We’re about a week removed from Osaka Super Wars, and less than a week from the year-end event Dream Queendom. I wasn’t going to originally review this smaller show but some major stuff happened so it needs to be covered. I’m sure you all saw the spoilers on Twitter or Reddit already, but that hasn’t stopped me before and nor will it ever. The last show at Korakuen Hall is only five matches long, standard fare for the average Stardom show, but it still clocks in at over two hours long. All that said, let’s get right into it and take a look at the Year-End Climax show from Christmas Day.
First up we’ve got.
STARDOM: Year-End Climax 2021
Three Way Match: Hanan vs Mina Shirakawa vs Fukigen Death
First up we have the worst influence ever in a chain-smoking (of imaginary cigarettes), tabloid reading perpetually angry clown known as Fukigen Death facing off against the former Idol Mina Shirakawa (donning a Santa hat no less) and the youngster Hanan, who has a date with Ruaka at the Dream Queendom show for the Future’s title. We got a bit of comedy between Mina and Fukigen before any action started with Mina posing and saying Merry Christmas and Death getting in front of her. For those who aren’t in the know, Fukigen has become Stardom’s comedy act in the twilight of her career. She’s usually there to eat pins and make the younger talents look good. Not that that was needed in this match. Mina Shirakawa came into her own this year and has subtly been putting on better and better performances with each match she is in. She still gets made fun of in almost every match for her breasts but that’s just something we’ve all become accustomed to at this point. Then there is Hanan who could be considered a wrestling prodigy in some circles.
This was a pretty solid opening bout, given that it had Stardom’s resident clown in it. Mina and Hanan carried the match on their backs and put on a decent show. This wasn’t a five-star match, far from it, but you could see how far both Mina and Hanan have come in their relatively short careers. Add in the veteran of Fukigen, or Kaori Yoneyama if you prefer, with just the right amount of comedic moments, like using a newspaper to smack people, and you have some fun to start. The finish saw Hanan duck a smack from Fukigen’s tabloid paper and roll her up for the surprise pin. Her momentum keeps going into Dream Queendom
STARDOM: Year-End Climax 2021
Tag Match: Lady C & Himeka vs Rina & Ruaka
We learn before the match that this show marks Himeka’s fourth anniversary in Stardom so congrats to the “Jumbo Princess” of Donna del Mondo. This match is a tag match featuring Rina and Ruaka of Oedo Tai facing off against Lady C, who is -still- undecided on which unit she plans on joining, and Himeka of Donna del Mondo. For me, this is a bit of a sleeper match since Rina and Ruaka are perhaps the least talented members of Oedo Tai so not much is expected out of them. Both are still -super- young but they have a long way to go in the ring. Rina is better than Ruaka, but that’s not much of a stretch. Lady C has become a really popular addition to the Stardom roster this year, partly thanks to her winning her first match a few months ago. Then you have the powerhouse Himeka, one-third of the Artists champions and someone who is still evolving as a competitor. Little fun side note, Rina’s in there looking like a Gothic Christmas elf which was surprisingly adorable.
This turned out better than I thought it would truthfully. I think that has a lot to do with how good Lady C and Himeka have become this year. Rina’s improved a lot as well, but she’s still not quite where she needs to be just yet. The three of them carried the match on their backs and worked together to make sure everyone looked as good as possible. Rina was the workhorse for her team though, her Judo background giving her the stamina to do the heavy lifting, no pun intended. Something else I’ve noticed over the last few shows is that Lady C has a lot of chemistry with the ladies of Donna del Mondo. She’s teamed, successfully, with Maika, Himeka and Syuri and each pairing has just worked well. That would seem to hint that Lady will at some point join DDM, but you need to also take into account the lacking Queen’s Quest now who needs members badly. The finish of this one, after a decent match, saw Himeka pin Rina after a lariat that would make JBL proud.
Winner: Himeka & Lady C
STARDOM: Year-End Climax 2021 | Six Woman Unit Tag Match:
STARS (Hazuki, Koguma & Mayu Iwatani) vs Cosmic Angels (Tam Nakano, Waka Tsukiyama * Mai Sakurai)
Before the match got underway we got snippets from each unit. Waka still can’t dance to save her life, but she seems to be fitting in otherwise with the rest of the Angels. Then you have Hazuki, who I am still not used to being with the good guys. She’s still Hazuki, which is freaking great, but seeing her being more of a face than before is just odd. That said, she did pretty much save STARS from the cusp of obscurity when she joined. Four of these six ladies are absolute gold in the ring with those being Hazuki, Koguma, Mayu Iwatani and Tam Nakano. Let’s face it, Mai Sakurai and Waka Tsukiyama still have a long way to go to be on the other levels. I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just a fact. Mai seems to be further along than Waka is, I’ll give her that. Watching the Angels dancing and Waka trying, but failing miserably, is pretty funny though.
