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Japan: Stardom 5 ★STAR GP – Review of Day 2 | Red & Blue Block

As all of us, Stardom fans should know, it’s officially the 5 ★STAR GP and that’s the most exciting time of the year for us. We had a rather shocking day one and I’m sure that day 2 will be just as exciting and unpredictable as day one was. So that being said, let’s get into it!


5 ★STAR GP | Unagi Sayaka vs AZM (Azumi)

Up first we have the truly talented prodigy in Azumi against the new leader of the Cosmic Angels, Unagi Sayaka. This will be the first action for AZM and the second match in two days for Unagi. Definitely, a contrast of styles here and experience, as AZM may only be 19 years old but she’s been wrestling since she was like 12. So this is a pretty exciting match on paper.

The bell rings and we are underway. Unagi offers a handshake and goes for a kick like she did on Nakano, but AZM catches it and baits Unagi in, slapping her before using her speed to get the advantage. Kick to the back and a cocky cover by AZM nets two. AZM with a turnbuckle dropkick again for two. That didn’t take long as we get the strike match, briefly, before Unagi slams AZM to the mat and gains control. Facebuster gets Unagi only a two count. Again with the strike match, second of the contest with Unagi getting the better of the exchange at the end. She up to the top with Unagi but AZM meets her with a high kick. AZM with an arm breaker off the top and into an armbar, but Unagi is too close to the ropes. AZM to the top and hits a diving double stomp but gets only two. Back to the armbar now, middle of the ring. Unagi refuses to give up and makes it to the ropes to break the hold.

AZM with a tilt-a-whirl and into another armbar but lets it go to pick Unagi up. Dropkick to the back from the top, AZM runs the ropes but Unagi counters with a stun gun. Sick facebuster from the ropes by Unagi before going to the top and hitting a frog splash for two. It Picks AZM up and AZM gets a roll-up for two. Kick to the face, AZM gets caught in a backbreaker then slammed to the mat, Unagi calling for it. She picks AZM up and drops her on her head, the same manoeuvre that beat Nakano and it’s over. Unagi Sayaka picks up the win over AZM and another two points! I wish I knew the name of that finisher for Unagi, man does it look like it hurts.

Unagi Sayaka – 4 points | AZM – 0 points


5 ★STAR GP | Kashima Saki vs Starlight Kid

Oh, they actually got it right for Kid this time, her song and her video package for the entrance. Much better job Stardom. I cannot get over how much more interesting Kid has become since she embraced Oedo Tai and brought out her dark side. I’ve always been a fan of Kid but this version of her is just so perfect. This match is against her unit mate, so we’ve got two Oedo Tai in the ring together. This should be fun as Saki can nearly match Kid for speed and should have a bit of a strength advantage.

Here we go. Bell rings and we get a fake-out handshake from the two. Saki goes for the mask but Kid reverses with a whip and slams Saki to the mat by her hair. Saki returns the favour using the mask and takes control, grounding the kid and slamming her to the mat. Back up and Saki begins working the arm and chokes Kid against the rope. Saki seems pretty content with grounding Kid and working the left arm. She’s focusing pretty heavily on it with armbars and stomps. Saki goes for the first pin of the match and gets only one count. Back up and Kid hits a crossbody to halt Saki’s momentum. Basement dropkick gets Kid a two.

Saki goes for the eyes but Kid trips her up and misses a 619. Saki is back in control and hits a double arm suplex for two. Going for another one and Kid breaks free before beginning to work on Saki’s left arm in return. Whip to the corner and Kid misses a check but gets the second try. Catches a kick and hits a standing moonsault press for two. Saki whipped into the corner and hits a bulldog counter before gaining control back. Up to the top and Saki gets caught and hit with an arm drag off the top. Back up immediately and kicks Kid in the face. Double-arm facebuster gets Saki a two count only. Saki clearly frustrated and gets reversed by Kid who misses a press from the top. Roll-up by Saki for two before Kid hits a cradle suplex for two. Double-arm DDT by Kid and she signal that it’s over. Picks Saki up and drops her on her head with a Tombstone Piledriver, calling it the Black Tiger, and picks up the win. Starlight Kid with her first win of the tournament. Kid grabs her other mask and picks Saki up, putting the mask over her foe’s face and making the throat slit gesture. The kid’s got an attitude now and I love it.

Starlight Kid – 2 points | Kashima Saki – 0 points


5 ★STAR GP “High-Speed Fairy” Natsupoi vs Momo Watanabe

Our third match today is the High-Speed Fairy, Natsupoi, against Momo Watanabe who upset Mayu Iwatani on day 1.

