Stardom "4th Anniversary"
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  January 18th, 2015
Location:  Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  1,030

Finally we have circled back around to Joshi, which is what I prefer to watch at the current moment.  This is one of Stardom’s bigger events of the year, and three Championships are on the line.  We also get an Army Dissolution or Join match which is always fun.  Here is the line-up for the card:

- Hatsuhinode Kamen vs. Momo Watanabe
- Monster Army Joining vs. Dissolution: Act Yasukawa, Lovelace, and Dragonita vs. Kimura, Hudson Envy, and Kris Wolf
- Koguma and Reo Hazuki vs. Takumi Iroha and Risa Sera
- High Speed Championship: Io Shirai vs. Kaori Yoneyama
- Wonder of Stardom Championship: Mayu Iwatani vs. Act Yasukawa
- World of Stardom Championship: Yoshiko vs. Nanae Takahashi

A few of these matches are clipped, but hopefully not too bad.

Hatsuhinode Kamen vs. Momo Watanabe
We join this one in progress as Watanabe rolls up Kamen for a two count.  Watanabe puts Watanabe in the corner and attacks her before hitting the Hatsuhi Blaster for the three count.  Clearly this isn’t something I can rate, hardly anything was shown.  Score:  N/A

Act Yasukawa, Heidi Lovelace, and Dragonita vs. Kyoko Kimura, Hudson Envy, and Kris Wolf
If the Monster Army wins, Yasukawa and company must join the Monster Army.  But if Yasukawa and company win, then the Monster Army must disband.  So after tonight either the Monster Army will have six members or it won’t exist.  Kimura grabs Yasukawa to start the match and taunts her before dumping water over her.  Yasukawa falls to the outside and Kimura beats her up around the ring and into the  stands.  Lovelace and Wolf get into the ring and Lovelace clubs her to the mat.  Wolf fights back and hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors before tagging in Kimura.  Kimura goes after Yasukawa on the apron and they trade elbows.  Lovelace grabs Kimura and Yasukawa trips Kimura from the floor.  She gets in the ring but so does Envy and with Kimura they hit a double shoulderblock.  Lovelace and Yasukawa are thrown in the corner are double teamed, then Envy hits a spinebuster on Lovelace.  Lovelace elbows Kimura but Kimura elbows her in the leg.  STO by Lovelace, and we clip head to Wolf and Lovelace being in the ring.  Knee by Wolf in the corner and she hits a rolling kick for a two count.  Dragonita comes in and Wolf is hit with a double elbow drop.  Lovelace applies a stretch hold to Wolf but it is broken up.  Kimura and Wolf grab Lovelace for a double vertical suplex, but Wolf sees a shiny object and lets go, so Kimura finishes the suplex on her own.  Kimura then suplexes Wolf onto Lovelace for a two count.  Wolf tags in Envy, Envy puts Lovelace on her shoulders but Lovelace elbows off.  Enzigieri by Lovelace but Envy hits a Samoan Drop.  German suplex hold by Envy but it gets broken up.  Yasukawa runs in too but Envy lands on top of her and a brawl breaks out.  Lovelace is kicked by Kimura and Wolf, then Envy grabs Lovelace and hits a Shubain for the three count.  After the match everyone decides they are friends and the six are united.  This was clipped but fun.  I wish I understood Japanese to know how they went from all fighting to all friends after being forced to join, but that is better than having three people in a group that don’t want to be there.  What made air was good solid entertainment, nothing earth shattering but enjoyable.  Score:  6.0

