Stardom 5 ★ STAR GP 2015 #2
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: August 30th, 2015
The FIVE STAR GP for Stardom continues! This is a smaller event than Day #1 as it took place in Shin-Kiba 1st Ring, however it did air much faster which I can't really explain. But here we are and we are thankful for the Joshi Gods giving us more Stardom to watch again so soon. Here are the tournament standings heading into the show:
- Azumi vs. Momo Watanabe
Looks like Kato and KAORU have the night off, with everyone else having a match. This will get repetitive if I keep saying the same things about the same wrestlers every day of the tournament, so first read my Day #1 review if you need more information about the participants.
Azumi vs. Momo Watanabe
Kid Fight! After trading wristlocks Watanabe locks in a seated armbar, but Azumi rolls out of it and punches her in the stomach. Dropkick by Azumi but Watanabe stomps on her and hits a scoop slam. Crab hold by Watanabe but Azumi is little so she keeps sliding through it before Watanabe finally locks it on. Azumi hurricanranas out of it and dropkicks Watanabe in the corner, but Watanabe puts Azumi in the tree of woe before hitting a dropkick of her own. Watanabe slams Azumi, she gets on the second turnbuckle but Azumi avoids the missile dropkick attempt. Tilt-a-whirl cradle by Azumi for two, she picks up Watanabe and hits a scoop slam. Watanabe shrugs off Azumi and hits a dropkick, another dropkick by Watanabe but Azumi sneaks in a schoolboy for two. Watanabe has had enough, kick by Watanabe and she hits the Three Amigos for the three count!
What I found compelling is just wondering if Azumi will continue wrestling or if she will disappear. She is really good, never mind the fact she is 12, and has been training for several years (I am assuming during weekends and after school). But of course at 12 years old, there is no way of knowing what her interest will be when she gets closer to adulthood. These are smart opening matches, crowds in Japan for wrestling events infamously arrive right at the first bell or a bit late, so it is more of an exhibition for those that showed up on time than anything else before the main show starts. It works for what they are aiming for, even if it was a really short match.
Hudson Envy vs. La Rosa Negra
This match is part of the Stardom FIVE STAR GP. Both Envy and Negra come into the match with two points in the tournament, so it is an opportunity for one of them to lead their Block after only two days. This match has a 15 minute time limit.
Envy pounds on Negra as the bell rings and shoulderblocks her to the mat several times. Negra gets away from Envy and hits multiple elbow drops, but Envy clubs Negra against the ropes. Negra drops Envy onto the apron and knocks her to the floor, Negra gets a running start in the ring and sails out onto Envy with a tope suicida. Envy quickly takes over on the floor but Negra throws her into the crowd. Envy gets on the apron and she hits a double knee strike down to Negra on the floor. They finally get back in as Envy stomps on Negra before hitting a bridging hammerlock suplex for two. Envy goes off the ropes but Negra hits a Samoan Drop. Negra dances over Envy which likely infuriates her as Envy has a temper issue, Negra goes up top but Envy joins her and they trade elbows. Envy throws Negra to the mat but Negra rolls her up for two. Lariats by Envy in the corner but Negra sneaks in a sunset flip for two. Envy drops Negra with a chokebomb, but it only gets a two count. High kick by Envy but Negra returns fire with a superkick. Kicks by Negra and she hits a springboard back elbow out of the corner. Negra charges Envy but Envy obliterates her with a lariat for a two. Envy goes off the ropes but Negra catches her with a powerslam. Negra goes up top but Envy avoids the Frog Splash. Air Raid Crash by Envy, she picks up Negra and nails a Tiger Driver for the three count! Envy gets two points in the Grand Prix and now leads the Red Stars.
After the match they shook hands and left together, so looks like they are friends now. This was entertaining, I always enjoy surprises as I didn't know what to expect here. They worked together really well as it was smooth from start to finish and it felt just the right length. They both hit hard and often and the action never slowed down from start to finish. It was hard to see what happened outside the ring due to the single camera and the crowd was a bit quiet, but overall it was a fun match. Mildly Recommended
Chelsea vs. Queen Maya
This match is part of the Stardom FIVE STAR GP. Like the last match, Chelsea and Maya are coming into the match with two points each, so the winner will go up to first in the Blue Stars Block.
