STARDOM Stardom Of Champions
February 23, 2017
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
4-Way Elimination Match
Zoe Lucas & Christi Jaynes vs Natsuko Tora & Kaori Yoneyama vs Arisu Nanase & Hiromi Mimura vs Azumi & HZK - 5/10
Eliminations happen via submission, pinfall, OR over the top rope. Tags are lucha style, but you can also tag in whoever you want from any corner, so as you can imagine, this was a bit of a clusterfuck at times. The gaijins were the heels, while QQs were as usual, just antagonist to everything.
First eliminated was Arisu and Hiromi by Zoe Lucas after a series of kicks. The gaijins were next as HZK and AZM eliminated them with a sit-down senton from the top rope on Lucas. The last fight was shot but good with team Tora/Kaori coming close to winning with a series of sentons, but QQs made the comeback and eliminated them via over the top rope. Once the two-on-twos started to happen, this was decent, the gaijins vs Nanase/Mimura was good.
Konami vs Yoko Bito - 7/10
Great story told, the first thing that they showed was that Konami's kicks are nothing to Bito, but Yoko Bito's kicks on the other hand, are lethal, and so Konami set out to render Bito's legs as useless. Once she had chopped her down, Konami started working on Bito's head, because when on her knees, Konami's kicks to the head DO hurt, at which point Bito was just trying to survive Konami's submissions and kicks to the head. Bito just kept throwing desperation kicks eventually landing one that would allow her to hit the Dudebuster on Konami for the win. Great little match just under 10 minutes.
SWA Championship Match
Toni Storm (C) vs Deonna Purrazzo - 7.5/10
This is Deonna's Korakuen Hall's debut. Match was wrestled entirely in a Japanese style, starting with some mat-wrestling, measuring each other out, and as Deonna starts to get the upper hand, Storm drew first blood (not literally) with a headbutt, and so the striking began. As the proceeded, they started going for the finish with Deonna working Storm's arm, while Storm working Deonna's head. Finish saw Storm retain via piledriver. There were two botches that made me cringe a bit, one was Storm getting caught in the ropes on a tope suicida, and another one, while exchanging pins, Purrazzo straight up jumped herself onto her head. Great little match.
Stardom High Speed Championship Match
Kagetsu vs Kris Wolf vs Mayu Iwatani (C) - 7.5/10
So technically a handicap match, right? Oh did I mention Hana is outside? Tonight is also Iwatani's 10th defense, breaking the double digit barrier. Mayu initially fought valiantly against both of them, at some points losing control, but some other's managing to take on them both, but eventually as Hana would get involved, the numbers game was too much and the 3 of them just starting torturing Iwatani. During the rubber band spot, Iwatani got rid of Wolf for some minutes, giving her a slight chance to take out Kagetsu, which she didn't, but enough harm was done so that when Wolf came back. Eventually as expected, Wolf and Kagetsu started getting in each other's way leading to once again, Iwatani not having to deal with the double teams. In the end, among all the chaos of pins that both Wolf and Kagetsu kept stealing from each other, Kagetsu had Iwatani pinned, but Wolf came in for the extra roll up being awarded the pin and championship. Another great story told inside the ring and great action all around.
Post-match - Kagetsu says she is sad she didn't win the title, but taking the title away from Iwatani was the goal regardless, and tonight Oedo Tai has it. As Wolf is celebrating, HZK makes a challenge for the title. Mimura also gets in the ring and asks for a challenge too, Kagetsu tells her to fuck off since she's too old.
Wonder of Stardom Championship Match
Jungle Kyona vs Kairi Hojo (C) - 9/10
Match was hard-hitting from the start, which was something completely different from what we had seen all show, it started with a brawl outside the ring and a consequent striking-fest inside the ring. Jungle Kyona came in with a newly found fire that I don't think Hojo was expecting, but as soon as Hojo got serious, there was no fire that was gonna save Kyona. Except Kyona managed to get a second wind and once again, she used her size and strength to start kicking Hojo's ass, it was straight up clobbering time, dirty looking lariats and powerbombs left and right. Hojo made a comeback, but just as Kyona wasn't able to keep her down for the 3-count, Kyona also kept kicking out of everything Hojo had. One small story they told too was that Kyona knew she had no chance of surviving the flying elbow, so even if she would drag herself to hold Hojo's foot, she wouldn't allow Hojo to get to the top rope alone, but eventually, Hojo knocked her out with a headbutt on the top rope, getting an opening to hit the Tree of Woe footstomp and the Elbow for the win and 6th defense.
Great fucking match, Jungle Kyona really stepped up her game.
Post-match - Hojo puts Kyona over for showing this new side of her, but reminds her that she didn't win and tells her to bring it next time. Suddenly out comes Hiroyo Matsumoto, sides with Jungle and puts over her heart to win. She says that if Jungle wants to win a title in Nagoya (her hometown), then she'll be there to do that with her and makes a challenge for the tag titles. Yoko Bito gets in there and tells them that they'll be humiliated in their hometown.
World of Stardom Championship Match
Shayna Baszler vs Io Shirai (C) - 9/10
Baszler from the ring bell goes for the submission, first trying to choke out Io (like she already has), but then starts working on Io's arm, towards the armbar. Io herself is trying to weather down Baszler with strikes. As the match progressed, Io had to get a whole lot more brutal with her attacks adding some chair spots to the punishment while brawling outside the ring, and this is how Io started working Baszler's back and abdomen.
Once back in the ring, the match got back and forward, far more intense, Baszler trying to break Io's arm and Io, trying to make sure Baszler wouldn't walk ever again. There was a GREAT but weird near fall with Baszler choking out Io, but the ref told her to break it off and pin her instead of stopping the match, and this obviously led to Io kicking out. I honestly don't know why the ref didn't check for Io was conscienceless. Finish saw Io work herself back from being choked out and hitting a straitjacket german + piledriver + moonsault combination for the pin. Great match and amazing selling by both ladies.
Post-match - Toni Storm, Kagetsu, and Kairi Hojo all get in the ring looking for a challenge. Shirai straight up tells them this ain't the speed title to be having 4-ways, so like a total boss, she gets a chair, sits down, and tells everyone to plea their case.
Hojo offers a White vs Red title match, both titles on the line. Storm's plea says that in 2016 she took the SWA title from Shirai, now she wants the Red belt, no double title on the line. Kagetsu's plea is simply that Kagetsu vs Shirai has never happened. Io tells Kagetsu to kneel before the Queen, Kagetsu kneels and fakes bowing, but immediately stands up and attacks Io. Kagetsu tells Io 'Who do you think you are, I'm the leader of Oedo Tai". Pissed off, Io gets in Kagetsu's face and tells Hojo and Storm that they'll have to wait, she has to handle Kagetsu first. After Kagetsu takes off, Io tells Hojo and Storm that it will take longer, but she promises them that they'll get their shots. Good angle. Kagetsu is being well cemented as the new leader of Oedo Tai.
Great show by Stardom, from the first to the last match, it felt like a big deal that even the non-title matches were worth checking out. The challenges laid out tonight are gonna lead into some interesting places in the coming months.
SHINE, SHIMMER, WSU, EVE, etc
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