Goddesses of Stardom 2015
November 15th, 2015
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
I am reviewing these events slightly out of order, which I apologize for, there is a long but not interesting story as to why so I’ll just skip it. This event continues the storyline from the Sendai Girls vs. Stardom event on November 12th, which saw Mayu Iwatani win the elimination match for her team. That helped set up her challenging Meiko Satomura for the World of Stardom Championship here, to try to bring the belt back to Stardom. We also have two other matches that are Sendai Girls vs. Stardom, with Hojo and Shirai both facing off against invading foes. Let’s get to the fun!
Jungle Kyouna vs. Momo Watanabe
This is Kyouna’s debut match! Kyouna is 24 years old and first started training in Stardom in July. Watanabe is also still very early in her career and is only 15, so even though she has some experience it is still anyone’s match to win.
They started pretty basic, as you probably safely assumed, trading tie-ups and headlocks, which Kyouna somewhat surprisingly gets the better of. Hard shoulderblock by Kyouna but Watanabe blocks a slam attempt and hits one of her own, hard elbows by Watanabe and she applies a crab hold. Watanabe suplexes Kyouna into the tree of woe and hits a dropkick to Kyouna’s chest, and then dropkicks her in the back of the head for a two count. Kyouna fires back with a lariat but Watanabe hits a reverse STO, rolling vertical suplexes by Watanabe and she hits a missile dropkick off the second turnbuckle. Cover by Watanabe but Kyouna gets a foot on the bottom rope. Watanabe goes for the Somato but Kyouna catches her and hits a lariat. Kyouna goes up top but Watanabe dropkicks her from behind and hits another dropkick, she goes up top but Kyouna pulls her down and hits a lariat. More lariats by Kyouna and she covers Watanabe for a two count. Deadlift gutwrench spinning powerbomb by Kyouna, but Watanabe barely kicks out of the cover. Kyouna goes up top, she nails the diving body press and she gets the three count! Kyouna wins in her debut.
This isn’t as much of a surprise as it may sound on paper. Watanabe debuted last year so in theory she should have the upperhand, but the fact there is a big age gap will always be a factor with her picking up wins. I will say that Watanabe has improved a lot over the last year, as is usually the case with Stardom wrestlers, as before she left I thought Koguma had grown into a really entertaining wrestler even at age 17. So the future is bright for Watanabe, and Kyouna looked good as well as she hit some bigger moves than you’d expect in a debut. Overall an above average match and a good way to kick off the show.
Haruka Kato and Saori Anou vs. Hiromi Mimura and Starlight Kid
More rookie fun. Mimura and Starlight Kid just debuted last month, while Anou is a young wrestler from the small promotion called Actress girl’Z. That makes Kato the veteran in the match which probably isn’t a great idea as ‘ring general’ isn’t her strength, but hopefully the rookies do something impressive.
Young Anou and Mimura are the first two in the ring and they get right to it with wristlocks before Mimura tags Starlight Kid. Starlight Kid continues the wristlock offense but Anou reverses it and they trade holds until Anou hits a shoulderblock. Another shoulderblock by Anou and she makes the tag to Kato. Kato stomps Starlight Kid and hits a scoop slam, elbows by Kato and she covers Starlight Kid for two. Kato and Starlight Kid trade elbows, Starlight Kid tags Mimura and Mimura dropkicks Kato. Starlight Kid comes in and they double team Kato, hitting a double dropkick. Camel clutch by Mimura and they pose on Kato before Mimura releases the hold and hits a running crossbody. Lariat to the back by Mimura to Anou when she runs in, Starlight Kid grabs Kato and they hit a double vertical suplex. Anou and Kato finally get the better of things, Kato puts Mimura in a cross armbreaker but Mimura gets a foot in the ropes. Mimura elbows Kato but Kato flips her over and applies the cross armbreaker again, and this time Mimura has no choice but to tap out! Kato and Anou are your winners.
This was a basic match and a bit clipped. I think that all the rookies here show some potential, with Starlight Kid and Mimura leading the pack (too early to tell which will end up better down the road). They had good teamwork and the kept the action up, which always makes these lower card matches easier to watch. Nothing wrong with it but not memorable either, even though I enjoy seeing the young wrestlers as they hone their craft.
