5STAR Special in Hiroshima
September 3, 2023
Hiroshima Sun Plaza
Hiroshima City, Japan
The 5STAR Special in Hiroshima could be one of the best shows of the year if all hits right. This is a special card in the midst of their incredible tournament.
02Line (AZM & Miyu Amasaki) vs. FWC (Hazuki & Koguma)
Perhaps we should consider this one a Goddesses Tag League preview in many ways as the 5STAR Special in Hiroshima will feature 02Line taking on FWC.
This match is set for the preshow along with Lady C vs. Ami Sourei vs. Yuna Mizumori. The one thing worth saying about this is that the duo of AZM and Miyu Amasaki have really benefited from teaming with one another, especially Amasaki. Since forming the team last year, Amasaki has begun to make strides working alongside AZM and is beginning to gain confidence.
There’s about zero shot they beat FWC here, but it’s nice to think they might. Prediction: Hazuki & Koguma
Maika, Thekla & Megan Bayne vs. Mina Shirakawa, Mariah May & HANAKO
Another prelim match is set for the show as the “MEGASUS” Megan Bayne will look to keep up her dominance as she teams up with Thekla and Maika against the duo of ROSE GOLD and HANAKO.
As we’ve seen with pretty much every Bayne match since her debut, she’s going to be the force in this match that once she’s tagged in, she likely won’t be stopped. Mina Shirakawa and Mariah May are going to try and show their on the same page after their Goddesses of Stardom Title loss back at STARDOM x STARDOM.
No one is stopping Bayne and company. Poor HANAKO is our guess. Prediction: Maika, Thekla & Megan Bayne
Utami Hayashishita (4) vs. Momo Watanabe (6)
Utami Hayashishita and Momo Watanabe will finally collide in singles action nearly two years after Watanabe turned her back on Hayashishita and Queen’s Quest.
After the summer Queen’s Quest and Oedo Tai had against one another, this should be as personal as you would have hoped for back when Watanabe turned. These two are both in contention for the Blue Stars Block but Hayashishita is in desperate need of a win after dropping back-to-back matches to AZM and Maika.
Watanabe just dropped her first match against Mariah May after May rolled her up for a clever victory. She’s going to take on Giulia one day prior to this match so it should be interesting as to what these two do with their backs presumably against the wall and dropping two straight.
This match is going to be about a lot more than two points. That is what makes it a darkhorse for match of the night. They’ve been waiting a long time for this and it’s going to be a war if the Steel Cage match from the summer is anything to judge by. Prediction: Utami Hayashishita
Tam Nakano (5) vs. Starlight Kid (4)
Starlight Kid has had a difficult year. After about a year and a half of being in the spotlight as the face of Oedo Tai and multiple feuds, she’s taken a backseat. She’s been trying desperately to get back in the spotlight through Passion Injection matches, taking on Momoe Nakanishi, and pretty much anything else you can think of. It hasn’t worked.
Timing is everything though. A matchup with the World of Stardom Champion feels like a match for her where she can get right — and she knows it.
Talking to Tokyo Sports earlier this week, she told them that she’s approaching this match with the mindset of it being a World of Stardom Championship bout as she has a lot to prove. What is interesting for Kid is that despite the tough year, she does have a win over Red Stars block leader Natsuko Tora, so there’s at least that which she can build on.
Nakano is coming off a loss to Tora in her own right with the goal of getting back on track by defeating SLK. There’s a good chance that Nakano will be challenged by Tora following the 5STAR Grand Prix, so she needs to do her best to limit challengers with a win over Kid in this one.
Based on their Wonder of Stardom Championship match two years ago, this one may surprise anyone who hasn’t seen it. It’s a big “prove it” match for SLK. Prediction: Tam Nakano
Mayu Iwatani (5) vs. Syuri (5)
It just doesn’t get much better than this, folks.
Mayu Iwatani and Syuri will collide for the first time since their World of Stardom Championship match at Stardom World Climax over a year ago. It was in that match that Syuri destroyed the leg of Iwatani, forcing referee Daichi to call the match.
Now as we enter this match, there’s a different set of stakes but huge stakes nonetheless. Iwatani is a loss away from being eliminated from the 5STAR Grand Prix. The back is up against the wall and Syuri is as tough an opponent to take on in that scenario. A Syuri victory could at least set up an IWGP Women’s Championship match — wouldn’t be upset about that!
I don’t really need to sell you on this match. There’s a lot of greatness on this show but if this is the match of the night, not a single person will be surprised. Gut call is that Iwatani lives to see another day in this tournament. Prediction: Mayu Iwatani
Saki Kashima (c) vs. Momo Kohgo
Saki Kashima nominated Momo Kohgo as her next challenger, taking away the chance that Mei Seira wanted at the title.
