A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: July 26th, 2015
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,350
As Stardom only runs about one bigger event per month, I always watch their events as soon as I can get my hands on them. I finally tracked down this show yesterday, so here we are! Two title matches are taking place, but equally important we also have the last time the Shirai sisters will ever tag in a match (or so they say). Here is the full card:
- Azumi and Momo Watanabe vs. Hatsuhinode Kamen and Kaori Yoneyama
- Alex Lee vs. Reo Hazuki
- High Speed Championship: Starfire vs. Kris Wolf
- Chelsea and Melissa vs. Hudson Envy and Nikki Storm
- Hiroyo Matsumoto and Mayu Iwatani vs. Io Shirai and Mio Shirai
- World of Stardom Championship: Kairi Hojo vs. Meiko Satomura
This will be fun.
Azumi and Momo Watanabe vs. Hatsuhinode Kamen and Kaori Yoneyama
Kamen and Yoneyama attack before the bell rings but Azumi and Watanabe both hit dropkicks. Yoneyama and Kamen fall out of the ring, Azumi gets on the apron and hits a crossbody onto both of them. Watanabe gets on the apron and does the same thing, Kamen is rolled back in the ring and they both apply arm submissions while posing. We clip ahead to Azumi battling Yoneyama, punches by Azumi and she hits a high kick for two. Yoneyama goes for a senton but Azumi rolls out of the way, Watanabe comes in and hits the Somato on Yoneyama. Scoop slam by Azumi and she covers Yoneyama for a two count. Headscissors into a hanging armbar by Azumi, but Kamen comes in and breaks it up, then hits a vertical suplex on Azumi. Kamen drops Watanabe onto Azumi, Yoneyama jumps on Kamen’s back and she hits a body press. Cover by Yoneyama to Azumi, but it gets two. Yoneyama picks up Azumi but Azumi sneaks in an inside cradle for a two count. Azumi goes for a high kick but Yoneyama ducks it and rolls up Azumi for the three count cover! It made me laugh that Yoneyama had to sneak in a rollup just to beat a child. Beyond that moment of amusement, not a bad way to open the card but obviously a simple match. I think Azumi is the best wrestler of the bunch. Short and clipped, but inoffensive.
Alex Lee vs. Reo Hazuki
We joined this one in progress as Hazuki throws Lee into the corner and hits a dropkick. Facewashes by Hazuki and she goes for a slam, but Lee blocks it and hits a bodyslam of her own. Lee yanks on Hazuki’s arm, she goes off the ropes but Hazuki rolls her up for a two count. Dropkick by Hazuki, she goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton for a two count. Hazuki goes all the way up this time but Lee elbows her and brings Hazuki back into the ring. Short armbar by Lee but Hazuki gets a foot on the ropes to break the hold. Suplex by Lee, she waits for Hazuki to get up and she hits a superkick. Hazuki quickly hits a double knee jawbreaker of sorts, quick senton off the second turnbuckle by Hazuki and she then goes all the way up top to nail one final diving senton for the three count! Not much to this one, as it was clipped and not always smooth. Hazuki has shown some promise here and there but was in a tough situation here as Lee is just generally average herself. Nothing really to see here, although I still think Hazuki has a bright future.
(c) Starfire vs. Kris Wolf
This match is for the High Speed Championship. They run the ropes to start, knee by Starfire but Wolf elbows her. Starfire quickly rolls up Wolf but Wolf dropkicks her in the back. Starfire gets back up and kicks Wolf from behind and then bites Wolf in the arm, Irish whip by Starfire but Wolf moves when she charges in. Face crusher by Wolf, Starfire rolls out to the floor but Wolf goes out to the apron and hits a cannonball. Back in, Wolf hits a jumping knee in the corner before kicking Starfire in the back of the head. Wolf goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving double knee, cover by Wolf but Starfire kicks out. Double underhook pick-up into a facebuster onto her knees by Starfire, she nails the package piledriver but she picks up Wolf instead of pinning her. Starfire slaps Wolf in the chest and goes off the ropes, but Wolf catches her with La Mistica. Wolf keeps the armbar applied but Starfire makes it to the ropes to force a break. Elbows by Starfire, she goes off the ropes but Wolf rolls her up for a two count. Starfire returns the favor but she also gets two, Starfire grabs Wolf and hits the rolling backdrop suplexes. Starfire scoops up Wolf and nails a vertical drop fire thunder driver, picking up the three count! Starfire remains the champion. I dunno why Starfire hates Wolf but that was my takeaway from this match. It was clipped pretty good so hard to get a good feel of it, but Starfire was dropping Wolf on her head often, with Wolf’s only real hope being occasionally sneaky. Fun to watch but not enough was shown to recommend.
