Stardom New Years Stars (6/1/19) Review

After five shows in five days, Stardom finished their first run of 2019 off in Osaka. It’s not a shabby way to end either, as we’re getting another big main event from Starlight Kid as she attempts to take Hazuki’s High Speed Championship. Shall we see what happened? I think so.

Jamie Hayter, Sadie Gibbs and Bobbi Tyler defeated Hanan, Hina and Rina

We’ve got an odd trio dynamic going on as Hayter turned on Bobbi earlier in the tour to join Oedi Tai and has wrestled both of her partners since then (beating Bobbi and going to a draw with Sadie). I’m assuming the logic is that the match was already booked? Either way, they’ve been thrown together to face the sisters.

Hayter did say in her pre-match promo that she planned to sit this one out, leaving the other two to deal with it. However, when things started, she got the classic rookie treatment en-masse. Then, when she finally went for the tag, Gibbs and Tyler dropped off the apron.

They would eventually save her from a three-way submission, and that proved enough for her to drive her knee into Hanan for the three. A short, but fun match.

Verdict: Two And A Quarter Stars

Afterwards, Hana Kimura grabbed the mic in an attempt to convince Hayter that she’d made a mistake joining Oedo Tai and should get back together with them. Jamie refused, sparking a brawl between the two teams.

Oedo Tai (Kagetsu and Natsu Sumire) fought Hana Kimura and Mary Apache to a no contest

This gave Stardom a chance to pull the old Paul E. trick of having one match run into the other. When the brawl returned to the ring, we were away, with Apache and Natsu going at it.

They kept this short as frustrations boiled over again and the brawl resumed mid-action, but before that happened, the highlight was Nakano vs Kagetsu. It’s becoming a recurring theme in Oedo Tai bouts that they come to life when Kagetsu hits the ring, and it’s not difficult to conclude that she’s fantastic.

Anyway, these two matches were designed to expand on the story between Hana’s group and Oedo Tai. In that sense, they did their job.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

Queen’s Quest (Viper and AZM) defeated JAN (Jungle Kyona and Ruaka)

I’m loath to be too harsh on Ruaka as she’s ridiculously young, but she needs a lot of polish. There’s something unnatural about the way she moves around the ring, and there’s an edge of clumsiness to her work. I’m sure it will come, she’s got plenty of time while just working a match at her age is impressive.

This was standard tag-team fare. In a revelation that will shock no-one, Viper and Kyona had some good interactions. Apart from that, there’s not much to say.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

Queen’s Quest (Momo Watanabe, Utami Hayashishita, Konami and Bea Priestley) defeated Stars (Tam Nakano, Saki Kashina, Natsumi and Alex Gracia)

This continued the build to Momo vs Tam and, as has been the theme all tour, their face-offs were the best thing about it. They throw themselves at each other, putting everything into it and only stopping when they’re both too exhausted to continue. I have high hopes for that one.

Before that, the match was plugging along nicely with Konami and Kashima doing some good work. Alex Gracia was less impressive, and I’m yet to see anything from her that makes me think she has it. She’s still early in her career, so perhaps I’m being harsh, but even in the final act when she got to share the ring with Watanabe, she never looked anything more than okay.

Still, it was a good match which stoked the fires a little bit more between Nakano and Watanabe with Momo thrusting the belt in Tam’s face after the bell. You won’t remember it in a week, but you won’t regret watching it either.

Verdict: Three Stars

Hazuki defeated Starlight Kid to retain the High Speed Title

Starlight Kid is looking to bounce back from her Future Of Stardom title lose while Hazuki doesn’t really want the High Speed belt, but now she has it, has decided she might as well make it decent. Contrasting attitudes for you there.

That contrast would play into the story of the fight. From the start, Starlight Kid was the one throwing herself across the ring, desperate to make up for her defeat. She controlled the vast majority of the action, using her speed to bring a constant barrage of attacks on Hazuki who could never gain a foothold in proceedings.

Except, it was never enough. Hazuki kept kicking out, and Kid got frustrated. When she got frustrated, she made a mistake. Rather than sticking to what was working, she began trading strikes with Hazuki, and at that moment the champ was able to turn things around.

Hazuki’s superior power gave her an edge, and when she got Kid down on the ground, she took to the top rope for a Twisting Shooting Star Press (I’m sure it has a catchier name) and the three. It was a simple story, told in around ten minutes and pulled off brilliantly.

This goes down as the second time in a week that Starlight Kid pulled off a top tier main event match. I’d put this slightly below her defeat to Utami as it didn’t have anything like Utami’s selling of the leg, but I loved that match, so it’s no insult. Both of these wrestlers put on one hell of a showing, and when you take into account how young they are, you can’t stop yourself getting a bit excited about what the future will hold.

Verdict: Four Stars

Overall Show

A fitting end to Stardom’s run of shows in early January. They’re not finished for the month, but after five events between the 2nd of January and the 6th, they earned a well-earned rest before the next one. As for me, it’s safe to say that I’m well on board the Stardom bandwagon.

Watch New Year Stars:

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