SEPTEMBER 17, 2023
Saga, Japan


Blue Stars
Momo Watanabe (8) def. Hanan (2)

In every match Hanan has in the 5STAR Grand Prix, she shows improvement. This was another case of that.

Momo Watanabe has returned to her previous form in this tournament — or at least as close as she can as a member of Oedo Tai. She’s bulldozing opponents on her way to victories. And Hanan looked to be the latest victim in doing precisely that. But the match wouldn’t have been as good if that’s how it went, so praise the “future ace” for the fight she showed from start to finish.

Hanan was disadvantaged as we saw her thrown through chairs as Oedo Tai played their part. But she got back up and fought. Again and again. That really showed when she not only got the upperhand on Watanabe as the match went on but came so close to capturing the victory. It was when she faced the brutal kicks of Watanabe and showed the will to fight through the pain that you felt that “future ace” energy. She’d eventually fall victim to the Hitodenashi B-Driver as Watanabe would add two points to her record, but this was a match to walk away from proud, much like this tournament.

This exceeded expectations. Hanan is ready for the next step in her career. ***½

Blue Stars
MIRAI (8) def. Mariah May (6)

Mariah May is on her way to being one of the best in the world.

Since the moment she stepped into STARDOM, May has proven she is someone that people need to pay attention to. And throughout her nine months with the company, she’s developed to become one of the can’t-miss talents in wrestling. This match solidified that.

Stepping up to the Wonder of Stardom Champion is no easy task. And delivering to the extent that she did isn’t either. We should be used to this by now when it comes to Mariah May.

These two had a match as if it was with the title on the line. It was better than MIRAI’s defense against Konami so to me, that should say it all. Sadly, it’s probably the closest we will get to them facing off in a Wonder of Stardom Championship match if the rumors are to be believed regarding May’s status. But we’ll take what we can get.

May continuously answered MIRAI with heavy chops, forearms, and a big boot that sent MIRAI for a ride. She got a number of near falls before MIRAI finally caught her with a brutal Lariat, setting her up for the Miramare Shock to nab the win.

Just a great match this late in the tournament. A credit to both of them. ****

Red Stars
Suzu Suzuki (8) def. Ami Sourei (4)

Suzu Suzuki gave Ami Sourei the best match of her career. It’s as simple as that.

Suzuki is destined for greatness. The level of greatness only gets higher and higher as time passes, but since joining STARDOM, she’s been looking to make her mark.

To do so, she needed to win this match or she’d be eliminated from the 5STAR Grand Prix. The drive of Suzuki to walk out with a victory was clear from the opening bell. And to make this match all the better, Sourei was ready to answer. They traded back and forth in the opening before Suzuki took over, hitting some brutal forearms on Sourei and leaving her out on her feet.

Fast forward to the closing sequence and you really get the best of Suzuki. She’d hit a top rope German Suplex on Sourei, releasing her and hanging upside down with all her confidence before following up with a Missle Dropkick for good measure. Sourei managed to get one final surge in before Suzuki ultimately hit the Tequila Shot for the victory.

This was as solid a main event as it could have been, playing up the fact that Suzuki’s back was indeed against the wall. Another quality outing for Suzuki and the best of Sourei’s 5STAR Grand Prix run. ***¾


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