Stardom "New Year Star 2015"
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: January 11th, 2015 
Location:  Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  290

The first Joshi event of the new year! That I am reviewing. I fell in love a bit with Joshi last year, as even though I have been watching puroresu for over ten years now I never had really tried Joshi. No real reason why, I was just busy watching other promotions and never really thought about it. But when I was reviewing any event I could find last year, I finally got to know the Joshi wrestlers and soon some of them were my favorite wrestlers period. While this is not a major event (no title matches) for Stardom, all the bigger stars are here and while it may have more of a house show vibe I still expect it to be entertaining. Here is the full card:

- Dragonita vs. Kyoko Kimura
- Hatsuhinode Kamen vs. Takumi Iroha
- Act Yasukawa and Heidi Lovelace vs. Hudson Envy and Kris Wolf
- Io Shirai vs. Momo Watanabe
- Nanae Takahashi, Kairi Hojo, and Koguma vs. Yoshiko, Mayu Iwatani, and Reo Hazuki

Looks like this was shown in full, hooray.

Dragonita vs. Kyoko Kimura
They jockey around for position to start the match off, but Kimura boots Dragonita in the head to end the opening festivities. Kimura wraps up Dragonita in the ropes as she tugs on her ponytail before throwing her out of the ring. Kimura roughs up Dragonita on the floor before sliding her back in, Dragonita fights back with chops but Kimura chops her back. Dragonita ducks a lariat and hits a shoulderblock before hitting a running elbow in the corner. Diving crossbody by Dragonita but Kimura kicks out. Vertical suplex by Kimura, she goes up top and hits a missile dropkick for two. Dragonita ducks a boot and hits a really ugly hurricanrana for a two count. Sliding kick by Dragonita but it also gets two. Fireman's carry into a sitout slam by Dragonita, but Kimura rolls though it and applies a cross armbreaker. Dragonita quickly submits, making Kimura the winner. This was a really rough opener. Dragonita is not a new wrestler but something was really off here, as her moves just weren't hit crisply and she looked unsure of herself. Then the match ended with a cross armbreaker with no arm work to lead up to it. Not a lot of redeeming qualities here. Score: 2.5

Hatsuhinode Kamen vs. Takumi Iroha
Still like Iroha's new gear, but I think I already said that. But I never know who read my older reviews to know what I previously said, its a delicate balance. They bounce off each other to start off which Iroha gets the better of. Dropkick by Iroha and she applies a crab hold, but Kamen reaches the ropes. They trade elbows, Kamen charges Iroha but Iroha kicks her back. Inside cradle by Kamen but it gets two, boot by Kamen and an elbow drop but she gets two again. High kick by Iroha and she applies a Scorpion Deathlock but Kamen quickly gets out of it. Another high kick by Iroha but it gets a two count. Iroha goes up to the top turnbuckle but Kamen rolls out of the way of the frog splash. German suplex hold by Kamen but it gets a two. Boot by Kamen but Iroha hits a heel kick. Frog Splash by Iroha and she gets a three count. Takumi Iroha pick up the win. I am not sure what Kamen's gimmick is but its rather silly, although it does help disguise the fact that she doesn't appear to be very good. She should be protected in six man tags though. Iroha looked fine. Score: 3.5

Act Yasukawa and Heidi Lovelace vs. Hudson Envy and Kris Wolf
Two new wrestlers for Kevin to learn about, I'll add their profiles to the site later. Envy and Wolf are a funny contrast as Envy is doing the cold hearted bitch thing while Wolf is smiling constantly. They should star in a sitcom. Yasukawa and Wolf start off the match, Yasukawa clubs Wolf to the mat and tags in Lovelace. Wolf bites on Lovelace's arm but Lovelace elbows her and kicks her into the corner. Envy tags herself in, kicks to the leg by Lovelace but Envy catches her with a powerslam. Envy kicks Lovelace in the head and stretches her face while acting like she doesn't know its illegal. Rut roh, I may be falling in love. Curb stomp by Envy and she tags Wolf back in. Wolf bites Lovelace while Envy holds her, and Wolf twists Lovelace's arm over the rope. Envy comes back in and they both kick Lovelace before hitting a double dropkick. Wolf back in and she hits an elbow drop. She tags in Envy but Lovelace hits a kick combination followed by a backdrop suplex. Lovelace tags in Yasukawa and Yasukawa dropkicks Envy. Wolf comes in to help but Yasukawa beats up both of them.

Yasukawa slams Envy on top of Wolf, cover with one foot but it gets two. Dropkick by Yasukawa and she tags Lovelace back in. Roaring elbow by Envy but Lovelace hits an enzigieri. Kick to the knee by Envy and she knees Lovelace in the face for a two count. German suplex hold by Envy but it gets two. She tags in Wolf and Wolf hits a jumping knee in the corner followed by a kick to the back for two. Wolf goes off the ropes but Yasukawa grabs her so Lovelace can kick her. DDT by Lovelace, she goes up top but Envy punches her and throws her off. High kick by Wolf, cover, but Yasukawa breaks it up. Fisherman suplex by Lovelace and she tags in Yasukawa. Envy comes in to help and hits a running double knee drop, she then picks up Wolf and drops her onto Yasukawa for a two. They trade elbows, Envy picks up Yasukawa and hits a Samoan Drop. Wolf then hits a second turnbuckle double knee drop, but Lovelace breaks it up. Yasukawa catches a Wolf kick and applies the Act Lock, and she picks up the three count! Act and Heidi win the match. Really impressed by Envy and Wolf here, Lovelace seemed a bit awkward at times (she is lanky), and Yasukawa for the most part just let the gaijins control things. Fun match for the most part. Score: 6.0