Act Yasukawa, Kris Wolf, and Kyoko Kimura vs. Alex Lee, Datura, and Kaori Yoneyama
On paper this doesn’t look very fair. On one side you have the best of Oedo Tai, while the other side are three random wrestlers that aren’t regularly teammates. This may not go well for them but we’ll see if they can pull off the upset.
We join this one in progress with Wolf in the ring with Yoneyama, Wolf goes for kicks but Yoneyama avoids them so Wolf rolls her up instead for a two. Running knee by Wolf but Yoneyama bridges out of the pin and hits a running knee of her own and tags in Lee. Lee seems extra fired up today and has a new super bright outfit. She has her way with Wolf until Wolf gets away and makes the hot tag to Yasukawa. Lee tags in Datura as she is dropkicked by Yasukawa as things break down, and Yasukawa is triple teamed in the corner. Kimura comes in to help as things settle back down, Datura picks up Yoneyama but Yoneyama grabs the referee. Kimura then kicks the referee from behind and starts hitting everyone with a metal rod of some sort, Yasukawa covers Datura but it gets a two count. Running senton by Kimura, Wolf hits a double knee off the second turnbuckle and Yasukawa finishes Datura off with a swanton bomb for the three count! Oedo Tai win the match!
This was more of a showcase for Oedo Tai, you can’t have a faction if they don’t win sometimes as a faction. That is probably why the match was so clipped, all that mattered is Oedo Tai standing tall at the end of the match. It accomplished that goal so no complaints, but way too snipped to get excited about.
NWA World Women’s Championship
(c) Santana Garrett vs. Holidead
I’m not super sure how Holidead earned this shot, or why it is being defended in Stardom, but this is where we are. Garrett won the belt from Barbi Hayden back in February of 2015, and has managed to hold onto it since as she defends the title around the world. Holidead is the mysterious wrestler that no one knows much about but she wears face paint and acts crazy so I like her.
Holidead shoves down Garrett hard to start the match to kick the tempo up, kicks to the leg by Garrett but Holidead throws her down by her hair. Garrett goes for a headscissors but Holidead catches her and drops her with a backbreaker. Rocking Horse by Holidead, she lets Garrett go after a moment but Garrett kicks Holidead back. Holidead throws Garrett into the corner but Garrett grabs her arm and applies an armbar over the top rope. Garrett kicks Holidead and hits a diving crossbody off the top rope, and she gets a two count cover. Kick to the chest by Garrett and she boots Holidead in the head, Space Rolling Elbow by Garrett but Holidead hits a facebuster for a two count. Big boot by Holidead, she covers Garrett but Garrett barely kicks out. Crab hold by Holidead but Garrett gets to the ropes, Garrett gets up on the apron and she snaps Holidead’s neck over the top rope. Tornado DDT by Garrett, she nails the Shining Star Press and she picks up the three count! Garrett is still your champion.
I thought going in this match had potential but it just never got going before it suddenly ended. The ending was just really sudden, I know the belt is not a Stardom belt but I would have liked for it to have gotten a bit more time or meaning as Holidead was pinned really easily here. I guess that doesn’t bode well for Holidead long term in Stardom as she didn’t put up much of a fight. More of a below average midcard match than a title match.
Kairi Hojo vs. Mika Iwata
Another match that seems a bit lopsided. On one side you have one of Stardom’s most successful wrestlers, with multiple title reigns throughout the years. For Sendai Girls, they send out poor Iwata, whom is only 19 years old and just debuted in July. So the issue isn’t who is going to win, but how good can Iwata look against one of the best female wrestlers in Japan.
