STARDOM WORLD IN NAGOYA
MARCH 3, 2019
NAGOYA, JAPAN AT NAGOYA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE HALL
AIRED ON STARDOM WORLD
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The twins said it was their first time in this venue. Onozaki said JAN want to win to give Jungle Kyona some momentum in her title match later in the show.
(1) JAN (Kaori Yoneyama & Leo Onozaki) vs. STARS (Hina & Rina)
Onozaki and Hina started. Yoneyama tossed Hina around by the hair and stood on her in the corner to what sounded like boos. The four wrestlers put each other in a chain of chinlocks. Yoneyama missed a senton on Rina and the twins took over with some running dropkicks. They locked on their signature double armbar but Onozaki broke it up. Double cutter from Onozaki on the twins and Yoneyama followed with a back senton, pinning both of them.
WINNERS: JAN in 4:34.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another short, fun opener. The twelve year-olds always make for lovable enhancement talent and the venue is interesting. Lots of echo and the crowd is in complete darkness. You can’t see anyone past a smattering of people in the front row and the ringside cameramen.)
-Hanan said Kimura is terribly strong but she’ll set the pace. Kiimura said it’s Hana vs. Hanan. After today her opponent will only be left with the “n.” Hanan entered the ring and immediately dropkicked Kimura and went after her, introductions and streamers be damned.
(2) HANA KIMURA vs. HANAN
Kimura took over quickly and kicked Hanan to ringside. Drop toehold into a surfboard from Kimura. She blew a bubble with her bubblegum while she had the 14 year-old suspended in the air. They traded forearms with Kimura coming out on top. Hanan with a trio of STOs, hanging on each time. She tried for an armbar but Kimura rolled her into a pin. Kimura stomped away on her head. Hanan with a series of forearms that Kimura no-sold. Hanan with a roll-up for a near-fall. And another. Kimura with the octopus into a kimura lock. Hanan tapped.
WINNER: Hana Kimura in 7:27.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow, that might be the best Hanan match I’ve seen. Going in you knew there was no chance in hell the rookie was getting the win but a couple of those roll-ups entered 2.8 and 2.9 territory before Kimura kicked out. I almost bought into the big upset. I also liked her intensity at the beginning, attacking before the bell. What she’s been doing hasn’t been working so it makes sense to try a different approach.)
-Tora said it’s Iida’s debut in this venue and their first time teaming together. Their opponents have been teaming for a year. Konami said all three of their QQ comrades have title matches later on so they wanted to give them momentum.
(3) QUEEN’S QUEST (Konami & AZM) vs. JAN (Natsuko Tora & Saya Iida)
AZM and Tora started. Tora took down both opponents with a spear at 3:30. Knee to the head of Konami. Konami with an armbar in the ropes. Iida with a series of dropkicks and forearms on AZM. She caught her with a backslide for two. AZM with a one-leg dropkick. Small package and they rolled in circles around the ring trying to get the pin. Iida threw herself on top of AZM for a two-count. Double dropkicks from QQ to Iida. Tora broke up the pin. Konami took out Tora. AZM with the top-rope double-stomp to Iida.
WINNERS: Queen’s Quest in 7:08.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another good one. The only question was who was getting the win over Iida. AZM and Konami have a good run in tag matches this year but it seems doubtful they’d challenge their Goddess Of Stardom comrades in Watanabe & Hayashishita so I’m not sure where they go from here.)
-Kid pointed out that this is Hoshiki’s first singles matches since returning to Stardom. This was an impromptu change from a scheduled tag match but no word on what the original contest was supposed to be.
(4) ARISA HOSHIKI vs. STARLIGHT KID
Kid caught Hoshiki with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and tiger feint kick early. Crossbody. Sleeperhold. Hoshiki avoided a second rope moonsault attempt. Quick pin attempts from Kid but Hoshiki kicked out each time. Hoshiki with a jumping knee strike.
WINNER: Arisa Hoshiki in 6:16.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This was a very WWE-style match with Kid dominating the entire proceedings only for Hoshiki to hit one move and win.)
-AEW employee Bea Priestley was back for the first time in almost two months to challenge for the international title from British promotion Pro-Wrestling: EVE. Her friend Viper dropped the title to Hayashishita in Viper’s last appearance for Stardom.
