A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: July 10th, 2014
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 935
Back to Stardom, my current favorite Joshi promotion! I am always a little nervous when I see that a card only has five matches but that isn't too unusual with the smaller promotions, I just prefer the events I watch to have a little more meat to them. Per usual, Shirai is in the main event defending her title, and we also have a random appearance by Black Tiger and Dr. Wagner Jr. as well. Here is the card:
- "Remay" Asuka vs. Reo Hazuki
- Hiroyo Matsumoto and Miho Wakizawa vs. Kaori Yoneyama and Hatsuhinode Kamen
- Alpha Female vs. Kyoko Kimura vs. Nanae Takahashi vs. Yoshiko
- Captain's Fall Elimination Match: Black Tiger (c), Takumi Iroha, and Koguma vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. (c), Mayu Iwatani, and Kairi Hojo
- World of Stardom Championship: Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura
Let’s get right to it.
"Remay" Asuka vs. Reo Hazuki
This is Asuka’s debut match. Tie-up to start, Hazuki pushes Asuka into the ropes and she gives a mostly clean break. Hazuki and Asuka lock knuckles, wristlock by Hazuki but Asuka reverses it. Hazuki rolls out of the hold but Asuka re-applies the wristlock. Hammerlock by Hazuki but Asuka elbows out of it, side headlock takedown by Asuka, but Hazuki applies a headscissors. Asuka gets out of it, elbows by Asuka, she goes off the ropes but Hazuki hits a throw. Crab hold by Hazuki but Asuka makes it to the ropes. Kicks by Hazuki, she picks up Asuka and goes for a suplex, but Asuka lands on top of her and covers Hazuki for a two count. Modified Muta Lock by Asuka, snapmare, Asuka goes off the ropes and delivers a dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Asuka goes off the ropes but Hazuki kicks her in the butt, Hazuki picks up Asuka and applies a backslide for a two count. Hard elbow by Hazuki, cover, but it gets a two count. Kick to the stomach by Asuka, she goes off the ropes and delivers a hip attack. Cover, but it gets a two count. Asuka picks up Hazuki but Hazuki pushes her off, Hazuki jumps at Asuka and lands on top of her for a two count. Hazuki slaps Asuka in the back of the head, Asuka applies a backslide and converts it into a Wing Clutch Hold for the three count. Your winner: “Remay” Asuka
Match Thoughts: This was billed as Asuka’s debut, and you could tell. There were some clear miscommunications or awkward moments, which is to be expected, and Hazuki was not able to overcome these issues. I guess good experience for Asuka but still not a good match, maybe she will be good down the road but Asuka is still a work in progress. Score: 3.0
Hiroyo Matsumoto and Miho Wakizawa vs. Kaori Yoneyama and Hatsuhinode Kamen
Kamen and Wakizawa start things off. Wakizawa goes for a claw hold, Kamen blocks it and Yoneyama comes into the ring. Double Irish whip but Matsumoto runs in the ring and hits a double crossbody. Wakizawa and Matsumoto set up their opponents in a camel clutch and rub their little brown toys in their faces. Kamen sets up Matsumoto in the ropes, Matsumoto puts a ribbon around her and goes into the crowd, pulling on the ribbon. Yoneyama attacks Kamen from behind, Wakizawa puts Kamen up on the top turnbuckle and Matsumoto dumps a box of the little brown things in the ring. Yoneyama comes up to Wakizawa from behind but Wakizawa hits a facebuster on Yoneyama into the brown balls. Kamen kicks Wakizawa in the face, cover, but it gets a two count. Kamen elbows Wakizawa and punches her in the stomach, she goes for a backslide and gets it for a two count. Kamen picks up Wakizawa and tags in Yoneyama. Kamen puts Wakizawa on her shoulders as Yoneyama goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Matsumoto comes in the ring and knocks Yoneyama off. Matsumoto holds Kamen for Wakizawa, but Kamen moves and Wakizawa accidentally applies The Claw to Matsumoto. Kamen charges in but Wakizawa gets the claw on her, and Matsumoto hits Kamen with a big pillow. Backslide by Wakizawa to Kamen and she picks up the three count. Your winners: Hiroyo Matsumoto and Miho Wakizawa
