Event: Stardom Queen’s Fes 2019
Date: February 17th, 2019
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 820
I haven’t done a review in quite awhile but with the excitement over Stardom I felt it was time to hop back into it. A lot has changed in Stardom since my last review back in September. Utami Hayashishita has officially made her presence felt in Stardom as she has won multiple championships and is already main eventing her 4th Korakuen Hall event. Oedo Tai has been teasing a new member who will debut on this show, plus Hazuki is well into her reign as High Speed Champion with her second defense tonight. Here is the full card:
I am watching the show on Samurai TV which is a two hour program, so there may be clipping. All the wrestlers have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their names above to go straight to it (including X if you want to spoil the surprise). Let’s get to it.
Hanan and Starlight Kid vs. Hina and Rina vs. Leo Onozaki and Saya Iida
As is the tradition in Stardom, we kick off the show with a rookie battle (while not all of them are in their first year, typically wrestlers under or around 18 are still referred to as such). Saya Iida is the newest wrestler of the bunch, while Hina and Rina are the little sisters of Hanan. Starlight Kid is the star of the match, as she is 18ish years old and a former champion in Stardom. Leo is finally returning after a break due to injury, so she will look to get back into ring shape as she battles children.
The first three in are Saya, Starlight Kid, and Hina, they do a triple knuckle lock and Saya ends up in a double wristlock. Starlight Kid and Hina knock down Saya and all three take turns schoolboying each other with no luck. Hanan, Leo, and Rina tag in, Leo is isolated in the corner and everyone come sin to dropkick her (except her teammate of course). Saya eventually comes in to help but gets tied up in the ropes instead with Leo, double STO by Hina and Rina and with Hanan they all put Leo in a submission hold. Saya recovers to help her partner break out of the holds, Leo and Rina trade strikes until Leo elbows Rina to the mat for two. She tags in Saya, Saya dropkicks Hanan and Rina before putting Rina in a crab hold, but Rina gets to the ropes for the break. Hanan comes in and trades elbows with Saya, but Hina helps her out and puts Saya in a camel clutch. Hanan goes off the ropes but dropkicks her sister, she tags in Starlight Kid and Starlight Kid hits a standing moonsault onto Hina. Saya breaks up her cover but Starlight Kid dropkicks her, Leo runs in and knocks Starlight Kid in the corner before hitting a cutter. Saya covers Starlight Kid, but the pin is broken up. Rina and Hina judo toss Leo and Saya, they grab Hanan but Hanan avoids their charge and Starlight Kid hits a diving crossbody off the top onto both of them. Tiger Feint Kick by Starlight Kid onto Saya, STO by Hanan and Starlight Kid nails a cyclone suplex, but her cover is broken up. Starlight Kid quickly goes up top and nails a swivel body press on Saya, and she picks up the three count! Hanan and Starlight Kid win.
My main thought going into this match is it was a waste of Starlight Kid, who has really turned it on the last six months, but at least she was featured and got to show off a bit. Rina and Hina at times cooperating with their sister made sense, although ultimately didn’t stick, and aside from a few minor hiccups everything went smoothly. This match could be reduced to just a long GIF and you’d get everything needed, but a perfectly fine opener to get some of the younger wrestlers some experience.
Alex Gracia and Saki Kashima vs. Bobbi Tyler and Hana Kimura
This match features two of the latest gaijin flavors of the month, as Stardom always has some fresh blood on each tour. Alex is a relatively new wrestler hailing from Texas, this is the biggest exposure of her young career. Bobbi is a bit more experienced but is only 22 years old, she is from UK and has formed a solid relationship with Hana. Saki Kashima returned to Stardom last March but has recently lost her place, as she was Mayu’s primary tag team partner until Arisa Hoshiki came back so now she is wrestling on the undercard. Hana Kimura is the star of the match and will likely be the focus, normally she is in bigger matches but sometimes the cookie doesn’t crumble just right so she’ll do her best to show off in a match that will be forgotten within minutes of it ending.
