Event: Stardom Yokohama Cinderella
Date: October 3rd, 2020
Location: Yokohama Budokan in Yokohama, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,007
For Stardom, this is a massive event at Yokohama Budokan, as they stack the card with surprises and title matches. Four titles are on the line here, although the High Speed, Trios, and Future of Stardom championships are not represented (Stardom has a lot of titles). We have two matches with “mystery opponents” plus the random one night return of former Stardom wrestler Yuna Manase. At the top of the card, both major single titles are being defended, and we will crown a new SWA Undisputed Women Women’s Champion after the title was vacated due to Jamie Hayter not being able to travel. On top of that, Oedo Tai and Tokyo Cyber Squad battle it out to see which faction will have to disband…… forever! Here is the full card:
Big show! Since it was shown on PPV and was uploaded on Stardom World, all matches will be shown on full. You can click on the wrestler’s name above to go straight to their profile on Joshi City.
AZM vs. Starlight Kid
We start the show with a title match! It wasn’t that long ago that these two were in the opener due to their age and experience, but now they are here to set the tone for the event. AZM just turned 18, which I say not to get the creeps excited but Stardom has shown before that they tend to ‘take the wheels off’ wrestlers once they get older and really elevate them, which they seem to be doing with AZM. Starlight Kid is a similar age and is a crowd favorite, so putting these two on first is a big show of confidence which I am sure they will justify by putting on a really fun match.
Starlight Kid goes off the ropes to start but AZM dropkicks her to the mat, stomps by AZM and she Irish whips Starlight Kid from the corner and dropkicks her to a seated position. AZM flips Starlight Kid back to the middle of the ring and performs a cocky cover, scoop slam by AZM near the ropes and she stands on her arm. Slingshot footstomp to the arm by AZM, and she covers Starlight Kid for two. Starlight Kid tries to fight back with elbows but AZM levels her, AZM picks up Starlight Kid and Irish whips her but Starlight Kid jumps out to the apron and elbows AZM as she charges in. DDT onto the apron by Starlight Kid, AZM falls out of the ring and Starlight Kid goes up top and dives down onto her with a plancha. Starlight Kid picks up AZM and slides her back into the ring, she goes off the ropes and hits the Tiger Feint Kick. Standing moonsault by Starlight Kid, but it gets a two count. Starlight Kid Irish whips AZM to the corner but AZM rebounds out of it with a dropkick, vertical suplex by AZM and she covers Starlight Kid for two.
Fujiwara Armbar by AZM but Starlight Kid quickly gets to the ropes, AZM goes up top but Starlight Kid avoids the diving footstomp. Starlight Kid catches AZM’s kick and delivers a dropkick, Backstabber by Starlight Kid out of the corner and she goes up top, but AZM recovers and joins her. Starlight Kid boots AZM back to the mat and delivers the swivel body press, but AZM kicks out and kicks her in the head. AZM then goes up top and hits the diving footstomp, but it gets a two count. Back up, head kick by AZM but Starlight Kid snaps off a DDT, and both wrestlers are down on the mat. They both kip-up and trade elbows, Starlight Kid charges AZM but AZM kicks her in the head and sits on the top turnbuckle. Kick to the arm by AZM and she hits another diving footstomp, but again it gets two. AZM picks up Starlight Kid and hits La Mistica, she switches it to a seated armbar but Starlight Kid gets a foot on the ropes for the break. AZM picks up Starlight Kid but Starlight Kid reverses the triple jump move into a Codebreaker, cross-legged suplex by Starlight Kid but AZM kicks out at two.
Starlight Kid picks up AZM but AZM blocks the Ki-chan Bomb, Starlight Kid ducks AZM’s kicks however and delivers another Codebreaker. Tiger Feint Kick to the back by Starlight Kid and she nails the Ki-chan Bomb, but AZM is too close to the ropes and gets a foot on one to break up the count. Starlight Kid goes to the second turnbuckle but AZM avoids the moonsault, they trade flash pins but neither can get the three count. Kick to the head by Starlight Kid, she goes to the top turnbuckle but AZM joins her, slamming her arm-first down to the mat. Cross armbreaker by AZM, but Starlight Kid gets to the ropes. AZM goes back to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving footstomp to Starlight Kid’s arm, she pulls Starlight Kid to the corner and hits an armbreaker to the mat. Double armbar by AZM, she switches it to another modified armbreaker hold and Starlight Kid has to submit! AZM wins and is still the champion.
