Event: Stardom X Stardom 2022 Nagoya MidSummer Encounter
Date: August 21st, 2022
Location: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,353
Broadcast: PPV and streamed on Stardom World
Stardom is easily my favorite Joshi promotion, but I don’t review their events very often for one primary reason – they are long. These reviews take a fair amount of time to do. Its not because of the play by play – I have to watch the matches anyway and I type super fast so no time lost there, but I do a fair amount of prep work to make the reviews as informative as possible. That means setting up the formatting, finding pictures, looking up why the match is happening, the stakes, the fallout, making GIFs, etc. and the more matches there are, the longer this takes. But occasionally I have to go back and review a Stardom event since I know a lot of Stardom fans visit the website.
Since I do not want to parachute into the middle of the FIVE STAR GP, which would require a lot of work, instead I am going to review their latest standalone show -Stardom X Stardom 2022. A pretty massive show with eight matches, all their stars are here and there are five title matches. They tend to stack their PPV events when they can. The downside is originally, KAIRI was on the event but missed it due to coming down with COVID. So I am sad I will miss out on seeing her, but the show still has a lot going for it, including Nanae Takahashi returning to take on Syuri! Here is the full card:
All wrestlers on the show have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it. Onto the show!
(c) Hanan vs. Miyu Amasaki
Future of Stardom Championship
This was technically on the pre-show but we love Miyu so we are going to watch it anyway. Hanan won the title on December 29th and this is already her 9th defense of the title. So she has been very active. Miyu Amasaki just debuted in March, and even though she apparently isn’t special enough to even have a profile on cagematch, she is being pushed as a future star in the promotion. It still feels too early for her to win a title in Stardom, but I am looking forward to seeing how she does against Hanan.
Miyu dropkicks Hanan as the bell rings, Miyu elbows Hanan in the corner and Irish whips her, hitting the Space Rolling Elbow. She goes off the ropes but Hanan catches her with a judo toss, Irish whip by Hanan but Miyu hits a dropkick. Hanan fires back with a dropkick of her own, trip by Hanan but Miyu rolls away and dropkicks Hanan in the knee. Miyu rolls Hanan to the mat and applies a knee submission, but Hanan gets to the ropes for the break. Miyu picks up Hanan and goes off the ropes, and she somewhat hits an overly ambitious springboard tornado DDT. She tries the spot again and nails it this time, cover by Miyu but it gets two. Double underhook by Miyu but Hanan spins away, she runs to the corner and rebounds out with a crossbody for two. Hanan picks up Miyu but Miyu gets out of the scoop slam, nailing a jumping DDT for two.
Miyu picks up Hanan and applies a double underhook, but Hanan gets away and hits a jumping knee. Hanan goes off the ropes but Miyu avoids her strike attempt and applies a kneelock. Hanan again makes the ropes for the break, Miyu picks up Hanan and delivers a double underhook facebuster, but Hanan barely kicks out. Elbows by Miyu to Hanan, she goes off the ropes but Hanan catches her with a Cutie Special. Hanan goes off the ropes and hits a Fameasser, double wrist-clutch suplex hold by Hanan but it only gets two. Hanan picks up Miyu but Miyu gets away, cradle by Miyu with a jackknife but it gets two. Miyu charges Hanan but Hanan hits a STO, Fameasser by Hanan but Miyu kicks out of the cover. Hanan drags Miyu up and knees her in the face, Blockbuster Hold by Hanan and she picks up the three count! Hanan wins the match and retains the championship.
Hmm this wasn’t very good. The match felt a lot longer than it was as they kept repeating spots, and Miyu probably isn’t quite ready yet to be trying some of the moves she is trying. In a way she reminds me of Saya Kamitani – Saya in her first year also tried a lot of moves with limited success, but she figured it out. Hopefully Miyu can figure it out as well, but she’s not there yet. Hanan is solid enough but isn’t able to carry a match, so this was pretty sloppy and not structured very well. I appreciate the effort from both, but this didn’t click.
