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STARDOM Dream Tag Festival Review and Results – 09.10.23

9 months ago

STARDOM Dream Tag Festival Review and Results – 09.10.23

STARDOM Dream Tag Festival Review and Results

By: James Carlin

The possibility of a PPV with all teams voted by fans sounds like it came straight out of WWE’s old Cyber Sunday, but Stardom have done it, and Dream Tag Festival is an entire show focused on one-off tag team matches of teams that were all selected by fans online.

The process of these votes were done by selecting wrestlers from a list of names, then putting them together in the submission form – which was done multiple times to create a six or seven groups.

In the end, the PPV ended up with a fantastic roster of teams, including new formations and old groupings; all ready to put on a fantastic show at the Yokohama Budokan.

This special PPV opened with Dream H reuniting against Saori Anou and Natsupoi – the latter of which are the current Goddess of Stardom tag team champions. Shirakawa is the only person in this match not in Cosmic Angels, having left to splinter Club Venus into its own unit back in April. The last time Dream H teamed together was back in January 2022, making it a very bittersweet reunion.

Much like Giulia and Nakano back in 2021 following their hair vs. hair encounter, Shirakawa ends up having to take on all three members of Cosmic Angels herself, as she finds herself on the receiving end of moves by meltear. Its been noted both before by Monthly Puroresu staff and by others that Shirakawa has improved tenfold in the ring in the last two years, and this tag team only did yet another great job at highlighting this, where Shirakawa got some time to shine in the ring to the detriment of fighting her partner during it. Later the match featured a fun hard-hitting encounter between newest Cosmic Angels recruit Anou and its founder, Tam Nakano, before resuming to normal action. A very fun opening match for the show which sees Shirakawa doing the Cosmic Angels dance once again before challenging Nakano for the World of Stardom championship.

We get what may be the last appearance of the World Travelling Pirate Princess, KAIRI. She says that she wanted to wrestle in Stardom again before her hiatus, but the opportunity couldn’t come, and time is running out. STARS (Hazuki, Koguma, Saya Iida) come out to the ring to challenge KAIRI. KAIRI’s tag team partner Nanae Takahashi, of 7KAIRI, enters the ring and shouts “PASSION!”. The match is set for October 9th: Saya Iida and Fukuoka Double Crazy vs. 7KAIRI and Mayu Iwatani.

Next up is former Donna del Mondo teammates Mai Sakurai and Wonder of Stardom champion MIRAI teaming against the sisters Hina and Rina. Rina is the current Future of Stardom champion. This is Sakurai’s first match since the opening day of this year’s 5★STAR GP, who has taken some time off wrestling recently.

To be expected, MIRAI and Sakurai were largely in control of the match to begin with, but the Future of Stardom champion gets some offence in against Sakurai, then MIRAI and Hina trade blows against each other with Hina trying her best until MIRAI traps her in a submission unsuspectingly to make her tap out whilst Mai Sakurai sits on Rina and hits her signature pose. After the match, Mai Sakurai asked if any “commoners” would like to team with her in the Goddess of Stardom Tag League, which the MIRAI accepted in her Tohoku accent that Sakurai couldn’t understand at first, maybe because she’s a bit of a posh lady who has no time for the regular folk.

DoubleMomo (a tag team name never used before), consisting of Momo Watanabe and Momo Kohgo, face off against Mariah May and Hanan. May has spoken before about her desire to team with Hanan and now she gets her chance, although she almost ended up teaming with Koguma and Mei Seira.

Watanabe immediately throws Kohgo out of the ring, electing to do things her way, only to get double-dropkicked by Hanan and May. The two clearly have great chemistry together, whilst Watanabe and Kohgo don’t have the same love for each other, to say the least.