Koguma and Reo Hazuki vs. Takumi Iroha and Risa Sera
Koguma and Iroha start off for their teams but Iroha stomps down on Koguma’s stomach.  They flip around and Koguma hits a headscissors.  Armdrag by Koguma but Iroha hits a dropkick.  Hazuki and Sera are tagged in and Hazuki stomps down Sera in the corner.  Iroha comes in to help and Hazuki is double teamed, scoop slam by Sera and she hits a dropkick.  Hazuki tags in Koguma and Koguma hits an armdrag/kick combination on Sera and Iroha.  Koguma dropkicks Iroha, she goes for a double crossbody, she gets caught but Hazuki assists with a dropkick.  DDT by Koguma to Sera and she applies a sleeper.  Sera gets out of it and hits a scoop slam followed by a double kneedrop.  Iroha is tagged in and she uppercuts Koguma.  Iroha dropkicks Koguma and hits another one.  Hazuki runs in and dropkicks Koguma by accident, Hazuki is put in a tree of woe in the same corner Koguma is in and Sera hits a running double knee followed by an Iroha dropkick.   Koguma fights off Sera and Iroha and she rolls up Iroha for a two count.  Koguma goes up top but Iroha gets her knees up on the diving body press.  Spinning heel kick by Iroha but Koguma applies a sleeper.  German suplex hold by Koguma and she tags in Hazuki.  Hazuki and Iroha roll around on the mat, Hazuki dropkicks Iroha but Iroha hits a heel kick and tags in Sera.  Running double knee by Sera while Hazuki is against the ropes but it gets a two count.  Sera and Hazuki trade elbows, Schwein by Sera but it gets a two count.  Sera goes up top but Hazuki pulls her off.  Monkey flip by Koguma to Sera, missile dropkick by Koguma and Sera is hit with a double doublestomp.  Sera gets Hazuki on her shoulders and drops her onto her knee, spinning kick by Iroha and Sera drops Hazuki with a death valley bomb for two.  Iroha drops Sera onto Hazuki, Sera goes up top and she hits a diving kneedrop for the three count.  This was sooo much fun.  There was no downtime here, and all four of them were on top of their game.  Just good wholesome Joshi entertainment, probably not enough to blow anyone’s mind but really easy viewing.  Score:  7.0

(c) Io Shirai vs. Kaori Yoneyama
This match is for the High Speed Championship.  They run off the ropes to start off and they trade quick pin attempts.  Shirai dropkicks Yoneyama out of the ring and hits a plancha suicida.  Shirai then goes in the ring and she hits a second one.  Back in the ring, swandive missile dropkick by Shirai and she hits a Tiger Feint Kick.  She goes for another swandive move but Yoneyama dropkicks her.  Rolling German by Yoneyama, she goes up top and Shirai joins her, but Yoneyama drops down and Shirai jumps off by herself.  That was funny looking.  Diving senton by Yoneyama but it gets two.  Double underhook facebuster  and she hits a Yoshi Tonic for two.  Yoneyama goes up top, but Shirai joins her.  Shirai hits a double knee in the corner followed by a running double knee.  Cross arm suplex by Shirai, but it gets a two.  Kick to the head by Yoneyama, she goes up top but Shirai rolls out to the apron and hits a high kick.  Shirai jumps up to the top turnbuckle and she hits the Spanish Fly for the three count.  Shirai remains the champion!  Aside from one really awkward looking spot, I thought it was good.  Shirai flies around the ring very well and she hit her high spots without any issues, so the match certainly stayed exciting.  Yoneyama is not on Shirai’s level skill-wise but she held her own enough and they kept the match short so that it wouldn’t get old.  Overall a fun fast paced match, but too short to be memorable.  Score:  6.0

