World Wonder Ring Stardom: Yokohama Dream Cinderella Summer Edition! Welcome to my review of Stardom’s summer show in Yokohama! It happened super early for me, 4 am my local time, and I’m sure that if you wanted to find the results by now you already have. But if you’re reading this and coming along with me for the ride then thank you for joining me. I really do appreciate it, and I hope you all come to love Stardom as much as I have over the years. Unfortunately, I do not type fast enough for a play-by-play but I will do my best to tell you what happens and how the match goes. That said, let’s enjoy the show.
Right out the gate with the first match on the main card, it’s the Gauntlet match between;
Yokohama Dream Cinderella Summer Edition:
Fukigen Death & Konami, Hanan & Hina, Lady C & Maika and Saki Kashima & Rina.
In Round 1, out first we have Hanan and Hina against Saki Kashima and Rina. What’s unique here in this match is that we have a bunch of sisters representing different units in this match. Rina and Hina are twins but represent Oedo Tai and Stars respectively, and their older sister is Hanan. This is a really fun match right off the bat because we have the three sisters going at it from the opening bell. A lot of back and forth with a lot of double-teaming in the early stages by Rina and Kashima. We get our first pin after around ten minutes with Rina pinning her twin sister Hina.
Round 2 in the Gauntlet we have Rina and Kashima against Lady C and Maika. With the rules of the Gauntlet match, there is very little time for Rina and Saki to catch their breath. An unfortunate side-note here.. Lady C has yet to pick up a victory in Stardom. Round 2 starts with Saki Kashima against Maika. Now this is a fight ladies and gentlemen, one that I want to see more of. Back and forth between Maika and Rina/Saki before Lady C comes in. Rina and Saki definitely using the double team and dirty tactics that Oedo Tai is known for. But it backfires on them when Lady C holds Saki Kashima outside of the ring and Maika hits a huge slam on Rina, picking up the pinfall and ending the second round. Holy shit Lady C (and Maika) actually picked up a victory! Sure it’s just one round out of three but it’s still a pinfall.
Round 3 begins with Lady C and Maika against Oedo Tai’s second team of Konami and Fukigen Death. I have to say this.. I love how Konami and Fukigen Death come out as a team with Konami holding a chain leash attached to Fukigen’s collar. It’s kind of like Fukigen is there against her will and Konami is her master. Just.. fun.. anyway! Oedo Tai jumps the bell and attacks! Knocking Maika out of the ring and using Fukigen’s chain on Lady C. Commentary with a bit of info telling us that Fukigen is a 21 year veteran as she and Lady C go at it in the ring. Soon Konami enters the fray as does Maika, now that’s a match I want to see a lot more of. Konami and Maika.. I can dream can’t I? Anyway! Fukigen Death pins Lady C and Oedo Tai wins the Gauntlet Match! Fukigen Death definitely had a hold of the tights there, at least from what I saw.
Winner: Oedo Tai (Fukigen Death and Konami)
The opener was a lot of fun with a bunch of hard-hitting spots, though the opening round was definitely my favourite of the three. Next up we have…
Yokohama Dream Cinderella Summer Edition:
Queen’s Quest (Momo Watanabe & AZM) vs Oedo Tai (Starlight Kid and Ruaka)
Before the match gets going, I just want to say that this match has two of my favourites in Stardom going at it in AZM and Starlight Kid. I am a huge fan of both though I am a little more biased towards Kid… Especially now that she’s joined the dark side and embraced Oedo Tai. See kids, the Darkside has the best cookies! Forget the Jedi and join the Darkness. I also have to say that I absolutely LOVE Starlight Kid’s new attire! She looks amazing in it and it just fits so well with her new attitude and devotion to Oedo Tai. I mean shit, you look at this attire and tell me she doesn’t look amazing in it.
