Stardom X Stardom 2018 in Osaka on 7/22/18 Review

Event: Stardom X Stardom in Osaka
Date: July 22nd, 2018
Location: EDION Arena Osaka #2 in Osaka, Japan
Announced Attendance: 515

I try to check in with Stardom about once a month, so lets see what they are up to. This is the first event I have watched in a post-Io world, as Stardom has lost their Ace to greener pastures. Hana Kimura is also not around for this show as she is still globetrotting, so everyone else is going to have to pick up the slack. Even though this is not a Korakuen Hall event, there are still two title matches so the show is definitely more than just an average house show. Here is the full card:

As this was shown on Stardom World, all matches are unclipped. As always, all wrestlers on the card have a profiles on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it. Lets get to the matches!

AZM vs. Leo Onozaki

We start of course with a Rookie Battle. AZM isn’t a rookie at this point as she has been wrestling for years, but since she is only 15 years old she still falls under the ‘rookie’ category. Leo is a rookie but is 24 years old, making this match quite an interesting dynamic. AZM is still the favorite coming in, even though she is a child, due to Leo’s inexperience.

AZM kicks away Leo’s hand when she goes for a handshake but Leo elbows her into the corner. Leo goes for a scoop slam but AZM reverses it, snapmare by AZM and she kicks Leo repeatedly in the chest. AZM puts Leo in the ropes and dropkicks her in the back, cover by AZM but it gets a two count. AZM goes for a crab hold and gets it locked in, but Leo gets to the ropes for the break. AZM kicks Leo repeatedly in the head but Leo fights back with elbows, she knocks AZM to the mat but AZM keeps kipping up. Leo goes for an elbow drop but AZM moves and kicks her in the head, Irish whip by AZM but Leo elbows her hard in the face and covers her for two. Leo picks up AZM but AZM blocks the scoop slam, Leo elbows AZM into the corner and hits a jumping elbow strike followed by a cutter. Another cutter by Leo and she hits a third, she covers AZM but AZM gets a shoulder up. Leo goes off the ropes but AZM catches her with a dropkick, kick to the chest by AZM but her cover gets two. AZM hits rolling vertical suplexes but Leo sneaks in a cradle, Leo goes for a series of flash pins but AZM kicks out each time. Leo goes off the ropes but AZM kicks her in the head, another head kick by AZM and she puts Leo in a crab hold. Leo struggles for a second but soon taps out! AZM is the winner!

A few minor miscommunications but otherwise a fine rookie match. AZM has improved quite a bit in the last year but still being paired with a wrestler with just a few months under her belt isn’t going to give her the chance to show her entire range. They kept it short so it wasn’t offensive however, and Leo does show some potential. About what you’d expect from a Stardom opener.

Jungle Kyona, Tora, Yoneyama, and Ruaka vs. Nakano, Starlight Kid, Shibusawa, and Hanan

This Elimination Tag Match features J.A.N. (Jungle Assault Nation) vs. STARS. Kyouna leads J.A.N., unlike the STARS Team they are more of a legitimate unit that supports each other on most Stardom shows. The STARS unit is more of the “home army’ and is loosely led by Mayu Iwatani, but they tend to do their own thing much of the time. Shiki and Starlight Kid are a regular tag team however as ShiKid, and all four are familar with each other even if they have a noted disadvantage in regards to experience. In Stardom “Elimination” matches, a wrestler can be eliminated by being thrown over the top rope, which should make things a bit more fair.

Starlight Kid and Kaori start the match, Kaori asks for a knuckle lock but stomps on Starlight Kid’s foot instead. Irish whip by Kaori but Starlight Kid hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, she goes off the ropes but Ruaka grabs her from the apron. Hanan returns the favor by grabbing Kaori, they both break free and Kaori’s teammates run in the ring to help triple team Starlight Kid. Kaori tags in Ruaka, scoop slams by Ruaka to Starlight Kid and she tags in Kyona. Starlight Kid elbows Kyona back but Kyona catches Starlight Kid and tries to throw her out of the ring, but Starlight Kid is saved by her teammates and ends up back in. Things break down with all eight in the ring and they end up in a ring while Kyona puts Starlight Kid in a Mexican Surfboard. Everyone leaves after a moment as Kyona stomps on Starlight Kid, Kyona tags in Natsuko but Starlight Kid rolls her up for two. Dropkick by Starlight Kid and she tags in Shiki, dropkick by Shiki and she hits a second one. Kaori runs but Shiki slams her, Kyona tries to help but Shiki drop toeholds her onto Kaori. Tam helps some from the apron as Shiki maintains control on Natsuko, elbows by Shiki but Natsuko hits a hard shoulderblock and tags in Kaori. Chops by Kaori to Shiki but Shiki rolls her to the mat and hits a dropkick. Shiki tags in Tam and stays in the ring to help double team Kaori, but Kaori gets the better of both of them and slams Tam onto Shiki. Senton by Kaori onto both, she picks and Tam and slams her in front of the corner, but Tam kicks her when she gets on the top turnbuckle which lands Kaori on the apron. Everyone tries to knock Kaori off the apron to the floor with no success, she snaps Tam’s neck on the top rope and celebrates on the apron, but Tam kicks her from behind and sends Kaori to the floor! Kaori Yoneyama is eliminated!