(5) SWA WORLD CHAMPION/FUTURE OF STARDOM CHAMPION/GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION UTAMI HAYASHISHITA vs. BEA PRIESTLEY – PRO-WRESTLING: EVE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Priestley came off the ropes with a hurricanrana. She hung up Hayashishita and dropkicked her in the ropes. Two body slams from Hayashishita. Priestley stomped on her elbow. Priestley continued to target Hayashishita’s left arm. They traded forearms. Priestley with a kick to the side of the head; Hayashishita with a dropkick. Rare naked choke from Hayashishita but Priestley leaned back into a pin for two. Priestley with an abdominal stretch on the mat. Dropkick to Hayashishita sitting against the bottom rope. Sleeperhold from Hayashishita. Priestley with a springboard double-stomp. She followed with a very awkward pin where Hayashishita’s shoulders were perpendicular to the mat. The referee thankfully didn’t count. Hayashishita with her torture rack slam. She was too hurt to make the cover immediately. When she finally was able, Priestley kicked out. Double clothesline put both women back down. The referee counted to ten and neither woman could make it back to their feet.
WINNER: Draw in 13:57. Utami Hayashishita retains.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Guess I should have had my guard up for something like this with Priestley signing to AEW and Hayashishita getting the mega-push in Stardom. Since it was for the British title, though, I bought into the idea of Priestley picking up a win and leaving with the belt. It felt very odd to see Hayashishita on the defense as much as she was in this match as she’s usually the one squashing all her opponents.)
-Nakano said they won the trios titles in this venue last September. Kagetsu said Oedo Tai want all the belts. She wasn’t expecting the trios match this quickly and Andras Miyagi’s not there but this trio has teamed together plenty. So don’t complain about Miyagi not being there.
(6) STARS (Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano, & Saki Kashima) vs. OEDO TAI (World Of Stardom Champion Kagetsu, High Speed Champion Hazuki, & Natsu Sumire) – ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
Oedo Tai attacked before the bell and the teams brawled out into the arena. Kagetsu choked Kashima with the Oedo Tai placard. Iwatani and Hazuki became the legal women in the ring. Sumire kicked Iwatani between the legs and followed with her crotch assault. Hazuki with a Boston crab to Iwatani. Slingblade from Iwatani and a tag to Kashima. Double bulldog to Hazuki and Sumire. Headscissors to Kagetsu. Double underhook facebuster to Hazuki. Nakano entered for the first time at 6:45 and went after Hazuki. Sumire whipped Nakano coming off the ropes and Hazuki took control. Springboard dropkick. Crossface. Rope break. Pump kick from Hazuki. Spinning heel kick from Nakano and they were both down.
Tags to Iwatani and Kagetsu. Everything broke down and Kashima lost one of her brand new hair extensions. Iwatani went up top for a moonsault on Kagetsu but the heel grabbed the referee and pulled him over to prevent her. Stereo suicide dives from Oedo Tai to the faces and seconds at ringside. Kagetsu hit her 450 on Iwatani but Kashima and Nakano broke up the pin. Iwatani with a dragon suplex to Kagetsu but Hazuki just barely broke up the pin. Enziguiri from Kagetsu. Tag to Sumire. Sumire with a duo of northern lights suplexes but Iwatani kicked out. Shining wizard. Cradle DDT. Kashima and Nakano broke it up. Iwatani fought out of a superplex attempt.
Sumire shoved Iwatani into the ref. Kagetsu sprayed the blue mist but Iwatani ducked and Sumire got misted. Kagetsu knocked off the apron. Nakano with a splash over the ropes onto Hazuki and Kagetsu on the floor. Three-way superkicks to the sleepy Sumire. Top-rope moonsault from Iwatani for the win.
WINNERS: Stars in 16:15 to retain the trios titles.
