WORLD WONDER RING STARDOM
GO TO BUDOKAN! VALENTINE SPECIAL DAY 2
FEBRUARY 14, 2021
The second of Stardom’s back-to-back Korakuen’s isn’t as strong a card but has a title match in the main event while there is a Budokan prelude in the semi-main event spot. This should be a newsworthy show that adds some final touches to the build for All-Star Dream Cinderella even if it isn’t as good as the first Valentine Special event
GOKIGEN DEATH VS LADY C
These two are getting a lot of mileage out of the Lady C tall, Death small spots. Your mileage may vary but a nice comedy opener is a nice change of pace from the rest of the show. Lady C gets more and more solid with each passing show. **1/2
MOMO WATANABE DEF. RUAKA
Short and sweet match to give Watanabe a strong win. Ruaka got her brief comebacks but Watanabe’s win was never in doubt. Solid stuff. **1/2
OEDO TAI (SAKI KASHIMA & NATSUKO TORA) DEF. DONNA DEL MONDO (NATSUPOI & SYURI)
This was a fun match with the exchange between Syuri and Natsuko Tora standing out as particularly good. Saki Kashima and Natsupoi have been paired off a lot lately so they also work well together. Kashima pinning Natsupoi is a surprising result as Poi has a title match at the Budokan coming and Kashima is usually the pin eater for Oedo Tai, they have been giving Kashima some wins lately though so there may be a big match in the works for her in the near future. ***1/4
UNAGI SAYAKA 7 MATCH TRIAL SERIES
MATCH 3: MAYU IWATANI DEF. UNAGI SAYAKA
This is the closest thing to a squash match I’ve ever seen from Stardom. Iwtani just beat up Sayaka without remorse. I can’t even recall a single stretch of offense that Sayaka got in things were so one-sided. The booking for this was excellent as Iwatani clearly remembers the hurt that Nakano and the Cosmic Angels caused her by leaving STARS and she took it all out on Sayaka who has become a glutton for punishment. Iwatani’s performance here was amazing as she emotionlessly picked apart her opponent before putting her away with a sickening Dragon Suplex. Sayaka never gave up to her credit and once again showcased her resistance which Stardom has emphasized in recent weeks. ***1/2
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AZM & MEI HOSHIZUKI DEF. STARS (SAYA IIDA & STARLIGHT KID)
What an incredible sprint these four young talents pulled off. Hoshizuki was the star of the show as she was pulling out some incredible offense and everything she did was so fluid. This match just went over 11 minutes but didn’t feel like it as all four wrestled at a really nice pace and it never looked sloppy. These four women represent the future of Joshi and it is in great hands if matches like this are the standard. ****
SAYA KAMITANI DEF. UTAMI HAYASHISHITA, GIULIA, & TAM NAKANO
At first, I was intrigued at Stardom booking this four-way match to build to their top two matches at All-Star Cinderella but in hindsight, it would’ve been better if they’d just done a tag match. At times this felt like two different matches taking attention away from one another and outside of Saya Kamitani nobody really looked any better than they did going in.
Stardom deserves a lot of credit for making Kamitani seem like a credible challenger for Utami Hayashishita, the Bea Priestley draw on the February 13th show did a good job of establishing her but having her be the first person to pin Utami in months worked even better. She has also been debuting a number of new moves that seem to have Utami Hayashishita caught out which adds some unpredictability to their title match.
One thing to note based on this match and the whole build for Saya vs Utami is that Saya has now hit her Star Crusher finisher twice and neither time Hayashishita has kicked out, the first time the time limit ran out and this time it was broken up. The Star Crusher is seemingly being built up as the move that can put Hayashishita away ahead of their match.
Giulia and Tam didn’t do anything too crazy here nor did they need to as the heavy lifting in their feud is already done. ***1/2
GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIPS
DONNA DEL MONDO (MAIKA & HIMEKA) DEF. OEDO TAI (KONAMI & BEA PRIESTLEY) (c)
This match was designed to focus on Himeka which fits her current storyline against Oedo Tai. After a solid heat segment on Maika this match was pretty much all Priestley vs Himeka as Priestley was tasked with putting her opponent over for the second show in a row. This didn’t work as well as it did for Saya Kamitani on the 13th but Himeka getting to hang with a former world champion and even pinning her is a big feather in the cap of the Jumbo princess. Solid work to build up Himeka if the match itself didn’t blow me away. ***1/4
Post Match: Natsuko Tora and Saki Kashima, also from Oedo Tai, challenged for the titles. Himeka agreed to the match and it will take place at the Nippon Budokan as Himeka’s storyline of beating Oedo Tai members looks to continue.
This show didn’t look as good as the show from the day prior on paper but it definitely proved to be a very entertaining show. Himeka and Saya Kamitani both come out of the show looking stronger than they went in, for Kamitani that is especially important given her upcoming world title match. The Mayu Iwatani vs Unagi Sayaka and AZM/Hoshizuki vs Kid/Iida tag also delivered two very interesting matches, for very different reasons. Stardom is heading into All-Star Dream Cinderella with some momentum behind them, lets hope this translates to success at the Budokan.