Stardom "Golden Week Stars #1"
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: May 3rd, 2015 
Location:  Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 285 

This is a pretty small card but still an important one, as the Vacant Artist of Stardom Championship (trio title) is up for grabs! We also get the debut of Nikki Storm and a couple of rookie matches. Here is the full card:

 - Azumi vs. Hatsuhinode Kamen
 - Kaori Yoneyama vs. Momo Watanabe
 - Haruka Kato vs. Nikki Storm
 - Kris Wolf and Kyoko Kimura vs. Starfire and Thunder Rosa
 - Artist of Stardom Title Championship: Chelsea, Kairi Hojo, and Koguma vs. Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani, and Reo Hazuki

Onto the fun!

Azumi vs. Hatsuhinode Kamen
This is a Kids Fight, because Azumi is a child. Azumi rolls up Kamen to start the match and gets two, mounted punches by Azumi but Kamen rolls her over. Azumi gets back on top and elbows her some more, Irish whip by Azumi but Kamen hits a shoulderblock. Azumi avoids Kamen's elbow drop, Irish whip by Azumi and she hits a dropkick. Another dropkick by Azumi but Kamen stays up. Kamen puts Azumi in a camel clutch, punch by Kamen and she hits a few snapmares. Scoop slam by Kamen but Azumi applies a sleeper, Kamen gets out of it and they trade kicks. Inside cradle by Azumi but it gets two. Azumi goes up top and she hits a diving crossbody, but Kamen kicks out. Vertical suplex by Azumi but Kamen hits a suplex of her own. Kamen picks up Azumi but as she does so the bell rings, and the match is a Draw. The amusing thing about this match is that Azumi was in control for the most of it, which shows where Kamen is on the ladder of success. A fun little opener but nothing to take seriously.

Kaori Yoneyama vs. Momo Watanabe
They tie-up to start, elbows by Watanabe against the ropes but Yoneyama avoids the dropkick. They trade elbows back and forth, drop toehold by Watanabe and she dropkicks Yoneyama. Watanabe stands on Yoneyama's back and applies a sleeper before applying a bodyscissors, but Yoneyama gets out of it and puts Watanabe in a leglock. Yoneyama applies the Muta Lock and then a camel clutch before raking Watanabe's face. Irish whip by Yoneyama but Watanabe flips over her and hits a dropkick. Watanabe puts Yoneyama in the tree of woe and she dropkicks her in the stomach. Mongolian Chops by Yoneyama and she hits a shoulderblock. Crab hold by Yoneyama and she hits a backbacker. Senton by Yoneyama but mmm blocks the suplex attempt. Watanabe rolls up Yoneyama for a quick two, Watanabe goes off the ropes and she hits a double knee for two. She goes for another one but Yoneyama moves, and Yoneyama knees Watanabe in the back. Northern Lights Suplex by Yoneyama, but it gets a two count. Sentons by Yoneyama, she goes up top and she hits a diving senton off the second turnbuckle for the three count! Another basic match but Watanabe is still a rookie so that is to be expected. She got a few good hope spots but the ending here was never in doubt. Just generally average.

Haruka Kato vs. Nikki Storm
This is Storm's debut in Stardom. Kato and Storm trade holds to start, shoulderblock by Storm and she covers Kato for two. Hammerlock by Kato and she gets Storm to the mat, applying a headscissors. Kato goes for the armbreaker but Storm quickly gets a hand on the ropes. Storm asks for a handshake, Kato shakes her hand but Storm kicks her and clubs Kato in the back. Snapmare by Storm and she applies a cobra clutch before hitting a few mounted elbows. Storm clubs Kato in the corner and she hits a scoop slam. Irish whip by Storm but Kato hits a sunset flip for a two count. Dropkick by Storm and she elbows Kato in the chest. Elbows by Kato and she applies a sleeper but Storm chops her into the corner. Kato applies an armbar over the top rope, she gets in the ring and she hits a dropkick. Another pair of dropkicks by Kato but Storm catches her with a TKO. Storm picks up Kato and she hits a neckbreaker, cover, but it gets two. Storm picks up Kato but Kato gets away and applies a cross armbreaker. Storm gets out of it, roll-up by Kato but it gets two. Kato goes back to the arm but Storm powerbombs out of the cross armbreaker. Storm picks up Kato and she nails the Cyclone Neckbreaker, picking up the three count! A good debut for Storm, she got a chance to show her skills a bit. Her wrestling gear broke early on which distracted her some as you may imagine but she wrestled through it, and Kato snuck in some submissions so it was an even back and forth match. It never got to the next level but it was still fun. Mildly Recommended