Match Thoughts: This wasn’t great but it almost wasn’t supposed to be, it was just a goofy little match. I like they contained a lot of the lesser wrestlers into one match… I know some people won’t agree with me but I don’t think Wakizawa, Yoneyama, or Kamen are very good. So short comedy matches is the place for them to be. Not really my thing but not bad undercard fodder. Score: 4.5
Alpha Female vs. Kyoko Kimura vs. Nanae Takahashi vs. Yoshiko
All four women run into each other to start the match, and they run into each other again. They all go off the ropes and run into each other, with only Alpha Female still standing. Takahashi elbows Yoshiko and Yoshiko elbows her back. Alpha Female attacks Yoshiko from behind, Yoshiko armdrags Alpha Female, and she gives facewashes to Kimura in the corner. Takahashi runs over and kicks Kimura in the face while Yoshiko and Alpha Female battle it out on the floor. Takahashi kicks Kimura out of the ring and goes off the ropes, but Yoshiko kicks her from the apron. Yoshiko throws Takahashi to the mat by her hair and gives her some facewashes in the corner. Running boot by Yoshiko, she goes for another one but Takahashi catches her and hits a few elbows. Irish whip by Takahashi, reversed, and Takahashi hits a shoulderblock. Alpha Female and Kimura get in the ring, Irish whip to Yoshiko, Takahashi goes for a crossbody on both of them but she is caught and thrown at Yoshiko. All four go outside the ring and pair up, battling around ringside. Alpha Female throws Yoshiko into a chair, and she then chokes her with one. Kimura hits Takahashi in the head, but Yoshiko lariats Takahashi and Kimura before hitting a lariat onto Alpha Female. Yoshiko picks up Alpha Female and throws her into the crowd, then does the same to Kimura. Yoshiko and Takahashi get back in the ring and trade elbows, knee by Yoshiko and she kicks Takahashi in the leg. Yoshiko goes off the ropes and kicks Takahashi in the head, cover, but it gets a two count. Yoshiko goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton, cover, but Kimura hits a doublestomp off the top turnbuckle to break it up. Kimura kicks Yoshiko in the head repeatedly, she goes for another one but Yoshiko catches it and hits a Codebreaker. Takahashi runs in for the cover but Kimura breaks it up with a senton. Alpha Female comes back and clubs Yoshiko in the back, and Kimura and Yoshiko both put their respective opponents into stretch holds. Kimura and Yoshiko let go and face off, trading elbows until Yoshiko hits a hard lariat. Kimura applies a sleeper to Yoshiko but Takahashi breaks it up. Alpha Female throws Takahashi out of the ring and goes out after her while Kimura keeps the sleeper onto Yoshiko, but Yoshiko gets a foot on the ropes. Cover by Kimura but it gets a two count. Kimura picks up Yoshiko and she knees her in the head. Takahashi goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick to Takahashi, Takahashi picks up Kimura and hits a lariat. Another lariat by Takahashi and she hits a third, cover, but it gets a two count. Takahashi goes off the ropes but Kimura headbutts her. Cover, but it gets another two. Kimura picks up Takahashi but Takahashi drops her with a Beach Break. Cover, but Kimura gets a shoulder up. Takahashi picks up Kimura but Alpha Female hits her with a lariat. Yoshiko then lariats Alpha Female, but Takahashi hits a suplex on Yoshiko. Takahashi picks up Kimura and hits a falcon arrow, cover, but Alpha Female breaks it up. Alpha Female picks up Takahashi and hits a powerbomb, cover, but Takahashi gets a shoulder up. Alpha Female goes up to the top turnbuckle but Takahashi recovers, Takahashi goes up to the top turnbuckle with Alpha Female but Yoshiko runs in the ring and powerbombs Takahashi, which causes Takahashi to superplex Alpha Female. Yoshiko goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving senton on Alpha Female, cover, but it gets a three count. Your winner: Yoshiko
Match Thoughts: This was clipped a bit, but still entertaining. As you can probably imagine it was non-stop wrestling, all of these ladies are fun to watch but they couldn’t get a good flow going between the clipping and just having all four of them in the ring at the same time. Entertaining but not a ton of substance due to the match structure and clipping. Score: 6.0
Black Tiger, Takumi Iroha, and Koguma vs. Dr. Wagner Jr., Mayu Iwatani, and Kairi Hojo