A great way to kick off the show. I liked that AZM’s focus on the arm wasn’t just for killing time or for the fun of it, but it continued to be her main target and then she won the match with an arm submission. What else could one ask for? Normally the opener in Stardom doesn’t try to steal the show but they still put on some high flying moves to show they weren’t just two kids putting on an exhibition, and both hit their moves flawlessly. There were a few weird selling parts, which they will get better at as they continue having longer and more important matches, but overall I thought this delivered. An entertaining match between two of the promotion’s best rising stars. Recommended
Hanan vs. Mina Shirakawa
This match had the first of two ‘surprises’ of the night, as Hanan’s opponent turns out to be Mina Shirakawa! Mina is best known to Joshi fans as wrestling in Tokyo Joshi Pro, which she recently left to become a free agent. I’m not really sure why her debut is against a child but this is Stardom so it is what it is. Hanan just recently returned from a long layoff, she is now 16 years old so is getting closer to (potentially) being a full time wrestler but she isn’t there yet. This is clearly set up to give Mina an easy win, but we’ll see if she looks impressive in the process.
They tie-up to start and trade wristlocks, Hanan gets Mina to the mat but Mina gains the dominate position as they trade holds. Irish whip by Mina and she hits an armdrag, she goes for a submission but Hanan quickly crawls to the ropes for the break. Mina goes off the ropes but Hanan catches her with a dropkick, dropkick in the corner by Hanan and she covers Mina for two. Hanan goes for a cross armbreaker but Mina blocks it, Hanan stomps on Mina’s arm but Mina elbows her and the two trade blows. Jumping double chop by Mina and she hits an elbow in the corner followed by another double chop for a two count cover. Mina puts Hanan in the Mexican Surfboard before releasing her after a moment, Mina goes off the ropes but Hanan hits a judo toss. STO by Hanan and she hits a double wrist armsault for two. Hanan goes off the ropes but Mina hits a Lou Thesz Press for two. Hanan ducks Mina’s back elbow and cradles her for two, Hanan goes off the ropes but Mina hits the backfist. Mina goes up top the top turnbuckle and hits a twisting crossbody, Impact DDT by Mina and she covers Hanan for the three count! Mina Shirakawa is the winner.
Its an odd choice to me to have Mina debut for the promotion and have a back-and-forth match with a 16 year old. Clearly Mina isn’t going to be used towards the top of the card and knowing that Stardom is also an “idol” promotion I think we all know the reason that Mina is here. The match had nothing wrong with it, it was technically sound and Hanan seems to have worked the rust off after her time off. This felt more like an opener, a slightly confusing match but non-offensive.
Natsu Sumire and Yuna Manase vs. Riho and Saya Iida
Speaking of unusual decisions, I am not really sure what Yuna Manase brings to the table as she makes an appearance in Stardom for the first time in many years. Yuna began her career in Stardom but since then has made a few stops around the Joshi scene (most notably Tokyo Joshi Pro). She hasn’t re-signed with Stardom but is just making an appearance, teaming with Oedo Tai’s Natsu Sumire of all people. They are against Riho and Saya Iida, as Stardom continues to use Riho as low card fodder. This whole match is odd to me but we’ll see what they can pull off.
Riho and Saya attack before the bell rings and isolate Yuna, double teaming her. Yuna regains the advantage and lariats both of them, Yuna picks up Saya and hits a scoop slam. Yuna tags in Natsu, Natsu comes in with her whip and hits Saya in the midsection with it. Natsu throws Saya into the corner and mounts her, Yuna comes in to help but Riho breaks it up. Natsu hits the gyrating bronco buster on Saya while Yuna keeps Riho occupied, Natsu tags in Yuna, lariat by Yuna to Saya and she covers her for two. Saya fights back and goes for a scoop slam, but Yuna blocks it and hits a slam of her own. Yuna throws Saya into the corner and hits a lariat, big boot by Yuna and she covers Saya for another two count. Saya finally hits a slam and makes the hot tag to Riho, spinning headscissors by Riho to Yuna and she follows with a Tiger Feint Kick. Riho gets on the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody, but Yuna rolls through it and throws Riho to the mat.
