5 STAR GRAND PRIX 2021 – DAY 15
SEPTEMBER 20, 2021
Watch: Stardom World
Stardom once again heads to Korakuen Hall as we approach the finishing stretch of the 5STAR Grand Prix. Every match could be the difference between having a chance to win the block at Ota Ward and being out of contention entirely. Even if the entire card is bad the Utami Hayashishita vs Takumi Iroha match is sure to be one of the best matches of the entire tournament.
HIMEKA DEF. HANAN
Solid opener from Himeka and the STARS pin-eater. Hanan didn’t show anything that we haven’t seen before and her potential remains sky high. **1/2
WAKA TSUKIYAMA STARDOM CHALLENGE
LADY C DEF. WAKA TSUKIYAMA
LADY C WINS, THE GIRL(?)HOOD DREAM HAS COME TRUE!! That’s right folks Lady C finally obtained the first win of her pro wrestling career here against Tsukiyama. I, and other eager Lady C fans, had this match earmarked for possible success, and Stardom delivered. Lady C won with what Stardom referred to as the “giant backbreaker” submission.
Beginning to push Lady C up the card is the best choice as Sakurai and Tsukiyama are the new bottom feeders of the roster who can lose to absolutely everyone, having three wrestlers in the same spot on the undercard was getting somewhat tedious honestly. Now that Lady C has a win under her belt it’s time to put her into a faction, she could easily fit into two or three different groups in Stardom but she currently looks DDM bound which would add a unique presence to the group. **
MAI SAKURAI STARDOM CHALLENGE
SAYA KAMITANI DEF. MAI SAKURAI
What is there to say about these undercard “stardom challenge” matches that hasn’t already been said. Sakurai players the resilient babyface, Sakurai loses, her opponent determines the quality of the match. Hopefully, after the challenges conclude at Ota Ward we get Waka and Mai doing something other than having essentially the same match back to back on the cards. **1/2
FUKIGEN DEATH (8) DEF. KOGUMA (5)
I had fun with this one. They did some comedy with Koguma pretending to be a bear and scaring Fukigen who eventually smacked her with a newspaper. When they weren’t doing comedy they just did cool high speed stuff which is really all you need from something this low on the card. ***
AZM (6) DEF. KONAMI (10)
This was a good clash of styles with Konami’s more methodical striking/technician base took on high speed AZM. It’s difficult to condense a Konami match into 6 minutes but they managed to do a decent job of that here although AZM was the one bringing a lot of the excitement, especially for the out of nowhere finish with the Azumi Sushi. ***1/4
SYURI (11) DEF. RUAKA (0)
Syuri handily put Ruaka away after some struggle. Ruaka is something of an easy night for her blue block opponents since the matches are always short and Ruaka doesn’t have too many high impact moves in her arsenal. Syuri was good as always. ***
STARLIGHT KID (11) DEF. MOMO WATANABE (10)
Going into this match both Kid and Watanabe knew that winning this would go a long way to putting them in a position to win the block. That carried over into the match as these two beat the heck out of each other from beginning to end with Watanabe’s kicks in particular being wince-inducing. Following some interference, it was Starlight Kid who got the win over Watanabe with the LomoLatch (or momoracci) which she learned from Momoe Nakanishi and has put to great use ever since. With this win Starlight Kid puts her fate in her own hands, beat her former mentor Mayu Iwatani on the final day and you win the Red Stars block. As for Momo, she has to wait and see, her last opponent was supposed to be Giulia but with Giulia injured Momo will receive a forfeit win on the night to move to 12 points.
Not only was this a great match but it leaves the Red Stars block wide open heading into the final day ****
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UTAMI HAYASHISHITA (8) VS TAKUMI IROHA (10) – TIME LIMIT DRAW
This was one of THE most anticipated matches of the tournament from the day it was announced that Iroha was the final mystery participant in the Blue Stars block. It definitely lived up to expectations for a number of reasons. What I loved was how different Utami was, she is usually cool, calm, and collected no matter the opponent but this time she knew she was up against a final boss figure in Takumi Iroha. This realization meant Hayashishita fought with an aggression that I don’t think she’s ever showcased before as she took the fight to Takumi Iroha and almost managed to get the win on a few occasions. For her part, Iroha was relentless despite Hayashishita’s aggressive onslaught and somehow never seemed in danger of losing despite almost losing to some fantastic near falls down the stretch. If they ever run this back down the line, it could manage to be even better than this. ****1/2
SAKI KASHIMA (4) DEF. MAYU IWATANI (9)
The latest chapter in the Kashima/Iwatani rivalry has been written and once again Saki Kashima has got the win over her former teammate. As always the aggression was off the charts between these former friends turned rivals as both Kashima and Iwatani find a new level anytime they wrestle, likely due to the added comfort of having worked together so often. The revival got the win for Kashima in what some would dub as an upset but this writer considered a predictable outcome. ***1/2
This was a very strong show thanks in large part to the last three matches delivering. Iroha and Hayashishita delivered one of the best matches of the tournament while Starlight Kid once again proved she’s one of the best wrestlers in the company against Momo Watanabe. Don’t let the 3.5-star rating fool you Kashima and Iwatani was an enjoyable main event that’s worth a watch.