Saki and Hana start things off, they trade elbows in the ropes until Saki knocks down Hana with a dropkick. Alex comes in and they hit a double face crusher onto Hana, Saki goes off the ropes but Bobbi hits her from the apron and Hana delivers a dropkick. Slam by Hana, Bobbi gets in the ring and Saki is double teamed. Bobbi gets back on the apron so that Hana can tag her in, Bobbi slowly wears down Saki but Saki gets away and hits a tilt-a-whirl armdrag followed by a dropkick. That gives her time to tag in Alex, dropkicks by Alex but Bobbi avoids the Tiger Feint Kick, Bobbi charges Alex but Alex moves out of the way and hits a Backstabber for two. Shining Wizard by Alex, but Bobbi barely gets a shoulder up. Bobbi fires back with a superkick and tags in Hana while Saki is also tagged in, Saki ducks Hana’s boots and hits a dropkick, covering her for two. Saki goes off the ropes and hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, Alex runs in with a Tiger Feint Kick and Saki finishes Hana with a double arm suplex hold, but Bobbi breaks it up. Saki goes off the ropes but Hana catches her with a dropkick, running boot by Hana and she nails Saki with a second one. Hana picks up Saki but Saki sneaks in an inside cradle for two, Hana quickly grabs Saki again and hits a vertical suplex. Saki gets away and tags in Alex, neck snaps by Alex to Hana and she covers her for two. Alex goes off the ropes but Bobbi runs in with a ropes-assisted reverse STO, double vertical suplex to Alex and Hana boots her in the head. Hana goes up top and nails the missile dropkick, cover by Hana and she gets the three count! Hana Kimura and Bobbi Tyler win!
If this match is any indication it is understandable why Saki was knocked back down the card a bit, she just isn’t as fluid as most other Stardom wrestlers and at times felt a bit out of place. Generally the action was fine but uninspired, Bobbi and Alex both looked solid and Hana got her spots in, but outside of some fun moments there wasn’t anything memorable. For just casual undercard fodder it was good enough but no one really stood out which is usually all you can hope for in this situation.
Jamie Hayter vs. Konami
Of the gaijin talent on this tour, Jamie Hayter has risen to the top and thus gets a slightly more high profile singles match at Korakuen Hall. Hayter is from the UK and is 23 years old, this is her second Stardom tour and challenged Momo Watanabe few weeks prior for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. Konami is a member of Queen’s Quest and sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, but is a talented young wrestler as well., On paper this is a pretty even match and a decent spot for both on the show.
Jamie gets Konami to the mat first but can’t do anything meaningful as they return to their feet, snapmare by Konami and she kicks Jamie in the back. Jamie returns the favor but Konami does it to her again before connecting with a sliding kick for two. Konami goes off the ropes but Jamie catches her with an uppercut and a running knee, she puts Konami in a half camel clutch but lets her go and kicks stomps her against the ropes. Jamie tosses Konami to the mat and kicks her in the back, quick cover but it gets a two count. Jamie picks up Konami and knocks her into the corner, Jamie goes for a jumping knee but Konami moves and hits an elbow. Jamie suplexes Konami into the turnbuckles and nails a running knee, cover by Jamie but Konami kicks out. Jamie sits on Konami in the ropes, back in the middle of the ring she hits a few hard strikes but Konami comes back with a springboard kick to the chest. Konami picks up Jamie, kicks by Konami and she knocks Jamie to the mat. Sliding kick by Konami, she goes out to the apron and dropkicks Jamie while her head is hanging over the ropes. Cross armbreaker by Konami into a choke but Jamie buckle bombs out of it, Irish whip by Jamie but Konami hops on the top turnbuckle and applies a hanging armbar. Jamie powerbombs out of the hold again, Jamie charges Konami but Konami catches her arm and applies a cross armbreaker. Jamie fights off Konami and hits a side slam onto her knee, high kick by Jamie and she delivers a backdrop suplex hold for two. Knees by Jamie, she goes off the ropes and nails the sliding knee but Konami barely kicks out of the cover. Jamie picks up Konami but Konami slides away, she goes for a suplex but Jamie elbows out of it and hits a German suplex hold of her own for two. Knees by Jamie, she gets Konami on her shoulders but Konami slides off and puts Jamie in the Triangle Lancer, leading to the quick tap out! Konami is the winner.