Hanan and Natsuko come in as the legal wrestlers, shoulderblocks by Natsuko and she picks up Hanan, but Hanan slides away and elbows Natsuko in the back. Natsuko elbows her back but Hanan hits a judo throw on all three of her opponents, she goes for a STO and Tam helps her hit it with a superkick to Natsuko. Cover by Hanan, but it gets broken up. Ruaka and Kyona stay in and double team Hanan, spear by Natsuko to Hanan and she covers her for the three count! Hanan is eliminated!

Natsuko shoulderblocks Tam but Tam gets back up and the two trade elbows. They both miss kicks, knee by Natsuko but Tam nails her with a head kick. Tam picks p Natsuko and goes off the ropes, but Natsuko picks her up and tries to dump her over the top rope. In the process, both wrestlers tumble over the top rope and to the floor, so both Natsuko Tora and Tam Nakano are eliminated!

Shiki and Kyona charge into the ring, dropkicks by Shiki and Starlight Kid comes in too, but Kyona hits a shoulderblock as Ruaka runs in to even the score. Shiki throws both Kyona and Ruaka into the ropes, Starlight Kid hits a Tiger Feint Kick onto Kyona and Shiki dropkicks Kyona. Shiki gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Shiki but Kyona kicks out. Elbows by Shiki, she goes off the ropes but Kyona catches her with a lariat. Ruaka runs in and boots Shiki, sliding lariat by Kyona and she covers Shiki for two. Kyona positions Shiki and goes to the second turnbuckle, but Shiki recovers and tries to knock her off. Kyona kicks Shiki back but Starlight Kid grabs Kyona from the apron, Ruaka runs in and boots Starlight Kid off the apron however and then hits a Fisherman Suplex onto Shiki. Diving Body Press by Kyona to Shiki, and she picks up the three count! Shiki Shibusawa is eliminated!

Starlight Kid runs in and quickly rolls up Kyona for two, she goes off the ropes but Kyona catches her with a body block. Boot by Ruaka, Kyona follows with a sliding lariat but Starlight Kid kicks out. Starlight Kid is thrown into the corner but she avoids Ruaka’s kick and hits a spinning headscissors onto Kyona. Starlight Kid goes off the ropes but Kyona catches her hurricanrana attempt, Kyona tries to powerbomb Starlight Kid out of the ring but Starlight Kid lands on the apron. Kyona gets a running start but Kyona pulls down the bottom rope, with Kyona landing on the apron with Starlight Kid. Kyona and Starlight Kid trade elbows, Ruaka tries to help by booting Starlight Kid but she boots Kyona by accident, sending her to the floor. Jungle Kyona is eliminated!

Starlight Kid and Ruaka are the last two left. They trade elbows, boots by Ruaka and she covers Starlight Kid for two. Ruaka goes for another boot but Starlight Kid rolls away and delivers a dropkick, standing moonsault by Starlight Kid and she cover Ruaka for a two count. Starlight Kid gets on the second turnbuckle, Ruaka recovers and tries to boot her off, but Starlight Kid catches the boot and knocks her back. Diving Body Press by Starlight Kid, but Ruaka gets a shoulder up. Starlight Kid goes up top again but this time Ruaka successfully boots her, Fisherman Suplex by Ruaka but that gets a two as well. Ruaka picks up Starlight Kid and goes for another one, but Starlight Kid blocks it. Reverse STO by Ruaka and she cradles Starlight Kid, but Starlight Kid kicks out. Ruaka charges Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid slides behind her and delivers the Shiranui for two. Cyclone Suplex by Starlight Kid, she goes to the second turnbuckle and delivers a moonsault for the three count cover! STARS picks up the win!

