STARDOM 5☆STAR GP 2020 Day 1 on 8/8/20 Review

STARDOM 5☆STAR GP 2020 Day 1 Poster

Event: STARDOM 5☆STAR GP 2020 – Day 1
Date: August 8th, 2020
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 445

Time for the 5★STAR GRAND PRIX 2020!  The 5★STAR GP is a round robin tournament with two blocks, and in 2020 each block has eight wrestlers. So its a long tournament as it runs from August 8th to September 19th. Here are this year’s participants:

Red Block
Blue Block
DEATH Yama-san
Mayu Iwatani
Saya Kamitani
Starlight Kid
Tam Nakano
Jungle Kyona
Momo Watanabe
Natsuko Tora
Saya Iida
Utami Hayashishita

The rules are pretty simple. This year, there is a 20 minute time limit for each match, which is an increase from the usual 15 minutes so hopefully we will see less Draws. The point system is easy enough to remember: a win is worth two points, a Draw is worth one point for both wrestlers, and of course the loser gets no points. Tie-breakers to win the Block can get weird but if the tie is just between two wrestlers, the wrestler that won the Head to Head match moves on. If more than two wrestlers tie (or if the two wrestlers tied went to a draw) there will probably be a wacky tie-breaker match.

To visit each wrestler’s profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it. To make my life slightly easier, I will only be reviewing the tournament matches on each show.

Day 1 has a full slate of matches, here is the full card:

  • Red Block: DEATH Yama-san vs. Starlight Kid
  • Blue Block: AZM vs. Saya Iida
  • Red Block: Konami vs. Saya Kamitani
  • Blue Block: Maika vs. Momo Watanabe
  • Blue Block: Natsuko Tora vs. Syuri
  • Red Block: Himeka vs. Tam Nakano
  • Blue Block: Jungle Kyona vs. Utami Hayashishita
  • Red Block: Giulia vs. Mayu Iwatani

I am watching the version uploaded to Stardom World, for better or worse, so all matches will be reviewed in full. However, I am cheating and using Samurai TV for the GIFs, just to get the better camera angles. Lets get to it!

DEATH Yama-san vs. Starlight Kid
DEATH Yama-san vs. Starlight Kid

We kick off the show with some Red Block action. DEATH Yama-san has no chance of winning this tournament as she is a comedy wrestler, but since she is a respected veteran she is in a good position to play spoiler. Starlight Kid has equally no chance of winning due to her age (she is only 18) and size, but like DEATH she could be a spoiler as well. So we are opening with spoiler vs. spoiler, which means anything can happen.

Starlight Kid charges DEATH to start but DEATH swats away her dropkick, armdrag by Starlight Kid and they trade trips before DEATH cradles Starlight Kid for two. DEATH picks up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid elbows her, DEATH throws Starlight Kid into the corner but Starlight Kid kicks her back when she charges in twice. Dropkick by Starlight Kid, she goes off the ropes but DEATH does too and thrusts her in the throat. Running senton by DEATH, and she covers Starlight Kid for two. DEATH goes to pick up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid hits a spinning headscissors, Tiger Feint Kick by Starlight Kid and she hits a standing moonsault for two. Starlight Kid picks up DEATH but DEATH slides away, Starlight Kid blocks the Chaos Theory but DEATH hits a DDT for two. Starlight Kid charges DEATH, they trade cradle attempts until Starlight Kid holds down DEATH for two. Starlight Kid charges DEATH and gets her back, Ki-chan Bomb by Starlight Kid and she gets the three count! Starlight Kid wins and gets two points!

I’ve said it before but if I keep up with tournament reviews you are going to hear it six more times after this – I really wish Yoneyama would wrestle as herself in Stardom in some situations as she’s too good to just be a low rent comedy gimmick. Anyway this was really short so not much to it and a few spots looked not very crisp, which is unusual for these two. A forgettable way to begin the prestigious tournament.

AZM vs. Saya Iida
AZM vs. Saya Iida

Next is the Blue Block. Saya Iida was a last minute replacement for the injured Saki Kashima, which is quite a downgrade as there isn’t too much to Saya and I’d be shocked if she wins a single match in the tournament (don’t email me if you disagree, I don’t care). AZM on the other hand is on the upward swing in her career, as now that she is 17 (almost 18) she has finally won her first singles title and is looking to continue to elevate up the card. She really has a chance in the tournament to make a strong argument that she is a legitimate contender now, starting here with Saya Iida.

