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STARDOM Nagoya Golden Fight Review and Results – 10.9.23

9 months ago Photo c/o Stardom

Photo c/o Stardom

STARDOM Nagoya Golden Fight Review and Results – 10.9.23

STARDOM Nagoya Golden Fight Review and Results – 10.9.23

By: James Carlin

STARDOM returns to Nagoya for its PPV Golden Fight, taking place on the Japanese national holiday of Sports Day. The show looks stacked to the brim as KAIRI has her farewell match in trios action and Tam Nakano defends her World of Stardom championship against Natsuko Tora.

Saki Kashima (c) vs. Mei Seira: High-Speed Championship

The show kicks off with Saki Kashima defending her High-Speed Championship against Mei Seira. Of course, this makes a lot of sense considering Kashima wants every high-speed match to last under five minutes. Seira has been an incredible addition to the Stardom roster since she returned from hiatus for All Star Grand Queendom in April last year. Kashima’s first singles title reign has been a fun one as Kashima is a very likable person, and her membership into God’s Eye and antics with the championship have been a great part of Stardom for the last three months.

As expected, it’s a short-fun sprint from two very capable and enjoyable performers with Kashima often dictating the pace of the match, but Seira managing to get the best of her with her superior speed ability. In the end, Kashima’s tactical smarts weren’t’ enough to overcome Mei Seira, who pinned the champion to become the new High-Speed champion.

Saori Anou vs. AZM

Next is Saori Anou vs. AZM. Having recently turned 21 years old and now outfitted with new gear, the High-Speed Bomb Girl aims for her second win against the “Absolutely Indomitable Girlfriend”, having gained her first two-points in this year’s 5★STAR GP from defeating her in August. I believe this is new gear for Anou.

AZM starts off strong, getting the fast start against her opponent and Anou gets the crowd behind her and performs a cool through-the-ropes shotgun dropkick before applying a muta lock then transitioning to a camel clutch. The two trade vicious hits and AZM uses her high-speed style to get the best of Anou. AZM looks to hit Anou with her new Canadian Destroyer into Azumi Sushi but Anou reverses it. Anou gets the win by a bridging-pin after missing her signature pottering. There were a lot of creative pinfall attempts in this match

UWF Rules: Syuri vs. Mina Shirakawa

Now up is the UWF Rules match between Syuri and Mina Shirakawa. Syuri has an incredibly impressive record with UWF matches, which is no surprise considering her experience in MMA. But the former Wonder of Stardom champion has been taking her training very seriously, and her newly braided hair means business, it reminds me of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s hair from his run in the 2018 G1 Climax. For those unaware, UWF rules can only be won by submission, KO, referee stoppage, or expending all of your opponents points, and points are deducted for takedowns and rope breaks.

The beginning starts with a good technical assessment between the two; Syuri comes out on top and deducts the first and second of Shirakawa’s five points. Syuri hits a running knee to take down Shirakawa to get rid of her third point, leaving the match at 5-2 to Syuri so far. Shirakawa locks in a variety of submissions try and wear down her opponent, making the score 4-2. Shirakawa gets Syuri into her Figure 4, but it’s reversed by Syuri, and reversed again by Shirakawa and Syuri is forced to use a ropebreak, losing her second point. The two trade slaps towards one another in the middle of the ring. Syuri tries to lock Shirakawa into the White Tiger, but Mina escapes, Syuri running kicks her, Mina gets back up, and is hit by one kick, and doesn’t fall down, and is hit by another and falls. Syuri wins by Technical Knock Out. Syuri continues her winning streak of 4-0 in UWF-style matches. A very fun match, further displaying Shirakawa’s fantastic fighting spirit when the odds are stacked against her.

Bari Bari Bombers (c) vs. Maika, Suzu Suzuki and Megan Bayne: Artist of Stardom Championship

Artist of Stardom championships are now up for grabs, as the Bar Bari Bombers seek to defend against the 5★STAR GP finalist Maika, the 5★STAR GP winner Suzu Suzuki, and the Megasus Megan Bayne. Thekla has returned from injury, Giulia has just defended her NJPW STRONG Women’s Title, and Mai Sakurai has hammed up her “Ladyship” character by 100. An incredible trio, not to be outdone by their challengers who are equally as great.

