Event: Stardom 5★Star Grand Prix Day 10
Date: October 2nd, 2016
Location: Shin-Kiba 1ST RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 295
For whatever reason, Stardom continued to call the tour the “5★Star Grand Prix” even after the Grand Prix was over, so we are onto Day 10! This is a small show but with a big main event with the trios title on the line! Here is the full card:
- Azumi vs. Eimi Nishina vs. Kaori Yoneyama
- Arisu Nanase vs. Momo Watanabe
- Hiromi Mimura vs. Saori Anou
- Jungle Kyouna and Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Yoko Bito and Toni Storm
- Artist of Stardom Championship: Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, and Mayu Iwatani vs. Hana Kimura, Kagetsu, and Kyoko Kimura
This will be unclipped, lets get to it.
Azumi vs. Eimi Nishina vs. Kaori Yoneyama
The event begins in typical Stardom house show fashion, with an Azumi Army match! All three of these wrestlers are in the Azumi Army, with Azumi of course being the leader. Yoneyama is the Commander of the army and Eimi is just a lowly follower. Obviously part of the joke is the 14 year old is the leader of the army, but these are just fun openers not meant to be taken too seriously.
They try to all lock knuckles to start but keep kicking each other’s arms, Azumi dropkicks Eimi but Yoneyama drops her with an armdrag. Azumi kips up and they go to double team Eimi, but Eimi gets the better of both of them. Azumi and Eimi start working together and both dropkick Yoneyama before putting her in a double armbar. Yoneyama comes back with a double crossbody, she chops Eimi and sends her to the mat with a throat thrust. Eimi dropkicks Yoneyama out of the ring, Azumi returns and she hits a DDT. Azumi flips Eimi to the mat and hits a vertical suplex, covering her for two. Yoneyama gets back in the ring and Eimi is double teamed in the corner, Azumi monkey flips Yoneyama and kicks her repeatedly in the chest for a two count cover. Scoop slam by Yoneyama and she hits a running senton on Azumi, she goes up top but Azumi avoids the reverse splash. Eimi runs in and covers both Yoneyama and Azumi, but she only manages two counts. Yoneyama hits a quick running senton on Eimi, she then gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton on Eimi for the three count! Kaori Yoneyama wins!
The main goal of matches like this is to get the younger wrestlers some experience while having something resembling a storyline to make it a little more fun. Azumi is still young enough that I don’t see her progressing up the card in the next year, but wrestling Yoneyama on a weekly basis can only help her learn. Nothing offensive, just a cute little opener.
Arisu Nanase vs. Momo Watanabe
Speaking of babies, Arisu is another one as she is only 15 years old and just debuted a few months ago. Momo is 16 and goes between being lower on the card and in the main event depending on the situation. Momo tends to look lost sometimes when wrestling someone even less experienced than she is, so it will be interesting to see how she adapts here.
Arisu dropkicks Momo right as the match starts but Momo returns the favor, kick to the back by Momo and she applies a sleeper. Momo lets go of it and stomps on Arisu, they return to their feet and go back and forth with elbows. Crab hold by Momo but Arisu gets to the ropes, Momo throws Arisu in the corner but Arisu flips away and hits a dropkick. Cross leg ankle hold by Arisu, she lets go after a moment and dropkicks Momo in the head for a two count. Momo kicks Arisu into the corner and hits a running dropkick, she picks up Arisu and hits a snap vertical suplex for a two count cover. Momo positions Arisu and goes towards the corner, but Arisu quickly schoolboys her for a two count. Another quick pin by Arisu gets two, she hits the Blockbuster Suplex but Momo gets a shoulder up. Arisu goes off the ropes but Momo catches her with a dropkick, she picks up Arisu but Arisu reverses the F Crash into a sunset flip. Momo reverses the sunset flip, she goes off the ropes and nails the Somato for the three count cover! Momo Watanabe is the winner.
Momo held this match together fine, but since it was a short and basic match that wasn’t too hard. Short basic matches of course are all Arisu is doing at this stage in her career, if anything the match seemed more competitive than it should have been considering that Momo has been wrestling for almost two years. Short and fine to watch, but nothing special.
Hiromi Mimura vs. Saori Anou
More house show fodder, as two wrestlers that generally are in the opener instead have a singles match in the mid-card together. Hiromi debuted almost a year ago and is an itty bitty, she is also 30 years old which is unusual for a rookie. Saori Anou represents Actress girl’Z and is in her early 20s, she has been wrestling a bit longer than Hiromi however they are pretty similar in terms of experience and success in Stardom.
The match starts slow as they trade holds, dropkicks by Hiromi and she applies a sunset flip for a two count. Hiromi goes off the ropes and hits a DDT, she goes for a dropkick but Saori moves out of the way, sending Hiromi out of the ring. Saori punches Hiromi as she gets on the apron, but Hiromi puts Saori in a headlock. Hiromi slides back in the ring and hits a dropkick, Saori falls out to the floor but Hiromi gets on the apron and dives out of the ring with a crossbody. Hiromi and Saori trade elbows on the floor, Hiromi gets the better of it and puts Saori in the ropes before running up the ramp with an elbow to the back. Back in the ring, stomps by Hiromi and she applies a crab hold. Saori gets to the ropes to break the hold but Hiromi puts her in a cross arm submission. Hiromi throws down Saori by the hair a few times, dropkick by Hiromi but Saori avoids the next one and hits a shoulderblock.