Yuna kicks Riho in the back before sitting on Riho for a two count. Yuna goes off the ropes but Riho rolls her to the mat and hits a footstomp. She tags in Saya, dropkick by Saya and she chops Yuna against the ropes. Yuna returns with shots of her own but Saya chops Yuna to the mat, they both go off the ropes and Yuna delivers a lariat. That gives her time to tag in Natsu, knees by Natsu and she boots Saya while she is against the ropes. Bridging slam by Natsu, but it gets a two count. Riho runs in to help her partner and they both dropkick Natsu, Saya goes up top and hits a missile dropkick on Natsu for two. Saya picks up Natsu but Natsu blocks the Northern Lights Suplex, DDT by Natsu and she connects with the Shining Wizard. Natsu picks up Saya and drops her with the Demon, but Riho quickly breaks up the cover. Yuna shoulderblocks Riho, Natsu gets her whip but Saya avoids it and dropkicks her. Elbows by Natsu and Yuna comes in, but she boots Natsu by accident. Saya picks up Natsu and nails the Northern Lights Suplex, picking up the three count Riho and Saya Iida are the winners!
One of the issues with many Joshi fans online is an unwillingness to admit when a wrestler isn’t good in-ring. Even wrestlers that clearly aren’t very skilled are heavily praised, in cases starting ironically but then somehow becoming real just from persistently being said over a long period of time. I set that up to say – Yuna Manase and Natsu Sumire both aren’t very good wrestlers. Yuna has never been good, there is a reason she jumps from promotion to promotion and if anyone else but Natsu was doing whipping and gyrating bronco busters (particularly to children) everyone would be up in arms about how overly sexual and inappropriate it is. But I don’t get paid to lie (or at all) so the fact of the matter is this match had three ‘average to below average’ wrestlers and Riho, who is good but not good enough to drag everyone else to a good match. I don’t know why his match happened, this combination of wrestlers will never be in the ring together again (hopefully) and we can move on.
Death Yama-san vs. Natsupoi
Finally, Natsumi Maki has returned to Stardom! DDM already was my favorite Joshi stable, now they took it to another level. Stardom always felt like such a good fit for her, and her brief run in the promotion back in 2016 introduced Joshi fans to her and she has been on many fan’s radar ever since, as she has the look and skill to succeed in Stardom. Sadly they didn’t give her much to work with her in debut, in another odd choice with match pairings as she goes against the comedy wrestler Death Yama-san. So while I am not looking forward to that aspect of the match, I’m certainly excited to see Natsumi Maki (now known as Natsupoi) in Stardom once again.
Death of course poses off the start while Natsupoi ignores her, Natsupoi finally gets into it with her as they go off the ropes before Natsupoi hits an armdrag. Natsupoi throws down Death by the hair a few times, stomps by Natsupoi in the corner but Death grabs her by the nose. Death applies an abdominal stretch (while posing of course), she lets go after a moment and throws Natsupoi into the corner, but Natsupoi boots her when she charges in. Dropkick by Natsupoi but Death hits a throat trust, running senton by Death and she covers Natsupoi for two. Death goes for a suplex but Natsupoi lands on her feet and applies a tilt-a-whirl into a standing armbar. Death gets into the ropes for the break, cradle by Natsupoi but it gets two. Dropkicks by Natsupoi, she goes off the ropes and dropkicks Death in the head. Natsupoi goes up top and hits a diving crossbody, picking up a two count. Natsupoi goes for a neckbreaker but Death rolls out of it, Natsupoi hits a running neckbreaker but Death reverses the cover into a cradle of her own for two. Superkick by Natsupoi, and she nails a German Suplex Hold for the three count! Natsupoi is the winner.
Even though the match was a joke, Natsupoi looked really good as she tends to do so I wouldn’t consider it a wasted debut. Making a grand return to Stardom against a comedy wrestler is still an odd decision for Natsumi and there had to have been better options, but she made the best out of the situation and showed that she belongs. I look forward to more matches with Natsumi in the future, hopefully ones that will last longer and will be against better opponents.
Bea Priestley vs. Momo Watanabe
SWA Undisputed World Women’s Championship
Business has finally picked up, as Bea is back. I’m probably the last Western fan of Bea Priestley (don’t tell Twitter), she’s a really good wrestler and a quality heel so I am glad to see her back to hopefully make Oedo Tai less shitty. On her first tour since returning she jumps right back into it as she tries to win the SWA Undisputed World Women’s Championship, which was vacated by Jamie Hayter due to being unable to travel to Japan to defend it. She is against The True Heart of Stardom, as Momo has her first singles title shot since January. Being this early on the card they may hold back a bit, but this should still be a quality title match.