Maya throws around Chelsea as the match begins, Chelsea goes for leg kicks but Maya has none of it and knocks her to the mat. Backdrop suplex by Maya and she chops Chelsea in the corner. This one-sided affair continues for several minutes, backbreaker by Maya and she applies a stretch hold. Chelsea gets out of it but Maya scoop slams her for a two count. Maya goes for a chokeslam but Chelsea elbows out of it, Chelsea goes for a heel drop but Maya throws her down. Maya goes for a chokeslam again but Chelsea rolls her up for a two count. Dropkick to the knee by Chelsea and she begins working over Maya's leg, crab hold by Chelsea but Maya gets to the ropes. Back up, elbows by Chelsea and she hits a dropkick. Jumping lariat by Chelsea in the corner and she hits a hurricanrana. Heel drop by Chelsea and she hits a scissors kick, leg drop by Chelsea and she hits another one for a two count cover. Chelsea goes up top and she hits a diving crossbody for another two count. Both wrestlers go off the ropes and Maya hits the big boot, Maya throws Chelsea into the corner and she hits another big boot. Chelsea ducks the lariat attempt and hits a heel kick, she goes for another one but Maya levels her with a lariat. Maya goes up to the second turnbuckle but Chelsea avoids the reverse splash. Chelsea goes up top but Maya catches her when she dives off and nails a chokeslam for the three count! Maya earns two points in the tournament, giving her a total of four points.
This was a bit too long, if any tournament match needed to keep it short and simple this was it. Chelsea and Maya both are limited so this one wasn't very smooth. The theory was good, with Chelsea targeting Maya's leg, but it was just too disjointed and neither wrestler came out of it looking great even though Maya looked good with her power spots. Probably better on paper than in reality, a skippable match.
Kairi Hojo vs. Starfire
This match is part of the Stardom FIVE STAR GP. Both Hojo and Starfire come into the match with no points so a win is key if they want to be in the top two in the Block. With only six wrestlers per Block, every match is critical.
Hojo quickly gets Starfire to the mat and applies a cross armbreaker, but Starfire rolls out of it. Side headlock by Starfire and she hits a shoulderblock, Starfire runs up the corner and hits an armdrag. Starfire gets Hojo to the mat and covers her for two, Starfire kicks Hojo into the corner and she applies a stretch hold. Hojo gets out of it, Irish whip by Starfire but Hojo hits a headscissors. Starfire falls out of the ring, Hojo gets up on the top turnbuckle but Starfire gets on the apron and yanks Hojo off the top turnbuckle down to the floor. Starfire then gets on the apron and dives out onto Hojo with a springboard back elbow strike. After brawling around the stands they return to the ring, Starfire stomps on Hojo and then kicks her back out of the ring, and they battle into the crowd again (mostly off camera). Starfire elbows Hojo against the post, she charges in but Hojo moves and Starfire kicks the ring post by mistake. Hojo charges Starfire but Starfire returns the favor and avoids Hojo, sending Hojo into the same ring post. Starfire slides Hojo back in and elbows her into the corner, Backstabber by Starfire and she gets a two count.
Starfire elbows Hojo but Hojo boots her back and dives off the top turnbuckle, but Starfire dropkicks her on the way down. Starfire picks up Hojo and delivers the double underhook into a double knee facebuster, cover by Starfire but it gets a two count. Starfire picks up Hojo again but Hojo slides away, Starfire goes off the ropes but Hojo does also and hits a spear for two. Hojo chops Starfire into the corner and she rebounds off the second turnbuckle with a jumping elbow strike. Hojo then goes up top and gives Starfire another one, cover by Hojo but Starfire kicks out. Hojo applies a cross-arm submission, she picks up Starfire and slams her near the corner. Hojo goes up top but Starfire joins her, Hojo pushes Starfire off and she delivers the diving elbow drop. Cover by Hojo, but it gets a two count. Alabama Slam by Hojo, she goes up top again but Starfire kicks her. Hojo elbows Starfire but Starfire hits a lariat. Hojo goes for quick pins as the time limit has almost expired, but none of them work. Hojo goes for a Sliding D but Starfire gets her feet up, Starfire goes for the Package Piledriver and nails it, but the bell rings and the match is a Draw. Both Hojo and Starfire get one point in the Grand Prix.
I am trying to remember if I have seen a Hojo singles match in the last two years that was as disappointing as this one. Part of the issue was not their fault - the hard cam didn't really allow us to really see what was going outside of the ring, and they spent a fair amount of time out there so it was a waste. The bigger issue is that because the match was going to a draw, it felt at times like neither were actively trying to win. Between the brawling outside the ring, long submission holds that weren't going to lead to a victory, and neither wrestler appearing to be in any hurry, there was just no sense of urgency between two wrestlers that needed a victory. All that being said.... Hojo and Starfire are both talented wrestlers so when we could see the action it was solid, it was a very smooth match. It just wasn't near the level I think these two are capable of, hopefully they'll have a rematch in a non-tournament setting so they aren't restricted by the planned result.
Kaori Yoneyama vs. Mayu Iwatani
This match is part of the Stardom FIVE STAR GP. Going into the match, Iwatani has one point and Yoneyama has no points, so both need a win here if possible.
