OCTOBER 9, 2021

Watch: Stardom World

Future of Stardom Championship
Ruaka def. Unagi Sayaka (c)

The time for Unagi Sayaka as the Future of Stardom Champion has come to an end. In the opening match of the pay-per-view, Ruaka managed to end Sayaka’s reign through the help of her Oedo Tai stablemates. They were able to distract the referee long enough to allow Ruaka to use her signature box, smashing Sayaka in the skull and leading her to a win. Ruaka would hit her Falling Splash from the top rope, going a bit more of a distance than her usual fall. Sayaka showed a great willingness to fight back as she often does, but Ruaka was in control of the majority and made it count in the end. The match itself won’t be anything that was out of the ordinary but ended up being a great moment for Ruaka. **3/4

Maria & Rin Kadokura def. Cosmic Angels (Mina Shirakawa & Mai Sakurai)

The showcase for Marvelous’s Maria and Rin Kadokura was a special one as they’d face-off with the Cosmic Angels. Mina Shirakawa’s recent improvement paid off in this match as her work with both Maria and Kadokura showed to be the best aspects of the bout. Maria continuously showed why she is such an exciting prospect in the Joshi world, hitting a mixture of strikes and submissions that would “wow” anyone. Kadokura captured the win for Team Marvelous as she forced Mai Sakurai to tap out via a high-angle Boston Crab. Anyone who witnessed this match should be hoping that these two Marvelous wrestlers show up more in Stardom moving forward. ***1/4

High Speed Championship
Starlight Kid (c) def. Fukigen Death

High speed wrestling can be one of the real great matches of any Stardom show if done right. Unfortunately, the High Speed Championship has been put on hold over the last number of months as a Natsupoi match for the Wonder of Stardom Championship and injury which kept the belt sidelined. It wasn’t until Starlight Kid challenged and won the championship that it was back into prominence. The defense of the title here against Fukigen Death was as enjoyable of a high speed match you can see. Kid’s limitless star power from the entrance and on never ceased to amaze. They had a match that was noticeably competitive before Kid hit the Wrath of the Black Tiger piledriver to win the match and succeed in her first defense. An easy watch for anyone. ***

Artist of Stardom Championship
Donna Del Mondo (Maika, Himeka, & Natsupoi) (c) def. Queen’s Quest (AZM, Momo Watanabe, & Saya Kamitani)

The Artist of Stardom Championship can be a great part of Stardom as long as the titles are in the right hands. They sadly became stale in recent months as the Cosmic Angels established themselves as the best trio in Stardom history by holding them for a record amount of days and successfully defending the titles seven times. MaiHime Poi was able to be the team that ended that reign which led to this match. Dawning all-new championship attire, they would defend against the Queen’s Quest team of AZM, Momo Watanabe, and Saya Kamitani. The match itself was as good as one could hope as the action seemingly never stopped. The exchanges between all six reminded the world that these titles can be a true highlight of Stardom.

Not so shockingly it would come down to Maika and Saya Kamitani, a rivalry that only gets better. Every outing between the two furthers the story of who is better, with the ultimate response being that they are both future champions and will have world title matches against one another down the line. This was Maika’s time, however, as she would finish off Kamitani with two Michinoku Driver II’s to put out “The Golden Phoenix.” I described this as the dark horse of the show for match of the night and it very well might have succeeded in being that. ****1/4

Hazuki def. Koguma

The return of Hazuki to being a full-time professional wrestler is something that fans have been wanting since the moment she returned to wrestling for one match at the Hana Kimura Memorial Show earlier this year. Well, people have wanted her to return to wrestling since the moment she retired but that’s beside the point. Saturday was the night she returned to Stardom and from the moment she made her entrance, it was special. The “Reunion of Destiny” match between her and Koguma instantly reminded fans as to why Hazuki was one of the best and is once again one of the best. Her ability to understand the little things is why she is such a great professional wrestler.

