Event: Stardom “World Big Summer In Tokyo”
Date: July 24th, 2019
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 810
We are back to Stardom, as my quest to not miss any of the Korakuen Hall events in 2019 continues even if I am four months behind. I should be caught up by the end of the year. Stardom “World Big Summer In Tokyo” is Stardom’s marquee summer event and we have three titles on the line, including their top two singles titles. Here is the full card:
I am watching the Samurai TV version of the show so some matches may be clipped. All the wrestlers on the show have profiles on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it.
Hina and Leo Onozaki vs. Natsuko Tora and Natsu Sumire vs. Rina and Ruaka
Now this is the Stardom opener we have all learned to know and love. Lots of rookie and rookie-like wrestlers here, with Natsuko Tora and Natsu Sumire sticking out like a sore thumb. This match definitely favors the Oedo Tai team, but since the match can end without them even being involved, they aren’t a guaranteed lock to walk out the winners.
The match starts with all six brawling in the ring, Ruaka and Hina work together to get the early advantage but Natsuko slams them both into the corner and Natsu runs in with a Bronco Buster. Natsu picks up Hina and slams her in front of the corner, Ruaka is then stacked on top of her and Natsuko hits a diving bodypress on both of them for a two count. They go to Ruaka but Ruaka elbows them both back, double crossbody by Ruaka and she tags in Rina. Dropkick by Rina, Hina runs in and she hits a judo toss on her sister before tagging in Leo. Octopus Hold by Rina to Leo and she cradles her for a two count. Rina goes for a STO but Leo blocks it, Ruaka boots Leo in the chest and Rina covers her for two. Natsu comes in with her whip and hits everyone with it, Natsuko comes in too and she hits a legdrop on Leo for two. Rina and Ruaka come in and double team Leo, but Leo ducks Ruaka’s crossbody. Cutter by Leo to Rina, and she applies La Magistral for the three count! Leo Onozaki and Hina are the winners!
Not a whole lot to this one, and they didn’t always keep the teams straight. Not that it really mattered, with the loose tag rules and random interference, a structured match was not what they were going for. Too quick to be offensive but also too quick to be memorable, Natsu left an impression as she tends to do but otherwise not much here to get excited about.
Jamie Hayter vs. Saya Iida vs. Utami Hayashishita
Next up with have a rookie match, with a bit of Jamie too for extra measure. Even though Saya and Utami are both rookies, they are on totally different levels as Utami is already a multiple time champion and Saya is still working her way up the card. Jamie Hayter is a UK wrestler that is part of Oedo Tai, she has fit in well in Stardom so hopefully all three are in sync for this quick triple threat.
Utami and Jamie shove each other to start while Saya watches, Saya tries to get involved but is shoved aside as the taller wrestlers want the ring to themselves. They eventually get rid of Saya, Jamie snapmares Utami and kicks her repeatedly in the back. Hard shoulderblock by Utami to Jamie, Saya returns but Utami scoop slams her onto Jamie before covering her for two. Utami picks up Jamie and charges her, but Jamie holds down the top rope and Utami lands on the apron. Jamie slaps her off the apron to the floor, she throws Utami back into the ring and kicks her in the corner. Uppercuts by Jamie to Utami but Utami avoids her charge, Jamie flips Utami out to the apron but Saya runs in and dropkicks Jamie. Another dropkick by Saya but Jamie fires back with a lariat, she goes back to Utami as Utami gets on the top turnbuckle and she joins her.
Saya tries to join in the fun but Jamie kicks her back, Utami pushes Jamie off the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Utami goes to cover Jamie but Saya knocks her out of the way and covers Jamie for two. Saya drop toeholds Utami onto Jamie, she bridges over both of them but it gets a two count. Saya throws Jamie and Utami into different corners and dropkicks both of them, she then stacks them into the same corner but Utami catches her with a judo toss. Utami gets Saya up in the backbreaker but Jamie boots Utami in the face, she hits a vertical suplex into the corner on Utami before slamming Saya repeatedly onto her knee. Jamie picks up Saya but Saya sneaks in an inside cradle for two, she goes for a backslide but that gets a two as well. High kick by Jamie to Saya but Saya gets away from her, German suplex by Utami to Jamie and she hits a dropkick on Jamie. Argentine Backbreaker by Utami, Jamie tries to break it up but Utami swings Saya’s legs into her before Saya submits to the submission! Utami Hayashishita is the winner.