Hina vs. Maika
We kick off the official show with this strange little match. I am not sure why Maika is starting the show wrestling a literal child, but these things happen sometimes. Maika is a member of DDM and is pretty damn great, she is only three years into her career but already has a tag and two trios title reigns in Stardom. Hina is 16 years old and may be one of the last underage wrestlers (along with her sister Rina) in Stardom as both were holdovers from the pre-Bushiroad era. Hina is still too young to get big wins yet as Maika outranks her, but I assume she’ll get some offense in before getting pinned.
Maika and Hina circle each other, they end up on the mat but neither can get a clear advantage. They return to their feet, Maika throws Hina into the corner and hits a hard shoulderblock. Maika goes off the ropes but Hina ducks her charge and hits a hip toss. STO by Hina, he quickly picks Maika back up and hits a second one for a two count. Hina goes for the cross armbreaker and gets it looked in, but Maika quickly gets to the ropes to force a break. Hina grabs Maika but Maika elbows off of her, she goes off the ropes but Hina does as well and she slams Maika to the mat. Hina picks up Maika and delivers a wrist-clutch side slam, cover by Hina but Maika kicks out. Hina goes for a slam but Maika blocks it, Hina goes off the ropes but Maika levels her with a lariat. Maika picks up Hina but Hina snaps off a quick STO, covering Maika for two. Hina goes for a scoop slam but Maika pushes her off and hits a powerslam. Maika picks up Hina and hits the cross-arm STO, but Hina barely gets a shoulder up. Maika drags Hina to her feet but Hina slides away, Gedo Clutch by Hina but it gets two. Lariat by Maika, but Hina sneaks in an small package when Maika goes to pick her up. Maika kicks out of it and hits another lariat, Enka Otoshi by Maika, and she picks up the three count! Maika is the winner.
This was a good short match. Hina has improved since her debut, which makes sense as she debuted when she was about 12 years old. She doesn’t have the most varied offense but she hits what she does well. Maika is great, I’d have liked to have seen her in a bigger match but she executed here and all her moves had impact. Solid way to kick off the show.
Ami Sourei and MIRAI vs. Giulia and Sakura vs. Rina and Ruaka
Sometimes, the more popular wrestlers in Stardom don’t have a big match, so they end up somewhere else on the card in a lesser match than they probably deserve. That is the case here for Giulia, a former champion that is killing it in the FIVE STAR GP, but here is stuck with some of the lowest ranking wrestlers in the company (including two children). This is a faction war, with DDM (Giulia and Mai) against God’s Eye (Ami and MIRAI) against Oedo Tai (Rina and Ruaka). Triple threat matches can be rough, and the wrestlers here aren’t the best, so I am going in with low expectations.
Under triple threat rules, all three teams have one legal wrestler at a time. Rina, Mai, and Ami start the match, Ami is double teamed right off the bat but she starts getting the better of things until Giulia and Ruaka run in to help. Ruaka and Ami end up in the ring as the legal wrestlers apparently, but Rina pulls Ami out of the ring as things break down quickly. Rina grabs MIRAI and throws her into Ami, Oedo Tai then do the same to the two DDM members. Mai is rolled into the ring and is double teamed by Oedo Tai, Rina stays in as the legal wrestler and she covers Mai for a two count. Mai fights back as Ruaka runs in, and she hits a reverse DDT/Stunner combination on both of them. Giulia comes in with Rina and MIRAI, she takes care of both of them before suplexing Rina to the mat. Giulia goes towards the ropes but Rina grabs her by the hair and throws her to the mat. Giulia grabs Rina by the throat but lets go, Rina offers her hand but she throws Giulia to the mat instead.
Rina goes for a slam but Giulia reverses it, Giulia applies a STF but Ruaka breaks it up. Mai also comes in but Ami lariats both DDM members, she gets into a shoulderblock contest with Ruaka which Ruaka gets the better of. Complete Shot by Ruaka, she goes for the cover but moves when Mai sails into the ring with a diving elbow drop. Mai then goes for the cover on Ami but Mai dives off the top turnbuckle with a double kneedrop. MIRAI goes to grab Rina but Giulia jumps off the top turnbuckle with a missile dropkick/senton combination. Giulia picks up Rina and hits a Falcon Arrow, but Ruaka breaks up the cover. Ami clubs on Ruaka but Ruaka blocks the scoop slam. Ami comes in to help but Ruaka punches them both, she goes off the ropes but eats a double lariat. Ami and MIRAI slam Rina on top of Ruaka, full nelson slam by MIRAI on Rina and she goes off the ropes, but Rina sneaks in a jackknife cover for two. Rina charges MIRAI but MIRAI levels her with a lariat, she applies the Miramare and Rina submits! MIRAI and Ami Sourei are the winners.