May’s defeat of the Black Peach in the 5★STAR GP has clearly angered the Oedo-Tai member, who is incessantly trying to destroy May and subsequently Hanan. Kohgo and Watanabe try and go for some tag team moves, but they’re intercepted by their opponents, with Kohgo accidentally hitting Watanabe in the process. Watanabe starts hitting everyone with her patented bat, leading to Barb Sasaki no choice but to DQ her. A bit of a disappointing ending to what was starting to be a good match. Watanabe then challenged MIRAI for the Wonder of Stardom championship, having defeated the champion earlier in the month in the 5★STAR GP.

Hazuki and Natsuko Tora, former teammates under the Yuu Ishino-led Oedo-Tai, team against Nanae Takahashi and Ruaka. Ruaka seems very much not too passionate about doing this, despite the passion injection match she lost against Takahashi four months ago at NEW BLOOD, and she throws away Takahashi’s cheering towel. Tora and Hazuki come out in matching gear, with Hazuki wearing the white-and-black paying tribute to her time in Oedo-Tai.

Oedo-Tai Hazuki is back, and she’s already doing chair bowling with her opponents with Tora giving a helping hand. Eventually things get back into the ring, and BMI2000 square off, and the ruthlessness of Tora comes to light in their encounter together. Takahashi tries helping her partner but to no avail, even KAIRI is out with a megaphone chanting for Ruaka, a funny little moment. Takahashi and Tora have a big exchange, and Ruaka and Takahashi get a submission on Tora. Hazuki hits some vicious kicks and does a jump to the outside. Things get back into the ring and Takahashi and Ruaka hit two consecutive splashes one after the other from the top rope. The two miss a double clothesline on Hazuki, and the Oedo-Tai duo mist that assist Hazuki in getting the pinfall victory. An awesome match.

Maika teams with Utami Hayashishita – the one that she faced for the Future of Stardom championship that led to her Stardom debut. Maika claims that she has followed Hayashishita from judo to pro-wrestling. The two come out with alcohol in their hands, which Maika gifted to Hayashishita previously.

On the other side is Suzu Suzuki and Giulia, a duo that goes all the way back to Ice Ribbon and have fought opposite and against each other multiple times, but now they team for the first time in Stardom. Suzuki comes out with a chair, and Giulia with a table and matching black gear. The hope is that Maika isn’t hit with a Tequila Shot by Suzuki – it wouldn’t be good for her alcohol consumption problems.

Giulia and Hayashishita start off, a small-but-fun preview of their 5★STAR GP match coming up on the final night. It doesn’t take long for chaos to explode outside of the ring, Suzuki hitting Maika with a chair and Giulia throwing Hayashishita into the crowd. Suzuki and Giulia set two tables up but they don’t get used as Maika and Hayashishita stop them from being broken into. Hayashishita and Giulia once again square off in the ring with Giulia’s grappling masterclass comes in handy courtesy of Hideki Suzuki. The Empress and Red Queen hit some impressive moves both together and on their own as they gain control of the match but it doesn’t last for long as Giulia manages to get the Violent Prodigy tagged in.

Hayashishita and Maika get their opponents on the tables, but because they’ve just drunken alcohol, they don’t notice that they’ve moved, and Suzuki and Giulia throw chairs at them on the ropes, and put them through the tables instead.

Both teams have great tag team cohesion with each other, but Maika hits Hayashishita with a clothesline by accident yet the two are able to do synchronised superplexes from the top rope. It’s not enough, and the match ends in a draw. Absolutely phenomenal match, go out of your way to watch this.

Post-match Giulia cuts a promo with Maika and Suzuki in the ring. Maika leaves, leaving Giulia and Suzuki open to a surprise attack by Risa Sera and Kurumi Hiiragi, who announce their entry into the Goddess of Stardom Tag League.

And now the main event, Mayu Iwatani and Saki Kashima reunite for the first time since Kashima’s betrayal to team against AZM and Starlight Kid. The VTR shows footage from the two early in Stardom’s history (More precisely, it’s Arisa Hoshiki and Mayu Iwatani vs. Saki Kashima and Eri Susa), as well as them winning the Goddess of Stardom titles from Hana Kimura and Kagetsu in 2018. The music transition from Kid’s music to AZM was great. AZM comes out in a mask, like the old Queen’s Quest days before Starlight Kid was the one that forced the group to get rid of them. Sadly, Kashima does not come out with her classic white gear; her and Iwatani making their entrance separately although Kashima tries to make Iwatani fall off the ropes in her entrance.