I would have loved to see Jamie and Utami go at it one on one but the inclusion of Saya guaranteed that this wasn’t going to be an overly serious match with any long term implications. Saya isn’t a bad wrestler, she has a lot of spunk, but she had no chance of winning and was here just to be the wrestler to take the loss. That being said, the match was pretty well done and all their cute ‘triple threat’ spots went off without a hitch. All three were given a bit of a chance to shine, which is an accomplishment in such a short match, and everything clicked. Perfectly fine for an undercard match, just wish that Utami and Jamie had something more important to do on the show.
Bobbi Tyler, Death Yama-san, Hana Kimura, and Lucas vs. Iwatani, Kashima, Starlight Kid, and Nakano
STARS and Tokyo Cyber Squad collide! These are the top wrestlers from each group that didn’t have a title match on the card, with several big name wrestlers tossed into this faction-based match. Every native wrestler in this match has held a title in 2019 (and Death Yama-san comes into the match with the High Speed Championship), while Bobbi and Zoe are two of Stardom’s top visiting Gaijin talent. Even though this match is on the first half of the card, I still have high expectations for it to be an entertaining affair.
TCS attack before the bell because of course they did, Starlight Kid seems surprised by this and I have no idea why. TCS dominates for a moment as they focus on Starlight Kid, but STARS roars back and all four of them apply submission holds to their opponents. Starlight Kid and Hana stay in as the legal wrestlers as Hana gets to the ropes to break Starlight Kid’s hold, she goes off the ropes but Hana hits a drop toehold. Chinlock by Hana, she lets go after a moment and tosses down Starlight Kid by the mask. Hana tags in Zoe as Starlight Kid is triple teamed in the corner, Zoe snapmares Starlight Kid and sits down on the mat with her so she can stretch her (with Yama-san’s help). Zoe tags in Bobbi while she continues to choke Starlight Kid, Irish whip by Bobbi but Starlight Kid rebounds off the ropes with a crossbody and makes the hot tag to Saki. Bobbi throws Saki into the corner but she rebounds out of it with a bulldog, spinning headscissors by Saki but Bobbi avoids her boot attempt. Zoe comes in the ring but so does Tam, and STARS gets the in-ring advantage. Zoe and Bobbi take back over briefly but are thrown into each other before both eat dropkicks. Saki grabs Bobbi’s arm and snaps it against her foot, she tags in Mayu and Mayu dropkicks Bobbi in the chest. Elbows by Mayu but Bobbi comes back with the reverse STO from the ropes and makes the tag to Hana. Big boot by Hana to Mayu, she goes off the ropes and nails Mayu with a second one. Cover by Hana, but Mayu gets a shoulder up.
Hana picks up Mayu but Mayu blocks the suplex attempt, she goes off the ropes but Zoe grabs her so that Hana can boot Mayu in the face. Bobbi comes in and she helps Zoe toss Mayu to the mat, boot by Hana and she covers Mayu for a close two count. Hana picks up Mayu and puts her in a modified Ground Manjikatame but Mayu is too close to the ropes and forces the break. Hana charges Mayu in the corner but Mayu moves out of the way and kicks Hana in the face. Hana comes back with a vertical suplex, she picks up Mayu and elbows her, but Saki runs in and boots Hana in the chest. Tiger Feint Kick by Starlight Kid and Tam hits a backdrop suplex on Hana, Mayu has recovered and she goes up to the top turnbuckle, nailing the Frog Splash but Yama-san breaks up the cover. Mayu goes for a dragon suplex but Hana blocks it, Zoe kicks Mayu but Starlight Kid runs in and dropkicks Zoe. Both teams trade moves until everyone is down, Mayu and Hana are left alone in the ring and they trade elbows. Hana wins the battle and boots Mayu, but Mayu fires back with a superkick and both wrestlers are down again. They crawl to their respective corners to tag in Starlight Kid and Yama-san, Irish whip by Yama-san but Starlight Kid spins around her and the two trade flash pins. Back up, dropkick by Starlight Kid and they trade cradles until Starlight Kid holds down Yama-san for the three count! STARS win the match.
