Even though I am a little behind (when am I not?), I still wanted to review this event just because its wacky. This show is very unique as Stardom isn’t generally known for crazy gimmick matches. Here though, several matches have a gimmick or an unusual quality to them, including a ladder match! Also we get a big elimination tag match, with the end result being either Momo Watanabe joining Oedo Tai or Starlight Kid being forced to unmask. Here is the full card:
- Gauntlet Match: Syuri vs Lady C, Mai Sakurai, and Waka Tsukiyama
- Artist of Stardom Championship and 10 Million Yen Prize Contest Unit Tournament Semi Final: Maika, Himeka, and Natsupoi vs. Takumi Iroha, Rin Kadokura, and Maria
- 10 Million Yen Prize Contest Unit Tournament Semi Final: Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki, and Koguma vs. Tam Nakano, Unagi Sayaka, and Mina Shirakawa
- Captain’s Fall Match: Konami, Starlight Kid, Saki Kashima, and Ruaka vs. Utami Hayashishita, Momo Watanabe, Saya Kamitani, and AZM
- Artist of Stardom Championship and10 Million Yen Prize Contest Unit Tournament Final, Elimination Ladder Match: Maika, Himeka, and Natsupoi vs. Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki, and Koguma
All wrestlers on the show have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it.
Syuri vs Lady C, Mai Sakurai, and Waka Tsukiyama
Syuri didn’t have anything to do on this event, so here she is in the opener in what will no doubt be a series of easy wins for her. In theory, a gauntlet match wouldn’t favor the wrestler that has to go against three different wrestlers in a row, but they made sure this was lopsided enough that we all know what is going to happen. Maybe this will be good experience for the newer wrestlers, but in the end I doubt this match will accomplish much.
Syuri vs. Waka Tsukiyama is the first match of the gauntlet. Syuri quickly takes down Waka and they trade holds on the mat, elbows by Waka but Syuri avoids the dropkick. Syuri gets Waka on her shoulders but Waka slides off, she tries a few flash pins but doesn’t have any luck. Waka gets Syuri’s back but Syuri flings her to the mat before kicking Waka in the back. Syuri throws Waka into the corner, Irish whip attempt by Syuri but Waka blocks it and slams her to the mat for two. Waka gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, she picks up Syuri and hits a series of elbows. Waka goes off the ropes but Syuri nails her with a head kick, cover by Syuri and she gets the three count! Syuri wins!
Syuri vs. Mai Sakurai starts immediately, strikes by Mai and she hits a drop toehold. STF by Mai but Syuri crawls to the ropes and makes it for the break. Mai goes off the ropes but Syuri knees her in the midsection, snap suplex by Syuri and she covers Mai for two. Syuri gets on the second turnbuckle but Waka elbows her before she can jump off, cutter by Mai back to the mat and she hits a diving elbow drop from the second turnbuckle for a two count cover. Syuri catches Mai with a STO, sleeper by Syuri and Mai taps out! Syuri wins again!
Syuri vs. Lady C again starts with no delay, boot by Lady C but Syuri avoids the next attempt. The two trade elbows in the middle of the ring, boots by Lady C and she hits a jumping neckdrop for a two count. Lady C picks up Syuri but Syuri blocks the chokeslam, DDT by Syuri and she puts Lady C in a figure four leglock. Lady C makes it to the ropes for the break, stomps by Syuri but Lady C ducks a kick and chops Syuri in the head. Lady C gets Syuri up and nails the chokeslam, cover by Lady C but it gets a two count. Lady C applies a modified chokehold but Syuri gets out of it, running knee by Syuri and she covers Lady C for two. Syuri pulls Lady C to the middle of the ring and re-applies the figure four leglock, and this time Lady C taps out! Syuri wins the final match of the gauntlet!
This went about how you’d expect. Syuri gave all three a little bit of offense but not enough to be meaningful before putting them away with relative ease. Since this was a pre-show match, it didn’t hurt anything to have it exist, but it certainly didn’t really do anything for any of the wrestlers long term either. Really just an exhibition to show that Syuri is a danger to lower-end wrestlers.