Chelsea and Melissa vs. Hudson Envy and Nikki Storm
I love Storm and Envy, feel like I have to put that out there just for full disclosure. Chelsea and Storm start off, Storm yanks on Chelsea’s arm, Irish whip by Storm but Chelsea reverses it. Storm tosses Chelsea out to the apron but Chelsea flips herself back in and hits a drop toehold. Chelsea rolls up Storm, but it only gets a two count. Chelsea tags in Melissa, Melissa clubs on Storm’s arm but Envy strolls in the ring and bops Melissa. Melissa goes after her, Envy leaves the ring and Melissa tags in Chelsea. Chelsea and Melissa both boot Storm and they hit a double elbow drop. Chelsea goes off the ropes but Envy pulls her out of the ring. Envy stomps on Chelsea until Melissa comes around with a chair, clearing out the area. The action continues in the ring with Envy and Chelsea, and Envy knees Chelsea in the face. Storm puts Chelsea on her shoulders but Chelsea slides away, elbow by Chelsea but Storm elbows her back. Heel kick by Chelsea and she makes the tag to Melissa, while Envy is also tagged in. Envy and Melissa trade elbows, Envy goes off the ropes and they trade move attempts, until Envy hits a release German suplex. Melissa comes back with a Samoan Drop and she tags in Chelsea, Chelsea and Melissa both club on Envy and they drop Envy with a double chokeslam. Cover by Chelsea but it gets a two count.
Chelsea picks up Envy but Envy hits a heel kick and Storm tags herself in. Storm picks up Chelsea and she hits the Perfect Storm, cover by Storm but Chelsea rolls out of it and applies a Keylock. Storm quickly gets to the ropes and Chelsea hits a Fisherman Suplex Hold for a two count. Chelsea goes up top but Envy hits her from the apron, Storm grabs Chelsea and pulls her to the mat. Storm hits the Cyclone Neckbreaker, cover by Storm but Melissa breaks it up. Fisherman suplex by Envy and she boots Melissa off the apron, she puts Storm onto Chelsea but Chelsea kicks out of the cover. Melissa comes in but Envy dropkicks her in the knee before hitting the Somato. They leave the ring while Storm puts Chelsea on the top turnbuckle, but Chelsea applies a keylock while on the top turnbuckle. Chelsea jumps off the top turnbuckle with a diving crossbody before re-applying the keylock, and Storm submits! A common theme of the undercard – this was clipped pretty good but was fun to watch. Envy and Melissa were the focus of the match (at least what was shown) as clearly they are the leading feud of these pairings. It was pretty heated when they were in the ring but a bit pedestrian when they weren’t. Enjoyable overall, just a shame that 30% of the match was missing. Mildly Recommended
Hiroyo Matsumoto and Mayu Iwatani vs. Io Shirai and Mio Shirai
Io and Iwatani kick things off and they go to the mat, back up Io cranks a side headlock, Io pushes Iwatani into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Armdrag by Iwatani and they trade quick pin attempts with neither being successful. Io wants to tag but Mio isn’t ready yet, Matsumoto is tagged in and she applies a headlock to Io. Irish whip by Io but Matsumoto hits a hard shoulderblock. Double kneedrop by Matsumoto, she picks up Io and hits scoop slam before tagging in Iwatani. Iwatani stomps on Io and she kicks Io in the back. Iwatani and Matsumoto both apply armbars to Io, cover by Iwatani but Io kicks out. Iwatani tags in Matsumoto, Matsumoto clubs on Io and knees her in the corner. Matsumoto throws Io out to the apron, Io goes for a swandive move but Matsumoto grabs her and tosses Io back into the ring. Irish whip by Matsumoto and she hits a sidewalk slam for a two count. Matsumoto tags Iwatani back in as Io is attacked in the corner, and Iwatani boots Mio off the apron. Matsumoto comes back in, they go for a double Irish whip but Mio trips them from the floor. Matsumoto and Iwatani fall out of the ring and Io sails out onto both with a plancha suicida. Io tags in Mio and Mio boots Iwatani before applying the necklock over the top rope. Mio goes up top and hits the missile dropkick, cover by Mio but it gets two. Mio picks up Iwatani but Iwatani slides away and hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. PK by Iwatani and she tags in Matsumoto, Matsumoto charges Mio and hits a lariat against the ropes. Matsumoto picks up Mio but Io runs in, but Matsumoto puts both Io and Mio in the corner. Matsumoto hits a body avalanche on both of them, she picks up Mio and throws her out of the ring into Io. Iwatani comes in but Matsumoto kicks her too, she picks up Mio and throws her out of the ring onto both Io and Mio before posing in the ring. Iwatani slides Mio back in, Matsumoto goes to pick her up but Mio elbows her away and applies a hanging armbar. Mio goes off the ropes but Matsumoto hits a lariat, Mio comes back with a knee, Iwatani gets on the apron but Mio boots her off. Io runs in and hits a Tiger Feint Kick onto Matsumoto, then Mio hits a spinning headscissors.