A fun mid-card tag match. As I mentioned above, a lot of quality wrestlers were jammed into this match so the action was really solid, with Hana being the main focus but others getting in their shots. Kaori Yoneyama and Tam Nakano mostly kept to the background as its hard for everyone to get in there in a ten minute eight woman tag, but not much one can do about that. I am not sure if Bobbi or Jamie is my favorite Gaijin in Stardom at the moment but I like them both a lot and hope they stay with the promotion for a long time to come, Bobbi fit in really well here. A fast paced entertaining match. Mildly Recommended
(c) Jungle Kyona and Konami vs. Andras Miyagi and Kagetsu
Goddesses of Stardom Championship
We have reached the championship portion of the evening. The Tokyo Cyber Squad team of Jungle Kyona and Konami just won the tag titles on July 15th, so needless to say this is their first defense of the title. They go up against the top two wrestlers in Oedo Tai; Kagetsu and Andras actually come into the match as two-thirds of the Artist of Stardom Championship but they are not satisfied and want more gold. While card placement implies they may not be going all out with two more title matches to go, this still should be a good one.
Andras and Kyona start off and immediately try to knock each other over, with Kyona getting the best of the duel. Kyona shoulderblocks Andras over again, she goes off the ropes but Kagetsu grabs her from the floor and pulls her out of the ring as things immediately break down. Andras and Kyona put on some hand sanitizer before getting into a Test of Strength, but Kyona breaks away and rubs it into Andras’ eyes. Andras gets back in control as they return to the ring, both wrestlers tag out as Konami and Kagetsu start trading kicks. Kagetsu catches one and hits a dragon screw, enzuigiri by Kagetsu and she tags in Andras. Elbows by Andras and she dropkicks Konami in the back of the head, Kyona runs in to help and Andras is double teamed as Kyona delivers the lariat. Kyona leaves the ring so that Konami can tag her in, snapmare by Kyona and she hits a sliding lariat for a two count. Kyona picks up Andras and hits a scoop slam, she goes up top but Andras avoids the diving body press and Kagetsu kicks her in the face. Konami comes in but Andras boots her back out, Oedo Tai kick Kyona and Andras hits a suplex. Ebisu Drop by Kagetsu, Andras follows with the Swanton Bomb but Konami breaks up the cover. They toss Andras into the ropes but Kagetsu hits a double springboard dropkick, Kyona and Konami fall out of the ring but they hit Oedo Tai with chairs when they go to do a dive. Release German by Konami to Andras, Kyona quickly goes to the top turnbuckle and nails the diving body press. Hammer Throw Powerbomb by Kyona, and she picks up the three count! Tokyo Cyber Squad win and retain the championship.
This match was clipped to hell (about 50%), which is surprising for a title match since there were some more… lowly matches on the show they could have cut up. I guess they were just making sure the next two matches got the time they need. The match started a little goofy but got good after that, Kagetsu is so great that she shines through in every match she is in, even heavily clipped ones. Solid action for sure but its hard for me to recommend a match that so much is cut out of, just too incomplete.
(c) Arisa Hoshiki vs. Hazuki
Wonder of Stardom Championship
Arisa Hoshiki has really taken Stardom by storm in 2019. After a long absence from wrestling, Arisa returned to Stardom in late 2018 and in just eight months since then she won the Cinderella Tournament, defeated Mayu Iwatani for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, and is now on her third defense of the title. Hazuki has had a great year also, as she held the High Speed Championship from December 2018 to July 2019 (she lost it four days before this show). Even though Arisa is the senior wrestler in age, she is not in experience so this should be a close and competitive match.
They tie-up to start and get into a Test of Strength, Arisa tosses Hazuki to the mat and hops on top of her but Hazuki quickly reverses places with her as they jockey on the mat for position. Snapmare by Arisa and she kicks Hazuki in the back, she goes off the ropes but Hazuki trips her and drags her out of the ring. Hazuki tosses Arisa into the chairs at ringside, she brings her up into the bleachers and slams Arisa’s head into the column a few times. Hazuki brings Arisa back into the ring but immediately throws her back out of it and throws her into the chairs again. Hazuki slams Arisa into the ring post before scoop slamming her on the floor, she rolls her into the ring and hits two more scoop slams for a two count cover. Hazuki picks up Arisa and tosses her down by the hair, she goes for bootscrapes but Arisa kicks her in the leg and connects with a series of kicks to Hazuki’s chest. Arisa kicks Hazuki into the corner, Irish whip by Arisa but Hazuki rebounds out of the corner with a dropkick. Half nelson slam onto her knee by Hazuki, she pushes Arisa against the ropes and hits a series of bootscrapes followed by a running boot.