Bari Bari Bombers attempt to get the early advantage but the challengers have them calculated, and instead get the advantage early into the match. The champions manage to get control of the match as Giulia tags in, and herself and Thekla do a cool double-team punch move. The teams go back and forth as Maika goes up against Giulia but pins are broken up by teammates running into the ring. Giulia rolls up Maika to retain the Artist of Stardom titles. A short match, and there seems to be tension between Maika and Suzuki now, as the two were fighting in the ring after several miscommunications throughout. Thekla doesn’t pay attention to all this drama, saying into the camera. “I don’t care, I’m the f—-ing champion!”.

MIRAI (c) vs. Momo Watanabe: Wonder of Stardom Championship

MIRAI now defends her Wonder of Stardom championship against former Wonder of Stardom champion Momo Watanabe. Things have been pretty heated between the two, with MIRAI stating that Watanabe doesn’t really care. Watanabe, of course, used to hold the record for most title defences for the White Belt before Saya Kamitani surpassed her record by beating her. MIRAI has only defended the White Belt once, against Konami, and if she beats Watanabe here, she will have held the title for 100 days.

The match begins with the two trading different wear down holds and submissions until the Black Peach slides outside and baits the champion to slide, trapping her in the side of the ring. Watanabe hits MIRAI with a drop-toe hold onto a front of a chair on the outside of the ring. Things get back into the ring and Watanabe dominates with her hard-hitting kicks but once MIRAI regains control, she rolls out of the ring again. The challenger looks to be bringing out a darker side of the champion in this match. MIRAI remains in control for a good portion and the Black Peach looks to hit her finisher, but MIRAI runs to the ropes, and gets a two-count on the challenger after getting a nice transition move. Watanabe continuously hits MIRAI with stiff kicks in the middle of the ring, and the champion responds with a flurry of forearms. MIRAI hits Watanabe with a strong lariat but the Black Peach responds with two german suplexes and a big kick to the face. She attempts the Peach Thunder, but the champion escapes and hits two big lariats, and pins Watanabe to retain the White Belt. An awesome match.

7KAIRI & Mayu Iwatani vs. Classmates (Hazuki, Koguma & Saya Iida)

KAIRI now has her farewell match in STARDOM. She teams with her long-time tag team partner in Nanae Takahashi, and her former Threedom stablemate Mayu Iwatani. Interestingly, these three women were all in opposing units ten years ago. KAIRI was in Yuzuki Aikawa’s Full Power Girls, Nanae Takahashi led Nanae Gundan, and Mayu Iwatani was in Io Shirai’s Planet. A lot has changed in ten years, and this is the first time that Takahashi and Iwatani are teaming together since 2011. The three face off against Fukuoka Double Crazy and Saya Iida. KAIRI had said she wanted to face a Stardom original – someone trained under Stardom’s system and her wish was granted as she got three of them. I mentioned a few days ago that five of these women, excluding Saya Iida, were either in Heisei-gun or Showa-gun back in 2014, when the two units were formed at Stardom X Stardom 2014 after Yoshiko beat Io Shirai for the Red Belt. There is a lot of history between a lot of people in this match. Seeing KAIRI enter for the final time to “The Last Voyage” is very bittersweet.

