STARDOM “Grow Up Stars 2015″
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  April 12th, 2015
Location:  Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  305

It has been way too long since I have reviewed a Stardom event.  Their big show of the spring is in a few days but here is just a smaller one just to get the juices flowing.  Of interest here is the puroresu debut of Chelsea Diamond, no idea who that is, plus we get a handful of singles matches so the women have a chance to show what they have.  Here is the full card:

- Azumi vs. Mayu Iwatani
- DASH Chisako vs. Hatsuhinode Kamen
- Kris Wolf and Thunder Rosa vs. Mayu Iwatani and Momo Watanabe
- Koguma vs. Star Fire
- Io Shirai and Reo Hazuki vs. Kairi Hojo and Chelsea

Onto the fun!

Azumi vs. Mayu Iwatani
Azumi is literally a child, just as a point of clarification.  Azumi kicks at Iwatani to start, she goes to jump over Iwatani but she trips.  Schoolboy by Azumi but it gets two.  They flip around until Azumi hits an armdrag followed by a few dropkicks, but Iwatani stays up.  Azumi goes for a crossbody but Iwatani catches her and slams her to the mat.  Crab hold by Iwatani but Azumi gets to the ropes, snapmares by Iwatani and she hits a scoop slam.  Iwatani charges Azumi but Azumi moves out of the way and she sneaks in an inside cradle for two.  Hurricanrana by Azumi and she hits a vertical suplex for a two count.  Azumi goes up top and she hits a diving crossbody, but Iwatani rolls through it for two.  Northern Lights Suplex by Iwatani, but Azumi gets a shoulder up.  Iwatani applies a full nelson but the bell rings, and the match is a Draw.  No idea how to score this, Azumi is only 12 but is well trained, she has been around Stardom for over a year now.  I mean obviously it was basic but she did hit a hurricanrana, suplex, diving crossbody…. so not unwatchable even though it wasn’t a real match.  Score:  4.0

DASH Chisako vs. Hatsuhinode Kamen
Kamen and Chisako dance around to start until Chisako throws her in the corner and kicks her.  Chisako ties up Kamen in the ropes and pushes her head with her boot before hitting a dropkick.  Takedown by Chisako but Kamen applies a headscissors and both wrestlers return to their feet.  Irish whip by Chisako, reversed, and Kamen hits a body avalanche.  Back in the middle of the ring they trade strikes but Kamen hits a shoulderblock.  Chisako knocks down Kamen and hits a footstomp, getting a two count.  Elbow by Chisako in the corner but Kamen avoids her charge and hits a series of chops.  Chisako goes for a hurricanrana but Kamen blocks it and applies a crab hold.  Chisako gets to the ropes and Kamen sits down on her back.  Kamen picks up Chisako and slams her stomach-first into the turnbuckles.  Kamen charges Chisako but Chisako slaps her and hits a missile dropkick.  Dropkick by Chisako in the corner and she hits a cutter.  Cover, but Kamen kicks out.  Chisako goes up top and she goes for a diving doublestomp, but Kamen moves and hits a big boot.  Punches by Kamen and she hits a German suplex hold for two.  Body block by Kamen and she hits a delayed vertical suplex.  Chisako dropkicks Kamen and she hits another cutter.  Diving Doublestomp by Chisako, cover, but Kamen barely gets a shoulder up.  Hormone Splash by Chisako, and this time she gets the three!  This was better than most Kamen matches as there was more real wrestling but still a bit goofy.  Just an average match overall.  Score:  5.0

