Stardom Appeal The Heart #2
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: October 25th, 2015
Location: Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 245

Like other reviewers around the Internet, I tend to refer to shows such as these as ‘house shows’ as even though obviously it was filmed, it is at a small venue and without any big matches. These are generally the shows that the younger wrestlers get more of a chance and sometimes we see random things like Santana Garrett in the main event.  I go into these with low expectations but sometimes a hidden gem can be found. Here is the full card:

- Azumi vs. Hiromi Mimura
- Datura vs. La Rosa Negra
- Kaori Yoneyama vs. Momo Watanabe vs. Starlight Kid
- Act Yasukawa and Kris Wolf vs. Alex Lee and Holidead
- Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto and Santana Garrett

This won’t be my longest review, let’s get to it!

Azumi vs. Hiromi Mimura

This Mimura’s second televised match, with her first being on 10/11/15. Even though she is a rookie she is also 29, and while Azumi is not a rookie she is still a child. A classic age vs. experience match! But slightly more skewed than usual.

They push each other around to start and tie-up, with Mimura eventually getting Azumi’s arm and pulling on it. Azumi reverses it as they trade holds, kicks to the back by Azumi and she goes off the ropes, but Mimura lariats her in the back of the head and delivers a dropkick. Azumi chops Mimura in the chest but Mimura elbows her back, front necklock by Azumi but Mimura gets a foot on ropes. Back up, dropkicks by Azumi and she scoop slams Mimura for a two count. Azumi charges Mimura but Mimura pushes her off and applies her rolling leglock, Azumi gets out of it and rolls up Mimura for two. Dropkick by Azumi in the corner and she dropkicks Mimura in the back of the head. La Magistral by Mimura and they trade elbows, but the bell rings signifying the time limit has expired. The match is a Draw.

This was generally pretty smooth. Not overly eventful but about what you’d expect from a really young wrestler and an inexperienced wrestler. Inoffensive but skippable just due to the general lack of action.

Datura vs. La Rosa Negra

Stardom has been bringing over virtually unknown wrestlers from North America to help fill out their cards and try out wrestlers, and Datura is an example of that. I couldn’t find a lot of information about her, but she came to the ring with a belt so she must be doing something right. La Rosa Negra we are more familiar with as she wrestled in the Stardom FIVE STAR GP and also held the High Speed Championship. La Rosa Negra comes in the favorite but Datura will be looking to make a name for herself in her first Stardom match.

They begin trading holds, Datura gets a crossface applied on the mat but La Rosa Negra gets out of it and applies a leg submission. Back up they both kick each other and they end up on the mat. Back up, armdrag by Datura but La Rosa Negra sneaks in a hurricanrana for two. Irish whip by La Rosa Negra, she jumps on Datura and hits a facebuster. La Rosa Negra hip attacks Datura into the corner and hits a few butt smashes, elbows by La Rosa Negra in the opposite corner and she hits a running elbow. Rebound elbow by La Rosa Negra and she chokes Datura against the second rope, Irish whip by La Rosa Negra but Datura gets away and rolls up La Rosa Negra for two. Kick to the head by La Rosa Negra but Datura wraps up La Rosa Negra in a unique submission hold. Dropkick by Datura and she hits a second one, Datura goes off the ropes and La Rosa Negra tries to catch her with a powerbomb, but La Rosa Negra’s knee goes out from under her. La Rosa Negra is clearly in pain as she holds her left knee, Datura slowly picks up La Rosa Negra and she hits a suplex for a two count. Datura and La Rosa Negra trade elbows while on their knees, they get back up and La Rosa Negra hits a death valley bomb. La Rosa Negra slowly gets up to the top turnbuckle and she nails the Rose Splash, picking up the three count!  La Rosa Negra is your winner.

I’ve said many times that wrestlers are crazy, they have something in them that normal people don’t have. La Rosa Negra seriously injured her knee in this match, she was in obvious pain and couldn’t put any weight on it, but instead of going straight to a quick pin she hit a diving body press…. right on her injured knee which made it hurt even more. It is hard to watch and obviously was the only thing about the match that stuck out even though nothing was bad up to that point. It wasn’t super smooth but perfectly watchable, but I could never recommend a match that ends with a wrestler crying and writhing in pain on the mat. Hope that La Rosa Negra has a speedy recovery.

