SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

Watch: Stardom-World

The finals of the 5STAR Grand Prix tournament.  While we miss out on Jungle Kyona vs Konami we still have Arisa Hoshiki vs Kagetsu and Mayu Iwatani vs Momo Watanabe to look forward to as well as the eventual final of the tournament.

Riho, Starlight Kid & Saya Iida Def. Queen’s Quest (AZM, Leo Onozaki & Hina) & Konami, Saya Kamitani & Rina

Better than the usual opener with some really good moments like the Riho/Onozaki exchange towards the end.  AZM getting a pin to eliminate Konami’s team shows just how much Stardom is getting behind her ***1/4

Red Stars
Avary Def. Natsu Sumire

A well-paced back and forth match from these two.  It was pretty meaningless points-wise so they decided to have a good match in place of drama.  Natsu stealing other people’s signature moves is great.  **3/4

Red Stars
Tam Nakano Def. Saki Kashima

In simple terms, they beat each other up.  A high paced affair that saw both going from the kill right from the word go.  The kind of match that seems specific to only Joshi and one of the reasons I love this type of wrestling so much.  ***1/2

Red Stars
Hana Kimura Def. Hazuki

Something different from the previous two matches with some more submissions and brawling coming into play.  Down the stretch this one got hot as it looked like both were on the verge of victory but in the end, Hana managed to hit her sickening Package Piledriver for the win.  ***1/4

Red Stars
Momo Watanabe Def. Mayu Iwatani

This was fantastic.  Momo and Mayu as characters play off of each other so well, Momo is the ruthless heel while Mayu is the best babyface there is and that played into this match so well.  I could talk for days about Mayu screaming in defiance after taking two stiff kicks to the back only to be rewarded with five more.  Once Mayu fired back up this one kicked into top gear as these two threw their entire arsenal at each other in a desperate bid for victory only for Momo to take advantage of Mayu going up top to hit two Peach Sunrise’s to finally put Mayu away.  A great story with fantastic action from start to finish all in a neatly wrapped 9-minute match.  Do whatever you can to see this match ****3/4

Blue Stars
Natsuko Tora Def. Andras Miyagi

This was a fight and exactly the kind of match I wanted from these two.  There wasn’t too much crowd brawling either which has been a Natsuko Tora special in this tournament.  A good follow up to the last match as it didn’t have any stakes but was enjoyable to watch. ***

Blue Stars
Kagetsu vs Arisa Hoshiki – Draw

Going in I was expecting something similar to Kagetsu’s matches with Andras and Konami.  This didn’t follow that pattern instead we got a fairly nondescript first 10 minutes with Kagetsu working as a heel.  Once this match got going it was quite good with some great exchanges of strikes and both throwing everything they have at each other to get the win.  ***1/4

Blue Stars
Bea Priestley Def. Jamie Hayter

This was more like the Jamie we know and love.  She hasn’t been super impressive during her tournament run but here she was great, she controlled the match but it never got boring and she really didn’t take it easy on Bea.  Bea only had to hit her signature moves towards the end which is the best use of her. ***1/4

Post Match: Bea Priestley asks Jamie Hayter to tag with her for the Goddesses Of Stardom tag league which Jamie agrees to.  So um yeah that’s happening, a member of Queen’s Quest teaming with a member of Oedo Tai.  As if the factions didn’t already mean less than they used to we have inter-faction teams now.  Unless this goes somewhere like Jamie defecting then I just don’t get it.

Stardom 5 ★ STAR GP 2019 Final
Hana Kimura Def. Konami

This was a good match, on a card as stacked as this one it just didn’t really stand out and lacked a proper flow.  The actual match was almost secondary though as Hana Kimura wins the GP.  Ever since committing full time to Stardom Kimura has been put in a prominent position as a faction leader and is about to be a part of another photobook.  The machine is clearly behind her and with this win, they’ve solidified her spot as a main event talent in Stardom.  Konami is the runner up for a second tournament this year and her push continues to be strong but maybe not on the level of being a main event/red belt winner. ***

Final Thoughts

Up there with some of the best shows of the entire tournament this show had nothing but good-great matches.  Even the ones that didn’t have many stakes were fun and kept short so nothing ever felt like it was dragging.  The Momo vs Mayu match was the peak of the show and will go down as one of my favorite matches of the year but the entire card is worth a watch.