Event: Stardom FC My Stardom ~ Stardom Is Again!
Date: June 21st, 2020
Location: Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 100
It has been almost three months since we last saw Stardom. To say a lot has changed in that time would be a tragic understatement. First, on May 20th, Arisa Hoshiki announced she was retiring from wrestling due to persistent injuries. As she was the Wonder of Stardom Champion and one of the most pushed wrestlers in the promotion, this was a sudden and unfortunate development that saddened fans worldwide. That news quickly felt insignificant however on May 23rd, when Hana Kimura passed away. Hana’s death was heartbreaking and devastating, not only to fans but more importantly to her friends, family, and co-workers. But here we are, almost a month after Hana’s passing, as Stardom still honors and remembers her but hopes to pick up where they left off as the promotion was really gaining steam before the pandemic hit. This isn’t a big show, as there are no title matches and some key wrestlers are not here, but it still should be a fun and emotional one. Here is the full card:
As this aired on Stardom World, all matches will be shown in full. To go to the wrestler’s profile on Joshi City (including X), click on their names above to go straight to it.
Hina vs. Natsu Sumire vs. Rina
When Natsu Sumire found out she would be facing two children on this event, which they didn’t announce the card for in advance, she must have been ecstatic. One of Natsu’s main hobbies is grinding on children, and now she gets two! Happy days for her. Hina and Rina are 13 year old sisters, with Rina continuing to cosplay Hana Kimura with her outfit and mannerisms. Nothing really on the line here, just a fun way to kick off the show.
The sisters go after Natsu to start and pull on her arms until Natsu gets to the ropes, double Irish whip to Natsu but she hits a crossbody on both of them. Natsu stomps on them, she kicks Hina down in the corner and then does the same to Rina in the same corner. Natsu gets a running start and hits the gyrating Bronco Buster on both of them (see, I told you), she picks up Rina but Rina blocks her suplex attempt and her sister Hina helps her suplex Natsu to the mat. Rina monkey flips Natsu, they then hit a double monkey flip and Hina dropkicks Natsu, but Rina then dropkicks her sister. Rina throws down Hina by the hair a few times, but Natsu returns and hits Rina from behind. Natsu picks up Rina and hits a scoop slam, running boot by Natsu and she covers Rina for two. Rina puts a bag over the referee’s head and spins him around to get him out of the way, she grabs her whip and hits Rina in the midsection with it. Natsu puts Rina in the ropes and nails a running facewash, bridging vertical suplex by Natsu but Hina breaks it up. Stomps by Hina and she elbows Natsu in the chest, but Natsu hits her back and they trade blows. Hina tosses Natsu to the mat three times and covers her, but she only gets two. Gedo Clutch by Hina, but that gets a two count as well. Hina charges Natsu but Natsu boots her back and chokes her with the whip, Rina comes in and grabs the whip from her before putting Natsu in the Hydrangea. Hina breaks it up, she picks up Rina and goes for a toss but Rina drops her with a STO. She then puts Hina in the Hydrangea, and Hina submits! Rina is the winner.
Rumor has it that Natsu Sumire is still smiling to this day. All kidding aside, if you just are looking at the in-ring content, this wasn’t very good. Hina and Rina are 13 years old and I am never one to criticize children excessively, but they still have a ways to go. Rina does show the personality to excel, so there is that anyway, and her winning the match with Hana Kimura’s move made her understandably emotional. Natsu isn’t anywhere near good enough to elevate the children, and she didn’t really try to anyway. A skippable opener, aside from just seeing that Rina will continue to wrestle in a style that Hana would surely approve of.
Death Yama-san vs. Saki Kashima
Like the last match, this is a random encounter that hopefully will be entertaining. Death Yama-san is better known as Kaori Yoneyama, a long time veteran that mostly has a more comedic role in Stardom as part of Tokyo Cyber Squad. She is against Oedo Tai’s Saki Kashima, who turned to the dark side earlier this year. I have pretty low expectations for this as it likely won’t be very serious, but hopefully Saki can keep it on course.
