Event: Stardom Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League 2020, Day 6
Date: October 29th, 2020
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 472
Even though this event is in the middle of the Goddesses of Stardom Tag League, which I am not really paying much attention to, in many ways it is its own independent show which is why I am watching it. Stardom returns to Korakuen Hall with a lesser event than they usually have there but still with two title matches. Plus, these is one low-level match in the Tag League, just to keep the tournament going while more important things are happening. Here is the full card:
I am watching the Samurai TV! airing, so some matches may be clipped. All the wrestlers on the show have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it. Onto the matches!
Gokigen Death vs. Hina vs. Rina vs. Ruaka vs. Saki Kashima
We start the show with, this. This actually reminds me of a ‘normal’ Stardom opening match for years, with Kaori Yoneyama and a bunch of children. Only difference is we also have Saki Kashima, which is a disappointing place for her on the card. Needless to say this match won’t have a lot of substance, but it does get the young ones a spot on the card as they continue to gain experience.
Saki leaves the ring before the match starts as Hina is triple teamed, they try to do the pose spot with Death on Hina’s back but it takes Death three tries to do it right. I’d like to say she was just “clowning around” but sadly I think it was a legitimate issue. Anyway, Saki trips Death and Ruaka from the floor and gets back in the ring, just to dropkick Hina. Saki and Rina dropkick Hina and choke her against the rope, double Irish whip to Hina but she avoids both her opponents and Ruaka hits a crossbody on Saki and Rina. Ruaka and Hina get into it, shoulderblock by Ruaka but Death breaks up the count. Death grabs Ruaka’s arm and goes up top, she walks the ropes before hitting an awkward armdrag. Ruaka knocks Death to the mat and boots her in the head, cover by Ruaka and it gets two. Fisherman Suplex Hold by Ruaka, but Saki breaks it up. Hina and Rina return and hit a double STO on Saki followed by a double vertical suplex. Cover by Hina, but Rina breaks it up. They take turns trying to cover Saki with the other breaking it up, Rina picks up Hina and the two trade elbows. Judo toss by Hina, she picks up Rina and applies a cover for two. Hina and Rina trade waistlocks, Ruaka and Death come in but Saki hits a face crusher on both of them. Saki kicks Hina, schoolboy by Rina and she gets the three count! Rina wins!
I was hoping that Saki would just stay outside the ring and refuse to participate in the match but sadly did not get what I want. I also thought Samurai TV! may clip it, but they didn’t, so I was 0 for 2. Pretty harmless action but still with many awkward spots, mostly revolving around Death. I’m not sure the target audience for these types of matches, its not offensive but there isn’t really a reason to watch it either as its clunky and has limited entertainment value.
Hanan and Saya Iida vs. Mina Shirakawa and Tam Nakano
This match is part of the Stardom Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League. There is no need to worry about their points as both are out of the running to win and were never expected to win the tournament anyway. Tam Nakano and Mina Shirakawa are a new tag team, based partly around both being former Idols and being comfortable with their appearances. They are against Hanan, who is 16, and Saya Iida, who is at the bottom of the totem pole among adults in Stardom. Probably won’t be a high end match but if they stay within their limitations it still could be fun.
Hanan and Saya attack their opponents from behind before the match starts, they focus on Tam as they tie her in the ropes and double team her. Body press by Hanan to Tam, but it only gets two. Hanan starts on Tam’s leg and puts her in a Figure Four, but Tam quickly gets to the ropes for the break. Hanan kicks Tam in the leg and tags Saya, who continues on the leg work. Mina runs in to break up a submission but Hanan elbows her to the floor, Saya goes off the ropes and she hits a back elbow on Tam for two. Tam fights back and dropkicks Saya, Hanan comes in but Tam catches her with a cutter and makes the hot tag to Mina. Mina hits a lariat on both opponents and she puts Saya in the Romero Special, she lets go after a moment and stomps on Saya’s back. They return to their feet and trade strikes, a battle that Saya wins and she tags in Hanan.