Io Shirai vs. Momo Watanabe
They lock knuckles and trade wristlocks, they fly around the ring until Shirai hits an armdrag. Submission hold by Shirai and she stomps on Watanabe. Elbows by Watanabe but Shirai hits a scoop slam. Another slam by Shirai and she hits another for a two count. Camel clutch by Shirai and she kicks Watanabe around the ring. Watanabe avoids the double kneedrop and hits a dropkick for a two count. Dropkick by Watanabe, Shirai kicks her but Watanabe delivers two more dropkicks. Watanabe suplexes Shirai into a tree of woe and hits a running dropkick. Snap rolling suplexes by Watanabe and she gets a two count. Dropkick to the back by Shirai and she applies a crab hold. Shirai goes for a tiger feint kick but Watanabe ducks it and hits a running double knee for a two count. Drop toehold by Shirai and she hits a handstand double kneedrop. Watanabe avoids the quebrada and hits a jumping double knee strike for a two count. Watanabe picks up Shirai and they trade elbows. Double underhook sitout facebuster by Shirai and she then applies the armtrap crossface. Watanabe makes it to the ropes and Shirai hits a running double knee strike in the corner. Missile dropkick by Shirai and she hits a moonsault. Cover and she gets the win, Io Shirai picks up the three count. A good match considering that Watanabe just debuted a few months ago. Shirai is a good leader through these matches, she gets a victory and Watanabe gets experience so everyone wins. Score: 6.5

Nanae Takahashi, Act Yasukawa, and Koguma vs. Yoshiko, Mayu Iwatani, and Reo Hazuki
The original results I found said that Hojo was in this match, so I was sad when she wasn't. Takahashi and Yoshiko start things off. They trade elbows and Takahashi hits an armdrag. Yasukawa and Iwatani are tagged in and Iwatani dropkicks Yasukawa in the back before kicking her repeatedly. Yasukawa hits a rolling senton and gets a two count. Koguma is tagged in and she flips around with Iwatani, Iwatani sends Koguma out to the apron but Koguma slides back in and rolls up Iwatani for a two. Yoshiko and Hazuki come in the ring and Koguma is triple teamed. Everyone jumps on Yoshiko as she hits a splash, cover by Hazuki but it gets a two count. Koguma jumps on Hazuki's back and tags in Takahashi. Side slam by Takahashi and she hits a scoop slam Takahashi tags in Yasukawa, they throw Hazuki into the corner but Yasukawa and Takahashi start jawing at each other. Yasukawa throws Hazuki to the mat, she picks her up but Hazuki hits an elbow smash. Hazuki tags in Iwatani and she dropkicks Yasukawa. Koguma and Takahashi run into the ring but Yoshiko shoulderblocks both of them. Iwatani grabs Koguma and Hazuki by the arm and hits a split legged double armdrag. Double dropkick by Iwatani, she then sails off the top turnbuckle down to the floor onto Koguma. Iwatani is on fire! Yoshiko gets in the ring with Hazuki and throws her out of the ring onto all the wrestlers. Iwatani rolls Yasukawa in the ring and hits a slingshot doublestomp. Yasukawa slams Iwatani into the corner and slams her for a two count. Yasukawa goes up top and hits a missile dropkick onto Iwatani for a two count.

Yasukawa tags in Takahashi, and Takahashi chops Iwatani against the ropes. Jumping elbow by Iwatani and she hits a bridging suplex for two. Iwatani goes for a hurricanrana but Takahashi catches her and applies a crab hold. Dropkick by Iwatani and she tags in Yoshiko. Senton by Yoshiko to Takahashi but Takahashi gets away, after trading lariats she applies an armbar until Yoshiko gets to the ropes. Stiff kick by Yoshiko and she hits a lariat for two. Yoshiko goes up top but Takahashi recovers and applies a sleeper. Dropkick by Koguma but Yoshiko gets her knees up when Takahashi jumps off the top turnbuckle. Backdrop suplex by Takahashi and they hit dual lariats. Yoshiko tags in Hazuki while Koguma is also tagged in. Both Hazuki and Koguma have new looks now also, I didn't even recognize Hazuki (it is just a one camera setup so not the closest view). Anyway they hit dropkicks and elbows until Hazuki levels Koguma with a dropkick. Yoshiko and Iwatani come in and Hazuki eats a triple boot. Takahashi runs in and crossbodies everyone. Koguma hits a missile dropkick on Hazuki for a two count. Sleeper by Koguma but Hazuki gets out of it. Yoshiko and Iwatani come in the ring and they literally throw Iwatani at Koguma for a dropkick. Like a dart. Doublestomp by Hazuki and a cover, but Koguma kicks out. Takahashi runs in and superplexes Hazuki, Koguma hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Takahashi hits a running plancha suicida out of the ring, while Yasukawa accidentally hits Koguma in it. Koguma and Yasukawa argue, but Takahashi runs in and lariats Hazuki, Kogu Clutch by Koguma and she gets the three count! This was an awesomely fun match. Iwatani needs to stay in the upper card and out of comedy matches, she is awesome. Hazuki looked great, hell they all were on point. Loved it. Score: 8.5

Final Thoughts:

I went in not expecting a lot, this wasn't taped for TV (no idea what it was taped for) and was just a warm up for their big anniversary event. While the first half of the card ranged from skippable to respectable, I really enjoyed the main event a lot. The young wrestlers on this card really impressed me as Iwatani, Koguma, Envy, Wolf, and Hazuki all showed a lot of ability. If this crew is the immediate future of the midcard and the eventual future of the top of the card, I think Stardom is in good shape going forward. It wasn't 'must see' but I'd recommend at least watching the last match, if you don't mind watching from one hard camera.

Grade: B-

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review completed on 1/19/15