Tam tried to start the match with Mayu, which would have been epic as always, but Waka stepped up to the plate against the Icon. I don’t know what anyone was expecting but Mayu just made Waka look like a chump before tagging in Koguma. Of the three in Stars, Koguma is more friendly for Waka in the ring. Sure, Mayu can make -anyone- look amazing in the ring but Koguma’s style seems a bit better suited for Waka to face off with. I’ll give Waka credit, she did her best against all three members of STARS but it took Tam kicking Mayu in the back to give Waka a chance to tag out to Mai. Some creative teamwork between her and Tam before the latter tags in and we get Mayu vs Tamu once more. I could go on and on about these two and I think they will be the subject of my long time coming second Fight Forever piece. Tam and Mayu bring out the absolute best in each other which is something that I love to see. I got to see something I’ve wanted to for a while in this one too which was Tam facing off against Hazuki. God, watching those two try to kick each other heads off was something special and I want so much more. I think the most surprising part of this whole match was just how good of a team that Tam and Mai made. It impressed me how well they worked together. Mai is still really green in the ring, but teaming with Tamu seems to bring out the absolute best in her which is good to see. It makes me think she has a bright future in the company ahead of her. Waka… She’s decent in the ring but she reminds me a lot of a young Mayu Iwatani. She’s uncoordinated as hell and seems to make a lot of mistakes with her timing. The finish saw Koguma hit a big splash from the top and pin Waka.
Winners: Koguma, Hazuki and Mayu Iwatani
However… As has been the case for the last few weeks, the Masked Attackers stormed to the ring to target the Cosmic Angels and STARS. This time, however, there were three of them! It’s like they just keep multiplying and it’s getting out of control. They knocked STARS out of the ring and went after the Angels.
Lucky for Tam and Co, Mayu made the save. She and Tam hit a tandem Super Kick on the fishing hat-wearing assailant and the mask went flying! One of the attackers has been revealed! I gotta say, I did not see this coming at all folks. The mastermind behind the entire thing is the one who was revealed and it was…
Giulia! It was fucking Giulia all along! You can’t see them at all here but Tam and Mayu were stunned by this development. Mayu and STARS quickly left the ring and let Tam and Giulia speak their minds. Here’s what they said to each other.
- Tam: “You! Giulia! What are you doing!? What is this!?”
- Giulia: “Tam Nakano, what do you mean you little shit!? Huh? Cosmic Angels need to get better. Those crappy newcomers! Next year, these two will be new members of Donna del Mondo. We’ll tear apart Cosmic Angels! The same goes for Queen’s Quest, Oedo Tai and STARS. And anyone else. Arrivederci! Merry Christmas!”
- Tam: “If you think you can do it, try it! I’ll be ready for you.”
Ladies and gentlemen this just got really interesting. Let’s look really quick at how the units stack up against each other.
- Oedo Tai: Natsuko Tora, Starlight Kid, Momo Watanabe, Rina, Saki Kashima, Ruaka, Konami, Fukigen Death, Sumire Natsu and Jamie Hayter. Tora and Natsu are sidelined with injury and Jamie cannot travel due to COVID restrictions.
- Cosmic Angels: Tam Nakano, Mina Shirakawa, Unagi Sayaka, Mai Sakurai and Waka Tsukiyama
- STARS: Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki, Koguma and Hanan
- Queen’s Quest: Utami Hayashishita, Azumi, Saya Kamitani and Hina. Hina is inactive due to her studies and schooling, last I heard.
That leaves Donna del Mondo. DDM consists of Giulia, Natsupoi, Syuri, Maika and Himeka. The addition of these two masked women, who apparently will be revealed next year, brings DDM’s total roster to seven women. If Giulia wants to declare war on every other unit in Stardom, then she certainly has the strength of numbers to target everyone but Oedo Tai. Sure, OT is down three members and soon to be four with Konami taking an extended hiatus to tend to her health issues, but they still easily match DDM numbers-wise. It is an interesting development, to say the least, and one that we will have to keep an eye on in the days and months to follow. There has been some speculation online regarding this too in which people seem to think that DDM could be splitting into two factions eventually due to this development. As with most things, this is a wait and see an idea for sure.
It seems to me that Giulia is taking a page out of Oedo Tai’s playbook here. They’ve been targeting the newbies but just made it very clear that everyone is a target. It brings up the idea that there will be all out unit warfare in 2022 and I am all here for that. I wonder how QQ, STARS and the CA will bolster themselves to counter this new threat. Rest assured, they have to come up with something or else DDM is going to run roughshod over all of them.
Wow. Just wow. Alright, after that shocking development we have two more matches to go folks. Up next…
STARDOM: Year-End Climax 2021 | Special Tag Match
Syuri and Konami vs Maika and Unagi Sayaka
As I said above, Konami is taking an extended hiatus from wrestling after the Dream Queendom event to focus on her health and well being, which has been suffering greatly the last few months. In so doing, she will technically become a freelancer and could appear anywhere in the world when she feels ready to return to the ring. With this as one of her last matches, for now, in the promotion, she teams with good friend Syuri to face off against Maika and Unagi Sayaka. For those who are unaware, Konami’s been dealing with Acute Enteritis and has been hospitalized several times over the last few months due to it. I won’t get into the medical stuff here, if you wanna look it up then do so yourself. I have nothing but respect for Konami. She’s in the ring to finish out the year despite clearly not being at 100%. She’s going out on her sword and that’s more than I can say for a lot of wrestlers these days.