Describing what happens in a match with Death is always difficult since she isn’t your traditional wrestler. She poses for the crowd to start but Saki attacks her from behind and she throws down Death by the hair into the corner. Saki picks up Death and throws her into the ropes on each side of the ring, allowing her to pose at each stop before kicking her. The referee gets into it too but Saki pulls down Death by the hair and chokes her. Saki knocks Death down in the corner and applies a Fujiwara Armbar, she picks her up after a moment and pushes her into the ropes. Saki goes for a scoop slam but Death blocks it, Saki kicks Death into the corner but Death reverses the Irish whip. Saki boots Death when she charges in twice, another boot by Saki but Death ducks her lariat attempt and thrusts her to the mat. Running senton by Death and she applies a chinlock while forcing Saki to do her pose. Death picks up Saki but Saki snaps off a vertical suplex, she goes off the ropes and delivers a running facewash. Saki goes up top and hits the diving footstomp, cover by Saki but it only gets a two count. Double underhook by Saki but Death reverses it into a Backslide for two. Double underhook facebuster by Saki, but again Death kicks out. Saki goes for My Emblem but Death reverses it into a crucifix pin for the three count! Death Yama-san is the winner.
Unless the goal here was to give Tokyo Cyber Squad a win in each match to honor Hana, I’m not really sure what this accomplished. Saki Kashima just joined Oedo Tai not long before the pandemic and seemed to be getting a bit of a push from the midcard she was stuck in, but losing to a comedy act (although also a respected veteran) feels like an odd decision. The action wasn’t overly smooth or inventive anyway, with a lot of stomps and posing before it suddenly ended at just over five minutes. An odd choice for a big return show, seems like they could have found a better spot for both wrestlers.
Konami vs. Natsuko Tora
This is an interesting pairing. Konami is part of Tokyo Cyber Squad and may be the leader now or at least co-leader, although we will know for sure once Jungle Kyona returns. Natsuko Tora is the new leader (safer assumption) of Oedo Tai, and has slowly turned darker and darker over the last six months. Konami has more experience but not by much, so this should be a pretty close match.
They circle to start, takedown by Konami and they jockey for position on the mat. Natsuko gets to the ropes and Konami picks her up, the pair trade elbows until Konami elbows Natsuko to the mat. Natsuko rakes Konami in the eyes and goes off the ropes, but Konami catches her with a kick to the stomach. Natsuko pulls Konami to the mat and hits a series of running sentons, Natsuko throws down Konami by the hair and kicks her against the ropes. Natsuko throws Konami by the hair again and facewashes her before delivering a boot to the head. Natsuko gets her chain but the referee stops her from using it, stomps by Natsuko but Konami blocks the Irish whip out of the corner. Hard elbow by Natsuko and she Irish whips Konami, but Konami reverses it. Natsuko avoids Konami’s charge however and chops her in the chest. More chops by Natsuko and she clubs Konami to her knees, she goes off the ropes but Konami catches her with a Fujiwara Armbar. She switches it to a cross armbreaker attempt but just as she gets it locked in, Natsuko gets a foot on the ropes for the break. Konami kicks Natsuko repeatedly in the chest, sliding kick by Konami and Natsuko falls out of the ring. Konami slides Natsuko back in and puts her in a choke, sleeper suplex by Konami and she delivers a Buzzsaw Kick. Konami picks up Natsuko and goes off the ropes, but Natsuko pushes the referee into Konami and hits an uppercut. Kamikaze by Natsuko and she gets her chain, putting it on Konami’s chest. Natsuko goes up top and hits the diving body press, cover by Natsuko but the referee sees what she did and doesn’t do the count. Natsuko pushes down the referee and hits a lariat with the chain, she starts choking Konami with it while using the ropes for extra leverage. The referee recovers and finally has seen enough, calling for the DQ. Konami wins!
