5STAR GRAND PRIX DAY 3
JULY 30, 2023
WATCH: STARDOM WORLD
The glitz and glamour of Ota Ward is behind us and in its place is the ambience of a big hall with A/C units providing more noise than the crowd. Day 3 of the 5STAR is what Japanese wrestling tournaments are all about even if it suffers slightly due to Saya Kamitani’s injury cutting it to a 2 GP match card.
UNDERCARD RESULTS & NOTES
- Natsuko Tora & Ruaka def. Hina & Miyu Amasaki
- Giulia & Thekla def. Tam Nakano & Yuna Mizumori
- Mariah May & Mina Shirakawa def. Hazuki & Momo Kohgo
- Koguma, Saya Iida & Mayu Iwatani def. AZM, Lady C & Utami Hayashishita
- Maika, Megan Bayne & Mei Seira def. Saki Kashima, Syuri & HANAKO
Despite not being in the tournament, Megan Bayne is the story of the undercards as she gears up for her title match with Tam Nakano. I’m very into the presentation of Bayne so far in STARDOM, they managed to make her look like her own individual despite sticking her in multi-woman tags. She’s also got the pinfall for her team in both matches and has yet to really be put on the back foot. It’s quite simple but it’s a nice change of pace to see someone being presented as a genuine monster who most of the roster just can’t match up to.
Utami Hayashishita and Mayu Iwatani had a preview for their IWGP Women’s Championship match and they impressed. Other than that there wasn’t much of note on this show.
MIRAI (2) DEF. HANAN (0)
This was probably the best Hanan match we’ll see all tournament. It followed the usual layout of giving her a chance to showcase her talents against a superior wrestler. For her part, MIRAI played the foil really well, laying in some lariats and even letting Hanan get a 2.999 nearfall on her that got this otherwise dead crowd to react. MIRAI is on course to be tournament MVP at the rate she’s going. ***1/2
NATSUPOI (4) DEF. SUZU SUZUKI (0)
Suzuki talked a big game before the tournament about beating Syuri and making it to the final, she has followed that up by dropping her first two matches. Last year Suzuki got off to a poor start before finishing well which may be a pattern we see repeated this year. The match itself was a fun sprint that went sub-10 minutes, something both women excel at. I suspect they could have a much better match with an invested crowd and more time to work with but this was a nice teaser of something better down the line, which I’m noticing is a bit of a trend in most of Suzuki’s singles matches in STARDOM to date. When they eventually pull the trigger on her big run she’ll have a lot of hotly anticipated rematches waiting for her.
I genuinely don’t know how to rate this one and if I could I’d just give it 3.9 stars out of 5 but for the sake of ease, I’ll go ***3/4
While the vibes were far from immaculate in Konosu, the wrestlers showed up big and overcame a poor crowd and loud background noise. The novelty of Megan Bayne is still must-see as far as these smaller shows go but other than her match Suzuki vs Natsupoi is the only real recommendation I could make.
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