WORLD WONDER RING STARDOM
YOKOHAMA DREAM CINDERELLA 2021 IN SUMMER
JULY 4, 2021
YOKOHAMA BUDOKAN

Watch: PIA PPV (now) Stardom-World (from Wednesday) 

Yokohama Dream Cinderella 2021 in Summer is the first Stardom PPV since the 5.5-star match between Utami Hayashishita and Syuri that has seen the company gain widespread acclaim and more attention from non-Joshi fans than it’s had since the Threedom days.  This show has big shoes to fill as Tokyo Dream Cinderella made a major mark with its main event but the overall card promises to be much stronger on this show.  With four championships on the line, this show promises to be eventful so let’s get into it.

TAG TEAM GAUNTLET
OEDO TAI (FUKIGEN DEATH & KONAMI) DEF. LADY C & MAIKA, OEDO TAI (SAKI KASHIMA & RINA), & HANAN & HINA

This opener benefited from the gauntlet stipulation which allowed them to keep each individual match short and sweet while also keeping things fresh.  Fukigen Death getting the win continues the booking trend of keeping her fairly strong as her deadly roll-up skills can beat anyone.  The four junior roster members acquitted themselves well with Lady C quickly gelling with Maika while Rina, Hina, and Hanan once again showcased their growing potential. **1/2

QUEEN’S QUEST (MOMO WATANABE & AZM) DEF. OEDO TAI (STARLIGHT KID & RUAKA)

Starlight Kid debuted new music and gear before this match, fully completing her turn to the dark side after being taken away from STARS at Tokyo Dream Cinderella.  With the new presentation Kid finally looks ready for a major push as both her gear and music are major league and make her come off as a big deal.  That made it all the more surprising her team lost this match, it seemed like her pinning her long-time rival AZM would be a good launchpad for her new heel look but instead, AZM rolled up Ruaka to keep MOMOAZ looking strong.  MOMOAZ winning makes sense in hindsight as they’re a prominent part of the Stardom tag team division and should be a more cohesive unit than a teenager and her new tag partner.

The work in this match was enjoyable, Kid stood out as her newfound confidence shone through in every interaction with AZM.  MOMOAZ were their usual consistent selves too.  ***1/4

FUTURE OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
MINA SHIRAKAWA DEF. UNAGI SAYAKA

This failed to ever excite me outside of the moments when Sayaka would fire up.  This could have been so much better but there was no real heat between these two and they just wrestled it like a standard match with the typical grappling to start us off instead of something more exciting.  Shirakawa winning despite only being eligible to hold this title for 32 more days doesn’t make much sense either, she’ll likely lose the title in that time but it just makes this whole tournament to crown a new champion feel like a waste of time if the winner can only hold the belt for a month maximum.  ***

GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
DONNA DEL MONDO (GIULIA & SYURI) (C) DEF. STARS (MAYU IWATANI & KOGUMA)

From the moment Mayu Iwatani’s big match entrance theme hit you knew this was going to deliver.  And boy did it ever deliver.  Alikaba (Giulia & Syuri) have perfected their tag title defense formula and continue to be the perfect champions for this division.  Koguma deserves a lot of praise here too, just a month after her return from a 6-year retirement and she was able to hang with everyone else in this match despite the crazy pace that they worked.  While I wish we had gotten some more of Syuri and Iwtatani the story of this match was Giulia getting her win back after Koguma snuck a win over her in a recent tag match, and that’s exactly what happened as Giulia dropped Koguma with the Northern Lights Bomb and got the win for her team.

There will definitely come a point where the Giulia and Syuri big match tag formula will become a bit more stale but for now, I’m enjoying these well-worked and high-paced tag matches. ***3/4

Post Match: A video played announcing the participants and blocks for the 5STAR Grand Prix.  This year the GP is expanded to 20 participants with 2 blocks of 10 as opposed to the 2 blocks of 8 from previous years.  There are no massive surprises as far as announced names go outside of an X in the Blue Stars block who will represent another company, likely to be Rin Kadokura of Marvelous.

While the Red Stars block is more loaded with talent the Blue Stars block will see Stardom run back Utami Hayashishita vs Syuri as well as Hayashishita vs Kamitani and a few other highly anticipated rematches.

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WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
TAM NAKANO (C) DEF. SAYA KAMITANI

I may be in the minority but I absolutely love Nakano’s reign as Wonder champion so far.  Her matches are just different from the rest of the card they’re stiff, they’re intense, they don’t just go from grappling into big bombs instead focusing on trading ridiculous-sounding slaps and forearms.  Kamitani was a worthy dance partner as she used her agility to add excitement to her offense while keeping up with Nakano in the intensity department.

While some may feel like this was Kamitani’s moment to win the title I’m ok with holding it off.  Kamitani has already established herself as a top-tier talent in Stardom and someone that will win both of the top championships.  Holding off on Kamitani’s coronation until they can put all the focus on her just makes sense as giving her the title ahead of the GP would potentially make her an afterthought. ****1/2

WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
UTAMI HAYASHISHITA (C) DEF. NATSUKO TORA VIA REFEREE STOPPAGE

Unfortunately, Natsuko Tora tore her ACL just 10 minutes into this match which led to the referee eventually calling the match off when it became clear she couldn’t even walk on it.  That has to be devastating for Tora as Oedo Tai has been getting a major push in recent months and this was arguably the biggest match of Tora’s career.  Oedo Tai operating without its commander is going to be an interesting sight to see but I’m sure Tora’s cohorts can step up in her absence to make sure that Stardom is Oedo Tai territory when Tora is fit to return.  N/R

FINAL THOUGHTS

Before the freak accident stopped the main event short this was shaping up to be a very strong Stardom show.  It was almost all killer, no filler with 2 of the 6 matches being great while everything else was at least entertaining.  While the harrowing scenes of the main event may have ended this show on a sour note it was overall an eventful and exciting Stardom show between the good matches, GP announcements, and the debut of Starlight Kid’s new presentation.