Most of the conversation will be about Hazuki’s performance, but Koguma’s was just as good. “The Bear” hit Hazuki with everything she had in the arsenal including a jaw-dropping German Suplex that she was unable to hold the bridge on. The returning star would survive the onslaught by her friend by hitting a Vertical Drop Brainbuster for the victory. It was as good of a return match as you will ever see as Hazuki reminded the world that it’s still her time to be at the very top. ****

World of Stardom Championship Match Contract & SWA World Championship
Syuri (c) def. Saki Kashima

Syuri was left without a match as it was revealed Friday that Konami would not be able to compete due to acute enteritis. All signs pointed to Syuri simply joining the commentary team for the show and not competing. Then on the preshow, Saki Kashima laid down the challenge to Syuri to fill in for Konami and it was soon accepted. The match would go down third from the top and it saw the most serious version of Kashima that we have seen in some time. She kept Oedo Tai out of it with a determination that will not go unappreciated. She gave Syuri a run for her money in this one but fell victim to a Figure Four Leg Lock, tapping out to Stardom’s most dominant wrestler right now. No shame for Kashima in what was a great addition to the show. ***1/2

Wonder of Stardom Championship
Tam Nakano (c) vs. Mayu Iwatani ended in a 30-minute Time Limit Draw

There was no match on this card that had more anticipation than this one. The story between Wonder of Stardom Champion Tam Nakano and Mayu Iwatani is one that goes deeper than just a title being on the line. It’s about friendship, jealousy, and the need to be better than the other. Nakano was adamant in the fact that she wanted to destroy Iwatani for the feelings she has given her throughout her career. Iwatani had always valued friendship and was hurt when Nakano left STARS to form Cosmic Angels. All signs pointed to this being a war between the two with little care for technique and more so the need to make the other pay.

If we look at the match itself, it was a technically sound methodical war that saw both try and destroy the other. But that didn’t work for the story they were supposed to be telling here. The match started off with them staring down one another before breaking into grappling work, not fitting the feeling of the story that was being sold going into it. It was also clear from early on in the match that this was only concluding in a draw. There was zero escalation in pace or overall fire between the two until the final ten minutes, hurting the match as a whole as the draw made even less sense for the story. At the end of the day, it’s more likely than not that this was only the newest chapter in their story that is far from over.

They gave the image of Nakano hitting the Twilight Dream to Iwatani, hinting that a little more time might have meant a win for her once and for all. The match was good but didn’t deliver on the hype and promises that many expected with a draw that felt unnecessary. Hopefully, their next chapter can conclude this story the way it should be. ****1/4

World of Stardom Championship
Utami Hayashishita (c) def. Takumi Iroha

The reign of Utami Hayashishita may never end at this point and for good reason. Every title defense she has, she manages to look better than the one before. This was a special night as she faced off with the Marvelous ace, Takumi Iroha. As we saw in their draw during the 5 STAR Grand Prix, Iroha has the ability to bring it to the champion and show that she could become World of Stardom Champion any time. So how would Hayashishita gameplan against someone who has similarities in style to Syuri? Vicious offense in one of the most convincingly impressive title defenses of her reign as champion.

Hayashishita dismantled the surgically repaired right leg of Iroha, hitting some wicked Dragon Screws and utilizing the Figure Four Leg Lock that Syuri used to win earlier in the night. Iroha was able to escape and hit a number of her signature kicks and strikes to stay in the match, but Hayashishita was different Saturday. There was not a moment she felt on the ropes or closing on losing, something that made this fight with Iroha so incredibly unique. The challenger would go for her signature Running Three but was met with a counter by the champion each time. Hayashishita would have the wherewithal to hit the BT Bomb, putting Iroha down and out for defense number seven in what has been an all-time reign.

Utami Hayashishita’s evolution from a champion who is able to overcome overpowering challengers to what looks to be an unbeatable and unstoppable force could be what builds her to finally beat Syuri when their match comes down the line. After this one, Hazuki and Maika threw down challenges for the World of Stardom Championship which alone should excite fans even more. This match was a great change of pace from the previous Hayashishita defenses. ****1/2