This is a Captain's Fall Elimination Match. Koguma and Iwatani start things off. Iwatani avoids a Koguma dropkick but Koguma hits an armdrag, wristlock by Iwatani and she flips off the ropes as she hits an armdrag. Irish whip by Koguma as they mimic each other, Koguma goes for an armdrag but Iwatani blocks it. They take turns tripping each other but neither can get the pin and they return to their feet. Iroha and Iwatani are tagged in, Irish whip by Iwatani and Iroha hits a running chop. Stomp by Iroha, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, and Iroha drops Iwatani over the top rope to the floor. Iwatani gets on the apron and flips herself back in the ring, she goes off the ropes and hits a spinning headscissors. Iwatani tags in Wagner while Iroha tags in Black Tiger. Black Tiger bails out of the ring but returns after a moment, and Koguma kicks Black Tiger back out of the ring. Black Tiger gets a chair but doesn’t bring it into the ring as he gets back in, tie-up, Wagner gets Black Tiger into the corner and he gives a clean break while posing. Wristlock by Wagner, reversed by Black Tiger and Wagner hits a monkey flip. Tie-up, side headlock by Black Tiger, Wagner Irish whips out of it and Black Tiger hits a shoulderblock. Armdrags by Wagner but Black Tiger trips him, Wagner returns the favor but he gets a one count as well and both wrestlers face off again. Knee by Wagner, Irish whip, and he tosses Black Tiger to the mat. Wagner applies a leg submission hold while Iwatani and Iwatani run in the ring and apply armbars while they all pose. The referee gets them to stop, Iwatani and Iwatani Irish whip Black Tiger and hit a double chop. Drop toehold by Iwatani and Iwatani delivers a dropkick. Iwatani and Iwatani pick up Black Tiger but Black Tiger hits a double suplex on them. Lariat by Black Tiger on Iwatani and Iwatani, Black Tiger picks up Iwatani and chops her in the chest. Chop to the chest by Black Tiger and he pokes her in the eyes. Black Tiger picks up Iwatani and throws her in the corner before tagging in Koguma. Irish whip by Koguma and she dropkicks Iwatani. Cover, but it gets a two count. Koguma applies a cross armbreaker but Iwatani gets into the ropes to force a break. Koguma stomps on Iwatani and chokes her with her boot. Front facelock by Koguma and she tags in Iroha. Chop to the chest by Iroha, Irish whip to the corner and Iroha nails a dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Wagner comes in the ring to harass the referee, while Iroha throws Iwatani into the corner and hits a running elbow. Koguma hits a lariat as well, Black Tiger picks up Iwatani and hits a lariat. Black Tiger grabs Iwatani and delivers a scoop slam. Black Tiger goes for a lariat, Iwatani ducks it, Black Tiger goes for a low blow but Iwatani isn’t affected. Headscissors by Iwatani and she tags in Wagner. Wagner ducks a Black Tiger lariat and hits a Samoan drop. Wagner tosses down Iroha and Koguma, and Wagner throws Black Tiger out of the ring. Wagner and Black Tiger battle up onto the stage, and Wagner hits a snap vertical suplex. Iwatani gets up on the top turnbuckle and she hits a crossbody onto Iroha and Koguma on the floor. Iwatani then goes up to the top turnbuckle and does the same thing, while Wagner dives off the stage with a cannonball to Black Tiger. Iwatani slides Iroha back into the ring, and Iwatani hits a missile dropkick. Another dropkick by Iwatani and she hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Irish whip by Iwatani, blocked, and Iroha hits a high kick. Waistlock by Iroha but Iwatani elbows her off. Koguma comes in the ring and she hits a DDT to Iwatani. Iroha picks up Iwatani and hits a German suplex hold, but Iwatani breaks it up. Koguma is tagged in, she rolls up Iwatani but it gets a two count. Jackknife hold by Koguma, but Iwatani gets a shoulder up. Irish whip by Koguma to the corner and she hits a monkey flip to Iwatani. Diving body press by Iroha, Black Tiger comes in the ring and throws Koguma onto Iwatani. Cover by Koguma, but Iwatani breaks it up. Iroha runs in the ring but Wagner grabs her, Koguma picks up Iwatani and goes off the ropes but Iwatani hits her with a spear. Iwatani and Iwatani run off the ropes and dropkick Koguma, Iwatani goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow drop onto Koguma. Iwatani picks up Koguma and applies a modified llave, and Koguma submits. Koguma is eliminated.
