Event: Stardom Shining Destiny 2019
Date: June 16th, 2019
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 890
As I stated during my last Stardom review, even though in general I am behind in reviews I want to make sure all the Korakuen Hall Stardom events are covered in a timely manner. Stardom Shining Destiny 2019 was a big event for the promotion, with three championship matches! Here is the full card:
All the wrestlers above have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their names to go straight to it. I am reviewing the Samurai TV! version of this show, so some matches may be clipped.
Hina vs. Leo Onozaki
Rookie battle time! They aren’t technically rookies but they are still treated as such. Leo is 25 years old while Hina is 12 years old, but both are on the same level which isn’t a great sign for Leo’s career. Still, she has a lot of passion at least. These two aren’t moving up anytime soon but hopefully they can put on a cohesive match to warm up the crowd.
We join this one a bit in progress as they trade elbows, Leo goes off the ropes but Hina tosses her to the mat. STO by Hina, and she covers Leo for two. Scoop slam by Hina and she goes for a cross armbreaker, but Leo keeps her hands locked until she makes it into the ropes. Hina picks up Leo but Leo throws her into the corner, jumping elbow by Leo and she hits a cutter. Cover by Leo, but it gets two. Leo goes for a slam but Hina blocks it, Hina goes for a dropkick but Leo swats it out of the way. Hina doe the same to her and they trade flash pins until Leo holds down Hina for the three count! Leo Onozaki wins.
When you need a flash pin to beat a 12 year old, probably not a good sign for your long term career. This was a short match that was clipped even shorter, nothing wrong with it but too short and basic to get excited about. Not much to see here, unless you just really want to see their gradual improvement.
Bobbi Tyler, Death Yama-san, and Ruaka vs. Kashima, Iida, and Zoe Lucas
The faction wars begin, as Tokyo Cyber Squad takes on STARS. These are the lower ranking wrestlers in each faction, combined with a visiting gaijin to spice things up. I love Bobbi so I wish she was in something better for the show, but for the few minutes of this match we will see it should be entertaining.
TCS won’t shake hands before the match so they get jumped from behind, Yama-san is isolated in the ring and triple teamed. We jump ahead to Ruaka and Saya in the ring, dropkick by Saya and she tags in Saki. Saki boots Ruaka in the head, Bobbi and Yama-san run in but Saki beats up all three of them. Saki picks up Ruaka and hits a butterfly suplex for a two count. Irish whip by Saki but Ruaka hits a jumping crossbody, that gives her time to tag in Bobbi but Saki grabs her wrist and hits a springboard hurricanrana. She tags in Zoe, Zoe is elbowed into the corner and Bobbi hits a pair of running elbows. Zoe avoids the third and boots Bobbi in the corner, cover by Zoe but it gets two. Zoe picks up Bobbi but Bobbi hits an enzuigiri, Zoe kicks her back however and both wrestlers end up on the mat. They crawl to their corners as Yama-san and Saya are tagged in, dropkicks by Saya and she covers Yama-san for a two count. Saki comes in and she elbows Yama-san in the corner, Saya follows with a dropkick by Saki hits a face crusher. Dropkick by Saya, she goes off the ropes but Yama-san knees her in the stomach. Yama-san picks up Saya but Saya rolls her up and the two trade flash pins. Zoe kicks Saya in the head, schoolboy by Yama-san and she gets the three count! Tokyo Cyber Squad are the winners.
I guess the swerve here is that Zoe Lucas joined Tokyo Cyber Squad, since Zoe wasn’t drafted she isn’t officially affiliated with STARS so this doesn’t break the draft mechanism. A short match slightly clipped to be even shorter and Saya Iida was the focus, which is fine but she obviously isn’t as good as most the other wrestlers. Even in this brief match she messed up a few times, she’s still learning. The match in general was pretty rough around the edges. Best to be forgotten, aside from Zoe Lucas’ heel turn.
AZM and Bea Priestley vs. Mayu Iwatani and Starlight Kid
Another faction skirmish, as Queen’s Quest goes up against STARS. The wrestler quality has gone up as we advance on the card, but this is really low for Mayu Iwatani. One of the “issues” with Stardom is they have created a lot of upper mid-card wrestlers, so sometimes stars like Mayu and Bea end up down here with the children. Still, it is the best children that Stardom has in AZM and Starlight Kid, who have great chemistry with each other. Even with the match placement, with enough time these four can have a great match.
