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STARDOM Triangle Derby in Nagoya Review – 1.8.23

1 year ago

STARDOM Triangle Derby in Nagoya Review – 1.8.23

STARDOM Triangle Derby in Nagoya Review – 1.8.23

By Trent Breward

History is now within reach for STARDOM’s Phoenix. Entering Nagoya, Saya Kamitani was one win away from tying the single reign defense record for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. Now she’s one step away from eclipsing it.

Standing in her way of tying the record was the reigning Future of Stardom Champion: Ami Sourei. The God’s Eye heavy hitter was looking to add a second singles title to her collection all before she completes a year in the company.

Her size and strength proved a problem early on. Saya Kamitani couldn’t create the distance she needed to assert control, and she was in trouble after taking a bodyslam onto the apron. Sourei kept the action close and the pace methodical as she looked to pick apart the champion.

A younger Kamitani might have crumbled under this pressure, but over a year as one of the company’s top champions had taught her perseverance and patience. As soon as the challenger gave her a chance, Saya found her spacing and began to flip the momentum. With the tide turning Ami suddenly felt out of her depth, and never really threatened the champion from that point. It wasn’t a breakout performance for the challenger, but rather an important step forward as she continues to grow as the Future of Stardom Champion. The improvements are clear, even just comparing this match to her 5 Star GP outing with Kamitani late last year.

Tonight makes thirteen successful defenses for Saya Kamitani – one more and she officially breaks Momo Watanabe’s record. Something the Phoenix was all too aware of as she stared right into the camera and called out her former Queens Quest sister after the match.

Momo Watanabe wasn’t there in person to answer the call, being one of several key wrestlers out due to ‘poor physical condition’. These absences forced some drastic changes to the card 24 hours out, including a cancellation of the much anticipated High Speed rematch between Starlight Kid and AZM.

As a replacement, STARDOM served up a unique tag team match, bringing together four different factions: Mayu Iwatani of STARS stood alongside Syuri from God’s Eye to face the team of Queen’s Quest’s Utami Hayashishita and Donna Del Mondo’s Maika.

For thirty minutes these four women out there and battered each other all over the ring. While their inexperience standing side by side meant there wasn’t a lot of refined double team action – Syuri accidentally hit a double team move with her former faction member Maika on Iwatani – their pure skill more than filled those gaps.

It was an even affair, with neither team really managing to break through definitively. As the only person in the match who is yet to hold the World of Stardom Championship, Maika seemed set to assert herself, and took great joy in throwing around the Icon through the middle stages of the match. The match came to a close after thirty minutes with no team able to claim the victory. Though Mayu was fortunate to escape with a draw after suffering the Hijack Bomb, surviving only thanks to Syuri’s intervention.

It seems working with Mayu inspired Syuri, because after the match she announced that she would be teaming with Konami at the big Osaka show on February 4th. The Submission Sniper and occasional God’s Eye member rarely appears for matches outside of Hiroshima lately, so an appearance inside Edion Arena is big news as Syuri looks to adapt to life without a championship around her waist.

It’s a show that is set to turn a lot of heads, with Chihiro Hashimoto vs. MIRAI being announced just a couple of days prior to go along with MaiHime vs. 7Upp for the Goddess of Stardom Tag Titles and Suzu Suzuki challenging Giulia for the World of Stardom Championship. Hopefully everyone’s health can be in better shape in time for the show.

Match Results:

  • Super Strong Starlight Machine won the 11 person Nagoya Rumble
  • Mina Shirakawa, Mariah May & Xia Brookside def. Saki Kashima, Natsuko Tora & Rina
  • Triangle Derby Match: Bari Bari Bombers (Mai Sakurai, Giulia & Thekla) def. Team Lollipop (Waka Tsukiyama, Rina Amikura & Yuko Sakurai)
  • Triangle Derby Match: Prominence (Suzu Suzuki, Risa Sersa & Kurumi Hiiragi) def. Cosmic Angels (Natsupoi, Tam Nakano & SAKI)
  • Mayu Iwatani & Syuri vs. Utami Hayashishita & Maika ended in a 30 minute draw
  • Wonder of Stardom Championship: Saya Kamitani (c) def. Ami Sourei

Rapid Fire Takeaways:

  • It wasn’t an official tournament match, but Club Venus got some important time in the ring together to build their chemistry. Mina’s clearly prepared them well, because the moment Saki Kashima locked in her Revival flash pin both May and Brookeside were quickly there to break it up.
  • Mai Sakurai got a statement win in her trios match by finishing off Waka with the Harlem Hangover. A smart change of finisher with KAIRI back in STARDOM with her incredible InSane Elbow. The continual improvements that Mai has made since joining Donna Del Mondo has continues to impress.
  • Prominence are going to be very tough to beat, both in this tournament and in any title matches they might have. The trio really do compliment each other wonderfully, especially now Hiiragi is rounding into form. Don’t expect them to be relinquishing those belts anytime soon.
  • AZM and Starlight Kid will no doubt get their title match at some point down the road after having to postphone it. As big as the February 4 show in Osaka is, hopefully it gets rescheduled to a different show where it can get a prominent a spot as it would have here, rather than being shuffled down to the middle of the card.

Triangle Derby Standings:

4 – Club Venus (Mina Shirakawa, Mariah May & Xia Brookside)
2 – Bari Bari Bombers (Giulia, Thekla & Mai Sakurai)
1 – Queen’s Quest (Utami Hayashishita, AZM & Saya Kamitani)
0 – H & M’s (Mayu Iwatani, Momo Kohgo & Hanan)
0 – Cosmic Angels (Tam Nakano, Natsupoi & SAKI)
0 – Unique Glare (Starlight Kid, Ruaka & Haruka Umesaki)
0 – Neo Stardom Army (Nanae Takahashi, Yuu & Yuna Mizumori)

4 – Prominence (Suzu Suzuki, Risa Sera & Kurumi Hiiragi)
3 – Abarenbo GE (Syuri, MIRAI & Ami Sourei)
2 – Gold Ship (Momo Watanabe, Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima)
2 – Rebel x Enemy (Ram Kaichow, Maika Ozaki & Maya Yukihi)
2 – MaiHime With C (Maika, Himeka & Lady C)
2 – Classmates (Hazuki, Saya Iida & Koguma)
0 – Team Lollipop (Waka Tsukiyama, Rina Amikura & Yuko Sakurai)