Wagner and Black Tiger get into the ring, and Wagner hits a lariat. Irish whip by Wagner, and Iwatani runs in to hit a dropkick. Iwatani hits a dropkick as well, Wagner gets a running start and hits a final dropkick onto Black Tiger. La Magistral by Wagner, but it gets a two count when Iroha breaks it up. Wagner grabs Black Tiger but Black Tiger hits a low blow. Tombstone Piledriver by Black Tiger, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a falling elbow drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Black Tiger goes off the ropes and hits a lariat, elbows by Black Tiger but Wagner catches a kick and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Wagner picks up Black Tiger and hits the Wagner Driver, cover, and he picks up the three count. Black Tiger is eliminated, and since he was the captain, the winners of the match are Dr. Wagner Jr., Mayu Iwatani, and Kairi Hojo
Match Thoughts: Meh. I don't think that Black Tiger or Wagner added anything to this match. I am not sure who is playing Black Tiger at the moment but he is pretty average, and Wagner is mostly a gimmick at this point. Also it was odd to have a Captain's Fall Elimination Match and only have one elimination before one of the captains was pinned. There were some spurts of good stuff here, I adore Hojo, but generally speaking it was a decent but not spectacular mid-card match. Score: 5.5
(c) Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura
This match is for the World of Stardom Championship. They tie-up to start, Satomura pushes Shirai into the ropes and she gives a clean break. Tie-up again, Shirai gets Satomura into the ropes this time and she gives a clean break as well. Armbar by Satomura, Shirai gets out of it and covers Satomura but it gets a one count. Side headlock by Satomura, Shirai tries to Irish whip out of it but Satomura keeps the hold locked in. Punches by Shirai and she gets out of it, but Satomura hits a shoulderblock. Satomura goes off the ropes but Shirai hits an armdrag, Shirai flips over Satomura but Satomura hits a hard elbow. Dropkick by Shirai, and Satomura falls out of the ring. Shirai goes off the ropes to do a dive but Satomura elbows her in the head as she goes through the ropes. Satomura gets back into the ring and picks up Shirai, but Shirai fights her off and they trade elbows. Irish whip by Satomura from the corner and she hits a jumping elbow smash. Irish whip by Satomura but Shirai skips out to the apron and kicks Satomura back. Shirai springboards back into the ring, elbow by Satomura but Shirai hits an armdrag. Space Rolling Elbow by Shirai, she goes for a bulldog but Satomura blocks it and slams Shirai to the mat. Knees by Satomura, Satomura goes off the ropes but Shirai drops her onto the apron. Shoulder tackle by Satomura and she slingshots back in the ring, but Shirai pulls her out to the floor. Shirai gets on the apron and goes for a moonsault, bur Satomura pulls her off the ropes down to the floor. Satomura picks up Shirai and throws her back in the ring, and Satomura kicks Shirai down in the corner. Satomura picks up Shirai, Irish whip by Satomura but Shirai slides out of the ring. Satomura gets out of the ring but Shirai hits a dropkick. Shirai gets back up on the apron and swings around the ring post, kicking Satomura in the face. Shirai then gets up on the top turnbuckle but Satomura bails to the other side of the ring before Shirai can jump off. Satomura gets back into the ring, elbows by Shirai but Satomura kicks Shirai in the leg. Kick to the back by Satomura and she applies a kneelock but Shirai gets to the ropes. Stomp to the leg by Satomura, Irish whip by Satomura, but Shirai blocks it and applies a stretch hold. Armbar by Shirai and she applies a crossface, but Satomura gets a foot on the bottom rope. Shirai goes off the ropes and hits a tiger feint kick followed by a swandive sunset flip, but it gets a two count. Crossface by Shirai but Satomura gets to the ropes. Shirai charges Satomura in the corner but Satomura avoids the double knee strike, and Satomura kicks Shirai in the leg. Kneelock by Satomura but Shirai gets out of it.