They both go for dropkicks right off the start and then trade elbows, until Iwata knocks down Hojo and hits mounted elbows. Hojo comes back with a spear and she kicks Iwata out of the ring before hitting a diving elbow off the apron to the floor. Hojo hits a double stomp on the apron before rolling Iwata back in, and Hojo chops Iwata hard in the chest. Running elbow by Hojo and she covers Iwata for a two count. Irish whip by Hojo and she hits a running shoulder tackle in the corner, Hojo goes up top and hits a diving elbow strike, covering Iwata for another two. Crab hold by Hojo but Iwata gets to the ropes, Iwata gets Hojo onto the apron and then dropkicks her out of the ring. Iwata goes out after her and hits a scoop slam on the floor before sliding Hojo back in. Dropkick by Iwata and she hits another one, cover by Iwata but Hojo kicks out. Kicks by Iwata and she hits a PK for a two count. Back up, Iwata goes for a suplex but Hojo blocks it, elbows by Iwata and she finally gets Hojo over for two. Hojo goes for a spinning backfist but Iwata ducks it and rolls up Hojo a few times for two counts. Iwata applies a stretch hold before picking Hojo back up and going for another suplex, but Hojo blocks it and slaps Iwata hard in the face. They trade blows, until Hojo hits Iwata so hard it busts her nose open. Crab hold by Hojo, but Iwata crawls to the ropes and gets the break. Hojo gets Iwata up and goes for an Alabama Slam, but Iwata gets out of it and rolls her up for two. Iwata goes off the ropes but Hojo connects with an elbow and a spinning slap to the face. Diving Elbow Drop by Hojo, and she picks up the three count! Hojo wins the match.
For a wrestler that just debuted three months ago, I think that Iwata looked fantastic here. She was matching Hojo strike for strike, sometimes rookies look apprehensive but Iwata did not. I guess training with Satomura has some advantages. Hojo was not holding back here as Iwata ended up with a busted face, but Iwata got lots of offense so it was not a one-sided affair. The match also continues Hojo’s quest against Sendai Girls by picking up a win, without really hurting anyone since Iwata wasn’t expected to be victorious anyway. Really solid match and an impressive showing by both. Recommended
Wonder of Stardom Championship
(c) Io Shirai vs. Sendai Sachiko
This is a special match for three different reasons. First, its a title match, which is always a bit more special. Second, it furthers the Stardom vs. Sendai Girls theme. And third, Sachiko is retiring in January so she won’t have a ton of big singles matches left so we cherish them while we can. Also both are great wrestlers so even though it didn’t get main event status I assume they will pull out everything they have to put on a fun match.
After feeling each other out to kick off the match, shoulderblock by Sachiko and she hits a few armdrags, but Shirai springs back to her feet. Crossface by Shirai but Sachiko gets out of it and kicks Shirai onto the apron. Sachiko picks up Shirai on the apron and goes for a suplex, Shirai blocks it so Sachiko hits a DDT instead. Sachiko throws Shirai into the ring post a couple times before sliding her back in, cover by Sachiko but it gets a two count. Sachiko picks up Shirai and applies a stretch hold, Sachiko picks up Shirai and she hits a bridging vertical suplex for another two. Sachiko goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, Irish whip by Sachiko, Shirai cartwheels but Sachiko kicks her in the chest. Sachiko goes off the ropes but Shirai drops Sachiko onto the top rope and then dropkicks her out of the ring. Shirai then quickly jumps up to the top turnbuckle and moonsaults down onto Sachiko on the floor. Shirai slides Sachiko back in and hits a swandive dropkick, tiger feint kick by Shirai and she hits another swandive dropkick for a two count cover. Shirai picks up Sachiko and hits a palm thrust followed by a buzzsaw kick for another two. Waistlock by Shirai and she hits a German suplex hold, but Sachiko gets a shoulder up. Shirai goes up top but Sachiko jumps up and hits her from behind, slamming Shirai back down to the mat. Sachiko picks up Shirai and they trade blows, Shirai goes off the ropes but Sachiko hits a trio of superkicks. German suplex hold by Sachiko, but it gets two. Sachiko goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers the diving body press, but Shirai kicks out before the three. She goes up top again but Shirai recovers and joins her. Shirai goes for the Spanish Fly but Sachiko slips off and both wrestlers fall to the mat, with Shirai still mostly landing on top. Shirai goes up top and she hits the moonsault, picking up the three count! Shirai is still the champion.