I am glad they just didn’t worry about having tag rules, who was keeping track of that anyway and it doesn’t really matter on an undercard match. With an eight minute match containing six wrestlers, not all of them were really able to stand out but on the positive side no one lagged behind either. There was always something going on, and Giulia looked great which is the most important thing. MIRAI was impressive with her power offense, and overall it clicked better than I was expecting. Nothing to get excited about, but an entertaining chaotic undercard match.
AZM, Lady C, and Hayashishita vs. Iida, Iwatani, and Kohgo
Captain’s Fall Match
For those out of the loop, a Captain’s Fall Match is an Elimination Match that ends when the team’s chosen captain is pinned. Also, there won’t be any tag rules so it can become a bit of a free-for-all. As this is Stardom, a wrestler can be eliminated by being thrown over the top rope, pinfall, or submission. You’d think Utami and Mayu would be the captains but they are not – that honor goes to AZM and Saya Iida. That alone knocks down the seriousness of the match (as serious as a midcard match can be) since the leaders of the factions aren’t the captains. But it does help protect Utami and Mayu since it means they won’t have to be pinned for the match to end. Both teams have former champions and pin-takers so its a pretty even distribution, I don’t know if the gimmick will enhance or hurt the match, let’s find out.
Saya and Lady C start the match, Saya poses for the camera but is attacked from behind for her trouble. All of Queen’s Quest try to throw Saya over the top rope, which would make this a really quick match, but Momo and Mayu stop her from going over. They get in the ring and all three STARS wrestlers hit dropkicks, they isolate Lady C and triple team her. Saya sits up Lady C and she eats a triple dropkick, cover by Saya but it gets two. Saya picks up Lady C and the two trade chops, Saya chops Lady C against the ropes but Lady C catches her with a side Russian leg sweep. Giant Swing by Lady C, she covers Saya but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Lady C from the corner and she hits a running elbow, jumping lariat by Lady C and she covers Saya for two. Lady C picks up Saya but Saya gets away, Mayu runs in and she hits a hurricanrana on Lady C for the three count! Lady C is eliminated.
AZM runs in and puts Mayu in the Azumi Sushi, but Momo breaks up the cover. Momo picks up AZM, double Irish whip and the STARS team double team her. Double 619 by Momo and Mayu, cover by Momo but it gets two. Momo throws AZM into the corner, Irish whip by Momo but AZM jumps onto the top turnbuckle. Momo elbows her down to the apron, she charges AZM but AZM holds down the top rope and both end up on the apron. AZM and Momo trade elbows while still on the apron, Momo trips AZM but AZM avoids her kick and slides back into the ring. Momo and AZM trade flash pins, AZM puts Momo in the Azumi Sushi and she picks up the three count! Momo Kohgo is eliminated.
Utami and Mayu come in the ring, Mayu grabs Utami and AZM but they knock her out to the apron. They go off the ropes but Saya re-appears to even the odds, with Mayu hitting a missile dropkick on both opponents. Saya goes up top and delivers a diving shoulderblock to Utami, cover by Saya but it gets two. Saya picks up Utami but Utami blocks the suplex attempt, Utami hits a Samoan Drop but Mayu cradles Utami from behind for two. Superkick by Mayu to AZM and Saya bridges AZM, but Utami breaks up the cover. Double Irish whip to Utami but she levels both opponents with a lariat, Utami picks up Saya and delivers the Air Raid Crash for two. Utami picks up Saya but Saya blocks the German suplex hold, Utami keeps the waistlock applied however and nails the German suplex hold anyway for the three count! Queen’s Quest wins the match!
A pretty typical Stardom midcard match – meaningless, but very watchable. Utami and Mayu were protected, maybe even too much as they put away their opponents pretty easily when they were in the ring. The chosen captains alone showed this wasn’t going to be a match with any real stakes, and it definitely came across as filler. Nothing offensive, but it just lacked any substance and its a match I’ll forget by the time the next one starts.