They immediately get into it trading elbows, Momo goes for a dropkick but Bea avoids it and stomps her in the back. Momo throws Bea out of the ring and goes out after her, snapmare by Momo and she kicks Bea in the back. Momo puts Bea on the apron and goes for the B Driver, but Bea blocks it. Kicks to the chest by Momo but Bea avoids one and Momo kicks the ring post by mistake. Bea pulls Momo back to the floor and stomps on her leg, she picks up Momo and throws her into the ring apron. Bea returns to the ring but Momo follows, Bea twists Momo’s leg around the bottom rope and stomps on it some more. Bea picks up Momo and throws her into the corner, as she continues working on her leg. Bea picks up Momo and hits a scoop slam, cover by Bea but it gets a two count. Bea keeps on Momo’s leg, Irish whip by Bea to the corner but Momo avoids her charge and delivers a dropkick. Another dropkick by Momo, she gets on the second turnbuckle and dropkicks Bea in the back. PK by Momo and she kicks Bea in the corner, cover by Momo but it gets two. Momo applies the chickenwing but Bea blocks the suplex, she rolls Momo to the mat and applies a kneelock. Momo gets out of it, Bea picks her up and hits a snap suplex for two.
Bea sets up Momo’s leg across the rope and goes up top, but Momo recovers and elbows her before she can jump off. Bea knocks her back but Momo catches her coming off the top and delivers a uranage. Momo picks up Bea, kick combination by Momo and she puts Bea on the top turnbuckle. Momo joins her and goes for a B Driver, but Bea flips over her and goes for a powerbomb. Momo blocks it but Bea then goes for a German suplex, which Momo blocks as well. Momo turns around and hits a Diving Somato, picking up a two count. B Driver by Momo, but that gets a two count as well. Momo picks up Bea and puts her on the turnbuckles again, but Bea slides away and superkicks Momo in the head. Queen’s Landing attempt by Bea but Momo rolls out of it, Knee by Momo and she covers Bea for two. Momo applies the chickenwing, release suplex by Momo and she delivers a Somato for a two count. Momo goes for a head kick Bea catches her leg, Momo goes for a suplex but Bea blocks it. Dragon Screw Leg Whip by Bea and she nails the Bea Trigger, Regal Plex by Bea but Momo kicks out at two. Bea hits another Bea Trigger in the corner, she gets Momo on the turnbuckles and drops her with the Queen’s Landing, picking up the three count! Bea Priestley is the new champion!
While I probably could have done without such a focus on the leg work in such a short title match, overall this was really good. Bea’s leg work was excellent but Momo didn’t do a whole lot to sell it when it wasn’t actively being worked on, which only matters when it is such a big part of the match. But Bea didn’t forget as really she set up the end run by hitting the Dragon Screw, so I appreciate her dedication to it. Besides the leg selling issue, Momo looked great and is stealthily one of the best wrestlers in Stardom, even if she doesn’t get much of a chance to show it. Everything looked crisp and they kept the match moving, which is good since it was only ten minutes long. I wish they could have gotten more time and a better spot on the card, but still an entertaining match between two quality wrestlers. Mildly Recommended
Jungle Kyona and Konami vs. Natsuko Tora and Saki Kashima
The losing faction in this match must disband, which means after tonight either Tokyo Cyber Squad or Oedo Tai will no longer exist. Going into the match, most fans had accepted the sad truth that Tokyo Cyber Squad was destined to go away. The stable was Hana Kimura’s creation and after her passing, it seemed only a matter of time that Stardom would want to go in a different direction, particularly with the issues between Kyoko Kimura and Stardom. So the question here isn’t the what but the how, as there are different ways to go about a faction disbanding. At least both sides have their top wrestlers here and its not the scrubs, making the match feel a bit more important. Let’s see how this works out.
Oedo Tai set up a little chair tower in the corner before the match started, which I appreciate so they don’t waste time during the match doing it. Oedo Tai attacks before the match starts, Jungle fights back against Natsuko and the two trade blows. Jungle tries to throw Natsuko into the chair tower but Natsuko slams on the breaks, Konami returns but Natsuko spears both of them. Saki comes in and they both throw Jungle into the chair tower in the corner, Natsuko hits Jungle in the midsection with a chair and Saki hits a facebuster onto it. Senton by Natsuko and a cover, but it gets a two count. Saki chokes Jungle with the chair and then hits both Konami and Jungle with one, she puts the chair on both of them and Natsuko hits a senton. Saki throws Jungle into the corner and tags in Natsuko (I guess this match has tags), Natsuko throws down Jungle by the hair, bootscrapes by Natsuko and she hits a running boot. Natsuko and Saki both try to suplex Jungle but Jungle reverses it into her own double suplex, giving her time to tag in Konami.
