Stardom “Shining Stars 2015 #2”
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  July 11th, 2015
Location:  Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  Unknown

This is a small show for Stardom before their two bigger shows later in the month, but since it had a title match I still wanted to cover it.  Plus I take every opportunity in life to see Kairi Hojo wrestle, and so should you!  Here is the full card:

- Azumi vs. Kris Wolf vs. Hatsuhinode Kamen
- Momo Watanabe vs. Starfire
- Kaori Yoneyama vs. Reo Hazuki
- Haruka Kato and Kairi Hojo vs. Hudson Envy and Nikki Storm
- Goddesses of Stardom Championship: Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani vs. Chelsea and Melissa

This won’t take long, let’s get rolling.

Azumi vs. Kris Wolf vs. Hatsuhinode Kamen
Wolf and Azumi shake hands to start, Azumi sits out of the way so Wolf and Kamen can go at it, and Wolf schoolboys Kamen for two.  Wolf bites on Kamen’s arm but Kamen returns the favor with a bite of her own.  Shoulderblock by Kamen but Azumi runs over and stomps on Kamen.  Wolf and Azumi double team Kamen, they both apply a submission hold before going back to jumping on Kamen’s back.  Azumi and Wolf strike Kamen in the corner and Wolf kicks Kamen in the back.  Wolf breaks up Azumi’s pin attempt however and Wolf throws down Azumi by her hair.  Wolf slams Azumi as does Kamen, but Kamen grabs Wolf and hits a delayed vertical suplex.  Kamen goes for a suplex but Wolf slides away and hits a big boot for a two count.  Kamen kicks at Wolf but Azumi trips Kamen from the floor, Azumi goes up top but she jumps back down as Wolf and Kamen keep getting too far away for her to hit a move.  Kamen rolls up Wolf but Azumi quickly gets off the top turnbuckle to break it up.  Wolf and Azumi shove each other, Azumi dropkicks Wolf but Kamen boots both of them.  Azumi cradles Kamen for a two count and then kicks her in the head.  Wolf knees Kamen in the corner but Wolf quickly holds down Azumi with a rolling Gedo Clutch for the three count!  This was longer than your usual comedy opening three way (or just more was shown since it is not a clipped show), but there was nothing wrong with it as long as you don’t take it seriously.  An amusing way to begin the show, will be interesting to see as Azumi grows up if she sticks with wrestling, she’s still just a kid after all.

Momo Watanabe vs. Starfire
Starfire stretches Watanabe on the mat to kicks things off but Watanabe returns to her feet and they trade wristlocks.  Starfire applies a leg lock on the mat until Watanabe makes it to the ropes, Starfire stomps on Watanabe’s back and then kicks it a few times before hitting a dropkick.  Starfire applies a chinlock but Watanabe dropkicks her into the corner and hits a second running dropkick.  Watanabe sets up Starfire in the tree of woe and dropkicks her in the stomach for a two count.  Watanabe goes up top but jumps off when Starfire charges before hitting a rebound crossbody out of the corner for two.  Starfire snaps off a pair of rolling backdrop suplexes, she slams Watanabe to the mat and covers her for a two count.  Backdrop suplex by Starfire but Watanabe rolls her up for a quick two.  Rolling verticals by Watanabe and she hits the Somato for a two count.  Watanabe goes up to the second turnbuckle and she hits a missile dropkick.  Another Somato by Watanabe but Starfire again kicks out.  Back up, Watanabe strikes Starfire but Starfire grabs her and gets Watanabe on her back before dropping her face-first onto the mat.  Starfire picks up Watanabe in a double underhook facebuster and drops her onto her own knees, cover, but Watanabe barely kicks out.  Rolling backdrop suplexes by Starfire and she drills Watanabe with a double underhook piledriver for the three count!  I’ve never really seen rolling backdrop suplexes like that before and I loved it.  The match got a bit repetitive at times as there were a lot of repeated moves, but there was a lot of good stuff here as Starfire wasn’t holding back and Watanabe got in her hope spots so it wasn’t a squash.  A bit short but I thought it was solid while it lasted, worth a casual watch.  Mildly Recommended