There’s not much to say here about this match. Kashima is the reason we are seeing the Wonder of Stardom Championship match that is scheduled. There’s been little build to this match outside of Kohgo getting to take part in it.
It’s going to be a successful Kashima defense because all roads lead to Seira taking the High-Speed Championship. There’s not much more to it. Prediction: Saki Kashima
Goddesses of Stardom Championship
Saori Anou & Natsupoi (c) vs. Suzu Suzuki & Mei Seira
The Goddesses of Stardom Championship will be on the line with the new champions, Saori Anou and Natsupoi, defending them for the first time against Suzu Suzuki and Mei Seira.
Suzuki and Seira have been an absolute force since joining STARDOM at the same time. They were paired up simply due to not having any allegiance to a faction. It’s worked pretty well we’d say. As a duo, Suzuki and Seira have a record of 11-1-2. They’re as deserving as any duo for a championship match. But can they usurp the champions?
Saori Anou and Natsupoi had to fight one another before they came together as a trusting duo. And once they came together, they looked unstoppable. Uncrowning ROSE GOLD was one step in the right direction as these two have made Cosmic Angels one of the best factions in terms of in-ring quality — and that’s where we go with this match.
It’d be a true shock if we saw new champions crowned once again as the ROSE GOLD team felt like it was too early when they lost them, so Anou and Natsupoi doing so would be all the more surprising. There’s a confidence that Anou and Natsupoi can carry these titles all the way to the year-end show Stardom Dream Queendom, so this feels like step one.
STARDOM is in a win-win situation as this not only should be a match-of-the-night contender, but potentially their best tag of the year as well. Prediction: Saori Anou & Natsupoi
STRONG Women’s Championship
Giulia (c) vs. Risa Sera
A return that was not expected but one that was completely welcome in the best match possible for the 5STAR Special in Hiroshima
For the first time in a STARDOM ring, Giulia will collide with Risa Sera. Oh, and the STRONG Women’s Championship is on the line just to sweeten the deal.
The violence to be expected from this match has to be at the highest degree of physicality. Giulia made some comments to Tokyo Sports that included remarks about Sera’s recent split from her husband that, well, brought this from just a match to a level of personal that should make this uncomfortable.
Sera’s last singles title match was a war against Syuri for the World of Stardom Championship at Flashing Champions 2022. It was a bout that pretty much pushed the reign of Syuri from good to great (eventually an all-timer). Giulia isn’t in the need to be pushed but after the comments she made, she’s clearly looking for the version of Sera that is a former two-time ICExInfinity Champion. The same Sera that is 3-0 against Giulia in singles competition. And the same Sera who was once one of the most feared women in Joshi due to her mix of deathmatch expertise and violence.
This match could be one of the most physical we’ve seen all year in STARDOM. There’s a chance it even main events this show. The winner hasn’t been in question but the amount of violence is. If all goes as it can, this should be one of the best matches for both of them this year. Prediction: Giulia
Wonder of Stardom Championship
MIRAI (c) vs. Konami
Konami is not a fan of the direction God’s Eye has taken with the addition of Saki Kashima and it’s led to her officially challenging for the Wonder of Stardom Championship as a result.
The on-again, off-again God’s Eye member made another return to the ring last month and suffered a defeat alongside the rest of her God’s Eye faction when new member Saki Kashima took the loss. It angered Konami so much that she challenged Syuri. She asked her what happened to the group she had originally joined as Kashima wasn’t fitting into the group in her opinion. This led to MIRAI taking the microphone from Syuri and stepping up on behalf of Kashima. She defended her new stablemate and said she’d settle this mess with the Wonder of Stardom Championship on the line.
So for the first time since Nov. 27, 2019, Konami will challenge for gold in STARDOM as she aims to become a singles champion for the first time. This will also be the first defense of MIRAI’s reign since defeating Tam Nakano to become champion, making this that much more important.
MIRAI finally proved she could get the job done and become a singles champion, but defending it is a whole other challenge.
Konami’s technical ability could be a problem for MIRAI who uses her physicality to get ahead. If Konami can get control and attack the arms of MIRAI, those game-changing Lariats could be taken out of the equation and all MIRAI would be left with is having to use power moves to get ahead. Avoiding the Triangle Lancer or Final Lancer is imperative to MIRAI walking away with her title.
If this breaks down into a fight, MIRAI can outpower her and combat those strikes of Konami, but it’s going to truly come down to those final minutes. This should be a great first defense for MIRAI who should be walking out with her title if all goes right. Prediction: MIRAI
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