Back and forth to start the match, the speed of Poi against the power of Momo. Momo is in control after the back and forth, using her power to ground Poi. Powerful slam by Momo for two. Camel Clutch applied, Momo really wanting to keep the pace slow. She’s really toying with Poi now, knocking her down as soon as she’s up and stomping a mudhole into her. Poi finally gets some offence in and takes control with a neckbreaker. She goes for a dropkick but Momo moves out of the way. Poi whips Momo into the ropes and hits a basement dropkick. Back to their feet and we get the strike match which, surprisingly, Poi wins but gets dropped by a kick soon after. Momo gets a near fall then begins working the power game again, Meteora for two. Poi reverses and gets a near fall for herself.

Poi finally has control and is actually using a less speed-based offence to keep Momo down. I say that then Poi goes to the top and hits a twisting splash before hooking in a unique arm hold submission. Momo breaks free and gets to the ropes to break the hold. Poi right back on her drags her up and goes for the finish but Momo kicks her head off. She only gets a two count for the strikes though. Momo hits the B-Driver but can’t follow up with the pin, instead of going for a choke. Poi reverses the bomb and hits a roll-up for two. Holy shit Natsupoi hits the Fairy Blink and pins Momo Watanabe! Now that is a freaking upset if I ever saw one!

Natsupoi – 2 points | Momo Watanabe – 2 points


5 ★STAR GP | Nakano Tam vs Konami

Our fourth match today pits the “Submission Sniper” Konami against the “Stardom Dream” Tam Nakano. Both women have powerful kicks and good martial arts skills so this should be a pretty strike heavy match-up.

Konami attacks Tam before the bell even rings and we don’t get the introductions. Konami heads outside but Tam slams her to the floor. Trading kick attempts before Tam knocks Konami down with a couple of stiff kicks to the face. Konami trips her off the ring apron and slams her face into the ring. Konami has a chair around Nakano’s arm and throws her arm first into the ring post. Konami with a chair shot to the trapped arm and it doesn’t draw a disqualification, which surprises me since the Ref saw it. Tam finds a way and makes it back into the ring but is heavily favouring her arm. Konami keeps working the arm and uses the Shayna Baszler stomp on Tam’s injured arm. Konami taunting Tam to hit her and Tam’s got nothing behind the strikes. Somehow Tam gets a surprise roll-up for two but Konami takes control right back. Of course, that’s brief as Tam hits a spinning kick to the face before heading to the top and nailing a cross body on everyone in Oedo Tai on the floor. Tam trying to shake the feeling back in her arm before throwing Konami back into the ring.

Tam goes for a suplex but Konami counters with an armbar. Tam escapes using the ropes but Konami is back in control and hits a sliding kick to the chest. Konami kicking the arm each time Tam goes for a strike before sucker-punching her in the gut. Stomp to the arm, Konami runs the ropes but Tam kicks her twice before getting dragged down by the hair. Konami misses a kick and gets nailed with a release German, but returns the favour with one of her own. Tam to her feet first and hits a German Suplex for two. Up to the top and Tam gets caught, Konami using a submission on the top before dragging Tam back into the ring. Konami is now to the top and hits a head kick off the top, getting two. She immediately goes back to the arm but Tam gets out and hits a knee to the face. Konami with a cross-face chicken wing, bringing Tam to the mat. It’s deep and though Tam tries to escape she just can’t. She does eventually make it to the ropes and nails a spin kick once they break. Tam hooking up Konami and slams her to the mat picks her back up and nails a bridging suplex, picking up the three count. Tam Nakano wins a hard-fought match and definitely earned that one.

Nakano Tam – 2 points | Konami – 0 points


5 ★STAR GP | Hayashishita Utami vs Kamitani Saya

Our fifth match pits the World of Stardom Champion, Utami Hayashishita against the Cinderella Tournament 2021 winner in Saya Kamitani. Both women lost their first matches on day one, which was unfortunate, but only one of them will walk away today with their first win of the tournament. Will it is Utami or will it be Saya? Time will tell.

We actually get a handshake to start the match, not so surprisingly since both women represent Queen’s Quest, and the bell rings. It’s a really even match to start as they trade holds and match each other move for move. Utami takes control and slams Saya to the mat, getting a two before sinking in a camel clutch. Saya gets her arms free and crawls to the ropes, breaking the hold. Utami is in control still, stomping the back and then going for a pin, only getting two. Utami working the lower back of Saya, kicks and strikes as she tries to wear down Saya. Utami not giving Saya any room to breathe, hitting two-scoop slams in a row. Saya with a defiant look in her eye as Utami challenges her to strikes, and Saya just can’t do much damage. Saya with some flips only to get side slammed for two. She’s athletic, I’ll give her that. Dropkick sends Utami to the outside and Saya hits a springboard splash onto Utami.