(c) Watanabe, Kashima, and Starlight Kid vs. Shirakawa, Sayaka, and SAKI
Artist of Stardom Championship
Our first title match of the official show! Oedo Tai won the trios titles on May 28th and this is their third defense of the belts. This is the Cosmic Angels’ B Team, as the A Team will be in the next match. Hell, SAKI isn’t even a Stardom wrestler, but she fits in well with the unit anyway. This doesn’t bode well for them winning as they are against the Oedo Tai’s A Team, with Momo Watanabe and Starlight Kid being two of the better wrestlers in the promotion. Anything can happen in the craziness that is Stardom trios matches, but the likely bet here is Oedo Tai retaining their championship.
The Cosmic Angels charge to start the match, immediately isolating Kashima and triple teaming her. SAKI stays in as the legal wrestler, Kashima whips off a hurricanrana and boots SAKI while she is against the ropes. Face crusher by Kashima, and she covers SAKI for two. Kashima tags Starlight Kid, Starlight Kid picks up SAKI and elbows her in the chest. SAKI fires back with a big boot, she gets Starlight Kid on her shoulders and slams her to the mat for a two count. SAKI goes off the ropes but Unagi tags herself in, sitout face crusher by Unagi but Starlight Kid avoids the leg drop and hits a standing moonsault for two. Starlight Kid picks up Unagi but Unagi gets Starlight Kid on her back in the Gory Special. Momo breaks that up, Unagi hits a leg drop on Starlight Kid and covers her for two. Back up, Unagi throws Starlight Kid into the corner but Unagi avoids her charge and all three members of Oedo Tai attack her.
Starlight Kid goes to the top turnbuckle and nails the swivel body press, but her pin attempt gets broken up. Starlight Kid picks up Unagi but Unagi spins out of her hold and hits a flapjack. Jumping kick by Starlight Kid but Unagi gets her arm and drops her face-first into the mat. Starlight Kid tags in Momo while Mina also tags in, kicks by Momo but Mina eventually catches one and hits a backfist. Kicks to the chest by Mina as she drives Momo into the corner and sends her down with a final kick to the midsection, cover by Mina but it gets two. She picks up Momo and goes off the ropes, but Kashima kicks her from the apron. SAKI runs in and slam Momo, Reverse DDT by Mina to Momo but Momo kicks out. SAKI, Mina, and Unagi all hit heel drops, Unagi gets Momo on her shoulders and with Mina’s help she drops her to the mat. Mina picks up Momo but Kashima runs in to help, striking Mina to the mat. Momo gets a wrench but Mina kicks it out of her hand, jumping kick by Mina to Momo and she delivers the jumping DDT, but Kashima breaks up the cover.
Things break down as all six wrestlers end up in the ring, with Starlight Kid and Kashima both hitting spinning headscissors. Starlight Kid sails out of the ring with a moonsault while Momo and Mina remain in the ring, roaring elbow by Mina but Momo kicks her in the head. B Driver by Momo, but Mina gets a shoulder up. Momo picks up Mina and delivers a cradle belly to belly piledriver, but SAKI breaks up the cover. Momo picks up Mina but Mina trips her and applies a crucifix pin for two. Starlight Kid stays in to help Momo deliver a side slam, Momo picks up Mina and punts her in the face. Peach Sunrise by Momo, and she gets the three count! Oedo Tai win and retain the championships.
The biggest surprise here is SAKI not taking the fall, she must have some political power I don’t know about. This match was definitely good, Starlight Kid is really great and everyone else here held up their ends. It was pretty short for a trios title match (under 12 minutes) and it felt like not everyone even got much in-ring time, I didn’t record the time splits but it didn’t feel even and the match left me wanting more. No one pairing was able to really get into a flow until the end stretch, which was really good from Momo and Mina. Fast paced and interesting, but it came across as more of an afterthought since the teams were lopsided and they simply didn’t get a lot a time considering the stakes of the match. Mildly Recommended
(c) Hazuki and Koguma vs. Natsupoi and Tam Nakano
Goddesses of Stardom Championship
Another title match as the tag titles are on the line. Koguma and Hazuki started wrestling as a team together in late 2021, first winning the Goddesses of Stardom Tag League before they won the Goddesses of Stardom Championship in January of 2022. This is their fifth defense of the titles but their first against a team from Cosmic Angels. Natsupoi joined Cosmic Angels from DDM in July, and is jumping right into it as she teams with the leader of the group to go for her first tag team gold. This has the potential to be one of the best matches on the show, hopefully they get the time to put something fun together.