Kashima leave the ring immediately, leaving the Eternal Foes to team-up against The Icon. Things get back to normal, and Kashima’s in-ring craftiness seems to perplex Iwatani, who has to be moved into position for one of the High-Speed champion’s moves. Kits hits a standing moonsault onto Iwatani and Kashima, and gets Kashima into the Numero Dos, but the champion manages to escape. Kid toys with Kashima but Kashima manages to tag Iwatani in, and The Icon and Sky Tiger face-off in yet another preview of the 5★STAR GP’s final night. Unfortunately the MK★Sisters weren’t teaming tonight, but the two have very natural in-ring chemistry against one another, though the same could be said for all four competitors in the match.

Every so often the match switches from high-speed epicness to Kashima’s methodical yet clever in-ring style, with AZM and Kid getting some tag team moves on the former Goddess of Stardom Tag Team champions before Kashima gets the best of the duo again. AZM and Kid once again show their innovative high-speed style, and both jump from the top rope to Iwatani and Kashima outside of the ring. Once again things re-enter the ring, and AZM throws Iwatani out of the ring, Kashima tries to roll-up but fails.

AZM hits a diving footstomp from halfway across the ring and the High-Speed champion tries to pin her with her revival pin. The pace of this match is going so fast that recapping it is very difficult. AZM pins Kashima with the Azumi Sushi. A fun and fast main event with AZM and Starlight Kid ending the show with a “Believe now, shine tomorrow – We are Stardom!”.

This was yet another great showing from Stardom, full of fun moments, awesome matches and very enjoyable pairings. It’s no surprise that Stardom always puts on a great show as the biggest and best women’s pro-wrestling company in the world.

Full Results:

  • Pre-Show Tag Team Gauntlet: Megan Bayne and Mei Seira def. Lady C and Miyu Amasaki, Syuri and Ami Sohrei, Koguma and Saya Iida, Waka Tsukiyama and Yuna Mizumori
  • Dream H (Mina Shirakawa, Tam Nakano) def. Natsupoi and Saori Anou
  • MIRAI and Mai Sakurai def. Hina and Rina
  • Mariah May and Hanan def. Momo Kohgo and Momo Watanabe by DQ
  • Hazuki and Natsuko Tora def. Nanae Takahashi and Ruaka
  • Giulia and Suzuki vs. Utami Hayashishita and Maika ends in a twenty-minute draw
  • AZM and Starlight Kid def. Mayu Iwatani and Saki Kashima

Rapid Fire Takeaways:

  • Dream H may not have been a perfectly cohesive team, as expected from their fallout just before All Star Grand Queendom, but they worked pretty well together, and Shirakawa did the Cosmic Angels dance once more.
  • Hina and Rina are slowly becoming better and better wrestlers, and teaming them together has helped them a lot and has presented their strengths more clearly, and the fans were clearly behind them in their match.
  • The Donna del Mondo-God’s Eye connection seems to be officially in effect now that MIRAI and Sakurai are entering the Goddess Tag League together.
  • Clearly, Momo Watanabe can’t control her anger, attacking not only her opponents but also her tag team partner during her match.
  • It looks as though Nanae Takahashi’s passion injection worked, as throughout the match, Ruaka continued to get more and more involved and determined as it went on.
  • Giulia’s love of tables continues forth, bringing them out during her match against Maika and Utami Hayashishita.
  • Saki Kashima must be living a nightmare, having to wrestle not one, but two high-speed centric tag team partners consecutively. Not a good night for her wanting matches under five minutes.
  • Personally, I hope the Dream Tag Festival comes back next year as it was one of the most fun Stardom PPVs of the year, up there with All Star Dream Queendom in April.