Event: Stardom Nagoya Supreme Fight
Date: January 29th, 2022
Location: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,306
Broadcast: PPV and Stardom World
For once I am reviewing a recent event! Few promotions can get me to stop what I am doing and watch their shows, but some of these big Stardom cards are too good to miss. Stardom has really elevated themselves to become the undisputed #1 Joshi promotion, its been the case for many years but now its undeniable as they’ve lapped all other promotions both in presentation and the quality of their wrestlers. This is a very complete show, with five title matches. We also get to see some of the new Stardom wrestlers in big matches, as both Thekla and MIRAI battle for championships. There is also a big surprise on this event, but I’ll get to that when it happens. Here is the full card:
All wrestlers on the show have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go to it. I will be reviewing the PPV version of the event, which I assume will be similar to the Stardom World version except that Samurai TV did not broadcast the pre-show match.
(c) Hanan vs. Lady C
Future of Stardom Championship
The first match on the official card is also our first title match of the night. Hanan has had an on-and-off go at it early in her career, with occasional interruptions due to injury, school, or family circumstances. Now 17 years old, Hanan won her first title in December and she defends it here for the first time against Lady C. Lady C has the age and size advantage but Hanan has more experience and recent success, giving her a slight edge against the challenger.
Maybe Lady C doesn’t have the size advantage, Hanan has gotten tall. They trade wristlocks to start, Hanan works a headlock but Lady C gets out of it and boots Hanan while she is against the ropes. Lady C goes off the ropes but Hanan hits a hip toss, chop by Lady C but Hanan elbows her as the two trade blows. Lady C chops Hanan into the corner, Irish whip by Lady C but Hanan rebounds out of the corner with a diving crossbody. Hanan picks up Lady C but Lady C blocks the double wrist suplex, she doesn’t block it for long however as Hanan hits it anyway for a two count. Chop to the head by Lady C, she picks up Hanan but Hanan blocks the backdrop suplex. Lady C hits a backbreaker instead, cobra clutch backbreaker by Lady C but Hanan gets into the ropes. Lady C goes for a chokeslam but Hanan reverses it into a cross armbreaker takedown. She lets go after a moment and drops Lady C with a STO, bridging fallaway slam by Hanan but Lady C kicks out of the cover. Hanan waits for Lady C to get up but Lady C boots her in the face, chokeslam by Lady C and she covers Hanan for two. Lady C picks up Hanan but Hanan spins away from her and hits a Fameasser. Hanan drags Lady C to her feet and nails a backdrop suplex hold, picking up the three count! Hanan wins and retains the championship.
For an opener involving a less experience wrestler and a child, it was pretty good. They did what they should do in these matches – kept it short with quick action, so the match never dragged or felt like it over-stayed its welcome. Things continue to not go great for Lady C as she is still at the bottom of the pecking order in Stardom, but maybe in 2022 she will finally turn the corner. A perfectly acceptable way to kick off the show.
Before the next match, we get a surprising development as the group Prominence walk down to the ring! Prominence are former Ice Ribbon wrestlers – Suzu Suzuki, Risa Sera, Akane Fujita, Harari Kurumi, and Mochi Miyagi. They have beef with Giulia as Giulia also used to be in Ice Ribbon. Looks like we are getting more excitement in Stardom, this is a great development for Stardom fans (and a sad one for Ice Ribbon fans). Looking forward to see where it goes from here.
AZM and Utami Hayashishita vs. Watanabe and Starlight Kid
When these four wrestlers appear this early on the card, you know you are watching a big event. This is a “grudge match” as the Queen’s Quest wrestlers are still mad about Momo Watanabe turning her back on them just last month. So this is their chance to get some revenge, as Momo teams with a fellow Benedict Arnold in the young Starlight Kid. All four of these wrestlers are great, and being on the second match of the card is surprising. But I am sure they will still bring the emotion as they always do.