They trade quick pins with neither having any luck, (that would have been an unsatisfying ending), back up they trade holds until Iwatani flips out of the corner with an armdrag. Yoneyama falls out of the ring, Iwatani goes up to the top turnbuckle and dives out onto her with a plancha suicida. Iwatani rolls Yoneyama back in and hits a slingshot dropkick followed by a footstomp off the second turnbuckle. Iwatani kicks Yoneyama in the back a few times but Yoneyama catches one and pushes Iwatani to the mat. Yoneyama kicks Iwatani in the back and hits a jumping senton for a two count. Chinlock by Yoneyama but Iwatani gets a foot on the ropes. Iwatani falls out of the ring, Yoneyama gets on the apron and she hits a jumping knee down to the floor. Yoneyama gets on the top turnbuckle as Iwatani rolls back in, and Yoneyama dropkicks Iwatani in the back. Yoneyama knees Iwatani in the back, waistlock by Yoneyama and she hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Yoneyama goes up top, Iwatani joins her but Yoneyama elbows Iwatani back off. Iwatani re-joins her and suplexes Yoneyama down to the mat, Iwatani goes up top and hits a missile dropkick. Iwatani goes to the top turnbuckle yet again and hits a diving footstomp, cover by Iwatani but Yoneyama kicks out at two. Iwatani waits for Yoneyama to get up and goes for a crucifix bomb, but Yoneyama blocks it with a Samoan Drop. Yoneyama picks up Iwatani but Iwatani hits her and nails her with a superkick. Iwatani picks up Yoneyama and she delivers the crucifix bomb, but Yoneyama gets a shoulder up. Iwatani picks up Yoneyama and goes for the dragon suplex, but Yoneyama lands on her feet and hits a running knee. Yoneyama rolls up Iwatani and hits a German suplex, double underhook facebuster by Yoneyama and she nails a diving senton for the three count! Yoneyama gets two points in the Grand Prix.
This was a really quality match, only hurt by the time (around nine minutes) as I wouldn't have minded seeing them go longer. Yoneyama is showing why she deserves to be in the tournament - lately she has just been doing midcard matches with comedic elements, but she can still 'go' when needed. Iwatani is of course awesomely fun to watch. A fast paced and high energy match, a strong contrast to the last couple matches on the card. It won't make any year-end lists but a quality tournament match between these two. Recommended
Io Shirai vs. Kris Wolf
This match is part of the Stardom FIVE STAR GP. Going into the match, Shirai has one point in the tournament and Wolf has none, so neither can really afford a loss which would put the losing wrestler two matches behind Envy in the Red Stars Block.
Shirai chases Wolf around to begin, kicks by Wolf but Shirai dropkicks her. Shirai goes off the ropes and dropkicks Wolf in the head, elbows by Shirai but Wolf hits a spinning headscissors. Wolf charges Shirai and hits a jumping knee before kicking Shirai in the back of the head for a two count. Shirai catches Wolf's kick and elbows her in the knee, Wolf rolls out of the ring but she gets back in when Shirai follows her. Wolf boots Shirai to the floor as she tries to re-enter the ring, Wolf then gets on the apron and hits a cannonball down onto Shirai. Back in the ring, Wolf twists Shirai's arm in the top rope, she picks up Shirai and kicks her repeatedly in the back. Wolf kicks Shirai in the chest and then in the head again, Wolf gets on the second turnbuckle but Shirai avoids the diving double knee. Swinging kick by Shirai, they return to their feet and trade elbows until Shirai goes for a suplex, but Wolf kicks her off. Shirai drop toeholds Wolf onto the second rope and hits a Tiger Feint Kick, Shirai stays on the apron and hits a swandive missile dropkick. Shirai charges Wolf in the corner and delivers a running double knee strike, cover by Shirai but it gets two. Shirai goes up top but Wolf kicks her from behind, Wolf puts Shirai in the tree of woe and hits a series of knees. Wolf gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a diving double knee, picking up a two count. Bulldog by Wolf, she goes up top and hits a diving double knee drop, but Shirai barely gets a shoulder up. Wolf goes up top again but Shirai grabs her and transitions an electric chair into a German suplex. Kick by Shirai, she goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the moonsault for the three count! Shirai wins the match and gets two points for the Grand Prix.
This was an entertaining match and a good way to end the show. I keep saying that Wolf is a bundle of fun but no one is listening to me, she very rarely has a bad match as she is well trained and constant motion. Since she got a late start in wrestling I doubt she will ever be ace-level but as long as she is around I'll certainly be enjoying her matches. This one wasn't long either but they stayed focused and urgent, and they mixed in stiff strikes and flashy moves very well. A small step down from the previous match overall but still very solid. Mildly Recommended
Realistically speaking this event didn't have much of a chance of topping Day #1, but this was still a decent event. The only real disappointment was Starfire vs. Hojo, I think those two can put on a high-quality match but this certainly wasn't it, I don't know exactly what happened but it was underwhelming compared to most the other matches on the card. But there was still a handful of solid matches here, with Iwatani/Yoneyama being the best. As a whole it is not a very memorable show as mid-tournament cards tend to get lost in the shuffle, but still a watchable event.