Konami delivers strikes on both opponents before putting Saki in a leg submission, Natsuko breaks it up but Konami kicks her in the head. Saki cradles Konami before kicking her, double arm suplex by Saki but it gets two. Konami catches a Saki kick and applies an ankle hold, but Saki quickly gets out of it and hits a hurricanrana. Running boot by Saki and she tags Natsuko, running elbow by Natsuko in the corner and she hits the cannonball. Samoan Drop by Natsuko, but it gets two. Natsuko gets a chain and puts it down on the mat, she picks up Konami and tries to slam her onto it, but Konami slides away. Kicks by Konami and she hits a German suplex onto the chain for a two count cover. Konami tags Jungle, shoulderblocks by Jungle to Natsuko but Natsuko doesn’t go down. She finally knocks Natsuko over, Jungle throws Natsuko into the corner but Natsuko avoids her charge. Saki comes in but they get stacked in the corner as all of TCS come in the ring to hit running strikes. Jungle goes to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving body press, but Natsuko barely kicks out. Jungle goes for the Hammer Throw Bomb but Natsuko gets away, Jungle goes off the ropes but Natsuko catches her with a lariat for two.
Natsuko gets her chain and chokes Jungle with it, but Konami breaks it up. Kick by Konami to Natsuko but Natsuko levels her with a lariat, swinging side slam by Natsuko to Jungle and she covers her for two. Saki and Bea set up a table, Jungle is put on the table as Natsuko goes up top, but she is grabbed from the apron which gives time for Jungle to recover. Jungle sets up Natsuko for a powerbomb while Konami simultaneously hits a missile dropkick, but Natsuko barely kicks out. They set the table back up while Jungle picks up Natsuko, Jungle drags Natsuko onto the table with her and drops her with a piledriver. Cover by Jungle, but Saki breaks it up by chucking a chair at her. Natsuko tags in Saki, she hits Jungle with the chair and puts it on top of her before hitting a diving footstomp. Konami comes in with a chair but Saki knocks it away form her, she goes to hit Konami with her own chair but stops. Konami picks up a chair but she hits her own partner Jungle with it, Kishikaisei by Saki to Jungle and she picks up the three count! Oedo Tai wins the match and Tokyo Cyber Squad must disband!
I am going to try not to go on a rant so I’ll keep it brief. As wrestling fans we have accepted that some things don’t make sense and are just tropes we deal with, but matches like this take it a bit too far for me. I don’t mind partners turning on each other but it should be early in the match, or part as a run-in, not after 13 minutes. If Konami was going to change sides there were many many nearfalls that could have ended the match prior to her turn and she beat the crap out of her future partners – its just a major logic jump for a partner to ‘play along’ for that long. I don’t mind the heel turn, but I would have preferred she just not be in the match and do it via interference if that was the way they were going.
Anyway, complaints of the structure aside, this was actually a really good ‘hardcore’ style match. They fought like four people that hated each other (which is part of the issue with my above point) as they were using weapons whenever possible but not taking excessive time in the process. There weren’t any long beatdown segments or slow parts, there was non-stop action and everything they did made sense. Jungle was fighting with a lot of passion and in general I thought their ‘acting’ was good as the match felt important. The illogical way they went about the turn brings down the match some for me, but the action was great and its worth watching in that regard for sure. Mildly Recommended
(c) Saya Kamitani and Utami Hayashishita vs. Himeka and Maika
Goddesses of Stardom Championship
We have reached the home stretch, with the next three matches all being title matches. Saya and Utami won the titles in July, as they became a regular tag team after the pandemic as part of the Queen’s Quest faction. This is their first defense of the titles, as they take on two members from Donna Del Mondo. Himeka and Maika aren’t the top wrestlers in DDM, as Giulia and Syuri have matches later, but they are still hard to beat as Himeka in particular has had a lot of success since joining the promotion. This one has a chance of being one of the top matches on the show as they are all young and hungry to deliver on the big stage.
