurai look like a chump. Waka looked like a veteran in this match and Unagi really helped her look like she did.
Unagi is definitely one of the women in Stardom who can make most look great and get a solid match out of anyone. There were a lot of times in this match where I genuinely thought that Waka was going to pull off the upset and take Unagi’s title but that did not happen. Unagi finally got her wits about her and pulled off a submission win after a hard-fought, and fun, match.
Winner: Unagi Sayaka
5★STAR Grand Prix: Saya Kamitani vs Ruaka
Ruaka hasn’t won a single match up to this point so we’ll see if she can turn her fortunes around… I’m honestly not expecting much here. Ruaka is like 15 years old and isn’t anywhere near as athletic as most of the Stardom roster. Hell, she reminds me of Nia Jax, but she is a much safer performer. As has been the case thus far, Ruaka dominated most of the match using her stiff powerhouse style. That was until Saya was able to get her feet under her and use her speed advantage. She slipped under a clothesline attempt and hit a surprise Hurricanrana (Frankensteiner) for the pinfall.
Winner: Saya Kamitani – 6 points (+ 2 points)
Ruaka – 0 points
5★STAR Grand Prix: Momo Watanabe vs Fukigen DEATH ★
Momo Watanabe has it rough, as she has two matches today against members of Oedo Tai. First up for her is Fukigen Death ★ (Desu). Another match I’m not honestly expecting much out of, since none of Fukigen’s matches have been very long and they have all followed a similar pattern. Which, I was right. The match was over in a matter of moments with Momo Watanabe winning via roll-up. I get that Desu is older, and nowhere near as good as she once was, but come on Stardom, let her have a match longer than five minutes. I don’t think this one even made it to five.
Winner: Momo Watanabe – 4 points (+2 points)
Fukigen Death ★ – 2 points
Immediately after the match, Momo Watanabe was jumped and the bell rang for her next match.
5★STAR Grand Prix: Momo Watanabe vs Saki Kashima
Saki jumped Momo after the match, as I said, and just went to work on her immediately. This match was a lot more competitive than the last, and it lasted more than double the time too. Which, let’s be honest, was not hard to do. Saki got a decent amount of offence in before Momo turned it on and took control.
That wasn’t to remain though and the match had a good amount of back and forth between the two. Momo is definitely one of the best wrestlers in the world, based solely on her ability to make literally anyone look better than they are. Momo won again with a roll-up after a much more competitive match. I kind of feel bad for Saki though, she has had it rough this tournament. Though nowhere near as rough as Azumi has…
Winner: Momo Watanabe – 6 points (+2 points)
Saki Kashima – 2 points
5★STAR Grand Prix: Himeka vs Natsupoi
Himeka has been a force since she returned to the ring and began her journey in the tournament. She’s won almost every match thus far in a relatively dominant fashion. Natsupoi has had a mixed bag of results but has had a solid showing so far. I loved Poi’s strategy early on, trying to get the win with every roll-up she knows to surprise Himeka. It was smart and made good use of her speed advantage. I mean, until Himeka went Hulk on Poi and took the advantage with her clear strength edge.
Once she got control, she rag-dolled Poi around, making it look too easy. Poi did get some offence in though later in the match at least. Watching this match, and the rest of Himeka’s matches thus far, almost made me think that Stardom wants her and Maika in the finals. Both women have been booked pretty dominantly. Himeka won via submission in the end but Poi did her best to make a match out of it.
Winner: Himeka – 4 points (+2 points)
Natsupoi – 5 points
5★STAR Grand Prix: Giulia vs Mina Shirakawa
We’ve got the favourite out of the red block in Giulia against the cheerful and fun Mina Shirakawa this time. A bit of fun before the match as Mina’s drawing of Giulia was used for her entrance video, and vice-versa. Mina jumped Giulia before the bell, which I did not expect, but it was a smart move by Mina. She needed to get an advantage early on and she did just that.
I’m honestly surprised that she controlled as much of this match as she did. Giulia also came into the match heavily taped up around the neck, which I’ll talk about in a bit. Mina did most of the work in the match and controlled a good portion of it until Giulia hit a Northern Lights Bomb out of nowhere and picked up the win. It was a good match for Mina and Giulia made her look great.