Starlight Kid and AZM start the match, they go into a fast exchange until Starlight Kid dropkicks AZM to the mat. Mayu runs in and they Irish whip AZM, but Bea comes in and dropkicks both of them. Scoop slam by AZM to Starlight Kid and she stomps down on her arm before tagging in Bea. Armbreaker by Bea and she stomps down on Starlight Kid’s elbow, she tags AZM back in and AZM elbows Starlight Kid repeatedly in the chest. Irish whip by AZM but Starlight Kid rebounds off the ropes with a crossbody for two. She tags in Mayu, dropkick by Mayu and she throws AZM into the corner. Irish whip by Mayu, reversed, but rolls AZM to the mat before hitting a dropkick. Bea returns, double Irish whip to Mayu but Mayu grabs their wrists and hits a double springboard armdrag. Standing moonsaults by Starlight Kid and Mayu, cover by Mayu to AZM but it gets two. Elbows by Mayu to AZM, Irish whip to the corner but AZM hits a triple jump crossbody. AZM rolls to her corner and tags Bea, Irish whip by Bea to the corner, reversed by Mayu but Mayu jumps out of the corner and hits a jumping knee. She rolls Mayu to the mat and applies a scissored armbar, but Mayu wiggles to the ropes and gets there for the break.
Bea puts Mayu against the ropes but Mayu avoids the Bea-Trigger, kicks by Mayu but Bea kicks her in the head. Superkick by Mayu, she kicks Bea against and makes it to her corner to tag Starlight Kid. Starlight Kid dropkicks Bea in the corner, jumping lariat by Starlight Kid and she covers Bea for two. Starlight Kid picks up Bea but Bea swings away, Starlight Kid goes off the ropes but Bea blocks the tilt-a-whirl DDT. Mayu superkicks Bea, swinging neckbreaker by Starlight Kid and she goes up top, nailing a swivel body press. Cover by Starlight Kid, but Bea barely kicks out. Starlight Kid jumps on Bea’s back but Bea pushes her off, AZM tries to help but she kicks Bea by accident. Yoshi Tonic by Starlight Kid, but it gets a two count. A cradle by Starlight Kid gets the same result, she picks up Bea and goes off the ropes, but Bea nails her with the Bea-Trigger. Diving footstomp by AZM, Bea finishes with a PK but Starlight Kid kicks out of the cover. Bea picks up Starlight Kid and delivers the Regal-Plex, but Mayu breaks it up. AZM takes care of Mayu, Bea picks up Starlight Kid and goes goes the Queen’s Landing, but Starlight Kid reverses it into a cradle for two. High kick by Bea, she picks up Starlight Kid and delivers the Queen’s Landing for the three count! AZM and Bea Priestley win!
I know that the official Stardom account on Reddit has said that Starlight Kid’s place in the promotion is limited due to her height, but I think they’d be making a big mistake blocking her growth as she is already so smooth at the age of 17 or 18. She tends to be the highlight of any match she is in, which is saying something when Mayu and Bea are in the match as well. Aside from a moment or two of awkwardness, everything worked well here as both Mayu and Starlight Kid have offense that looks great and are capable of making other wrestler’s offense look great as well. There wasn’t much of a story here, just two teams wasting no time as there was constant action. A fun midcard match, and if Starlight Kid keeps wrestling after graduating and the promotion doesn’t hold her back, she could be a big star in just a few years. Recommended
(c) Hana Kimura, Kyona, and Konami vs. Andras Miyagi, Kagetsu, and Natsu Sumire
Artist of Stardom Championship
Tokyo Cyber Squad won the titles on May 16th from STARS, and this is their first defense of the titles. This defense is logical, as Hana Kimura and Kagetsu still have their issues, ever since Hana turned her back on Oedo Tai last summer. Rossy had mentioned wanting to give the trios titles more attention, and he seems to be doing so. While the titles are unlikely to change hands on the first defense, with Oedo Tai you never know what will happen.