Queen’s Quest attacks before the match starts and isolate Momo, double teaming her while the referee looks unconcerned. AZM stays in as the legal wrestler, she grabs Momo’s hair but Momo returns the favor before elbowing her. Kick to the chest by Momo and she dropkicks AZM in the corner, Momo goes to charge in again but AZM catches her with a dropkick. Side slam by Momo but AZM avoids the Punt and kicks Momo in the head. AZM tags Utami, Utami picks up Momo and delivers a scoop slam. Stomps by Utami, she goes off the ropes but Momo hits a dropkick and tags Starlight Kid. Starlight Kid throws Utami into the corner but Utami fires out with a hard shoulderblock, Irish whip by Utami but Starlight Kid hits a spinning headscissors. AZM kicks Starlight Kid from the apron and comes in the ring to help, but Starlight Kid fights off the both of them, ending with a double dropkick. Starlight Kid goes back to Utami and hits a standing moonsault, picking up a two count. Starlight Kid tags Momo, kick by Momo to Utami but Utami elbows her. Momo elbows Utami back but Utami catches her kick and hits a Samoan Drop. Utami goes for a sliding lariat but Momo kicks her arm away and hits a Buzzsaw Kick.
Momo charges Utami but Utami drops her with a release German, Momo recovers quickly and plants Utami with a Tequila Sunrise. Both wrestlers slowly crawl to their corners and tag out, Starlight Kid dropkicks AZM and the two trade elbows. Utami runs in and dropkicks Starlight Kid but Ruaka gets involved from the floor, AZM gets rid of Ruaka before hitting a swandive dropkick on Starlight Kid. Starlight Kid gets away from AZM but Utami re-appears and they deliver the 3D. AZM goes to the top turnbuckle and nails a diving footstomp, but Momo breaks up the cover. AZM picks up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid avoids La Mistica and pushes AZM into the referee. Dropkick by AZM (into the referee again) and AZM applies the Azumi Sushi but the referee isn’t around to make the count. Rina runs in and elbows AZM, Death and Saki also come in and everyone attacks AZM. Fisherman Driver by Ruaka to AZM, Utami comes in to try to even the odds but eats a double dropkick. Starlight Kid goes to the top turnbuckle and hits the swivel body press, the referee is finally back but Utami breaks up the cover. Starlight Kid picks up AZM but AZM gets away and applies the Azumi Sushi, but Momo breaks it up. Momo picks up AZM and with Starlight Kid’s help she hits a side slam, Momo puts AZM on the top turnbuckle before Starlight Kid climbs up as well. Spanish Fly by Starlight Kid, and she covers AZM for the three count! Starlight Kid and Momo Watanabe are the winners!
For where it as on the card, the match layout made sense. I’m not a huge fan of referee bumps or one faction helping while the other does not, but at this point they are still just re-enforcing the feud. I suspect it is far from over. Starlight Kid continues to amaze, loved her using the Spanish Fly, and the match was very fast paced which kept it interesting. While the general match structure isn’t my personal favorite, there is no denying these four have great chemistry and will likely be battling against each other in some capacity for years to come. Mildly Recommended
Mina Shirakawa vs. Thekla
SWA Undisputed World Women’s Championship
The former holder of the SWA Undisputed World Women’s Championship, Syuri, opted to give up the title when she won the World of Stardom Championship last month. This left the title vacant, but not for long as both Thekla and Mina showed interest in it. These two got into a very quick but entertaining feud, and here we are as they both battle to win a major singles title in Stardom. Thekla just recently joined the promotion, brought in by Giulia. She is best known to Joshi fans for her work in Ice Ribbon, which she left last year. Mina has improved a lot since joining Stardom in 2020, and has earned her spot with her hard work. These two can both be a bundle of fun, there may be some comedic elements but I think in the end both are going to take the title match deadly serious.