Hazuki throws Arisa into the corner and hits a running back elbow, Backstabber by Hazuki and she transitions it into an armtrap crossface. Arisa gets a foot on the ropes for the break, Hazuki picks her up but Arisa pushes her off and the two trade elbows. Pump Kick by Hazuki, she picks up Arisa but Arisa gets away and delivers a jumping kick. Both wrestlers are down but Hazuki is up first, running boot by Hazuki and she goes out to the apron, but Arisa avoids her springboard attack and puts Hazuki in a sleeper hold. Hazuki gets to the ropes for the break, Arisa goes up top but Hazuki recovers and joins her. They trade elbows while on the top turnbuckle until Arisa headbutts Hazuki off, 1399 by Arisa and she covers Hazuki for a two count. ADAMAS by Arisa, but Arisa lifts Hazuki up before the three count so she can nail the Brazilian Kick. Cover by Arisa, but Hazuki barely gets her shoulder up. Arisa goes for a running knee but Hazuki ducks it and hits a DDT, Michinoku Driver by Hazuki but her cover gets two. Hazuki picks up Arisa but Arisa blocks a suplex attempt and they trade elbows. Hazuki throws Arisa into the corner and hits a jumping elbow, Arisa elbows her back but Hazuki sets up Arisa in the corner and hits a Codebreaker.
Hazuki goes to the apron and hits a springboard missile dropkick to Arisa’s back, cover by Hazuki but it gets a two count. She transitions into an armtrap crossface, Arisa almost makes the ropes but Hazuki rolls her back and applies the Rings of Saturn. Again Arisa wiggles to the ropes and this time she makes it for the break, Hazuki goes off the ropes and nails a running boot to the side of Arisa’s head. Hazuki drags up Arisa and slams her in front of the corner, she goes up top but Arisa recovers and joins her. Hazuki knees Arisa and flips back to the mat, she boots Arisa in the head and then hits a neckbreaker. Hazuki goes up top but Arisa avoids the Bombs Away and hits a jumping knee, she connects with a second jumping knee and covers Hazuki for two. Arisa picks up Hazuki but Hazuki ducks the Brazilian Kick and applies La Magistral for two. Headbutt by Hazuki but Arisa kicks her in the head, Shining Impact by Arisa and she covers Hazuki for the three count! Arisa Hoshiki is the winner and still the champion.
I’m glad that Samurai TV didn’t clip this match as it was a hell of an encounter. Arisa has really grown on me, at first as she transitioned from midcard tag wrestler to suddenly a main event wrestler, I thought her offense was a bit repetitive and lacked creativity, but she is clearly over that hump as she was great here. All her strikes were snug and she is a lot of fun to watch. Hazuki also continues to improve as she showed a lot of fire, taking it hard to Arisa but never resorting to Oedo Tai Tactics as it was a pretty clean fight from start to finish. They mixed it up really well between strikes/power moves/submissions to keep things interesting and the ‘outside the ring’ portion was kept to the point. The near falls were convincing and the Shining Impact was the perfect way to end the match as it felt like a real exclamation point after a close back and forth battle. One of the better Stardom matches I have seen so far this year, just an exciting and well paced match between two wrestlers that keep getting better each time I watch them. Worth going out of your way to see. Highly Recommended
(c) Bea Priestley vs. Momo Watanabe
World of Stardom Championship
It is time for the main event. Stardom fans have a real love/hate relationship with Bea (most in the latter category) as she is so convincing in her Top Gaijin gimmick that she has worked many fans into a shoot over it. Which is great, I love her, angering fans is what heels are supposed to do. Bea won the World of Stardom Championship on May 4th from Kagetsu, and this is her third defense of the title. Momo has never held the World of Stardom Championship but did have the Wonder of Stardom Championship earlier this year, so she is no stranger to being one of the top wrestlers in Stardom. Many consider Momo the future Ace of Stardom, and winning the title here from Bea would be a big step in that direction.