Saori returns the favor and throws down Hiromi by the hair, jumping knee by Saori and she hits a scoop slam. Camel Clutch by Saori, Hiromi gets out of it and the two trade elbows. Hiromi rolls Saori to the mat and applies an ankle submission, but Saori is too close to the ropes. Stretch hold by Hiromi and she goes for La Magistral, but Saori blocks it. Figure four by Saori, but Hiromi forces the break. Hiromi and Saori trade elbows while on their knees, low crossbody by Hiromi and she gets a two count. Hiromi goes up top and hits a diving crossbody, but it gets another two. Hiromi goes off the ropes but Saori catches her with a fisherman suplex hold, she picks up Hiromi but Hiromi applies an inside cradle for two. La Magistral by Hiromi but that gets a two as well, Saori gets Hiromi in the corner and hits a rolling fisherman suplex hold for a two count. The bell then rings, as time has expired. The match is a Draw.
Bless their hearts, they tried. Two wrestlers with limited experience against each other and limited experience in long matches going to a 15 minute Draw isn’t a great idea, but this is the type of thing that Stardom does sometimes on their smaller events. Its not that either would have been hurt by the loss, but it was more an attempt to show that they are on a level field. Which doesn’t say much for poor Hiromi, but at her age as a rookie and size she was fighting an uphill battle. The match was generally disjointed and lacked structure, but it did have some fun moments and the effort was definitely there. Not a good match in the classic sense of the term, but they certainly gave it their best which is worth something.
Jungle Kyouna and Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Yoko Bito and Toni Storm
It is random partners time, as two irregular teams face off. Matsumoto and Kyouna have joined up a few times but have also faced off a few times so they are are far from a regular team. Bito and Storm have only teamed once before, so don’t expect either team to have a large amount of teamwork. Still, all four are good wrestlers so hopefully they can put together something entertaining.
Toni and Hiroyo begin the match, Hiroyo takes Storm to the mat but Toni gets away and offers Hiroyo a handshake. Hiroyo accepts it and both wrestlers tag out, Kyouna and Bito trade shoulderblocks which Kyouna gets the better of. Hiroyo puts masks on both Storm and Bito and they are twisted up in the ropes, but Bito comes right back and returns the favor to Kyouna while kicking her in the chest. Storm and Bito both attack Kyouna in the corner, cover by Bito but it gets a two count. Storm hip attacks Kyouna but Kyouna hits a face crusher and tags in Hiroyo. Hiroyo hits a backbreaker on Storm, chops by Hiroyo but Storm headbutts her and boots Hiroyo in the head. Storm tags Bito, kicks by Bito to the back and she covers Hiroyo for two. Vertical suplex by Bito, she picks up Hiroyo but Hiroyo gets away. Hard elbow by Hiroyo but Bito returns fire, lariat by Hiroyo and Bito is laid out on the mat. Backdrop suplex by Hiroyo, but Bito gets a shoulder up. Bito snaps off a quick German suplex hold for two, both wrestlers crawl to their respective corners but Hiroyo tags in Kyouna first.
Back bodydrop by Kyouna to Bito, she picks her up but Bito kicks her to the mat and delivers a running knee for two. Bito tags in Storm, kicks by Storm and she headbutts Kyouna. Storm picks up Kyouna and hits some uppercuts, she goes for a Backstabber but Kyouna blocks it. Kyouna goes up top but Bito kicks her from the apron, fisherman suplex hold by Storm but Hiroyo breaks it up. Storm goes up top but Hiroyo gets in the ring and joins her, and she eventually hits a superplex. Kyouna goes up top and nails a diving body press, but Bito breaks up the cover. Hiroyo and Kyouna grab Bito but Bito lariats both of them, Storm comes over and they take turns attacking Kyouna. Bito elbows Storm by accident, lariat by Kyouna to Storm but Storm barely kicks out. Kyouna picks up Storm and goes off the ropes, but Storm kicks her in the stomach and hits a modified Backstabber for two. Release German by Storm and she hits a running hip attack in the corner, Air Raid Crash by Storm and she picks up the three count! Your winners are Toni Storm and Yoko Bito.
