Hiroshima Goddess Festival
November 3, 2022
Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall
Hiroshima, Japan

Watch: PPV

FWC (Hazuki & Koguma) def. Oedo Tai (Saki Kashima & Ruaka)

There will never be a time when you see me complain that we got to see FWC on a STARDOM PPV. That being said, this was a fine opening match that pretty much met all expectations. A smart way to open the show as Koguma and Hazuki brought the energy to get the crowd into it but the Saki Kashima-Ruaka team feels like the odd combination from Oedo Tai nowadays. The match had good action and if there isn’t a bigger spot for them, FWC is as good a duo to open the show as anyone. **¼

Himeka def. Yuna Mizumori

Yuna Mizumori is an incredibly talented pro wrestler who has yet to find her full stride since dipping her toe into STARDOM earlier this year. She’s shown in her time with Gatoh Move that she can be a player in any promotion so heading into this match, I was hoping she’d take advantage of the spotlight with someone like Himeka and that’s what she did. This was the hoss fight you’d want to see as they did power move after power move, smashing shoulders and testing each other’s strengths. The moment of the match was when Mizumori pulled out a wicked Lariat, nearly folding “The Jumbo Princess” for a near fall. It was Himeka who figured out Mizumori, in the end, to pick up the win but this was the match Yunamon needed.

It felt like a statement and one that should see her in STARDOM moving forward. Really good match. ***½

Utami Hayashishita def. Natsuko Tora

When Natsuko Tora officially made her return to STARDOM by attacking Utami Hayashishita on the final night of the 5STAR Grand Prix, both excitement and caution entered my mind. Tora, at her best, is a great heel who offers another great powerhouse presence to her roster. But with the injuries that she dealt with following her World of Stardom Championship match with Hayashishita last year, you feared the worst and she couldn’t be who she was prior to the injury. Her tag league matches didn’t offer much insight other than her hitting Swanton Bombs so it was all down to this match. Well, she shut me up.

This was the best Natsuko Tora match since who knows when. She was confident in her knee and you could feel that from the opening bell. Tora brought the action to Hayashishita and rarely leaned on cheating to get her through the match — another pleasant surprise. Hayashishita has been incredible for a long time but this match also continued to show the overall growth she’s had in 2022 without being the center of attention. She somehow is feeling like a bigger star than she was.

Hayashishita changed the direction of the match after taking tons of punishment when she hit a Frog Splash from the top rope down through Tora and a table, something you never really expect to see from her. She rolled Tora into the ring and hit the BT Bomb for the win. Exceeded all expectations. ****

Donna del Mondo (Giulia, Mai Sakurai & Thekla) vs. God’s Eye (Konami, MIRAI & Ami Sourei) ends in a 15-minute draw

There was no reason for this trios match to be this could. There wasn’t! Yes, Konami was back in the ring for the first time since Golden Week but other than that, it’s just a trios match on the card. But my goodness it’s like Konami hasn’t missed a day, a minute, anything. She felt like she’s been around and on tour this whole time. Her fit in God’s Eye was seamless and her work alongside both MIRAI and Ami Sourei was a perfect match. The highlights of this match were pretty much anything Konami did as she had good exchanges with Thekla but it was the closing minutes with Giulia that stole the show.

I adore their match from Stardom Dream Queendom last year so it doesn’t come as a surprise I’d enjoy this but they went out and brought this match to a level I didn’t expect to see. Konami hit Giulia with a German Suplex from the middle rope and Giulia was folded onto her head. Looked terrifying but was awesome at the same time. The match ended in a 15-minute draw with Giulia planting Konami with the Glorious Driver despite time expiring. These two have no love lost and there’s enough here for a rivalry down the line. At least I hope. Very good match worth checking out. ***¾

SWA Undisputed Championship
Mayu Iwatani (c) def. Alpha Female

Mayu Iwatani is truly the greatest. Not that it comes as much of a shock when I say it but she gave Alpha Female the best match of her STARDOM return by leaps and bounds. Alpha Female was violent in this match and all of her offense looked like it hurt. Badly. But what Iwatani managed to do was bounce back as she always does. She hit Alpha Female with every shot she had in the chamber, showing that the “passion” Neo Stardom Army accused the roster of not having was a complete and utter joke. The match ended when Iwatani hit not one, not two, not three, but four Moonsaults to pin Alpha Female and end the challenge once and for all. The match was much better than it had any right to be but it is Mayu Iwatani after all.

