Three Way Elimination Tag Team Match
Gokigen Death & Lady C vs. Queen's Quest (Momo Watanabe & Utami Hayashishita) vs. STARS (Ruaka & Saya Iida) - 6.5/10
Was this supposed to be a training spar for QQs? The red champion and a former champion vs 3 rookies and a comedy wrestler. Talk about being OP.
Most of the match ended up being QQs vs STARS, while Death and C only came in and out for certain spots. Hayashishita paired up with Iida for a good run, then at the end, it was all Momo vs Ruaka, who she pinned with the B-Driver. Not a lot to this match, but at least the wrestling was good and the winners looked strong.
Oedo Tai (Konami, Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima) vs. Donna del Mondo (Himeka, Maika & Natsupoi) - 7/10
Maika and Himeka are challenging for the tag titles tomorrow against Konami & Bea Priestley, so this is just some build up, and since Natsupoi is going for at title at Budokan, she got the win over Kashima, who isn't really doing anything right now.
Match saw Oedo Tai cut off Himeka for a while, Konami and Maika paired up for a great little run, and at th end it was down to Natsu and Kashima. I do have to say that this was the best that both Kashima and Tora have looked in the last months, they were extra motivated for some reason.
Bea Priestley vs. Saya Kamitani - 8/10
This was great, but I don't know how I feel about the finish considering where we are in both women's storylines. The match went to a time limit draw. I totally agree with Kamitani not taking a loss since she is being built up for Hayashishita at Budokan. Proestley, as of this show, is still the tag team champion, and they probably didn't want to make a pin over a champion not only with Budokan on the horizon, but a day away from Oedo Tai losing the titles to another stable. I still would had preferred for Kamitani to win, but I understand the booking.
Match was great, Bea got a LOT of heat on Kamitani. Her plan was to keep Kamitani off her feet and keep her from flying, and as much as she was able to do so, Bea was in control, but as soon as Kamitani got her off of her, she started her flying offense and got the upper hand. Towards the end, it was mostly back and forward between then, Kamitani trying to stay in the match as she had taken a lot of damage.
If anything else, Bea is a former Red Belt champion, the same belt that Kamitani is gonna challenge for, and so Bea not being able to put her down does give Kamitani some credibility of going the time limit with Bea.
Mayu Iwatani & Rin Kadokura vs. Cosmic Angels (Tam Nakano & Unagi Sayaka) - 8/10
Kadokura is from the Marvelous promotion. This isn't her debut, she had one match in 2020 and one in 2017, but with STARDOM picking up some new talent in the last year, I wouldn't be surprise if she started doing more dates. Granted she paired up with the current underdog punching bag of STARDOM, but Kadokura looked great in the ring.
Sayaka was obviously the one that got cut off until Nakano got in there and paired up with Iwatani, they still have some heat together after she broke out of STARS and created Cosmic Angels. At the end, it came down to Iwatani and Sayaka, with the former winning via Dodonpa.
On this day, on two separate occasions, Nakano almost tripped over Sayaka, who was laying on the floor selling.
Post-match - Beautiful! Kadokura cut a short promo thanking Iwatani for the match and asked that she wanted to be at Budokan. Mayu put over Marvelous and asked Rin if the Stardom Rumble? Before Rin could answer, Iwatani said that the person she wanted to see at the rumble was Nagayo. Chigusa Nagayo was in attendance watching Kadokura, who is one of her pupils. Iwatani said that she hoped for Takumi Inoha to be good to go, but she is still recovering from her knee injury.
Nagayo came down to the ring. You could tell she wasn't expecting to be out there. She said that she was retired, but because Iwatani, Rossy, and Stardom had made Kadokura's dream come true (wrestling alongside Iwatani in Stardom), then she'd was in their debt and accepted to enter the rumble. The visual of the legendary Chigusa Nagayo vow to, in respect, to Iwatani and Stardom, all because Stardom has always been kind to Marvelous and had accepted Rin, it broke my heart in the nice way.
Iwatani said that she wanted to keep making Rin's dream come true and wanted for the two of them to keep tagging. Rin was barely holding her tears.
SWA Undisputed World Women's Championship Match
Syuri (c) vs. AZM - 9/10
Story here is that AZM got a win over Syuri in last year's 5Star Grand Prix, and so Syuri wants her revenge, while AZM wants to make it 2-0 and take the SWA title with her.
Layout of the match was perfect. They started with AZM getting some upset near falls on Syuri, then we saw Syuri beat the shit out of AZM for a while, working on her knee for the most part. AZM made a strong comeback, with an awesome Fujiwara armbar application from the top rope and a big footstomp to the floor, that leveled out the playing field. AZM started going for the kill, she started looking for the armbar from every corner, even hitting La Mistica, which she doesn't always gets to do, but Syuri kept escaping. At the end, Syuri finally cut her off with a tremendous kick, got a couple of near falls, and finally ended AZM with a straight Buzzsaw Kick to the head. Awesome wrestling.
They're 1-1 and at one point, they'll have to go for the tiebreaker and it will be great.
Post-match - Syuri said that she was really happy to have wrestled AZM, and with her growing as a wrestler so much and so quick, she thanked AZM in advance, because their next match will be even better.
Syuri then said that she wanted to have her match at Budokan set, and so she challenged her old student, Konami. Konami came down and told Syuri that at Budokan, she'll surpass her and bring her to submission hell. Syuri vs Konami, I couldn't ask for a better pair up at Budokan.
Wonder Of Stardom Championship Match
Giulia (c) vs. Starlight Kid - 8.5/10
This was Kid's first ever White belt title shot, and she definitely wanted to make it memorable. Giulia has threaten to unmask Kid in this match, and while we all knew that wasn't happening, they heated up the match by tearing Kid's mask and revealing a little corner of her face. Perfect tear to show the signs of battle, but not completely fuck it up like Dragon Kid's unmasking.
Story of the match was just that Giulia beat the shit out of Kid, but as she kept going for the mask, Kid got angrier and angrier until Giulia finally made some damage to the mask and Kid snapped. She got a couple of near falls before Giulia hit the Glorious Driver to win. It was a good match, but felt less thought out compared to the previous match with Syuri and AZM. If they indeed made a bet, Giulia and Kid owe some money to Syuri and AZM.
Post-match - Giulia got her hands on scissors and started destroying Kid's mask, she cut one ear and eventually unmasked her. She told Kid that you did your best, but you can't be a champion just for doing your best. She told Kid to come at her when she's ready to go beyond her best.
Giulia called out Nakano, but Nakano didn't come out. Giulia said that at Budokan, it will be the last time she wrestles Nakano once she defeats her.
Giulia's character has been really interesting. Donna del Mondo are loved by the crowd right now, but Giulia keeps wrestling with some extra viciousness, beyond the point of winning, she beat the shit out of Sayaka no long ago, and here she is unnecessarily trying to unmask Kid. Her post-match acts keep antagonizing people like Nakano and Iwatani more than the actual wrestlers she fighting.
At this point, I can't see any other conclusion to Budokan other than Tam defeating Giulia for the title, BUT we have to accept that this being a Lucha de Apuestas makes it harder to call, simply because, whether we like it or not, Giulia's hair is far more valuable than Nakano's. As much sense the booking makes to give the title to Nakano, I find it hard to see Giulia losing her hair.
Good show, good wrestling through and through, and as a road to Budokan show, it helped set up some stuff for March 3rd. Syuri vs AZM was the match of the night for sure. Tomorrow's card is packed, but somehow, this one felt like a bigger deal.