There is a lot to unravel here. First, if there was any doubt that Stardom thinks the world of Starlight Kid, her booking in the last few months should put that to rest. She not only was the last surviving member of her team but came back to win from being down 2-1, and looked really good in the process. Shiki still seems out of place compared to everyone else, she isn’t a natural athlete so she has a tougher road to success. The top rope elimination rule is necessary to give an easy out to eliminate people so that the match doesn’t go too long, so for a midcard match I have no issue with that stipulation. It still may have been a touch longer than it needed to be to accomplish its goal but overall it moved along well and there were a handful of memorable moments. Keep an eye out for Starlight Kid, she is only 17 but if she keeps with it she’ll be special.  Mildly Recommended

Dust and Stephanie Vaquer vs. Hazuki and Natsu Sumire

A couple new wrestlers for me to watch! I am not familar with Dust or Stephanie, The Internet tells me that Dust is a ten year pro that is a regular in RISE and SHIMMER which implies to me that she is a pretty solid wrestler since those are the top two women’s promotions in the US. Stephanie Vaquer is from Chile, not as much information available for her but she has been wrestling since 2009. On the other side are two members of Oedo Tai, while there is technically nothing at stake here no Stardom wrestler wants to lose to the monthly invading Gaijin so they will do their best to pick up the win.

Natsu and Dust start the match, they tie-up and Natsu pushes Dust into the ropes before punching her in the gut. Dust elbows Natsu into the ropes, Irish whip, and Dust hits a leg lariat followed by a jumping elbow in the corner. Jumping stomp to the head by Dust, she trips Natsu and she covers her for two. Dust clubs Natsu repeatedly in the chest, she tags in Stephanie but Natsu elbows Stephanie in the corner. Stephanie fires back with her own elbow as they go back and forth, knee by Stephanie and she hits Natsu with an uppercut. Cover by Stephanie, but it gets a two count. Sliding kick by Stephanie, she picks up Natsu and elbows her in the back of the head. Stephanie takes Natsu to the mat and applies a crossface, but Hazuki comes in to break it up. Stephanie throws Natsu onto the apron but Natsu returns and boots Stephanie, Stephanie schoolboys Natsu however and puts her in a submission until Natsu whips her to get out of it. Bronco Buster by Natsu in the corner and she delivers the fisherman suplex hold, but Stephanie kicks out at two. Stephanie rolls to her corner and tags in Hazuki, knee by Hazuki and she hits a senton onto Stephanie for a two count. Natsu comes in, double Irish whip to Stephanie but Stephanie beats up both of them and tags in Dust.

Dust boots Hazuki and hits a DDT onto the apron, she goes up top and hits a missile dropkick onto Hazuki for two. Dust puts Hazuki in a sleeper, but Hazuki crawls to the ropes and gets the break. Dust charges Hazuki, Hazuki knocks her back but Dust delivers a Backstabber. Dust goes up top again and hits a diving crossbody, but it only gets two. Dust picks up Hazuki and elbows her, but Hazuki elbows her back as they trade shots. Dust wins the battle with a pair of jumping lariats, she picks up Hazuki and drives her into the corner. Dust charges Hazuki but Hazuki slides to the apron and hits a swandive dropkick for a two count. Armtrap crossface by Hazuki but Stephanie breaks it up, Hazuki picks up Dust and throws her into the corner before hitting a running elbow strike. Elevated Codebreaker by Hazuki, but Dust gets a shoulder up on the cover. Pump Kick by Hazuki, she picks up Dust but Dust avoids the second Pump Kick attempt and hits a Backstabber. Stephanie dives into the ring with a crossbody, Dust follows with a diving kick to Hazuki but Natsu breaks up the pin attempt. Dust picks up Hazuki and goes off the ropes, but Hazuki nails the Pump Kick and covers Dust for two. Hazuki goes off the ropes and hits a sliding kick, but again Dust kicks out of the pin. Hazuki picks up Dust but Dust sneaks in a cradle for two, she goes off the ropes but Natsu knees her from the apron. Natsu comes in and with Hazuki they hit an assisted Codebreaker, Hazuki picks up Dust and delivers a Michinoku Driver for the three count! Oedo Tai wins!

This match was surprisingly solid. I always go into matches with the Gaijin Of The Month with low expectations, not because they are necessarily bad wrestlers but it can take time to get chemistry with wrestlers and adapt to the Stardom style. Dust and Stephanie are both new to me but I was impressed with how they both felt natural in there with Natsu and Hazuki, if there were any issues I didn’t see them. Not that it was 100% smooth, matches rarely are, but everything flowed well and the moves were hit crisply. I am all aboard the Hazuki Train, she looked great here and the match flew by. As far as midcard tag matches go, about all you could hope for, a fun match and a entertaining casual watch.   Mildly Recommended

(c) Mayu Iwatani and Saki Kashima vs. Momo Watanabe and Konami
Goddesses of Stardom Championship

We have reached our first of two title matches tonight. After an absence of over five years, Saki Kashima returned to wrestling in March and quickly reestablished herself in Stardom by winning the Goddesses of Stardom Championship with Mayu on June 3rd. This is their second defense of he title, as they defeated Hazuki and Natsu Sumire in their first defense on June 24th. Konami and Momo are both members of the Queen’s Quest faction, which looks different now with Io Shirai gone but they are continuing to fight on in her absence. Momo already comes in with one belt around her waist, so if she wins the tag titles here she will continue to stake her claim as Future Ace of Stardom.

