5 STAR GRAND PRIX 2021 – DAY 10
SEPTEMBER 6, 2021
Watch: Stardom World
Stardom returns to Korakuen Hall for a who full of Grand Prix bouts as well as the impromptu debut match of Waka Tsukiyama who made the jump to Stardom on the September 4 event where she was confronted by Unagi Sayaka. This is a loaded card so let’s not waste too much space and get into it.
MAI SAKURAI STARDOM CHALLENGE
MAIKA DEF. MAI SAKURAI
Sakurai had what was probably her best showing against Giulia on the previous show and this match was never going to hit those same heights. Maika plowed through Sakurai here and barely broke a sweat. Sakurai didn’t show anything we haven’t seen before. **
FUTURE OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
UNAGI SAYAKA DEF. WAKA TSUKIYAMA
This was similar to Sayaka’s recent defense against Mai Sakurai. Sayaka was fairly dominant but Tsukiyama showed fire and had some good forearms during her comebacks. This was a solid match but nothing we haven’t seen before. Sayaka being the supposed litmus for new Stardom debutants is an interesting role for her since she isn’t necessarily a workhorse but she does give her opponents a lot of room to showcase themselves. **1/2
SAYA KAMITANI (6) DEF. RUAKA (0)
Wrestling Ruaka seems to be the “night off” match of the Blue Block as they generally take place second or third from the bottom and don’t go too long. Ruaka does well in her role of roughing up her opponent and working them over until they make their comeback and Kamitani is an excellent babyface so this was a pretty decent showing all things considered. ***
MOMO WATANABE (4) DEF. FUKIGEN DEATH (2)
This match only lasted 90 seconds but they were a joyous 90 seconds. Fukigen Death has added a newspaper to her comedic repertoire to freshen things up. Watanabe teased hitting the Peach Bomb but we ended up getting a roll-up sequence to put Death away. **
Post Match: Saki Kashima attacked Watanabe before she could get her bearings which leads us into our next match!
MOMO WATANABE (6) DEF. SAKI KASHIMA (2)
This was cleverly done with Oedo Tai continuing the beat down on Watanabe into the early stages of this match. Once Watanabe fought back she and Kashima had some excellent exchanges that showcase a chemistry I never knew they had. Watanabe reversing the Kishikaisei was surprising as I expected her to lose at least one of her two matches on this show but Stardom had other plans and had her jump to second place in her block. ***1/4
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HIMEKA (4) DEF. NATSUPOI (5)
Himeka and Natsupoi put together a good David vs. Goliath style match here with Poi’s agility helping her gain advantages and making it difficult for Himeka to get her hands on Poi. Of course whenever Himeka did get her hands on Natsupoi it wasn’t pretty for the former High Speed Champion. Himeka continues to climb the table with this win after an 0-2 start, if she can keep up this momentum she will be in block contention soon. ***1/2
GIULIA (6) DEF. MINA SHIRAKAWA (4)
Giulia matches against Cosmic Angels members are always enjoyable because she takes it upon herself to beat the tar out of them. This was absolutely the best way to work a match between the two as it went just over 5 minutes but packed in everything you need.
Unfortunately, this ended up being Giulia’s last match of the tournament as she is now out with a neck injury. She went out with a good performance at least. ***1/4
BLUE STARS: KOGUMA (4) DEF. STARLIGHT KID (7)
Koguma pulls off a big win here over the High Speed Champion and at this stage should be next in line for a shot at Kid’s belt. I like this match and thought they did good work while also leaving some room for improvement for their title match down the line. Koguma’s german suplexes are still incredible and the angle she drops people at makes them look nasty. Kid delivers again and isn’t too hurt by this loss as Koguma has been booked very strong ever since her return to Stardom a few months ago. ***3/4
Post Match: Hazuki comes out to speak with Koguma. They both remark at how weird it is for them to be sharing a Stardom ring as they both retired in the past and seemingly left pro wrestling behind. Hazuki asked if her return match could be against Koguma, Koguma suggested they do it on October 9 at Osaka Jo-Hall. The match has since been made official for Osaka Jo-Hall.
KONAMI (8) DEF. SYURI (5)
We got a brief taste of what these two could do against one another at All Star Dream Cinderella, despite that match getting cut short there was clearly potential for a great match between this pairing. This time around they delivered on that promise as they dipped into their backgrounds in shoot-style wrestling to deliver a realistic and grounded match which featured a variety of good strikes. Even as someone that doesn’t generally love shoot-style wrestling this was a fun match thanks in part to the blistering kicks both women were hitting.
They protected Syuri on the finish as Konami got a very unique pin locked in and Syuri was unable to get her arms off the ground in time. It’s fitting that such a move ended this match as Konami came out on top in this tactical battle, but the next time they meet things could go either way. ****
TAKUMI IROHA (4) DEF. TAM NAKANO (6)
Before I go on with my review I must preface this by saying that Takumi Iroha is one of my favorite wrestlers ever, she isn’t even close to the end of her career and she is already among my top 3 favorite wrestlers ever. I tend to enjoy her matches no matter the opponent or the style much more than other people do. With that out of the way, I adored this match it was fantastic from start to finish. Tam Nakano has personified the heart of Stardom all year with her spirited and intense battles over the Wonder of Stardom Championship, which continued here as she withstood the onslaught of Takumi Iroha and was more than willing to fight back and leave it all in the ring to defeat the outsider. Iroha was having none of that and blitzed Nakano in a match reminiscent of her classic with Mayu Iwatani last year. Neither wrestler was willing to back down in this one and that made for a great battle between the two with plenty of hard kicks and big moves thrown in for good measure. In the end, Iroha put Nakano away with a Running Three after multiple kicks to the head that would have put away most other wrestlers. As it stands this is one of my favorite matches of the year, and one that could easily be a match of the tournament contender even if you aren’t as enamored by Iroha as I am. *****
Stardom delivered massively at Korakuen Hall this time around. Things got off to a slow start but the final three matches are all worth seeking out and the main event between Iroha and Nakano delivered one of my favorite matches of the entire year.