Thekla mocks Mina to start, which Mina doesn’t like as she kicks Thekla in the chest. Thekla goes off the ropes, Mina rolls her to the mat but Thekla avoids her dropkick and they end up in a posing stalemate. Mina quickly delivers a sliding dropkick and kicks at Thekla, but Thekla twists herself in the ropes when Mina goes for an Irish whip. Thekla avoids Mina’s charge and jaws with her as Mina stands outside the ring. Thekla goes out after her but Mina slides back in and they reach another stalemate. Thekla kicks Mina in the chest, Mina returns to her feet and they trade elbows. Thekla chops Mina in the chest, Irish whip by Thekla but Mina ducks the lariat and hits a jumping double chop. Thekla is up first but Mina elbows her in the corner, jumping lariat by Mina and she covers Thekla for two. Mina picks up Thekla but Thekla drops her with a hammerlock DDT. Thekla applies a facelock but Mina gets into the ropes for the break.
Double underhook by Thekla but Mina blocks the suplex, Thekla goes off the ropes but Mina levels her with a roaring elbow. Suplex by Mina, and she covers Thekla for two. Mina goes up top and delivers a diving elbow strike, roaring elbow to the back by Mina and she puts Thekla’s feet on the top turnbuckle before hitting a DDT. Cover by Mina, but Thekla barely kicks out. Mina goes for an elevated DDT but Thekla blocks it, elbow by Mina but Thekla crawls under her next attack and hits a spear. Mina quickly returns with a Lou Thesz Press, but it gets two. Backfist to the back by Mina, she picks up Thekla and nails the elevated DDT, but Thekla gets a shoulder up on the pin. Mina picks up Thekla but Thekla gets away, high kick by Thekla and she delivers a double underhook slam for a two count. Thekla picks up Mina, Mina gets out of her grasp but Thekla kicks her in the head. Back up, Thekla sets up Mina and nails the Toxic Spider Death Drop for the three count! Thekla wins and is the new champion!
Not the longest title match, but it was pretty entertaining. A short match was probably the smart way to go, as Thekla continues to get used to her new surroundings and Mina isn’t known for twenty minute plus matches anyway. They did a little bit of ‘showmanship’ as that was part of the build-up for the match, but once they got down to it they didn’t let that distract from the match overall. Thekla has some unique high impact offense and brings something different to Stardom, hopefully since she now has a belt they will be featuring her on future events. A solid mid-card title match, not long enough to leave too much of an impression but fun to watch. Mildly Recommended
(c) Hazuki and Koguma vs. Himeka and Maika
Goddesses of Stardom Championship
STARS and DDM collide as they battle for the tag team championships. The STARS team of Hazuki and Koguma, both recently returned to Stardom, won the titles from Donna del Mondo just a few weeks ago and this is their first defense of the title. Since she came back, Hazuki has been way too joyful so I admit I miss the Oedo Tai version of her, but her and Koguma seem to be having a good time so who am I to judge. Himeka and Maika are part of Donna del Mondo and are looking to bring the titles back to the stable in the same month they were lost. Since I doubt they want Hazuki and Koguma to hold the belts for just a few weeks, there is a pretty good chance they retain here.
Koguma does her cub poses to start the match, she gets Maika to join in but then schoolboys her for a two count. Himeka comes in the ring to help Maika get the advantage, Maika throws Koguma into the corner and chokes her with her boot. Maika tags Himeka and she does the same, scoop slam by Himeka and she hits a second one for a two count. Himeka tags Maika, scoop slam by Maika and she drops Koguma with another one. Himeka returns as the legal wrestler as she slams Koguma again before putting her in a Camel Clutch. Himeka lets go and goes off the ropes, but Koguma hits a drop toehold followed by a dropkick. This gives her time to tag Hazuki, Codebreaker by Hazuki and she knocks Maika off the apron. Back to Himeka, Hazuki hits a running elbow in the corner followed by a missile dropkick off the second turnbuckle for a two count. Hazuki quickly transitions to crossface but Maika breaks it up, Hazuki fights off both of them before hitting Himeka with some bootscrapes. Running boot by Hazuki and she hits a running senton for a two count.