They start slow (for an AZM match) as they trade holds, Saya gets a headscissors applied on the mat but AZM gets out of it as they return to their feet. Kick by AZM but Saya dropkicks her, AZM fires back with her own dropkick which sends Saya to the mat. AZM picks up AZM and throws her down by the hair, snapmare by AZM and she kicks Saya in the back for a two count. Scoop slam by AZM and she hits another one, she waits for Saya to get up and kicks her in the head. Hard elbow by AZM, she picks up Saya but Saya ducks her elbow and delivers a dropkick. Scoop slam by Saya and she puts AZM in an elevated crab hold, but AZM manages to roll out of it. Stomps by Saya, AZM elbows her and the two trade shots. AZM grabs Saya’s arm and applies a double reverse armbar, she lets go after a moment and goes up top but Saya avoids the diving footstomp. Chops by Saya and she double chops AZM to the mat, she goes up top but AZM recovers and joins her. Saya gets above AZM and goes for a powerbomb back to the mat, AZM blocks it but Saya pulls AZM from the turnbuckle down to the mat. Saya goes up top again and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Saya but it gets two. Saya picks up AZM and delivers the Northern Lights Suplex, but AZM kicks out. She goes for the Iida Bridge, AZM blocks it the first time but Saya gets it applied on her second attempt for a two count. Saya goes off the ropes but AZM kicks her, head kick by AZM and she covers Saya for two. Rolling vertical suplexes by AZM, she picks up Saya and…. well she goes for La Mistica but Saya is out of position so she spins her to the mat and puts her in an armlock for the submission win! AZM wins the match and gets two points.

Well that was one of the uglier finishes I’ve seen in Stardom, as Saya managed to mess up taking the same move twice in a five second period. Stardom usually is one of the most polished promotions I watch, they train together quite a bit and have so many shows they are generally on the same page. Definitely not the case with this one. It wasn’t a memorable match even leading up to that, with AZM changing her style to match Saya, but the ending will leave any fan with a bad taste in their mouth. Not AZM’s fault, she’s great, but just not a good combination here.

Konami vs. Saya Kamitani
Konami vs. Saya Kamitani

Back to Red Block. This one should get things back in the right direction. Konami is one of the most fundamentally sound wrestlers in Stardom, as she is in her fifth year and still improving as her personality has started shining through. She is against Tall Saya, the Super Rookie who is still rough around the edges but showing each show why Stardom trusts her with the push she is getting. Konami is still in a better position based on her experience and skill, but Saya is no slouch and will be tough to beat.

Tie-up to start, they trade holds until Konami knocks over Saya with a kick to the chest. She goes off the ropes and delivers a sliding kick, Konami picks up Saya and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Headscissors by Konami but Saya gets to the ropes, Konami twists Saya between the ropes and pulls on her head until the referee gets her to stop. Konami throws Saya into the corner and kicks her a few times, Saya fights back with elbows but Konami elbows her back to the mat. Konami goes off the ropes but Saya does as well, cartwheel into a flip by Saya and she dropkicks Konami. Konami ends up in the corner, running knee by Saya and she follows up with another dropkick for a two count. Saya picks up Konami but Konami puts her in an armbar, Saya rolls out of it and applies a Sickle Hold. She lets go after a moment and switches to a single leg crab hold, but Konami gets into the ropes for the break. Scoop slam by Saya, she goes to the top turnbuckle but Konami recovers and throws her back to the mat. Dropkick to the head by Konami and she applies a guillotine choke, but Saya gets to the ropes. Konami goes off the ropes and knees Saya in the back of the head, she goes off the ropes again but Saya drops her with a pump kick. Spinning heel kick by Saya, and she covers Konami for two. Saya goes up top and delivers a missile dropkick, but Konami kicks out of the cover. Saya quickly picks up Konami and hits the Pele Kick, running Shooting Star Press attempt by Saya but Konami rolls out of the way and applies a sleeper hold. Sleeper suplex by Konami, she picks up Saya and hits a PK. Triangle Choke by Konami, and Saya taps out! Konami is the winner and gets two points in the tournament.