Sorry for getting distracted there… Here we go, ladies and gentlemen. We start the match off with the eternal rivals, AZM and Starlight Kid. These two have a long history between them and they really do get better in the ring with each other each time they face off. A flurry of an opening sees Kid take control and work on AZM, using some dirtier tactics before tagging in Ruaka. This is pretty brief as Kid comes back in and keeps the pressure up. The commentary team is really talking up how different Kid is in this match and it really is like night and day. It’s another back and forth, with Kid even dialling up the 619 and yes, commentary called it the 619. Pretty awesome seeing Kid using Rey Mysterio’s signature move like that. The majority of the match is AZM and Starlight Kid going at it but Ruaka eats the pin after trying to cheat and use a blue crate as a weapon. AZM with the Azumi Sushi finishing roll and picks up the win. It a really good tag match and a solid second match for the show. I honestly wish we would have had a singles match between AZM and Kid but hopefully, we get more of that soon.
Winner: MomoAZ (Momo Watanabe and AZM)
We get a minor break here to disinfect the ring and the beginning of four straight, major title championship matches.
Yokohama Dream Cinderella Summer Edition:
Future of Stardom Championship match: Mina Shirakawa vs Unagi Sayaka
We’ve seen some dissension between these two ladies since they made it to the finals of the tournament, which has been a bit troublesome as they are both representing the Cosmic Angels unit. I’m sure it’s taken Tam Nakano all she has to keep this from imploding before the match.
Starting off we have a lot of stiff strikes and some rolling on the ground, trying to get an advantage. Eventually, though it’s Unagi driving Mina out of the ring and keeping the attacks coming. It’s all Unagi in the early goings here, using her size advantage to ground Mina and work her body to try and wear her out. This is definitely a slower, more technical match than the last two were and I am totally fine with that. Neither woman really has an advantage over the other and they trade momentum back and forth like people predicted this match would be. Stiff strikes, the constant back and forth, this is a really fun technical match. Nearing the end and Unagi pulls out a really.. unfortunate looking frog splash where she really got no height on at all. She has a long time to perfect that though. Winding down and Mina Shirakawa hits two spikes DDT’s onto Sayaka to pick up the win! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Future of Stardom champion!
Winner and new Future of Stardom Champion: Mina Shirakawa
After the match, Shirakawa gets on the mic and cuts a pretty emotional sounding promo with Sayaka still in the ring watching. When she finishes, she passes the mic to Sayaka who congratulates Mina and then says she wants another match for the belt. To which Mina says that she will accept the challenge and Unagi will be her first challenger for the belt. We’re getting round two between them sometime soon down the road and I am fine with that. Not phenomenal but it was a solid match and it was pretty fun to watch.
Next up we have our second title match and this one is for the Goddess of Stardom Championship.
Yokohama Dream Cinderella Summer Edition:
(c) Alto Livello Kabaliwan (Giulia and Syuri) vs STARS (Mayu Iwatani and Koguma)
Donna del Mondo representatives Alto Livello defend their titles against the legendary Icon of Stardom Mayu Iwatani and the High-Speed Genius Koguma. Out first is STARS, who have been undefeated as a team in their last five matches. Can I just say that I love the music that Donna del Mondo comes out to for this match? It is really a fun beat and sounds like something you’d hear at a rave club so I love it. Syuri just had that unbelievable match against Utami Hayashishita not long ago and Giulia is pretty polarizing herself. This should be a really good matchup, so let’s get it going.