To think that Hiromi and Kyouna both debuted in the same month, but Kyouna is so much further along than Hiromi. That isn’t necessarily a knock on Hiromi (well it is), but Kyouna always elevates herself to the same level as whomever she is wrestling, she really has come a long way in just a year. This was a solid match, all four did well and the match stayed at a fast pace. Bito still looks a slight step behind, I am not sure if it is ring rust at this point or she is just still lagging behind a bit, but everyone else looked good. It is a shame that Hiroyo is a Freelancer as she is one of the better wrestlers in Stardom, she could have a solid run with one of the major titles. Not an overly long tag team match but still entertaining, even if in the grand scheme of things not overly memorable. Mildly Recommended
Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, and Mayu Iwatani vs. Hana Kimura, Kagetsu, and Kyoko Kimura
Artist of Stardom Championship
It is Championship Time! Up to this point nothing has been great on this show, so hopefully this match can deliver. The Three Daughters of Stardom aren’t necessarily best friends as they face off quite a bit in singles competition, however they have held the Artist of Stardom Championship since February 28th with this being their third defense of the title. On the other side is the evil and fun Oedo Tai team, with Hana Kimura being the most recent member. Kagetsu and Kyoko already hold the tag team titles in Stardom, and are looking here to win a second belt to further cement Oedo Tai as a force to be reckoned with in Stardom.
Hana and Kairi are the first two in, they trade strikes but reach a stalemate, so they tag in Io and Kyoko. Io kicks Kyoko but Kyoko avoids her in the corner, and they tag in Mayu and Kagetsu. Headscissors by Kagetsu but Mayu returns fire and tags in Kairi, stomps by Kairi to Kagetsu but Kyoko trips her from ringside. The action spills to the floor and into the crowd before Kagetsu and Kairi eventually return to the ring, Kagetsu tags in Hana and Hana knees Kairi into the ropes. Oedo Tai takes turns on Kairi with an occasional assist from Kris Wolf, but Kairi spears Kyoko and makes the hottest tag to Mayu. Kagetsu comes in to help Kyoko as does Hana, but Mayu hits a double springboard armdrag on Kyoko and Kagetsu. Oedo Tai are all put against the ropes and dropkicked, they fall out of the ring and Mayu goes up top to deliver a diving crossbody to the floor onto all three. Kyoko is rolled back in, Mayu goes up top and she hits a missile dropkick. Mayu tags Io but Kyoko puts her in in a stretch hold, Mayu comes in but she slaps her in the hold as well. Kyoko boots Io but Io snaps off a hurricanrana for a two count cover. Big boot by Kyoko and she tags her daughter, double knee by Hana to Io and she hits a dropkick.
Hana goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, vertical suplex by Hana and she gets a two. Kyoko come sin but Io dropkicks both of them, double knee by Io in the corner to Hana and she gets a two count. Kairi comes in and hits an elbow drop onto Hana, double underhook facebuster by Io but Hana chokes Io with her scarf. Kagetsu is tagged in and she trades elbows with Kairi, spear by Kairi and she chops Kagetsu into the corner. Dropkick out of the corner by Kagetsu, jumping elbow by Kagetsu but Kairi hits a triple jump rebound elbow out of the corner. Spinning chop by Kairi and she makes the tag to Mayu, Sling Blade by Mayu and she goes up top, but Hana runs in and pulls her off by her scarf. Mayu is triple teamed in the corner, Io and Kairi come in to even the odds and in the end Mayu is alone in the ring with Kagetsu. Superkicks by Mayu but Kagetsu hits one of her own, Kyoko and Hana return but Io hits them both with a swandive dropkick. Mayu picks up Kagetsu and with Io hits an assisted spike piledriver, but the referee is pulled out of the ring during the three count. Kyoko comes in with a Parking Sign and hits all of Threedom with it, Hana and Kyoko then both kick Mayu in the chest. Assisted Gory Special to Mayu, cover by Kagetsu but Mayu gets a shoulder up. Kyoko headbutts Mayu, Ebisu Drop by Kagetsu but the cover is broken up. Kagetsu gets on the second turnbuckle and is fed Mayu, avalanche powerbomb by Kagetsu and she picks up the three count! Oedo Tai are the new champions!
This was a fun match, and the right team won, but trios matches are typically not my favorite match style as they tend to follow a similar formula. While all six of these wrestlers range from good to Best in the World, no wrestler really gets a chance to shine as there is constant interference and tagging, making it more random than anything else. This also wasn’t “Big Match Io” as she mostly took a backseat, and its unusual for her to not stand out. It was still entertaining though, and the home stretch was really well done as the chemistry between the wrestlers really helped the match be smooth and fluid. Good for a casual watch, and with this much star power there was no way it was going to be bad, but not the high end match you may expect from Stardom. I am recommending the match partly because it shows the continued rise of Oedo Tai and Hana Kimura, but I think any fan of Stardom would enjoy it. Recommended
As far as Stardom shows go, this is about as low as they get it terms of overall excitement and one of the reasons I have slowed down reviewing smaller Stardom shows. They have so many young wrestlers (which isn’t a bad thing as promotions need young wrestlers to grow) that the bulk of the card is lacking in quality matches. It was more noticeable here because with the Trios titles on the line, all the best wrestlers were in one match, leaving the other four either being random or nothing special. The main event was definitely good but nothing more than that, even though I do love Hana Kimura being successful in Stardom. An event more for the hardcore Stardom fan as any title change is important, but the rest of the card isn’t required viewing.