Koguma and Natsupoi start the match, they take turns shoving each other until Hazuki grabs Natsupoi from the apron. Tam grabs Koguma as well, but Hazuki runs in the ring and dropkicks her while Koguma hits a body avalanche on Natsupoi. Hazuki stays in and they double team Natsupoi, cover by Koguma but it gets two. Scoop slam by Koguma, she picks up Natsupoi and tags Hazuki. Hazuki slaps Natsupoi in the back before throwing her down by the hair, she pushes Natsupoi against the ropes and nails the running boot. Cover by Hazuki, but it gets two. Scoop slam by Hazuki and she tags Koguma, crab hold by Koguma but Natsupoi makes it to the ropes for the break. Koguma puts Natsupoi in a Camel Clutch but Natsupoi breaks it up, Hazuki takes care of Tam while Koguma slams Natsupoi in front of the corner. Hazuki is tagged and comes into the ring with a slingshot footstomp, Hazuki kicks Natsupoi repeatedly in the face but Natsupoi gets Hazuki against the ropes and hits the Murder Dropkick. This gives her time to tag Tam, Koguma quickly comes in to help Hazuki but Tam avoids their lariat and hits a double dropkick. Running knee by Tam, she picks up Hazuki and kicks her in the midsection.
Tam charges Hazuki but Hazuki moves, Koguma shows back up and Tam eats a double dropkick. Running elbow by Hazuki, she gets on the second turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick for two. Armtrap crossface by Hazuki, Natsupoi tries to break it up but Koguma grabs her and throws her out of the ring. Hazuki charges Tam and kicks her hard in the face, she goes for a suplex but Tam lands on her feet and hits a head kick. She goes off the ropes but Hazuki hits a pump kick, she goes for another one but Tam swats her away and hits a backdrop suplex. Tam waits for Hazuki to get up and superkicks her in the head, Hazuki follows with a Codebreaker and both wrestlers are down on the mat. Both wrestlers tag out, scoop slam by Koguma to Natsupoi and she hits a footstomp to her midsection for a two count. Natsupoi elbows Koguma and goes off the ropes, Koguma applies a quick cradle but it gets two. Both wrestlers go off the ropes and go for jumping crossbodies, sending both crashing to the mat. They slowly get up, body avalanche by Koguma in the corner and she hits a cutter. Koguma goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, she applies a waistlock but Tam grabs Natsupoi to prevent the German suplex. Hazuki breaks her free (awkwardly) so Koguma can connect with the German suplex, Hazuki stays in the ring and they hit an assisted cutter on Natsupoi. Koguma goes to the top turnbuckle but Natsupoi rolls out of the way of the diving body press. Hazuki dives in with a senton onto Natsupoi, but Tam hits a diving crossbody onto Hazuki.
Tam picks up Hazuki while Natsupoi grabs Koguma, but Hazuki and Koguma both get away and hit DDTs. They eat superkicks for their trouble but fire back with dropkicks, and all four wrestlers are down on the mat. Hazuki and Tam both roll out of the ring while Natsupoi and Koguma trade elbows on their knees, Natsupoi goes to the top turnbuckle but Koguma elbows her before she can jump off and joins her. Koguma drops Natsupoi throat-first onto the to rope which sends her out of the ring, she goes to the top turnbuckle but Tam kicks her down to the floor. Hazuki sails out of the ring with a tope suicida but hits her own partner on accident, Tam and Natsupoi both go to the ropes and dive out with stereo springboard crossbodies. Tam slides Koguma back in the ring, both she and Natsupoi go to the same turnbuckle with Tam diving off first with the Takako Panic. Natsupoi follows with the swivel body press, but Hazuki breaks up the cover. Natsupoi and Tam both hit German suplexes on an opponent, with Natsupoi’s getting a two count. Natsupoi picks up Koguma again but Koguma spins away and applies the 120% Schoolboy for two. Koguma goes off the ropes but Natsupoi superkicks her, Tam is in too and they both connect with superkicks. Hazuki is back but Tam drops her with a release tiger suplex, they go back to Koguma and slam her to the mat. Natsupoi picks up Koguma and nails the Fairy Strain, and she picks up the three count! Cosmic Angels win and are the new champions!