Kris Wolf and Kyoko Kimura vs. Starfire and Thunder Rosa
Rosa and Wolf start off, Rosa catches Wolf's kick but Wolf hits a leg sweep. Starfire and Kimura are tagged in, Kimura throws Starfire to the mat a few times and Starfire dropkicks Wolf as she comes in the ring. Starfire kicks both of them and she hits a double armdrag. They fall out of the ring, Starfire goes to do a dive but both Wolf and Kimura move. Starfire is dragged out of the ring as Rosa comes over to help, and they battle around the floor. We can't see too well what is going on until Wolf and Starfire return to the ring and they trade chops and elbows. Wolf goes for a suplex but Starfire picks her up and hits a slam. Starfire tags in Rosa and Rosa punches Wolf on the mat. Starfire is tagged back in and they take turns working over Wolf. Kimura comes in to help and they both dropkick Starfire and Rosa. Kimura tags in and she tries to fight off both Starfire and Rosa, and Kimura puts them both in a submission hold at the same time. Kimura clubs Rosa in the back but Rosa hits a headscissors and tags in Starfire. Starfire grabs Kimura's arm and she hits an armdrag out of the corner. Starfire knees Kimura in the corner but Kimura applies a sleeper. She releases the hold after a moment and covers Starfire with one foot, but Starfire kicks out. Kimura tags in Wolf, kicks to the chest by Wolf and she covers Starfire for two. Jumping knee by Wolf in the corner and she kicks Starfire in the back of the head for a two count.

Punches by Wolf but Rosa kicks her from the apron. Rosa comes in and clubs Wolf, double Irish whip and Wolf is double teamed against the ropes. Cover by Starfire but Wolf kicks out. Rosa picks up Wolf and slams her in front of the corner so Starfire can hit a somersault senton, but Kimura breaks up the pin. Double Irish whip to Kimura but Kimura throws them into each other. Schoolboy by Wolf to Starfire, but it gets a two count. Kimura suplexes Starfire, then she suplexes Rosa onto Starfire. Kimura finally throws Wolf onto both of them, but the cover gets two. Wolf goes up top but Starfire avoids her dive, La Magistral by Starfire but Kimura breaks it up. Kimura hits a big boot on Rosa and takes her out of the ring while Starfire grabs Wolf and hits a double arm piledriver, but Wolf barely gets a shoulder up. Starfire picks up Wolf and plants her with a package piledriver, picking up the three count! Starfire is starting to grow on me, she is pretty on-point with her moves and seems to be adapting well to Stardom. I liked the constant help between the teammates as it showed they were more than just two thrown together tag teams. A good match. Mildly Recommended

After the match it looked like Starfire and Rosa joined Kimura's posse. Hugs for everyone!

Chelsea, Kairi Hojo, and Koguma vs. Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani, and Reo Hazuki
This match is for the vacant Artist of Stardom Title Championship. Not sure how Chelsea lucked into that dream team, Hojo and Koguma already have won Stardom Championships so they have experience on the big stage. Hojo and friends attack before the match starts and isolate Iwatani, attacking her in the corner. Triple big boot and elbow drop to Iwatani as Hojo stays in the ring and trades elbows with Iwatani. Irish whip by Hojo, armdrag by Iwatani but Hojo returns the favor. Dropkick by Hojo and both women are back on their feet. Chelsea and Hazuki are tagged in, Chelsea works the wrist but Hazuki reverses it. Hazuki throws down Chelsea by her hair and hits bootscrapes in the corner. Shirai and Iwatani come in the ring and all three dropkick Chelsea. They all pose on Chelsea before applying a submission hold, Hazuki stomps on Chelsea and she hits a scoop slam. Hazuki tags in Shirai, snapmare by Shirai and she dropkicks Chelsea. Shirai hits a double kneedrop followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. Shirai throws Chelsea into the corner and she tags in Iwatani. Iwatani chokes Chelsea in the corner and kicks her, Iwatani applies a crab hold before hitting a double kneedrop. Chelsea manages to sneak in a submission but it is immediately broken up, Chelsea armdrags all three and hits a crossbody on Hazuki. Chelsea makes the hot tag to Koguma, Koguma elbows Hazuki but Iwatani comes in. Double Irish whip to Koguma but Koguma dropkicks Hazuki. Koguma kicks off Hazuki and hits a tornado DDT on Iwatani. She then kicks off Hazuki and hits an armdrag on Shirai, Koguma throws them all into the corner and hits a body avalanche. Hazuki elbows Koguma and they trade shots, Irish whip by Hazuki and she hits a running elbow. Face crusher by Hazuki but Koguma kicks out. Hazuki tags in Shirai but Koguma avoids her double knee. Hojo and Chelsea come in and triple team Shirai, and Koguma covers her for a two count. Koguma picks up Shirai and puts her in a sleeper, but Hazuki breaks it up. Shirai goes up top but Koguma gets up and joins her. Elbows by Koguma and she snaps Shirai's neck on the top rope. Koguma goes up top but Shirai gets her feet up on the plancha attempt. Back up they trade elbows, and Koguma hits a DDT. Shirai replies with a Buzzsaw Kick and both wrestlers slowly crawl to their corners. Hojo is tagged in first and she catapults off Shirai to knock her friends off the apron.