Kris Wolf and Thunder Rosa vs. Mayu Iwatani and Momo Watanabe
Never seen Rosa before so let’s see how it goes.  Wolf and Watanabe start off and they trade holds until Wolf hits an armdrag.  They run the ropes and Wolf rubs Watanabe’s face against the top rope before pulling her legs between the ring post.  Scoop slam by Wolf and she tags in Rosa.  Rosa applies a kneelock, she sets up Watanabe in the corner and kicks her in the leg.  Snapmare by Rosa, Wolf comes in and they both kick on Watanabe.  Scoop slam by Rosa, Irish whip, but Watanabe dropkicks her in the knee.  Another dropkick by Watanabe and she tags in Iwatani.  Iwatani kicks Rosa and she hits a spinning headscissors.  Rosa hits a monkey flip and steps on Iwatani before tagging in Wolf.  Wolf kicks Iwatani and she covers her for two.  They trade pin attempts, Rosa comes in to help and Wolf hits a knee in the corner.  She goes for a dropkick by Iwatani moves and hits a springboard footstomp.  Iwatani and Wolf trade elbows and Wolf kicks Iwatani in the chest.  Another knee by Wolf and she tags in Rosa.  Rosa picks up Iwatani and she hits a side slam for a two count.  Rosa goes off the ropes but Iwatani hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. 

Watanabe comes in, double Irish whip to Rosa and they hit a double dropkick.  Iwatani goes up top and she hits a diving crossbody for a two count.  Iwatani tags in Watanabe, Irish whip by Watanabe and she rolls up Rosa for a two count.  Rosa applies a camel clutch but Watanabe gets to the ropes.  Rosa chops Watanabe in the corner and she applies a stretch hold, Wolf comes in and they hit a double vertical suplex.  Cover by Rosa but it gets a two count.  Rosa elbows Iwatani and she tags in Wolf.  Wolf picks up Watanabe, Irish whip, and Wolf hits a jumping knee in the corner.  Kick to the back of the head by Wolf, cover, but it gets two.  Wolf picks up Watanabe and knees her, running knee by Wolf but it gets two.  Wolf picks up Watanabe and hits a scoop slam, she goes to the second turnbuckle but Watanabe moves out of the way.  Missile dropkick by Iwatani, and Watanabe hits rolling suplexes on Wolf for a two count.  Snapmare by Watanabe and she hits a seated senton on Wolf for two.  Suplex by Wolf, she goes up top and hits a diving double knee drop for a two count.  Wolf knees Watanabe in the head as she gets to one knee, and she picks up the three count.  My only issue here is that they were wrestling soft.  That isn’t necessary bad when you’re wrestling in the mid-card on a house show-like event, but I’m still going to notice and it does take some of the pop out of the match.  Pretty uneventful but Wolf and Watanabe are coming along nicely.  Score:  5.5

Koguma vs. Star Fire
They start off trading submission holds before locking knuckles until Star Fire stomps on Koguma’s hands.  Armbar by Star Fire and she twists Koguma’s arm in the ropes.  Stomps to the arm by Star Fire but Koguma dropkicks her in the corner.  Another dropkick by Koguma, Star Fire falls out of the ring and Koguma dives out with a plancha suicida.  Star Fire rolls back in and Koguma drops her with a missile dropkick followed by a monkey flip.  Cover, but it gets two.  Koguma applies a sleeper but Star Fire drives her into the corner to break it up.  Face crusher by Koguma, cover, but it gets two.  Koguma picks up Star Fire and she applies the sleeper again but Star Fire gets out of it.  Capture suplex by Star Fire, but Koguma gets a shoulder up.  Mexican Surfboard by Star Fire and she dropkicks Koguma in the back.  Star Fire picks up Koguma, Irish whip to the corner and they trade elbows.  Irish whip by Star Fire, reversed, and Star Fire hits a hurricanrana.  Elbows by Star Fire and she slams Koguma to the mat for a two.  Star Fire goes for a piledriver but Koguma wiggles away, hitting a German suplex.  Koguma picks up Star Fire and throws her in front of the corner, she goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving body press for two.  Koguma goes up top but Star Fire grabs her and hits a suplex hold for a two count.  Star Fire and Koguma trade elbows, Koguma goes off the ropes but Star Fire hits a lariat.  Running double knee by Star Fire but Koguma rolls her up for two.  They trade pin attempts, Star Fire kicks Koguma and she nails the package piledriver for the three count!  This was the best I have seen Star Fire, she was feeling it.  At first the result surprised me since Koguma just won a title but she is young, she is still going to lose sometimes to veteran wrestlers.  Really good action here, wish it was a bit longer but it was entertaining.  Score:  7.0

