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STARDOM: Triangle Derby I Championship Battle Review – 3.4.23

1 year ago

STARDOM: Triangle Derby I Championship Battle Review – 3.4.23

STARDOM: Triangle Derby I Championship Battle Review – 3.4.23

By Trent Breward

It was a wild night in Yoyogi that ended with the crowd chanting for a promotion that wasn’t STARDOM, bringing to a close an incredible night of wrestling.

After two months of wrestling, Prominence stood tall as the inaugural winners of the Triangle Derby. Entering the semi finals with just two losses to their name, the deathmatch troupe managed to avenge one of those blemishes by defeating 7Upp. They started the match with a bang, attacking before the bell and quickly throwing the match to the outside where they could feel more at home.

They could only control the match for so long before the dominant size advantage of 7Upp began to add up, slowing the match down and isolating the young Suzu Suzuki. The Prominence ace had to survive several triple team attempts before managing to catch Yuna Mizumori by surprise with the Tequila Shot to advance.

They would meet Rampage GE in the finals, but not before raising the stakes. Many thought winning the Triangle Derby might be a pathway to earning an Artist of Stardom title shot, but Prominence skipped the middle man and put them on the line in the Final.

What took place in the main event was the best match of the entire tournament, as two strong teams persevered through the wear and tear of their previous matches and threw everything they had at each other. As the match began to reach its climax, two familiar foes found themselves trading blows. Mirai and Suzu Suzuki have crossed paths several times over the past year, and after succumbing to the Miraimare submission in the 5 Star Grand Prix Suzu managed to gain a measure of revenge, hitting a series of rolling German Suplexes to secure the win and the tournament.

For the second straight STARDOM PPV Suzu Suzuki has found herself in the main event – tonight she got to do so standing victorious. Prominence have been strong ever since invading the company a year ago, but now that strength is more apparent than ever. This STARDOM tournament will now forever be associated with these outsiders.


Giulia’s past came back in a violent way as she defended her title against freelancer Maya Yuhiki. The champion didn’t even let the pre match proceedings take place, ripping her title from Rossy Ogawa’s hands to blast Yuhiki in the face before the photos could be taken.

This was a wrestling match in name only, instead resembling more of a straight up fight. The war rarely found its way to the ring, and whenever it did it was only as a brief pitstop before they returned outside. Senior referee Daichi Murayama did his best to make a match out of this, but neither Giulia or Maya were interested. He would have been well within his rights to throw the match out, but with the Red Belt on the line he knew a true result would be for the best.

After each woman had been driven through a table, Giulia thought she had the upper hand when she managed to catch Yuhiki in a Northern Lights Bomb on the outside. A tired champion took just a little too long to roll back inside the ring, and found the challenger clutching to her leg. Unable to wrench herself free, Giulia watched on as the referee reached his twenty count and declared the match a double count out.

An amazing battle with an indecisive end – made even more apparent as they had to be separated after the bell. It might not have been the definitive win Giulia had been hoping as she works her way through her past, but it does mean she retains the Red Belt. A belt Tam Nakano has declared her hunger for. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Giulia’s greatest rival would be wanting to put an end to her reign, and Tam will get the chance on the biggest stage of them all – Grand Queendom in the Yokohama Arena on April 23.

It was a good night to be a champion. AZM and Starlight Kid had to wait a couple of months after their initial match in January had to be rescheduled, but the eternal foes made up for lost time, putting on a match that was every bit as good as their February encounter from the previous year.

Both wrestlers know each other so well that it was difficult to get off a signature move without it being countered. It forced the youngsters to adapt, hitting moves from different spots and set-ups in order to gain the upper hand. A missed double stomp to the outside nearly spelled disaster for AZM as she clutched at her knee, but she soon evened the odds with a successful double stomp that crushed Kid’s arm.

It proved the difference maker. After a frenetic back and forth clash, AZM was able to trap her foe in the Numero Uno submission, and just like a year ago it forced Starlight Kid to submit. A tenth successful defense of the High Speed Championship marks a new record, which further cements AZM claim as the master of the division.

Not to be outdone, Saya Kamitani pulled further away with her own record breaking reign after surviving a hard hitting affair with Hazuki. The crowd ate up everything the challenger threw at the champion, and it looked like she had pulled off the big win when she nailed her signature Brainbuster in the middle of the ring.

Somehow Kamitani had the wherewithal to kick out, but she herself struggled to put away her opponent. A spinning Star Crusher couldn’t do it, and when the 450 failed to end things she looked unsure of herself. Hazuki was still in position for the Phoenix Splash, but Saya is yet to attempt her primary finishing move since she crushed Mina’s face with it during their title match last year.

The hesitation could have cost her, but she managed to land successive Star Crushers. Hazuki’s heart was still alive, but all she could muster was a limp flail of her free leg, far from enough to kick out. Saya Kamitani earned another successful defense of the Wonder of Stardom Championship, and now she has the chance to exorcise her demons: Mina Shirakawa awaits at Yokohama Arena to try for the belt once more.

Match Results

  • Rina def. Hina and Miyu Amasaki
  • Lady C & Utami Hayashishita def. Ram Kaichow & Maika Ozaki
  • Mai Sakurai, Thekla & Maika def. Mina Shirakawa, Mariah May & Waka Tsukiyama
  • Natsuko Tora, Momo Watanabe, Saki Kashima, Fukigen Death & Ruaka def. Mayu Iwatani, Hanan, Koguma, Momo Kohgo & Saya Iida
  • Triangle Derby I Semifinal: God’s Eye (Syuri, MIRAI & Ami Sourei) def. Cosmic Angels (Tam Nakano, Natsupoi & SAKI) to advance to the finals
  • Triangle Derby I Semifinal: Prominence (Suzu Suzuki, Risa Sera & Kurumi Hiiragi) def. 7Upp (Nanae Takahashi, Yuu & Yuna Mizumori)
  • Chihiro Hashimoto def. Himeka
  • Wonder of Stardom Championship: Saya Kamitani (c) def. Hazuki
  • High-Speed Championship: AZM (c) def. Starlight Kid
  • World of Stardom Championship: Giulia (c) vs. Maya Yukihi ended in a double countout
  • Artist of Stardom Championship / Triangle Derby I Finals: Prominence (Suzu Suzuki, Risa Sera & Kurumi Hiiragi) (c) def. God’s Eye (Syuri, MIRAI & Ami Sourei)

Rapid Fire Takeaways

  • Queen’s Quest are the only team to have a win over Prominence that hasn’t been paid back, and they wasted no time in stepping forward as the next challengers for the Artist of Stardom Titles, interrupting Prominence’s post match comments to remind them of their winning record.
  • AZM has a very busy couple of months coming up. Saki Kashima is still owed a shot at the High Speed Championship as a reward for winning last month’s Naniwa Roulette. She laid a challenge to new IWGP Women’s Champion Mercedes Mone, is now challenging for the Artist of Stardom Championships, and also has the Cinderella Tournament to worry about.
  • Himeka came up against the rare opponent that could match and even exceed her in power. Chihiro Hashimoto put forth a impressive performance against the soon to be retired Jumbo Princess. The highlight moment of the match definitely being when Hashimoto caught Himeka’s flying knee and sent her crashing on the mat with a powerbomb.
  • After two dominant performances in STARDOM, Chihiro Hashimoto was hungry for more. Her wish for stronger competition was answered by the former World of Stardom Champion Syuri, with the two agreeing to a match at the Yokohama Arena next month. The show was rumored to be the company’s biggest yet, and the early signs certainly point that way.