My favorite thing about this match was just the definitiveness of the ending. I don’t mind matches with hope spots, 2.9999 nearfalls, etc. as those elements can add a lot to a wrestling match. But sometimes, especially in a midcard situation, its better when a wrestler just pounds someone into the dirt. The sleeper/sleeper suplex/PK/Triangle Choke combination without Saya doing a damn thing to stop it was really great and put over Konami as a threat, which was more important than her trading nearfalls with a rookie. A very talented rookie that held her own, but this match was about Konami and she delivered. Short and pretty basic, but it accomplished its goal and was entertaining.  Mildly Recommended

Maika vs. Momo Watanabe
Maika vs.
Momo Watanabe

Time to see if Blue Block can continue the upward trend, with a match with a similar dynamic as the last. At least in terms of experience, as the five year veteran Momo takes on the near-rookie Maika. This is an interesting pairing, as since its a tournament setting anyone can win any match, and Maika is in the midst of a push as part of DDM. On the other hand, Momo is the stealth Ace of Stardom and doesn’t get pinned very often. These two wrestled at the last Stardom event, with Momo winning, so Maika gets an immediate chance to avenge that defeat.

Maika charges Momo as soon as the match starts and boots her in the face, she stomps down Momo in the corner before bringing her to the middle of the ring and stomping her in the back. Maika goes off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock, Momo goes for the dropkick but Maika swats her away and armdrags her. Scoop slam by Maika and she hits a couple more, Maika stomps down Momo in the corner and Irish whips her, but Momo rebounds out of the corner with a dropkick. Maika lands in the other corner, kicks to the chest by Momo and she stomps down Maika. Momo picks up Maika and hits a vertical suplex, Maika elbows her and goes off the ropes, but Momo levels her with a dropkick. PK by Momo and she applies the crossface chickenwing, but Maika gets into the ropes for the break. Momo gets on the second turnbuckle and delivers the Diving Somato, but Maika kicks out.

Momo picks up Maika but Maika blocks the B Driver, head kick by Momo and she goes up top but Maika avoids her dive and hits an armdrag. Maika tosses Momo around the ring and hits a STO, side slam by Maika and she covers Momo for two. Maika gets on the second turnbuckle but Momo kicks her before she can jump off, Maika puts her in a hanging chokehold but lets go after a moment and hits a Reverse Splash. Delayed vertical suplex by Maika, and she covers Momo for two. Maika applies a sleeper but Momo quickly gets to the ropes, Maika goes off the ropes but Momo kicks her in the head. Momo goes off the ropes but Maika does as well, she slides behind Momo and puts her in a sleeper hold. Momo almost gets to the ropes but Maika drops her to the mat while maintaining the hold, and Momo eventually taps out! Maika wins the match and gets two points in the tournament.

A well constructed short tournament match. Maika coming out of the gate firing on all cylinders was a smart way to go, as generally she is seen as more methodical so it shows her more urgent side. It also helps put over Maika as more than just a new almost-rookie, as DDM is getting a push right now and needs all four of their wrestlers to be seen as threats. The sleeper hold at the end went on for maybe a tad long but it helped keep Momo strong since she fought so long before tapping out. A fun match and one of the better singles matches I’ve seen from Maika. Mildly Recommended

Natsuko Tora vs. Syuri
Natsuko Tora vs.

We stay with the Blue Block, as Oedo Tai’s leader takes on Syuri from Donna del Mondo. I’ve talked about it before, but this version of Oedo Tai (especially without Jamie and Bea) is the weakest version in the history of the stable and has no real direction or a particularly talented wrestler. Natsuko Tora is the leader but rarely wins, even though she cheats. So she needs a good showing in the tournament. She is against former MMA fighter and current great wrestler Syuri, giving Natsuko a tough early draw. She’ll probably need to do a fair amount of bending the rules to win here.

Natsuko attacks Syuri from behind before the match starts, she throws down Syuri by her hair but Syuri drop toeholds her into the second rope and kicks her in the back. Running knee by Syuri as Natsuko tumbles out of the ring, Syuri stays on the apron and hits a jumping knee off of it down to the floor. Syuri picks up Natsuko but Natsuko throws her into the guard rail and then the ring post, Natsuko throws Syuri into the railing again before sliding her back into the ring. Natsuko clubs on Syuri and throws her into the corner, elbow by Natsuko and she hits another running elbow followed by a Cannonball for a two count cover. Natsuko throws down Syuri by the hair and gives her some bootscrapes, running boot by Natsuko and she hits a second one. Natsuko gets Syuri on her shoulders and hits a Samoan Drop, cover by Natsuko but it gets a two count.