Aside from one botched move, this was a really smooth and well worked tag match. I know they wrestle and train a lot together but it always amazes me how in sync Stardom wrestlers are. There are some advantages to being an isolated promotion, as it allows their stars to really gel. Koguma and Hazuki have worked off all their ring rust and the cardio of everyone involved is commendable as there was no slowdown whatsoever. They were firing on all cylinders from start to finish. The match also “felt” like a title match and not just another match (like the last one), with big moves and late saves to add to the drama. A really entertaining match, four really good wrestlers just going non-stop for 15 minutes. Recommended
(c) Saya Kamitani vs. Himeka
Wonder of Stardom Championship
Finally another singles match. Originally, this match was supposed to be KAIRI against Saya Kamitani, in a match I would have predicted KAIRI to win and become a special attraction champion in Stardom for a bit. Unfortunately, she got COVID, so Stardom had to quickly call an audible. A few matches on the card were shaken up to get Himeka in as a replacement challenger, which all things considered is about as good as they could probably do on very short notice. Saya Kamitani won the Wonder of Stardom Championship on December 29th from Tam Nakano, and this is her 9th defense of the title. So she has been fairly active. Himeka has won titles as part of a duo and a trio in her career, but is going for her first ever singles championship. It would be shocking for a late replacement to win the title in this situation, but Himeka is a really good young wrestler so the match should deliver regardless.
They lock knuckles to start, Himeka pushes Saya to the mat but Saya bridges back up and they end up facing off again. Kick by Himeka but Saya throws her into the corner, Himeka fires out of it with a shoulderblock, Saya kips up but Himeka shoulderblocks her again. Himeka kicks Saya out of the ring and goes out after her, slamming Saya onto the floor. Another scoop slam by Himeka, she picks up Saya and rams her back-first into the ring post. Himeka slides Saya back in and hits a lariat in the corner followed by a backbreaker. Cover by Himeka, but it gets two. Himeka goes for a crab hold but Saya blocks it and hits a double footstomp, she goes off the ropes but Himeka catches her with another backbreaker. Himeka throws Saya out of the ring and goes out as well, but Saya slides back in as she does. They repeat these steps again, but this time Saya dropkicks Himeka back to the floor and hits a sliding headscissors under the bottom rope. Saya slides Himeka back in and goes to the top turnbuckle, hitting a missile dropkick. Saya picks up Himeka but Himeka blocks the suplex attempt and elbows her. Saya elbows her back and they trade shots, Saya goes off the ropes but Himeka knees her in the midsection. Saya knees her back but Himeka blocks the big boot and they trade elbows again.
After a minute of trading elbows Saya finally sends Himeka crashing to the mat, more elbows by Saya but Himeka hulks up and returns to her feet to return the favor. More elbows from both until they both fall to the mat, holding their heads. They slowly get up at the same time, Saya charges in but Himeka drops her with a backdrop suplex. Single leg crab hold by Himeka, Saya crawls to the ropes and eventually makes it to force the break. Himeka picks up Saya and gets her on her shoulders in an Argentine Backbreaker, she throws her off after a moment and hits a lariat. Sliding lariat by Himeka, but her cover gets two. Himeka gets Saya on her shoulders again and hits the JP Coaster, but again Saya kicks out. Himeka throws Saya into the corner and lariats her in the back, she puts her on the second turnbuckle to get her on her shoulders, but Saya slides off and hits a spinning heel kick. Saya hits a rolling fisherman suplex into a backslide, Himeka rolls through it but Saya boots her in the face. Saya positions Himeka and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Himeka rolls out of the way of the Firebird Splash. Kick to the head by Saya but Himeka levels her with a Rainmaker, but Saya plants Himeka with a pump kick. Saya picks up Himeka and hits the sitout fisherman driver, but it gets a two count. Saya goes to the top turnbuckle and nails the Firebird Splash, but Himeka gets a shoulder up on the cover. Saya goes back up top and attempts the Phoenix Splash, but Himeka clubs her from behind before she can jump off and joins her.