Dropkicks by Hanan to Mina, she picks her up but Mina blocks the slam attempt. Hanan goes off the ropes but Mina hits a Lou Thesz Press, she tags in Tam and Tam kicks Hanan in the midsection. Judo toss by Hanan and she hits a STO, kick to the arm by Hanan and she goes for the cross armbreaker. Tam wiggles to the ropes to get the break, Hanan goes for a slam but Tam blocks it. Saya hits a missile dropkick on Tam while Hanan goes up top and hits a diving crossbody. Bridging fallaway slam by Hanan, but Mina breaks up the cover. Hanan goes off the ropes but Tam catches her with a backdrop suplex, head kick by Tam and she covers Hanan for two. Tam picks up Hanan but Hanan blocks the suplex and cradles Tam for two. Back up, elbows by Hanan and she goes off the ropes, but Tam drills her with a spinning heel kick. Mina comes in and sets up Hanan, and both connect with strikes. Tam goes off the ropes and delivers the Violet Shooting (sliding knee), and she picks up the three count! Mina Shirakawa and Tam Nakano win the match and pick up two points in the tournament.
This was a perfectly acceptable, although not overly exciting, tag team match. The layout was a little all over the place, with the limb work switching limbs for no reason, but its hard to nitpick that kind of thing with the second match on the card. Hanan seems to have shaken off any ring rust she had and actually looks pretty solid, I know normally I trash the child wrestlers but I think she has a lot of potential if she sticks with it. Tam felt “too good” to be in this match but those are the breaks sometimes. For lower card entertainment, a decent little match.
Bea Priestley, Konami, and Natsuko Tora vs. Momo Watanabe, Utami Hayashishita, and Riho
Random Faction Battle (and Riho, who does what she pleases) with Queen’s Quest vs. Oedo Tai! This is a good use of wrestlers that have nothing else going on, as there are some heavy hitters here for a midcard tag match. This is really the top wrestlers in both factions, or close enough to it, with multiple title holders in the match. Oedo Tai went from shitty to good really quick, between the return of Bea and the conversion of Konami, as Natsuko went from (by default) the best wrestler in the faction to 3rd in the blink of an eye. That gives me some hope for the match although I assume this will be more about progressing storylines than putting on a five star banger.
Queen’s Quest attacks before the bell rings as the action spills out to the floor, Oedo Tai takes over control however as Natsuko gets back in the ring with Momo. Natsuko mushes Momo in the corner before picking her up and tagging in Konami. Momo is triple teamed in the corner as Bea is tagged, scoop slam by Bea to Momo but Momo kicks out of the cocky cover. Natsuko returns as she bootscrapes Momo against the ropes, Momo avoids Bea’s next strike but Bea kicks her in the head. Bea jumps up to the top turnbuckle but Momo catches her with a side slam for a two count. Momo goes for the crossface chickenwing but Natsuko quickly breaks it up, Utami runs in too and drops Bea with an Argentine Slam. Riho helps as well before Momo picks up Bea and nails the Tequila Sunrise, but Saki Kashima pulls the referee out of the ring. Meanwhile, Bea hits a jumping knee on Momo and Natsuko hits Momo with her chain. Natsuko hangs Momo over the top turnbuckle with the chain for a moment before pulling her back into the ring, Bea gets Momo up for the Queen’s Landing and nails it, but the referee sees the chain around Momo’s neck and instead of counting he calls for the DQ. Your winner by the referee suddenly learning how to notice things is Queen’s Quest!
The issue here isn’t that they found a ‘way out’ of having someone take a pin in a meaningless midcard tag, but how they did it. Stardom referees are like referees in every promotion – they aren’t the smartest bunch. This reminded me of WWF back in in the day briefly having a “smart” referee that noticed things, and the idea failed as it just led to annoying inconsistencies match to match. Natsuko uses her chain a lot, and the referee has seen her use it before and didn’t DQ her. But here the referee didn’t even see it being used, just saw it on Momo and called for the bell. Its not lazy, as they could have had the referee just see her hanging Momo and DQ her there, its just poorly thought out. Anyway, the match was too short (and slightly clipped) to get excited about so I decided to just discuss the ending for a paragraph, which obviously I didn’t like.