She applies an armtrap chinlock but Himeka wiggles to the ropes to force a break. Hazuki goes to the apron and goes for a swandive move, but Himeka blocks it and knocks her down with a shoulderblock. Himeka tags Maika, Maika hits a hard shoulderblock of her own but Koguma dropkicks her. Backstabber by Hazuki and she hits an assisted Codebreaker on Maika for a two count. They trade elbows once they return to their feet, Himeka runs in to cut off Hazuki and DDM hit her with a double sliding lariat. Himeka leaves while Maika dropkicks Hazuki, but Hazuki fires back with a pump kick and both wrestlers are down on the mat. Hazuki tags in Koguma, Koguma goes for a few cradle pins but each one gets a two count. Himeka gets Koguma on her shoulders but Koguma slides off, dropkick by Koguma and she stands on Himeka’s back near the ropes. Koguma puts Himeka in the corner but Himeka avoids her charge and hits a body avalanche. Backbreaker by Himeka and she applies a single leg crab hold, but Hazuki breaks it up. Himeka picks up Koguma and gets her on her shoulders in an Argentine Backbreaker, but Hazuki re-appears and hits a swandive missile dropkick on Himeka.
Koguma kicks Himeka out of the ring, Hazuki then gets a running start in it and dives out onto both Himeka and Maika with a tope suicida. Hazuki slides Himeka back in while Koguma goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Waistlock by Koguma but Himeka spins out of it, release German by Koguma but Maika breaks up the cover. Hazuki picks up Himeka and with Koguma she hits an assisted cutter, both Koguma and Hazuki go to the top turnbuckle but Maika runs in and joins her. With Himeka’s help she superplexes them both down to the mat, Himeka goes off the ropes and hits a sliding lariat on Koguma for two. Himeka gets Koguma on her shoulders and drives her into the mat, but Hazuki breaks up the cover. Himeka goes off the ropes and turns Koguma inside out with a lariat, but when she goes for the cover, Koguma applies a small package hold for the three count! Hazuki and Koguma win and retain the championships.
This match was very very good but something didn’t click to make it feel like a title match. I am always a bit more… picky I guess with title matches, there should be something that elevates a match from “normal midcard tag match” to “title match” and this match really didn’t have that. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t well worked – Himeka and Maika are treasures and Hazuki hasn’t missed a beat. Koguma’s ring-style isn’t as serious and at times it didn’t mesh with what everyone else was doing, she didn’t seem fully out of place but I found myself enjoying the match more when Hazuki was the legal wrestler. That being said, DDM are so good at what they do that I found the action itself quite enjoyable, I could watch Himeka and Maika beat up people all day. Overall a solid match, even if it never really got to the next level before it suddenly ended. Mildly Recommended
(c) Saya Kamitani vs. Unagi Sayaka
Wonder of Stardom Championship
This isn’t a high end defense for Saya, but it should be fun. Saya won the Wonder of Stardom Championship in December (lots of new champions on this show) and this is her first defense. How Stardom decides who title challengers are is a mystery as Unagi clearly doesn’t deserve a shot at the White Belt, but it does give Saya an easy first defense. Its not that Saya is super high in the pecking order, but Unagi is quite low on it and certainly isn’t ready for a major singles title. Hopefully they can put something fun together as we are late enough in the card at this point that coasting through would be a disappointment.
Unagi wants to shake hands to start but Saya backs away from her instead, they tie-up and Saya gets Unagi into the ropes. She gives a clean break but slaps Unagi after Unagi charges in, kick by Saya and she works a headlock. Unagi Irish whips out of it and hits an armdrag, she goes for a leg drop but Saya moves. Back on their feet, big boot by Unagi but Saya returns to her feet and the two trade elbows. Headlock by Unagi but Saya drives her into the corner, Unagi avoids her charge however and hits a running elbow. Saya fires back with a dropkick, she picks up Unagi and clubs on her back. Snapmare by Saya and she applies a chinlock, but Unagi gets a foot on the ropes for the break. Saya picks up Unagi and puts her head over the second rope, she goes out to the apron and kicks Unagi repeatedly in the head. Saya returns to the ring and covers Unagi, but it gets a two count. Saya picks up Unagi, Saya challenges Unagi so Unagi hits her with a series of elbows. Saya absorbs them and knocks Unagi back to the mat, Saya goes off the ropes but Unagi drops her on the top rope with a Stun Gun.
