TOKYO SUPER WARS
NOVEMBER 27, 2021
YOYOGI NATIONAL GYMNASIUM #2
Watch: Stardom World
With all eyes on Stardom Dream Queendom on December 29, Tokyo Super Wars is akin to a Roadblock: End of the Line type of event with most matches serving the purpose of giving champions a final bit of momentum before the real major event. Despite that Tokyo Super Wars promises to be a good show with some big matches to look forward to. Let’s start with a match showcasing some of Stardom’s best and brightest.
FUTURE OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
RUAKA (C) DEF. MAI SAKURAI, & WAKA TSUKIYAMA
I thought they packed a lot into this sub-5 minute match. They had a clear goal, make Ruaka look good. And that they did, she dealt with both of her opponents with ease to start before taking a powder following some 2-on-1 offense. This allowed Waka to chase her first win with a series of flash pinfall attempts on Mai Sakurai in an engaging middle portion of the match. Waka wasn’t able to secure the win fast enough though, which allowed Ruaka to get back into the match and put her opponents away handily.
This was a solid outing that achieved its set goal while also allowing Waka to showcase her strengths. Through her facial expressions and emoting Waka manages to get me engaged in her struggles and is really flourishing in her current role in Stardom. ***
Post Match: The masked assailant from the Kawasaki Super wars pre-show came from the back with a sledgehammer in hand (yes get the Triple H jokes outta your system now) and attacked all three competitors. Starlight Kid eventually came out to prevent any further damage from being dealt to Ruaka as the masked figure slinked off to the back. The leading theory is that this masked figure is former TJPW competitor Mirai Maiumi and this is certainly a strange way to debut someone with so much raw talent and babyface charisma.
After all that nonsense, Hanan made her way to the ring and challenged Ruaka to a title match. Ruaka had already stated her desire to defend against Hanan at Stardom Dream Queendom so she accepted without a second thought.
MOMO WATANABE & AZM VS LADY C & UNAGI SAYAKA
I didn’t get to see this match live, but I saw and heard a lot of praise for it. I was hesitant to buy into the hype for a random tag match that was second on the card so tempered expectations. Well, they blew past those with ease, this was a really strong tag match that featured Unagi and Lady C taking the fight to the more established MOMOAZ duo. The work wasn’t super stiff but everyone was laying their shots in and working at a really good pace to keep the action moving. This was the rare match that made each member of the match look great no matter the result. ***1/2
STARS (HAZUKI, MAYU IWATANI & HANAN) DEF. OEDO TAI (SAKI KASHIMA, FUKIGEN DEATH & RINA)
As far as random undercard tags go this was a blast. Since Natsuko Tora’s injury, Oedo Tai have moved away from constantly attacking before the bell and beating people down. They still cheat, but it’s a lot more palatable and flows with the match better than it used to. STARS are an incredible team and they were always going to bring it in this match but it was great to see Oedo Tai show their quality. Hazuki and Kashima especially had an extended stretch in the ring and it was a fun time.
It warms my heart that STARS have brought back the old Threedom dropkick (this killer move) as a regular part of their offense especially since it always leads into the finish. ***1/4
Post Match: Mayu Iwatani, who pitched the idea of a unit tournament on the last show, was asked by Hazuki who the four teams would be for the December 18 event at Edion Arena. Mayu clarified that it will be STARS, Cosmic Angels, Donna Del Mondo, and representatives from Chigusa Nagayo’s Marvelous promotion (Takumi Iroha, Rin Kadokura & Maria).
WONDER OF STARDOM #1 CONTENDER MATCH
SAYA KAMITANI DEF. HIMEKA, & NATSUPOI
Coming into this one the main emphasis was the disintegrating relationship of Natsupoi and Himeka. They got started early when Himeka went after Natsupoi during the introductions and the two tried to tear each other apart while Kamitani plotted her next move. Kamitani was able to use her athleticism at a number of points to get into the match out of nowhere and all three did a great job switching between the story-heavy moments with Himeka and Poi to the spots and actual wrestling when Kamitani got involved. After Natsupoi took Himeka out of commission with one of the most sickening German Suplexes I’ve ever seen, Saya Kamitnai was able to reverse an attempted Fairy Blink into a clutch pinfall to get the win.
I loved the way they were able to blend the story elements with the in-ring action. Himeka’s power and Saya’s athleticism made for some great moments throughout the match too. ***1/2
HIGH SPEED CHAMPIONSHIP
STARLIGHT KID (C) DEF. KOGUMA
This was high speed excellence and what’s amazing to me is that I think they have more in them. The opening flurry was absolutely dazzling, it’s the kind of sequence most wrestlers would attempt only for it to be eye-rollingly bad but Kid and Koguma made it look as smooth as anything. Things slowed down from there but they kept up the intensity before bringing the match to a climax with a lot of flash pins and counter sequences.
