In among the excitement of title changes and whatever Bushiroad is planning, it’s easy to forget that Stardom is in the middle of a Tag League. Whether it slipped your mind or not, it continued onto Osaka for a two show day as we draw closer to figuring out who is going to win this thing.
Jungle Kyona defeated AZM
AZM said something at the start of the match which wasn’t subtitled, but judging by Jungle’s reaction was a dig about her weight. That’s not the first time AZM’s made a comment like that, and I wish she wouldn’t. For one thing, Jungle is not fat and, even if she was, who cares? It’s wrestling! I have no issues with people insulting each other, but I would like them to be smarter about it, please.
It also took attention away from what was an awesome wee opener. It’s not often Stardom throws two stars out there to have a sprint, and Jungle’s power vs AZM’s speed made for a perfect match-up. There was one slight botch (at least I think it was a botch) towards the end when Jungle popped AZM over her head and I think she was supposed to land on the turnbuckle. Instead, she came up a bit short, crashing to the mat, but it looked great, so I really didn’t care. Jungle tossing people around is no bad thing.
And Kyona would pick up the win by locking AZM in a Sleeper and spinning her around until she was out of it, forcing Daichi to call for the bell. As Stardom openers go, that’s got to be up with the best.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Momo Watanabe defeated Starlight Kid
Interestingly, this was Starlight Kid and Watanabe’s first singles match. Kid seemed excited about getting a chance to prove herself while Watanabe promised to break her opponent. If that doesn’t spell out the difference between these two, nothing does.
And much like the opener, this was a cracking wee match. Momo came good on her promise, kicking Kid around the ring and using her power to gain an advantage. Starlight, meanwhile, was looking to hit hard and fast, sneaking into flash pins and trying to steal away with the victory.
In the end, she’d run into a B-Driver for the three as we go two for two in good matches on this undercard. I wonder what inspired Stardom to stack it quite this full of great pairings?
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Tokyo Cyber Squad (Konami, Bobbi Tyler and Zoe Lucas) defeated Oedo Tai (Kagetsu, Jamie Hayter and Andras Miyagi)
How great is Konami? The structure of this match was designed to make her look like a badass, and while that’s not a hard thing to do, it succeeded.
It did so by having Bobbi and Zoe take a beating from Oedo Tai (who pulled off their usual sneak attack) before Konami came in to save the day. She almost single-handedly took out all three opponents, having a great back and forth with Kagetsu while she did so, before tapping Miyagi out with the Triangle Lancer.
After two exciting singles matches, this was your more standard Stardom undercard fare, but it was still a good match, with the only surprise being Miyagi taking another fall. She has had a rough run recently.
Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars
Blue Goddess: Tokyo Cyber Squad (Hana Kimura and Death Yama-san) (3-0) defeated Tag 3838 (Saya Kamitani and Saya Iida) (1-3)
If Saya and Saya thought that picking up their first victory would set them up to go on an epic run, then Team Death was here to put them back in their place. Perhaps inspired by Oedo Tai’s slip, Hana and Death were in no mood to piss around, even if they did still enjoy shouting DEATH at every chance they got.
Not that they ate 3838 up, the two Sayas had a lovely run of offence at the end, Kamitani hitting the Running Shooting Star Press that got the victory over Oedo Tai (and nailing it this time) only for Kimura to break up the Iidabashi that followed. They’re developing into a nice little team, and I think it would do them both good to keep working together post-Tag League.
All the fancy moves in the world couldn’t save them from a boot in the face from Hana and a roll-up from Death, though. This was a solid match that you don’t need to see but will put a smile on your face.
Verdict: Three Stars
Blue Goddess: DREAMSHiNE (Arise Hoshiki and Tam Nakano) (3-0) defeated Drunk Queens (Natsu Sumire and Session Moth Martina) (1-2)
Martina is now so drunk that she’s accidentally replaced Natsu with Natsuko. Meanwhile, Tam was doing her make-up during the pre-match promo and when Arisa asked to use her mirror told her she was cute enough already! Sadly, the compliment didn’t stick, as she went onto explain that standing next to Tam was what made her cute. When will those crazy kids ever get along?
I’m running out of ways to detail my love of DREAMSHiNE. Once again, they were all the fun, from them getting pissed off at Martina and Natsu (Moth must have found her backstage) stealing their pose to Arisa deciding she’d had enough of being a victim to Tam’s friendly fire, and getting a dig of her own in. It’s just a joy to watch two people nail their characters and the storyline they’re crafting this well.
One must give credit to Natsu and Martina too, who despite being the comedy team in the tournament, are delivering solid matches. Once the antics got shifted to one side this became a fun sprint, Drunk Queens giving as good as they got until Sumire’s head got removed by one of those Brazilian Kicks.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Red Goddess: Oedo Tai (Hazuki and Natsuko Tora) (2-2) defeated STARS (1-3)
Mayu and Saki’s pre-match promo was wonderfully awkward in the style that only Mayu can pull off. They seemed to figure out while cutting it that they can’t make it to the finals, but decided they wanted to show their ‘tag power’ anyway before Iwatani finished up by shouting ‘check it out’. They’re having fun at least.
Sadly, their tag power would be brought staggering to a halt when Hazuki dropped Saki on her head with a beautiful Brainbuster. This was a perfect example of why clashes make matches as Hazuki and Tora’s brawling assault had STARS on the back foot from the first note. It felt like Mayu and Saki were never able to find their flow, as they were dragged to the floor, launched through chairs and generally treated quite meanly.
There was some great Hazuki vs Mayu interactions, as those two have good chemistry. If I were booking Stardom, I’d be playing the long game and building Hazuki to take that title away from Iwatani. Either way, this was a good match that never quite reached great, but delivered a fun brawl.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
That show was a standout match away from being fantastic. As it stands, it will have to settle for being very good as everything settled into that mid-three star range. The joy of very good, though, is that it is, by its nature, very good (how many times can I say very good?), so we ain’t about to start complaining about that, are we?
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