Stardom Golden Week Stars #2 on 5/8/16 Review

Event: Stardom “Golden Week Stars #2”
Date: May 8th, 2016
Location: Saitama Prefectural Industrial Center in Saitama, Japan
Announced Attendance: 235

The final event before Stardom’s big show at Korakuen Hall on May 15th! This is a particularly small offering by Stardom, with only four scheduled matches, but since it is the last event to help promote the upcoming title matches there is still some significance. In the last match, with future opponents teaming up I assume something interesting is bound to happen. Here is the full card:

  • Azumi vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Starlight Kid
  • Diosa Atenea and Kyoko Kimura vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto and Santana Garrett
  • Jungle Kyouna and Momo Watanabe vs. Kairi Hojo and Hiromi Mimura
  • Alpha Female and Queen Maya vs. Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani

A unique variety here with a main event that won’t go well, let’s see how it works out.

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Azumi vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Starlight Kid

This match is being wrestled under Round Robin rules. Similar to a Gauntlet Match, two wrestlers are in the ring at a time but in this case the first wrestler that gets two victories wins the match. After there is a winner in each singles match, the winner stays and the other wrestler comes in to face off against the winner, and so on until one wrestler picks up two wins. As is usually the case in these openers, it is the long time veteran Yoneyama facing off against two children.

Azumi and Starlight Kid begin the match and they go back and forth with armdrags, they trade elbows until Starlight Kid hits a monkey flip. Dropkick by Starlight Kid and she kicks Azumi in the face, Starlight Kid gets on the second turnbuckle but Azumi avoids her dive and puts her in La Magistral for a two count. Roll-up by Azumi but Starlight Kid reverses it and hits a standing moonsault for the three count! Starlight Kid gets the pin and a point.

stardom5.8-1Yoneyama enters the ring to face off with Starlight Kid, dropkicks by Starlight Kid and she puts Yoneyama in a crab hold. Starlight Kid stomps on Yoneyama and hits a standing moonsault, she hits a frog splash off the second turnbuckle but the pin attempt gets two. Yoneyama blocks the Shiranui  and hits an atomic drop, standing senton by Yoneyama and she puts Starlight Kid in a Giant Swing. Crab hold by Yoneyama and Starlight Kid submits! Yoneyama gets a point.

Azumi returns to square off with Yoneyama, Yoneyama chops Azumi but Azumi sneaks in an inside cradle for two. Crab hold by Azumi but Yoneyama gets to the ropes, senton by Azumi but Yoneyama hits a delayed scoop slam. Starlight Kid trips Yoneyama from the floor, dropkick by Azumi and she suplexes Yoneyama for a two count. Yoneyama blocks the La Magistral attempt and throws Azumi to the mat, but Starlight Kid grabs Yoneyama from the apron which gives Azumi time to apply a Wing Clutch Hold. Yoneyama rolls out of it however and she holds down Azumi for a three count! Yoneyama has two victories and wins the match!

A simple match, although Starlight Kid getting a pinfall is different since she typically doesn’t win anything. I did like that Starlight Kid was cheating for Azumi during the last fall, as if Azumi had pinned Yoneyama it would have given Starlight Kid a chance to win the match. Just a basic opener.

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Diosa Atenea and Kyoko Kimura vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto and Santana Garrett

These small shows sure do have some odd pairings. Atenea and Kimura represent Oedo Tai, the heel faction of Stardom, while Matsumoto and Garrett are somewhat random Freelancers thrown together for our amusement. Garrett has a title match coming up next week so she has the most momentum going into the match.

Atenea and Garrett start off, but Kimura immediately attacks Garrett from behind. Matsumoto comes in and helps Garrett even the odds, and Garrett hits the Space Rolling Elbow in the corner. Oedo Tai regains the advantage as the action spills out of the ring, and Atenea bites Garrett in the head. Atenea and Garrett get back in the ring, lariat by Garrett and she covers Atenea for two. Atenea elbows Garrett and tags Kimura, Kimura grabs Garrett and throws her around the ring by her hair. Kimura spanks Garrett in the ropes and then jumps down on her back before tagging in Atenea. Jumping lariat by Atenea and she puts Garrett in a wristlock before tagging Kimura back into the ring. Kimura works over Garrett’s arm but Garrett snaps off a hurricanrana and makes the hot tag to Matsumoto. Matsumoto clears the ring before throwing Oedo Tai in one corner and hitting a body avalanche.