Natsuko goes off the ropes but Syuri knees her, DDT by Syuri and she covers Natsuko for two. Elbows by Natsuko but Syuri kicks her in the chest, running knee by Syuri and she hits a half hatch suplex for two. Crab hold by Syuri but Natsuko gets to the ropes, she picks up Natsuko but Natsuko elbows her and the two trade strikes. Kick to the midsection by Syuri but Natsuko blocks her next kick and hits a short range lariat. Natsuko picks up Syuri and hits a swinging side slam, she drags Syuri up and slams her in front of the corner. Natsuko goes to the top turnbuckle and delivers the diving body press, but Syuri barely kicks out of the cover. Natsuko gets her chain and wraps it around her knee, she gets on the top turnbuckle but Syuri avoids her diving leg drop. Running knee by Syuri, she goes for another one but Natsuko hits a lariat. Natsuko goes off the ropes but Syuri delivers a head kick, Buzzsaw Kick by Syuri and she covers Natsuko for the three count! Syuri wins and gets two points in the tournament.

Natsuko continues her trend of rule bending but losing anyway, although I assume at some point she will get some wins in this tournament. The match was ok but pretty by the numbers, also it was the shortest match since the opener so they had limited time to get in a groove. Natsuko did stand tall against Syuri and put up a good fight, which was needed, and it took a series of strikes to get Natsuko to stay down. Good enough for what they were going for but it felt like just a standard forgettable tournament match since it didn’t do anything outside of the norm. A small step down from the last two matches, but just slightly.

Himeka vs. Tam Nakano
Himeka vs.
Tam Nakano

Returning to the Red Block, as DDM looks to win three matches in a row. This is another tough match for the faction, as one of the newest wrestlers in Stardom takes on the always entertaining Tam Nakano. Tam is on the cusp of main event status but not quite there yet, she’s popular but still ranks below Giulia, Mayu, and a few others. Winning the tournament, or having a great showing, would certainly help her standing. Himeka is a real wildcard in this tournament as while she isn’t predicted to win, Stardom is going to do what they can to make their newest acquisitions look good. A real toss-up, but Tam certainly has more accomplishments and has the experience edge over Himeka.

They lockup to start, Himeka pushes Tam into the ropes and she gives a clean break. Takedown by Tam but Himeka gets in the dominate position, side headlock by Himeka but Tam gets out of it and they return to their feet. Tam quickly kicks Himeka, snapmare by Tam and she kicks Himeka in the back. She goes for a PK but Himeka catches it and hits a Samoan Drop. Scoop slam by Himeka and she puts Tam in a Camel Clutch, she lets go after a moment and stomps on Tam’s back. Single leg crab hold by Himeka but Tam gets to the ropes to force the break. Himeka pushes Tam under the under rope and cranks back on her head, the referee gets her to let go and Himeka elbows Tam before hitting a hard shoulderblock for two. Himeka picks up Tam and throws her into the corner, Irish whip by Himeka but Tam rebounds out of the corner with a crossbody. Running elbow by Tam and she kicks Himeka in the back of the head for a two count cover. Tam picks up Himeka and flips her to the mat, she goes for a cross armbreaker but Himeka blocks it for Tam’s first few attempts. Tam keeps cranking on the hold and almost gets it applied, but Himeka gets into the ropes to force a break. Tam stomps on Himeka and throws her towards the corner, but Himeka reverses it and hits a hard shoulderblock. Himeka puts Tam in a crab hold but Tam crawls to the ropes for the break. Himeka quickly re-applies it but Tam gets to the ropes again, Himeka goes off the ropes and knees Tam in the back for a two count.

Himeka goes for the Argentine Backbreaker and gets it applied, but Tam doesn’t submit so after a moment she drops her. Tam fires back with a kick to Himeka’s leg and they trade strikes until Himeka knocks over Tam with a hard lariat. Himeka goes off the ropes but Tam delivers a heel kick, Tam slowly recovers and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Himeka recovers and elbows her before she can jump off. Himeka grabs Tam but Tam gets away from her, Tam kicks Himeka down and goes to the top turnbuckle again, delivering the Destiny Hammer for a two count. Tam drags Himeka up and goes for the Tiger Suplex, but Himeka blocks it. Heel kick by Tam and she goes off the ropes, but Himeka levels her with a jumping knee. Himeka picks up Tam but Tam reverses the powerbomb attempt, spinning heel kick by Tam and she hits the sliding knee for a two count. Tam picks up Himeka and delivers the Tiger Suplex Hold, but Himeka gets a shoulder up. Tam elbows Himeka as she picks her up, she goes off the ropes but Himeka avoids the sliding knee and hits a lariat. Another lariat by Himeka, she picks up Tam and hits another big lariat for a two count. Himeka picks up Tam and goes for the powerbomb, but Tam back bodydrops out of it. Himeka immediately lariats Tam in the back of the head and puts her up on the turnbuckles to get her in the powerbomb position. Running Powerbomb by Himeka, and she picks up the three count! Himeka wins the match and gets two points.