Utami and Maika start the match, they start slow as they trade holds until Utami shoulderblocks Maika to the mat. Saya comes in and they double team Maika, she leaves after a moment as Utami stomps on Maika. She tags Saya, stomps by Saya in the corner but Maika blocks the scoop slam attempt and hits one of her own. Maika tags Himeka and they double team Saya in the corner, Himeka tosses Saya around by her hair before hitting a scoop slam. Himeka picks up Saya and hits another slam before tagging Maika back in, slam by Maika and she stands on Saya’s back. Maika didn’t need help but Himeka comes in anyway, PK by Himeka and Maika covers Saya for two. Saya flips away from Maika and delivers a dropkick, giving her time to tag in Utami. Hard shoulderblocks by Utami but Maika gets her to the mat and applies an armbar. Utami wiggles to the ropes and makes it to force the break, Maika goes off the ropes and boots Utami in the head. STO by Maika and she tags Himeka, lariat by Himeka in the corner and she knees Utami in the face for a two count. Crab hold by Himeka but it gets quickly broken up, Saya stays in but Himeka stacks them in the corner and hits a lariat. Himeka puts both Utami and Saya up on the corner before putting both in an Argentine Backbreaker.
She drops them after a moment and puts Utami in a crab hold, but Utami gets to the ropes. Utami slips away from Utami and dropkicks her, hip toss by Utami and she hits a STO for two. Sleeper by Utami but Maika gets a foot on the ropes for the break, Utami picks up Himeka and tries to put her in the Argentine Backbreaker, but Himeka blocks it and hits a lariat. Utami stays up as they both trade lariats, Himeka knocks over Utami first but Utami quickly gets back up and returns the favor. They keep trading lariats until they both collapse to the mat, Utami makes the hot tag first and Saya hits a diving crossbody onto Himeka. Saya goes up top again and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Saya but it gets two. Himeka knocks down Saya with a lariat, Maika comes in and they both hit sliding strikes to Saya. Cover by Himeka, but it gets two. Himeka positions Saya and goes up top, and with Maika’s help she hits a front flip senton for a two count. Himeka picks up Saya and puts her in the Argentine Backbreaker, she slams Saya in front of her but Utami breaks up the cover. Himeka goes for the powerbomb but Utami breaks it up with a lariat. Release German by Utami to Himeka but Maika lariats her, Maika jumps back onto the apron so that Himeka can tag her in.
Maika tosses Saya around the ring but Saya recovers and slaps Maika, elbows by Saya but Maika knocks her back to the mat. Saya gets back up and they trade elbows again until Maika hits a side slam for two. Maika goes for a suplex but Saya reverses it into a guillotine choke, Maika muscles out of it however and still hits the vertical suplex. Maika goes off the ropes but Saya catches her with a dropkick, crab hold by Saya but Maika gets to the ropes. Saya goes up top but Maika joins her, hitting a superplex down to the mat. Cover by Maika, but Utami breaks it up. Maika goes off the ropes but Saya dropkicks her, kneedrop by Saya and she charges Maika but Maika catches her with a slam. Cross-arm STO by Maika, but Utami makes the save. Maika picks up Saya but Saya slides away and delivers a heel kick. Saya positions Maika and delivers the running Shooting Star Press, but Maika barely kicks out. Fisherman Driver by Saya, but Himeka runs in and breaks up the cover. Utami joins Saya and they hit the Magic Killer onto Maika, Saya goes to the top turnbuckle and she hits the Phoenix Splash! Cover by Saya, and she gets the three count! Saya Kamitani and Utami Hayashishita are still the champions.
One thing that always fascinates me about Utami tag team matches is her partner always seems to do the bulk of the work. Saya was both the Face in Peril and the one that got the last hot tag, as she spent far more time in the ring. Since I love Utami, I’d like to see more of her but I liked her segments with Himeka and she hit a boss German suplex so I’ll let it slide. This match did have an identity issue, for a match that got plenty of time they didn’t really have a story to tell. The submissions were random and without meaning, and Saya seemed to be dominated for the bulk of the match before suddenly winning after hitting a few moves in a row. The action was really good though even if it wasn’t always cohesive, and they didn’t wrestle like a bunch of wrestlers early in their careers. A fun hard hitting match, didn’t quite reach that upper level but entertaining nonetheless. Recommended
(c) Giulia vs. Tam Nakano
Wonder of Stardom Championship
This is the second title match with DDM involved, a trend that will continue in the main event. Giulia won the Wonder of Stardom Championship in a tournament, defeating Tam Nakano in the final. Surprisingly, her first defense also is against Tam Nakano, as their multi-month feud continues. Few were expecting Giulia to lose the belt she just won here, especially since Stardom hasn’t really been pushing Tam as a top-tier wrestler. Still, these two have good chemistry and it should be an entertaining match as they always go all-out.