For what they were going for, I thought this went pretty well. Natsuko isn’t a high end in-ring wrestler and probably never will be, so she needs to really get over her character if she is going to be seen as the leader of Oedo Tai. Its going to take some time for the act to really gain steam but having her go full-chain is a good idea, even though the entire faction is still struggling since Saki as we just saw isn’t really doing well and Natsu is more of a comedy wrestler. Konami held the match together as far as the action went, and her offense looked smooth and impactful as always. I’m willing to keep an open mind and see where this goes, but Stardom will have to really stick with it if it is going to work, if Natsuko has too many matches where she is just another random person in a six wrestler tag the character will never succeed beyond the midcard. Mildly Recommended
AZM and Momo Watanabe vs. Saya Kamitani and Utami Hayashishita
Well this is one hell of a “random” match from Stardom. Both of these teams represent Queen’s Quest, but factions only go so far in Stardom and if they have to fight – they will. How they coupled them is interesting, as the top wrestler in the faction (Momo Watanabe) teams with the youngest, however AZM is more experienced than Utami and Saya so in regards to experience the teams are lopsided. Utami as everyone knows is one of my favorite wrestlers so I’m looking forward to see where her career goes from here, and even though Saya is a rookie she is getting a fairly big push. This should be pretty great as they know each other well and will be looking to impress after a long layoff.
Utami and AZM kick things off, Utami pushes AZM to the mat and goes off the ropes as they get into a fast pace exchange. AZM hits a hurricanrana and a dropkick, she goes off the ropes but Utami catches her with a dropkick of her own. Saya comes in and they both shoulderblock AZM, Utami puts AZM in a Camel Clutch and Saya dropkicks her. Utami picks up AZM and tags Saya, scoop slam by Saya and she hits a second one. Irish whip by Saya to the corner but AZM avoids her charge, Momo runs in and dropkicks Saya and AZM puts her in a Camel Clutch so that Momo can kick her repeatedly. AZM throws down Saya by the hair and tags Momo, Momo stomps Saya in the corner and she hits a scoop slam. Saya tries to fight back but gets kicked in the chest for her troubles, they trade elbows until Saya cartwheels out of Momo’s way and hits a dropkick. She tags in Utami, shoulderblock by Utami and she throws AZM at Momo in the corner. Running back elbow by Utami and she dropkicks Momo in the back for a two count. Utami picks up Momo but Momo slides away and kicks her in the chest. Momo tags AZM but Utami drops her with a sidewalk slam before tagging in Saya. Saya throws AZM in the corner but AZM slips out to the apron, she quickly gets back in and temporarily gets control until Saya dropkicks her in the knee.
Sickle Hold by Saya, she lets go after a moment and applies a single leg crab hold but AZM eventually gets to the ropes for the break. Saya quickly pulls AZM to the middle of the ring and puts her in a full crab hold, but Momo breaks it up. Scoop slam by Saya, she’d get on the second turnbuckle but AZM armdrags her back to the mat. Vertical suplex by AZM, she gets on the top turnbuckle and delivers a diving footstomp. La Mistica by AZM into a seated armbar, but Utami quickly breaks it up. Utami hits a Samoan Drop on AZM, dropkick by Saya and she covers AZM for two. Saya goes for a running Shooting Star Press but AZM moves, Saya trips her and hits a handstand into a double kneedrop. Pele Kick by Saya but AZM kicks her back and the two are both down on the mat. AZM tags in Momo before Saya can tag out herself, Momo grabs Saya but Saya blocks the B Driver. Dropkick by Saya and she tags in Utami, Utami throws Momo into the corner but Momo avoids her charge and hits a dropkick. Hard shoulderblock by Utami, Momo gets back up quickly and the two trade elbows. Momo gets Utami’s back and applies a crossface chickenwing, Utami gets out of it however and puts Momo in a reverse neckbreaker. She finally drops Momo with the Schwein, Saya comes in and Utami helps her hits a standing moonsault. They pick up Momo and hit a double vertical suplex, cover by Utami but it gets a two count. Utami picks up Momo and applies a sleeper, but Momo gets out of it and AZM kicks Utami in the head. B Driver by Momo and AZM hits a diving footstomp, Momo waits for Utami to get up and kicks her in the head.