Unagi goes out of the ring and pulls Saya’s head over the apron before hitting a cyclone DDT down to the floor. Unagi slides Saya back into the ring, jawbreaker by Unagi and she slams Saya face-first into the mat. Unagi tries to get Saya on her back but Saya blocks it, Unagi gets Saya in the corner but Saya avoids her charge and hits a hurricanrana. Unagi falls out of the ring, Saya goes to the ropes and dives down onto Unagi with a springboard plancha. Saya goes for a suplex out on the floor but Unagi reverses it into a DDT, Unagi waits for Saya to get up and they trade elbows. Unagi gets Saya up in the Gory Special (still on the floor) before dropping Saya onto the apron. Unagi returns to the ring with Saya following, Unagi applies a Dragon Sleeper but Saya inches to the ropes and makes it for the break. Unagi goes off the ropes but Saya catches her with a dropkick, Unagi catches Saya with an elbow but Saya delivers a spinning heel kick. Pump Kick by Saya and she connects with a second one for a two count cover. Saya goes to the top turnbuckle but Unagi recovers and elbows her off, sending Saya to the apron. Unagi drags Saya over the top rope and hits a cyclone DDT back into the ring, both wrestlers are slow to recover and start trading elbows while on their knees.
They keep it up as they return to their feet, Saya sends Unagi to the mat with a hard elbow before dropkicking her in the back of the head. Saya goes to the top turnbuckle, hitting a missile dropkick to Unagi’s back. Saya picks up Unagi and delivers the fisherman suplex hold, but Unagi kicks out of the cover. Saya picks up Unagi but Unagi quickly hits the Sister Abigail for a two count. Unagi picks up Saya, boot by Unagi but Saya boots her back. Saya schoolboys Unagi and keeps the hold applied as she hits a bridging suplex hold for a two count. Saya tries to go to the turnbuckles but Unagi grabs her leg, Saya stomps herself free and starts climbing again but Unagi grabs her from behind and slams Saya to the mat. Unagi positions Saya and goes to the top turnbuckle, nailing a diving body press for a two count. Unagi picks up Saya but Saya snaps off a hurricanrana, picking up two. Saya hits a spinning heel kick, she picks up Unagi and they struggle for control until Saya plants Unagi with a fisherman driver for a two count. Saya positions Unagi and goes to the top turnbuckle, nailing the Phoenix Splash for the three count! Saya Kamitani wins and retains the championship.
Considering the participants and the length of the match, this probably went about as well as it could have. Both wrestlers are still relatively early in their careers in regards to in-ring minutes (especially in big singles matches), and if you look close you can sometimes tell as some of the transitions were iffy and there was more dead time here than in the last few matches. They struggled at times ending offensive strings with the right person getting the best of it (for example, Unagi knocking Saya to the mat but Saya being up first and on offense), as they had the match planned but maybe not every connection to all the dots. But the effort was certainly there, and unlike the last match this *felt* like a title match. Whether it was the big moves or the “fighting spirit” shown by both, they presented the match as high stakes which can make a match seem better than maybe it really was. This probably won’t end up being a highly remembered title defense by Saya, but likely an important one for her growth as she makes the shift to being a major player in the promotion. Mildly Recommended
Giulia vs. Mayu Iwatani
There was a bit of card re-shuffling due to Tam Nakano getting pulled from the card at the last minute, but this is a quality backup plan. Originally this was a three-way match, with Tam Nakano also included. The match was going to have two winners, with each winner getting a shot at the World of Stardom Championship on 3/26 or 3/27. Without Tam, now its just a singles match, with the winner of the match still slotted to get a title challenge at Sumo Hall. This is a pretty fresh matchup, as for the most part Giulia and Mayu have been dealing with their own separate problems. In fact this is just their fourth singles match in a year and a half, with two of the others being in the FIVE STAR GP. They are 1-1-1 in their three matches so they are on the same basic level, with both having plenty of accomplishments to justify main eventing a Sumo Hall event. The winner is really up in the air, it should be an entertaining match between two of the best in the business.