Elbows by Himeka while they stand on the turnbuckles, but Saya jumps over Himeka’s back in an attempted powerbomb. Himeka blocks that so Saya dropkicks her instead, she re-joins Himeka on the turnbuckles but Himeka blocks the Frankensteiner with a powerbomb. Himeka waits for Saya to get up and nails the jumping knee, she picks up Saya and delivers the powerbomb but Saya barely kicks out. Himeka drags up Saya and throws her into the corner, lariat to the back by Himeka and she sits Saya on the second turnbuckle. Running powerbomb by Himeka, but Saya kicks out. Himeka picks up Saya and elbows her against the ropes, lariat by Himeka but Saya lands on her feet on the apron. Saya springboards back in the ring but Himeka catches her with a lariat, another lariat by Himeka and she picks up Saya. Himeka gets Saya on her shoulders but Saya snaps off a Fubuki Rana and picks up the three count! Saya Kamitani wins and retains the championship!
Let me just start off by saying that I loved this match. I love Himeka’s power based offense and it worked so well with Saya’s whacky high flying offense. Himeka was killing Saya with her backbreakers and lariats, but Saya would come back with something sneaky as their contrasting styles worked perfectly with each other. Himeka really wrestled as the “better” wrestler, with her hitting all her big moves and Saya needing to do a desperation move to win the match. I have one small quibble – I don’t think the long elbow strike battle wasn’t necessary, as it didn’t add anything to the match and it went against the theme of the rest of the match which was Himeka being the stronger wrestler. But if you take that out, everything else really hit the spot with me, a hard hitting and entertaining match with two of the brightest young stars of Stardom. Highly Recommended
(c) Syuri vs. Nanae Takahashi
World of Stardom Championship
Time for the main event! Syuri won the Red Belt on December 29th of last year and has mowed down just about everyone since then, as this is her eighth defense. She has beaten Giulia, Mayu, Himeka, Momo, and Tam along the way, so she was running out of challengers. Enter Nanae Takahashi, who was one of the Stardom Originals (and a trainer in Stardom) before leaving in 2015 to ultimately run SEAdLINNNG. Nanae left SEAdLINNNG late last year and has been doing her own thing, leading to her surprising fans by challenging Syuri for the top title in the promotion. Both Syuri and Nanae enjoy hard hitting matches, but Syuri is a unique wrestler and this is their first ever singles match, so hopefully they can find the chemistry to end the show with a banger.
The match starts slow as they jockey for position, Syuri gets Nanae into the ropes and she slaps Nanae before backing off. Nanae quickly pushes Syuri into the ropes on the other side and also gives a slap as she breaks, kick by Syuri but Nanae drops her with a release German. Syuri tackles Nanae and starts on her ground game, she gets the cross armbreaker locked in but Nanae gets a foot on the ropes for the break. Nanae rolls out of the ring to re-group, she gets up on the apron and catches Syuri leg when she goes for a kick. Lariat by Nanae, she pulls Syuri’s head over the apron and dropkicks her from the floor. Nanae picks up Syuri and suplexes her on the floor, she slides Syuri back in the ring and hits a backdrop suplex. Nanae applies a facelock but releases it after a moment to apply a neck crank. She throws Syuri into the corner and chops her in the chest, snapmare by Nanae and she kicks Syuri in the back. Syuri kicks her back, snapmare by Syuri and she kicks Nanae again. Nanae returns to her feet and dropkicks Syuri, she picks up Syuri but Syuri dropkicks her into the corner. Knee by Syuri and she hits a single arm suplex for two.
