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STARDOM Hiroshima Goddess Festival Review – 11.2.22

2 years ago

STARDOM Hiroshima Goddess Festival Review – 11.2.22

STARDOM Hiroshima Goddess Festival Review – 11.2.22

By: Trent Breward

Not every career performance will bring with it glory. Mina Shirakawa came up short in her Wonder of Stardom Championship match, but even in defeat there is now no question as to how good Mina Shirakawa is in 2022.

The finish of the match will unfortunately mar the final impressions of their semi-main event war – Saya Kamitani’s Phoenix Splash was way off her usual accuracy and her leg crashed into Mina’s jaw, leaving her mouth battered and bloody in the aftermath – but up until that moment Mina showcased everything she had learned through her 5 Star GP run and turned it up to eleven.

From the start of the match Shirakawa targeted the leg, trying to hinder Saya’s athleticism while also setting up her Figure Four Leglock submission. She displayed a nice range of leg specific offence and even tapped into her more ruthless side by removing the ringside padding and slamming Saya’s knee into the wooden floor multiple times.

Saya was in trouble, but her pre-match training came in handy. She had been developing her ground game ahead of this match, and it paid dividends. She literally wrestled control of the match back with a rear naked choke and then an armbar attempt. It bought her the time and space she needed to even the match up, though she suffered another major scare after Mina landed a devastating top rope Implant DDT.

Mina might need to take some time off to heal her jaw after this match, but this was the match she needed to prove herself after a strong tournament. A year ago she challenged for the White Belt but things didn’t quite click. This year she set a new standard for what to expect from Mina Shirakawa.

Saya Kamitani won’t have much time to rest. In just two weeks she will defend her title again, and this time it will be against KAIRI. COVID put this match on standby after it was meant to happen a few months ago, but now the Pirate Princess has the chance to win two titles in 48 hours as she challenges on the eve of her IWGP Women’s Championship match against Mayu Iwatani.

Osaka is shaping up to be a huge show, with Syuri’s next challenger walking out to the ring after her battle with Maika. Utami Hayashishita is her last hurdle before the champion can make it to Ryogoku Hall on December 29th and complete a full year as champion. The feud that brought STARDOM mainstream attention last year will write a new chapter, and now Utami knows she can beat Syuri.

It took all of Syuri’s experience to even survive the night as champion. Maika played all her greatest hits and even a few new favorties as she tried to win the World of Stardom Championship in front of her home town of Hiroshima.

The title looked on the verge of changing hands when Maika readied herself to pay tribute to her tag partner Himeka. She set up a Rainmaker clothesline, but the echoes of Okada/Omega could be heard in Hiroshima as Syuri slumped to her knees before she could lose her head.

It might not have been the champion’s intention, but it threw Maika off her game enough that she couldn’t finish the job. Syuri soon found her second wind, and reminded everyone why she’s been perhaps the single most dominant wrestler in STARDOM history. She took control of the match and ended things with the Syu-Sekai, notching another defence to her impressive title reign.

It was a good night to be a champion. Tam Nakano and Natsupoi were able to successfully defend their Goddess of Stardom Tag Titles against Black Desire (and all of Oedo Tai), while Mayu Iwatani defended her SWA Championship for the second time in two weeks and two countries by fending off Alpha Female with a moonsault from each corner of the ring.

It will be her last defence of the championship though. After the match she relinquished the belt, wanting to instead put all of her energy into winning the IWGP Women’s Championship on the 20th. It was a reign that was hindered by both the schedule and the absence of foreign talent to defend against. This now marks the second time in 2022 the belt has been vacated because the champion has chosen to focus instead on another title, bringing into question the belt’s future with the company.

The biggest weekend in STARDOM’s history is now just two weeks away. A stacked Edion 1st Arena show in Osaka on the 19th followed by the Historic X-Over show with New Japan Pro Wrestling a night later. All the while sixteen teams continue to fight for the right to win the Goddess of Stardom Tag League.

Full Results

  • AZM def. Waka Tsukiyama, Lady C, Saya Iida, and Miyu Amasaki
  • Hazuki & Koguma def. Oedo Tai Saki Kashima & Ruaka
  • Himeka def. Yuna Mizumori
  • Utami Hayashishita def. Natsuko Tora
  • Giulia, Mai Sakurai & Thekla vs. God’s Eye Konami, MIRAI & Ami Sourei ends in a 15-minute draw
  • SWA Undisputed Championship: Mayu Iwatani (c) def. Alpha Female
  • Goddess of Stardom Championship: Tam Nakano & Natsupoi (c) def. Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid
  • Wonder of Stardom Championship: Saya Kamitani (c) def. Mina Shirakawa
  • World of Stardom Championship: Syuri (c) def. Maika

Rapid Fire Takeaways

  • Natsuko Tora is now well and truly back. Her and Utami had the match they wanted to have a year ago and put forth a great grudge match. Natsuko coming to the ring with a black rose was a wonderful note, but things got even better when Utami put it between her teeth as she threw herself off the turnbuckle, splashing Natsuko through a table. If there were any concerns about her health, Tora put them well and truly to rest.
  • Yuna Mizumori is a free agent now that’s she’s flown the Gatoh Move nest, and her match with Himeka here felt very much like a test to see if she could find herself permanently on the roster. If that’s the case, she made a strong impression. It was a classic hoss battle that brought out the best of both wrestlers. The vibrant Mizumori came out with a singing, but aside from one brief moment she wasn’t messing around once the bell rang. It would not surprise me if we saw more from Yuna in STARDOM moving forward.
  • Oedo Tai were pulling out all the tricks tonight. They silenced meltear’s new entrance theme and stopped their performance short. Ruaka managed to break up a pinfall by throwing the Oedo Tai box at the problem, and Momo Watanabe got to practice her home run swings while the referee tried to restore order. It wasn’t quite enough though, Tam and Natsupoi started strong and are only continuing to improve together.
  • It’s always good to see Konami back in a STARDOM ring. She may only pop up when the company find their way to her neck of the woods, but whenever she does step inside the ring it’s like she never left.  Time might have run out, but it didn’t stop Giulia and Konami from trying to get in the last laugh, even all the way backstage in the interview area.