Cover by Momo, but it gets a two count when Saya breaks it up. Double Irish whip to Saya and she eats a double dropkick after failing to cartwheel her way out of it, Momo puts Utami in the crossface chickenwing, but Utami gets into the ropes for the break. Momo picks up Utami and nails a half and half suplex, Somato by Momo but Saya breaks up the cover. AZM runs in to take care of Saya, Momo goes for the Peach Sunrise on Utami but Utami rolls out of it and hit a short range lariat. AZM comes in and with Momo they kick Utami in the head, Momo gets on the top turnbuckle and nails the Diving Somato, but Saya breaks up the cover. Momo picks up Utami but Utami gets her back, missile dropkick by Saya to Momo and Utami goes up top to hit a missile dropkick of her own. Utami picks up Momo and delivers a deadlift German, but AZM breaks it up. Momo and Utami trade elbows while on their knees, head kicks by Momo and she nails the Peace Sunrise, but Saya barely breaks it up in time. AZM kicks Saya out of the ring, head kick by Momo to Utami but the bell rings before she can do anything as time has expired. The match is a Draw.
Normally I am somewhat critical of the Draw cop-out, but it makes sense here since it just shows that both sides of Queen’s Quest are strong. I like when rookie wrestlers are ‘extra’ and Saya is definitely that, not everything she hits looks perfect and she looked out of place a few times, but its hard to argue that she isn’t fun to watch. AZM of course is a seasoned vet at this point and wrestles like one even she is only 17. I held my breath when Utami went for the missile dropkick but she managed to connect without hurting anyone, and they didn’t look too rusty considering that all had a few months off. Some of the transitions were iffy when they switched which wrestler was in control and I would have preferred that Momo wasn’t so dominate at the end as it would have been nice if it was more back-and-forth leading to the bell, but overall this was an entertaining match with three quality wrestlers and one overly ambitious rookie. Recommended
Giulia, Maika, Syuri, and Himeka vs. Iwatani, Saya Iida, Starlight Kid, and Nakano
For the main event, we were teased a new member of Donna del Mondo, and Giulia certainly delivered as Himeka “Jumbo” Arita joins the faction. Himeka used to wrestle in Actwres girl’Z but left the promotion earlier this year to go Freelance. Her joining was a bit of a surprise but we knew she was a free agent, and she should fit in really well. The STARS team is stacked, although Saya Iida is the clear weak link between the two teams. She’s pretty feisty though and won’t be easy to pin. I am sure they will do this match to further put over Donna del Mondo since they are a new faction, but it should be an action-packed and fun affair.
Himeka and Saya begin the match, Himeka pushes Saya into the ropes and she gives a clean break. Saya goes for a takedown but Himeka blocks it, Saya gets Himeka into the ropes this time and she gives a clean break as well. Himeka asks for a Test of Strength but Saya knows better, side headlock by Saya but Himeka reverses it. Himeka keeps the hold applied on the mat but Saya reverses it into a headscissors, but Himeka gets out of it and they tag out as Starlight Kid and Syuri come in. They go through a quick exchange but reach a stalemate, spinning headscissors by Starlight Kid but Syuri avoids the Tiger Feint Kick. Armdrag by Starlight Kid and she dropkicks Syuri, all of STARS come in and all four take turns on Syuri. Four way dropkick to Syuri, standing moonsault by Starlight Kid and she covers Syuri for two. Starlight Kid stomps on Syuri but she is kneed from the apron, snapmare by Syuri to Starlight Kid and she kicks her in the back. Syuri tags in Maika, Maika works on Starlight Kid’s arm and puts her in an armbar, but Maika lets go after a moment and tags Himeka. Himeka picks up Starlight Kid and hits a scoop slam, another slam by Himeka and she hits a third. She tags in Giulia, neckbreaker by Giulia and she covers Starlight Kid for two. Giulia works on Starlight Kid’s mask a bit just to mess with her, kick by Giulia and she tags Maika. Irish whip by Maika and she puts Starlight Kid in a Fujiwara Armbar, but Tam breaks it up.