Mio tags in Io, Io goes off the ropes and dropkicks Matsumoto in the head for a two count. Io apples a double underhook, Matsumoto blocks it but Io hits a dropkick. Matsumoto grabs Io around the waist and hits a backdrop suplex, but Io kicks out of the cover. Matsumoto tags in Iwatani, missile dropkick by Iwatani but it gets two. Kick by Iwatani and she applies a high angle modified crab hold, but Io rolls out of it. Iwatani picks up Io and kicks her in the head, she picks her up but Io hits her back before delivering a head kick of her own. Mio comes in the ring and hits a baseball slide on Matsumoto, Iwatani and Io trade waistlocks until Iwatani hits a superkick. Reverse hurricanrana by Iwatani, but Mio hits the referee to break up the count. Iwatani goes for a rebound crossbody but Io catches her and hits an Air Raid Crash. German suplex hold by Io but Matsumoto breaks it up. Matsumoto gets Io on her shoulders and hits a gutbuster, Iwatani goes up top but Mio joins her. Matsumoto hits Mio from behind and tries to powerbomb her, but Io intercepts. Io grabs Mio but Iwatani hits a missile dropkick on her, Io sneaks in a few quick pins on Iwatani but they get two counts. Io and Mio hits the aided DDT on Matsumoto, Io grabs Iwatani and plants her with the double arm facebuster. Mio and Io both try to kick Iwatani but Iwatani ducks, Iwatani covers both of them but it gets a two count. Enzuigiri by Mio to Iwatani, Io goes up top and she nails the moonsault for the three count! I’m so torn about this match I don’t even know what to say. It was a bit awkward, some of the awkwardness seemed intentional (like the interactions between Io and Mio) but other parts just seemed like miscommunications. There was very little flow to it, but it still had some really solid parts as well and the end stretch was great. I am not sure what I was expecting exactly, I guess expecting fluidness with two teams that were thrown together or hadn’t teamed in many years wasn’t really fair. I enjoyed it because of who was in it but I think in a vacuum it wouldn’t be much more than just a ‘good’ match. Recommended
(c) Kairi Hojo vs. Meiko Satomura
This match is for the World of Stardom Championship. Hojo gets Satomura in the corner to start and elbows her, but Satomura returns the favor and they trade elbows back and forth. They trade submissions after a break with neither having any luck, they trade elbows again and then slaps until Satomura knocks Hojo to the mat. Satomura kicks Hojo in the ribs and lariats her in the corner before hitting a high back bodydrop. Kick to the head by Satomura, and Hojo falls out of the ring. She returns after a moment and is met by an elbow, but Hojo chops her back. Hojo goes off the ropes and ducks a kick before leveling Satomura with a spear. Hojo goes up top but Satomura kicks her in the stomach when she dives off. Satomura goes to the apron and hits a slingshot footstomp, Irish whip by Satomura and she knees Hojo in the stomach. Satomura applies a modified STF but Hojo gets to the ropes, Satomura picks up Hojo but Hojo chops her. Hard elbow by Satomura, Hojo elbows her back and sneaks in a roll-up for two. Hojo goes up top but Satomura kips up and joins her, they trade elbows while up top until Hojo falls to the apron, but Satomura is pulled down with her. Satomura and Hojo battle up into the crowd until they reach the balcony. Hojo knocks down Satomura, she climbs up on top of the balcony and dives down onto Satomura with an elbow smash! Back to ringside, Satomura tries to kick Hojo but Hojo ducks and Satomura kicks the post by accident. In the ring again, Hojo elbows Satomura into the corner and she hits a shoulder tackle followed by a sliding elbow. Hojo goes up top and she hits a diving elbow smash, cover by Hojo but it gets a two count. Cross-arm submission by Hojo and she kicks at