Maika, Himeka, and Natsupoi vs. Takumi Iroha, Kadokura, and Maria
Artist of Stardom Championship and 10 Million Yen Prize Contest Unit Tournament Semi Final
Marvelous invades Stardom to not only get a title shot but to take part in the 10 Million Yen Contest tournament. Since the Trios champions are in the tournament, the titles are also on the line for each match so whichever team wins the tournament will also end up the champs as well. The champions come in representing DDM, led by Giulia. The challengers all hail from Marvelous, a promotion run by Chigusa Nagayo and includes their ace in Iroha along with young wrestlers Kadokura and Maria. The champions come in the favorites but it still should be a solid match as all six are quality wrestlers with various skill sets.
Rin and Maika start the match and tie-up, but end up breaking cleanly. They get back into it and trade holds but again end up in a stalemate so they tag out as Himeka and Takumi come in. Irish whip by Takumi as they both try to shoulderblock each other over, with Himeka eventually winning as she sends Takumi to the mat. Takumi fires back with an uppercut and stomps on Himeka, she tags in Maria and Maria dropkicks Himeka in the head. Maria goes for a scoop slam but Himeka blocks it, hitting one of her own before she tags in Natsupoi. Stomps by Natsupoi and she dropkicks Maria in the back, elbows by Natsupoi but Maria catches her with a dropkick. Bootscrapes by Maria and she hits a slingshot footstomp, kick to the ribs by Maria and she covers Natsupoi for two. Maria tags Takumi, Takumi kicks Natsupoi in the chest and drops her with a scoop slam. Body press by Takumi, but Natsupoi kicks out of the cover. Takumi chops Natsupoi in the corner but Natsupoi fires back with elbows, leg kick by Takumi and she tags Rin. Snapmare by Rin and she delivers a sliding kick to Natsupoi’s chest, cover by Rin but Natsupoi kicks out.
Jumping lariat by Rin, she picks up Natsupoi but Natsupoi flips away from her and delivers a dropkick. Natsupoi goes off the ropes but Rin avoids her dropkick, Rin then goes off the ropes and hits a dropkick of her own. She goes for a slam but Natsupoi blocks it, the two trade elbows until Natsupoi kicks Rin in the midsection and connects with a neckbreaker. This gives her time to tag in Maika, shoulderblocks by Maika to all her opponents and she lariats Rin in the corner. Another shoulderblock by Maika to Rin, and she covers her for two. Maika goes off the ropes but Rin catches her with a superkick, vertical suplex by Rin and she covers Maika for two. Maika elbows Rin but Takumi tags herself in and nails a jumping heel kick on Maika. She goes for a kick but Maika catches it, the two trade elbows until Takumi superkicks Maika in the back of the head. Irish whip by Takumi to the corner, reversed, but Rin and Maria both run in and all three attack Maika in the corner. Maika fires out of the corner with a shoulderblock on Takumi, kick combination by Takumi to Maika and she delivers a sliding kick. Takumi picks up Maika and hits a snap vertical suplex, Takumi goes off the ropes but Maika catches her with a powerslam.
She tags in Himeka as they triple team Takumi, PK by Himeka to Takumi and she covers her for two. High kick by Takumi to Himeka, Rin goes to the top turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick. Assisted Fameasser by Rin to Himeka, cover by Takumi but it gets broken up. Takumi goes up top but Maika joins her and hits a superplex. Sliding lariat by Himeka, she goes off the ropes but Takumi grabs her arm and applies a Fujiwara Armbar. Himeka rolls out of it, Takumi drops her with a pair of head kicks and she tags in Maria. Dropkick by Maria and she applies a cross armbreaker, but it quickly gets broken up. Maria gets Himeka’s back but Himeka gets into the ropes to get a break, Himeka tries to get Maria on her shoulders but Maria slides off and applies a cradle for two. They trade flash pins with neither having any luck, Maria goes off the ropes but Maika and Natsupoi both run in to attack her. Diving crossbody by Natsupoi to Maria, cover by Himeka but Takumi breaks it up. Sliding lariat by Himeka and she hits a second hard lariat, she sets up Maria in the turnbuckle and grabs her, nailing a powerbomb for the three count! DDM retain their titles advances in the tournament!