They trade holds to start, Mayu gets a guillotine choke applied but Giulia gets out of it and Mayu ends up rolling out of the ring to ponder things. She returns after a moment and they trade wristlocks, headlock by Giulia but Mayu Irish whips out of it. Hard shoulderblock by Giulia, she goes off the ropes but Mayu hits a side headlock takedown. They end up at a stalemate and reset, kick by Mayu and she hits a jumping back elbow. Mayu picks up Giulia and flings her by the hair, kick to the back by Mayu and she applies a headscissors. Giulia gets to the ropes for the break, Mayu picks up Giulia and drops her with a cutter. Cover by Mayu, but it gets two. Head kick by Mayu, she sets up Giulia in the ropes and yanks down on her hair. Dropkick by Mayu and she covers Giulia for two. Mayu throws Giulia into the corner, Irish whip by Mayu and she delivers a dropkick. Mayu goes off the ropes and drills Giulia in the chest with another dropkick, Giulia falls out of the ring and Mayu goes to do a dive but Mayu hits her in the head with an umbrella. Mayu ends up hanging from the second rope so Giulia takes advantage and applies a neck crank. Mayu elbows out of it but Giulia gets back in the ring and kicks Mayu in the head. Dropkick by Giulia and she puts Mayu in a STF.
She switches it to an armbar but Mayu gets to the ropes, Giulia picks up Mayu and elbows her in the arm. Giulia keeps working over Mayu’s arm with a variety of strikes and submissions, scoop slams by Giulia and she covers Mayu for two. Giulia mushes Mayu in the face with her boot before kicking her in the ribs, Giulia picks up Mayu and throws her into the corner. Irish whip by Giulia, reversed, but Giulia sits Mayu on the top turnbuckle and suplexes her to the mat for a two count. Giulia charges Mayu in the corner but Mayu moves and delivers a dropkick, both wrestlers are slow to recover and end up trading running elbows once they return to their feet. Superkick by Mayu and she delivers a double wrist armsault for two. Back up, superkick by Mayu and she goes to the top turnbuckle. Giulia avoids her dive, Mayu lands on her feet but Giulia puts her in an Octopus Hold. Mayu slams her way out of it and superkicks Giulia, sending Giulia out of the ring. Mayu gets a running start and tries to dive out onto Giulia with a tope suicida, but Giulia moves and Mayu ends up landing on her STARS teammates instead. Giulia grabs Mayu but Mayu punches her off and they trade elbows. Giulia gets the better of things, the referee tries to get her to stop but she pushes him to the ground and then catapults off his back with a dropkick. Giulia picks up Mayu and gets her on her shoulders for the Glorious Buster, but Mayu reverses positions with her and goes for a tombstone.
Giulia gets away but Mayu superkicks her, head kick by Mayu and she plants Giulia on the floor with the tombstone piledriver. Mayu gets back in the ring but Giulia grabs her from the floor and brings her back outside with a neckbreaker. Giulia and Mayu both barely make the count as they slide back in the ring, headbutts by Giulia but Mayu avoids her charge and goes for a schoolboy. Giulia blocks it and hits a release German, but Mayu springs up and hits a release German of her own. They both hit another German suplex before collapsing to the mat, they slowly return to their feet and Mayu drills Giulia with a jumping kick. Mayu gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Mayu but it gets two. Mayu picks up Giulia and delivers a dragon suplex hold, but Giulia gets a shoulder up. Mayu goes to the top turnbuckle but Giulia gets her feet up on the moonsault attempt, Giulia applies a triangle choke but Mayu gets her foot on the bottom rope. Giulia goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Giulia but it gets two.
