WORLD WONDER RING STARDOM
OSAKA DREAM CINDERELLA
DECEMBER 20, 2020
OSAKA EDION ARENA
For the first time ever Stardom heads to the Edion Osaka Arena for their biggest show in some time. There are a number of big matches on tap with five titles set to be defended on this show. Let’s see if Stardom delivered on the big stage
FUTURE OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
SAYA IIDA DEF. MAIKA (C), & SAYA KAMITANI
As far as openers go this was really fun. It was full of action involving all three members right from the start. The result is a big surprise as Saya Iida seemed to be the least likely to walk away from this match with a win but she pulled out a new brainbuster finish and manager to get the win over Kamitani. Maika was protected by not being involved in the finish which makes sense as she’s the most likely to get an immediate push of the three.
It was a really nice moment to see Iida get the win and a surprise to me as a viewer, she’s worked incredibly hard to become a strong wrestler and has been rewarded with her first championship. ***1/2
Post Match: Iida requested that the title’s rules be changed to allow for people to challenge for, and hold, the title until their 3rd anniversary as opposed to the 2 years that the belt was previously capped at.
OEDO TAI (KONAMI & NATSUKO TORA) DEF. RUAKA & RIHO
This was standard Oedo Tai stuff. Konami getting the win ahead of her Goddesses Of Stardom title match next week made sense but the match itself was fine. **1/2
DONNA DEL MONDO (HIMEKA & NATSUPOI) DEF. OEDO TAI (SAKI KASHIMA & BEA PRIESTLEY)
Back-to-back solid Oedo Tai tag matches. Himeka and Poi did good work together and I hope to see them as a team more often going forward. **3/4
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HIGH SPEED CHAMPIONSHIP
AZM (C) DEF. MEI HOSHIZUKI
Watching this one live and unspoiled was an absolute treat. I bought into a number of near-falls down the stretch and was convinced Hoshizuki had it won on more than one occasion. The dramatic finishing stretch was just the cherry on top of a great display of high speed wrestling from the two 18-year-old stars. This match was a showcase of the potential of the high speed division is Stardom were to work more with a promotion like Marvelous who house amazing high speed style wrestlers like Mio Momono and Mikoto Shindo. This may be the match of the night for me, although watching spoiled may decrease your enjoyment of the match.****1/4
BREAK OF STARS?/ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
COSMIC ANGELS (TAM NAKANO, MINA SHIRAKAWA & UNAGI SAYAKA) DEF. STARS (MAYU IWATANI, STARLIGHT KID & GOKIGEN DEATH)
The Cosmic Angels debuted a new group theme so if you were unsure of how things would go here that kind of took away some suspense. The layout of this match was very strange to me. It felt like the obvious path was to have it come down to Nakano and Mayu or Kid and Nakano, or even Sayaka and Kid. Instead, they had Mina Shirakawa fight back from a 1-3 deficit to figth Gokigen Death in the final stretch. Nothing against Shirakawa or Death but they were the only two that went into this match without any personal grudge to settle so having it come down to them just felt like Stardom was missing out on having a hot closing stretch. The match itself was good when it had all six involved but the cold closing stretch between Shirakawa and Death took some shine off the match. Shirakawa ended the match as the sole survivor for the Angels but it’s a spot that really should’ve gone to Tam Nakano to establish her as a worthy leader. ***
Post Match: Cosmic Angels officially broke away from STARS and will be their own faction going forward. Mayu iwatani challenged Nakano to a singles match for Edion next month, Kid then challenges for an Artist of Stardom title rematch, this time with Saya Iida in place of Death.
Stardom adding a new faction is a good idea, all three members of the Cosmic Angels have been forced to improve during their time together, Tam especially has stepped up as the leader of her group. It also leaves spots in STARS for people like Starlight Kid and Iida to fill since Iwtani’s group is in need of a second in command with Kyona injured and Nakano leaving. Starlight Kid has really stepped her game up recently and she is set to have a massive year in 2021 as she moves up the ladder in STARS to presumably be number 2, just behind Mayu.
WONDER OF STARDOM & SWA CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
GIULIA (C) VS SYURI (C) – DRAW
When watching this show live I kind of hated this match. They had set my expectations very high in the preview tag matches and I felt very let down by the match. On rewatch I realized hate was a strong feeling that this match didn’t deserve, it was a solid match but one that should have been so much better. I still don’t understand who’s decision it is to have Giulia wrestle in 30-minute matches when she’s shown she isn’t capable of filling that time properly. She should be booked like 2019 Arisa Hoshiki who went 15-18 minutes with everybody and got to play to her strengths, instead Stardom is trying to put a square peg into a round hole and we end up with matches like this where the performers end up clearly padding things out to fill time. ***
WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
UTAMI HAYASHISHITA (C) DEF. MOMO WATANABE
Going into this match Utami had never beaten Momo and as the match went on it became clear why. For large portions of the match it felt like Watanabe was almost one step ahead of Utami and if not for Hayashishita’s resistance may have won again here. It speaks to the talent of both women that I bought into the fact that Watanabe may end Hayashishita’s reign on her first defense, especially after the Peach Sunrise was hit. Hayashishita is 2 for 2 in delivering in these big main events and her reign will only get more interesting from here as she already put two of the company’s best in the rear view mirror, the real tests of her abilities are coming soon but so far she has taken the torch from Mayu Iwatani better than anyone except Momo ever could have. ****1/4
Osaka Dream Cinderella had its ups and downs. While AZM/Hoshizuki and Watanabe/Hayashishita were great matches the other two big matches were letdowns for me. That said, Stardom made moves as always with a new faction officially setting up, a new Future Of Stardom champion being crowned, a new and fresh world title challenger coming to light, and the mystery over what’s next for both Giulia and Syuri. The production for this big show was once again very sleek as Stardom looked professional throughout the show. One thing that would have improved this show was better crowd noise, Edion Arena is a big venue and Stardom only drew 1027 fans, and despite the best efforts of those people, the crowd didn’t sound great which hurt some of the bigger matches.