Stars try for a handshake but DDM sikes them out, drawing an attack from behind. After that, we get Syuri and Mayu Iwatani in the ring first, with Iwatani focusing on the arm. Koguma tags in and continues the focus. But soon DDM takes control, dropping Koguma on the apron with a hanging neckbreaker. It’s DDM isolating Koguma and working her over while Iwatani sells a beating on the outside. Commentary tells us that Syuri is a legit badass, a trained MMA fighter and a former champion in the MMA world. Five minutes in, Koguma gets the tag and in comes Iwatani like a ball of fire, taking it to Giulia and Syuri. She really looks amazing still, despite being a long time veteran at this point, I’d say she’s still the best in the world but that’s my opinion. Iwatani with a series of stiff-looking forearm strikes to the head, driving Syuri down to the mat before mounting a brief comeback but that is quickly ended by Iwatani who begins focusing on the leg. Each makes the tag and Giulia takes the advantage over Koguma. Giulia blatantly disregarding the rules and doing everything she can for the win in this match. Koguma with the Cesaro Swing! Round and round she goes before Mayu soccer kicks Giulia in the head. Giulia comes back though and really begins dominating Koguma, both women just laying waste to her. Oh man, Koguma slaps the taste out of Giulia’s mouth only to piss her off, but this works to her advantage. Koguma able to rile up Giulia and get a brief moment of offence before DDM takes advantage again. It really picks up at this point with both teams going back and forth with stiff strikes and high octane offence. DDM just looks dominant here and STARS are definitely the spunky underdogs but Giulia hits the northern lights bomb on Koguma and picks up the win for Donna del Mondo.
Winner and Still Goddesses of Stardom Champions: Giulia and Syuri (Donna del Mondo)
This was a lot of fun, I’m not gonna lie. Stars put up a hell of a fight but they really made DDM look amazing in this match. It’s why I say Iwatani is the best in the world. They really gave it all they had and put DDM over hard here in an amazing match.
We get some promo work with DDM after the match.
Up next, our third title match and co-main event of the show for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. Of course, though, this is after the announcement of this year’s Five-star Grand Prix!
Red Stars: Giulia, Momo Watanabe, Natsuko Tora, Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid, Natsupoi, Himeka, Koguma and Mina Shirakawa.
Blue Stars: Utami Hayashishita, Syuri, Tam Nakano, Saya Kamitani, Maika, AZM, Konami, Ruaka, Unagi Sayaka and X who is supposedly going to represent another promotion.
For those unfamiliar with the Grand Prix, here’s a very brief explanation for you. The GP is Stardom’s biggest tournament of the year splitting its top performers into two blocks for round-robin action. The winners of each block will meet in the final which will take place at the Ota Ward Gymnasium this year. I’m really -really- pulling for a Starlight Kid and AZM final this year but it likely won’t happen.. I can dream though. A shocker maybe is that this Grand Prix made it clear that Natsupoi is finally returning to Stardom from injury so that is some really good news for Donna del Mondo and Stardom in general. Although, as you’ll find out later, there is a significant injury to one of the red stars that will shake up the tournament and a replacement hasn’t been announced as of yet.
Yokohama Dream Cinderella Summer Edition:
Wonder of Stardom Championship: The Stardom Dream Tam Nakano (c) vs The Golden Phoenix Saya Kamitani
Saya Kamitani is the winner of this year’s Cinderella tournament and got to challenge Tam Nakano for her title. There is a fair bit of history here and a lot of respect between the two so this should be interesting, to say the least.
We’ve got the aerial attacks of Kamitani against the striking of Nakano. Test of strength to start with both women showing a taste of what they bring to the match before Nakano takes control. Smartly, Nakano grounds Kamitani and does her best to keep the flier out of the air. She also targets the rib area that was injured by Natsuko Tora the week prior. It shows just how smart Tam is the way she approaches the match here with Kamitani. Side note here, AZM is on the outside for Kamitani and she’s the only one wearing a jersey while everyone else is masked up and wearing a white Stardom shirt. AZM is such a teenage rebel and I love how she embraces it in her character. Back to the action and we’ve got Nakano still in control, targeting the ribs until Kamitani hits a Frankensteiner. This turns the action into her favour as she hits a splash to the outside and then a missile dropkick for a near fall. Of course, Tam hits her in the ribs and takes control again. We get the, seemingly, traditional trading of forearm strikes that appears in almost every single Stardom match and Nakano keeps control. Briefly though as Kamitani unleashes a barrage of slaps to the face and takes control again before we get a slap fest, back and forth as they smack the hell out of each other. Kamitani with a shooting star press but can’t get the win. Both women now trading stiff forearm shots to the jaw. On their feet, Tam hits a nice superkick but immediately takes a spinning heel kick in the face. Tam gets hit with the Star Crusher and barely manages to kick out. Kamitani goes for the phoenix splash but gets a knee in the ribs on the landing, man that looked like it hurt. Saya with a near fall followed up by two stiff kicks from Tam Nakano. Saya somehow kicks out from those headshots and Tam finally hits Star Crusher and picks up the pinfall.
