Cero Reviews STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, 8.28

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Cero Reviews STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, 8.28

Post by cero2k » Aug 31st, '21, 19:04

STARDOM 5★STAR Grand Prix 2021, Day 7
August 28, 2021
Nagoya, Japan

Tam Nakano vs. Lady C - 5.5/10
Ok match, a lot of spots based on Nakano being considerably shorted than C, but being more experienced. Lady C actually got a good amount of offense in, even a big swing at one point. Nakano won with the Violet Shooting knee to the face.

Utami Hayashishita vs. Mai Sakurai - 4.5/10
If we compare this match and the previous, both had a top champion versus a rookie, but props to Nakano to making the match much more interesting. Lady C had less chances at getting a win over Nakano, but she made C look like she had a bigger chance than Sakurai getting a win over Hayashishita.

This match had a much more serious tone to it, so Hayashishita played around less with Sakurai and beat her up instead. Sakurai had a couple of shots in, but it never felt like Hayashishita was losing control of the match. At the end, Hayashishita submitted Sakurai with what I take it was a Torture Rack, but it was more like a Fireman's Carry.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Fukigen Death [0] vs. Natsupoi [3] - 5.5/10
This was really short, about 4 minutes, but I've enjoyed these Death matches a lot, she's just a good annoying antagonist, that can go in spurs of high speed, and that is there to put people over, or play spoiler when needed. After some roll up exchanges, Natsupoi kept the reversal and got the win.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Blue Block Match
Konami [2] vs. Ruaka [0] - 4/10
Wasn't a big fan of this. Ruaka sometimes shows some urgency in her wrestling and she puts some speed into the match, but this was not one of those matches, her pacing was slow and it really hurt the match. The match was mostly back and forth, and surprisingly, lacking any weapon use. Konami won with a couple of kicks and the Triangle Lancer for the submission win.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Starlight Kid [5] vs. Mina Shirakawa [4] - 6.5/10
Match was ok, it was a little bit of what both women have been doing throughout the tournament. SLK heeling it up with some outside interference, but working the neck, and Shirakawa kinda flirting between the line of High Speed wrestler and strong style, mostly going for the back if we can judge by some of the submissions she locked in, but also the head by all the striking. As the match went on, SLK got more and more offense in, she got a couple of near falls, and then she won with a Black Tiger Driver.

Post-match - SLK did the mask thing to Shirakawa, so I guess it's not just an Oedo Tai thing.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Blue Block Match
Unagi Sayaka [4] vs. Maika [6] - 8/10
Anyone who keeps saying that Sayaka is not good is really losing credibility as this tournament goes. Is it not credibly that she can beat people like Tam Nakano, well, yeah, being an underdog is her gimmick right now, but there is no denying that her performances have been good. Giving Sayaka the first time limit draw of the tournament was good credence that the promotion believes she can perform for long at a decent pace and level, and yes, she is in there with Maika, but it wasn't all carrying. All things considered, I personally am surprised that Sayaka got a time limit draw treatment.

Match saw Maika work over Sayaka's arm, while Sayaka mostly went for the upper torso. At first it kinda seemed like it would be a usual Sayaka match with her getting beat up for a while until she makes a comeback and either manages to get that strike in that gives her the win, or she falls to Maika. What happened here, is that they just kept going back and forth, both women trading momentum over and over again, and eventually, the bell rung for the draw.

This match also had some gratuitous blood, and it happened right at the perfect time. Maika took a kick from Sayaka, that didn't even look that stiff, it was a big boot of all things, but Maika got busted open around the mouth and in a matter of a minute, her whole mouth and jaw were a bloody mess. This happened right before the set up the dueling strikes, so it helped reignite the intensity in the match as they closed in on the final minutes.

Post-match - Sayaka and Maika got into a little pull apart, but I doubt it leads anywhere.

5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Red Block Match
Mayu Iwatani [4] vs. Himeka [0] - 8.5/10
This is Himeka's first match in the tournament, and her return from injury. Match was mostly an Iwatani match, but with a nice balance of Himeka overpowering Mayu, but Mayu having the experience and speed advantage over Himeka, so as they got into the second half of the match and both women had to sell extensively, it didn't feel forced or anything. What I found surprising was that when it seemed like Mayu was waking up the Ultra Instinct, she just ended up countering Himeka into a Jackknife pin and got the win. I guess there really wasn't a need to fully defeat Himeka in her return match.

Post-match - Mayu cut her winner's promo, in the most Mayu thing, she didn't even remember how many points she had. She said that things have been hard with cancelations, but hoped everyone will continue to support her and STAROM. She also took the wrong exit and the active ring girl had to chase her down.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
Not the strongest of shows for the GP, but good and fun nonetheless. It was nice to finally see STARDOM come back after a hiatus due to COVID cancellations, but the competitors felt ready and the crowd was responsive tonight.

Red Block
Giulia - 2-0-2 -- 4
Natsupoi - 2-1-2 -- 5
Himeka - 0-0-1 -- 0
Mayu Iwatani - 3-0-1 -- 6
Koguma - 1-0-2 -- 2
Momo Watanabe - 1-0-1 -- 2
Fukigen Death - 0-0-3 -- 0
Starlight Kid - 3-2-1 -- 7
Saki Kashima - 1-0-2 -- 2
Mina Shirakawa - 2-0-1 -- 4

Blue Block
Utami Hayashishita - 2-0-1 -- 4
Saya Kamitani - 2-0-2 -- 4
AZM - 1-0-2 -- 2
Syuri - 2-0-1 -- 4
Maika - 3-1-2 -- 7
Tam Nakano - 3-0-2 -- 6
Unagi Sayaka - 2-1-2 -- 5
Ruaka - 0-0-3 -- 0
Konami - 2-0-2 -- 4
Takumi Iroha - 0-0-0 -- 0
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