They tie-up to start, Momo pushes Bea into the corner but quickly gives a clean break. Momo takes Bea to the mat and they trade holds, but neither gets the advantage and they return to their feet. Wristlock by Bea but Momo reverses it, snapmare by Bea and she applies a chinlock but Momo gets to the ropes for the break. They end up on the mat again with Momo in control, Bea returns to her feet and tosses Momo down before backing off. Headlock by Bea but Momo Irish whips out of it, elbow by Bea in the corner but Momo fires back with a dropkick and Bea rolls out of the ring to regroup. Momo goes to the apron and goes for a diving knee, but Bea moves out of the way and gets up on the apron to deliver a PK. Bea stomps on Momo’s arm and twists it around the ring post, she lets her go after a moment and returns to the ring. Momo doesn’t follow fast enough so Bea goes back out after her and throws her into the ring post. Bea kicks Momo in the arm and returns to the ring for good, Momo rolls in too but Bea immediately goes back to Momo’s arm.
Bea throws Momo into the corner but Momo rebounds out of it with a dropkick, another dropkick by Momo and she follows with a third. Momo picks up Bea and hits a snap vertical suplex, they slowly return to their feet and trade elbows. Bea takes Momo to the mat and applies a butterfly lock, Momo gets out of it but Bea cradles her for two. Running knee by Bea, she picks up Momo and hits a side suplex for another two count cover. Bea picks up Momo and gets her on her shoulders, but Momo reverses the Queen’s Landing and rolls Bea to the mat. Kick by Momo, she gets on the top turnbuckle and delivers the diving Somato for a two count. Momo quickly puts Bea in the chickenwing, Bea gets out of it but Momo drops her with a half nelson suplex. Somato by Momo, but Bea grabs the bottom rope to force the break. Momo picks up Bea and sets her up for the B Driver, she climbs the turnbuckles with Bea on her back but Bea gets away and hits a powerbomb for a two count. Bea waits for Momo to get up and charges, but Momo kicks her back and gets on the top turnbuckle.
Bea kicks her in the head to send Momo to the apron, Bea quickly jumps up to the top turnbuckle and hits a double footstomp to Momo’s back. Both wrestlers are slow to get up, they manage to get onto the apron and the pair trade elbows. Bea goes for a suplex but Momo blocks it before hitting the B Driver on the apron. Momo pulls Bea back in the ring and hits a second B Driver, cover by Momo but it gets a two count. Momo applies the crossface chickenwing, she nails the Tequila Sunrise but Bea gets a shoulder up. Momo gets Bea to her feet and delivers the Peach Sunrise, but again Bea manages to get a shoulder up. Momo pushes the referee before going back to Bea, she goes for another Peach Sunrise but Bea rolls out of it and drops Momo with a Peach Sunrise of her own for a two count. Both are slow to get up, they both kick each other in the head with Momo following with more kicks. Bea kicks her back, superkick by Bea and she nails a jumping knee. Trapped side suplex hold by Bea, but Momo kicks out at two. Bea drags Momo to her feet, she gets Momo onto her shoulders and delivers the Queen’s Landing for the three count! Bea Priestley wins and retains the championship.
From just a pure enjoyment standpoint, this match delivered, but if you scratch beneath the surface a bit there certainly were some issues. I’ll start with the good – Bea gets a lot of shit online, but she’s a very good wrestler and she showed it here as everything she did was on point. She can be rough around the edges sometimes but in this match she was at her best and delivered a great performance. Momo looked great too so just looking at their back-and-forths and execution, this was about as good as it could be. On the match layout side however, there were some issues. Bea did a good job on the arm of Momo for about five minutes, but as soon as she stopped it was immediately dropped from the match and never even got a callback spot later. So it was just wasted time, it had no impact on anything else in the match whatsoever. There were other smaller issues, like the ‘on the floor’ portion of the match felt too long with not a lot happening, but the arm offense was the biggest problem since it filled a large chunk of the match with meaningless offense. I’m not a big fan of wrestlers kicking out of their opponent’s big finisher, at least in this case Bea was mostly incapacitated for awhile so it wasn’t just blown off, but it is often a tip-off of the end result. Overall a really good match, it didn’t reach the level of the previous match but still worthy of a Korakuen Hall main event. Recommended
If nothing else, I can say without hesitation that the top two matches on this event delivered, and with Samurai TV’s presentation that was all they were really aiming for. The first half of the card had a lot of solid but unspectacular wrestling, and I was disappointed with how much of the tag title match was cut out. Luckily, Arisa vs. Hazuki was fantastic, one of the best Stardom matches of the year, and the main event was entertaining as well. Maybe not Stardom’s best show of the year top to bottom, but more good than bad and worth tracking down.