Stardom Shining Stars (Afternoon 25/5/19) Review

Credit: Stardom

After a short break post-Korakuen, Stardom made their way to Osaka for a double bill. With two new champions on top and Tokyo Cyber Squad continuing to make their impact, it’s an exciting time for the company. Let’s see if they can keep that momentum going.

Konami defeated Leo Onozaki

Konami out-classed Onozaki. The youngster showed a lot of fire, roaring her defiance as she faced a barrage of kicks to the head, but passion only gets you so far. Konami was better than her on the mat while those blows began to add up. All the defiance in the world couldn’t have got her back on her feet after the final one. Still, it was a good showing from the rookie and a solid tune-up victory for Konami.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

Natsu Sumire defeated Saya Iida

Iida holds a pinfall victory over Sumire after catching her with the Iidabashi (that cool bridging roll-up she does) in a Battle Royal. Unfortunately, there was to be no repeat of that performance, as Sumire took the rookie to school, showing off a surprising range of submissions.

The match itself felt like it came second to the ongoing feud between Saki Kashima and Natsu. Saki was at ringside, and Sumire was playing up to that, attempting to piss the Pink Bean Sprout off. That’s become a fun mid-card battle as Natsu continues to show a talent for getting into Kashima’s head. At this point, their presence in the same building equals entertainment.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

Andras Miyagu defeated Starlight Kid

Miyagi and Kid went out and told the story you’d expect, with Kid’s speed coming up against Andras’s superior size and strength. When Kid tried to fly around the ring, Miyagi resorted to brute force, ignoring the ref’s admonishment as she relied on a good old-fashioned punch to turn the action in her favour. She was keeping it simple in her quest to out-power Starlight.

It was the perfect build-up for Starlight’s comeback as she exploded forward, raising the pace and coming close to stealing the win. However, her day would ultimately come to an end as Miyagi threw the ref into Kid, bashed her with a chair and spiked her with a Tombstone for the three. I’d have preferred a clean finish, but a heel’s got to heel now and then, and this was great fun.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Queen’s Quest (Momo Watanabe and Bea Priestley) defeated STARS (Arisa Hoshiki and Saki Kashima)

They might not be deep into their reigns, but Hoshiki and Priestley already found themselves in the ring together. I’m not entirely behind that decision. It would have been nice to see Hoshiki win the first match she took part in as champion, and even though Kashima took the fall, it was still a bit of a down note on which to start her title run.

Minor booking quibble aside, it was a strong performance from Hoshiki for her first time out with the white belt. She kicked the shit out of Momo before having a Running Bicycle Knee off with Bea, which was a ballsy move from Priestley considering Arisa throws the best knee in the business at the moment.

Eventually, Kashima took over and after running through her offence ended up being dropped on her head with a B-Driver. A Queen’s Landing followed and sealed the Queen’s Quest win. These four could easily have a much better match, but for this show and this spot on the card, it was everything it needed to be.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Tokyo Cyber Squad (Hana Kimura, Jungle Kyona and Death Yama-san) defeated Oedo Tai (Kagetsu, Hazuki and Natsuko Tora)

Hana and Jungle secretly revealed in their pre-match promo that Death Yama-san is Kaori Yoneyama! I, for one, am shocked, astounded and flabbergasted by this revelation. Who could have seen that coming? We’re supposed to keep it a secret, though, so tell no-one.

Talking of Death (that is how I shall be referring to her by the way), she caught me off-guard with her performance. She faced Hazuki for the High Speed Title on the second show from this day which I thought was a weird fit, but the quick interactions they had together saw her work at a pace I’ve never seen from her. In JAN she spent most of her time wrestling rookies, so I may have underestimated her skills as a worker.

Elsewhere, this was a match with more than one personal stake involved. Hana has no problems expressing her hatred for Kagetsu, while Jungle and Tora’s relationship isn’t on much better terms. Strangely, they didn’t grab the opportunity to fly out the gate at each other, instead choosing to open with some intricate wrestling, but the second time they ended up in the ring the floodgates opened. Those two love to hit each other, and I’m still craving a proper singles match between them. Kimura vs Kagetsu and Tora vs Kyona, that would do, wouldn’t it?

On this day it was TCS who took home the victory, as Death pinned Hazuki with a fucking Code Red (seriously, I had no idea she could do this shit) ahead of her title shot. I am unspoiled on the result of that match, but, as much as I love Hazuki, I am down for our new extreme metal High Speed champion.

Anyway, this match was a blast. Tokyo Cyber Squad are nailing these main-event spots, and you can always rely on Oedo Tai to deliver. They worked fast and didn’t give your eyes a chance to move away from the screen. Lovely stuff.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

Overall Show

Like most Stardom shows this was an easy watch with a great main event and an undercard that had plenty to get your teeth into. Nothing here was unmissable, but outside of the opening two matches, I haven’t dropped below three and a half stars, so that’s a solid slab of wrestling. If you’re not already watching Stardom, you’re really missing out. Get on it.

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