stardom5.18-2Matsumoto goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Matsumoto but it gets two. Kimura gets away from Matsumoto and kicks her in the head, they trade running strikes until Kimura applies an Octopus Hold. Kimura tags Atenea and she armdrags Matsumoto, Matsumoto flips Atenea out to the apron but Atenea comes back in the ring with an diving armdrag. Matsumoto slams Atenea to the mat and tags Garrett, Garrett and Atenea trade blows until Garrett hits a flying headscissors. Superkick by Garrett but Kimura blocks the Shining Star Press, allowing Atenea to cover Garrett for a two. Kimura comes in with a rod and hits Garrett in the head with it, Atenea grabs Garrett with Kimura and they double team Garrett in the corner. Atenea puts Garrett in the Scorpion Deathlock but Matsumoto breaks it up. Garrett kicks Atenea, Garrett gets on Matsumoto’s back (with Kimura) and Matsumoto hits a double kneedrop on Atenea. Matsumoto powerbombs Atenea, Shining Star Press by Garrett and she gets the three count! Garrett and Matsumoto are the winners.

I have determined that Atenea isn’t gelling very well in Stardom. That isn’t to say she is a bad wrestler as it is a different style, but there were a few things here that didn’t quite line up correctly. Beyond that the match was fine, nothing special but nothing offensive. Garrett looked good, she seems to be getting more accustomed to the Stardom style which is a shame in a way as I don’t think she will be in Stardom much longer. Just a decent midcard match.

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Jungle Kyouna and Momo Watanabe vs. Kairi Hojo and Hiromi Mimura

Kai-Hiro Pirates vs. JKGReeeeN! While these two teams don’t constantly team together they do team often enough to have cute team names. Mimura and Kyouna are two rookies on different sides, while Watanabe and Hojo are the “veterans” with Hojo clearly having a big edge over everyone else. The match is billed as Hiromi Mimura’s Homecoming, so maybe she will pick up a big win here!

The rookies Mimura and Kyouna kick things off and they trade holds until Mimura hits a dropkick, but she misses her next one and both wrestlers tag out. Hojo and Watanabe go off the ropes, Watanabe pancakes one too many times and Hojo hits a footstomp on her back. They trade quick pins with no luck before facing off again, Kyouna and Mimura both come in the ring but JKGReeeeN stack their opponents in the corner for some double teaming. Mimura is chopped by both wrestlers in the ropes, scoop slam by Watanabe and she tags Kyouna. Kyouna puts Mimura in a crab hold, Hojo throws her a rope to try to help her to the ropes but Kyouna has none of that and breaks it up. Mimura gets away and hits a low crossbody to Kyouna, giving her time to tag in Hojo. Hojo chops Kyouna in the chest, shoulderblock by Hojo and when Kyouna runs in she eats a springboard elbow smash. Mimura comes in and Hojo catapults off of her with an elbow strike. They bring in their rope and tie up Kyouna and Watanabe, they get free after a moment and Kyouna catches Hojo with a powerslam.

stardom5.18-3Kyouna picks up Hojo and puts her in the corner and hits a body avalanche, Kyouna stomps Hojo but Hojo catches her with a spear. Hojo tags Mimura, dropkick by Mimura and she connects with another one to Kyouna. Rolling leglock by Mimura but Kyouna eventually makes it to the ropes, big lariat by Kyouna and she covers Mimura for two. Kyouna tags Watanabe, stomps by Watanabe to Mimura and she dropkicks Mimura in the corner. Another dropkick and she hits a series of vertical suplexes, but Mimura quickly rolls her up for two. Watanabe and Mimura trade elbows, Mimura tries for a few more quick pinning situations but all get a two. Kyouna comes in when Hojo does and tosses her to the mat, Watanabe gets on the second turnbuckle and hits Mimura with a missile dropkick. Watanabe gets on Kyouna’s shoulders and hits a double kneedrop, but Hojo breaks up the cover. Watanabe picks up Mimura but Mimura wiggles away and tags in Hojo. Diving elbow smash by Hojo and she hits a double chop to Watanabe’s chest for a two count. Kyouna kicks Hojo from the apron and then comes in to further help, double vertical suplex to Hojo and Watanabe covers her for two. Somato by Watanabe to Hojo, but Mimura breaks up the cover. Kyouna comes in, Mimura hits a crossbody and Hojo dropkicks them over. Spinning chop by Hojo to Watanabe, Mimura returns and Hojo nails Watanabe with a Sliding D. Mimura takes care of Kyouna while Hojo goes up to the top turnbuckle and she nails the Diving Elbow Drop for the three count! The Kai-Hiro Pirates win!