A perfectly fine match, although ultimately forgettable. The chemistry wasn’t an issue, although they didn’t have the more complex spots you see from Stardom sometimes since the Stardom wrestlers are so familiar with each other that it probably takes a bit of an adjustment when Marvelous comes to town. While I like all six of these wrestlers, Maika and Himeka are two of my favorites so I wish they could have done more – luckily they will be wrestling again in the main event. Time went by pretty quick and everything clicked well, this combination of wrestlers couldn’t have a bad match if they tried, but while the action was solid it was missing that something something to put it over the top. Still fun though. Mildly Recommended
Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki, and Koguma vs. Nakano, Sayaka, and Shirakawa
10 Million Yen Prize Contest Unit Tournament Semi Final
This is the other Semi Final of the tournament, as we get ready for the Finals later tonight. Here we see STARS vs. Cosmic Angels, two of the other factions in Stardom. The STARS team is pretty stacked, with The Icon teaming with the recently returned Hazuki and Koguma. On the other team, Tam Nakano leads the Cosmic Angels and is the most accomplished of the trio, as she is joined by Sayaka and Shirakawa. In terms of overall ability I’d give the edge to the STARS team but anything can happen in a six woman tag.
Koguma and Mina start the match, Mina gets cute and poses but Koguma quickly cradles her from behind for two. Mina gets the last laugh as she poses on top of Koguma, Tam and Sayaka come in and they triple team Koguma. Cover by Mina, but it gets two. Mina puts Koguma in the Romero Special but lets her go after a moment before tagging in Tam. Tam hits a running elbow in the corner, kick combination by Tam and she delivers a heel drop for a two count. Tam throws Koguma in the corner and tags Sayaka, snapmare by Sayaka and she puts Koguma in a camel clutch. Sayaka picks up Koguma and boots her in the face, running facebuster by Sayaka and she covers Koguma for two. Sayaka goes off the ropes but Koguma trips her, dropkick by Koguma and she makes the hot tag to Mayu. Dropkick by Mayu and she kicks Sayaka in the stomach, Irish whip by Mayu and she hits a bridging suplex for two. Mayu goes off the ropes but Sayaka catches her with a Codebreaker, she goes for a leg drop but Mayu rolls out of the way.
Sayaka gets Mayu on her back with the Gory Special, but Hazuki breaks it up. Hazuki stays in but Sayaka drops both of them before hitting a double legdrop. Sayaka tags in Tam, Tam comes in the ring with a diving crossbody to Mayu for a two count. Tam picks up Mayu and elbows her into the corner, Tam charges but Mayu moves and delivers a sliding kick to Tam’s face. Tam slides away from Mayu and both miss high kicks, mid-kick by Mayu and she superkicks Tam in the head. She goes off the ropes but Sayaka snaps her neck over the top rope from the apron, German Suplex Hold by Tam but it gets broken up. Irish whip by Tam but Mayu hits a Sling Blade, giving her time to tag Hazuki. Hazuki hits a swandive missile dropkick on Tam before applying an armtrap crossface, but Tam gets into the ropes for the break. Hazuki goes for the boot but Tam moves, Backstabber by Hazuki and Koguma hits a DDT. Running senton by Hazuki, but Tam kicks out at two. Hard elbow by Hazuki but Tam returns fire and the two trade blows. Tam eventually ducks a Hazuki lariat and cradles her for two, backdrop suplex by Tam and both wrestlers are hurt on the mat. Tam is up first and tags in Mina, running elbow by Mina in the corner and she delivers a sliding kick for two.