Saya is in control as she hits a missile dropkick for two. We get an actual strike match now, both women knocking each other back. Utami wins the exchange and drops Saya with a stiff elbow strike. Saya back up and goes straight back into it before Utami ducks her and nails her in the back. A big clothesline from Utami gets her a two. ‘Celtic Cross’ by Utami again for two. Saya nails Utami with a pair of pump kicks then drops her with a spinning heel kick. Saya with a reverse hurricanrana for two, spiking Utami to the mat. A couple near falls for Saya as she tries to keep the momentum. It’s no use as Utami hits a pair of release German suplexes then gets a near fall. She picks Saya up, going for her finisher, but Saya hits a Spanish Fly while Utami is running at her! Holy shit that was nice! Star crusher by Saya but Utami kicks out. She can’t believe it and drags Utami to the corner. She climbs the ropes but Utami gets up and stops her mid-way. Frankensteiner gets Saya a two after wiggling out of an attempted powerbomb. Saya misses a clothesline but Utami doesn’t miss her finisher this time. Saya kicks out of it though! Utami picks up Saya and hits her with a spinning powerbomb, putting her down for the count. Utami Hayashishita wins and picks up her first points of the tournament. Match of the night so far, that was outstanding.

Hayashishita Utami – 2 points | Kamitani Saya – 0 points

AZM joins the commentary team before the sixth match of the show and they chat for a bit about the last match.


5 ★STAR GP | Syuri vs Maika

Up next is the co-main event of the show, Syuri vs Maika. Both women picked up wins on day 1 with Maika upsetting Utami Hayashishita and Syuri defeating Kamitani Saya. Both women representing Donna del Mondo are here in this match. Who will gain the all-important two points and who will face defeat for the first time this tournament? Let’s get into it and find out. Personally, I’m pulling for Maika in this match. Syuri is a tough match though, so she has her work cut out for her.

Both women staring each other down as the bell rings two Samurai warriors are about to lock it up. Stalemate as both women grapple on the ground and try to get the upper hand. We’re still on the mat as they trade holds and transitions, both DDM members knowing each other so well. They really are putting on a grappling clinic right now as they keep going back and forth, trading positions. Both women trying for a suplex but are so evenly matched for strength. Maika eventually gets the better of Syuri and slams her to the mat but Syuri bounces right back up and spears Maika into the corner. We get a clean break before the women trade arm drags. Syuri enjoys a brief moment of control, as does Maika, before getting caught in an armbar over the top rope. Maika runs at Syuri and goes over the ropes and to the floor where Syuri kicks her hard in the back. Maika counters a DDT attempt into a suplex onto the ring apron. Back in the ring now and Syuri hits a dropkick sending Maika into the corner.

Syuri up to the top but Maika catches her, but Syuri escapes and hits a ‘cracker’ for two. I didn’t catch the first part of that word the commentary team used. Chinlock by Syuri but Maika makes it to the ropes quickly. Armbar by Syuri is in the centre of the ring but Maika rolls out of it. We get another strength battle as both women try to suplex the other. Maika gets Syuri up but is countered into a spike DDT. Back on their feet and Maika blocks a head kick but gets hit with an enzugiri. Both women back down, this is a hoss fight if I’ve ever seen one. Both of these women are so strong it’s amazing. Even face down on the mat they are going for a test of strength before rising and trading headbutts. Neither woman wins that one and they both collapse to the mat after like twenty headbutts each. Slow to their feet and Syuri locks in a standing Kimura which Maika counters into a suplex, getting a near fall for her effort. Judo slam by Maika for two. Stiff kicks from Syuri before getting knocked flat to the mat by Maika three times.

Maika with a chin lock but Syuri makes it to the ropes, they definitely needed that rest hold. Maika goes for a slam but Syuri reverses and hits a big suplex, only for Maika to do the same seconds later. Maika hits a superplex off the second rope but only gets two. She can’t believe it and then calls for the finish. Running slam but Syuri kicks out at two. Syuri counters a Michinoku Driver and then they both trade stiff strikes but Syuri kicks Maika’s head off. Only gets a two though, before kicking Maika dead in the face and dropping her on her head and neck with a slam. That was absolutely vicious and it gets Syuri the win. It legit looked like she knocked Maika out with that one, she dropped her dead on her upper neck. Syuri checks on Maika after the match and she seems to be ok, which is good. Great match by both women.