Kicks to the head by Syuri and she delivers a running knee, she goes to the top turnbuckle but Nanae joins her. Superplex by Nanae, and she covers Syuri for two. Backdrop suplex by Nanae, she goes to the second turnbuckle and applies a choke to Syuri. She lets go after a moment but sits on the top turnbuckle too long so Syuri boots her off of it to the floor. Syuri gets on the second turnbuckle and dives out onto Nanae with a missile dropkick. Syuri slowly sits up Nanae and kicks her in the back before dropping her with a DDT on the floor. Syuri slides Nanae back into the ring, she gets on the top turnbuckle and hits a diving legdrop for two. Scoop slam attempt by Syuri but Nanae slides off, Syuri goes off the ropes but Nanae catches her with a release German. Sliding D by Nanae, but Syuri barely kicks out. Nanae goes to the top turnbuckle but Syuri rolls out of the way of the refrigerator bomb, running knee by Syuri but Nanae kicks out. Syuri picks up Nanae but Nanae slaps her and the two trade strikes. Spinning backfist by Syuri but Nanae punches her right in the face, sending both hurt to the mat. Nanae is up first, Falcon Arrow by Nanae but it gets two. Nanae picks up and hits a short range lariat, Syuri slowly gets up but Nanae drops her with another lariat. A third lariat by Nanae but Syuri again gets back up, elbows by Syuri and they go back and forth. Mutual headbutts, they go off the ropes but Nanae hits the lariat for a two count cover.
Nanae picks up Syuri and hits the Nana Racka, but Syuri reverses the cover into a guillotine. Nanae gets into thee ropes for the break, Syuri picks her up and kicks Nanae in the chest. More kicks by Syuri but Nanae hits the cradle back to belly piledriver, she picks up Syuri but Syuri hits a jumping knee. Nanae fires back with a lariat, but her cover gets two. Nanae goes to the top turnbuckle and nails the Refrigerator Bomb, but Syuri barely kicks out. Armtrap crossface by Nanae, she switches it into a double armbar but Syuri gets a foot on the ropes for the break. Scoop brainbuster by Nanae, but again Syuri kicks out of the cover. Nanae picks up Syuri but Syuri slides away and puts Nanae in a sleeper. Nanae rolls into the ropes to get a break, Syuri picks up Nanae and hits the Emerald Frosion for a two count. Syuri picks up Nanae and delivers a release German, but Nanae ends up on her feet and hits a lariat. One Second EX by Nanae, she covers Syuri but Syuri barely gets a shoulder up. Nanae headbutts Syuri repeatedly, she goes off the ropes but Syuri drills her with a head kick. Buzzsaw Kick by Syuri, both wrestlers slowly get up and Nanae hits a headbutt. Syuri punches Nanae in the face in return, she picks up Nanae and knees her in the midsection. Knee to the head by Syuri, she waits for Nanae to get up and kicks her in the head. Syuri gets Nanae on her shoulders before sliding her into a fireman’s carry position, Red World by Syuri and she picks up the three count! Syuri wins and retains the championship.
Even though Nanae is no longer in her prime and has a lighter schedule, she can certainly still bring it when she needs to. This at times definitely felt like an old school Joshi match. Lots of strikes and suplexes, questionable selling, big moves. It was interesting that Syuri particularly at the beginning was doing more moves off the turnbuckles, which I don’t normally associate with her, but being in the main event of a Stardom PPV can bring out the “extra” in wrestlers. I will say that the nearfalls were very convincing – it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that Nanae would return and win the belt, so the drama was legitimate and it kept my attention for sure. It may have been a few minutes longer than it needed to be and not everything was perfectly smooth, but the action was hard hitting and generally they were on the same page. I don’t think it was quite as entertaining as the last match, but still pretty damn good and with the drama it was a suitable main event for Stardom’s big summer show. Recommended
This wasn’t the “complete” show that I would prefer from my PPVs, but the second half of the show helped save it. Stardom was thrown a curveball when KAIRI was a late scratch which shuffled some matches, and they did the best they could under the circumstances. The undercard screamed filler, with just way too many multi-wrestler matches that weren’t given enough time to tell a story. They are perfectly fine matches action-wise, but forgettable. The Trios title match was too short, but the last three title matches all really delivered. The tag title match was great, and Saya vs. Himeka was the match of the night. The main event was hard hitting and intense, and had that big match feel. Overall its a show I can recommend, but if you skip the undercard you aren’t missing anything critical.