This title reign for Kid has already proved to be fantastic as she proves herself match after match. For her part, Koguma returning to Stardom has been one of the best things to happen to the company in some time as she’s already slot in as one of their best workers. ****
Post Match: AZM comes out and challenges Starlight Kid to a title match. Koguma reinserts herself into the equation and asks that the three have a three-way match at Stardom Dream Queendom. Kid’s ego is pretty massive so she is quick to accept a both challenges.
To me, Kokguma feels slightly tacked on to that match as Kid and AZM have been rivals for years now with the High Speed title and their individual title chases being a major part of that. Seeing those two square off for the title at a historic venue like Ryogoku would’ve been a fitting addition to their rivalry. That’s not to disparage Koguma though, she’s a great wrestler and won’t drag the match down at all! I just would’ve preferred a singles match between two rivals.
SWA CHAMPIONSHIP & WORLD OF STARDOM RIGHT TO CHALLENGE CONTRACT – UWF RULES
SYURI (C) DEF. KONAMI
I’ll be upfront with you dear readers, I do not like this kind of pro wrestling. I never enjoyed the bloodsport shows that aimed to mix wrestling with real fighting, despite my love of GAEA Japan I never enjoyed their GAEA-Kai matches, and I can’t recall ever liking a UWF rules match. With that said, Syuri has a way of making me enjoy matches that I never thought I would and she did just that here. While I didn’t love the grappling portion to wear down the points early on I was super into the crisp striking and the slap exchanges. If there’s one thing I love it’s a good kick and these two delivered that and then some with their striking. If you like this style of match this will probably make more of an impression on you than it did with me but I still thought it was a great match.
I loved Syuri cutting her hair and rocking the same gear she wore years ago when she first took Konami under her wing as it really showed me how much this match meant to her. Konami looked amazing in her gear too and I’m honestly a little upset that this hasn’t been her gimmick since day one because there is money to be made from full-on shooter Konami. ****1/2
WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
TAM NAKANO DEF. MINA SHIRAKAWA
I get what they were trying to do with this match but the execution didn’t fully live up to the idea. Shirakawa kind of going off the deep end in an attempt to be viewed by Nakano as worthy of this title was out of left field. Shirakawa going all-in on that and showing up to this event with black hair and acting a bit odd was an interesting way to kick everything off. I even liked Mina’s weirdness carrying over into the match with Nakano refusing to give her the satisfaction of a response. Where they lost me is the point where Mina seemingly forgot she was crazy for a bit so they could wrestle a standard match, only to remember her weirdness at the finish. It really felt like they tried to have their cake and eat it too instead of choosing one focus for the match and sticking with it. If it were me, Nakano would’ve won after the blatant no-sell of Shirakawa’s attempt to rile her up, Nakano should’ve won and proved that Shirakawa doesn’t actually live up to the Wonder of Stardom title standards, at least not now that she’s gone a bit nuts. Instead, we had to force in a standard match that tried to make Mina look on equal footing to Tam.
Alternatively, I wish they’d just been able to wrestle a match free from all the baggage because I do believe Mina and Tam could have produced something fun. But alas we chalk this one up as a misfire ***
WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
UTAMI HAYASHISHITA (C) DEF. MAIKA
Anytime members of Stardom’s self-anointed Golden Generation (Utami, Maika, Saya Iida, Saya Kamitani, Himeka) collide we’re sure to see a good match. That is especially true when the two people wrestling have the exquisite chemistry of Maika and Utami Hayashishita. That is where my praise most of my praise ends for this match, and it’s not exactly the fault of the wrestlers. The biggest issue is that Maika had no chance in hell of winning and that acts as a major barrier for Utami matches. When you’re invested and able to buy into a challenger there are few wrestlers better than Utami at stringing you along and ramping up the drama throughout the match. Without that element, it’s a lot tougher to fully get into an Utami defense.
To add to that, this is the sixth time these two have wrestled since Maika debuted in mid-2019 for JTO and it’s the third main event singles match they’ve had this year alone. There’s very little that this pairing can offer up that I haven’t seen before and that hurt my enjoyment of this match which was objectively really well worked. If you’re just jumping into Stardom and are a newer fan I am confident you’ll love this match but for an old head like me who remembers pre-swole Utami and timid judoka Maika wrestling in January 2020 it’s nothing I haven’t seen before ***3/4
Tokyo Super Wars was kind of up and down but Stardom’s quality shone through in just about every match. Stardom loads these PPVs up so even if a top match doesn’t deliver I can usually be confident that someone like Syuri or Starlight Kid will pick up the slack like they did today. I can’t say this show was essential viewing as it mostly served to move things into place for Stardom Dream Queendom but if you’re a stardom fan and have the time to spare the whole show (Mina vs Tam aside) is a fun watch.
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