This match got a lot more time than I was expecting, and they used it pretty well. Since all four are familar with each other it was a pretty smooth match, a few very minor hiccups but nothing major which is all you can ask for with a group with so little experience. I love the teamwork in these matches, and Watanabe is really in her element in tag team matches as sometimes she loses her way a bit in longer singles matches. An entertaining match, and it gave Hojo something as she takes the older but less experienced Mimura under her wing.  Mildly Recommended

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Alpha Female and Queen Maya vs. Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani

This is what I call a “WWE Style” main event! Next week, Alpha Female and Queen Maya are facing off against each other, as are Shirai and Iwatani, so here they are forced to team together to see if they can get along. Shirai and Iwatani are of course a different situation since they are also tag team partners and usually friends, while I don’t think that Alpha and Maya have ever been friends. Either way there is bound to be some disagreements here, it is just a matter of which team breaks first.

Alpha and Iwatani begin the match for their respective teams, Alpha quickly gets the advantage which brings in Shirai and Maya. Maya gets Shirai on her back as they both apply backbreakers, Maya eventually lets Shirai go and Iwatani hits a headscissors on Alpha. Sunset flip by Iwatani and she rolls up Alpha again, but both times Alpha kicks out. Iwatani tags Shirai, and Alpha elbows Shirai hard in the chest. Maya tags herself in which pisses off Alpha so they are the first team to get annoyed with each other, which leads to Maya getting double teamed by Iwatani and Shirai in the corner. Iwatani charges Maya but Maya pulls Shirai in front of her, causing Shirai to hit Iwatani by accident. Shirai and Iwatani regain themselves and both dropkick Maya, but Maya avoids the next double team move. Alpha is still mad at Maya and comes in to elbow her, leading to them fighting in the corner. The referee has seen enough from them and calls the match off, leading to a No Contest.

Shirai gets on the microphone and says that is not a satisfactory ending, and since neither teams were in sync that they should re-start the match but with different partners. She picks Alpha (smart!), so now we are getting a new match!

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Alpha Female and Io Shirai vs. Queen Maya and Mayu Iwatani

Alpha and Maya start for their new teams, they immediately start trading elbows before they both lariat each other to the mat. Shirai and Iwatani are both tagged in, they both run off the ropes and miss dropkicks before Shirai connects with a missile dropkick. Shirai goes up top but Maya whacks her, Alpha comes in too and she throws Maya out of the ring. Shirai has fallen out to the floor, Iwatani goes up top and dives out onto her with a plancha. Iwatani rolls Shirai back in while Alpha and Maya battle around the ring, Iwatani stomps Shirai in the corner and starts working on her leg. Shirai fights back but Iwatani pulls her hair and tags in Maya. Iwatani keeps kicking at Shirai while Maya pounds on her, Giant Swing by Maya to Shirai and she tags Iwatani back in. Iwatani pours water on Shirai but Shirai kicks her, snapmare by Iwatani and she kicks Shirai in the back. Shirai finally catches a kick and gets back up, she knocks Iwatani off her feet and dropkicks Iwatani in the head.

stardom5.8-5This gives her time to tag in Alpha while Maya is also tagged in, lariats by Alpha and she slams both Maya and Iwatani. Suplex by Alpha to Maya and then she suplexes Iwatani onto Maya. Alpha pounds on Iwatani’s chest and chokes her in the ropes, she puts Iwatani in a backbreaker before throwing her into the corner. Alpha tags Shirai, Tiger Feint Kick by Shirai and she hits a swandive dropkick. Shirai hits a footstomp on Iwatani and hits a dragon screw, Iwatani goes for a dragon suplex but Shirai blocks it. Leglock by Shirai but Iwatani gets to the ropes, back up Iwatani slaps Shirai but Shirai slaps her back. Palm strikes by Shirai but Iwatani drops her with a Sling Blade. Kick to the head by Iwatani and she makes the hot tag to Maya. Maya knocks Alpha off the apron, she grabs Shirai but Shirai kicks Maya in the head. Running double knee by Shirai in the corner, she goes up to the top turnbuckle but Maya elbows her and joins Shirai up top. Alpha comes in too and powerbombs Maya, Shirai hits a moonsault but Iwatani breaks up the cover. Maya tries to kick Shirai but boots Iwatani by accident, Maya chokeslams Shirai and covers her for two. Maya elbows Alpha and picks up Shirai, but Shirai slides away and Alpha lariats Maya. German suplex hold by Shirai, and she picks up the three count! Alpha Female and Io Shirai are the winners!

For a ‘storyline’ match this was fine, but for in-ring action it was probably the worst Stardom main event of 2016. Any match with Io Shirai and Iwatani is going to be good, and Alpha Female is a guilty pleasure of mine, but with such a strong focus on having the teammates turn on each other it took a bit of the rhythm out of the match. It was too foreshadowed what was going to happen so it didn’t come across as a surprise, and they should have just made the final pairing the original pairing. The Iwatani/Shirai parts were well done as they work really well together, it just wasn’t a very exciting main event. It served its general purpose but overall a bit disappointing.  Mildly Recommended