5STAR Grand Prix Day 8
August 12, 2023
Himeji, Japan

Watch: Stardom World

Undercard Thoughts

  • Despite not being in the 5STAR Grand Prix, Thekla continues to shine in every match she’s in. She’d have a phenomenal run if she ever gets a chance in the future.
  • Megan Bayne and Mei Seira are the perfect pairing.

Blue Stars
Hanan (2) def. AZM (2)

A six-year veteran against a 10-year veteran where these two vets happen to be 19 and 20 years old. Yeah, that’s nuts. But it’s the truth and we got the best match of one of their careers in this one.

That person who had their career best match was Hanan, who earned her first victory along the way. Often times when I watch AZM matches against different, non-high-speed opponents, I wonder how they’re going to keep up. Especially when the opponent isn’t in the main event picture yet seeing that AZM goes so fast at all times that she’s better off slowing down than you keeping up. In this match, she did a little bit of that but Hanan was able to match her with the power she possesses. Backdrop Suplexes were the name of the game for Hanan in this one as she was able to hit multiple at the end to get the victory.

When you watch this match compared to the rest of the tournament, the growth that Hanan has already shown is truly impressive. She’s slowly becoming the main event star she’s destined to be. The chemistry with AZM was off the charts. Good news since it’s a future World or Wonder of Stardom Championship match. Go out of your way to see AZM and Hanan arguably steal the show. ****

Blue Stars
Mina Shirakawa (6) def. Giulia (5)

The closer we get to the end of the 5STAR Grand Prix, the more it feels like Mina Shirakawa has a shot at winning the whole thing.

In one of the biggest wins of her STARDOM career, Shirakawa was able to defeat Giulia in a back-and-forth bout. The middle of this match was the peak of it as they traded gnarly Suplexes, dropping each other on their heads while also hitting some nasty shots along the way. Overall though, this definitely left room for a far better match down the road between the duo.

Perhaps the disconnect comes in the form of the match not feeling smooth out of the gates, which left it a little off but still with how talented they are, they made it work. Shirakawa hitting the Glamorous Driver MINA for the near fall was the best moment of the match before she’d eventually follow it up with her running Enziguri, Impaler DDT, and the Figure-Four Driver MINA.

The victory not only gives her the lead of the Blue Stars block but pushes us closer and closer to possibly winning this tournament in the end. ***½

Blue Stars
Utami Hayashishita (4) def. Saori Anou (4)

There are two versions of Utami Hayashishita that exist and we have now seen both since her return.

When Hayashishita returned from her trip to America and attempted to flash it back to her World of Stardom Championship reign — but this was more of that Utami that has become one of the best in the world SINCE then.

Maybe the opponent of Saori Anou is why we got there. The way Anou wrestles is a well-paced, bombs-only style that we see the likes of Giulia utilize these days. It was the perfect recipe to bring out the Hayashishita that defended Queen’s Quest in a Steel Cage back in June.

The first few minutes of this match were a little slow but once they got going, it was going. They traded two German Suplexes each leaving the crowd in a frenzy. Anou looked like she was going to pull off the upset over Hayashishita just one day before her IWGP Women’s Championship match. Ultimately, Hayashishita got the upper hand and finished off Anou with a Torture Rack Bomb, her new Shocking Baszler move, and a Deadlift German Suplex to end it.

As with all 5STAR Grand Prix shows, this was a quality main event going out of your way to see. Hopefully, when one of them is a singles champion in the future, we get a big-time rematch with gold on the line. ***¾

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