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STARDOM Gold Rush 2022 Review – 11.19.22

2 years ago

STARDOM Gold Rush 2022 Review – 11.19.22

STARDOM Gold Rush 2022 Review – 11.19.22

By: Trent Breward

Things don’t always go to plan in pro wrestling. In those situations, all you can hope for is that nobody gets hurt.

Gold Rush lived up to its name. Beyond just a couple of big championship battles, four teams fought in a two round tournament in order to win the ‘MoneyBall’. It was a literal ball of money, jewelry and crowns hanging up in the air in the middle of Osaka Edion Arena. Awaiting the two final teams was a unique variation of the TLC match – where in the Moneyball could be raised and lowered by large buttons in the corners of the ring that were accompanied by a loud siren.

The Moneyball created a great visual. There was just one problem: it wasn’t all that sturdy.

As Giulia climbed the ladder in order to free the gold, Hazuki interrupted her by jumping off the top rope and dropkicking the ladder, sending Giulia crashing to the ground

Just like the prize…

The ladder crashed into the plastic ball, breaking it in two as all the wealth inside plummeted to the ground. For a moment nobody quite knew how to react, the crowd sat in stunned silence before collectively building to a crescendo. They were now fighting over half an empty plastic ball that awkwardly waited in the sky.

The rest of the match played out largely as intended, with the exception of Mai Sakurai bouncing off the table she was slammed into by the STARS. People were driven through tables, knocked through a pyramid of chairs, and Koguma once more decided to steal the show by jumping off the highest possible platform – this time the tallest ladder – onto some hapless opponents on the outside.

With Donna Del Mondo all taken out by a flying bear, Hazuki and Mayu Iwatani were free to claim the empty hemisphere. The gold and prizes, which had been collected and stored to the side, was then brought out and awarded to them. A car crash that ended up as a beautiful disaster. The broken Moneyball only managed to enhance the wild fun of the match. If something was to go wrong in a TLC match, this is far more preferable to an injury.

It wasn’t all fun and games though. Another chapter was written in the storied rivalry between Utami Hayashishita and Syuri. Utami had finally proven she could beat the World of Stardom Champion when she put her down with the Hi-Jack Bomb on night 2 of the 5 Star Grand Prix. However when she hit the move this time, Syuri somehow found the wherewithal to kick out. It has been a staple of her run as the Red Belt Champion. No matter what you throw at her, Syuri does not stay down.

In desperation Utami took the champion to the top rope, looking to put her away with an Avalanche Samoan Drop, only for her weight to be twisted at the last minute, with Syuri countering it into a vile Crucifix Drop that threw the challenger onto her head. From then it was a matter of endurance. It took every big move in Syuri’s arsenal, but eventually the Syu-Sekai put Utami down. A fitting entry into a rivalry that will go down in STARDOM history books

The defense against Utami places Syuri equal second for most defenses of the Red Belt in a single reign, overtaking the very person she just defeated. Now only Io Shirai sits ahead of her (with ten and fourteen defenses in her two reigns). If Syuri has any hope of overtaking the Genius of the Sky she needs to defeat Giulia next month at Ryogoku Hall, exactly one year removed from when she won the title in the first place. They fought back in March, but Giulia has grown a lot since then.

Saya Kamitani is also set to enter Ryogoku Hall as champion, but only just. The Phoenix wrestled KAIRI to a 30 minute draw, a match months in the making after their August battle got rescheduled due to COVID. If the Pirate Princess was distracted by the looming IWGP Women’s Title match against Mayu Iwatani the following night, she didn’t show it. KAIRI used her veteran guile to control much of the match, keeping the high flyer grounded. Saya would get off a big move or two, but control was quickly wrestled back away.

Where momentum truly changed was when the challenger went aerial. KAIRI is no stranger to the skies, but when she launched in the air for her forearm strike, Kamitani countered by dropkicking her out of the air. As the challenger landed face first, suddenly there was no more veteran advantage. When KAIRI went to the top rope once more, to try and hit her Insane Elbow, Saya got her boots up and sent her crashing.