All that said, it was probably smart of Stardom to let the other three carry the bulk of the match and give Konami her spots and keep them limited. She’s quite clearly not at peak health and they don’t want her to jeopardize herself more than necessary. All in all, despite Konami not having a major part in the match, this was a good way to send her off. Sure, her official send-off is against Giulia, but this was a good precursor to that. Maika and Unagi do not like each other and couldn’t work well together but they did their best. I have to give credit to Syuri, Unagi and Maika. They went out of their way to make this a memorable match for Konami and did a phenomenal job of doing just that. I’ll miss the Submission Sniper when she departs but she will be back. She said so herself. Syuri picked up the victory for her and Konami via submission with the White Tiger lock.
Winners: Syuri and Konami
After the match, Konami was given a moment to address everyone. She did say that she -will- be back in the ring and will face Syuri and everyone else one more time. That’s encouraging. Never End Konami. Never End. With that, our main event of the Year-End Climax is up next.
STARDOM: Year-End Climax 2021 | Six Woman Unit Tag Match:
Queen’s Quest (Saya Kamitani, Azumi & Utami Hayashishita) vs Oedo Tai (Momo Watanabe, Saki Kashima and Starlight Kid)
The main event of Year-End Climax marks the debut of Oedo Tai’s newest member, the self-proclaimed Black Peach Momo Watanabe teams with Starlight Kid and Saki Kashima. After betraying Queen’s Quest at the Osaka show, Momo is out to destroy her former unit, despite being one of the founding members. Holding down the fort is what’s left of QQ in Saya Kamitani, AZM and Utami Hayashishita. Losing their leader has been hard for QQ, but it seems to be even harder for Azumi who lost her best friend and mentor. Let’s see if QQ can put their feelings aside for this match and focus on gaining some measure of revenge.
Despite Saki and SLK being involved in the match in various degrees, this was very much about telling the story of Momo Watanabe and Queen’s Quest. As such, AZM and Momo spent most of the match in the ring together. This made a lot of sense because of the history of those two women. It’s so odd seeing Momo dressed Gothic and showing no regard for someone she has been teaming with for years. I didn’t see QQ getting so little offence though coming into it. OT dominated most of the match and if it wasn’t for Saya Kamitani, I am not sure that QQ would have gotten much offence at all. Utami and AZM had their moments, few and far between, but Saya had the best showing of the three ladies. All that said, in the end, it was Saki Kashima and not Momo Watanabe who picked up the pin for Oedo Tai. Momo certainly had a hand in it though as she and Kid used some wicked tandem offence, and a brilliant fake from Momo to cause AZM some pause, to set Saki up for the Kishikasei on AZM for the pinfall.
Winners: Saki Kashima, Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid
After the match, the ladies got on the mic as is customary. Here’s what went down here. Before they got on the mic, Utami confronted Momo which led to a QQ beat down by Oedo Tai. This included Momo and SLK giving Azumi a tandem kick to the head which looked brutal.
- SLK: “In the end, Momo and Saki are perfect together! Oedo Tai is alive and fun! Queen’s Quest, Black Peach will evolve from here, but don’t run away and cry. Hey Azumi! You’re going for my High-Speed belt next, but you’re mentally destroyed!”
- Momo: “Oedo Tai is fun! It’s good! I wanna keep seeing your sad faces full of regret. This really is fun. In 2022, just wait, you and others. Did you all enjoy it?”
- Utami: “Hey Oedo tai… Momo Watanabe… I will never forgive you. Hey AZM-san, let’s stop worrying about it. No more regrets.”
- AZM (crying): “It’s difficult to give up those feelings… But I’m going for the High Speed belt on the final show this year. Momo-chan…No…Momo Watanabe!!! At the beginning of the New Year, we will settle this, so get ready!”
Losing Momo had a huge impact on AZM especially, as you can tell from her promo. Before the show closed out, Stardom gave us a highlight package from 2021 with some of the biggest spots of the year. This ended with everyone, except Oedo Tai, posing in the ring for a picture. I’ll see you all at the Stardom Dream Queendom review folks, let’s look forward to a prosperous 2022 for the best women’s wrestling promotion on the planet!
Coming soon from me to all of you!
- Stardom Dream Queendom Review
- Stardom Awards 2021
- Stardom Best Matches 2021
- Stardom’s Best Performers 2021
- Who can save Queen’s Quest from certain doom?
- Kairi Hojo: 5 Opponents for her potential return to Stardom
- Who to watch for in 2022
And a myriad of other articles and just random fun stuff. See you all soon!