5STAR GRAND PRIX DAY 15
SEPTEMBER 16, 2023
FUKUOKA ISLAND CITY FORUM
WATCH: STARDOM WORLD
It’s day 15 of the GP so the only people left reading are the absolute sickos who have also watched every match of this tournament or the sane folks who are looking to cherry-pick the best matches to watch. We have a nice-looking lineup of tournament matches this time out with Hazuki vs. Natsupoi in a guaranteed heater and Maika vs. AZM in a power vs. speed styles clash.
UNDERCARD RESULTS & THOUGHTS
Mei Seira def. Waka Tsukiyama
Momo Watanabe, Ruaka & Starlight Kid def. Hanan, Koguma & Saya Iida
Megan Bayne & Suzu Suzuki def. HANAKO & Utami Hayashishita
MIRAI & Saki Kashima def. Mariah May & Mina Shirakawa, Saori Anou & Yuna Mizumori
Utami and Megan. That is all. Other than that this was another undercard without the big stars who are getting some much-deserved days off and not much else to grasp onto from a storyline standpoint outside of MIRAI and Kashima working well together and getting a key win.
TAM NAKANO (9) DEF. AMI SOREI (4)
This was a pretty important match in Nakano’s hopes of winning her block so she had to gut one out against the roadblock that is Ami Sorei. They played into what both women excel at with Sorei taking the lead and beating down on the world champion until it was time for her comeback. Neat little match to give the crowd the chance to root for babyface Tam with Sorei doing some solid work on top. ***1/4
HAZUKI (8) DEF. NATSUPOI (9)
Another big match in the red stars block as two of the chasing pack behind Natsuko Tora duked it out. Hazuki has had the pretty obvious story of the early losing streak so she came into this one as the favorite to run the gauntlet and get herself back into contention by the final day when she takes on Tora in what appears to be a huge matchup.
They both wrestled this one like it was a big match, showing a lot of grit to fight through an onslaught from their opponent. Hazuki was really on her game channelling her pre-retirement Oedo Tai spirit with her work on top, providing the most egotistical beatdown of Poi that I’ve seen in a bit. As she tends to do, Poi fired back up and had a great performance as the underdog.
It will be tough for this match to stand out being so late in the tournament but it is right up there with the best matches of either woman’s tournament. Hazuki’s big win evens things out in the block and sets up Natsupoi to upset and eliminate Tam Nakano on the final night while Hazuki stays alive ahead of her collision with Natsuko Tora. ****1/4
MAIKA (7) DEF. AZM (6)
This was the first match of this GP where I was begging for it to pull me in and wow me but it just didn’t. We’ve seen a much better variation of the AZM vs power wrestler in this same tournament which makes this one even more unimpressive in comparison. There were some good moments like AZM’s counter of the superplex but all in all I was left wanting a lot more from this one.
This win keeps Maika in a pretty strong position in her block, from her 6 matches she’s managed to pick up 7 points, meaning there’s still a whole 6 points on the table for her to pick up from her remaining matches. She could be one to watch as we enter the final stretch of the tournament. ***1/2
A pretty forgetful night of GP action buried in a stretch of four shows in seven days at the tail end of the tournament. Perfectionists will have a good time with this one as Hazuki vs. Natsupoi was great and the main event was sub-10 minutes but it was also one of the first shows with some really underwhelming matches.
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