5 STAR GRAND PRIX 2021 – DAY 9
SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
Shinjuku Sumitomo Hall
Watch: Stardom World
Natupoi def. Rina
Nothing in this match came as much of a surprise as Natsupoi and Rina wrestled a quick, yet effective match. There were a few comedic spots as the charisma of both leaked out to entertain the crowd. Natsupoi defeated Rina via roll-up after rolling around the ring a couple of times. In terms of match quality, it was fine. **
Koguma def. Lady C
This was the second time that Koguma has faced off with the winless Lady C in singles action and they were able to show improved chemistry in what was a normal Lady C match. Koguma brought it to Lady C, who was willing to go right back in an attempt to pick up the victory. Unfortunately for the tall lady, Koguma was able to follow the lead of Natsupoi in the end, rolling over onto Lady C’s legs for a bridging roll-up win. Koguma added some wonderful insult to injury as she held the pin even longer while taunting the camera. **1/4
Tam Nakano def. Waka Tsukiyama
The trials and tribulations of Waka Tsukiyama continued in this one as her next challenge was to take on the Wonder of Stardom Champion, Tam Nakano. While these are supposed to be showcases to show how the newest wrestlers to Stardom and allow them to get better as time goes on, this one was all about Nakano. Everything she did screamed confidence while also being a flat-out jerk to Tsukiyama at times. Nakano sat in a Camel Clutch for what felt like to be an eternity, mocking Tsukiyama as she had nowhere to go. Fast forward more and Nakano thought she was a submission specialist all of a sudden, locking on a Kimura Lock as well. In the end, Nakano finished Tsukiyama off with a Violent Shooting Running Knee to win. An enjoyable watch here. **3/4
Syuri def. Mai Sakurai
First things first, Mai Sakurai did manage to survive her trial match with Syuri. She actually got in more offense than anyone could have begun to imagine (not that it mattered). Most of the match was Syuri playing with Sakurai, not hitting her too hard but outsmarting her in a number of ways. Syuri never got to a point of worry, resulting in her never really kicking it into high gear. That being said, if you enjoy one of the best in the world decimating a rookie, then you have come to the right place. It was systematic destruction and once Sakurai got in some offense, Syuri went in for the kill. Three spine-shattering kicks to Sakurai’s back from Syuri spelled the end as she would lock in the armbar and wrench back until Sakurai gave up. It was another good match of destruction. **3/4
Powered by RedCircle
5 STAR Grand Prix: Red Stars Block
Fukigen Death (4) def. Mayu Iwatani (6)
This match right here is peak professional wrestling comedy, everybody. Based on the result alone, you already know that there had to be some buffoonery to result in Mayu Iwatani taking a loss to Fukigen Death. The magic of this match was that it was all comedy all the time from Death getting the referee to Irish Whip her into Iwatani to Death smacking Iwatani in the head with a newspaper before having her read it. However, the best part of the three-minute and change match was when Death introduced a chair. Swinging and waving it at Iwatani as she continued to dodge, the referee would try to stop it before it got out of hand. He would get pushed down to the mat, leading to the moment where Death hit the chair off the rope and back into her skull.
What proceeded was Iwatani catching the chair to avoid being hit while Death knocked herself out. The referee would see Iwatani with the chair in hand and Death down on the mat, resulting in a disqualification for Iwatani and a win for Death. It wasn’t even Eddie Guerrero-like in the end. It was Death knocking herself out and Iwatani protecting herself. Comedy gold right here. **1/2
5 STAR Grand Prix: Blue Stars Block
Utami Hayashishita (7) def. AZM (2)
Queen’s Quest going to battle can always make for a great match and that’s what we got here. AZM had no fear of taking on the World of Stardom Champion, Utami Hayashishita. So much so that AZM reminded the world very quickly how great she is in this one and why she’s one of the best young talents anywhere. She brought it to the champion, giving her little time to breathe as she used her speed as the advantage she needed to without getting caught. The only problem for AZM was that she would eventually get caught, resulting in her downfall despite being able to fight back a couple more times. Hayashishita would hit a stunningly brutal Release German Suplex, resulting in AZM falling straight on her neck at first impact.
Somehow the young wonder that is AZM fought back valiantly, getting in her Azumi Sushi on Hayashishita for the near fall of the match. Hayashishita’s strength would once again come into play, however, resulting in AZM getting the Argentine Backbreaker where Hayashishita bent her in half and spinning it back into a German Suplex Hold for the victory. It was a fantastic match from start to finish, resulting in one of the best sub-10 minute matches you will see all year in any promotion and probably the best in this year’s 5 STAR Grand Prix. ***3/4
5 STAR Grand Prix: Blue Stars Block
Takumi Iroha (5) vs. Saya Kamitani (7) ends in a Double Count Out
Big fight feel for this one with a backstory to go with it. If you remember, Saya Kamitani was the one to spoil the surprise of Takumi Iroha being in the 5 STAR Grand Prix this year, so there was plenty of energy here that you could feel from start to finish. As they went to shake hands to start off the match, Iroha didn’t let go as Kamitani went to pull away. This resulted in the match getting off to a hot start and never really slowed down from there. Kamitani hit Iroha with a flurry of forearms before Iroha did her best to calm down “The Golden Phoenix” and try to take control in doing so. The trading back and forth throughout this one was rather incredible as Kamitani’s fiery emotion shined more than anything else.
She had the mentality to not be denied, even if Iroha was menacing per usual. “The Golden Phoenix” was able to avoid the Running Three by Iroha on multiple occasions, hitting counter after counter to show that she was on the Iroha level. As the match poured outside of the ring, it became notable that these two were doing everything they could to steal a count out win. In the end, both were not able to make it back, leading to an unsatisfying finish to what was a great effort and match by these two. Kamitani was a star in this one, giving everything back. She survived the kicks that made her look like she was out cold on multiple occasions and it should go a long way in her development. Iroha remains a favorite moving forward. ***3/4
5 STAR Grand Prix: Red Stars Block
Himeka (6) def. Momo Watanabe (6)
Where do we begin? The devious acts by both of these two killers made for one intense, hard-fought battle. Giving them the main event was well-deserved as they felt it was necessary to attack each other’s lower backs, which are both documented to have been injured over the last couple of months. Himeka and Momo Watanabe seemingly didn’t think to the pain they have been dealing with and instead said “tough luck.” The way these two worked together in the ring was not a stunning one by any stretch as they remain two of the best when it comes to being as physical as one can imagine. There were times in this match that you asked yourself, “do they want to win or simply make sure the other doesn’t get out of here under their own power?” That’s how great this one.
The spot of the match between the two were when Himeka went for her massive Last Ride-style Powerbomb, only to be countered as she went for the lift. Watananbe managed to hit a meteora from the heavens down to the mat, resulting in a very close two count. If Watanabe was able to get this win, it was almost certain that she would be running away with this block if so, making it that much more important for Himeka to pull off the upset. And that she did, as she would lift Watanabe up to her shoulders for her signature Running Powerbomb to win the match. From the kicks to the face by Watanabe to the back-snapping Boston Crab by Himeka, these two put on one heck of a showing to close this one out in Shinjuku. ****