Cero Reviews STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, 8.8

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Cero Reviews STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, 8.8

Post by cero2k » Aug 11th, '21, 21:44

STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, Day 4
August 8, 2021
EDION Arena Osaka #2, Osaka, Japan

AZM vs. Unagi Sayaka vs. Lady C - 5.5/10
Fun match, but nothing special. A lot of three person spots, a lot of AZM and C joining forces to take out Sayaka, only for one or the other to turn, Sayaka actually got a lot of offense in and ended up submitting C with a Gory special.

Queen's Quest (Hina, Momo Watanabe & Utami Hayashishita) vs. STARS (Hanan, Koguma & Mayu Iwatani) - 7/10
This match heavily focused on Momo versus Mayu, with a little bit of Mayu versus Utami sprinkled on top. The heat segment was done on Koguma and the finish came down to Hanan and Hina with former pinning the latter with a bridging Hanan Special, but the meaty action packed part of the match was Mayu going back to back with Momo and then Hayashishita.

Oedo Tai (Konami & Rina) vs. Donna del Mondo (Giulia & Syuri) - 6.5/10
Good match, a lot of Konami and Syuri kicking each other. I got the impression that they're building to an Oedo Tai versus Alto Livello, whether Rina is involved in that I don't know, but we did see a lot of Konami in there.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Blue Block Match
Ruaka [0] vs. Maika [2] - 4/10
Not that great and a third of the time went into Ruaka beating up people outside with her suitcase. In the ring, she used some of that momentum to work over Maika, get a couple of near falls until she went for a the top rope plancha, that Maika dodged. Maika made a small comeback and won with a Michinoku Driver II.

This match was my main fear with Ruaka, I expect a lot of short matches with her cheating a lot and then the quick turnaround. She's kinda being built like another Natsuko Tora, who was built based on Dump Matsumoto.

After the match, Maika unmade her ponytail and made me feel feelings.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Saki Kashima [2] vs. Mina Shirakawa [2] - 6.5/10
Ok match. Kashima worked over Shirakawa's arm throughout the match and Shirakawa sold it quite well, I especially liked how she failed to lock in the Romero special after she had it under control, just didn't have the strength to pull back on Kashima's weight for the surfboard position. Last couple of minutes saw Kashima get close to winning, but just like Kashima has her killer Kishikaisei pin, Shirakawa is developing her Glamorous Collection Mina, which she used somewhat out of nowhere and got the win.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Natsupoi [2] vs. Starlight Kid [2] - 8/10
They're not like in-ring veterans or anything, but these two have their history together, and while this had the novelty of Oedo Tai's Starlight Kid, I did think the double count out worked for this pair. The match itself was somewhat similar to most of their High Speed encounters, but now it was Natsupoi doing all the super babyface stuff and fighting from underneath. Finish came when Natsupoi hit a dive on SLK and Oedo Tai and a little brawl started at ring side. Both Natsupoi and SLK kept blocking each other and cutting off the other's attempt to make it back in the ring until the very last seconds that instead of both of them going in, SLK rather pulled on Natsupoi and they both ended counted out. Both women will receive 1 point for this draw.

Something else that needs to be praised is how the established the double count out early in the tournament, it's just the fourth day and done with two wrestlers that don't really require it, so we now believe that it's not out of the possibilities that other matches could go down the same path. We WILL have a Red Belt vs White Belt match down the line and I think we're all expecting a draw there too.

Post-match - SLK attacked Natsupoi and a little brawl broke out between their seconds. SLK cut a promo telling Natsupoi that this wasn't just a Grand Prix match, but also a preview of their High Speed title match. I don't know if the challenge had already been made, or if this was a weird way to challenge for the title.

Natsupoi responded that SLK cost her two valuable points and she will defend the title and defeat SLK.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Blue Block Match
Tam Nakano [4] vs. Saya Kamitani [0] - 9/10
This was freaking great! Nakano is coming in with an injured arm, that has been the focus of many during the tournament, and this was no different, Kamitani went after the arm from the very start of the match. Because of that Kamitani dominated for a large chunk of the early part of the match, and then, as we've seen in Nakano's title matches, there comes a point that she snaps and goes all strong style and beats the shit out of their opponents. From there on, they went into some near falls and draw teases, eventually heading into the finishing sequence where Kamitani and Nakano kept blocking and countering each other's signature moves and then out of nowhere, Kamitani brought down Nakano with a rana, held down the legs and pinned Nakano.

This match smartly did a count out tease right after we had a match end in a count out. It didn't go all the way to 19, and it didn't, just giving us the idea is a strong way that they're not a thing and you'll never know which ones will make it to 20.

Post-match - Kamitani not only celebrated getting her first win in the tournament, but she did it over the White belt champion and hopes that she has earned another shot at Nakano. She said she wants to make history and win both the Cinderella and Grand Prix tournaments in the same year.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
What a great little show. We had maybe weakest tournament match we've had so far, but then it immediately picked up and ended up delivering some great stuff in the final two matches. I'm gonna say it in every review, this is lining up to be the tournament of the year.

Red Block
Giulia - 1-0-2 -- 2
Natsupoi - 1-1-1 -- 3
Himeka - 0-0-0 -- 0
Mayu Iwatani - 1-0-1 -- 2
Koguma - 1-0-0 -- 2
Momo Watanabe - 1-0-1 -- 2
Fukigen Death - 0-0-1 -- 0
Starlight Kid - 1-2-1 -- 3
Saki Kashima - 1-0-2 -- 2
Mina Shirakawa - 2-0-0 -- 4

Blue Block
Utami Hayashishita - 2-0-1 -- 4
Saya Kamitani - 1-0-2 -- 2
AZM - 1-0-1 -- 2
Syuri - 2-0-1 -- 4
Maika - 2-0-1 -- 4
Tam Nakano - 2-0-2 -- 4
Unagi Sayaka - 2-0-1 -- 4
Ruaka - 0-0-2 -- 0
Konami - 0-0-1 -- 0
Takumi Iroha - 0-0-0 -- 0
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