Still, the champion couldn’t quite finish the job and neither wrestler got to hit their finisher. As thirty minutes expired, Saya survived to retain her title, while KAIRI needs to use the next 24 hours to rest up before she goes for more gold. It was a fantastic test of Saya’s resolve, while KAIRI reminded everyone why she had once called the Wonder of Stardom Championship her own.

After such a big event it would be understandable if the roster took a few days to rest, but Historic X-Over awaits. The lights will be shining brighter than ever as they share Ariake Arena with New Japan Pro Wrestling, doing so on equal footing.

Full Match Results

  • Natsuko Tora & Ruaka def. Saya Iida & Momo Kohgo and Lady C & Miyu Amasaki
  • High-Speed Championship: AZM (c) def. Momoka Hanazono
  • Moneyball Scramball Tournament First Round: Giulia, Thekla & Mai Sakurai def. Tam Nakano, Natsupoi & Waka Tsukiyama
  • Moneyball Scramball Tournament First Round: Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki & Koguma def. Tomoka Inaba, MIRAI & Ami Sourei
  • Red Goddess Block: Black Desire (Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid) (3) def. We Love Tokyo Sports (Saki Kashima & Fukigen Death) (2)
  • Blue Goddess Block: MaiHime (Maika & Himeka) (6) def. 7Upp (Nanae Takahashi & Yuu) (3)
  • Wonder of Stardom Championship: Saya Kamitani (c) vs. KAIRI ended in a 30-minute draw
  • World of Stardom Championship: Syuri (c) def. Utami Hayashishita
  • Moneyball Scramble Tournament Final: Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki & Koguma def. Giulia, Thekla & Mai Sakurai in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match

Rapid Fire Takeaways

  • It will get lost among the two big title matches and the wild TLC match, but MaiHime and 7Upp put on one of the matches of the Tag League. It was a hard hitting hoss affair as Stardom’s physically strongest teams went head to head. Yuu proves to be difficult for the roster to figure out, and Maika put on a stellar performance in what continues to be an underrated year for her.
  • As expected the Oedo Tai vs Oedo Tai tag match was an incredibly fun affair. Saki Kashima and Fukigen Death pulled every trick of theirs to try and defeat Black Desire, but it was Momo’s tricks that nearly won it for them. She tried to smack Saki with her signature baseball bat, but Starlight Kid was pulled in the way at the last moment and immediately pinned. Kid recovered, but it’s exactly the way Saki loves to win her matches.
  • With her successful defense of the High Speed Championship against Momoka Hanazono, AZM has now climbed to equal first for all time defenses, matching the original High Speed Queen Natsuki Taiyo. The AZM-Sushi continues to be one of the more effective flash pins in STARDOM, especially with how she’s able to link them together.
  • The STARS trio of Mayu Iwatani, Koguma and Hazuki brought out special matching gear for the match much like they did for their cage match in Nagoya a few months back. The uniform look is certainly working for them, and one has to wonder how long it will be until the STARS A-Team decide to go for the Artist Belts together.

Goddess of Stardom Tag League Standings


8 – AphroditE (Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani)
6 – Mafia Bella (Giulia & Thekla)
4 – meltear (Tam Nakano & Natsupoi)
3 – Black Desire (Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid)
3 – Karate Brave (Syuri & Tomoka Inaba)
2 – We Love Tokyo Sports (Saki Kashima & Fukigen Death)
2 – Peach Rock (Mayu Iwatani & Momo Kohgo)
0 – Mai Fair Lady (Mai Sakurai & Lady C)


8 – BMI2000 (Natsuko Tora & Ruaka)
6 – MaiHime (Maika & Himeka)
4 – FWC (Hazuki & Koguma)
3 – The New Eras (MIRAI & Ami Sourei)
3 – 7Upp (Nanae Takahashi & Yuu)
2 – 02line (AZM & Miyu Amasaki)
2 – Wa KaWild Venus (Waka Tsukiyama & SAKI)
2 – wing*gori (Hanan & Saya Iida)