Satomura picks up Shirai and goes for a suplex, but Shirai blocks it. Shirai goes off the ropes but Satomura hits a high kick. Another kick to the head by Satomura, she picks up Shirai and hits a backdrop suplex. Satomura goes up to the top turnbuckle but Shirai recovers and dropkicks her off the top turnbuckle down to the floor. Shirai goes up to the top turnbuckle but Satomura gets on the apron and hits a Pele Kick, sending Shirai crashing to the floor. Satomura picks up Shirai, she gets Shirai on her shoulders and hits a death valley bomb on the exposed floor. Satomura gets back into the ring with Shirai slowly following, but Satomura kicks her as soon as she returns. Satomura picks up Shirai and hits a death valley bomb, cover, but it gets a two count. Satomura applies a sleeper hold, but Shirai gets a foot on the bottom rope. Kicks to the chest by Satomura but Shirai ducks one, Irish whip by Satomura and she hits another uppercut. Satomura goes off the ropes and nails a cartwheel scissors kick. Satomura goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Shirai goes out to the apron and kicks Satomura before hitting a swandive Frankensteiner. Standing moonsault by Shirai, then she hits a moonsault off the second turnbuckle and then the top turnbuckle. Package suplex by Shirai, but it gets a two count. Shining Wizard by Shirai, and Satomura falls out of the ring. Shirai quickly jumps up to the top turnbuckle and hits a moonsault down to the floor. Shirai slides Satomura back into the ring and hits a running double knee strike in the corner. Cover, but it gets a two count. Shirai goes up to the top turnbuckle but Satomura joins her, elbows by Satomura but Shirai hits a headbutt. Double underhook by Shirai and she throws Satomura back to the mat. Shirai stays up top and she hits a somersault dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Shirai picks up Satomura and the women trade elbows, uppercut by Shirai, Irish whip, but Satomura nails a heel kick. Back up, kick to the head by Shirai bur Satomura applies a sleeper. Cover, but it gets a two count. Satomura picks up Shirai, she puts her on her shoulders but Shirai flips off. They struggle for position, Satomura gets Shirai on her shoulders again and hits the death valley bomb. Cover, but it gets a two count. Sleeper by Satomura and she goes for an overhead kick but Shirai avoids it. Wing Clutch Hold by Shirai, but it gets a two count. Kick to the head by Shirai and she delivers a second one. Satomura kicks Shirai back, cover, but it gets a two count. Satomura goes off the ropes but Shirai snaps off a hurricanrana for a two count. Uppercut by Shirai, she picks up Satomura and hits a pair of German suplexes, package suplex by Shirai but Satomura gets a shoulder up. Shirai goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a moonsault. Cover, but Satomura kicks out. Shirai picks up Satomura and hits a final package suplex, and she picks up the three count. Your winner and still champion: Io Shirai
Match Thoughts: While this was still a very good match, it was a step down from other Shirai matches I have seen this year. The action was all here, both of them were just hitting killer moves on each other that some men wouldn't even take, and the crowd was really into the match. But there were some hiccups also which surprised me as there were a few instances of miscommunications between the two and sloppy transitions. Maybe I am just spoiled from past matches from these two but it was a lot less 'tight' than I am used to. Still fun overall and one I'd recommend to watch, just not their top effort of the year. Score: 7.0
Best Match: Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura. Even though I was a bit let down by it, this was still the best match on the card. Even when they are not at the top of their game, Shirai and Satomura are two of the better Joshi wrestlers in the world and can still put on an entertaining match. There were some great moves and memorable moments here, it was just the stuff between that wasn't as great as one would hope. Still a really solid match between the two overall.
MVP: Io Shirai. She is simply the best wrestler in Stardom, and since she is usually in the main event, she also gets more of a chance to shine. The death valley bomb she took out on the floor was brutal, and she hit all of her high impact moves very well (aside from whatever they were doing with the double underhook on the top turnbuckle). She is a lot of fun to watch and still hopefully has a lot of good years in front of her.
Overall: It is difficult for a five match card to excel as it puts so much emphasize on every match. Either the majority have to really deliver, or it just isn't enough wrestling to really be satisfying. Unfortunately, the majority of the matches here were just solid or worse, and the main event was not up to the level that past Stardom main events have reached. Nothing from the undercard is worth going out of your way to see, and there are other Shirai matches I would recommend before this one. A few of the matches were good and it wasn't a waste of a card, it just wasn't as good as I was hoping and not one as a whole that I could recommend.
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review completed on 12/20/14