-Iwatani said this was their third defense. The record is four and that was set by Tawashis (her, Hiroyo Matsumoto, & Miho Wakizawa) in 2014. Kagetsu congratulated them but said it was part of their plan and this was just a practice match. The real plan is for Kagetsu, Hazuki, and Andras Miyagi to take the trios titles. Sumire wasn’t happy about this but Kagetsu assured her she could have a different title. Kagetsu challenged them to make their fourth defense against the real Oedo Tai. Konami and AZM showed up. They both wanted to challenge against Hazuki for the high speed title. She agreed to a three-way match. Iwatani called Kagetsu a sore loser.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Great match, just nonstop energy bell to bell. Kagetsu-Iwatani for the red belt is still the biggest match Stardom has to offer right now. Will that be the main event of the New York City show? The “real Oedo Tai” challenging for the trios titles will be a real nail-biter with that one potentially going either way. Hazuki’s next defense is a real coin toss too as one would expect it to essentially be a handicap match for the bulk of it. Will Sumire being left out of the “real Oedo Tai” team cause any jealousy and friction on her end, or will Kagetsu placate her by trying to get her a title match for the white belt?)
-Kyona was back in her hometown to challenge for the white belt. Her era starts now. Watanabe said this is her 11th defense. She will break the record if she’s successful. She admitted she was a bit nervous and worried.
This got the big-time main event treatment. Eleven people were in the ring with bouquets, awaiting the competitors. Kyona was found backstage pumping herself up. She wore a long red robe and short trunks instead of her usual baggy pants. She walked to the ring, focused and ready for battle. She accepted ten bouquets of flowers and a box of chocolates from the men and women, ending with her father. They posed for a group photo as Watanabe laced her boots backstage. Konami stood by with the Queen’s Quest flag. The ring was flooded with streamers for Kyona. Watanabe got a fair amount as well.
(7) GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION MOMO WATANABE vs. JUNGLE KYONA – WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
Kyona went after her right knee early on and was in firm control for the first six minutes. Watanabe caught with a dropkick. She followed with two more in the corner. Kyona caught Watanabe running the apron and planted her with an apron bomb. The move got two replays, something we never see in Stardom. Back in the ring for a backbreaker. Boston crab. Watanabe went up top but Kyona cut her off and hit a t-bone superplex. Top rope splash to Watanabe’s back. Sharpshooter! Watanabe made it to the ropes at 13:30.
Watanabe with a kick to the head and her running knees but Kyona kicked out at one. Both women were down. Watanabe was up first at the referee’s nine count. Running knees. Then double knees from the second rope, and a third time. Kyona kicked out. Peach Sunrise but Watanabe’s back gave out on the bridge. Kyona with a muscle buster. Kyona looked for her basement clothesline but Watanabe caught her in a rear naked choke. Rope break. Sit-out powerbomb from Kyona. Loud “Kyona” chant from the crowd. Watanabe rolled out of the way of a top-rope splash. German suplex. Kick to the head but Kyona got her shoulder up. Peach Sunrise!
WINNER: Momo Watanabe in 21:24 to retain the white belt.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Oof. A hell of a match, just beating out Watanabe-Nakano on Jan.14 as my favorite from Stardom so far this year. Watanabe continues to establish herself as one of the best in the promotion. But Kyona looked the best here she’s looked all year too. Everything was in place for Kyona to get the big win in her hometown and it was a heartbreaking loss.)
-Watanabe said she was successful in her 11th defense (breaking Io Shirai’s record of 10). She told the hometown crowd to applaud for their hero and gave Kyona the mic. Through tears she apologized for letting them down. She said the ring reflects life. This is where she lives. Because we cheer her, she can keep getting back up when she’s knocked down. She can keep fighting, even if she loses many times. She told Watanabe she’ll never give up until she becomes a champion. She vowed to get any chance and seize the opportunity. She vowed to return to Nagoya again as champion. Kyona left.
Watanabe said a name has been discussed as her next challenger but she doesn’t want to announce it yet. (Hayashishita? There are only a handful of titles left that she’s not already carrying.) She brought the rest of Queen’s Quest into the ring to close the show.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Okay, so does Kyona win the Cinderella tournament in the spring or do we get an even longer build to her taking the 5★Star Grand Prix in the fall? This firmly solidified her place as one of the top babyfaces in the promotion and someone you can’t help but root for and want to see succeed.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things Ring Of Honor every Wednesday on the PWTorch Dailycast “Talking Honor.”