Stardom 5th Anniversary Day 4 on 2/12/16 Review

Event: Stardom 5th Anniversary Day 4
Date: February 12th, 2016
Location: Nagoya Chikusa Small Theater in Nagoya, Japan
Announced Attendance: 275

Stardom records all their shows, even ones that are not scheduled to be televised, so even though this was shot from a ringside camera we still get the pleasure of watching it. This event did have a big title match, as Thunder Rock take on Kaitlin Diemond and Viper for the Goddesses of Stardom Championship. We also get Evie and Kellie Skater in singles matches as well.  Here is the complete card:

  • Evie vs. Haruka Kato
  • Kaori Yoneyama vs. Kellie Skater
  • Chelsea Green and Santana Garrett vs. Hiromi Mimura and Kairi Hojo
  • Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Jungle Kyouna
  • Goddesses of Stardom Championship: Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani vs. Kaitlin Diemond and Viper

The good part of this being shot at ringside and not for TV is there is no clipping, every match will be shown in full.

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Evie vs. Haruka Kato

Evie started wrestling in Stardom in December and has already made quite an impact, she is set to challenge Mayu Iwatani for the High Speed Championship a week after this show. Kato is technically a Freelancer but is a constant in Stardom’s midcard, she isn’t really a threat for any titles but puts on solid matches against a variety of opponents.

stardom2.12-1Evie works a headlock to start, Kato turns it into a hammerlock but Evie reverses it. Evie rolls around the ring while Kato looks confused, they trade trips until Kato gets the cross armbreaker applied but Evie quickly got out of it. Evie and Kato trade elbows, kicks by Evie and she drills Kato in the back before covering her for two. Evie chokes Kato in the corner and kicks her some more, Kato goes for the armbreaker but Evie blocks it and slams Kato to the mat. Chinlock by Evie but Kato gets out of it and hits a face crusher. Evie comes back with a side slam onto her knee, she throws Kato in the corner but Kato avoids the big boot and applies an armbreaker over the top rope. Diving crossbody by Kato, she picks up Evie but Evie sneaks in an inside cradle. Facebuster by Evie, and she covers Kato for a two count. Satellite roll-up by Kato and she applies the cross armbreaker, but Evie gets a foot on the ropes. Evie throws Kato into the corner and hits a running big boot, Evie picks up Kato and she delivers the TTYL for a three count! Evie wins!

This was a decent and straight-forward opener. I like Kato, but she is limited, all of her matches are pretty similar. She really only has a handful of moves and tends to do them all in every match, so it is generally up to her opponent to make the match special. Evie was good here but there just wasn’t enough time for her to do too much before she quickly picked up the win after hitting two of her signature moves. Perfectly watchable but not much more than that.

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Kaori Yoneyama vs. Kellie Skater

A rare Skater singles match in Stardom! One of the benefits of getting to see these smaller shows is we get to see some different match-ups. Going into the match, Skater holds the Artist of Stardom Championship (along with her two partners), but that doesn’t mean she has the edge here as Yoneyama is a seasoned veteran that doesn’t get pinned often in Stardom. Since Yoneyama usually works the rookies it will be nice to see her in a more ‘real’ match than usual.

Yoneyama pushes Skater into the corner, she tosses her to the other side but Skater kicks her back. Armdrag by Skater but Yoneyama returns the favor and they stardom2.12-2return to their feet. Full nelson by Skater and she gets Yoneyama to the mat, but Yoneyama applies a leg lock. Muta Lock by Yoneyama but Skater gets into the ropes and forces a break. Yoneyama puts Skater in a bodyscissors  but Skater gets out of it, Yoneyama grabs Skater by the hair and flings her across the ring. She does it again before pounding on Skater near the ropes, Skater fires back with a boot but Yoneyama hits an elbow in the corner. They trade shots, kicks to the leg by Skater but Yoneyama chops her in the throat. Kick to the chest by Skater, Yoneyama bridges out of the pin and hits a jumping crossbody for two. Northern Lights Suplex by Yoneyama for another two count, back up Skater kicks Yoneyama and hits a PK for a two count of her own. Bodyslam by Skater and she hits an elbow drop, Skater puts Yoneyama in a cross armbreaker but Yoneyama, Yoneyama gets Skater in the ropes and hits a knee to the back of the head. Another knee by Yoneyama and she sneaks in a school boy for two. They trade quick pin attempts with no luck, DDT by Skater and she hits a Buzzsaw Kick for a two count. Skater throws Yoneyama in the corner, Yoneyama bounces off the ropes and she applies a reverse sunset flip for the three count! Yoneyama is your winner.

I wish the match had more substance but I enjoyed what they did. Skater is one of my guilty pleasures, she hasn’t put on many ‘classics’ but has so much energy and I love a good striker. Yoneyama has been around the block so everything she does is really fluid. A lot more basic than I was hoping and what they are capable of but a decent mid-card match anyway.