Giulia puts Mayu in the Stealth Viper, but Mayu is too close to the ropes and makes it for the break. Giulia picks up Mayu and hits a Falcon Arrow, but Mayu rolls through it for a two count cradle. Giulia waits for Mayu to get to her knees and hits a sliding kick, she picks up Mayu and drops her with a wrist-clutch backdrop suplex. Giulia picks up Mayu and knees her right in the head, cover by Giulia but it gets two. Giulia picks up Mayu but Mayu reverses the Glorious Driver attempt into a Dodonpa for two. Giulia goes to the top turnbuckle but Mayu recovers and joins her, Giulia puts Mayu in a guillotine choke but has to let her go. Mayu re-joins Giulia before she can do anything, this time sending Giulia off with a Frankensteiner. Giulia falls out of the ring, Mayu goes to the top turnbuckle and dives out onto her with a plancha suicida. Mayu slides Giulia back in, she goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a moonsault. She then goes all the way up top and delivers another moonsault, but Giulia kicks out of the cover. Blood is gushing from Giulia’s chin, she goes into a rage but Mayu is saved from her wrath as the bell rings as 30 minutes has expired. The match is a Draw.
Due to the Draw, both Giulia and Mayu will get a title shot, one on the 26th and one on the 27th. I imagine this was always the plan, for Giulia and Mayu to walk out with title challenges, they just had to go about it a different way than they thought. Anyway, this match was great. It had a few hiccups and Giulia’s early arm work was quickly forgotten, but considering they had to plan a 30 minute match with very little time I’m impressed with what they came up with. Giulia is an underrated suplex thrower as she was just planting Mayu, and Mayu is still one of the best sellers in wrestling as she made everything Giulia did look extra painful. The last ten minutes or so were fire, as they just traded big moves with barely taking a moment to catch their breath. Hard hitting and exciting, this won’t go down as a MOTYC due to the slow and at times somewhat awkward beginning but the end more than made up for it, a really entertaining match between two fantastic wrestlers. Highly Recommended
(c) Syuri vs. MIRAI
World of Stardom Championship
In the main event, MIRAI (formally known as Mirai Maiumi in Tokyo Joshi Pro) goes after the virtually unbeatable Syuri. This is also a lower level defense, like the last title match, in that we know who is winning. I am not really sure how Stardom could really justify having a debuting wrestler with no prior title success to suddenly get a shot at the World of Stardom Championship in the main event, but the basic answer is that Stardom does whatever it wants. MIRAI is a solid wrestler for sure and I think she can hold her own against Syuri, but it feels like it just shouldn’t be the final match on the card just due to the gap in skill/experience. I am really interesting though to see what MIRAI can do as she is suddenly thrust into the biggest match of her young career.
They start slow as they size each other up, Syuri gets MIRAI into the corner but MIRAI drives her back into the opposite corner before giving a clean break. Syuri quickly gets MIRAI to the mat and goes for an armbreaker, MIRAI gets out of it and they jockey for position. Syuri lets MIRAI up after a moment and they square off, drop toehold by Syuri and she applies a waistlock. MIRAI gets out of that too, Syuri goes for MIRAI’s leg but eventually they end up in another stalemate and return to their feet. Side headlock by Syuri, MIRAI Irish whips out of it and stands strong when Syuri goes for a shoulderblock. They trade shoulderblocks until Syuri kicks MIRAI, snapmare by Syuri but MIRAI ducks the PK and cradles Syuri for two. MIRAI bounces off the ropes a few times and knocks Syuri off her feet with a shoulderblock, leading to Syuri rolling out of the ring to regroup. MIRAI goes after Syuri but Syuri re-enters the ring, forcing MIRAI to come back to her. She does so, armdrag by Syuri and she applies an armbar but MIRAI gets to the ropes. Syuri picks up MIRAI and throws her into the corner, choking her with her boot. Irish whip by Syuri, reversed, but Syuri avoids her charge and knees MIRAI in the stomach. Running knee by Syuri and she covers MIRAI for two. Sleeper by Syuri but MIRAI wiggles to the ropes to force the break.
