I no longer need Stardom as an excuse not to watch hour-long main events, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop making my way through the archive. Diving into their history is proving to be a lot of fun, so let’s keep going!
Yoshiko defeated Iris and Yoshiko defeated Arisa Hoshiki
In a repeat of the previous show, Stardom kicked off by giving one of their young wrestlers back to back wins. Last time it was Bito, this time it was Yoshiko, and she made short work of Iris and Arisa in matches that were heavily edited.
Those edits make these hard to review, but from what we saw, I thought that Yoshiko looked brilliant. She destroyed Iris, barrelling through her as if she was nothing, but the better of the matches was the one with Arisa.
Hoshiki has been presented as more than a jobber, those lethal kicks already earning a reputation. That allowed the match to have a bit more room to breath, Arisa getting some offence and Yoshiko getting to survive those blows. It was still a short, decisive victory (she chocked Arisa out at the end, screaming as she did so), but by letting Arisa expose a few chinks, Yoshiko only came out the other side looking stronger for it.
It meant that while these matches were on paper very similar to the Bito ones, Yoshiko came out of them looking a lot better than her rival did. They’re doing a great job of turning her into a dominant monster, and her performances are doing more than enough to cement the position.
Verdict: Yoshiko Kills!
Haruka and Sakura Hirota fought to a time limit draw
The rematch of the century! Having been held to a draw by Haruka on the last show, Sakura Hirota was back to get her revenge on the nine-year-old child who had foiled her.
I’ve raved about Haruka in all these reviews, so I want to take a second to do the same about Hirota. She’s brilliant in these matches, and while a lot of her comedy is verbal (which I don’t understand), she’s also a fantastic physical comedian. You don’t have to know the words coming out of her mouth to grasp the frustration she feels as she tries to overcome this wee quine.
And what makes this work is that the only thing (in kayfabe) that makes Hirota better than Haruka is that she’s bigger and stronger. Hirota is happy to go out there and play second fiddle to the kid, being shown up and coming across like the biggest heel in the world when she slams her (which is, I believe, the first bump Haruka has taken on these shows and was executed incredibly safely). It extends right to the finish, as she builds to a big move, running into the corner to do a handstand only for the bell to go for the draw while she’s perched, upside down, on the top rope.
It’s the perfect end to this match as Haruka bows to the crowd while Hirota yells in vain, stuck in the corner and not sure what to do next. There are only so many Haruka matches on Stardom World, and I am going to miss them when they’re gone.
Nanae Takahashi defeated Eri Susa
Nanae continues her run through the Stardom rookies as it’s Eri’s turn to come up against the veteran. Unfortunately, this is the most clipped of these matches so far, as we only get around four minutes of the eleven or so that Cagematch claims went down.
The minutes we do get are alright, Susa getting more of a chance to show off her talent than previously, but you can tell she’s a step below Mayu and Arisa even in this snippet. Takahashi doesn’t give her as much either, shrugging off a brief flurry with relative ease before hitting a Big Splash for the win.
I’d have liked to have seen more of this, as it feels like Susa has got the shitty end of the stick in her short career, but what can we do? It was fine for what it was.
Verdict: Need More Of It
Yuzuki Aikawa and Natsuki Taiyo defeated Yoko Bito and Mayu Iwatani
We have reached Mayu Iwatani’s first main event and, I’m going out on a limb here, but I reckon it won’t be her last.
In a nice touch, it was also probably one of Mayu’s most assured performances yet. She mainly worked with Taiyo, and that seemed to get the best out of her. Every move came off perfectly and she had a spring in her step. After the tears at the start of her last match with Nanae, it was nice to see.
The focus, however, was on Yoko and Yuzuki who were given a lot of time together in the ring. They used that time to beat the shit out of each other, throwing loads of kicks before progressing to strikes. It was a stiff old affair as Stardom seemed to be setting them up as another pair of rivals.
Mayu’s losing streak would eventually continue, a beautiful Head Kick from Aikawa sending her into next week. This was a brilliant main event, though, and a big performance from the three rookies involved. They’re young in their career, but you can already see the talent shining through.
Verdict: A Blast
These shows are easy to watch when they’ve not been trimmed down, so when you’ve got minutes cut out they fly by. Honestly, if you’re looking for enjoyable wrestling to make you smile as the world burns, there is not much better than this.
Watch Stardom: http://www.stardom-world.com/