Syuri – 4 points | Maika – 2 points


5 ★STAR GP | Giulia vs “The Stardom Icon” Mayu Iwatani

Our main event today features Giulia and Mayu Iwatani, the leaders of their units Donna del Mondo and STARS. Giulia won her first match by defeating Starlight Kid and Mayu Iwatani lost to Momo Watanabe, both happening on Day 1. Let’s see who gets the two points, shall we?

The bell rings and we get a staredown before they slowly walk towards each other. Mayu offers a handshake and Giulia accepts it, such class from both women. God Mayu is so pale compared to Giulia.. just a note. Much like Syuri and Maika, we start with some grappling and a lot of back and forth as each woman tries to gain control. Guilia shows her strength by knocking Mayu down but she’s not down for long and both women are back to the trading offence. Back elbow from Mayu followed by some kicks to the back. She didn’t seem to be putting much strength into the kicks but it’s hard to really tell how she’s connecting with them. Mayu looks like a serial killer before Giulia takes control and locks in a choke which transitions to a camel clutch and then to a leg choke using Mayu’s hair. Giulia with some impressive groundwork here. Back on their feet and Mayu counters with a kick to the face after a roll-up.

Mayu with another stiff kick to the back before hitting a basement dropkick against the ropes, pin attempt for two. Aww, Mayu lost her tail again… She seems to lose it every match and that’s a shame… Guilia drags Mayu off the top but she lands on her feet, only to be hit with a dropkick. Choke on the ropes by Giulia before hitting a dropkick and getting a two count. Giulia transitions into an STF but she is pretty close to the ropes so Mayu drags her and breaks the hold. Giulia to the outside hits a kick to Mayu’s back before missing a neck breaker attempt. She hits a kick to the face and doesn’t miss it a second time, dropping Mayu on her neck from the second rope to the outside. Mayu showing why she is the queen of selling as she really struggles to make it back into the ring before the twenty counts. Giulia is waiting for her though and hits a dropkick to the back, getting only two.

Giulia slaps Mayu and that fires her up, hitting a release suplex and slapping Giulia back but both women are down after a back dropkick from Giulia. Mayu is on her feet first but gets hit with a headbutt and she starts laughing before nailing Giulia with one back. Oh, we’re getting another headbutt battle here and I think Mayu won that one as she knocks Giulia down. Crucifix pin attempt gets a two for Mayu. She heads up to the top and nails a beautiful frog splash, again only getting a two. She signals for the moonsault and climbs the ropes, Giulia catches her as she lands and locks in a triangle choke. Mayu tries to pin her but is reversed into an armbar and then a rings arm lock. Mayu uses those long legs of hers to make it to the ropes and break the hold. Giulia hits a beautiful delayed suplex driver for two. Guilia with a tombstone but doesn’t go for the pin, instead picks Mayu up and Mayu reverses, hitting a tombstone of her own. But they’re too close to the ropes so there is no count. Stiff kicks to the face by Mayu for two. She heads to the top again and this time hits the moonsault but she doesn’t go for the pin. Instead, she picks Giulia up and suplexes her. Giulia with a roll-up for two only to get kicked in the face again. Mayu dead-lifts Giulia and hits her with a Dragon Suplex, Giulia can’t kick out and Mayu Iwatani picks up her first win of the tournament. Amazing match from two of the best women’s wrestlers in the world. So happy that Mayu got her first win.

Mayu Iwatani – 2 points | Giulia – 2 points

The 5 ★STAR GP is living up to the hype so far after two days and it is really anyone’s tournament. The Red Block has a lock-up for the first between seven participants while the blue has two clear front runners. Have a good one folks and I’ll see you for Day 3!


Here’s where we stand after two days of the tournament:

Current 5★STAR GP Red Stars standings:

  1. Momo Watanabe 2 points
  2. Giulia 2 points
  3. Koguma 2 points
  4. Mina Shirakawa 2 points
  5. Mayu Iwatani 2 points
  6. Starlight Kid 2 points
  7. Natsupoi 2 points
  8. Fukigen Desu 0 points
  9. Himeka 0 points
  10. Saki Kashima 0 points
     

Current 5★STAR GP Blue Stars standings:

  1. Syuri 4 points
  2. Unagi Sayaka 4 points
  3. Maika 2 points
  4. Tam Nakano 2 points
  5. Utami Hayashishita 2 points
  6. Saya Kamitani 0 points
  7. Konami 0 points
  8. AZM 0 points
  9. Takumi Iroha 0 points
  10. Ruaka 0 points
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