Mina goes for a slam but Hazuki blocks it, Mayu runs in and superkicks Mina before Koguma hits a cutter. Pump Kick by Hazuki to Mina and she slams Mina for a two count. Koguma picks up Mina but Mina reverses the suplex, head kick by Tam to Hazuki and Sayaka hits a leg drop. Assisted face crusher by Mina to Hazuki, but the cover is broken up. Tam and Sayaka take care of Mayu and Koguma, sending both out of the ring. Tam then gets on the top rope and with help dives out onto all three opponents with a plancha. Sayaka slides Hazuki back in while Mina goes to the top turnbuckle, hitting a diving forearm smash on Hazuki for two. Mina gets Hazuki up but Hazuki blocks the DDT, spinning backfist by Mina and she nails the elevated DDT this time. Cover by Mina, but it barely gets broken up by Mayu. Tam and Sayaka get rid of Mayu and Koguma again, they all go to Hazuki and deliver heel drops. Mina picks up Hazuki but Hazuki slides away and quickly applies the Hazukistral for the three count! STARS win the match and advance to the Finals.
The structure of this one was unique, as they did very few tags. I’m too lazy to count but I believe that STARS only had two tags all match and the Cosmic Angels didn’t have many more than that. Probably made it easier for planning purposes but it almost felt like a series of singles matches except for the constant teamwork. That chaos did make the match more entertaining and was its saving grace, as much of the 1 vs. 1 action was nothing special. Mina and Sayaka continue to improve since joining Stardom in what they showed here, and Mayu always takes over any match she is in. I’m not a huge trios fan in general for the reason this match showed, as with under 15 minutes I didn’t feel like I got to really enjoy any one wrestler as there wasn’t enough time for everyone to show off. The chaotic cooperation within each team helped make the match pretty enjoyable, but I wish it felt more like a tag match with the general structure. Mildly Recommended
Konami, Starlight Kid, Kashima, and Ruaka vs. Hayashishita, Watanabe, Kamitani, and AZM
Captain’s Fall Elimination and Unit Change Match
In a match heavily built-up leading into the show, one of the factions in Stardom is about to change and maybe we get to see Starlight Kid’s face. Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid have been feuding for months, climaxing with this match. There are several stipulations here – first, it is a Captain’s Fall Elimination Match, meaning the match can’t end until Momo or Starlight Kid are eliminated. Eliminations can take place via pinfall, submission, DQ, or Over The Top Rope. As this is also a Unit Change Match, the loser between Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid will be forced to join the other faction. AND if Starlight Kid loses, she must unmask. So a lot going on! This match is pretty packed with talent, the edge goes to Queen’s Quest but Starlight Kid has been on a tear since joining Oedo Tai.
All eight wrestlers brawl to start the match, Queen’s Quest gets the early advantage as they isolate Starlight Kid. Utami stays in as the legal wrestler, she tries to throw Starlight Kid out of the ring but Starlight Kid gets out of it and rolls up Utami. Scoop slam by Utami and she tags AZM, AZM throws Starlight Kid into the corner and delivers a dropkick. Cover by AZM, but it gets two. AZM goes off the ropes but Konami cuts her off, Starlight Kid hits a springboard crossbody and tags Konami into the match. Snapmare by Konami and she kicks AZM in the back, Konami applies a stretch hold but it gets broken up. Konami throws AZM into the corner and chokes her with her boot, she tags in Ruaka and Ruaka kicks at AZM. Irish whip by Ruaka but AZM snaps off a hurricanrana, dropkick by AZM and she tags Utami. Dropkick by Utami but Saki comes in to help Ruaka, Utami throws Ruaka into Saki however and dropkicks her. Irish whip by Utami, reversed, and the two both try to shoulderblock over the other. Ruaka wins the exchange and tags in Konami, running knee by Konami and she delivers a sliding kick. Konami picks up Utami but Utami gets Konami on her shoulders, Konami slides off and applies a submission but it gets quickly broken up. Utami quickly picks up Konami and hits a Samoan Drop, the rest of her teammates come in and all four of Queen’s Quest dropkick Konami. Utami gets Konami up and tries to throw her out of the ring, but Konami hang onto her arm to block as she dangles over the top rope. Konami keeps tugging and eventually falls out of the ring after her, as both wrestlers crash to the floor. Utami Hayashishita and Konami are both eliminated via Over The Top.