It started slow as Jamie’s opening control segment wasn’t overly interesting, but once they got through that I enjoyed it. The build-up into the match was that the Triangle Lancer always wins matches for Konami, so her goal was to weaken Jamie enough to get it applied. Which worked out for her, helping put over both Konami and the move in the process. I really liked Jamie’s reversals to get out of sticky situations and her knees were on point, I haven’t seen a lot of her but she was impressive here. Konami still needs to show more in-ring charisma and presence but from a skill-level she is ready for a bigger push in Stardom, technically speaking this match was really well done and a fun watch. Mildly Recommended
(c) Hazuki vs. AZM
High Speed Championship
Hazuki won the High Speed Championship on December 24th, 2018 against Mary Apache and is making her second defense here against the young AZM. AZM is only 16 years old but has been wrestling since 2013, this is the first time she has challenged for a singles title aside from the Future of Stardom Championship. Hazuki has been on a real tear in the last six months, asserting herself as someone that should not be cast aside as she has improved every faucet of her game. The young AZM may not be much of a threat but this will give her an opportunity to show her continued growth.
Hazuki and AZM immediately get to it with a high speed exchange (fitting considering the title) which ends with an AZM dropkick and kip-up. AZM goes off the ropes but Hazuki trips her and hits a slingshot footstomp to her back. Irish whip by Hazuki, AZM goes for a dropkick but Hazuki shrugs it off and boots her in the chest. Bootscrapes by Hazuki against the ropes followed by a running boot, scoop slam by Hazuki but AZM kicks out of the cocky cover. AZM fires back with elbows but Hazuki knocks her back down, Irish whip by Hazuki but AZM applies a tilt-a-whirl armbar. AZM rolls Hazuki to the mat and hits a dropkick, kicks by AZM and she starts working on Hazuki’s arm. Short armbar by AZM but Hazuki gets to the ropes, back up they trade elbows until AZM sneaks in a few flash covers for two counts. Vertical suplex by AZM, she gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Dropkick by AZM in the corner, she goes all the way up this time and hits a diving footstomp, but Hazuki kicks out of the cover. AZM goes for a tilt-a-whirl armbar but Hazuki pushes her off, AZM rolls Hazuki to the mat and goes off the ropes again and this time applies La Mística, but she lets go after a moment when Hazuki doesn’t submit. AZM goes for the triple jump crossbody out of the corner but Hazuki kicks her before she can jump off and hits a running elbow in the corner. Sliding kick by Hazuki, but AZM kicks out of the cover. Armtrap crossface by Hazuki but AZM gets a foot on the ropes, Hazuki charges AZM but AZM snaps off a hurricanrana. AZM goes for a kick but Hazuki ducks it and delivers a Pump Kick, running boot by Hazuki and she hits a Michinoku Driver. Brainbuster by Hazuki, and she picks up the three count! Hazuki is still the High Speed Champion!
I didn’t love this as much as some but it was a decent mid-level title match. Hazuki wasn’t losing here so it was more about AZM putting up a fight to show she wasn’t just a throw-away defense, and while I liked the arm/shoulder work I wouldn’t have minded if Hazuki had shown more damage from it since it was such a focus of the match. They had one noticeable mistake with them slipping on the first La Mística attempt but they covered for it well which is all you can ask for, and Hazuki adding the Brainbuster to her list of deadly moves was a nice touch. More good than bad overall and a good effort by both. Mildly Recommended
Jungle Kyona and Natsuko Tora vs. Kagetsu and X (Andras Miyagi)
For a month leading up to this event, Oedo Tai kept teasing they had a surprise new member coming that would debut on this event. Some clues tipped off fans it may be Andras Miyagi (formally known as Cassandra Miyagi) and that turned out to be true, as the former Sendai Girls’ wrestler joins the nefarious Stardom faction! She’ll fit in fine. To be sacrificed to the newest member of Oedo Tai are Jungle Kyona and Natsuko Tora, who are former Goddesses of Stardom Champions but play a much different role here as they will help put over the new and improved Oedo Tai.
