SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
STARDOM BIG SUMMER IN TOKYO
JULY 24, 2019
TOKYO, JAPAN AT KORAKUEN HALL
AIRED ON STARDOM WORLD
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Rina said this was her return match after being gone almost three months. She really wanted to beat up Oedo Tai. Onozaki pointed out that she and Hina wore the same Bea Priestley shirt without planning it. Sumire said she did it! She’s part of the 21st Artist Of Stardom championship trio. Tora pointed out that they’re in the opening match, though. Sumire protested. She’s a champion and she’s in the first match with a bunch of babies? This is no good.
(1) OEDO TAI (Artist Of Stardom Champion Natsu Sumire & Natsuko Tora) vs. QUEEN’S QUEST (Leo Onozaki & Hina) vs. TOKYO CYBER SQUAD (Ruaka & Rina)
The kids brawled while Oedo Tai looked on. They jumped into things and Sumire hit a double crotch assault to both Hina and Ruaka at the same time. She stacked them up for a top rope frog-splash from Tora onto both of them. The partners broke up the pin. Ruaka hit a crossbody to both Sumire and Tora. “Li’l Hana” Rina put the octopus on Onozaki. Sumire returned and whipped everybody. Backbreaker + legdrop combo from Oedo Tai to Onozaki. Cutter from Onozaki to Rina for the surprise win!
WINNERS: Queen’s Quest in 4:19.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow. This seemed like an obvious enhancement match for the Oedo adults but I guess the idea was to give Onozaki another win ahead of her challenging for the Future Of Stardom title on August 3.)
-Hayter said this was her first singles match of the tour. Who booked this match, though? She already beat and embarrassed Hayashishita in England (taking the Eve international title from her). Iida said the other two told her not to get in the way but she wants to win. Hayashishita confirmed she didn’t care about Iida; she just wanted revenge on Hayter.
(2) FUTURE OF STARDOM/SWA WORLD CHAMPION UTAMI HAYASHISHITA vs. SAYA IIDA vs. JAMIE HAYTER – NON-TITLE MATCH
Iida wanted the pre-match handshake but they ignored her and went nose to nose with each other. They disposed of Iida quickly and fought, Hayter getting the upper hand. Iida tried to get involved but kept getting flicked away like a mosquito. Hayashishita with a missile dropkick to Hayter. Iida managed to flip over both women for a simultaneous Iidabashi but they kicked out. Iida caught Hayter with a small package for a near-fall but took a high knee. Dropkick + German suplex combo to Hayter from the other duo. Torture rack applied and Iida tapped.
WINNER: Utami Hayashishita in 6:03.
(Pageot’s Perspective: It seems like this finish would have made more sense with Hayter going over. She’s closer to a more traditional heel of the two so for her to talk big about only wanting a piece of Hayashishita and then beating Iida instead would make sense. Hayashishita saying she only had eyes for Hayter and then tapping out Iida makes her look like she took the easy way out, knowing she can’t beat Hayter.)
-Kimura was cradling the high speed title in front of her British friends when Death ran in and grabbed it. Iwatani said TCS are very strong now with the high speed and tag titles. Kid said she was gunning for Death and her title.
(3) TOKYO CYBER SQUAD (High Speed Champion Death Yama-san, Hana Kimura, Bobbi Tyler, & Zoe Lucas) vs. STARS (Starlight Kid, Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano, & Saki Kashima)
TCS attacked before the bell and Kimura immediately tried to unmask Kid. At the ten-minute mark Iwatani and Kimura threw hands. Iwatani went ragdoll but was able to hit a superkick that left them both down. The high speeders tagged in and ran over and around one another. After some back and forth victory rolls Kid was able to come out on top.
WINNERS: Stars in 11:17.
-Kid asked to challenge for the high speed title since she pinned the champion. Death yelled “Death!” Kid asked what that meant. They were suddenly interrupted by someone in the crowd.
Former Stardom general manager and trainer Fuka stood up in the back row with a microphone. She said she brought someone with her that she recommends for the high speed division. Some music hit and former Ice Ribbon triple crown champion and current AEW employee Riho walked out! She entered the right in street clothes and picked up a microphone. She said she’d like to fight in Stardom and thanked Fuka for introducing her to the promotion. She’ll debut at the August 10 show. Death barked at both her and Kid and left. Kid shook Riho’s hand.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The match was fine and served its purpose of giving Kid a pinfall over the champion. The debut of Riho was completely out of nowhere and is very exciting. I haven’t had a chance to watch any Ice Ribbon but her three matches in AEW so far have all been show-stealers and it will be very interesting to see how she fits into Stardom and where she ends up. Stars seems like the logical faction for her at this time, though I still think having everyone in four factions is a little limiting. My fantasy booking continues to see Kyona and Konami quitting TCS to do their own thing. Riho would fit in great with them. Maybe they could also pick up the other two new rookies who will be debuting soon.)
-Miyagi said they’d paint the tag titles red and black, the Oedo Tai colors. Kyona said they won the belts last week and this was their first defense. She vowed to wipe the graffiti off of Miyagi’s face and wipe her out.