TCS attacks Oedo Tai before the match starts and the brawl is on, the action spills to the outside and both teams take turns being in control. Hana and Kyona get in the ring with Andras and double team her, Konami joins in the fun too and all three pose on her. Hana and Konami go off the ropes but are tripped from the floor, leaving Andras along in the ring with Kyona. Andras flings down Kyona by the hair and tags in Kagetsu, Natsu also comes in and they both lariat Kyona. Cover by Kagetsu, but it gets a two count. Kagetsu picks up Kyona and tags Natsu, Natsu has her whip and she hits Kyona with it. The referee gets rid of the whip, Natsu gets Kyona in the corner and she hits the Bronco Buster. We clip ahead to Andras being in the ring with Kyona, headbutt by Andras and she hits a front dropkick. Kyona fires back with a lariat and both wrestlers are down on the mat, they roll to their corners and tag in Kagetsu and Hana. Kagetsu and Hana trade elbows, kicks by Hana and she boots Kagetsu in the face. Kagetsu elbows Hana back but Hana starts to put her in the Ground Manjikatame. She reverts it into a seated armbar but Kagetsu wiggles to the ropes and gets the break.
Hana picks up Kagetsu but Andras spits water in her face, Natsu runs in and boots Hana before Kagetsu hits a vertical suplex. Hana stops Kagetsu from tagging out and tags in Konami, Konami goes for the Triangle Lancer but Kagetsu blocks it and tags in Natsu. Natsu comes in with a diving crossbody, Kyona runs in and lariats Natsu, allowing Konami to cover her for two. Natsu is triple teamed before Konami kicks her in the head, but Andras breaks up the cover. Konami applies the Triangle Lancer but Kagetsu and Andras both break it up, they stay in the ring and take turns striking Konami. Natsu ends it with a neck drop, bridging suplex by Natsu and she gets a two count. Natsu applies a dragon sleeper but Konami reverses it, Andras runs in and dropkicks Konami before Natsu hits her with a Shining Wizard, Natsu picks up Konami and nails the capture brainbuster, but Kyona breaks up the cover. Natsu picks up Konami and kicks at her, she goes off the ropes but Konami ducks her boot. Natsu ducks her anyway and goes for a cover, but she didn’t notice that Hana had tagged herself in (neither did I). Hana hits a front dropkick and boots Natsu while she is against the ropes, another boot by Hana and she covers Natsu for two.
Hana picks up Natsu but Natsu blocks the suplex attempt and schoolboys Hana for two. She tags in Kagetsu, but Hana doesn’t notice so she gets hit by Kagetsu from behind with a sign board. Ebisu Drop by Kagetsu, but Hana gets a shoulder up on the cover. Kagetsu picks up Hana and nails he chokeslam, but Kyona breaks up the pin. She drags her up again and hits an Ebisu Drop in front of the corner, she goes up top but Konami kicks her from the apron. Kyona comes in and powerbombs Kagetsu, running boot by Hana to Kagetsu but Andras breaks up the pin. Natsu and Andras take care of Konami and Kyona, they throw Hana out of the ring before Andras and Kagetsu both hit dives out of the ring. Kagetsu gets on the top rope while Hana is dragged back into the ring, Oedo Coaster by Kagetsu but Hana barely kicks out. Kagetsu drags up Hana but Hana slides off her shoulders, Kagetsu nails her with a big boot and covers her for two. Hana quickly applies the Ground Manjikatame, Kagetsu struggles but she has no choice but to submit! Tokyo Cyber Squad retains the titles!
This was really good but it didn’t blow me away. It was slightly clipped but nothing too excessive, I think we got the gist of it. The best thing about the match, oddly, is they seemed to go out of their way to put over Natsu which was a good idea as she appeared to be the weak link in the match. That gave her some legitimacy, which she needed since a lot of times she is a comedy act or fighting against the kids. Hana looked great and may be in line for a bigger push soon. I didn’t love the ending though, Kagetsu was in the submission for a really long time, much longer than you’d expect in a six woman match without having a partner break it up, I’d have preferred a faster tap-out. An entertaining fast paced match with a lot of action, it just didn’t do anything special to elevate itself to the next level. Mildly Recommended
(c) Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashishita vs. Hazuki and Natsuko Tora
Goddesses of Stardom Championship
This title went undefended for awhile when Utami was out due to injury, but she has returned so we are jumping back into it. Utami and Momo won the titles back in November of 2018, they were very active defenders until Utami’s injury so this is still their 5th defense. They face off against Oedo Tai, its an interesting combination as even though Hazuki and Natsuko share the same faction they don’t usually pair up together. But since Kagetsu and Andras were in the last match, these two get the honor of trying to win the titles. This is just Utami’s third match since returning, so hopefully she has knocked off all her ring rust for their big title defense.