Kyona and Natsuko attack their opponents before the bell rings to get the upper hand, Kagetsu is isolated in the ring and double teamed by both members of the Jungle Assault Nation. Natsuko and Jungle are pulled out of the ring by other Oedo Tai members as the action spills out into the crowd, with Miyagi attacking Jungle with chairs. Kagetsu and Miyagi get back in the ring with Natsuko and double team her, Miyagi tags in as the legal wrestler and she scoop slams Natsuko near the corner. She tags in Kagetsu as they go back and forth on Natsuko, Kagetsu spits water in everyone’s face (except Miyagi of course) before Miyagi returns to the ring to choke Natsuko in the corner. Miyagi forces Natsuko to head bang with her before elbowing her in the corner and hitting a bulldog for a two count. Miyagi goes off the ropes but Natsuko catches her with a spinebuster and tags in Jungle. Jungle and Miyagi trade shoulderblock attempts until Miyagi sends Jungle to the mat, Kagetsu comes in but Jungle blocks the double suplex attempt and suplexes both of her opponents instead. Sliding lariat by Jungle to Miyagi followed by a slingshot body splash for a two count. Jungle tags Natsuko back in, Natsuko slams Miyagi to the mat and applies a submission, but it gets broken up. Jungle returns and elbows Miyagi into the corner, Miyagi flips herself out to the apron and snaps Jungle’s neck on the top rope.
Miyagi jumps back into the ring and dropkicks Jungle before tagging in Kagetsu, Kagetsu charges Jungle but Jungle moves as Natsuko comes in. Kagetsu dropkicks both of them and hits a slingshot dropkick onto Jungle, picking up a two count. Kagetsu applies a submission on Jungle but Jungle gets out of it and hits a powerslam, sliding lariats by Jungle but Kagetsu kicks out of the cover. High kick by Kagetsu but Jungle fires back with a lariat and both wrestlers are down on the mat. Natsuko and Miyagi tag in, elbows by Natsuko but Miyagi boots her in the head. Natsuko goes for a spear but Miyagi blocks it and hits a DDT, Kagetsu comes in and Natsuko is double teamed. Miyagi goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Miyagi but Jungle breaks it up. Miyagi goes off the ropes but Natsuko elbows her, Miyagi elbows her back but Jungle runs in and hits a lariat. Spear by Natsuko, Kagetsu tries to come in and help but Jungle elbows her in the face. Kagetsu and Miyagi are put in opposite corners and hit with strikes, Natsuko and Jungle go up to opposite corners and both hit diving body presses. Natsuko picks up Miyagi and hits a swinging side slam, but Kagetsu breaks up the cover. Jungle and Natsuko grab Miyagi and hit a double suplex, Natsuko goes up top and hits the body press before hitting a second one, but Kagetsu breaks it up by spitting green mist in her face. She spits it at Jungle as well before getting a sign and hitting Natsuko in the head with it, Samoan Driver by Miyagi to Natsuko but Natsuko barely gets a shoulder up. Miyagi goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the Senton Bomb, cover by Miyagi and she picks up the three count! Kagetsu and Andras Miyagi win!
Just considering the in-ring action itself, this was pretty standard, but for storyline reasons it was a necessary way to introduce Miyagi with a win in her debut with Oedo Tai. Natsuko Tora is still a bit clunky and at 28 years old has probably reached her height in the promotion, however she is fine in matches like this where there is no pressure for her to be memorable. Miyagi was solid, she’s not a high end technician but has impactful strikes and a great character. An exciting development for the promotion to be sure and a decent enough match to debut her to a new crowd. Mildly Recommended
(c) Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashishita vs. AMA (Arisa Hoshiki and Mayu Iwatani)
Goddesses of Stardom Championship
Time for the main event! For the third time in four events, the Goddesses of Stardom Championship is defended in the main event of Korakuen Hall, just showing the amount of faith that Stardom has in Momo and Utami. Utami Hayashishita is the type of Joshi rookie that doesn’t come around very often, a natural in the ring that connects with the crowd in a meaningful way. Stardom is smart to push her to the moon instead of making her open matches for a year, when you have a talent like her you take full advantage. Momo is no slouch either of course and holds the Wonder of Stardom Championship, down the road these two will have a killer feud to find the true Ace of Stardom. Challenging for the title are fan favorite Mayu Iwatani, one of the best bumpers in the business, and the newly returned Arisa Hoshiki. Up to these point this event hasn’t produced any must-see matches so I hope these two teams can deliver.