Satomura before hitting a footstomp onto her back. Hojo puts Satomura in the ropes and dropkicks her, cover by Hojo but it only gets two. Hojo goes off the ropes but Satomura catches her with a kick to the face. Spinning kick by Satomura, cover, but it gets a two count. High backdrop suplex by Satomura, but it gets another two. Satomura applies the cross armbreaker, but Hojo gets a foot onto the ropes. Scoop slam by Satomura, she goes up top but Hojo gets both feet up when she goes for a diving body press. Hojo kicks at Satomura but Satomura hits an uppercut, Satomura goes for a kick but Hojo catches it and applies a cross-legged crab hold.
Hojo goes up top but Satomura joins her and applies an armbar. The referee gets her to let go, Hojo and Hojo almost topple out of the ring but they regain their balance long enough for Hojo to hit a diving footstomp after Satomura falls into the tree of woe. Sliding D by Hojo, she goes up top but Satomura catches her when she goes for the diving elbow drop and applies a cross armbreaker. Hojo quickly gets a boot onto the ropes, Irish whip by Hojo but Satomura elbows her in the face. Satomura goes up top and this time hits the diving body press, but Hojo kicks out of the pin. Satomura applies a sleeper, cover, but it gets a two count. Satomura kicks Hojo in the chest a few times, kick to the head by Satomura and she hits a hard elbow off the ropes. Satomura picks up Hojo and gets her on her shoulders, but Hojo pulls Satomura down. Satomura elbows her again but Hojo hits a trio of spinning back fists, Hojo goes off the ropes but Satomura hits another elbow smash. Satomura picks up Hojo but Hojo hits a spinning backfist, she quickly goes up top and she nails the diving elbow drop to Satomura’s back. She goes up top again but Satomura rolls out of the way of the next one. Satomura gets Hojo on her shoulders and drops her with the Death Valley Bomb, but Hojo barely gets a shoulder up. Hojo quickly rolls up Satomura for a two count, spinning backfist by Hojo but Satomura hits an overhead kick. High kicks by Satomura, she picks up Hojo and drills her with a Death Valley Bomb. Another Death Valley Bomb by Satomura, cover, and she picks up the three count! Satomura is the new World of Stardom Champion! This was a great battle between two physical and high energy wrestlers. It wasn’t without its faults and I’d rate it a peg below their previous match, but it was still unbelievably fun to watch. The strikes were killer and everything in-ring was hit very smoothly. They had some odd issues when they were on the turnbuckles that sprung up a few times, and I don’t think the arm work was really needed as it didn’t play into the overall story, but everything else worked perfectly. Hojo’s focus on Satomura’s back was well done and the ending was fantastic. Definitely worth a watch, Hojo is quickly turning into one of the best wrestlers in the world. Highly Recommended
There is a serious downside to Stardom doing their events on a two hour TV show – the matches just get clipped up until the main features. Obviously Hojo/Satomura and the Shirai sisters tag matches were shown in full, but those two matches with pre and post content were the last hour and 20 minutes of the show. That left the first four matches with only 40 minutes to work with, which obviously means they were chopped quite a bit. The only match that really delivered was the main event, which delivered very well but it is a touch below the match they had last month. The Shirai Reunion was very fun but was oddly disjointed and isn’t a match that will be on any ‘end of year’ lists. Overall the main event did a lot to save the show, but don’t expect a full experience watching the card top to bottom, too much was left out in the editing room.
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event reviewed on 8/5/15