Utami and Natsuko start the match, they tie-up until Utami gets Natsuko in the ropes, but Natsuko pushes her away. Natsuko gets Utami to the mat and they jockey for position, Natsuko applies a side headlock but Utami reverses it into a headscissors. Natsuko gets out of it and they return to their feet, both tag out and Hazuki immediately gets into it with Momo. Armdrag by Momo but Hazuki flings her to the mat, another armdrag by Momo but Natsuko kicks her from the apron and Hazuki delivers a dropkick. Elbows by Hazuki but Hazuki runs in and hits a judo toss, Somato by Momo but it gets a two count. Momo applies the crossface chickenwing but Natsuko breaks it up, Utami throws Natsuko out of the ring while Momo picks up Hazuki, but Hazuki blocks the B Driver and hits a Somato for two. Hazuki goes off the ropes but Momo hits a high kick, half and half suplex by Momo but Hazuki lands on her feet and applies La Magistral for two. We jump ahead but Hazuki and Momo are still in the ring, pump kick by Hazuki and both wrestlers are hurt on the mat. Hazuki makes the tag to Natsuko and she cuts off Momo, hitting a spear. Another spear by Natsuko and she hits a third, getting a two count cover. Natsuko throws Momo into the corner but Momo jumps up on the second turnbuckle and hits a Diving Somato.
Utami comes in and slams Natsuko, running Somato by Momo but Hazuki breaks up the cover. Hazuki stays in and kicks Momo, Momo kicks them both but is caught by a Code Breaker by Hazuki and a spear by Natsuko. Natsuko goes up top and hits a diving body press, but Utami breaks up he cover. Utami throws Hazuki out of the ring, she goes to Natsuko but Hazuki hits a swandive dropkick on both Momo and Utami. Natsuko grabs Momo and slams her in front of the corner, Natsuko goes up top and hits another diving body press followed by another one before Hazuki drops Momo with a brainbuster. Natsuko goes up top again and hit a third diving body press, but Momo gets a shoulder up on the cover. Natsuko picks up Momo and hits a swinging side slam, but again Momo kicks out. Natsuko picks up Momo but Momo elbows her, Natsuko fires back with a spear and goes up top, hitting a diving leg drop for a two count when Utami breaks it up. Hazuki comes in but Utami drops her with a release German, she hits Natsuko with a lariat and then assists Momo in delivering the B Driver. Momo waits for Natsuko to get up and hits a high kick, half and half suplex hold by Momo but Hazuki breaks up the pin. Momo picks up Natsuko and nails the Peach Sunrise, and she picks up the three count! Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashishita are still the champions.
Samurai TV did us no favors here, as a good chunk of the match was missing. What they showed was perfectly fine, all four are good to great wrestlers and they aren’t going to ever put on a bad match. I didn’t like how repetitive Natsuko’s offense was, she really needs more than just diving body presses and spears, hopefully if she is going to start getting title matches she will diversify her portfolio. I wanted to see more of Utami so of course she did very little with Momo doing the brunt of the work. Between the clipping and Natsuko’s unoriginality I can’t really say this needs to be sought out, but it was the hard hitting action you would expect.
(c) Arisa Hoshiki vs. Tam Nakano
World of Stardom Championship
Even though Arisa and Tam are both in STARS, they have not always seen eye to eye. In fact, Tam Nakano has been actively dismissive of Arisa since she returned to Stardom as there definitely appears to be some underlying jealousy or discontent on Tam’s side even though Arisa has tried to be her friend. All of this is to say even though they are faction-mates, this will not be a love fest. Arisa won the Cinderella Tournament in April and used her “wish” to challenge and defeat Momo Watanabe for the World of Stardom Championship in May. So it has been a busy few months for Arisa. This is her first defense of the title, as she faces the feisty striker Tam Nakano who is making her first Korakuen Hall solo main event appearance.
