Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

STARDOM 5 Star Grand Prix: Night One Review

2 years ago

STARDOM 5 Star Grand Prix: Night One Review

STARDOM 5 Star Grand Prix: Night One Review

By: Trent Breward

Overwhelming power was the name of the game as STARDOM’s most prestigious tournament kicked off in Ota Ward Gymnasium.

In each match the power game was the key. Whoever hit harder won the match. Hazuki and Giulia made determining that particularly difficult as they went back and forth in controlling the action in the main event. For a moment Giulia threatened to end the match the same way she did when the two faced off in her first ever STARDOM match, but the Stealth Viper submission couldn’t quite get the job done.

What could get it done was a sickening headbutt. It’s a move Giulia has used in big matches to great effect, but this time she was on the other end of the strike. It dazed her long enough for Hazuki to hit a massive Michinoku Driver and Stalling Vertical Drop Brainbuster combination to bring a close to the show.

If you had any doubt how important this match was for the two of them, just watch how quickly they launched at each other to start the match. Hazuki actually starts sprinting just before the bell is called for, and that frantic ferocity continued as they fought up the ramp, resulting in a couple of highlight moments as Giulia was kicked down the stairs and then hit as Hazuki launched herself with a crossbody to join her on the lower part of the rampway.

Being able to get that first win straight away and gain early momentum is of utmost importance in a tournament setting. This is something Mayu Iwatani continues to struggle with. Her loss to MIRAI marks the eighth straight Grand Prix where she has failed to win her first match. Her suicide dive held true to its name as her opponent moved out of the way and from that moment she was on the back foot. Any time she started to find momentum MIRAI flattened her with another thunderous lariat, and eventually a punch drunk Iwatani couldn’t keep kicking out.

In a year that has seen MIRAI win the Cinderella Tournament, this might still be the biggest win of her career. Defeating the Icon of Stardom one on one in such commanding fashion instantly registers MIRAI as a threat in the stacked Blue Stars Block. Equally important was Himeka being able to walk out with her head held high, avenging her 2020 Grand Prix Final loss to Utami Hayashishita by nearly powerbombing her through the ring. In the biggest power vs power showdown of the night it was Himeka who got the better of the former World of Stardom Champion.

Speaking of Champions, the next challengers for the Red and White Belts made themselves known. Nanae Takahashi and KAIRI reformed their old pairing and as expected won their tag match against Saya Kamitani and Lady C. Syuri listed Nanae Takahashi as someone she wanted to defend her World of Stardom Championship against in the upcoming Monthly Purorresu Issue #9, and now she will get that wish. The first ever champion gets the chance to become just the third person to win the title multiple times behind Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani.

KAIRI and Saya Kamitani have been dancing back and forth for a while, but they finally look set for their championship match. Despite only a little bit of time in the ring together their chemistry already looks fantastic. KAIRI’s challenge comes as Kamitani is on the verge of overtaking the eight defenses The Pirate Princess managed with the White Belt, and she has the champion – by her own words – a little scared.

Full Match Results

  • Tam Nakano & Natsupoi def. Starlight Kid & Fukigen Death., Saki Kashima & Momo Watanabe., Koguma & Hanan., Oedo Tai Rina & Ruaka., and Miyu Amasaki & Lady C in a Gauntlet Tag Team Match
  • Red Stars Block: Mai Sakurai (2) def. Momo Kohgo (0)
  • Blue Stars Block: Ami Sourei (2) def. Saya Iida (0)
  • Red Stars Block: SAKI (2) def. Unagi Sayaka
  • Red Stars Block: Risa Sera (2) def. Maika (0)
  • Red Stars Block: Syuri (2) def. AZM (0)
  • Nanae Takahashi & KAIRI def. Lady C & Saya Kamitani
  • Blue Stars Block: MIRAI (2) def. Mayu Iwatani (0)
  • Red Stars Block: Himeka (2) def. Utami Hayashishita (0)
  • Blue Stars Block: Hazuki (2) def. Giulia (0)

Rapid Fire Takeaways

  • Saya Iida had previously adopted Yuji Nagata’s Shirome submission hold, and heading into her match with Ami Sourei she brought a fresh gameplan and tried to weaken the arm of her bigger opponent. It’s an important addition to her repertoire in an attempt to circumvent her short stature. As physically strong as she is it won’t be enough, especially against fellow powerhouses like Sourei.
  • KAIRI and Nanae not only won, but they did so in style by bringing back the motorbike for their team entrance. She also ditched the pirate hat for a leather jacket to the suit the team aesthetic
  • Syuri wanted to make sure everyone knew that not only is she the reigning World of Stardom Champion, but also the winner of last years’ tournament. She traded in her red entrance robe for an eye popping gold one and managed to avenge two straight tournament losses against AZM. With this submission victory Mayu Iwatani is now the only one who doesn’t have a losing record against the top champion in STARDOM, sitting at an even 1-1 record.
  • The pairing of Tam Nakano and Natsupoi sent a message to the Goddess Champions FWC with a strong performance in the pre-show gauntlet tag match. The battles they’ve had against each other seem to have prepared them to work together. They very well could be the next tag team champions.
  • Unagi Sayaka had the most creative wrestling gear of the night, with her opponent’s name emblazoned on her top. If Unagi is doing this for each opponent, hopefully she has been able to organize a new piece with the announcement of Thekla’s withdrawal from the tournament. Now she needs one with Momo Kohgo’s name on it.

5 Star Grand Prix Standings:

2 – Syuri
2 – Himeka
2 – Risa Sera
2 – SAKI
2 – Mai Sakurai
0 – Maika
0 – AZM
0 – Unagi Sayaka
0 – Momo Kohgo
0 – Saki Kashima
0 – Koguma
0 – Tam Nakano
0 – Utami Hayashishita

2 – Hazuki
2 – Ami Sourei
0 – Giulia
0 – Mayu Iwatani
0 – Saya Iida
0 – Suzu Suzuki
0 – Starlight Kid
0 – Momo Watanabe
0 – Mina Shirakawa
0 – Hanan
0 – Natsupoi
0 – Saya Kamitani