This wasn’t the smoothest match we’ll see in the tournament, but it was pretty logically laid out anyway. I am not sure if Himeka was legitimately struggling with some of her power moves or just selling, but a few spots didn’t look quite right and its possible that Himeka isn’t quite as hoss-y as she tries to wrestle. But I liked her attention on Tam’s back and she was pretty consistent with it. Tam didn’t have as much of a plan, mostly spamming strikes which isn’t necessarily a bad way to win but it didn’t work out for her. This got a couple more minutes than it needed as long singles matches probably aren’t Himeka’s strength right now, but still more good than bad and I am looking forward to seeing Himeka improve as the tournament goes along.  Mildly Recommended

Jungle Kyona vs. Utami Hayashishita
Jungle Kyona vs. Utami Hayashishita

Blue Block time. As the match order implies, this was the second biggest match on the show and has a lot of potential to be great. This is the fourth career singles match between these two, and Utami holds the slight edge with a 1-0-2 record. Utami is only two years into her career but she is no joke, as she seems poised to be one of the leaders of the promotion within the next couple years. Jungle Kyona has struggled to make it over the hump as she has never held a singles title, but a few big wins in the GP will go a long way to boosting herself up the pecking order.

They lock-up to begin, Jungle ends up pushing Utami into the corner and goes for a lariat, but Utami moves out of the way. Jungle avoids Utami’s charge as well, side headlock by Jungle but Utami Irish whips out of it and the two try to knock each other over. Utami wins the battle but Jungle quickly gets back up and they trade elbows. Elbows by Utami but Jungle shoulderblocks her to the mat, Jungle throws Utami into the corner and hits a body avalanche followed by a front dropkick. Utami lands near the ropes and Jungle lariats her over the top rope down to the floor. Jungle jumps out to the apron but Utami lariats her legs out from under her, she gets Jungle on her back out on the floor but Jungle wiggles out of her grasp. Utami throws Jungle into the guardrail but Utami returns the favor, and Jungle lariats Utami over the railing to the other side. Jungle grabs Utami and powerbombs her into the apron, she slides Utami back in and she hits a scoop slam. Falling body press by Jungle, and she covers Utami for two. Jungle picks up Utami hits a fallaway slam, single leg crab hold by Jungle but Utami gets to the ropes for the break. Stomps by Jungle, she picks up Utami and throws her into the corner before hitting a hard shoulderblock.

Jungle goes off the ropes but Utami dropkicks her, running elbow by Utami and she dropkicks Jungle in the back for a two count cover. Utami applies a sleeper but Jungle gets out of it, she goes for a sliding lariat but Utami ducks it and hits a dropkick. Utami goes up top but Jungle joins her, they trade elbows until Utami gets Jungle on her shoulders. Jungle luckily slides off since nothing good could come of that, Jungle picks up Utami and slams her off the turnbuckle to the mat. Lariat by Jungle in the corner, she puts her on the turnbuckle and goes for the Kinniku Buster, but Utami gets out of it. Lariat by Jungle, she picks up Utami and hits a scoop slam. Jungle goes up top and delivers the diving body press, but Utami kicks out at two. Jungle grabs Utami and drops her with the Hammerthrow Bomb, but Utami barely kicks out of the cover. Jungle drags up Utami but Utami ducks the lariat attempt, hitting a STO. Both wrestlers are down and slow to recover, Jungle is up first and grabs Utami, but Utami gets away. Elbow by Jungle but Utami hits the Air Raid Crash, cover by Utami but it gets two. Utami picks up Jungle and puts her in an Argentine Backbreaker, she spins her around into a powerbomb but Jungle gets a hand on the ropes to break up the pin. Utami grabs Jungle around the waist and drops her with a German suplex, she keeps the hold applied and hits a second German suplex. Utami rolls Jungle over and delivers a final German suplex hold, picking up the three count! Utami Hayashishita wins the match and gets two points.