(c) Mayu Iwatani vs. Act Yasukawa
This match is for the Wonder of Stardom Championship.  Iwatani slaps Yasukawa to start and stomps her on the mat.  Jumping elbow by Iwatani in the corner and she kicks Yasukawa in the chest.  Yasukawa hits a quick STO but Yasukawa hits a rolling senton.  Iwatani goes for a kick but Yasukawa moves, sending Iwatani crashing into the ropes.  Armdrag by Iwatani, Yasukawa pushes her out to the apron and the Monster Army pull Iwatani out onto the floor to stomp on her.  Kimura throws Iwatani into the ring post before sliding her back in, Yasukawa picks up Iwatani and throws her into the corner.  Iwatani rebounds out of the corner with a dropkick and hits an elbow smash.  Iwatani is pulled out of the ring again by Kimura and she suplexes her out on the floor.  Doublestomp by Kimura and the lax DQ rules are not doing this match any favors.  Back in the ring, Yasukawa goes up top but Iwatani dropkicks her, sending Yasukawa to the apron.  Iwatani kicks Yasukawa down to the floor and she gets stomped down by Iwatani’s friends, Iwatani then goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a plancha suicida down onto everyone.  A slightly awkward brawl breaks out at ringside until Shirai starts hitting people with a bat.  Iwatani gets up on the stage with Shirai and they hit a stereo moonsault/plancha down onto the floor.  Yasukawa gets back in the ring, Iwatani goes up top and hits a missile dropkick followed by a running dropkick in the corner.  Yasukawa and Iwatani trade strikes, Yasukawa goes for the Act Lock but Iwatani gets away.  Enzigieri by Iwatani and she hits a Northern Lights Suplex for two.  Yasukawa picks up Iwatani but Iwatani hits a sunset flip for two.  Crucifix bomb by Iwatani but that also gets two.  Dragon suplex hold by Iwatani but the referee is pulled out of the ring by Envy.  Kimura its Iwatani with a chair, Yasukawa puts Iwatani in the Act Lock and she picks up the three count.  Act Yasukawa is the new champion!  I like Yasukawa, but I do not like so much interference in title matches.  It is one thing in faction-style tag matches to have lots of interference, but this match was so disjointed because of it and it just makes Yasukawa look weaker that she needed five wrestlers to help her.  When they were just wrestling it was good, as I really like Iwatani as well, it was just hard for me to get into it with the constant inference and the useless referee doing nothing about it.  Score:  5.0

(c) Yoshiko vs. Nanae Takahashi
This match is for the World of Stardom Championship.  They start by trying to knock each other over but with no luck.  Yoshiko throws Takahashi to the mat by her hair but Takahashi throws her down and hits a dropkick. Takahashi goes for a cross armbreaker, and back up she snaps Yoshiko’s arm over her shoulder.  They trade lariats, and Yoshiko wins the battle with a diving lariat off the second turnbuckle.  Yoshiko charges Takahashi but Takahashi dumps her out of the ring.  Yoshiko gets back on the apron and elbows Takahashi but Yoshiko slams her into the turnbuckle and hits a lariat.  Crossface by Takahashi, she picks up Yoshiko and hits a trio of lariats followed by a backdrop suplex.  Senton by Takahashi, she goes up top but Yoshiko elbows her and hits an avalanche Samoan Drop.  Yoshiko goes to the second turnbuckle but Takahashi avoids the diving senton.  Back up they trade lariats but Yoshiko hits an elbow drop.  Slam by Yoshiko, she goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton for a two count.  Yoshiko goes up to the top turnbuckle but Takahashi hits a superplex.  Lariat by Takahashi and she hits a spinout powerbomb for two.  Takahashi picks up Yoshiko and they trade elbows, lariat by Yoshiko but Takahashi returns the favor and they both fall to the mat.  Takahashi is up first and hits a wrist-clutch backdrop suplex for a two count.  Takahashi picks up Yoshiko but Yoshiko gets away and slams Takahashi to the mat.  Sliding lariat by Yoshiko but Takahashi kicks out.  Takahashi grabs Yoshiko and hits a cradle back to belly piledriver, Takahashi goes up top and hits a diving body press for two.  Takahashi goes off the ropes but Yoshiko catches her with a lariat and hits a double underhook piledriver for a two count.  Diving senton from the top turnbuckle by Yoshiko but she only gets a two count.  Yoshiko goes off the ropes but Takahashi hits a dropkick.  Headbutts by Yoshiko, and she hits a lariat for the three count pinfall.  Yoshiko is still the winner!  This match was really solid although a touch below the main event at last year’s event.  Both wrestlers looked great, very hard hitting with all the lariats and they did not go overboard with big spots at all.  It wasn’t an instant classic, there were a few hiccups and it didn’t have that memorable moment, but overall it was still a very entertaining main event.  Score:  7.5

Final Thoughts:

The only thing this event was really missing was that standout match or moment.  The action was generally very solid from start to finish, even though the structure of the second title match did turn me off a bit.  A very complete show, just don’t go in excepting a MOTY candidate. 

Grade:  B-

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review completed on 2/20/15