Hojo shoulderblocks Shirai in the corner, she goes up top and hits a diving elbow strike for a two count. Hojo goes off the ropes but Iwatani runs in and dropkicks her. Shirai picks up Hojo and hits a double underhook facebuster, Shirai then drops both Hazuki and Iwatani onto Hojo, Iwatani covers Hojo but Koguma breaks it up. Iwatani picks up Hojo and she hits the Sling Blade. Iwatani applies a modified dragon sleeper, she picks Hojo up but Hojo hits a neckbreaker. Koguma comes in and they hit a double vertical suplex on Iwatani. Double Irish whip to Iwatani but Shirai hits a swandive dropkick on Hojo and Koguma. They fall out of the ring, Hazuki gets on the apron and hits a plancha down onto all three. Shirai gets on the apron and she delivers the Asai Moonsault down to the floor. Iwatani goes last as she goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a plancha suicida. Hojo is rolled back into the ring with all three of her opponents and she is hit by a catapult dropkick by Iwatani. Iwatani grabs Hojo but Hojo gets into the ropes, Koguma goes up top an hits a Yoshitonic on Iwatani. Hojo goes up top but Hazuki grabs her from the apron, Shirai joins Hojo and she hits a Frankensteiner. Iwatani goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving footstomp, but the cover gets two. Iwatani picks up Hojo but Hojo blocks the dragon suplex. Iwatani rolls up Hojo, but Koguma breaks it up just in time. Chelsea comes in and kicks Hazuki but Shirai comes in to help. Shirai hits Hazuki by accident, Shirai goes up top with Iwatani but Hojo avoids the double avalanche suplex. Koguma DDTs both Shirai and Iwatani, Hojo goes up top as do Chelsea and Koguma (to different corners), and all three hit their signature moves for a two count. Hojo picks up Iwatani and hits a Uraken, Hojo slams Iwatani to the mat and she goes back up top. Diving elbow drop by Hojo, and she picks up the three count! Chelsea, Hojo and Koguma are your new champions! Loved this match, I was a bit concerned with Chelsea being in it as she hasn't had the chance to get chemistry with everyone yet but she mostly stayed out of the way until she was needed. Koguma has gotten so good so fast, and everyone on Shirai's team delivered. Just fast paced action, lots of teamwork, and once the beatdown segment on Shirai was done I don't think I stopped typing for the rest of the match. Really fun match, the first fourth of it was a bit slow but once it got cooking it never stopped. Recommended

Final Thoughts:

For a smaller event I thought this show delivered. The first two matches were just rookie-style matches, so unless you are investing in the promotion long-term they can be safely skipped. But after that we had Nikki Storm's debut, a must for any Nikki fan, a fun tag team match, and a great main event. The main had most of Stardom's best wrestlers crammed into one match so you knew it would be good, and I just can't overemphasize how talented these women are. It is a little tough to give my highest recommendation since it was a shorter event from one hard cam (which always takes a bit of the fun out of it), but still a show worth watching.

Grade:  B-

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event reviewed on 5/11/15