(c) Maika vs. Saya Kamitani
Future of Stardom Championship
Saya Kamitani is the latest Stardom wrestler to attempt to become the Champ Champ, as she comes into the match with one title already around her waist (the Goddesses of Stardom Championship). Maika is one of the many new wrestlers in Stardom this year, and she won the Future of Stardom Championship in a three way match back in July. This is her first defense of the title, as she has been pretty busy in the meantime between the FIVE STAR GP and teaming with her DDM friends. Saya wasn’t favored going into the match, but Stardom seems to like her a lot so it should be a close and entertaining match.
They immediately get into it as they trade elbows, dropkick by Saya and Maika falls out of the ring. Saya charges the ropes before slingshotting to the apron and hitting a moonsault down to the floor. Saya picks up Maika but Maika catches her with a scoop slam on the floor. Maika slides Saya back in and stands on her back, Maika flings Saya around the ring before hitting a STO for a two count cover. Maika throws Saya into the corner but Saya avoids her charge, Maika rolls Saya to the mat and puts her in a Camel Clutch. Saya gets to the ropes to force the break, Maika picks her up and goes off the ropes but Saya does a double backflip and dropkicks Maika to the mat. Jumping knee by Saya in the corner and she delivers another dropkick for a two count. Crab hold by Saya but Maika gets to the ropes, Saya picks up Maika but Maika elbows her in the chest. They trade elbow strikes until Maika smashes Saya to the mat, Maika gets Saya back up but Saya slaps her.
Pump Kick by Saya and they trade boots, hard elbows by Saya but Maika knocks her over with a lariat. Saya quickly returns to her feet and delivers a pump kick, and both wrestlers end up down on the mat. Saya elbows Maika before she can get back up but Maika catches her with a till-a-whirl backbreaker. STO by Maika, but Saya kicks out of the cover. Maika picks up Saya and gets her on her shoulders, but Saya slides away. Jumping heel kick by Saya, she goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Running Shooting Star Press by Saya, but Maika gets a shoulder up. Saya picks up Maika and hits the Fisherman Driver, but Maika gets a shoulder up on the cover. Saya goes to the top turnbuckle but Maika recovers and joins her, hitting a superplex back to the mat. Maika quickly picks up Saya and hits another suplex, getting a two count cover. Maika spins Saya up on her shoulders but Saya cradles her for two, Maika levels Saya with a lariat and finally hits the Enka Otoshi for the three count! Maika wins and retains the championship.
What these two lack in experience (and it does show sometimes) they make up for by presenting something different and entertaining even if it is sometimes a little rough around the edges. Everything Stardom does is so smooth its almost refreshing to have Saya Kamitani, who has more of a kamikaze style where not everything she does is crisp yet but she always goes out to entertain and amuse. Maika has really improved her offense in the last few months and everything she does is so tight, even if her finishing move probably is too convoluted for its own good. They both fought with a lot of passion and fire, with their strike exchanges being really good, and both hitting bigger and bigger moves to one-up the other was fun to watch. This is a fitting title for them to be battling over – neither are ready for the White or Red belt but they are close and will get there if they continue to improve. An entertaining match, looking forward to seeing these two continue to get better and better. Recommended
Mayu Iwatani and Starlight Kid vs. Natsupoi and Syuri
Time for a little STARS vs. DDM action. Mayu Iwatani comes into the match with the World of Stardom Championship and is considered one of the top wrestlers in the promotion. Earlier in the month she had a successful defense against Syuri, so there is some history here. The DDM team is without its best wrestler, as Giulia is in the main event, but Syuri and Natsupoi (Natsumi Maki) are no slouches so its still a high end affair. Its a little random but this is one reason that Stardom is a faction-based promotion, as it allows “random” matches to be made that still have some type of meaning since it can lead to challenges down the road.