Queen’s Quest attacks before the match officially starts, they stack the STARS team in the corner and both connect with running strikes. Momo stays in the ring with Saki, scoop slam by Momo and she covers Saki for two. Momo kicks Saki while she is against the ropes and chokes her in the corner, scoop slam by Momo and she tags in Konami. Snapmare by Konami and she applies a sleeper, but Saki gets to the ropes to force the break. Irish whip by Konami and she kicks Saki in the chest, but Saki kicks out of the cover. Konami tags Momo back in, Saki goes off the ropes but Konami trips her from the floor and pulls her head over the apron. Momo slides out of the ring and boots Saki, Konami then dropkicks Saki before Momo and Saki return to the ring. Momo continues kicking Saki until Saki catches one and hits a dragon screw, giving her time to tag in Mayu. Dropkick by Mayu, she picks up Momo and dropkicks her in the knee. Sliding Kick by Mayu, and she covers Momo for two. Mayu goes off the ropes but Konami kicks her from the apron, Konami comes in the ring but Mayu fights them both off and hits a springboard crossbody on both opponents. Saki returns and they both hit dropkicks, Mayu picks up Momo but Momo slides away. Dropkick by Momo and she makes the tag to Konami, kicks to the chest by Konami and she delivers a sliding kick while Mayu is against the ropes.

Konami rolls Mayu to the mat and applies the Calf Killer, she reverts it into a sleeper but Saki breaks it up. Konami applies a kneelock but Mayu quickly gets out of it with a kick to the head, Konami applies an ankle hold and delivers a German suplex while maintaining a hold on Mayu’s leg. Konami charges Mayu but Mayu catches her with a superkick and tags in Saki. Saki goes for a boot but Konami ducks and hits an enzuigiri, she tags in Momo who dropkicks Saki in the corner. Back up, Saki and Momo trade strikes until Saki hits a double underhook facebuster for two. High kick by Momo and she goes for the B Driver, Saki gets out of it but Momo hits a Somato for two. Momo applies a chickenwing but Mayu breaks it up, Saki and Mayu both kick Momo before Mayu goes up top and hits a diving body press. Saki follows with a diving footstomp, but Konami breaks up the cover. Saki goes off the ropes but Konami kicks her in the head, jumping knee by Momo but Saki reverses the cover as the pair trade flash pins. Konami returns and with Momo they both dropkick Saki, they both get on the second turnbuckle together and hit tandem jumping knees. B Driver by Momo to Saki, but Mayu breaks up the cover. Konami takes care of Mayu while Momo puts Saki in the crossface chickenwing, she goes for the Tequila Sunrise but Saki reverses it into a roll-up. Momo kicks out but Saki quickly puts her in a crucifix cover, and she picks up the three count! Saki Kashima and Mayu Iwatani remain the champions!

Another fun match, although not without some minor flaws. I’m willing to give Saki a bit of a break since she just recently returned to wrestling but she still is not as crisp in execution as everyone else in this match so some of her segments lagged a bit. But Konami looked great, maybe now that she is signing with Stardom they will finally give her a bit more of a push, and Mayu/Momo were their usual solid selves. Even though it was a title match it didn’t really feel like one, not sure if it was the match time, lack of big moments or the flash pin ending but it felt more like a normal co-main than a match with a championship on the line. Still, it was a good match as you can’t really go wrong with Mayu and Momo, and with Konami stepping up I am looking forward to where they go going forward.  Mildly Recommended

(c) Kagetsu vs. Viper
World of Stardom Championship

Main Event time! Kagetsu dethroned Toni Storm to win the World of Stardom Championship on June 9th, and this is her first defense of the title. Since returning from a brief hiatus last spring, Kagetsu has been on a tear as this is already her 10th title match of 2018 overall. Viper has been a semi-regular in Stardom since 2016, however she has struggled to win one of the top titles in the promotion as so far she is 0-4 in matches for the World or Wonder of Stardom Championship. Still, she comes into the match with the SWA Undisputed World Championship which she won from Toni Storm earlier in the year, and is hoping to build on that by winning the top title in Stardom against the Oedo Tai leader.

