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STARDOM Flashing Champions 2024 Review

1 month ago Masahiro Kubota | MP | 05.18.24

Masahiro Kubota | MP | 05.18.24

STARDOM Flashing Champions 2024 Review

STARDOM Flashing Champions 2024 Review

By: Jeff Brown

STARDOM headed into Yokohama Arena for their Flashing Champions 2024, with Saori Anou headlining with a Wonder of Stardom defense against Ami Sohrei. Mayu Iwatani teamed with HANAN as Eye Contact in a big match against Best Friends, consisting of SEAdLINNNG’s Arisa Nakajima and Ice Ribbons’ Tsukasa Fujimoto, and the global outreach continued as Tam Nakano challenged Willow Nightingale for the AEW TBS Women’s title.

Mutual Love (Natsupoi & Starlight Kid0 vs. Crazy Star (Mei Seira & Suzu Suzuki)

Even with the time limit draw, this was a fantastic outing for both teams, and they felt like they had more left to give. Starlight Kid and Natsupoi felt like a serious team; SLK even had “Mutual Love” on the back of her mask. They have the potential to be cornerstones of the tag division if both want it.

Maika vs. HANAKO

This was a test for HANAKO, plain and simple. Maika bludgeoned her and tried to bring the fire out of HANAKO. It likely accomplished everything it was meant to and is the type of match that can be referenced down the road if HANAKO takes big strides into the main event scene. Maika wins with her patented Michinoku Driver II.

Azusa Inaba & Fukigen Death & Rina vs. Empress Nexus Venus (Mina Shirakawa, Waka Tsukiyama & Xena)

Rina has really found her stride with this reign, each defense is a mini-epic that has her challengers desperately trying to dethrone her. After landing a Double Knee drop off the top rope, Rina retains and continues to grow as a wrestler, just as importantly as a champion.

God’s Eye (Syuri & Konami & Ami Sohrei) vs. Empress neXus Venus (Xena & Waka Tsukiyama & HANAKO)

A perfectly fine six-woman tag. It was nice to see the progress Azusa has made, and she has really started to take on her own look and style. Rina is doing great work in the role of the Future champion, time will tell if she continues on up the ladder. Rina gets the pinfall after landing her double knee drop off the top.

Queen’s Quest (AZM, Lady C & Miyu Amasaki) vs. Oedo Tai (Momo Watanabe, Natsuko Tora & Thekla) vs. STARS (Hazuki, Koguma & Momo Kohgo) vs. Cosmic Angels (Aya Sakura, Sayaka Kurara & Yuna Mizumori) vs. God’s Eye (Konami, Saki Kashima & Syuri) – Artist Of Stardom Title #1 Contendership Gauntlet Match

Early on, it was a showcase for Queen’s Quest, Lady C even got a notable pin, and AZM never misses. The second half was about the new version of Oedo Tai continuing the chaos and reign of terror they began when Thekla joined their ranks. Oedo Tai won the gauntlet and is now the number one contender for the Artist of Stardom Titles.

Saya Kamitani (c) vs. Saya Iida – High Speed Title Match

Kamitani feels like she is committed to making this title reign an important part of her career and is not treating it as a downgrade or side journey. Iida overall has made some big strides in the last year and could really make the most of the new era STARDOM has entered. The match was a bit longer than the standard high-speed bout and was a nice win for Kamitani when she got a roll up on Iida to retain.

Best Friends (Arisa Nakajima & Tsukasa Fujimoto) vs. Eye Contact (Hanan & Mayu Iwatani)

HANAN was in the ring, breathing rarified air amongst three of the best to ever do it in Fujimoto, Nakajima, and her tag partner Iwatani. The Icon is reminding the world that she is an era-defining talent with this string of dream matches she is putting together this year. Nakajima is winding down her career but brought it as expected; she and Fujimoto gave HANAN a lot of spots to flourish. In the end, Fujimoto lands a Code Red and pins HANAN. Post match Mayu talks about having a future IWGP Women’s Title match with Fujimoto.


Willow Nightingale (c) vs. Tam Nakano – AEW TBS Women’s Title

Tam was in full big match gear for her entrance, and Willow was in her element, having fun dancing to the ring. However, much like Public Enemy in the ECW days, when the bell rings and the switch is flipped, Willow becomes intense and utilizes her size and power advantage. Tam works great with the David vs. Goliath formula, and these two had great chemistry. They hit a lot of big moves and went back and forth for nearly 20 minutes. Willow hit a powerbomb to secure the victory and retain her TBS title.

Mayu Iwatani (c) vs. Sareee – IWGP Women’s Championship

This match had a lot of anticipation and was something fans had dreamed about for nearly four years. It was two of the very best, putting on a master class, completely vicious and downright ugly in spots as they both indulged in ultraviolence. Mayu is a generational talent, and Sareee has been on a roll since returning to Japan with fantastic matches throughout all of Joshi. Mayu grabs the 2 Step Dragon Suplex and gets the victory to retain the IWGP title. Tsukasa Fujimoto from Ice Ribbon walks in quite the shocking moment and confronts Mayu with a tease of Best Friends (her team with Arisa Nakajima) having a tag match.

Saori Anou (c) vs. Ami Sohrei– Wonder of Stardom Championship

This was an important match for Sohrei; she really found a mean streak near the end of 2023, and that is something she needs to lean into going forward. Anou is simply one of the best all-around wrestlers in 2024; she has been perfecting these matches all over Japan in various promotions. Having her as a regular roster member adds such dimension and experience to the company, which is a real coup for STARDOM. Ami hit everything she had and used her size and strength advantages throughout. However, it was enough for the resilient Anou, who grabbed a suplex for the victory and retained the Wonder of Stardom title. Afterwards, Natsupoi came to the ring, and a future match is now in the works between these two friendly rivals and former tag partners.

This show was a good building block for STARDOM as they continue to deliver the high-level matches they have become known for. The name really has become a trademark of quality in the world of wrestling, and the roster is deep enough to uphold that expectation. The company has enough titles that they can rotate and spotlight different belts for a nice variety of PPV cards in 2024


All photos Masahiro Kubota | Monthly Puroresu 05.18.24