Future Of Stardom Championship Match
Saya Iida (c) vs. Unagi Sayaka - 7/10
She is still considerably green, but I saw much more potential of this Sayaka than everything I ever saw from TJPW in her first two years. Nothing against TJPW, I just don't think she was given that one match that puts her in the spotlight and forces her to show what she got. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say, I'm sure this was her longest ever 1-on-1 match. All said and done, this was carried by Iida who is just awesome, she is gonna be a star.
Match was mostly Iida being a little tank going with power moves and striking against the taller Sayaka, that used her size to get some distance on Iida and sometimes, some offense too, but at the end, it was all a Iida destruction match, going after the choke constantly, and at the end, winning with a second rope Dragon Sleeper into a front-flipping DDT. That's the best way I can think of describing it.
Konami vs. Natsupoi - 7.5/10
This was great, I loved it, even the finish worked for me. Fast paced and a lot of reversals and counters and acrobatics from Natsupoi. Konami was all kicks as usual. The match came to a climax when Konami had a double Fujiwara Armbar on Natsupoi, but after not letting go, she pushed the referee away. With the ref down, Konami put Natsupoi between a chair and went back on the armbar until the ref came back and DQd her.
Natsupoi is another that has a bright future ahead of her as long as she stays in Japan and keeps learning.
High Speed Championship Match
AZM (c) vs. Kaori Yoneyama - 8.5/10
Not common to say this about a Yoneyama match, but this was fucking brutal. Each of them performed some moves that had me audibly fringing. Yoneyama was out there doing apron jumping knees, AZM landed a sick leg scissors DDT followed by a super stiff looking footstomp. This was only about 5 minutes, but it was soo good that I felt like I watched a perfectly timed match.
AZM won with a nice application of an armbar. It was a transition between different armbars until Yoneyama tapped out. It wasn't full arm extension, but she had head-scissors locked in and it looked good.
Post-match - AZM cut a promo saying she beat her senior and she is the best High Speed wrestler and she made an open challenge for March 3rd at Nippon Budokan. Out came Natsupoi!
Natsupoi announced that she has officially signed with STARDOM and wants the High Speed title.
Starlight Kid vs. Tam Nakano - 7/10
This was great, but there were a couple of spots I thought looked weak, mostly because Starlight's striking needs some work. Story here was that not long ago, Starlight pinned Nakano in the STARS vs Cosmic Angels elimination match, and so this was the challenge. Both women use the Tiger Suplex in their arsenal, so this was a race who could hit it and make it stick.
The match was back and forward. Starlight Kid hit the Tiger Suplex first, but Nakano was able to kick out. Starlight kept chasing the finish with the Tiger Suplex, but at the end, Nakano hit hers, a beautiful high angle version, and picked up the win. It was pretty obvious that Nakano was winning, she not only outranks Starlight in this situation, but since they're still building Nakano vs Iwatani, it just makes sense that the leader of the Cosmic Angels would pin one of Iwatani's stablemates.
4-Way Elimination Tag Team Match
Queen's Quest (Momo Watanabe & Saya Kamitani) vs. Oedo Tai (Bea Priestley & Saki Kashima) vs. STARS (Mayu Iwatani & Ruaka) vs. Donna del Mondo (Himeka & Syuri) - 7/10
Bea Priestley is indeed the tag champion, but the other half is Konami, and thus the titles were not on the line in this match.
Given the mix of participants, this had glimpses of greatness, and glimpses of not so much greatness. Ruaka and Himeka are still somewhat green, Ruaka especially; Iwatani I believe is injured and so she didn't do much, actually being the first eliminated when she was thrown to the floor after she went for a double armdrag. Kashima and Priestley were all about cheating so they made the match somewhat chaotic. Nevertheless, the stuff with Momo, Syuri, and Kamitani was great, it really made me hope that we get Syuri vs Momo soon
Wonder Of Stardom Championship No Rules Match
Giulia (c) vs. Natsuko Tora - 6/10
This started off really weak, a lot of missed timing, bad positioning, and even the ref was getting in the way. Some of the early weapon spots looked good, but mostly because they required setting up and not really done as part of a sequence. The big spot that they built to was Tora being slammed into piles of cement roofing tiles. As the match went on, the wrestling itself got better and having Donna del Mondo and Oedo Tai brawling outside was a good distraction, but the hardcore aspect still slowed the match down a lot. At the end, Giulia won with a Glorious Driver. Unfortunately disappointed, because they were working hard.
At one point, we saw Kashima pulled the referee and try to distract him, but it was just terrible acting and selling by the referee and it took too long for Giulia to go after Kashima, so it just looked awkward.
Post-match - Giulia talked about this being her 5th defense and that the next one will be at Korakuen during February, so she'll find a suitable opponent. I was kinda hoping that they would set up the Budokan challenge at this point, which I don't even know who could it be.
World Of Stardom Championship Match
Utami Hayashishita (c) vs. Maika - 9/10
Easily the match of the night, I personally thought that the 3 first matches were great in terms of energy and action, but as a structed match, this was the best, told the best story, had the most drama. Maika worked on Utami's arm, chasing the submission; Utami on the other hand, went after Maika's back. The match was mostly back and forward for a while until Maika got a short final run on top where she got her near falls, right before Utami would power back up and claim the win with the Towerhacker Bomb.
Sometimes I feel that Utami sells a lot for her challengers, but she really made Maika look like a threat in there, they were 1-1-1 coming and while we knew that there was no way that Maika was winning the title, she at least looked like a wrestler that belongs in the main event level and that can one day surprise us and win the title. Let's not forget that not long ago, Maika was the Future of Stardom champion, meaning she is in her first years of her career, and the only way is up.
Post-match - Utami cut a promo putting over Maika as a great challenger, and thanks to her, the value of the red belt had risen once more.
Stablemate Saya Kamitani got in the ring and made a challenge for Budokan! She said her track record is not built, but she holds the Phoenix Splash in her arsenal, and believes that it can put down Hayashishita. Utami said that the Phoenix Splash won't be enough, but believes that Budokan should be main evented by the future of Stardom, and they are the future of Stardom.
Not gonna lie, if we're getting Iwatani vs Yoshiko at Budokan (not confirmed for all I know), I figured that it would let Tam Nakano free to challenge for either belt and since her and Giulia had already feuded, maybe we would be getting Nakano vs Hayashishita, but I can't complain about Kamitani getting the match, it really should be an awesome match.
A really good show for Stardom, I was somewhat put down by the Giulia match and kinda made me forget that everything up that point had been from good to great, but once I started watching the main event, it all picked up again. We got two new challenges for Budokan, so that card is starting to get some shape.