Winner and still Wonder of Stardom Champion: Tam Nakano
Without a doubt, this has been the best match on the card for me to this point. Kamitani really gave it her all despite her injury and just came up short. I’m sure we will see this again sometime. Nakano gets on the mic after the match and tells Kamitani that she is proud of her growth and what she has accomplished but isn’t giving up the white belt to her just yet. Extends a hand and says let’s reach for our dreams together, which Kamitani does not reciprocate. Tam looks legit upset and hurt with that and I love how she sells it. Oh shit, my girl Starlight Kid hits the ring after Kamitani is helped to the back and takes the mic from Nakano! She challenges Nakano to a match and offers herself up as the only person who can take the belt from her. God, I love the attitude from Kid here.. Nakano accepts the match to which Kid replies “Do not expect the same me as before.” I cannot wait for this match! God, it is going to be epic.
Up next we’ve got our main event of the card for the World of Stardom Championship on Yokohama Dream Cinderella Summer Edition!
World of Stardom Championship: Utami Hayashishita (c) vs Natsuko Tora
Leading up to this match, Natsuko Tora has been on an absolute roll and resurrected Oedo Tai from the brink of obscurity. She’s really grown leaps and bounds in recent years and more than deserves this match against Utami. The evil genius and undisputed leader of Oedo Tai has called her shots and delivered on each one recently. Utami Hayashishita is rising rapidly through the ranks and quickly becoming one of the best female wrestlers in the world. I’m surprised at how good she has become in such a short amount of time but she has earned the praise without a doubt.
Starting off we’ve got a grapple fest on the ground as each woman tries to take control. Surprisingly clean start from Tora who is known for underhanded tactics. The two are evenly matched in the strength department so far with neither woman getting a clear advantage yet. Oh and now we get the strike fest, chops and forearms traded between the two. Tora gets the advantage here but Utami slams her into the mat with a shoulder tackle. Utami with the advantage until Konami interferes and knocks her off the turnbuckle, Tora taking her out to the floor. Oedo Tai interferes and puts the boots to the champion, with every member getting some kicks in. Oedo Tai sets up a table and Utami is put onto the table. Watanabe evens the odds briefly until Tora brings out the metal pole and takes out Queen’s Quest. Up to the top with Utami on the table, a splash sends the champion through the table! A rest period of jaw jacking by Tora before she goes for a stomp from the apron. She hits it but lands really awkwardly on her feet, twisting her knee…
It looked really bad. Tora is legit hurt, there is no way that she isn’t. She’s screaming in agony here. The doctor comes over to check on Natsuko Tora and Utami Hayashishita after the exchange. We’ve got a stoppage in time as the doctor checks on Tora. She is clearly in agony but is trying to get back to her feet. She cannot put any weight on her left leg at all. The match is stopped due to a legitimate injury and Utami Hayashishita keeps the belt. This is a major bummer and it derails the momentum that Tora had. As much as Tora tried, she could not get back to her feet at all and the doctor stopped it.
Winner and still World of Stardom Champion: Utami Hayashishita.
This injury derailed the match as I am sure both Tora and Utami are disappointed that the injury happened but accidents happen. The injury also throws a wrench into the Grand Prix coming up as rumours say that Natsuko Tora will be out anywhere from six to nine months. You can tell from the post-match promo that Tora is in complete agony. She says she wants the lowest-ranked member of Oedo Tai to challenge next if her leg is broken. As of this writing, I haven’t heard any confirmation about the nature of the injury to Natsuko Tora.
There you have it, folks! I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did. Best wishes and speedy recovery go out to Natsuko Tora, I hope to see her back in the ring as soon as possible.