They are slow to lockup as they size each other up, Tam gets Arisa to the mat and they trade positions back and forth. Tam gets a grounded necklock applied and then puts Arisa in a side headlock, but Arisa gets out of it. Tam goes for Arisa’s ankle but Arisa gets away and applies a crab hold, Tam gets to the ropes however and forces the break. Arisa puts Tam in the corner and charges her, but Tam kicks her back and applies a dragon sleeper from the top rope. Tam dumps Arisa out to the apron and kicks her out of the ring, Tam goes up top and dives out onto Arisa with a plancha. Tam slides Arisa back in and kicks her into the corner, she twists Arisa’s leg around the bottom rope and twists it until the referee gets her to stop. Scoop slam by Tam and she applies a modified figure four, but Arisa gets to the ropes for the break. Tam drops a knee on Arisa’s leg, Arisa fights back with elbows but Tam slaps her in the face. Tam goes off the ropes but Arisa kicks her in the chest, Arisa quickly gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a diving kneedrop for a two count.
Arisa goes off the ropes but Tam avoids her kick, she cartwheels Arisa to the mat and applies a cross kneelock. Arisa gets in the ropes for the break, running knee by Tam and she hits a backdrop suplex. Tam goes up top but Arisa recovers and joins her, Arisa and Tam trade elbows until Arisa knees Tam in the head, sending her to the apron. Arisa joins Tam on the apron and hits a running double knee, but Tam bridges away and drops Arisa on the apron with a German suplex. Tam returns to the ring with Arisa slowly following, Tam and Arisa trade elbows until delivers a jumping kick. Arisa picks up Tam and delivers the Diamond Buster, she goes up top but Tam avoids the ADAMAS. Spinning kick by Tam, she goes up top and nails the Destiny Hammer but Arisa grabs her when she goes off the ropes. Tam wiggles away and kicks Arisa in the head, another head kick by Tam and she covers Arisa for two. Tam goes for a tiger suplex but Arisa blocks it, high kick by Arisa and she goes up top, delivering the 1399.
Arisa picks up Tam and hits a jumping kick, she goes up top and nails the ADAMAS, but Tam kicks out of the cover. Arisa picks up Tam bu Tam ducks the Brazilian Kick and hits a high kick instead. Sliding knee by Tam, but Arisa grabs the ropes to break up the cover. Tam picks up Arisa and nails the tiger suplex hold, but Arisa gets a shoulder up. Tam drags Arisa to her feet and goes for an arm trapped German, but Arisa gets into the ropes before she ca hit the move. Tam goes off the ropes but Arisa nails her in the head with a jumping knee. Brazilian Kick by Arisa, but she is slow to make the cover and Tam gets a shoulder up before the three count. They slowly get to their knees and trade elbows, more elbows by Arisa as they are on their feet but Tam delivers a high kick. Tam picks up Arisa and kicks her repeatedly in the head, she goes off the ropes but Arisa plants her with a jumping knee. Running knee by Arisa and she drops Tam with a Brazilian Kick for the three count! Arisa Hoshiki retains the championship.
There were tiny issues here and there that would prevent this from being the MOTY for me, but this was a fantastic match. Arisa Hoshiki has improved so much just this year, she wasn’t spamming the same moves like she did in the Momo match and all her knees were on point. Tam wasn’t quite as tight with her strikes as Arisa was but still put on the best singles match of her career, her leg work was well done (even if forgotten) and they mixed in big spots well to pop the crowd at the right moments. A few issues – the apron German led to just a 50/50 elbow spot which felt off, the leg work was never sold by Arisa for even a second when she wasn’t in a hold, and some of the Tam’s kicks whiffed. Still, far more good than bad here and the overall package was an entertaining and hard hitting match between two wrestlers trying to show they belong in the top tier of Stardom. Highly Recommended
While the overall effort was there, this wasn’t one of Stardom’s strongest offerings in 2019. Samurai TV may have done them no favors but its also possible they knew what they were doing, as the two matches that seemed the best were shown just about in full while everything else was clipped. The first two matches were throwaways, and only the main event is must see. The Queen’s Quest/STARS match was surprisingly good, but that was offset by the tag title match being disappointing and forgettable. With no title changes, this show was more about establishing wrestlers then setting off in a new direction, as they worked to show that Stardom is more than just Mayu, Momo, and Kagetsu. Which if that was their goal they may have succeeded, but the wrestling itself just wasn’t at the level that I was hoping for overall. Not a bad event, just a lower-end one for Korakuen Hall, aside from the killer main event.