Momo and Arisa start things off, they exchange kicks until Arisa knocks Momo to the mat. Elbows by Arisa, Mayu runs in to stomp Momo and she cuts off Utami when she tries to help her partner. Momo and Utami eat dropkicks, Arisa tags in Mayu and Mayu kicks Momo in the back before hitting a standing body press. AMA stays in control on Momo until Momo slaps a kneelock on Arisa while Utami plays defense. Momo picks up Arisa but Arisa pushes her back and they trade elbows, they knock each other into their respective corners and both tag out. Mayu tries to shoulderblock Utami over but is unable to do so, hard shoulderblock by Utami but Mayu connects with a kick combination followed by a spinning elbow. Dropkick by Utami, Momo comes in and they drop Mayu with a double flapjack. Utami tags Momo back in, dropkicks by Momo in the corner and she hits a missile dropkick off the second turnbuckle for two. Side slam by Momo and she delivers the Somato, but Mayu kicks out. Momo gets back on the second turnbuckle but Mayu recovers and joins her, hitting a Frankensteiner. Sliding Knee by Mayu, and she covers Momo for a two count. Scoop slam by Mayu in front of the corner, she goes up top but Utami hits her from behind.
Mayu kicks Utami in the head and hits a slingshot dropkick onto Momo, Momo and Mayu trade elbows until Mayu sneaks in a hurricanrana. Kick to the head by Mayu and she tags Arisa, Arisa boots Utami off the apron before nailing Momo with a jumping knee. Arisa goes up top but Momo avoids the 1399 and hits a diving Somato for two. Momo picks up Arisa, Arisa gets away but Utami runs in judo tosses her to the mat. Buzzsaw Kick by Momo, but Arisa kicks out. Utami goes up top and delivers a missile dropkick, B Driver by Momo but Mayu breaks up the pin. Arisa recovers, Mayu runs in and superkicks Momo and Arisa pushes Momo out of the ring before hitting a jumping kick off the apron to the floor. Arisa gets Momo back in, Brazilian Kick by Arisa but Utami barely breaks up the cover. Arisa picks up Momo and hits a running double knee, but it only gets two. Mayu goes up top and hits a diving crossbody on Momo, 1399 by Arisa but Momo barely kicks out again. Back up, Momo gets in a high kick and hits the Tequila Sunrise, but Mayu breaks it up. Utami runs in, she puts Mayu on her shoulders before spinning her around into a release German suplex. Momo picks Arisa up and nails the Peach Sunrise, and she picks up the three count! Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashishita are still the champions.
While this didn’t reach the levels I was hoping, it was still a really entertaining match. Mayu is just a bump machine, she makes all offense against her look deadly and if I was a wrestler I would love to have matches against her as I know win or lose I’d come out looking great. Arisa is a few steps above Saki Kashima so I am glad that she passed her on the STARS hierarchy, she still is the least smooth of the four in the match but didn’t hold anyone back either. My main complaint is that Utami was only the legal wrestler for less than two minutes, it was the Momo show and while I like Momo I wanted to see more of the Super Rookie. The ending was also really sudden, Arisa was kicking Momo’s ass and suddenly Momo hits a few moves and its over. I would have liked a longer end stretch, maybe a comeback attempt by Arisa to make it feel more fleshed out. The match was under 15 minutes so they still had some time to spare. Anyway, the action itself was great fun and these are four of the best that Stardom has to offer, it just didn’t have that epic feel you may hope for from a Korakuen Hall main event. Recommended
For a Korakuen Hall event, generally the biggest show each month from Stardom, this was a little disappointing. On the plus side, their roster is so much deeper now than it was in 2016/2017 that from top to bottom there wasn’t really a bad match. The bulk of the card hovered at least at the “solid” line which makes it an easy watch if you are a full-show kind of person like I am. The downside here is the lack of high end match. Nothing went longer than 15 minutes and four of the matches were sub-10, which is more house-show type limitations then what you’d expect on their televised shows. The main event was entertaining but didn’t have the feel of a big match, even though the work itself was really good. All things considered not a bad offering, just not at the level I was hoping considering the stage.