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Chelsea Green and Santana Garrett vs. Hiromi Mimura and Kairi Hojo

Things pick up a bit here as the North American team of Green and Garrett take on Hojo and the rookie Mimura. Mimura is Hojo’s cute little sidekick here but in reality she is older than Hojo since she got a late start in her wrestling career. Garrett defends her World of Stardom Championship next week against Hojo, so this is a way for them to face off to help build excitement for the big title fight (and give them a chance to work together).

Mimura and Green begin the match, Mimura stomps on Green’s foot and goes for a roll-up, but Green throws her to the mat and gets a quick cover. They tag out, Garrett and Hojo shove each other back and forth, elbows by Hojo but Garrett trips her and kicks Hojo in the chest. Garrett flips away from Hojo and hits a Space Rolling Elbow, she puts Hojo in the ropes and Green assists from the apron. Garrett rolls on Hojo and applies a Camel Clutch, but Mimura comes in and breaks it up. Garrett elbows Mimura before going for Hojo’s arm, she tags in Green  but Hojo avoids Green’s boot and delivers a spear. This gives her time to tag Mimura, Mimura attacks Green with elbows but Garrett comes in to help. Mimura knocks down Garrett and rolls up Green, but it only gets two. Mimura throws both opponents in the corner, Hojo returns and she hits a catapult elbow smash in the corner. Dropkick by Mimura to Green, but the cover gets two. Green has had enough and slams Mimura, heel kick by Green and she covers Mimura for a two count. Lariat by Green but Mimura lands by her corner and tags in Hojo.

stardom2.12-3Hojo chops Green into the corner an hits a running shoulder tackle followed by a front flip neckbreaker for two. Cross arm submission by Hojo but Garrett breaks it up, elbows by Green to Hojo and she hits a heel kick. Green goes up top and she hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Green tags Garrett, side Russian leg sweep by Garrett to Hojo and she applies a rolling Muta Lock. Mimura breaks it up, Hojo picks up Garrett and hits an elbow Final Cut, but Garrett blocks the Sliding D. Garrett goes for the Shining Star Press but Hojo grabs her leg and hits a spinning backhand slap.  Garrett comes back with a kick and both wrestlers fall to the mat, Hojo recovers first and tags Mimura, Mimura elbows Garrett as Hojo goes up top and hits a diving elbow smash. La Magistral by Mimura, but Green breaks up the cover. Elbows by Mimura but Garrett ducks a lariat and hits a fisherman suplex hold for two. Green comes in and they both kick Mimura, but Mimura barely gets a shoulder up. Hojo comes in but Garrett superkicks her, Mimura sneaks in a small package but it gets a two count. Garrett catches Mimura off the ropes and slams her to the mat, Shining Star Press by Garrett and she gets the three count! Green and Garrett win the match.

A fun match, I thought that both teams worked together well and the Stardom team in particular stood out. Green is still honing her craft so to speak, a few parts didn’t look smooth, but nothing terrible and the close camera isn’t doing them any favors in that regard as every little mistake is clear. Mimura is quickly becoming my favorite Stardom rookie, she has more of a ceiling than Kyouna but she has the personality to fit in well and if she sticks with it she may find the most success in the long run. Overall a solid effort by all four and worth a casual watch for sure.  Mildly Recommended

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Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Jungle Kyouna

Normally when a veteran goes against a wrestler that debuted six months prior, it is a one-sided affair, but Kyouna is getting fast tracked a bit so I expect her to do better than that in this match. Matsumoto is a good person to have here as she virtually never has bad matches and can lead a younger wrestler without any issue. The winner isn’t in doubt here but I expect Kyouna will do pretty well and give Matsumoto a few close calls.

stardom2.124Kyouna goes on the attack immediately, she tries to shoulderblock the veteran down but is unable to do so. Headlock takedown by Matsumoto, they return to their feet and lock knuckles before trading wristlocks. Matsumoto bites Kyouna’s arm and stomps on her, elbows by Matsumoto and she dropkicks Kyouna for a two count. Matsumoto beats on Kyouna as Kyouna tries to fight back, backbreaker by Matsumoto and she covers Kyouna for two. Matsumoto puts Kyouna in the corner across the ropes and hits a body avalanche, she covers Kyouna again but the rookie kicks out. Matsumoto goes for a piledriver but Kyouna blocks it and hits a back bodydrop. Kyouna throws Matsumoto in the corner and hits a body avalanche, powerslam by Kyouna but the covers gets two. Kyouna goes up top and hits a diving body press, she picks up Matsumoto but Matsumoto catches her with a lariat. They trade lariats without going down until Matsumoto floors Kyouna first, she goes off the ropes and they go back and forth with slaps and elbows. Kyouna knocks down Matsumoto with a lariat, she goes to run off the ropes but Matsumoto grabs her. Backdrop suplex by Matsumoto, but Kyouna gets a shoulder up. Sliding lariat by Matsumoto and she puts Kyouna in an elevated crab hold. Kyouna crawls to the ropes and finally reaches them, Matsumoto gets on the second turnbuckle and she hits a Reverse Diving Double Knee Drop for the three count! Hiroyo Matsumoto wins.