This was a good match simply because both are good wrestlers and know how to put on an entertaining match. The action was fast, the strikes were crisp, and there was never a dull moment. It wasn’t perfect though, besides the botched Spanish Fly they didn’t seem to always be synced up, so the match didn’t really have a structure to it to speak of. A match of course can still be good without a story to it but it doesn’t help either, some parts just felt more like taking turns hitting big moves than anything deeper. A fun match with some memorable spots, but unfortunately not much more than that. Mildly Recommended
World of Stardom Championship
(c) Meiko Satomura vs. Mayu Iwatani
For a little background, Satomura came into Stardom in the spring and immediately made her presence felt, eventually beating Kairi Hojo for the World of Stardom Championship in the summer. This helped fuel a full-blown promotion war between Stardom and Sendai Girls, as a few days before this event there was a six vs. six elimination match which Iwatani won for her team. That was partly to set up this match, as Iwatani tries to bring the title back to the home promotion against the evil veteran invader Satomura.
The match starts surprisingly politely with a knuckle lock, Satomura pushes Iwatani to the mat and kicks her a few times in the leg. Iwatani goes for a schoolboy but Satomura grabs her arm and applies an armbar, armbreaker by Satomura but Iwatani fires off a back elbow. Iwatani grabs Satomura’s arm and jumps up in the corner, and she hits a springboard armdrag followed by a hard dropkick while Satomura is against the ropes. Snapmare by Iwatani but Satomura kicks her in the head and then in the chest. Backdrop suplex by Satomura and she hits a vertical suplex for a two count cover. Crossface by Satomura and she applies a crucifix pin for two. High kick by Satomura in the corner, Irish whip by Satomura and she hits an elbow in the opposite corner. Satomura goes up top but Iwatani recovers and throws her to the mat, Iwatani then goes up top but Satomura joins her. Iwatani elbows Satomura back down and hits a diving footstomp, cover by Iwatani but it gets a two count. Satomura slides out to the apron, she kicks Iwatani in the leg and hits a slingshot footstomp.
Cartwheel knee drop by Satomura to the back of Iwatani’s head, more knees by Satomura but Iwatani hits the Sling Blade before dropkicking Satomura out of the ring. Iwatani then goes to the top turnbuckle and dives out onto Satomura with a plancha suicida. Iwatani slides Satomura back in, kicks by Iwatani and she goes up top, hitting another diving footstomp. Buzzsaw Kick by Iwatani and she hits a crucifix bomb for a two count cover. Back up they trade elbows, Frankensteiner by Iwatani and she kicks Satomura some more in the back. Irish whip by Iwatani but Satomura nails a heel kick, kick to the head by Satomura and she applies a sleeper. Iwatani struggles for a moment, Satomura covers her but Iwatani kicks out. Satomura picks up Iwatani but Iwatani blocks the death valley bomb and rolls up Satomura for two. Dragon Suplex Hold by Iwatani, but Satomura barely gets a shoulder up in time. Iwatani picks up Satomura but Satomura struggles away, Pele Kick by Satomura and she kicks Iwatani in the head. High kick by Satomura and she hits another one, sending Iwatani back to the mat again. Buzzsaw Kick by Satomura and she hits a death valley bomb, Satomura puts Iwatani back in the sleeper and this time Iwatani goes to sleep. Satomura wins the match and is still the champion!
I loved this, pretty much all of this. It was played perfectly with Satomura dominating while the plucky underdog Iwatani getting in her spots when she could and otherwise eating boots to the face. This was far from a squash as Iwatani managed to get in a dragon suplex and the diving footstomp, but the ending was very finite. I love it when matches have definitive endings, Satomura just kept kicking her in the head until Iwatani had no fight left in her. It wasn’t long but it didn’t need to be to tell that story, if they stretched it to 20+ minutes it would have done more harm than good. I wouldn’t say its the best Stardom match of the year as it didn’t match some of the other matches in terms of drama or depth, but it was perfect for this situation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly Recommended
Final Thoughts: The show started slow, which will probably be an issue with Stardom for the next year or so as they just debuted a bunch of new rookies that have to catch up. But the top of the card is aces, and the second half of the event really delivered. Having Hojo, Shirai, and Iwatani in separate singles matches was a recipe for success, as all put on entertaining matches. If you aren’t into rookie-style or clipped matches, you can safely jump to the halfway point of the show, but the rest of it is definitely worth a watch.