Kaori Yoneyama vs. Reo Hazuki
After some arm work to start Yoneyama hits the first real move of the match with a shoulderblock and she stomps at Hazuki while she is against the ropes.  Hazuki fires back with a dropkick and throws down Yoneyama by her hair.  Facewashes by Hazuki but Yoneyama hits a scoop slam, she picks up Hazuki and throws her down by her hair.  She does it again before applying a submission hold.  Muta Lock by Yoneyama and she applies a stretch hold, single leg crab hold by Yoneyama but Hazuki gets to the ropes.  Yoneyama knees Hazuki in the corner but Hazuki kicks her back and hits a face crusher for a two count.  Running knee by Yoneyama, she goes up top and hits a missile dropkick.  Yoneyama goes up top but Hazuki dropkicks her, and Yoneyama falls to the floor.  Hazuki gets on the apron and she hits a seated senton, she slides Yoneyama back into the ring and hits a knee followed by a face crusher for a two count.  Hazuki picks up Yoneyama  and she hits a lariat, full nelson slam by Hazuki and she covers Yoneyama for two.  Hazuki goes to the second turnbuckle and she hits a diving senton, but Yoneyama gets a shoulder up.  Hazuki goes all the way up this time but Yoneyama avoids the diving senton.  Yoneyama knees Hazuki in the back of the head, she goes off the ropes but Hazuki rolls her up for a two count.  Hazuki goes off the ropes but Yoneyama kicks her hard in the face for two.  Yoneyama positions Hazuki, she goes up to the top turnbuckle and she nails the diving senton for the three count!  This match had some slow parts and a few awkward moments, but it wasn’t bad.  Yoneyama doesn’t do a lot for me but I liked Hazuki here, I think she has a bright future.  Not bad for the mid-card but nothing special.

Haruka Kato and Kairi Hojo vs. Hudson Envy and Nikki Storm
Envy and Hojo are the first two in the match and they trade elbows, Hojo goes off the ropes but Envy shoulderblocks her.  Envy stomps on Hojo but Hojo hits an armdrag, another shoulderblock by Envy and Hojo tags in Kato.  Kato is understandably scared of Envy (who isn’t?) but Hojo comes in to help, Envy lariats both of them and tags in Storm.  Kato elbows Storm but Storm shoulderblocks her and covers Kato for two.  Scoop slam attempt by Storm but Kato sneaks in an inside cradle for two.  Storm scoop slams Kato and tags in Envy and Envy chops Kato hard in the chest.  Storm is tagged back in as they work over Kato but Kato eventually hits a diving crossbody on Envy which gives her time to tag in Hojo.  Hojo chops Envy but Storm runs in, Hojo fights them off and hits a double spear on both of them.  Hojo goes up top and hits a diving elbow strike, Hojo charges Envy in the corner but Envy moves.  Envy slams Hojo stomach-first into the turnbuckles and hits a shoulder tackle, knee by Envy and she covers Hojo for two.  A Northern Lights Suplex get a two as well and she tags in Storm.  Storm tries a Northern Lights Suplex also with the same result, she applies the Eye of the Storm but Kato breaks it up.  Envy comes in too and they both hit sliding kicks on Hojo, cover by Storm but it gets two.  Storm picks up Hojo but Hojo knocks her into the corner and hits a spear.  Hojo tags in Kato, Kato rolls up Storm and applies a cross armbreaker, she reverts it into a seated armbar but Storm catches her with the Perfect Storm.  Storm picks up Kato and hits a Cyclone Neckbreaker, cover by Storm but Hojo breaks it up.  Envy runs in and kicks Hojo out of the ring, Storm tags in Envy but Kato slaps on a sleeper.  Cross armbreaker by Kato but Envy slams her to the mat to get out of it.  Big boot by Envy, she picks up Kato and hits a Somato for a two count.  Hojo strolls in and elbows Envy, cover by Kato but Storm breaks it up.  Headscissors into a roll-up by Kato, she applies a cross armbreaker but Storm breaks it up.  Hojo goes up top and hits an ax handle onto Envy’s arm, Kato dropkicks Envy but Storm grabs Hojo from the floor and pulls her out of the ring.  Envy slams Kato, Air Raid Crash by Envy and she picks up the three count!  I have to say for full disclosure, I adore three of these four wrestlers so I was going to like this regardless.  I love Envy in Stardom as she brings something different and her opponents reacted perfectly to her.  Kato openly relying on Hojo was cute as she was the weak link, unfortunately the fact she was the weak link impacted the match itself also as she isn’t on the same level as the other three skill-wise.  Still I enjoyed it, it felt like the right length and it was solid bell to bell.  Mildly Recommended

