Cero Reviews STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, 7.31

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Cero Reviews STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, 7.31

Post by cero2k » Aug 1st, '21, 23:26

STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, Day 1
July 31st, 2021
Yokohama Budokan, Yokohama, Japan

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Fukigen Death [0] vs Mina Shirakawa [0] - 4/10
Ok match, not a strong opener for the whole tournament, but there was no argument that this had to open this show. Shirawaka won pretty strongly with a cool looking pin after overcoming the distractions of Oedo Tai. I missed a couple of shows prior to this, but Death debuted a new full purple and black clown look.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Koguma [0] vs Natsupoi [0] - 6.5/10
Early on, they tried to do some high speed stuff that didn't look all that great. A reason could be that this is Natsupoi's first match coming back from injury. Koguma has been back enough time now that faults can't be blamed on ring rust anymore. They followed with a lengthy comedy spot with Koguma hiding from Poi, which wasn't all that good either.

Once they got into the actual match, it really picked up, they kept the pace normal and worked more with submissions and pin exchanges, and that helped out a lot. Koguma had some good near falls doing reversals, and even kicked out of the Backlash and she dodged the Sparkle Splash, and at the end, she got the win with a bridging German. We're gonna get upsets in this tournament, and I Natsupoi is the first victim.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Giulia [0] vs Starlight Kid [0] - 9/10
Praise the old gods, Guilia doesn't have orange hair anymore! This match was freaking great, these two have had their clashes before, but Giulia was now going against a far more confident and vicious Starlight Kid, one that wouldn't stop at nothing to get the win and one that is now quite cocky, and so, Giulia replied with equal force, because as confident as SLK can get, she's still dealing with one of the meanest motherf'rs in STARDOM.

We did see growth in SLK though, she managed to hurt Giulia's leg and came closer to winning than she really has in their two previous singles matches.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Blue Block Match
Unagi Sayaka [0] vs Tam Nakano [0] - 7/10
Well, the Future of STARDOM champion just pinned the White Belt champion, and that is one HUGE deal, I think especially because it's Sayaka we're talking about, who had a rough debut with tons of loses, a rough test series where she got her ass handed to her every time, and while I remember saying that come the Grand Prix, she'd finally pick up a couple of strong wins, I never expected it to be against one of the two top champions, and her stablemate at that.

The match wasn't really panning out for Sayaka. Nakano came in and confidently destroyed Sayaka for a while, even if they're stablemates, Nakano brought it to Sayaka, she beat her up for about 3/4s of the match, she was casually jumping from working the leg to the head. It would be until Nakano decided to call it and go for the Dragon Suplex that Sayaka managed to escape it and land an axe kick that completely took out Nakano, she wasn't knocked out, just really hurt, and so Nakano did kinda recover and brought down Sayaka and once again went for the Dragon Suplex, but Sayaka, of all moves, had that one scouted, countered into the Taigi de atta, and go the upset win.

Post-match - Nakano was in shock, but then got kinda happy for her friend, she wasn't happy she lost, but kinda felt like she lost against someone she liked.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Blue Block Match
Syuri [0] vs Saya Kamitani [0] - 8/10
This was really good and it got better as it went on. Syuri was really dominant early on, things were feeling one sided, but once Kamitani made a short comeback with some high flying offense, things slowly started to level out until both of them were going back and forth. Syuri worked over Kamitani's arm for all of the match, while Kamitani's offense was mostly desperate and reactive early on, and more focus on the head later in the match. Syuri won with Ryuen.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Momo Watanabe [0] vs Mayu Iwatani [0] - 9.25/10
I was starting to think that nothing was going to beat the Giulia vs SLK match, but this was just fantastic, top notch wrestling. Both women worked each other's back for most of the match, but towards the end, Momo did target the head over and over in the finishing sequence.

Story of the match was that while they started back and forth, quite even against each other, Mayu doesn't tend to take on more damage and be resilient from it, and so as the match went on, late match Mayu came out and she started to dominate Momo, who at this point, is already hurting and tired, it all seems to be heading to a Mayu win as she delivers all her signature moves, she just has to seal the deal with the moonsault, and that's when Momo managed to dodge and completely turn the match around. Mayu was already hurting too when she missed the moonsault, so Momo takes advantage, beats the crap out of Mayu, just dropping her left and right, on the ring, on the apron, kicks her head off, and at that point, Mayu is just desperately looking for counter pins to get the quick win, but Momo is now in complete control, hits the B Driver and pins Mayu for the win.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Blue Block Match
Maika [0] vs Utami Hayashishita [0] - 9/10
Great closing match. These two have had a couple of matches before, Maika defeated Utami in last year's GP, but lost to her early 2021 in a title match. Seems like Maika has Utami's number when it comes to GP, but not when it matters. I thought this match was about as good as their title match in January, the matches are about the same timing too, with this one ending less than a minute before the 20 minute time limit, and the title match ending on minute 24.

As for the match, it was pretty much the same thing they've done before, with Maika going more for submissions, while Hayashishita goes more for the big impact moves, but they still do mix and match everything in between. Story here was that Maika destroyed Hayashishita's arm somewhat early on, and so she had to wrestle with only one arm, to the point that when she went for Towerhacker bomb, she wasn't able to lift Maika, and that's when Maika recovered and took her down into the finishing sequence.

Post-match - Maika cut her winner's promo.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
Really strong start to what may end up being the best round robin tournament of the year. They have two strong blocks and they put them on display tonight, and we had a bit of it all. I appreciated that the card was not a 10 match card to try and get everyone in, it really made it easy to watch.

I really liked that right off the bat, we got a big upset with Sayaka and some big matches with Momo and Mayu, it really gave me the feel that things are only getting started and that we're in for a hell of a ride.

Red Block
Giulia - 1-0-0 -- 2
Natsupoi - 0-0-1 -- 0
Himeka - 0-0-0 -- 0
Mayu Iwatani - 0-0-1 -- 0
Koguma - 1-0-0 -- 2
Momo Watanabe - 1-0-0 -- 2
Fukigen Death - 0-0-1 -- 0
Starlight Kid - 0-0-1 -- 0
Saki Kashima - 0-0-0 -- 0
Mina Shirakawa - 1-0-0 -- 2

Blue Block
Utami Hayashishita - 0-0-1 -- 0
Saya Kamitani - 0-0-1 -- 0
AZM - 0-0-0 -- 0
Syuri - 1-0-0 -- 2
Maika - 1-0-0 -- 2
Tam Nakano - 0-0-1 -- 0
Unagi Sayaka - 1-0-0 -- 2
Ruaka - 0-0-0 -- 0
Konami - 0-0-0 -- 0
Takumi Iroha - 0-0-0 -- 0
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