They charge each other to start and immediately start throwing elbows, they go off the ropes and Tam elbows Giulia to the mat. Giulia gets back up and catches a Tam kick, Tam connects with the next one however and throws Giulia into the corner. Giulia avoids her charge and boots Tam in the corner, DDT by Giulia and she covers Tam for two. Giulia goes up top but Tam joins her, they trade slaps until Tam kicks Giulia in the head, sending her down to the floor. Tam goes back up top and dives out onto Giulia with a plancha, Tam slides Giulia back in but Giulia goes back to the apron. Tam grabs her and applies a dragon sleeper over the top rope, the referee gets her to break it so Tam tries to suplex Giulia back to the mat. Giulia blocks it and elbows her, she turns around while still on the turnbuckle and applies a stretch hold while still perched up top. They finally leave the turnbuckles with a powerbomb by Giulia, she goes back up again but Tam grabs her from behind and hits a German suplex off the turnbuckles.
They both slowly recover and trade elbows, backslide by Giulia and she knees Tam. Giulia puts Tam on the top turnbuckle and joins her, hitting a Glorious Buster down to the mat for a two count cover. Giulia picks up Tam and she goes for another one, but Tam blocks it. Heel kick by Tam but she is too hurt to capitalize, they get to their knees and trade strikes. As they get up, Tam hits a German Suplex Hold and then a Tiger Suplex Hold, but Giulia kicks out at two. Tam picks up Giulia but Giulia snaps off a backdrop suplex, she goes for the Stealth Viper and gets it locked in, but Tam barely gets a foot on the bottom rope to break it up. Giulia drags up Tam but Tam headbutts her, Tam charges Giulia but Giulia gets her in a headlock. Michinoku Driver by Giulia, she goes off the ropes and boots Tam in the head. Tam fires back with a heel kick, more kicks by Tam but Giulia boots her to the mat for a two count. Giulia quickly picks up Tam and drops her with the Glorious Driver, but Tam quickly kicks out. Giulia charges Tam but Tam schoolboys her for a two count. Front dropkick by Giulia, she picks up Tam and hits a final Glorious Driver for the three count! Giulia wins and retains the championship.
I have to say, they wanted to go in a certain direction with this match and they certainly went for it. From the start they were throwing bombs and doing high impact moves, as it felt like 20% of the match took place with one or the other (or both) on the top turnbuckle attempting to do something extra painful. It was a 15 minute dash with little time for breathing, which sometimes is needed just to let the moves have more of an impact with the viewer. They both showed off their toughness, and the match was smooth, it just felt at times like they were trying to do too much to try to one-up their previous match. Giulia stayed in control which made sense as she was the favorite going in, and she came across like she deserves to be in one of the top spots in the promotion. Certainly an entertaining match with a lot of memorable spots, it just needed a little more of a break at some point to let their moves have more meaning. Recommended
(c) Mayu Iwatani vs. Syuri
World of Stardom Championship
After a long show, we have reached the main event! Syuri challenged Mayu for the World of Stardom Championship and she accepted, after STARS and DDM had been in several matches against each other since Syuri joined the faction. Mayu has held the championship since last November but this is only her 4th defense, mostly due to the pandemic eliminating several months in 2020. The Icon of Stardom is the favorite going in even though Syuri is so difficult to pin, as she has been leading the promotion for a year and Syuri is still a newcomer. Both bring a very different style to the ring, so it will be fun to see how they interact together in their first ever singles match against each other.
Syuri pushes Mayu into the ropes to start and they end up on the mat as they jockey for position. Syuri goes for a cross armbreaker but Mayu blocks it, Syuri goes for Mayu’s leg but Mayu gets to the ropes. Back on their feet they trade wristlocks, Syuri works a headlock and gets Mayu to the mat. Back up, Syuri goes off the ropes and stomps on Mayu, Syuri kicks Mayu repeatedly but Mayu fires back with an elbow. Kick to the midsection by Mayu and they both kick each other in the leg, sending them to the mat. Syuri quickly regains the advantage and hits a running knee, sending Syuri fallout out of the ring to the floor. Syuri goes to the apron and hits a jumping knee, Syuri gets Mayu back into the ring and starts working on her leg. Syuri hits a running knee in the corner followed by another one, cover by Syuri but it gets a two count. Syuri applies a figure four leglock, snapmare by Syuri and she kicks Mayu in the back. PK by Syuri, but Mayu kicks out of the cover. Syuri picks up Mayu and continues to kick her, double arm suplex by Syuri and she covers Mayu for another two count. Syuri goes back to the leg but Mayu gets into the ropes for the break, Mayu rolls to the apron but Syuri goes out after her.