This felt like a really good match that just never made it to the next level. I enjoyed much of it, as Utami continues to improve so much and Jungle is a solid base for anyone that hits her moves very crisply. There were a few little awkward moments but nothing that broke the match. I really liked the ending with the rolling Germans, it made Jungle look stronger for it to take three Germans to keep her down, which she needed after Utami kicked out of her Hammerthrow Bomb. Entertaining for sure but I think with a little more time and with something on the line these two could have a real banger.  Recommended

Giulia vs. Mayu Iwatani
Giulia vs.
Mayu Iwatani

For the main event, we end in the Red Block as the two top champions in Stardom collide. Mayu Iwatani comes into the match the World of Stardom Champion, having won the title back in November. Giulia won the Wonder of Stardom Championship in July, making this a rare World of Stardom Champion vs. Wonder of Stardom Champion singles match. On top of that, this is the first ever singles match between these two, making it special on several levels. Giulia is the rising force in Stardom but Mayu is the Icon, and knowing both of them they won’t be holding back in this match.

They trade holds to start, Giulia gets Mayu to the mat but Mayu gains the dominate position as they struggle for control. They end up back on their feet, Mayu works a headlock but Giulia gets out of it. Slap by Mayu and she snapmares Giulia before kicking her in the back. Scoop slam by Mayu and she stomps on Giulia, dropkick by Mayu while Giulia is against the ropes and she covers her for two. Giulia throws Mayu into the corner and hits a hanging neckbreaker, snapmare by Giulia and she applies an armbar. Mayu gets into the ropes to force a break, she rolls out of the ring to re-group before returning to the ring. Giulia stomps on Mayu, Mayu elbows her but Giulia boots Mayu in the head. Hammerlock by Giulia but Mayu quickly gets to the ropes again, Giulia goes off the ropes but Mayu catches her with the Sling Blade. Mayu rolls Giulia to the mat and dropkicks her, suplex by Mayu and she holds down Giulia for two. Mayu grabs Giulia but Giulia gets her back and puts Mayu in the grounded octopus hold, but Mayu gets into the ropes for the break. Giulia picks up Mayu and goes off the ropes, booting her in the head. Giulia goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Mayu but it gets two. Giulia goes for a suplex but Mayu lands on her feet and hits a superkick, but Giulia boots her back. Another superkick by Mayu as they go back and forth, Giulia goes off the ropes but Mayu superkicks her again and hits a German suplex hold for two.

Mayu goes up top but Giulia recovers and joins her, headbutt by Giulia but Mayu headbutts her back. More headbutts by Giulia and she delivers a superplex. Cover by Giulia, but Mayu bridges out of the cover. Giulia picks up Mayu but Mayu gets out of the Glorious Driver, reversing it into a Tombstone Piledriver. They slowly recover and trade strikes on their knees, they keep it up as they get back to their feet, head kick by Mayu and she drops Giulia with the Dodonpa for a two count. Mayu gets Giulia on the second turnbuckle and nails the Running Three, Mayu goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the diving body press, but Mayu barely kicks out of the pin. Dragon Suplex Hold by Mayu, but that gets a two count as well. Mayu goes up top again but Giulia avoids the moonsault attempt, sliding kick by Giulia but she is too hurt to capitalize. Mayu is up first and goes for a dragon suplex, but Giulia blocks it and drops her with a backdrop suplex. Giulia picks up Mayu and hits a Falcon Arrow, cover by Giulia but it gets two. Giulia applies a seated armbar but Mayu gets into the ropes to force the break, Mayu picks up Giulia and hits the Glorious Driver. Giulia keeps Mayu clutched however and hits a second Glorious Driver, cover by Mayu and she gets a three count!  Giulia wins and picks up two points in the tournament.

In the main event slot, these two stepped up and delivered. It had the big match feel even with the sparse crowd, as both were dropping bombs to win. Mayu pulled out the Running Three (which she learned from Chigusa Nagayo directly) and it really looked killer, I love how wrestlers in Stardom are always adding to their move arsenal as it keeps the matches fresh. Giulia is so good with her strikes, whether they be boots or headbutts, and with her expressions always presents matches as a real struggle and not just choreographed violence. If I had to quibble, I wish Mayu had gotten to kick out of a few of Giulia’s big moves just to make it more fair (such as the Glorious Buster) since Giulia did it to her, as it made the end stretch feel short, but they only had two more minutes left so they had to wrestle within the time restrictions. Overall a pretty great match, and easily the best of the night.  Highly Recommended

Final Thoughts:


One issue with a 16 wrestler tournament is there are going to be some duds, and while the first couple matches on this event didn’t do a lot for me, the last six matches all ranged from very watchable to great which is still a really good ratio. DDM’s domination may bother some people but as a fan of DDM, I love it so no complaints from me. The final two matches were both great and delivered as one would expect, but the midcard had some good action as well to make it a complete card. A solid start to the tournament.