Suplex by Syuri, she sits up MIRAI and kicks her repeatedly in the back. Syuri nudges MIRAI with her foot and stomps her before picking her up, Syuri goes off the ropes but MIRAI catches her with a scoop slam. MIRAI goes off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock, two more shoulderblocks by MIRAI and she covers Syuri for two. MIRAI goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, she picks up Syuri and trips her to get her to the mat. MIRAI applies a kneelock but Syuri kicks her off, Syuri applies a front necklock before putting MIRAI’s legs on the top rope and hitting a DDT. MIRAI rolls out of the ring, Syuri goes to the apron but MIRAI catches her kick attempt and pulls Syuri out with her. MIRAI picks up Syuri and gets her on her shoulder before slamming Syuri hard to the floor. MIRAI slides Syuri back into the ring, she goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a senton for a two count. MIRAI picks up Syuri but Syuri gets away, kicks by Syuri but MIRAI elbows her in the chest. Head kick by Syuri, MIRAI elbows her back and the two trade shots. Knees by Syuri, she goes off the ropes but MIRAI hits another elbow followed by a shoulderblock. Boot to the face by Syuri and she hits a Codebreaker, leading to both wrestlers being down on the mat. Syuri recovers first but MIRAI ducks her head kick, waistlock by MIRAI but Syuri elbows out of it. Mid-kick by Syuri and she kicks MIRAI in the chest a few more times, but MIRAI eventually catches one and elbows Syuri in the leg. Elbows by MIRAI but Syuri elbows her back, leading to another exchange. Syuri eventually boots MIRAI in the head to send her to the mat, stomps by Syuri but MIRAI fires back with elbows.
More elbows by MIRAI while in the mount and she goes for Syuri’s arm, but Syuri blocks it and gets MIRAI in a seated armbar. MIRAI is too close to the ropes and gets a boot on one for the break, Syuri gets MIRAI on her shoulders and delivers the double knee gutbuster for two. Syuri goes to the top turnbuckle but MIRAI recovers and joins her, suplexing Syuri back down to the mat. MIRAI picks up Syuri and slams her back down, she goes off the ropes and hits a hard lariat for a two count. MIRAI picks up Syuri and hits a hammerlock bridging suplex, she applies the Miramare but Syuri eventually gets to the ropes for the break. MIRAI gets Syuri on her shoulders but Syuri slides off, hitting a release German. MIRAI blocks Syuri’s next strike attempt, she lifts Syuri into a side slam and gets a two count cover. MIRAI gets Syuri on her back in a stretch submission before dropping her to the mat, lariat by MIRAI and she hits a Samoan Driver for a two count. MIRAI picks up Syuri and goes off the ropes, but Syuri catches her with a high kick. MIRAI fires back with a lariat but Syuri hits a running knee, Syuri kicks out of MIRAI’s flash pin and picks her up but MIRAI slides away and hits a series of elbows. Syuri connects with a kick to get back in control, Buzzsaw Kick by Syuri but MIRAI barely kicks out of the cover. Backfists by Syuri and she delivers a high kick, she gets MIRAI on her shoulders and nails the Red World (Death Valley Bomb) for the three count! Syuri wins and retains the championship!
I appreciate the effort here by both women but this really shouldn’t have been the main event of a PPV. I mentioned in the last event I reviewed that I really prefer main events not have such a skill/experience gap as while upsets do happen, its rarely one of this magnitude and it never really felt like MIRAI had a chance. The match was also too long which is another side effect of it being the main event, they could have told the same basic story and snipped ten minutes from it. MIRAI looked good and they had surprisingly good chemistry, which does speak well of her as Syuri matches can be a little awkward if the pairing doesn’t work. Very strike and submission based, both of which they executed well even if it went too long which forced them to repeat moves a lot. If this was in the Saya/Unagi spot and was more condensed, this could have been a high end match, however as presented it was entertaining but lacked the excitement one would hope for in the headlining spot. Mildly Recommended
An interesting PPV by Stardom. It definitely was a “B Show” PPV, sandwiched between their big event in December and their upcoming Sumo Hall events in March. They didn’t want to spoil any big matches so the titles were mostly in a holding pattern, with the exception of the SWA Championship which needed a new champion anyway. The Giulia/Mayu match was fantastic and is worth tracking down but I don’t think anything else on the card is must-see. Still, the action was very solid from top to bottom and nothing was “bad” or even average. It just mostly hovered at “good” for three hours. If you have Stardom World, this event is worth the watch, but probably not worth the price of a PPV.