Kaori Yoneyama vs. Momo Watanabe vs. Starlight Kid

Yoneyama went from looking good in the FIVE STAR GP to going back to silly triple threat matches. The only think I am really looking forward to here is seeing more of Starlight Kid, I was impressed with her in her debut. Otherwise I have low expectations as these matches are rarely very memorable.

They start by double teaming Starlight Kid but Yoneyama tries to do a sneak roll-up on Watanabe which leads to her getting double teamed instead. Starlight Kid hits a cartwheel into a spinning headscissors on Yoneyama, then Yoneyama eats a double dropkick. Inside cradle by Starlight Kid to Watanabe but it gets a two count, spinning headscissors by Starlight Kid and she fakes a dive before posing in the ring. Yoneyama attacks Starlight Kid from behind and applies a leg submission, but Watanabe returns and elbows Yoneyama.  Yoneyama and Watanabe trade kicks, Watanabe gets on the second turnbuckle and she hits a tornado DDT. She goes for a missile dropkick but Yoneyama avoids it and hits a running senton for two. Starlight Kid comes back in, Yoneyama goes for a suplex but Starlight Kid rolls her up for a two count as all three of them trade quick pins. Double Irish whip to Yoneyama but Yoneyama rolls them both up for a two count. Yoneyama throws both her opponents in the corner but they avoids her charge, Watanabe puts Yoneyama in the tree of woe but Starlight Kid runs in with a tilt-a-whirl sunset flip for a two count. Quick Somato by Watanabe, and she gets the three count! Watanabe picks up the win.

This was a step down from Starlight Kid’s match at the last show, she wasn’t as smooth here and aside from some nice pinning transitions there wasn’t a lot to get excited. I don’t think Yoneyama is the best wrestler in the world but she is wasted in matches like this, and Watanabe has been around long enough to see what more she can do. These matches are a staple of Stardom shows, sometimes they are cute but they are never great and generally can be safely skipped like this one.

Act Yasukawa and Kris Wolf vs. Alex Lee and Holidead

Contrary to rumors you may have read online, Yasukawa is not retiring and is still plugging along. Holidead is another wrestler I could find very little on but she wears face paint and acts crazy so I like her. This is a bit higher than usual for Lee on the card so I hope she steps it up a bit, even though this isn’t a big match.

Yasukawa and Holidead are the first pair, Yasukawa doesn’t want to engage with Holidead but Lee runs in and hits Holidead from behind. So this is just going to be weird immediately with Lee attacking her own partner. Holidead is triple teamed in the corner but Wolf gets excited and pushes Lee, leading to Lee helping her partner again. Holidead tags in Lee, Lee kicks Yasukawa in the corner and hits a butterfly suplex for two. Lee kicks Yasukawa some more but Yasukawa comes back with a dropkick. Another dropkick by Yasukawa and she hits rolling reverse STOs.  Yasukawa makes the hot tag to Wolf and Wolf hits a headscissors takedown followed by a dropkick for two. Irish whip by Wolf but Lee nails a high kick and tags in Holidead.  Double flapjack to Wolf and Lee slams Holidead onto Wolf for a two count. Holidead goes for a scissors kick but Wolf ducks it, Wolf goes for a kick but Holidead catches her leg and hits a Bubba Bomb for a two count. Holidead picks up Wolf but Wolf wiggles away, Holidead chokes Wolf but Wolf elbows out of it and hits a high kick. Double knee by Wolf in the corner and she kicks Holidead in the back of the head for a two count. Yasukawa goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, Wolf goes to the second turnbuckle and delivers the diving double kneedrop, but Holidead barely gets a shoulder up. Wolf goes off the ropes but Holidead knees her and hits a modified Unprettier for two. Big boot by Holidead, and she covers Wolf for the three count! Lee and Holidead win the match.

This was underwhelming also, even though it had some solid parts. Everyone attacking Holidead at the start didn’t make any sense, especially considering then Lee and Holidead got along just fine after that. Lee, compared to other Stardom wrestlers, is average at best as she just doesn’t have a lot of interesting looking offense and the match didn’t really have any structure to speak of.  Wolf showed a lot of energy and they were trying, it just didn’t really connect.

Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto and Santana Garrett

This is the match that is going to have the save the show, and I am not sure if that is going to happen. Shirai and Iwatani are fantastic, and the reigning Stardom Tag Team Champions.  Matsumoto is a veteran and a long time Freelancer, while this is Garrett’s first match for Stardom. She wrestled at the Stardom USA events a week prior and I guess impressed enough to now be in the main event.