All six women shake hands before the bell is rung. KAIRI starts off against Saya Iida. It’s evidence KAIRI wants to work with everyone in this match, and things eventually get to her and Hazuki and STARS do an inventive tag team maneuver on her. Koguma tags in, but is hit with a spear by the Pirate Princess. Takahashi gets in the ring and hits lariats to Iida and Hazuki. Koguma tries to hit her with a running cutter but is countered. The two had a passion injection match not too long ago, and Iida’s passion is on display here. 7KAIRI and Iwatani get the STARS trio into a submission trifecta, and Iida gets to the ropes. Iwatani tags in, and hits a great looking dropkick from the top rope. Iwatani and Iida are both down, and Hazuki and KAIRI are tagged in once more. Hazuki and KAIRI trade back and forth a lot, and the Pirate Princess reverses a brainbuster with a DDT and gets the Anchor on the Wildheart. Koguma is tagged in and hits KAIRI with a top-rope stunner. Iwatani tries a double-team move with Takahashi but misses, and takes it well and has a laugh about it. 7KAIRI hit their pop-up Insane Elbow on Koguma. 7KAIRI assist Iwatani with hitting the iconic Threedom rocket, and KAIRI wins the match for her team by pinning Koguma after the Insane Elbow. A very good sendoff for a significant name in Stardom’s history.

Tam Nakano (c) vs. Natsuko Tora: World of Stardom Championship

The last match of the night is Tam Nakano defending her World of Stardom championship against Natsuko Tora. These two have a history going all the way back to Kagetsu (Yuu Ishino)’s Oedo-Tai. Tora was handpicked by Kagetsu to led Oedo-Tai, and Tora was also Tam Nakano’s first opponent in Stardom – the VTR shows footage of their qualifier match for the 2017 5★STAR GP, which Nakano won, back when Nakano was the Violent Kung Fu Girl. Additionally, Tora pinned the champion in this year’s 5★STAR to have the opportunity to challenge for the Red Belt. The Oedo-Tai leader’s first and previous challenge for the Red Belt ended with a very unfortunate injury that kept her shelved for a long time. Tora has a clear advantage over Nakano, holding 4-2 in head-to-head matches against the Top Kawaii of the Cosmos.

The challenger and the champion quickly engage, and Tora gets on top of the champion, but Nakano is able to reverse it into a chokehold. Nakano remains in control, but of course Oedo-Tai shenanigans begin, and Tora hits her with a box on the head at the top rope, then whips her into the chairs outside. Twice, on both sides. The action has been outside for a while now; it’s where Tora is the most dangerous after all, The referee tries to stop the challenger from using the Oedo-Tai branded chair, but she just pushes him out of the way. Nakano never gives up, and she manages to fight back against the Oedo-Tai leader. She hits bridging suplex, but Tora kicks out, so she puts her in a submission to wear her down. Tora regains her strength and hits the champion with a death valley driver and a cannonball on the bottom rope. The two are down in the middle of the ring; they get up and Nakano tries to wear her down with kicks yet Tora is too strong. Tora hits the Swanton Bomb and Nakano kicks out and gets misted. The champion hits her Violet Screwdriver but is unable to capitalize. Tam Nakano retains her championship by hitting a second Violet Screwdriver on Tora. It looks like Tora took a nasty landing on the move, but it was a good match nonetheless where there were many times that Tora looked like a credible threat against the champion, and times where she almost got the pinfall to win the belt.

Following the match, Suzu Suzuki confronts the champion. She will challenge Nakano in November for the World of Stardom championship, electing to take her shot early instead of at Dream Queendom.

STARDOM once again had a very good showing for a PPV, but with the Tag League starting next week and the multiple roster members that are currently off due to injury as well as the potential injury at the end of the main event, it’s starting to feel like a better and better idea to have a lighter schedule for the performers moving forward.

Full Results:

High-Speed Championship: Mei Seira def. Saki Kashima to win the High-Speed Championship

Saori Anou def. AZM

UWF Rules: Syuri def. Mina Shirakawa

Artist of Stardom Championship: Bari Bari Bombers (Giulia, Thekla and Mai Sakurai) def. Suzu Suzuki, Maika and Megan Bayne

Wonder of Stardom Championship: MIRAI (c) def. Momo Watanabe

7KAIRI (KAIRI, Nanae Takahashi) and Mayu Iwatani def. Fukuoka Double Crazy (Hazuki, Koguma) and Saya Iida

World of Stardom Championship: Tam Nakano (c) def. Natsuko Tora