Momo and Starlight Kid come in as the legal wrestlers, Momo goes for a slam but Starlight Kid blocks it and sends Momo to the mat. Standing moonsault by Starlight Kid, she goes off the ropes and hits a spinning headscissors. The rest of Oedo Tai run in and deliver strikes in the corner, Starlight Kid goes to the top turnbuckle and hits the Swivel Body Press but the pin is broken up. AZM dropkicks Starlight Kid, Momo follows with a Somato but it gets a two count. Momo goes for the B Driver and nails it, but Saki breaks up the cover. Momo tags Saya, knee by Saya in the corner to Starlight Kid and she delivers a dropkick. Saki tagged herself in from the apron and comes in with a headscissors on Saya, Irish whip by Saya to the corner but Saki flips her out to the apron. Saya goes for a springboard move but Saki pushes her back to the apron, she goes off the ropes but Saya recovers and hits a swandive crossbody. Northern Lights Suplex Hold by Saya, but it gets broken up. Momo and Saya both get up in the same turnbuckle and hit jumping knees, Saya picks up Saki but Saki blocks the fisherman suplex and puts Saya in the Kishikaisei for two. Saki goes off the ropes but Saya catches her with a jumping heel kick, Saya picks up Saki but Saki slides away and applies the Kishikaisei for the three count! Saya Kamitani is eliminated via pinfall.
AZM replaces Saya in the ring, she gets Saki to the mat and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Saki avoids the diving footstomp. Ruaka tags in and hits a hard shoulderblock, fisherman suplex attempt by Ruaka but AZM reverses it into a Fujiwara Armbar. Ruaka quickly gets to the ropes for the break, Momo comes in but Ruaka gets the better of things and hits a lariat on AZM. Cover by Ruaka, but Momo breaks it up. Ruaka goes to the top turnbuckle but AZM avoids the Freezer Bomb, dropkick by AZM and she goes up top to deliver a diving footstomp. Cover by AZM, but Ruaka barely gets a shoulder up. Momo comes back and they both dropkick Ruaka in the head, AZM goes off the ropes and puts Ruaka in the Numero Uno (modified armbar). Ruaka struggles for a moment but has to submit! Ruaka is eliminated.
Saki comes in as the new legal wrestler, she goes for the Kishikaisei but AZM blocks it and applies the Azumi Sushi for the three count! Saki Kashima is eliminated. The match is now Momo Watanabe and AZM vs. Starlight Kid.
Starlight Kid as the last wrestler left for Oedo Tai is the legal wrestler, and she is promptly double teamed by Momo and AZM. AZM goes up top but Konami gets on the apron to distract her, but that doesn’t stop Momo from hitting Starlight Kid with a PK. Ruaka trips Momo from the apron, giving Starlight Kid time to armdrag AZM off the top turnbuckle. AZM goes for the Azumi Sushi but Starlight Kid reverses it and the two trade flash pins with neither getting the three count. Momo returns and beats down Starlight Kid, she goes out to the apron so that AZM can tag her in. Kicks by Momo to Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid catches one and hits a dragon screw leg whip, she goes off the ropes but AZM kicks her from the apron. Assisted footstomp by AZM to Starlight Kid and she kicks her in the head, suplex by Momo to Starlight Kid but it only gets two. Momo drags on Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid blocks the Peach Sunrise, Momo then hits the Tequila Sunrise instead but the referee is pulled out of the ring while he tries to make the three count. Momo and AZM both kick Starlight Kid in the head, but Starlight Kid blocks the next attempt and AZM kicks Momo in the head by mistake. Victory roll by Starlight Kid, but it gets two. Starlight Kid picks up Momo and hits a side Russian leg sweep, she goes to the top turnbuckle and nails a moonsault. Starlight Kid drags up Momo and hits a modified Tombstone, but her cover is broken up. Starlight Kid gets a Oedo Tai briefcase tossed to her, but the referee takes it before she can use it. She then gets a chair instead, she tosses it to Momo and then dropkicks the chair into her. Momo stands up with the chair however, she acts like she is going to hit Starlight Kid but she hits AZM instead! She then hits the referee as well, leading to her being disqualified. Momo Watanabe is eliminated via DQ, and Oedo Tai wins the match!
