SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
STARDOM AMERICAN DREAM IN THE BIG APPLE
APRIL 5, 2019
NEW YORK CITY, USA AT NYC ARENA
AIRED ON FITE.TV
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Jim Valley, Fumi Saito
The live feed clicked on at 4:00 EST but the crew was still assembling the ropes and turnbuckles. The ring apron and curtain were emblazoned with House Of Glory logos. Two commentators began talking and doing mic checks. It wasn’t until 4:06 that they realized they were on air. They said that a previous show just ended in the arena and the bottom rope broke during that event so they had to get a new one and are in the midst of adding that. They introduced themselves as the commentators and ran down the card.
-Stardom ring announcer Yurie Kozakai was introduced at 4:29 EST. This was followed by each of the roster members competing tonight being introduced: Natsuko Tora, Jungle Kyona, Bobbi Tyler, Hana Kimura, Bea Priestley, Konami, Utami Hayashishita, Momo Watanabe, Andras Miyagi, Hazuki, Kagetsu, Tam Nakano, Saki Kashima, Arisa Hoshiki, and Mayu Iwatani. They all wore the Stardom tour t-shirt over their gear and congregated in the ring. Watanabe spoke in English, thanking everybody for coming, and asked if they were ready.
-A video package officially kicked off the show.
(1) JAN (Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora) vs. SONYA STRONG & VIOLETTE
Kyona and Strong started things off. Strong’s strength won out. She tagged out to Violette. The House Of Glory competitors worked over Kyona. Kyona and Strong traded chops. Tag to Tora. She took down both women and looked for a double splash but they both moved. The Americans worked over Tora until she managed a spinebuster on Violette. Tag to Kyona. Codebreaker from Violette. Cutter. Double clothesline from Kyona. Tora came in for stereo body slams and their stereo top rope splashes. Violette kicked out. Sit-out powerbomb from Kyona to Violette for the win.
WINNERS: JAN in 9:37.
(Pageot’s Perspective: That felt a lot longer than it was. Most of the match was JAN on defense and the two Americans weren’t particularly memorable. It feels very strange to watch a Stardom show with commentary, let alone English commentators who sound like they should be calling a baseball game. The venue’s dark but the crowd appears to be a decent size. Buckle up, this is going to be a bumpy ride.)
(2) QUEEN’S QUEST: KONA-BEA (Konami & Bea Priestley) vs. HANA KIMURA & HOUSE OF GLORY WOMEN’S CHAMPION BOBBI TYLER vs. BRITTANY BLAKE & BRITT BAKER
Kimura, Konami, and Baker started. Kimura has dyed her hair to a strawberry color and has new lime green gear. Their teammates tagged in after a minute. Valley kept calling Priestley “controversial” for some reason I must be unaware of. Konami and Kimura threw strikes at 5:00. Konami with a chokehold. Kimura powered up and over into a vertical suplex. Kimura with the octopus but Priestley broke it up. Tyler with paydirt to Priestley. BB had a miscommunication. Kimura hit Blake with a dropkick.
WINNERS: Kimura & Tyler in 8:04.
(Pageot’s Perspective: That one was… okay. If this is your first Stardom show you might feel differently but as a full-time Stardom viewer this whole show feels very weird, like Stardom fragmented through a prism or a house of mirrors. Kimura’s new hair is a similar hue to AZM’s new hair. Coincidence? Draft foreshadowing? Will Kimura’s international army become an official faction post-draft in the way JAN did last year?)
(3) HAZUKI vs. HEART OF SHIMMER CHAMPION DUST – HIGH SPEED CHAMPIONSHIP
Hazuki with her patented face wash at 1:30. Springboard dropkick. Vertical press. Roll-up from Dust. DDT to Hazuki through the ropes onto the apron. Boos from the crowd. High crossbody for two. Codebreaker but Hazuki kicked out. Lungblower from Dust. I looked away for two seconds and the match was suddenly over.
WINNER: Hazuki in 5:41 to retain the high speed title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: It wouldn’t be a high speed match if it wasn’t “blink and you miss it” but usually I can at least catch the finish. There was no real drama here as you knew Hazuki was retaining. I’m ready to move on from the American guest stars and focus on the real stars of Stardom now. The next match should be terrific.)
