Stardom Saki Kashima’s Homecoming (23/6/19) Review

Credit: Stardom

After their two show day in Osaka, Stardom headed to Shimane for Saki Kashima’s Homecoming. Unsurprisingly, she got herself a spot on the main event as STARS once again challenge Tokyo Cyber Squad for the Artist of Stardom Titles. They better not win! This is a pro-TCS website.

We opened with Saki outside the building welcoming her home town to the show.

Xia Brookside defeated Saya Iida

For someone who is only twenty years old and finds themselves on the other side of the world wrestling people who don’t speak the same language as her, Xia displays remarkable confidence. She has star charisma, even at her young age. I guess it must come from growing up with Robbie Brookside as your da.

As for the match, it was a fun little showcase for Xia with Iida getting the usual hope spots. Young Saya (who is older than Brookside) continues to improve, and they gave us everything they needed for an opener.

Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars

Natsu Sumire defeated Leo Onozaki and Death Yama-San in a Three-Way-Battle

Leo thinks that Natsu and Death Yama-san are weird. It’s hard to dispute that take.

We’ve seen a few variations on this match recently, and it’s always good fun as Death and Natsu unleash the comedy. Leo played the straight women to their weirdness well, and everyone had a laugh before Natsu got the win with what I think was a new submission? If it wasn’t, she hasn’t used it in a while.

It’s nothing you need to watch, but if you enjoy comedy wrestling, it’s worth the ten minutes it will take.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

STARS (Toni Storm and Arisa Hoshiki) defeated Tokyo Cyber Squad (Bobbi Tyler and Zoe Lucas)

I can 100% get behind a Toni and Arisa tag-team because that all but eliminates the chance that Hoshiki will be on the losing side. It also looked like the pairing was having a lot of fun together and I’m always down for that.

Bobbi and Zoe felt like less of a natural team as I’m still not entirely convinced by Lucas. I’m willing to give her time, but she’s done nothing to stand out so far while I find her character work to be over the top and irritating rather than heat drawing.

Still, they did what they had to do in this match, playing the fall women to their more prestigious opponents while doing alright when handed the opportunity to shine. It helped that Hoshiki flopped around for them, doing a fantastic job selling their offence before getting her revenge by kicking their heads off. There are not many wrestlers operating at a higher level than her right now.

The finish saw Hoshiki and Storm combine nicely, Arisa using her kicks to set-up Toni’s offence. Unfortunately, her first attempt at the final Bicycle Knee didn’t quite connect, but Tyler actually did a fantastic job of only half selling it which set the champ up nicely to hit a second one and get the three. That was quick thinking from both of them and saved what could have been a dodgy end to a good match.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Oedo Tai (Kagetsu, Andras Miyagi, Hazuki and Natsuko Tora)

An underrated aspect of Stardom is watching the rest of Oedo Tai trying not to corpse during Miyagi’s ridiculously over the top pre-match promos. Hazuki and Tora struggled with this one.

In the ring, this was exactly what you’d expect it to be. I’m running out of ways to review Stardom’s multi-women matches because they’re almost always good, but not in a way that massively differentiates them from each other. They do a fantastic job of blending the various wrestlers together, always putting the right pairings in the ring to produce brilliant wrestling and never letting things slow down. I watch a load of these, and despite not knowing what to say about it, I’m never bored.

There are always a few standout performances, though, and Hazuki continues to be one that provides them. Her interactions with Momo were great, and with her High Speed run producing ever shorter matches, it’s nice to see her get a chance to work more drawn out encounters. We also got to see Kagetsu and AZM face-off which considering Kagetsu’s constant courting of the youngster, was a lot of fun. AZM is a future star (if she’s not one already), and Kagetsu is the perfect person to make her look like one.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

STARS (Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano and Saki Kashima) defeated Tokyo Cyber Squad (Hana Kimura, Jungle Kyona and Konami) to win the Artist of Stardom Titles

What kind of bullshit is this!? How dare Stardom take the titles off Tokyo Cyber Squad. I will come to Japan, and I will have words. There will be a scene, and it might even develop into a stramash, I am that angry.

Deep breaths, things are going to be okay. Don’t cry, Stuart. You can do this.

And after Hana started the match by giving Kashima flowers too! Admittedly, she hit her over the head with them, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? She still had to go and get those flowers, and they looked pretty. If I’d been in STARS, I’d have just let TCS keep the belts after that loving gesture.

Right, I’m calm, I promise.

They did such a brilliant job of getting Kashima’s hometown fans behind her too. Hana, Jungle and Konami worked together to isolate Saki, putting her into the underdog babyface role and getting the fans chanting her name as she fought back. Did they not deserve a reward for that?

I think I’ve got it out of my system.

STARS think they’re so great too. Sure, Mayu Iwatani is one of the best wrestlers on the planet, Tam had a fantastic stiff elbow exchange with Jungle and Kashima looked like more of a star than I’ve ever seen her before, but what have they done really? Do they have light up weaponry? I don’t think so.

That’s it, okay, we’ll get onto the review.

Stardom can’t placate me by it being an entertaining match, you know! It’s not enough that I enjoyed the story of Kashima’s plucky battle in front of her fans. Did you see that finish, by the way? They totally messed it up which caused TCS to beat-up the ref after the bell, that’s what happens when you take the belt off the best team.

Damn, I give up.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

I’m not sure how to continue that bit into the post-match, so I’ll have to end it there. As STARS celebrated, Kagetsu made her way to the ring, called Kashima a juvenile delinquent and laying out Oedo Tai’s challenge. Saki agreed, and that was set for Kagetsu’s homecoming. Kashima then closed out the show in the usual way.

Overall Show

Beyond that travesty in the main event, this was a fun show. Truthfully, there is nothing you need to watch on the undercard, but the two tag matches will reward your time and had some nice pairings. If you’re looking for an easy watch, you could certainly do worse.

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