I’m going to not talk about the action itself (it was fine?) and rant (again!) about the stupidity of these types of matches in wrestling. Stardom didn’t invent wrestlers turning on their teammates mid-match but they certainly have embraced it, and it has to be one of my least favorite wrestling tropes. Besides the lack of logic in Momo attacking her future teammates for 19 minutes, you then have the issue where the match could have ended many many times before that. If a wrestler is going to turn on their own team it should be early in the match, like the first time they tag in, not at the end of it. I don’t mind Momo going to Oedo Tai but I didn’t need a convoluted match with stipulations that ended on meaning nothing as Momo wanted to join them anyway. I don’t think that Stardom will ever stop doing these “forced to change factions” or worse the “forced to change factions but wait they wanted to change factions” matches like they’ve done twice now in 2021, but I won’t ever like it. Starlight Kid looked great in the match, I will give her that, her future is bright even if this match was dumb and the action was disjointed.
(c) Maika, Himeka, and Natsupoi vs. Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki, and Koguma
Artist of Stardom Championship and10 Million Yen Prize Contest Unit Tournament Final, Elimination Ladder Match
More trios action, as we reach the Finals of the tournament in a ladder match! Not only is it a ladder match but its also a title match and an elimination match and a WINNER GETS 10 MILLION YEN match all wrapped into one. Stardom really went into gimmick overkill for this event and I am not really sure why, they have the best women’s roster of any promotion in the world and don’t have to fall back on such things to get attention. But I won’t deny it is fun to see a ladder match in Stardom, and both of these teams are really good. I hope they can adjust to the stipulation better than the last match did, I doubt they’d have the titles change hands on an overly gimmicky match but who knows what will happen on this event.
Koguma and Natsupoi start the match and immediately start climbing the ladder to get the briefcase, they get pulled off and all six wrestlers are already in the ring. Everyone clears out with Koguma and Natsupoi alone again, Natsupoi throws Koguma under the ladder before Koguma starts climbing it once again, but Natsupoi knocks her off and goes for the briefcase herself. Koguma pulls Natsupoi off the ladder, both wrestlers go off the ropes until Koguma tips the ladder on top of Natsupoi. Mayu and Hazuki come in the ring as they put the ladder down and triple team their opponent. Triple dropkick to Natsupoi, Koguma covers her (remember its also an elimination match) but it gets a two count. Scoop slam by Koguma near the ropes and she runs on her back, footstomp by Koguma and she covers Natsupoi for two. Koguma tags in Mayu, chop by Mayu in the corner and she snapmares Natsupoi before kicking her in the back. Camel Clutch by Mayu but it gets broken up, Mayu throws Natsupoi into the corner and delivers a dropkick for two. Mayu tags Hazuki, scoop slam by Hazuki and she gives Natsupoi bootscrapes near the ropes followed by a big boot. Hazuki clubs on Natsupoi but Natsupoi flips out of the snapmare and hits a crossbody. She manages to tag in Himeka, shoulderblocks by Himeka but Koguma runs in to break up the Argentine Backbreaker. Himeka shoulderblocks both of them but Hazuki hits a Codebreaker before making the tag to Mayu.
