WORLD WONDER RING STARDOM
STARDOM YEAR END CLIMAX
DECEMBER 26, 2020
Stardom runs its last event of the year as they return to Korakuen Hall for the Year End Climax. Taking place just 6 days after Osaka Dream Cinderella the card is fairly weak with only one title match on tap and the rest of the card featuring matches you’d expect to see from a Shinkiba 1st Ring show. That doesn’t mean this show isn’t going to deliver as Stardom always brings their A-game to Korakuen Hall but they’ll face an uphill battle to be nearly as good as their last trip to Korakuen.
GOKIGEN DEATH DEF. LADY C, & RUAKA
An entertaining opener that didn’t overstay it’s welcome. The standout spot was Death trying to give Lady C a big boot despite only being as tall as Lady C’s hip, Lady C was easily able to keep kicking death away thanks to this size difference. Not much else stood out but this was a solid sprint opener. **1/2
MOMO WATANABE DEF. SAYA IIDA
Similar to Iida’s recent match with Mayu Iwatani this was a very one-sided affair with Iida getting over by refusing to stay down. Watanabe was presented as being a level above Iida for the most part but Iida’s sheer strength kept her in the game for longer than she had any right to. There may be no one in Stardom better at getting themselves and their opponent over than Iida. ***1/4
STARS (MAYU IWATANI & STARLIGHT KID) DEF. RIHO & AZM
After suffering a big defeat at Osaka Dream Cinderella the STARS duo of Mayu Iwatani and Starlight Kid got back on track with a win here over Riho and the High-Speed Champion AZM. Given the four women involved it will come as no surprise that this was a very good match. ***1/2
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DONNA DEL MONDO (NATSUPOI & HIMEKA) DEF. OEDO TAI (SAKI KASHIMA & NATSUKO TORA)
Himeka and Natsupoi win their second straight tag match against Oedo Tai. Based on upcoming show lineups it’s likely we will see the two challenge for the Goddesses Of Stardom titles soon. With Rina absent due to a family issue poor Kashima has gone right back to being Oedo Tai’s designated pin eater as NatsuPoi pinned her this time around. Anyone else remember when Poi said she wanted to be High-Speed Champion after her debut? Stardom doesn’t I guess since she’s not mentioned it since. ***
DONNA DEL MONDO (SYURI, MAIKA & GIULIA) DEF. COSMIC ANGELS (TAM NAKANO, MINA SHIRAKAWA & UNAGI SAYAKA)
The year of Donna Del Mondo closes with a DDM win against the Cosmic Angels. Before the match, DDM made sure to mention the Artist Of Stardom titles that are currently in the Angels’ possession. Since this show news broke that Mina Shirakawa will miss 2 months due to a broken nose so any potential rematch between the two groups will have to wait. The match itself was good although I never felt like it hit top gear, these two teams have a better match in them. ***1/4
GODDESSES OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
OEDO TAI (KONAMI & BEA PRIESTLEY) DEF. QUEEN’S QUEST (UTAMI HAYASHISHITA & SAYA KAMITANI)
Bea Priestley wins her third championship in the space of about four months as Stardom apparently has no other options when they want a heel to be champion. She and Konami have been the best-booked members of Oedo Tai ever since Konami so hopefully this time she actually gets to defend the title successfully instead of just having another transitional reign. It was the right time to take the tag titles off of Kamitani and Hayashishita as Utami should currently have her full focus on the World Of Stardom Championship, this also continues the story that Bea Priestley has Hayashishita’s number as that is a story they were telling before COVID-19 hit last year so this possibly sets Priestley up as a challenger for the world title down the line. The match itself was good but never hit a higher gear for me. ***1/4
NANAE TAKAHASHI & YOSHIKO RETURN
I wouldn’t normally give an angle its own heading but this is possibly the biggest angle in Stardom history. Co-founder of the company and the first-ever world champion Nanae Takahashi and the controversial former world champion Yoshiko made their surprise return to Stardom 5 years after the two parties split following the Act Yasukawa/Yoshiko incident. This segment had a lot happening as Stardom set up a number of feuds for both women. Giulia, Saya Iida, and Starlight Kid all stood up to the pair and seem to be roadblocks in the path of Yoshiko for her to clear before she wrestles Mayu Iwatani, presumably at Budokan Hall. Nanae Takahashi has Momo Watanabe in her crosshairs but it remains to be seen if that will be a Budokan match or serve as a warm-up match for Takahashi ahead of an even bigger match at Budokan Hall. This angle injected some much-needed excitement into the show as two of Joshi’s best talents returned to Stardom to set up some potential dream matches. Yoshiko vs Mayu Iwatani is one of the biggest feuds you could see in Joshi wrestling and it would seem that they are on a collision course.
The show-closing angle stole the headlines for this show and has me more excited about Stardom than I have been since the Cinderella tournament. The show itself was nothing to write home about outside of the title change but even that doesn’t spark much excitement. There were still some good matches on the show despite nothing being must-see but it must be said Stardom really pulled it out of the bag with the Yoshiko/Nanae return. This show really served as the starting point for the road to All-Star Dream Cinderella and it kicked things off in a big way!