STARDOM
5STAR GRAND PRIX DAY 6 – SAKI KASHIMA TRIUMPHAL TOURNAMENT
AUGUST 13, 2022
SHIMANE PREFECTURAL INDUSTRIAL EXCHANGE HALL

WATCH: STARDOM WORLD

I’m going to be honest with you folks. I do not think that this show in Shimane will be as good as STARDOM’s Korakuen Hall show from the other day, call it a hunch but I’m expecting the show at one of the most famous venues in Japan to exceed the effort given in an exhibition hall. Despite that, I am very excited to see Saya Kamitani vs Natsupoi in a rematch from one of my favorite matches in 2022 so far and we get to see Saki Kashima in her hometown which should get the crowd energised.

RED STARS
AZM (6) DEF. MOMO KOHGO (0)

This had the misfortune of following up their very good High Speed Championship match from a recent PPV and while they put in a good effort they were never going to surpass their first match. They didn’t really have a high-speed match but the tempo and creativity on display certainly stood out. I expected Kohgo to win here to have her even the score against AZM so I’m slightly surprised to see AZM jump out to 6 points already. ***1/4

BLUE STARS
MOMO WATANABE (4) DEF. HANAN (0)

I really loved what they tried to do here but the crowd really let them down. Hanan’s comebacks were as good as always and Watanabe played the heel role well but the crowd didn’t give them any juice whatsoever. If this same match happened on another show it’d be a standout but here it’s just fine. ***

RED STARS
SYURI (6) DEF. MAI SAKURAI (4)

This match felt a lot longer than its 7 minutes run time would suggest. There wasn’t much of interest aside from Sakurai getting in a surprising amount of offence against the world champion, but STARDOM clearly likes Mai so even that isn’t a massive shock. Work was fine but dull. **3/4

BLUE STARS
HAZUKI (8) DEF. MINA SHIRAKAWA (4)

Hazuki continues her MVP run in the GP with a really fun match against Mina. Every year Mina really steps it up for the GP and this year has been no different. The formula was simple, Hazuki boot Shirakawa’s face a lot and Shirakawa would fight back with her array of offense. A very simple match layout but one that works when both women aren’t holding much back. Hazuki winning continues her incredibly hot start that has catapulted her into contention for a GP win very quickly.  ***1/2

BLUE STARS
SAYA KAMITANI (6) DEF. NATSUPOI (4)

Saya Kamtiani and Natsupoi are responsible for one of my favorite matches of this year so to say I was excited for this one as an understatement. Both women repaid my excitement by putting together a great 9-minute match that packed in everything you could want to see from them. It was passionate, hard-hitting, and full of creativity and big bumps. Whenever these two get together they make magic.

Part of me expected Natsupoi to win here after coming up short in their last match, especially since she’s on the precipice of a push following her turn on DDM but she fell to Saya’s Firebird Splash which has been put over as a killer move in the tournament so far. ****

RED STARS
SAKI KASHIMA (2) DEF. MAIKA (0)

On Saki Kashima’s homecoming show you knew who was winning this one before the bell even rang. There was a slim chance she’d lose in STARDOM’s first show in Shimane in three years and well, we got what I expected. The match itself was ok and they did a good job of getting the crowd to root for Kashima but it was nothing special. It’s a nice hometown win for Kashima and probably sent the crowd home happy as they await STARDOM’s next show here. ***

FINAL THOUGHTS

I was never exactly sure what STARDOM in Shimane would give me and the end result was a show that peaked high but was mostly skippable. Hazuki vs Mina Shirakawa and Saya Kamitani vs Natspoi managed to overcome the issues with the crowd that hurt the earlier contests and delivered two standout bouts. Onwards to the next house show!

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