AUGUST 7, 2022

Watch: Stardom World

Blue Stars Block
Mina Shirakawa (4) def. Saya Iida (0)

Mina Shirakawa is undefeated meanwhile Momo Watanabe, a finalist in the 5STAR Grand Prix last year. and Giulia, the favorite of many to win this year’s tournament, are both winless. Funny times early on. The match itself wasn’t all that much, unfortunately. Saya Iida got her signature chops in but didn’t have anything else in the tank to combat Shirakawa and pull off the upset. An okay effort from both. **

Blue Stars Block
Saya Kamitani (4) def. Hanan (2)

Another big test for Hanan. After making her tournament debut at Day 3 against Mayu Iwatani, she had a shot to follow it up against none other than the Wonder of Stardom Champion Saya Kamitani. While I do believe the Iwatani match was better because of the story and surprising physicality they brought to one another, this match still showcased how Hanan keeps improving. There was a brilliant near fall during this where it looked as though the Future of Stardom Champion had pulled one over on Kamitani and stole two points and earned the most important win of her career. Kamitani, as she often does, just barely squeezed out to save herself and keep the match going.

“The Golden Phoenix” would win with the Star Crusher but what was clear more than anything else is that Hanan showed she’s getting closer and closer to making the next step from future to present. A fun match overall. ***

Red Stars Block
AZM (2) def. Mai Sakurai (2)

Mai Sakurai’s overall improvement since she first stepped into STARDOM has been nothing short of incredible with the majority of it coming after joining Donna del Mondo earlier this year. She’s gained a level of confidence in her abilities and it shows, which is really the best way to look at this match. While she didn’t necessarily steal the show with AZM, they had a pretty good match that clearly shows how much she’s improved. AZM had minimal problems in the end as she earned her first victory of the tournament but Sakurai will continue to be an interesting case study throughout this tournament. Another solid outing for her. **¾

Red Stars Block
Utami Hayashishita (4) def. Unagi Sayaka (0)

Heading into Day 4, this match felt as though it’d be the main event of the evening with nothing else really sticking out above the rest. That wouldn’t be the case but the match itself, much like the one prior, was pretty good with little else to it. Unagi Sayaka’s tumble down the card has been an interesting follow this year as she had nonstop title matches in the final quarter of 2021 into the first month of 2022. There was no question Sayaka was someone who was gaining momentum but a lot of that momentum has ceased as the year has gone on. A shot to beat Utami Hayashishita and get her first two points of the tournament was all she needed but fell victim to defeat at the hands of “The Red Queen.”

Like I said at the start, there was nothing bad about this and it was pretty good but it never hit a level other 5STAR matches have so far that will leave you remembering this when the tournament ends. **¾

Red Stars Block
Himeka (4) def. Koguma (4)

There was no match with a better shot at delivering than Koguma vs. Himeka and the made sure to confirm my initial thoughts. One of the sneakiest great combination in STARDOM are these two going to battle — whether it be singles, tag team, or trios. Himeka often works well with the high-speed division and Koguma manages to meet Himeka with powerhouse-like offense, including the devastating German Suplex she hit in this match. Unfortunetly for STARDOM’s resident bear, Himeka decided to completely fold Koguma in half with a Lariat before hitting her Running Powerbomb for the victory. No question — this was the best match of the show… as expected. ***½

Blue Stars Block:
Natsupoi (4) def. Ami Sourei (2)

FAIRY BLINK. WIN. REPEAT. That’s the words to live by for Natsupoi, who in one weekend became the “God’s Eye Killer” by taking down both MIRAI and Ami Sourei via her Fairy Blink roll-up pin. Interesting enough, this match worked well with Sourei utilizing her power to keep Natsupoi off balance as it felt like there would be a few chances for Sourei to get the win. Believe it or not, this is Sourei’s first singles loss in STARDOM since her debut match in the Cinderella Tournament against Syuri. After going undefeated in the Qualifying League, Sourei established herself as a force to be reckoned with and displayed in this match that won’t be going away, even against a veteran like Natsupoi.

The right person won here and this along with the match prior (and maybe Kamitani vs. Hanan) are the bouts worth checking out from Day 4. Natsupoi remains a serious darkhorse in the 5STAR Grand Prix. ***¼

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