(c) Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani vs. Chelsea and Melissa
This match is for the Goddesses of Stardom Championship.  Shirai and Melissa kick things off, Melissa goes for Shirai’s leg but Shirai rolls away from her.  Chelsea and Iwatani tag in, Chelsea bum rushes Iwatani and hits a heel drop to her back.  Shirai comes in and they both hit running strikes on Chelsea in the corner.  Iwatani stomps on Chelsea but Melissa grabs Iwatani from the apron to help out.  Melissa comes in the ring and they both hit elbow drops on Iwatani, Chelsea pulls on Iwatani’s leg and tags in Melissa.  Melissa continues the leg work as they take turns working over Iwatani, but Iwatani manages to hit a crossbody on Melissa and make the hot tag to Shirai.  Shirai elbows Melissa but Melissa elbows her back, Chelsea runs in the ring but Shirai kicks Chelsea back and hits a missile dropkick on Melissa.  Shirai armdrags Chelsea out of the ring, she goes to the ropes and hits an Asai Moonsault out onto Chelsea and Melissa.  Back in the ring, Space Rolling Elbow by Shirai to Melissa and she dropkicks her in the face for a two count.  Knees by Shirai, she goes off the ropes but Melissa delivers a knee of her own.  Scoop slam by Melissa and she applies the Kondo Clutch, but Shirai makes it to the ropes.  Irish whip by Melissa but Shirai applies a stretch hold while Iwatani plays interference.  Shirai picks up Melissa and tags Iwatani, and Iwatani hits a dropkick in the corner (which hurts her own leg).  Wrist-clutch suplex by Iwatani, she goes off the ropes but Melissa dropkicks her in the knee. Melissa goes for the Kondo Clutch and gets it locked in, but Iwatani make it to the ropes.  Melissa snaps back on Iwatani’s legs and she drills her with a curb stomp.  Melissa tags Chelsea and Chelsea hits a Fameasser.  Fisherman suplex hold by Chelsea, but Shirai breaks up the pin.  Melissa comes in, and both Melissa and Iwatani hit chokeslams.  

Melissa and Chelsea get up on different turnbuckles and hit diving attacks, Chelsea stomps on Iwatani but Iwatani rolls her up for a two count.  Iwatani lands close enough to her corner to tag in Shirai, Shirai hits the tiger feint kick on Shirai followed by the swandive missile dropkick.  Double underhook facebuster by Shirai, but Chelsea gets a shoulder up.  Full nelson slam by Chelsea, she goes up top but Shirai jumps up with her and tosses her to the floor.  Iwatani and Shirai get on the top turnbuckle but Melissa hits Iwatani off, Melissa joins Shirai and she hits an avalanche Samoan Drop.  Chelsea then goes up top, Melissa gets Shirai on her shoulders and Chelsea hits a diving crossbody for a two count when Iwatani breaks it up.  Heel drop by Chelsea but Shirai kicks out of the cover.  Shirai elbows Chelsea but Chelsea nails a heel kick, heel drop by Chelsea but Iwatani breaks up the pin.  Iwatani kicks Chelsea and Melissa both, Shirai grabs Chelsea and they hit an assisted face crusher on her for two.  Shirai picks up Chelsea but Melissa comes in, double Irish whip to Shirai but Shirai hits a double dropkick.  Melissa falls out of the ring, Iwatani goes up to the top turnbuckle and dives out onto her with a plancha.  Shirai and Chelsea remain in the ring, elbows by Chelsea but Shirai ducks a kick and scoops her in a tombstone piledriver position.  Iwatani gets on the top turnbuckle and they nail a spike piledriver, Shirai grabs Chelsea and delivers a package German suplex hold for the three count!  Shirai and Iwatani are still the champions. Overall I enjoyed this but there were issues.  First the good:  Melissa is a Goddess, Shirai is so fun to watch, Iwatani is flexible plus remembers to sell limbs, and Chelsea is really improving every time I see her.  As for the bad, there were a few really contrived spots (even more so than usual, a certain level of contrivity is of course allowed) and while the leg work was good it took up such a big chunk of the match I wish it was more of a factor in the end.  But there was definitely more good than bad here and I loved the constant teamwork from both teams.  Very entertaining match.  Recommended

Final Thoughts:

Obviously this was not a major event for Stardom, as the total match time was under an hour.  Still, there wasn’t anything bad on the show and the main event delivered as I assumed it would when I saw it announced.  Stardom has hands down the best top to bottom roster in women’s wrestling so even though the matches were short they were all watchable with very little mistakes or awkwardness.  A decent filler show and the main event is a match that everyone should check out.

Grade: C-

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event reviewed on 7/23/15