(4) GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION MOMO WATANABE vs. GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION/FUTURE OF STARDOM CHAMPION/SWA WORLD CHAMPION UTAMI HAYASHISHITA – WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
Watanabe was in control for the opening minutes. Hayashishita with a camel clutch at 5:40. Boston crab. Dropkick to the lower back of Watanabe. Another Boston crab. Watanabe avoided the torture rack. Roll-up for two. They threw hands. Both went down. Dueling dropkicks. Another dropkick to Hayashishita seated in the corner. Running double knees from Watanabe for two. Double knees off the middle rope and then a third time from the top rope. Hayashishita rolled her shoulder at 2.8. Rear naked choke from Hayashishita and the feed suddenly ended at 5:40 EST.
It came back on for a half second to a shot of Watanabe with the title over her shoulder, looking at a kneeling Hayashishita in the ring. Then it went out again.
WINNER: Momo Watanabe in ??? to retain the white belt.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Good action while it lasted. Hopefully the whole match will be available in its entirety on Stardom World in a few days.)
-At 5:46 the feed came back with Oedo Tai finishing up their entrance. We missed the end of the white belt match and the full Oedo Tai dance. How dare you. Also the resolution quality was abysmal.
(5) OEDO TAI (World Of Stardom Champion Kagetsu, Andras Miyagi, Jamie Hayter, & Session Moth Martina) vs. STARS (Arisa Hoshiki & Artist Of Stardom Champions Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano, & Saki Kashima) – ELIMINATION MATCH
Elimination occurs via pinfall, submission, or going over the top rope and having both feet hit the floor. The two teams brawled to the floor out of the gate. Oedo Tai tagged in and out as they worked over Iwatani. Kashima with the hot tag. The pink bean sprout hit a double bulldog on Martina and Hayter. Kashima went up top. Kagetsu delayed her and Miyagi threw her off. Oedo Tai each hit a move on Kashima but Nakano broke up a pin. Kashima avoided a piledriver from Miyagi and got her shoulders down for three but he stopped counting at two for some reason. Miyagi hit a tombstone on Kashima for the pin.
Saki Kashima was eliminated at 5:44.
Martina and Hoshiki faced off. Nakano with a superkick. Hoshiki with a victory roll for two. Both teams lined up for a chain suplex attempt. Stars managed to get the four women over. Triple dropkick to Martina. Hoshiki with her side kick to Martina’s head.
Session Moth Martina was eliminated at 8:45.
Nakano and Kagetsu threw hands. Cutter from Nakano. Roundhouse kick. German suplex. Miyagi broke up the pin. Hazuki hit Nakano with the placard as she ran the ropes behind the referee’s back. Kagetsu with the 450 but Iwatani saved Nakano. A death valley driver was enough.
Tam Nakano was eliminated at 11:08.
Miyagi with a split dropkick to Iwatani and Hoshiki. Iwatani with a hurricanrana to Miyagi seated on the top rope. Miyagi dumped Iwatani onto the apron. She charged but Iwatani headscissored her over the top rope and to the floor.
Andras Miyagi was eliminated at 13:12.
Iwatani and Kagetsu fought. Tag to Hoshiki. The Prime Minister grabbed her by the throat. Hoshiki hit a flurry of kicks. Kagetsu took her down with one of her own. Hoshiki went up top but Hayter and Miyagi held her in place. Kagetsu pulled her off into a firewoman’s carry. Hoshiki grabbed the ropes and used the momentum to pull them both over the top.
Kagetsu and Arisa Hoshiki were eliminated at 16:09.
Kagetsu jumped onto the apron to mist Iwatani but she moved and Hayter was blasted. Top rope moonsault to Hayter for the win.
WINNERS: Stars in 17:06.
-Mayu did her “New York City, good evening!” in the afternoon like she always does. Nakano thanked everyone for coming. They were going to close the show but Kyona ran out. Iwatani agreed and called out the rest of the factions to join them. The roster joined together to pose for photos. Believe now, shine tomorrow!
(Pageot’s Perspective: Very fun match and an actual Stardom-level main event. They billed this one as determining who has the best faction in Stardom but that title actually belongs to Queen’s Quest. In multi-person matches this year QQ is 21-8 while Oedo Tai is 14-9-1, Stars are 18-28-1, and JAN are 7-17.
Overall the last two matches were good (maybe great, but it’s hard to say when we didn’t see the finish of the first one). It was nice seeing how much it meant for the Stardom regulars to wrestle in America but this didn’t feel like a Stardom show with the commentators, lack of pre-match promos, and so many regular roster members absent. How can it be a real Stardom show without Natsu Sumire, AZM, Starlight Kid, and Hina, Rina, and Saya Iida getting beat up in the opening contest? An interesting experiment at least. Up next: Stardom Canadian Dream in Toronto, right? I’ll be waiting.)
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.