Unlike the other tag matches on this event, this one started civilly. Mayu and Syuri begin for their teams, Syuri gets Mayu into the ropes but she gives a clean break. They trade wristlocks but end up in a stalemate, and both wrestlers tag out. Natsupoi and Starlight Kid go into a quicker exchange as they bounce off the ropes and trade armdrags, Starlight Kid wins the duel with a dropkick and Mayu comes into the ring to help. Double dropkick to Natsupoi and Starlight Kid hits a footstomp for a two count. Starlight Kid tags Mayu, dropkick by Mayu and she kicks Syuri off the apron. Mayu cradles Natsupoi to the mat and delivers a sliding kick, but Syuri comes in to try to help. She doesn’t, as Mayu hits a double springboard armdrag on them, then with Starlight Kid they hit a double 619. Starlight Kid and Mayu both hit standing moonsaults on their respective opponents, Mayu picks up Natsupoi and applies a double wrist-clutch armsault for a two count. Mayu goes off the ropes but Natsupoi catches her with a superkick, giving her time to tag Syuri. Syuri kicks Mayu into the corner and hits a running knee, DDT by Syuri and she covers Mayu for two. Back up they trade elbows, kicks by Syuri but Mayu kicks her in the midsection. A head kick sends them both to the mat, they get back up and Syuri hits a release German. Mayu fires back with the Dodonpa, she gets back up first and superkicks Syuri before tagging in Starlight Kid.
Starlight Kid goes up top and hits a diving crossbody on Syuri, Irish whip by Starlight Kid and she hits a spinning headscissors. She charges Syuri in the corner but Syuri moves, another tilt-a-whirl headscissors by Starlight Kid and she dropkicks Syuri for a two count. Starlight Kid goes off the ropes but Natsupoi cuts her off with a dropkick, double arm suplex by Syuri and she slams Natsupoi onto Starlight Kid. Syuri and Natsupoi both kick Starlight Kid before Syuri hits a PK, but Mayu breaks up the cover. Syuri picks up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid slides away, superkick by Mayu to Syuri and Starlight Kid delivers a satellite DDT. Cross-legged suplex hold by Starlight Kid, but Syuri barely gets a shoulder up. Backstabber by Starlight Kid, Mayu then comes off the top with a double footstomp to Syuri. Swivel Body Press by Starlight Kid, but Natsupoi breaks up the cover. Starlight Kid picks up Syuri and goes for Ki-chan Bomb, but Natsupoi dropkicks her to break it up. Running knee by Syuri, and she covers Starlight Kid for two. Syuri puts Starlight Kid in the Scorpion Deathlock, but Mayu breaks it up. Natsupoi comes in and takes care of Mayu, Syuri picks up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid gets away and they trade flash pins. Starlight Kid goes off the ropes but Syuri kicks her in the head, Syuri puts Starlight Kid in the Seiryu and Starlight Kid submits! Syuri and Natsupoi are the winners.
This was clipped on the Samurai TV broadcast, which shows the level of importance this match was, but I still enjoyed it. We need to now stop talking about Starlight Kid as “getting better” and being “almost ready” and switch to “she’s great” and “she’s ready.” She didn’t seem out of place at all when in the ring with more experienced wrestlers and still managed to shine, and its fun to see Mayu doing Starlight Kid’s spots with her as it shows she isn’t just a sidekick. Natsupoi didn’t get a chance to do much as she wasn’t the focus of the match (at least the portion we saw) but everything she did looked fine. Its hard to really get into a flow with parts of the matches clipped but the teams worked together well so they came across as real partners and not thrown together singles wrestlers, which I always appreciate. A pretty insignificant match to be one spot from the top, but still solid action. Mildly Recommended
(c) Giulia vs. Himeka
Wonder of Stardom Championship
Time for the main event. You can say a lot of things when talking about Giulia. That she is talented, business-savvy, beautiful, the future of Joshi, and so on. All of that is true, but another thing about Giulia is she will sell every match like its the blood feud of the decade. Giulia and Himeka are part of the same faction, the Giulia-led DDM group that Himeka joined in June. And yet, because Himeka defeated Giulia in the FIVE STAR GP, she challenged her leader for her title. After that, all hell broke loose, between cakes being shoved into faces and interview/photoshoot interruptions, the match was presented as far more than two friends that happened to want the same title. Giulia still comes in as the heavy favorite against the less experienced Himeka, but they did their best to build up extra interest in an attempt to present this as more than just a throwaway challenge.