Winner: Giulia – 6 points (+2 points)
Mina Shirakawa – 4 points
It was announced on Stardom’s Twitter a few days after this event that Giulia would miss the rest of the tournament due to a lingering neck injury that she needed to have fixed. This is a damn shame because Giulia was doing well up to this point. All her opponents going forward will receive byes and two points. This match was the last for Giulia in this year’s GP.
5★STAR Grand Prix: Starlight Kid vs Koguma
The High-Speed Champion Starlight Kid is up against Koguma in a preview for their title match later on, and for two points in the GP. Going into this, SLK was my personal choice to win it all, and she has had a good showing, but I’m getting the feeling that she won’t be winning it this year… Anyway, the match. Koguma actually attacked SLK before the match, which was a bit surprising. I guess she is salty that SLK refused to rejoin Stars earlier this year and wanted to send a message. Once the match got into the ring, it was just what you come to expect from SLK and Koguma.
There is no speed advantage for either woman, so it’s all about who wants it more and that makes this fun. Especially since Koguma is repping the good guys and SLK the evil ones. Was this match as good as SLK’s matches recently against Natsupoi? No, it was not. But that said it was a great match between these two and perfectly sets up Kid’s later title defence against Koguma. Koguma pulled out the win after a really hard-fought, fast-paced, match and earned herself two more points. She’s still near the bottom of the bracket, but she needed the points. Speaking of their upcoming title match… I am predicting right now, Starlight Kid will win that match, retain her belt, and get her win back against Koguma.
Winner: Koguma – 4 points (+2 points)
Starlight Kid – 7 points
Hazuki came out after the match and challenged Koguma for her return match! Koguma accepts the match and it’s been made official for the 10/9 Osaka Jo Hall. I need October to get here already for this match.
5★STAR Grand Prix: Syuri vs Konami
We’ve got one of the more anticipated matches on the blue side of things as Syuri, the clear favourite goes up against Konami, a woman who is hoping to play spoiler and delay Syuri’s rise to the top of the bracket. What makes this match intriguing for me is that Syuri and Konami have a lot of respect for each other, even though Konami is in Oedo Tai and Syuri is in Donna del Mondo. Even better, the match starts out straight MMA style and I absolutely loved that.
Syuri was actually in the UFC if I remember right and Konami has a strong martial arts background as well. This match was everything I expected and more, definitely a match of the show for me thus far. It was a strong technical affair with a lot of stiff strikes and good offence from both women. I was kind of surprised that Oedo Tai didn’t interfere at all that match, but I’m glad they didn’t as this was a good match between two of the best that Stardom has today. Konami picked up the win after a really great match, surprising Syuri and everyone else with a sleeper hold rollback and pulling off the upset.
Winner: Konami – 8 points (+2 points)
Syuri – 5 points
5★STAR Grand Prix: Tam Nakano vs Takumi Iroha
Last but not least for the September 6 show is Tam Nakano against Takumi Iroha. Both women have had a mixed bag of results in the tournament so I am looking forward to this one a lot. I am happy to see that Tam doesn’t have her arm taped up anymore. Anyone who follows Marvelous or Stardom knows about these two. Tam, despite her looks, is a lethal striker and more than a match for the long time veteran striker in Iroha.
I know I said that the last match was my MotN thus far, this match easily was the best match on the card. There is no debating it. Tam and Takumi threw everything they had at each other, kicking the hell out of each other, and it was super competitive throughout. I honestly had high expectations for this match and they exceeded them. It was that good. It could have easily gone either way as both women had equal chances of beating the other. Hell, I almost expected a draw or double knock-out in this match. Alas, that was not to be as Takumi Iroha managed to defeat Tam Nakano. This was easily both women’s best matches of the tournament and one that I highly recommend for everyone to watch.
Winner: Takumi Iroha – 4 points (+2 points)
Tam Nakano – 6 points
That’s it for the September 6th show folks. I’ll sign off for now and leave you with the updated standings after this one. There was a show on 9/11 and I believe one on 9/12 which I will also review as soon as I am able. Keep your eyes out!