They tie up to start, Viper pushes Kagetsu into the ropes but she gives a clean break. Kagetsu tries to knock over Viper with shoulderblocks but it naturally doesn’t work, Viper easily shoulderblocks Kagetsu to the mat but Kagetsu kips up and kicks Viper in the midsection. Viper blocks the snapmare attempt as they both grab each other’s hair, eye rake by Kagetsu and she kicks Viper in the back before applying a chinlock. Neck snap by Kagetsu but Viper quickly recovers and pounds Kagetsu into the mat. Viper charges Kagetsu but Kagetsu moves, and Viper falls out of the ring to the floor. Oedo Tai attacks Viper but Queen’s Quest runs them off, Kagetsu throws Viper into the chairs at ringside before bringing her to the other side of the ring to try it again, but Viper reverses it and Kagetsu goes into the stands. Viper returns to the ring with Kagetsu very slowly following, Viper puts Kagetsu in the cobra clutch before spinning her around and hitting a lariat, but Kagetsu kicks out of the cover. Backdrop suplex by Viper, she picks up Kagetsu but Kagetsu gets away and slides to the apron. She goes for a swandive move but Viper catches her and tosses Kagetsu back into the ring. Running elbow drop by Viper followed by a low crossbody, but Kagetsu bridges out of the cover. Viper positions Kagetsu near the corner and goes up the turnbuckles, but Kagetsu recovers and dropkicks her out of the ring to the floor. Kagetsu goes off the ropes and sails out onto Viper with a tope suicida, she gets back in and immediately hits a second followed by a third. Kagetsu slides Viper back in, she goes up top and hits a missile dropkick followed by a jumping elbow in the corner.

She tries to pick up Viper but Viper elbows her off, they trade attempts at various moves until Kagetsu scores with a cross armbreaker takedown. Viper inches to the ropes and gets there for the break, diving footstomp to the arm by Kagetsu and she puts Viper in a seated armbar. Viper gets to the ropes to break it up, kick by Kagetsu and she goes off the ropes, but Viper turns her inside out with a lariat. Cannonball by Viper in the corner, she covers Kagetsu but it gets two. Viper picks up Kagetsu but Kagetsu blocks the Michinoku Driver and sneaks in a couple flash pins for two. She goes off the ropes but Viper catches her and hits the Michinoku Driver, cover by Viper but it gets two. Viper positions Kagetsu and goes for the Vader Bomb, but Kagetsu moves and hits the Ebisu Drop for two. Kagetsu goes up top and nails the Oedo Coaster, but Viper barely gets a shoulder up on the cover. Kagetsu goes back up top but Viper hits her before she can jump off and joins her, avalanche Michinoku Driver by Viper but Kagetsu kicks out of the pin. Kagetsu slowly returns to her feet and elbows Viper, Viper elbows her back and the two trade strikes until Viper hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Viper puts Kagetsu in a kimura with a headscissors, but Kagetsu manages to get to the ropes for the break. The referee tries to keep Viper back so he can check on Kagetsu, but Viper pushes the ref to the mat and picks up Kagetsu anyway. Kagetsu takes advantage by spitting blue mist into Viper’s face and dropping Viper near the corner with a Death Valley Bomb, she goes up top and nails a second Oedo Coaster for the three count pinfall! Kagetsu wins and retains the championship!

A thoroughly entertaining main event. The beginning dragged a bit, if anything Kagetsu over-sold some of the early offense since it lead to her recovering too quickly as the match really picked up steam. From the middle portion onward though everything was quality, as Viper seemed more vicious and focused than she sometimes is and Kagetsu’s comeback spots were well timed. I think that Viper may be the first wrestler to kick out of the Oedo Coaster, but it made sense as up to that point, Viper didn’t have a lot of damage done to her and needed to be worn down more for it to work. Course I am always a fan of the mist and the ending was a convincing way to win for the champion. I may have trimmed off a few minutes towards the beginning (or just had less waiting around) but overall still a really fun match and a better-than-expected main event for a non-Korakuen Hall show.  Recommended

Final Thoughts:


For an event that didn’t air on Samurai TV, this was a really solid show. Every match on the card had redeeming qualities, and even the opener was perfectly fine for what it was. Dust and Stephanie Vaquer did better than I was expecting so that was a nice surprise, and the tag title match was entertaining. The main event may be my favorite Viper match in Stardom, and while it was not a MOTYC for me it still kept me hooked in as I love what Kagetsu is doing and Viper was a good foil. Overall a good showing, maybe Stardom will be just fine in the post-Io Shirai era.