There was a lot to like here, my only real complaint is the match started really slow. The part where Matsumoto was just stomping Kyouna went just a bit long, the match lagged for a few minutes prior to Kyouna’s comeback with the back bodydrop. From then on the match was really good, I thought that Matsumoto would give Kyouna a lot and I was right, with Kyouna even winning a few of the strike battles which is really rare in rookie matches. I liked Matsumoto immediately finishing Kyouna after the crab hold didn’t work, Kyouna was able to escape the way that rookies typically lose but was too hurt to do anything else afterwards. So often we see a ‘hope’ spot there that I liked them doing something different. This would have been an upper tier ‘rookie match’ if it hadn’t slowed down for a few minutes, but overall still a fun battle.  Mildly Recommended

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(c) Thunder Rock (Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani) vs. Kaitlin Diemond and Viper

This match is for the Goddesses of Stardom Championship. One of the things about Stardom is they have so many titles (five) that almost every single show has at least one title match. Because why not. This match follows the “Stardom vs. World Selection” theme we have had in Stardom for much of 2016, in fact Viper challenges Shirai next week for the World of Stardom Championship so this is definitely more than just a throw-away title defense. Thunder Rock have held the tag titles since May 6th, 2015 and this is their 8th defense.

The first two in the match are Iwatani and Diemond, Iwatani pops Diemond in the head repeatedly before hitting an armdrag, but Diemond quickly rolls back to her feet. Shirai and Viper tag in, Viper tosses Shirai around the ring and drives her into the corner, but Shirai avoids her charge when she runs in. Dropkick by Shirai and she tags Iwatani, both attack Viper in the corner before applying armbars and posing. Viper has none of that and shoves them off, Diemond comes in and they hit a double elbow drop before throwing Iwatani onto Shirai. Shirai falls out of the ring but Viper goes out after her and slams her into the apron, while Diemond and Iwatani battle in the ring. Backbreaker by Diemond and she tags Viper, running body press by Viper to Iwatani and she gets two. Yasukawa gets on the apron and all three squish Iwatani in the ropes, in the ring Viper and Diemond charge Iwatani but Iwatani moves out of the way. Viper picks up Iwatani but Shirai dropkicks Iwatani to help tip over Viper, giving Iwatani time to tag Shirai. Diemond stays in but Shirai does a cartwheel and dropkicks both of them, Shirai drop toeholds Viper onto Diemond and covers Diemond for two. Shirai elbows Diemond but Diemond boots her in the face, Shirai hits the Tiger Feint Kick followed by the swandive missile dropkick for two. Iwatani is tagged in, she elbows Diemond and hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Iwatani jumps at Diemond but Diemond catches her and hits a back bodydrop.

stardom2.12-5Diemond tags Viper, Viper pounds on Iwatani but Iwatani sneaks in a school boy for two. Big shoulderblock by Viper and she hits a jumping crossbody to Iwatani’s head. Argentine Backbreaker by Viper, Shirai tries to help but fails, leaving Iwatani to get out of the hold herself. Footstomp by Iwatani and she tags Shirai, Shirai goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, she goes for a German suplex but Viper blocks it. Sleeper by Shirai but Viper gets into the ropes and throws Shirai off.  Running senton by Viper, she gets Shirai on her shoulders and hits an electric chair slam for a two count when Iwatani breaks it up. Diemond comes in too and they suplex their opponents, Viper gets on the second turnbuckle but Shirai avoids the Reverse Splash. Dropkick by Shirai and she kicks Viper in the head, running double knee by Shirai in the corner but she hurts her knee, giving Viper time to tag Diemond. Diemond hits a side slam on Shirai, she picks her up and hits a hard elbow for a two count. Double chokeslam to Shirai, Diemond holds Shirai for Viper but Viper hits Diemond on accident. Viper flattens Shirai, she gets on the second turnbuckle but Iwatani hits her from the apron. Shirai joins Viper and hits a Frankensteiner, Shirai and Iwatani get up on the same turnbuckle and hit a double missile dropkick. Diemond returns, Iwatani goes up top and with Shirai they nail the spike piledriver. Yasukawa tries to spit Sake into Shirai’s face, but Shirai ducks and she hits Diemond by accident. Package German Suplex by Shirai, and she gets the three count! Thunder Rock retain the championship.

I really liked this one, a quality championship match with lots of back and forth action. Stardom does sometimes have titles change hands on small events like this so it wasn’t a foregone confusion which team was winning, leading to the crowd staying into it throughout. Iwatani and Shirai are two of the best women wrestlers in the world as far as entertainment value goes, they are so high energy and Iwatani sells like a demon so everything done to her looks really painful. The ringside camera was fine, we didn’t miss any of the action and it made the moves feel even more impactful. A fun match and worth watching, it wasn’t an instant classic but a solid and entertaining match from bell to bell.  Recommended