Syuri tries to suplex Mayu off the apron but Mayu blocks it, Mayu grabs Syuri and nails a German suplex on the apron. Mayu gets back in the ring, she goes off the ropes and sails out onto Syuri with a plancha suicida. Mayu slides Syuri back in, she goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover by Mayu, but it gets a two count. Mayu goes for the dragon suplex but Syuri grabs the ropes to block it, stomps by Mayu and she dropkicks Syuri while she is against the ropes, sending Syuri back out of the ring. Mayu goes to the top turnbuckle but Syuri gets on the apron to stop her from jumping off, she tries to kick Mayu off the turnbuckle but Mayu catches her leg and snaps it over the ropes. Syuri sits on the top turnbuckle but Mayu joins her and hits a Frankensteiner, Mayu goes back up top and nails the Frog Splash for a two count. Mayu returns to the turnbuckle but Syuri moves out of the way of the moonsault, Buzzsaw Kick by Syuri but she is too hurt to capitalize. Syuri recovers first and elbows Mayu while they are on their knees, but Mayu elbows her back and they trade blows. They keep exchanging elbows as they return to their feet, Syuri hits a Codebreaker and delivers a head kick.
Another kick by Syuri but Mayu rolls out of the ring to recover, she returns after a moment and is immediately grabbed by Syuri. Kicks to the chest by Syuri, cover by Syuri but it gets a two count. Syuri gets Mayu on her shoulders but Mayu hits the Dodonpa for a two count. Syuri goes for a kick but Mayu hits a second one, which gets a two count as well. Mayu goes up top and hits the moonsault, but Syuri barely gets a shoulder up. Mayu goes off the ropes but Syuri nails a head kick, they both slowly get back up and they elbow each other. Superkick by Mayu and she hits a German Suplex Hold, getting a two count. Half and half suplex hold by Mayu, but that gets a two count as well. Syuri grabs Mayu’s leg and puts her in a Stretch Muffler, but Mayu gets to the ropes for the break. Syuri picks up Mayu and gets her on her shoulders, hitting the double knee gutbuster for two. Running knee by Syuri, she picks up Mayu and knees her in the back of the head for a two count. Syuri picks up Mayu but Mayu grabs her and hits a Tombstone Piledriver, Mayu goes to the top turnbuckle and delivers another moonsault for two. Superkicks by Mayu and she kicks Syuri in the head again, Mayu hits the Two Stage Dragon Suplex Hold and she picks up the three count! Mayu Iwatani remains the champion.
This was a very different match stylistically than we have seen up to this point, which I think helped it after the higher paced match that went on previously. Syuri’s leg work felt old school and certainly lasted awhile, the only small issue being Mayu was running around after it and didn’t seem to remember to limp around until later in the match. Mayu always comes across as borderline invincible in her title matches but not necessarily in a bad way and its going to mean a lot when someone finally takes the title off of her. Mayu sells strikes really well and her offense is fun, it was an interesting contrast to Syuri as Mayu really didn’t bother with submissions as she just went for high flying and high impact moves. Even with their style differences they worked together well and nothing felt awkward or out of place. It may have been a few minutes longer than it needed to be and may have taken too long to ‘get going’ for some but overall a fitting main event to a big show. Recommended
This was an interesting show by Stardom. The matches that were supposed to deliver all did on some level, as there are four matches on the show I can recommend without hesitation. There were some other decisions though that dragged the show down as whole, as matches #2 to #4 all weren’t necessary and made the show bloated. Debuting new wrestlers is important but both Natsuki Maki and Mina Shirakawa wrestled nothing opponents, and the tag match just didn’t have any reason to happen. If you just skip those three matches this is a really high end show, it may not have had what will end up being a MOTYC but there was a lot of great wrestling on the card. While most of the undercard can be skipped (except the opener), still a show I can easily recommend and one of the better offerings from Stardom so far in 2020.