Shirai and Matsumoto start the match and do some intro limb work, Shirai goes for shoulderblocks but Matsumoto doesn’t go down.  Hard shoulderblock by Matsumoto but Shirai kips up and hits a dropkick. Iwatani and Garrett are tagged in, Irish whip by Iwatani but Garrett hits a shoulderblock. Handstand into a headscissors by Garrett and they trade quick pin attempts with neither having any luck. High kick by Iwatani, she puts Garrett in a camel clutch while Shirai comes in and hits a sliding kick to Garrett’s head. Garrett fights back against both of them and hits a Space Rolling Elbow in the corner followed by a boot to Iwatani for two.  Garrett tags in Matsumoto and Matsumoto hits a scoop slam before kneeing Iwatani in the ribs. Matsumoto tags Garrett back in, Russian leg sweep by Garrett and she covers Iwatani for two. Matsumoto comes back in, she puts Iwatani in the corner and knees Iwatani in the ribs.  Chops by Matsumoto in the corner, Iwatani goes for a rebound dropkick but Matsumoto swats her out of the way. Irish whip by Matsumoto but Iwatani hits a jumping back elbow, giving her time to tag in Shirai. Shirai hits a double knee on Matsumoto in the corner, she smacks Garrett but Matsumoto hits Shirai from behind. Garrett comes in the ring but Shirai jumps up to the top turnbuckle and hits a double missile dropkick. Garrett and Matsumoto fall out of the ring, Shirai goes to the ropes and hits an Asai Moonsault down onto both of them.

Back in the ring, Iwatani and Shirai both put their opponents in stretch holds, but Matsumoto gets out of hers and frees Garrett. Matsumoto slams Iwatani on top of Shirai and she applies a double crab hold to both of them at the same time.  They crawl to the ropes together to force a break, Shirai and Matsumoto trade elbows, hurricanrana by Shirai but it gets a two count. Buzzsaw Kick by Shirai, she starts to crawl to her corner but Garrett runs in and knocks Iwatani off the apron. Facebuster by Matsumoto to Shirai, Garrett comes in and she puts Shirai in a submission but Iwatani breaks it up. Garrett stomps Shirai but Shirai drop toeholds her onto the second rope and hits a tiger feint kick. Springboard missile dropkick by Shirai and she tags in Iwatani, Iwatani goes up top and hits a missile dropkick of her own onto Garrett. Iwatani goes up top again but Garrett avoids the diving footstomp. As I would too. Matsumoto runs in and hits a backdrop suplex, boot to the head by Garrett and she covers Iwatani for two. Shirai grabs Garrett, Iwatani goes off the ropes and they hit a facebuster/face crusher combination for a two count. Matsumoto comes back in but she is knocked to the mat, Shirai goes up top as Iwatani grabs Garrett but Garrett gets away from Iwatani and hits a superkick. Garrett then headscissors Shirai off the top turnbuckle onto Iwatani, Matsumoto runs in and destroys Shirai with a lariat. Fisherman suplex hold by Garrett to Iwatani, but Iwatani gets a shoulder up. They trade superkicks and suplex attempts, Matsumoto comes in and she powerbombs Iwatani. Shining Stars by Garrett to Iwatani, and she picks up the three count (and the upset)! Garrett and Matsumoto win the match.

This was definitely a step up from everything else on the show. Just to explain, Matsumoto and Garrett are teaming in a Tag League a few weeks after this show in Stardom, so this was to set them up as forces to be reckoned with in the tournament. All four are quality wrestlers and it was smooth, no odd moments or real miscommunications. It was a bit all over the place at times but they got focused by the end and they came out of it looking strong. Not incredibly memorable as Iwatani and Shirai have been in better matches this year, but a solid small show main event. Mildly Recommended

Final Thoughts:

This was definitely a laid back show for Stardom and can be skipped by anyone except the most diehard of fans. There was very little memorable here as the rookies looked better on the last show and only the final match is really worth anyone’s time. Plus it was missing Kairi Hojo. Sometimes house shows can have hidden gems, this wasn’t one of them, although generally the action was watchable as Stardom has quality wrestlers. If you are only watching select Stardom shows, you can pass over this one.

Grade: D

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event reviewed on 10/16/15