5STAR Grand Prix Day 17
September 19, 2022
Aichi/Nagoya International Conference Hall Event Hall
Nagoya, Japan

Watch: Stardom World

Red Stars Block
Maika (14) def. Mai Sakurai (9)

Mai Sakurai closed out her tournament against her Donna del Mondo stablemate — Maika. She was able to defeat Himeka earlier in the tournament, so it wasn’t going to be crazy if she did the same here. Too bad for Sakurai that this match wasn’t at all competitive. I believe going with a match so one-sided is a good change of pace for tournaments like this so seeing Maika walk to a win was a good change of pace. Match was what it was. Nothing special. **½

Red Stars Block
AZM (14) def. Unagi Sayaka (2)

The quest for Unagi Sayaka to get a second win has been… a failure. AZM earned her seventh win to boost her points up to 14, leaving her at the top of the Red Stars Block with only a handful of matches to go. This also saw Sayaka have a more forward attack, trying to get the best of AZM early and often. She was in control until AZM was able to score a quick pin and escape with the win. There’s something happening with Unagi and let’s just say it hasn’t been great. Poor girl. **¾

Blue Stars Block
Suzu Suzuki (8) def. Mina Shirakawa (6)

Mina Shirakawa has used this tournament to improve for the second year in a row. Her match with Suzu Suzuki was a way to show how far she has come seeing they’ve never wrestled prior, making it a new experience. The match wasn’t anything of the “go out of your way to see” variety but it was solid, crisp work throughout. Suzuki has been one of the best wrestlers in the 5STAR and added another strong match by defeating Shirakawa here. ***¼

Red Stars Block
Tam Nakano (14) def. Momo Kohgo (2)

One thing that can be said about this show is that Tam Nakano and Momo Kohgo had a better match than most probably expected. Nakano has been on her game this year, having a stronger tournament than when she was Wonder of Stardom Champion last year. Even in the matches that could be considered a “night off,” she still is able to use her great gift of storytelling to raise something that may not matter to many otherwise. Kohgo has shown development dating back to her match with AZM for the High-Speed Championship, so it was a tale of Nakano wanting to test her and see if she’d respond.

Kohgo had a fight in her. She had some fire. She struggled to the finish but she did what she could. Nakano finished her off in what was the best match up until this point — which isn’t saying a lot but that’s okay. ***¼

Red Stars Block
Risa Sera (13) def. Koguma (10)

Koguma’s shenanigans just will not stop. She is off the rails and has had so few “competitive” matches in terms of excitement despite being a highly capable pro wrestler. The main (and only) shining light from this match is that when Risa Sera got ahold of “The Bear,” she made it worth it. It was a win for the Prominence leader so that’s what matters as she made it entertaining enough to pass for the semi-main event. **¾

Red Stars Block
Utami Hayashishita (12) def. SAKI (8)

A match that opened with a long headlock sequence turned into a better match than expected. Utami Hayashishita’s first major move of offense was an Air Raid Crash onto the apron but before long she was being turned upside down on the floor via a SAKI Falcon Arrow. Again, there was zero part of me that expected this action. SAKI’s tournament has been nothing but steady middle-of-the-road matches. Perhaps getting to step into the main event is what she needed for this to be different from everything else she was doing. When they got back in the ring it was all about trading some bombs, as forearms were flying through the air.

It remained a bomb-throwing battle with Utami finally getting back on offense following a German Suplex. Hayashishita hit her Deadlift German to SAKI for the best near fall of the night as the fans were shocked by the kick out. The offense shifted back and forth and honestly, this was some of the most exciting work SAKI has had in the tournament, going hand-in-hand with the match she had with Syuri two days prior. Big time clotheslines and a BT Bomb spelled the end for SAKI as Hayashishita earned a win that will keep her in the running as she heads into the final two weeks. Easily the match of the night and SAKI’s most consistent performance from start to finish. ***½