After the match, Iwatani relinquished the SWA Undisputed Championship to focus on the IWGP Women’s Championship moving forward. ***½

Goddess of Stardom Championship
meltear (Tam Nakano & Natsupoi) (c) def. Black Desire (Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid)

Heading into this show, I had all the confidence in the world this match would steal the show. Tough ask seeing what would follow but these two teams have been nothing but tremendous so why doubt them now? Black Desire, for my money, has been right there with any tag team as the best of the year and they made sure to not let me down in this match. They didn’t fall victim to much outside Oedo Tai interference which allowed the match to be as good as you’d hope. The star of the match wasn’t either of Black Desire though as it was Natsupoi.

She’s slowly becoming the main character of meltear and at times, STARDOM. She’s a major focus anytime she is wrestling and this was no different. Her heart and fiery personality have made her better than ever before, mixing her high-speed offense with power that comes from her desperation to win. Together, Natsupoi and Tam Nakano complement one another better than maybe any team. When they United at the finish of the match to earn the win, it was perfect in a lot of ways. Natsupoi won the match when she drove Starlight Kid through the mat with her picture-perfect Straight Jacket German Suplex.

This marked the second successful defense for meltear who will await the winners of the Goddess of Stardom Tag League. A fantastic match overall. ****¼

Wonder of Stardom Championship
Saya Kamitani (c) def. Mina Shirakawa

Mina Shirakawa is not only on the run of her career but has put on the match of her career. Impressive seeing that her match with Saya Kamitani in the 5STAR Grand Prix was the best match of her career to that point and she was able to follow it up perfectly here. She entered the match with a game plan, attacking the leg of Kamitani to make the Figure Four Leg Lock all she needed to finally win the Wonder of Stardom Championship.

Shirakawa was able to lock it in twice in her effort but somehow, someway Kamitani was able to reach the ropes. The beating she gave Kamitani was one we haven’t really seen in the champion’s reign. That’s something for Shirakawa to take from this. The Impaler DDT she hit from the top rope that completely spiked Kamitani was a thing of beauty and did have the feeling of a finisher. “The Golden Phoenix” was able to get herself together to make the comeback she needed to win but it didn’t come without a difficult finish. After missing the Phoenix Splash the first time, she followed up with a second and went knee-first into Shirakawa’s face and mouth to get the win. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win nonetheless.

Don’t let the tough finish take away from this match though. It was a top-tier performance from Shirakawa who, unlike last year, came through in her Wonder of Stardom Championship challenge. And in doing so, she’s done what all pro wrestlers set out to do and that is making a moment, making a name, and establish themselves as one of the best. Shirakawa’s post-match promo only furthered her story and chase as it was one of the best all year. Broken down and hurt, she put her heart out there and made it known that the Wonder of Stardom Championship is all she wants. I hope she gets there someday. Another great match in the historic reign of Saya Kamitani. ****¼

World of Stardom Championship
Syuri (c) def. Maika

A huge spot for Maika and she lives up to the moment. Feel like we are used to that by now but it never gets old. After defeating Syuri in the 5STAR Grand Prix, Maika earned herself a shot at the World of Stardom Championship for the third time in her career. This time, however, was against her former friend and stablemate, making the match just a bit deeper in all aspects. “The Empress” of Donna del Mondo has spent 2022 improving every single aspect of her game in and out of the ring. Her presence itself feels special and her in-ring work is up there with anyone in the promotion. As I stated in the preview for this match, it was unlikely to be her time but she had no problem giving the performance of a main eventer.

Syuri remains unstoppable as a competitor but it was this match against Maika where there were times she looked to be on the ropes. When Maika stunned everyone by hitting the Michinoku Driver II out of nowhere to shift the match in her favor, she dominated from there on out and was as close to the World of Stardom Championship as she’s ever been. A second Michinoku Driver II wasn’t enough to put away Syuri as it was either the spinning one or go home. Unfortunately for the challenger, it was time to go home as Syuri’s closing onslaught was too much for Maika to overcome.

The World of Stardom Championship feels like the belt that Maika will win someday but for now, this remains the Vermillion World of Syuri. This was an excellent main event. ****¼

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