Stardom
5☆STAR GP 2020 Day 5 Early/Afternoon
September 12, 2020
Nishitetsu Hall
Fukuoka, Japan

Watch: Stardom-World

The Stardom 5☆STAR GP 2020 rolls on with two days loaded up with three shows and a whole lot of block action.  This event features the big grudge match between Jungle Kyona and Natsuko Tora as well as our first look at Hanan in singles action since she made her Stardom return.  There’s a lot block action to get through so let’s not waste too much time and get into this review.

MOMO WATANABE DEF. HANAN

This was our first taste of Hanan in singles action since her return to Stardom and although she had looked just OK in her recent tag appearances she delivered big time here.  A year out is a long time for any wrestler but Hanan has come back with a confidence she didn’t have before and her growth in height makes her look more adult and more credible by proxy.  The match was designed to give Hanan the chance to show some fighting spirit and play the babyface and she did so wonderfully, if she continues on this trajectory and continues to improve Hanan will be money one day for Stardom. ***1/2

RED STARS BLOCK
HIMEKA (9) DEF. DEATH YAMA-SAN (0)

We see DEATH for the first of two appearances on this show as she tried to steal the win from Himeka with a few different roll-ups.  Once that strategy didn’t work this was an easy win for Himeka who is in a good position to win the block ***

BLUE STARS BLOCK
UTAMI HAYASHISHITA (8) DEF. SAYA IIDA (0)

This may have been Iida’s best showing of the GP so far as she hasn’t had the best of tournaments, even some of the most ardent Iida fans I know would agree, but here she got to work with someone who could match her power game and that allowed Iida to really let loose with her strikes and dropkicks as Hayashishita is more than capable of taking a hit.  In the end, Utami came away with the win but Iida gave her a fight. ***1/4

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MAIKA DEF. KONAMI, RIHO, & SAKI KASHIMA

This was a pretty frantic four-way match with the action never letting up.  Riho continues to just do nothing of note in Stardom but they still protect her.  Kashima taking the loss was the predictable option given she isn’t in the GP and also isn’t protected like Riho. ***

RED STARS BLOCK
SAYA KAMITANI (3) DEF. TAM NAKANO (6)

Saya Kamitani gets another shocking result as she beats Tam Nakano, the woman who helped train her as part of Stardom Idols.  This follows up on Saya’s draw with Himeka which was a pretty surprising result for the rookie.  Given the win came via a flash pin Nakano isn’t hurt too much but this is still a big win for Saya.  The match itself was good as both have a similar style but Kamitani’s singles match have had a ceiling in this tournament. ***1/4

BLUE STARS BLOCK
JUNGLE KYONA (6) DEF. NATSUKO TORA (4)

To start this match Kyona asked that Tora not use her chain and to instead fight her.  Tora obliged to begin and these two set off on a hard-hitting, hate-filled affair that we’ve come to expect from these former stablemates turned enemies.  Then Tora used her chain and got DQ’ed because well….reasons.  And that’s the main issue with Tora and Oedo Tai they just sometimes are clever and cheat to win but other times get intentionally DQ’d 10 minutes into a match and it just reeks of something you’d see on Monday Night Raw.  I was originally all in on Tora as an ass-kicking menace who didn’t care how much she had to hurt her opponents but this intentional DQ stuff just sucks and she deserves better. **

RED STARS BLOCK
GIULIA (6) DEF. STARLIGHT KID (2)

This was fine.  Kid has had a really good GP but Giulia didn’t bring out the best in her the way some of her previous opponents did.  It’s become clear throughout this GP that Giulia needs someone in there to help lead her to a good match or else we end up with a perfectly fine match like this where Giulia was on top, and in her defense Giulia is only 3 years in and spent 2 years working the Ice Ribbon house style.  ***




RED STARS BLOCK
MAYU IWATANI (4) DEF. DEATH YAMA-SAN (0)

Poor DEATH wrestled her second match of the night against Iwatani and she had to be carted to the ring.  She quickly felt revitalized and began a comedy match full of spots involving Mayu Iwatani’s new book.  DEATH even took the time during one submission to make Mayu read from a page.   Honestly, this was a much-needed comedy match to break up the show ***

BLUE STARS BLOCK
AZM (4) DEF. SYURI (4)

AZM gets arguably the biggest win of her career here over Syuri.  AZM is the High-Speed champion and it was that high-speed prowess that secured her the win as she dodges Syuri’s lethal head kick and turned it into a roll-up to score the win.  This is only Syuri’s second singles loss in Stardom and I think her first time being pinned in the company.  I didn’t expect this to main event such a strong show but it did and these two delivered a match worthy of the main event spot with a big win for AZM to cap it all off. ***1/2

FINAL THOUGHTS

This was a very packed show with a lot of good matches with only one match being poor, and that was mostly down to the finish and frustration with booking.  Mostly this show is worth seeking out to see Hanan solidify her spot as a future star against Momo in one of the better opening matches you’ll see all year