Io Shirai and Reo Hazuki vs. Kairi Hojo and Chelsea
Shirai and Hojo start off and they go to the mat, jockeying for position.  Elbows by Shirai but Hojo delivers a spear.  She tags in Chelsea and she asks for a Test of Strength so Shirai jumps up and grabs her hand.  They trade wristlocks and Shirai applies a single leg crab hold.  Shirai applies a front necklock and they trade hammerlocks.  Hojo comes in and they both knocks down Shirai before hitting a double elbow drop.  Cover by Chelsea but it gets a two and she tags in Hojo.  Hojo bounces Shirai off the ropes and she hits an elbow drop for a two.  Chelsea is tagged in and she applies an inside cradle for a two count.  They trade headlocks and Shirai hits a scoop slam followed by a double kneedrop.  Shirai tags in Hazuki and she flings Chelsea to the mat by her hair.  Hazuki goes for facewashes but Hojo grabs her from the apron.  She comes in the ring but Shirai comes in two and with Hazuki they dropkick Chelsea and Hojo.  Hazuki finally hits her facewashes on Chelsea.  Shirai stays in and hits a cartwheel elbow followed by a face crusher on Chelsea for a two count.  Shirai goes off the ropes but Chelsea hits an armdrag.  A second one and a third, and Chelsea hits a dropkick.  Chelsea covers Shirai after a leg drop and she gets a two.  Chelsea goes for Shirai’s arm but Shirai blocks it, so Chelsea hits a fisherman suplex hold for two.  Chelsea tags in Hojo, stomps by Hojo and she hits a spear in the corner.  Running neckbreaker by Hojo and she gets a two count.  Cross-armed submission by Hojo, then Chelsea comes in and puts Hazuki in a crab hold.  Double Irish whip to Shirai but Shirai dropkicks both of them.  They fall out of the ring and Shirai hits an Asai Moonsault out onto both of them. 

Shirai slides Hojo back in and she hits a missile dropkick for a two count.  Shirai goes for a kick but Hojo avoids it and elbows Shirai in the back of the head.  Oklahoma Roll by Hojo but it gets a two count.  Shirai and Hojo trade elbows, Hazuki comes in to help and Shirai hits a German suplex hold for two.  Shirai hits a double knee on Hojo in the corner, getting a two count.  She tags in Hazuki and Hazuki dropkicks Hojo. Elbows by Hazuki in the corner and she hits a face crusher for two.  Hojo chops Hazuki in the chest but Hazuki returns the favor, Hazuki jumps out to the apron and she hits a scissors kick.  Tiger Feint Kick by Shirai and she hits a swandive missile dropkick.  Double stomp off the second turnbuckle by Hazuki and then from the top, but Chelsea breaks up the pin.  Hojo goes up top up but Shirai grabs her from the apron.  Hazuki tosses Hojo down by her hair and but she misses the senton.  Hojo elbows Hazuki but Hazuki knocks her to the mat for two.  Hazuki slams Hojo and she hits a second turnbuckle senton for two.  Hojo elbows Hazuki, Shirai comes in but Chelsea goes up top and hits a diving double crossbody on both of them.  Hojo hits an Alabama Slam, she goes up top and she delivers the diving elbow drop to Hazuki for the three count!  This was an interesting way to debut Chelsea.  She looked fine (both in appearance and wrestling ability) but clearly was not familiar with the wrestlers, so she mostly did basic stuff and pre-planned spots while Hojo did the bulk of the actual work.  Hojo and Shirai are both of course fantastic and Hazuki has been impressive, so this was a good match. They weren’t holding anything back as we got a patented Shirai dive and all around it was a fun and enjoyable main event.  Score:  7.5

Final Thoughts:

I’ve mentioned before that shows that are not “pro shot” but are from one camera up behind the stands are a bit harder to get into as everything just looks a bit more distant (literally) and the dives are frequently hard to see.  That doesn’t take away from the effort at all, some of the early stuff was basic but the main event and co-main event were both really good matches.  I can’t really recommend it due to the shortness of the card and the lack of a stand-out match, but the main is definitely worth seeing if nothing else.

Grade:  C-

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event reviewed on 4/21/15