Running strike by Mayu in the corner and she follows that with a sliding kick for a two count. Natsupoi and Maika come in to try to help but Mayu hits a springboard double armdrag on both of them, double dropkick by Mayu but Himeka attacks Mayu from behind. Himeka grabs the ladder and sets it up, she climbs it but Mayu climbs up the other side and the two trade blows at the top of it. Himeka jumps off and runs to Mayu’s side, she gets Mayu on her shoulders and hits a Samoan Drop. The referee gets the ladder out of the way while Maika is tagged in, lariat by Maika to Mayu in the corner and she hits the Fallaway Slam for two. Maika picks up Mayu but Mayu slides away and delivers two kicks for a quick cover. Mayu gets the ladder and sets it up near the corner, she goes to the top of the ladder but Maika recovers and joins her. Superplex by Maika off the ladder down to the mat, Maika slowly cover Mayu but Koguma breaks it up. Maika picks up Mayu and nails the cross-arm STO, but Mayu barely kicks out. Maika goes off the ropes but Hazuki hits her with a pump kick, cutter by Koguma and they throw Maika into the corner against the ladder. Catapult dropkick by Mayu, she then climbs up the ladder in the corner and nails the moonsault for the three count! Maika is eliminated.
Natsupoi comes in as the legal wrestler with a diving crossbody, she picks up Mayu but Mayu superkicks her into the corner with the ladder propped against it. She tags in Koguma, Koguma hits a body avalanche in the corner followed by a cutter for two. Koguma gets the ladder out of the corner and sets it up in the middle of the ring, she climbs it but Himeka grabs her from behind. All five wrestlers end up trying to climb the ladder at the same time, which naturally doesn’t work and all five end up back on the mat. The action spills out of the ring, Natsupoi goes to the top turnbuckle and dives out but accidentally lands on her own teammates. STARS quickly get back into the ring, they set up the ladder near the ropes and Koguma climbs to the top, diving down onto all three members of DDM. Hazuki and Mayu then get a running start in the ring and hit stereo tope suicidas, Natsupoi is rolled back into the ring while Koguma goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, but Himeka breaks up the cover. Koguma picks up Natsupoi but Natsupoi blocks the suplex attempt and hits a release German of her own. Natsupoi tags in Himeka, Himeka picks up Koguma but Koguma cradles her for two. Koguma goes off the ropes but Himeka levels her with a lariat, she gets Koguma on her shoulders before slamming her to the mat. Hazuki breaks up the cover with the ladder, Koguma recovers first and goes up top but Himeka runs over and grabs her before she can jump off. Koguma blocks the powerbomb attempt and goes for a slam, but Himeka gets out of it and clubs on Koguma’s back. Lariat by Himeka, and she covers Koguma for the three count! Koguma is eliminated.
Hazuki comes in and boots Himeka in the face, Himeka falls in her corner and tags in Natsupoi, who promptly dropkicks Hazuki. She goes for another one but Hazuki boots her in the face, Mayu comes in and they double team Natsupoi. Double boot to Natsupoi, Hazuki picks her up and hits the Michinoku Driver for a two count. Hazuki sets up the ladder and starts climbing it, but Natsupoi grabs her from being and drops her with a German suplex. Natsupoi starts climbing but Mayu grabs her, Himeka gets Mayu up in a powerbomb position and Natsupoi dives off the ladder with a crossbody onto Mayu. Natsupoi sets the ladder back up and climbs it, but Hazuki hits a swandive boot on the ladder to knock her off. Hazuki goes to get the ladder but Himeka comes up from behind and hits a backdrop suplex. Mayu comes in but Himeka plants her with a lariat, Himeka helps Natsupoi climb the ladder while Maika holds the ladder still, and Natsupoi gets the briefcase! DDM win the match, the money, and retain the championship!
This match just had way too much going on. It didn’t need to be both a ladder match and an elimination match and I don’t see what being an elimination match added to it except it gave the wrestlers an excuse to go for covers. The fact two were eliminated had no bearing on the results and it gave the match almost two halves, where for a bulk of it they wrestled it as just a straight match before remembering the ladder, which then was heavily featured in the second half. There were still positives though – the wrestlers have great chemistry and the “big” ladder spots all went off without a hitch. Since ladder matches are rare in Joshi, it does add a layer of excitement and I was impressed by Koguma’s fearlessness. I still mostly enjoyed myself watching this as they kept the action up and they are great wrestlers, but it was just over-gimmicked and had so much going on it distracted from the match. Mildly Recommended