5STAR Grand Prix Day 14
September 12, 2022
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

Watch: Stardom World

Blue Stars Block
Natsupoi (10) def. Hanan (0)

Hanan has shown the growth and potential you would have hoped to see out of her in her first 5STAR Grand Prix and one day after the performance of her career, she had another fun match with Natsupoi. The benefit of these matches for Hanan is that they all stay at the pace of match that we see with the Future of Stardom Championship but she’s wrestling the cream of the crop in STARDOM, making her have to be on top of her game each and every time. Working with Natsupoi here, they exhibited exciting chemistry that I would love to see revisited down the road. The only “weak” part of this match was the finish which was Natsupoi hitting her low Roundhouse Kick. She didn’t look to get all of it but that doesn’t ruin what I thought was a great open to tournament action on the night. ***

Blue Stars Block
Mina Shirakawa (6) def. Ami Sourei (10)

Mina Shirakawa made Ami Sourei give up. I can’t say that was on my 5STAR bingo card, especially since Sourei has a number of major wins but that’s the beauty of the tournament. The match itself wasn’t all that special and felt like it dragged on a little towards the end but overall, it was fine. **½

Red Stars Block
SAKI (6) def. Saki Kashima (6)

There was nothing to this match. We got the Oedo Tai attack on SAKI that we mostly don’t get as much (or as long) thanks to Starlight Kid and Momo Watanabe. SAKI was rolled in the ring, Kashima and her went back and forth for a few minutes, and then the match ended with SAKI’s Spinning Brainbuster. One of my least favorites of the tournament.

Blue Stars Block
Saya Iida (4) def. Hazuki (14)

There are few matchups more consistent than STARS vs. STARS and Saya Iida vs. Hazuki lived up to that. It has been apparent from the start of the 5STAR Grand Prix that Hazuki, win or lose, is going to continue to have some of the best performances each and every night she wrestles. This was no different. The Blue Stars Block leader had control over Iida for the majority of the match but as we’ve seen in her last two matches, there are enough cracks in the armor that Hazuki is now almost finding ways to lose. Iida went for not one but two Iidabashis with the second being enough to get the win. Just a fun, enjoyable match between these two stablemates. ***¼

Red Stars Block
Utami Hayashishita (10) def. Mai Sakurai (8)

One of my favorite sprints from the tournament up to this point. The match started with Mai Sakurai giving Utami Hayashishita some roses and the moment Hayashishita turned her back, Sakurai was on the attack. They’d go back and forth with Sakurai even having the upper hand more than once but the finish of this was the best part. Hayashishita would get Sakurai up into a Torture Rack position and transition her into a German Suplex, not allowing Sakurai to touch the floor before destroying her with a German Suplex for the win. It was beautiful and while the match wasn’t long, it was the fun you look for in a match between a favorite and someone towards the bottom. ***¼

Red Stars Block
Syuri (10) def. Momo Kohgo (2)

A squash. Or pretty close to it. Syuri was all business in this match and that’s what we should be expecting the rest of the way. After dropping four matches already, the reigning 5STAR Grand Prix winner and current World of Stardom Champion has a lot to prove in very little time. She made quick work of Momo Kohgo who has little offense but did get a nearfall so that’s something. **½

Red Stars Block
Risa Sera (10) def. AZM (12)

Difficult to not love everything about this match. The styles obviously clash but in a way where it challenges both to bring out a side they’ve had to rarely show in this tournament. Risa Sera couldn’t be as methodical and devastating as she has been in her matches because AZM wasn’t going to let her catch her long enough so speed was the factor for the Prominence leader. And on the other side, AZM had to bring physicality to her game if she wanted to match Sera. This was not only my favorite sprint of the tournament but a fantastic highlight as to how good these two have been in the 5STAR this year. They may not be favorites or the MVP level but they’ve been right there. A blast of a match. The handshake between the two afterward was cool to see. ***¾

Red Stars Block
Tam Nakano (10) def. Unagi Sayaka (2)

Tam Nakano is Unagi Sayaka’s best opponent. Last year, Sayaka had the best singles match of her career against Nakano when she challenged for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. Now, Sayaka had the best match of her 5STAR Grand Prix against the Cosmic Angels leader. There’s a certain something about their dynamic that works so well. Maybe it’s that Nakano challenges Sayaka each time they step in the ring to step up her game to a level we have seen Sayaka hit only a handful of times. It’s well-documented that Nakano is one of the best storytellers in wrestling and this was one of my favorites from her this year in that regard. Didn’t need much to know the story as they went to war and made it personal. A Violet Screwdriver once again spelled the end for a competitor in this tournament. ***¾

Blue Stars Block
Mayu Iwatani (11) def. Suzu Suzuki (2)

If I were to make a list of matches I was most looking forward to in the 5STAR Grand Prix this year, this match would rank third out of the whole tournament. By now if you have read my articles or follow me on Twitter, you know my fandom for these two wrestlers. Mayu Iwatani is my favorite wrestler of all time and I’m pretty positive by the time it is all said and done, Suzu Suzuki will be in the same conversation. So getting to see these two face off for the first time ever had me excited and they didn’t let me down. I’d like to say this was a back-and-forth battle but honestly, this was another match where Suzu Suzuki dominated but could not finish the job. She was throwing Iwatani around the ring time and time again but it was the lionhearted “Icon” who never gave up on the fight.

Suzuki had Iwatani right where she wanted her, going for the same double German Suplex finish that she put Saya Kamitani away with the night before but Iwatani was able to reverse the second into a pin and the victory. The story of Suzuki in the 5STAR Grand Prix has been fun to follow but one thing is for sure — she may already be the tournament’s MVP after five matches. Exceptional work by these two. ****

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