WORLD WONDER RING STARDOM
STARDOM CINDERELLA SUMMER IN TOKYO
JULY 26, 2020
After a quick turnaround Stardom is back at Korakuen Hall to crown a new Wonder Of Stardom Champion and new Goddesses Of Stardom champions. The undercard looks like any normal stardom show with a lot of predictable matches but the three title matches should be enough to make this a newsworthy show.
Before the show, it was announced that Ruaka and Hanan will be returning to action in August. STARS member Hanan has been out for quite some time with lumbar spondylosis. It was also announced that Itsuki Hoshino has unfortunately retired.
SAKI KASHIMA DEF. HINA
A short win for Kashima to make her look good heading into the Grand Prix. Hina had some good moments while fighting back and even had a very close roll-up near fall towards the end. Hina continues to be impressive given her age and Kashima played her part too. **1/2
OEDO TAI (NATSUKO TORA & NATSU SUMIRE) VS TOKYO CYBER SQUAD (DEATH YAMA-SAN & RINA)
A fine tag match and a nice win for Oedo Tai who lost a number of matches recently. Tora predictably pinned Rina. Rina looked good during her time in the ring, and teaming with an experienced veteran like DEATH-San will only help her in-ring progression. **
MOMO WATANABE DEF. MAIKA
Selling fetishists should avoid this like the plague, Maika worked over Watanabe’s knee in an attempt to take away Watanabe’s striking prowess, but Watanabe decided to just stop selling the leg and win via death by kicks and knees anyway. I don’t particularly care about the lack of selling but it definitely made the knee work a bit redundant, regardless this was a hard-hitting affair that showed off the differences in both performer’s styles quite well. ***1/4
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DONNA DEL MONDO (HIMEKA & SYURI) DEF. STARS (SAYA IIDA & MAYU IWATANI)
As far as giving us a preview of the upcoming Syuri/Iwatani title match this did the trick and got me excited to see their match. Syuri has been a great addition to Stardom and her inclusion in the upcoming 5STAR Grand Prix is going to be full of fun matches. I don’t think she wins the title from Iwatani given she isn’t a signed talent but she and Iwatani seemed to gel well here and it will be a good match. ***1/4
AZM DEF. STARLIGHT KID & RIHO (C)
17-year-old AZM gets the biggest win of her career as she pins her long time rival Starlight Kid to win the High-Speed championship. AZM winning became the clear choice when she debuted new gear and music for this match signifying that she was no longer going to be treated as a junior member of the roster. Despite her young age AZM is one of the most consistent performers on the Stardom roster and proved herself in the 2019 5STAR Grand Prix. While the High-Speed division faltered under Riho, who made one defense during her 351-day reign (the cancellation of the High-Speed Grand Prix certainly didn’t help matters), AZM leading the division going forward is an exciting choice. The match itself was quite good as all three are talented performers as well as Kid and AZM having really good chemistry. ***1/2
GODDESSES OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIPS
QUEEN’S QUEST (SAYA KAMITANI & UTAMI HAYASHISHITA) DEF. TOKYO CYBER SQUAD (KONAMI & JUNGLE KYONA)
There are a few different bits to digest from this match. First is the most obvious moments of miscommunication between Kyona and Konami that cost them the match. The former tag team champions usually operate like a well-oiled machine but twice in this match Kyona accidentally hit Konami. With both coming off of a number of big losses it will be interesting to see how that issue progresses as some have speculated TCS may split up as the faction just isn’t the same without Hana to lead them.
The finish was a tad predictable given that Utami’s mission for the year was to defeat Jamie Hayter, the former co-holder of the tag belts, so her and Kamitani winning to allow that story to continue when (if) Hayter and Priestley come back made the most sense
There is a brewing faction war between Donna Del Mondo and Queen’s Quest. QQ had been on a cold run earlier this year but went 3 for 3 on this show and captured 2 championships. QQ finding their form once again and taking on the outsiders of DDM could be the feud that Starodm centers on going forward especially with Maika and Himeka being the next challengers for the Goddesses Of Stardom Championships.
Lastly, Saya Kamitani is going to be a world champion someday. She showed so much fire in this match and with this title win less than a year into her career it’s clear Stardom knows she is the future. The match itself was enjoyable with Kamitani selling well before getting the hot tag to Hayashishita and KyoNami being their usual selves. ***1/4
WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
GIULIA DEF. TAM NAKANO
Stardom decided against giving us the feel-good moment of Tam winning the title to keep her promise to Arisa Hoshiki and instead served up Giulia winning a match that was way too long. They could have had a great match had they shaved off some time but they weren’t able to fill the 28 minutes adequately. Despite losing, Tam has positioned herself as a chaser and promised to chase Giulia “to the end of the universe” to take the title from her. The fact she didn’t give up but instead lost via referees stoppage can give her a claim to another match in the future.
Giulia winning the title was always the most obvious outcome of this mini-tournament and if it wasn’t already clear that this is Giulia’s company it should be very obvious now. She is getting a push similar to 2018 Momo Watanabe who was bulletproof until dropping the white belt and may be pushed to a level we haven’t seen since Io Shirai’s period of dominance. When Stardom wants to go all-in with someone they don’t hesitate and we’re seeing that with Giulia who has looked like a killer from day one in the company. ***1/2
While I can’t say anything was great and must-watch I do think Stardom delivered an enjoyable and newsworthy show. Crowning three new champions will always lead to some excitement but even the non-title matches like Maika vs Momo Watanabe and the STARS vs Donna Del Mondo tag match were enjoyable. This show more than any other has set us up for the upcoming Queen’s Quest vs Donna Del mondo feud with five different titles being held between the two factions, Oedo Tai and STARS have one each. As we head for the 5STAR Grand Prix Stardom has continued to deliver the goods despite all of the blows they have dealt with this year.