Himeka attacks Giulia right at the start, lariats by Himeka and she goes for the running powerbomb, but Giulia punches out of it. Himeka goes off the ropes but Giulia ducks the lariat, Giulia grabs Himeka by the hair but Himeka spins away. Armdrag by Giulia and she hits a dropkick, big boot by Giulia and Himeka falls out of the ring to the floor. Giulia goes out after her, Himeka tries to hit a lariat but hits the ring post by mistake. Giulia rams Himeka’s arm into the post before throwing her into the railing, Giulia eventually slides Himeka back into the ring and continues working on her arm. Giulia puts Himeka in a cross-legged chinlock, curb stomp by Giulia and she covers Himeka for two. Irish whip by Giulia but Himeka reverses it, she charges in but Giulia moves out of the way. Big boot by Giulia and she hits a neckbreaker, cover by Giulia but it gets two. Himeka catches Giulia with a chokebomb to regain the advantage, crab hold by Himeka but Giulia gets to the ropes for the break. Himeka goes off the ropes and hits a knee to the back, backbreaker by Himeka and she covers Giulia for a two count.
Himeka gets Giulia on her shoulders but Giulia slides off, Giulia puts Himeka in an armbar that I can’t fully describe but Himeka gets to the ropes. Giulia goes up top and hits a missile dropkick to the back of Himeka’s head, Giulia scrapes Himeka’s face but Himeka fires back with a lariat. Himeka picks up Giulia and the two trade elbows, Giulia elbows Himeka to her knees and goes off the ropes, but Himeka catches her with a lariat. While on their knees they trade slaps, headbutt by Giulia and both wrestlers end up back on the mat. Himeka hits a big knee once they get up but Giulia delivers a big boot for a two count. Giulia goes for a backdrop suplex but Himeka blocks it, boot by Giulia and she hits a Michinoku Driver for two. Giulia goes up top but Himeka recovers and joins her, Himeka goes for a powerbomb but Giulia blocks it. Giulia gets Himeka’s back while still on the top turnbuckle and applies an armbar, but Himeka has none of that and hits an avalanche Samoan Drop. Cover by Himeka, but it gets a two count.
Himeka picks up Giulia and gets her on her shoulders in an Argentine Backbreaker, she slams Giulia to the mat from the hold but Giulia gets a shoulder up on the cover. Himeka picks up Giulia and nails a folding powerbomb, but Giulia reverses the cover into an attempted triangle choke. Himeka tries to powerbomb out of it but Giulia keeps a hold on the arm and puts Himeka in the Stealth Viper. Himeka is too close to the ropes and makes it there for the break, Giulia picks up Himeka but Himeka blocks whichever Glorious Driver she wanted to do and hits a backdrop suplex. Sliding lariat by Himeka, she picks up Giulia and goes for the running powerbomb, but Himeka hurricanranas out of it for two. Running kick by Giulia but Himeka fires back with a lariat, she picks up Giulia but Giulia slides behind her and hits a Release German. Himeka gets back up but Giulia boots her in the face, shining kick by Giulia and she hits a backdrop suplex for two. Giulia drags up Himeka and nails the Glorious Driver II, and she gets the three count! Giulia wins and retains the championship.
A pretty great match between two young and hungry wrestlers. Himeka may be new to Stardom but she is legit, she’s put a lot of effort into improving since joining the promotion and it shows. She was able to hang with Giulia without any issues and they really did feel like equals, even though in the hierarchy Giulia is slotted a spot or two higher on a normal day. Everything they hit was on point and there were more snug strikes than I could count, both clearly are comfortable enough with each other to lay it on. The ending felt perfect, with Himeka’s final wind immediately being greeted by a boot to the face and Giulia hitting a good string of moves to keep Himeka down. I really have nothing bad to say about the match, it was exciting from bell to bell with no obvious flaws or down points. Definitely worth tracking down. Highly Recommended
For a smaller Korakuen Hall event, this was overall decent but not a complete show. The first half is skippable, and the match below the main is fine but between being clipped and without purpose there is no reason to go out of your way to track it down. The two title matches both delivered however, with the main event being perhaps my favorite match since wrestling re-started in the summer. No need to track down the full show but if you can watch the title matches I’d recommend it.