Giulia tosses Tam out of the ring, Maika twists Starlight Kid in the ropes and continues working on the arm. Syuri returns, she covers for a few covers on Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid kicks out each time. She tags Giulia, Giulia picks up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid elbows her. Giulia boots Starlight Kid back to the mat and chokes her near the ropes, she throws Starlight Kid into her corner and tags in Maika. Syuri and Himeka come in too and all four attack Starlight Kid, cover by Maika but it gets two. Maika quickly transitions to a cross armbreaker, she picks up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid rebounds off the ropes with a crossbody and makes the hot tag to Mayu. Maika avoids Mayu’s dropkick but Mayu gets her wrist and hits a springboard armdrag out of the corner. Maika avoids Mayu’s charge but Mayu slides out to the ropes and rolls Maika to the mat before hitting a dropkick. Back kick by Mayu but Maika catches her with a side slam and tags in Giulia. Giulia boots Mayu in the face but she lands back in her corner and tags in Tam. Tam and Giulia face off and pull each other’s hair, Tam slaps her but Giulia slaps her back. Elbows by Giulia and she hoots Tam to the mat, Tam ends up by the ropes and Giulia drills her with Hana’s charged up running boot. She does it again for extra measure, cover by Giulia but it gets a two count. Giulia goes up top but Saya stops her from jumping off, Tam tosses Giulia back to the mat and goes up top herself, hitting the 1399 for a two count. Tam picks up Giulia and they trade elbows, head kicks by Tam but Giulia catches her with a Michinoku Driver.
Both wrestlers tag out as Starlight Kid and Syuri come in, elbows by Starlight Kid and Syuri knees her into the corner. Dropkick by Starlight Kid and she hits a jumping lariat, cover by Starlight Kid but it gets a two count. Starlight Kid picks up Syuri but Syuri puts her in an armbar, Maika and Himeka come in also to put other members of the opposing team in submission holds but Starlight Kid eventually makes it to the ropes to break the hold. Double underhook suplex by Syuri, she picks up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid elbows her off and hits a spinning neckbreaker. Starlight Kid tags in Saya, dropkick by Saya and she chops Syuri repeatedly in the chest. Double chop by Saya and she delivers a spinning elbow to Syuri for a two count. Saya picks up Syuri, snapmare by Starlight Kid and she hits a PK. Syuri tags Himeka, body avalanche by Himeka and she covers Saya for two. Himeka puts Saya in a crab hold but Saya quickly gets to the ropes, Himeka knees Saya in the back and covers her for two. Himeka gets Saya on her shoulders but Saya slides off, Mayu superkicks Himeka and Tam hits a German suplex hold. Jackknife by Saya to Himeka, but it gets a two count. All of Donna del Mondo end up against the ropes and all four eat dropkicks, they fall out of the ring and Mayu goes to the top turnbuckle, she tries to dive down onto Donna del Mondo but she lands on her STARS teammates instead. Himeka slides Saya back in, crab hold by Himeka but Saya gets to the ropes for the break. Himeka gets Saya up but Saya wiggles away, she puts Himeka in the Iida Bridge but it gets broken up. The other six wrestlers all come in and exchange moves, everyone ends up on the mat before Himeka levels Saya with a lariat. Himeka picks up Saya and drops her with a running powerbomb, but Mayu breaks up the cover. Himeka grabs Saya and and with Maika they lift up Saya before dropping her while Giulia and Syuri deliver kicks to Saya’s midsection. Argentine Backbreaker by Himeka, and Saya has to submit! Donna del Mondo are the winners!
Eight wrestler tags have their pros and cons. The main advantage of them is there is always something going on, with constant action as new wrestlers tag in and out and Stardom wrestlers have boundless energy. The main con is that its hard to really get into a rhythm or tell a story, as at times it felt directionless. Some parts were great, I enjoyed whenever the teams worked together as the multi-wrestler spots were all well done, and I always enjoy watching Giulia and Starlight Kid. For an introduction for Himeka it was fine but she didn’t get to do too much as Donna del Mondo had such an even split with who was legal. Overall I enjoyed it even though it was far from a MOTYC, the time flew by and there were enough fun moments spread throughout to keep it going. I am interested, however, to see what they do going forward to give Maika and Himeka more of a chance to get over on their own. Recommended
For a soft re-launch of Stardom, this went pretty well. The promotion looks a little different now but many of the main players are the same, and they seem all-in on Donna del Mondo which is fine with me since I like all four wrestlers. The first two matches were throw-away matches and the Konami/Natsuko match was more about establishing Natsuko’s character, but both of the last two matches were entertaining. It was also a breezy watch, with the in-ring time clocking in at under 70 minutes. Queen’s Quest vs. Queen’s Quest was my favorite match on the card so if you just spot-watch, start with that one and stay for the main event if you have time.