(4) TOKYO CYBER SQUAD (Jungle Kyona & Konami) vs. ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPIONS OEDO TAI (Kagetsu & Andras Miyagi) – GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
Kyona and Miyagi started like two bulls locking horns. Kyona overpowered but Kagetsu pulled her to the floor. Kyona and Miyagi both oiled up their hands and locked up for a test of strength. Miyagi with a cheap kick to the gut. Kyona with a leglock and she used the oil on her hands to wipe away at Miyagi’s facepaint. Her mascara doesn’t run, though. Kagetsu helped regain the advantage and they went to work on Kyona. Kagetsu tagged in and spit water at both opponents and the referee. Miyagi forced Kyona to headbang while Kagetsu knocked Konami off the apron. Anarchist suplex from Miyagi to Kyona, followed by a double-stomp from Kagetsu. Body scissors from Miyagi.
Konami tagged in for the first time at 5:30. She grounded Kagetsu with submissions. They gleefully traded kicks at 7:30. Enziguiri from Kagetsu and a tag to Miyagi. Miyagi avoided a top rope splash. Stereo kicks from Oedo Tai to Kyona. Death valley driver from Kagetsu. Miyagi with a top rope senton. Konami broke up the pin. Kagetsu with a springboard dropkick to both opponents. The heels went for their stereo suicide dives but dove into steel chair shots from Kyona and Konami?! Konami with a release German suplex to Miyagi. Kyona with the top rope splash and hammer throw powerbomb to Miyagi for the pin.
WINNERS: Tokyo Cyber Squad in 10:58 to retain the tag titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: What the hell was that? Steel chairs? They used steel chairs to steal the win? I am so disappointed in you two.)
-Hazuki said this was her fourth time challenging for the white belt in her career. Hoshiki wasn’t sure whether this was the end or the beginning of her rivalry with Hazuki.
(5) ARISA HOSHIKI vs. HAZUKI – WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
They fought to ringside two minutes in with Hazuki whipping Hoshiki into the fan’s chairs. She dragged her up the aisle and slammed her head off a concrete pillar. Around the ringside area and into more chairs. Hoshiki into the ring post. Body slam onto the thin ringside mats. They re-entered the ring at the referee’s count of 17 (despite being outside for almost three minutes). Hazuki whipped Hoshiki around by the hair. Hoshiki fired up with some kicks to a seated Hazuki. Backstabber into a chinlock from Hazuki. Pump-kick. Enziguiri from Hoshiki left both women down. Facewash from Hazuki but the champ avoided a springboard. Rear naked choke from Hoshiki. Rope break.
Hazuki met Hoshiki on the top turnbuckle at 10:00. Hoshiki knocked her off and stepped off into her kick to the side of the head. Twisting splash connected but she pulled Hazuki up before the three?! The Brazilian kick found its mark but Hazuki kicked out this time. DDT from the challenger. Body slam. They traded forearms, then slaps. Hazuki hung her up in the corner and hit a codebreaker. Springboard dropkick to the back of Hoshiki’s head. She rolled her shoulder up. Into a chinlock. Hazuki rolled back and flipped her over to prevent the rope break, keeping the submission locked in. The champ wriggled toward the rope and forced the break at 15:00.
Another facewash from Hazuki and another body slam. They fought on the top turnbuckle again. Hazuki pulled Hoshiki off into a neckbreaker. Hoshiki avoided a top rope frog-splash, though, and connected with a jumping knee strike. And a second. Brazilian kick avoided. Hazukistral pin but Hoshiki kicked out. Brazilian kick! Running knee strike.
WINNER: Arisa Hoshiki in 17:36 to retain the white belt.
-Hoshiki said it was fun and she was successful in her third title defense. She said it was time to determine a next challenger and she knew who she wanted. She teased Watanabe and Nakano but instead called out… nobody. She doesn’t know who her next challenger is but she’s looking forward to facing them in Korakuen Hall on August 10.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Very great match. Both women work really well together and are climbing up there with Watanabe in the category of producing reliable quality big matches this year. Hazuki’s story seems to be that she has no long-distance stamina. She’s unparalleled in short high speed matches but once a bout goes past the ten-minute mark she can’t win. Hoshiki pulling her up before the ref counted three at 12:00 was a bold move and almost QQ-levels of arrogance but I guess the idea was that she wanted to beat her with the Brazilian kick. Hoshiki has the best record in Stardom in 2019 at 7-0 now and joins Iwatani (2-0) and Sumie Sakai (1-0) as the only people to not lose or go to a draw in a singles match this year.)
-Watanabe said she recently lost both her titles so she has nothing to lose anymore. Priestley said she hasn’t been pinned in Stardom since April 2018 when Watanabe beat her in the finals of the Cinderella tournament.
(6) BEA PRIESTLEY vs. MOMO WATANABE – WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
They fought to ringside early on. Watanabe missed with her running knees off the apron but Priestley connected with a penalty kick. She wrapped Watanabe’s left arm behind her back and ran her into the ring post. Priestley strutted arrogantly in front of the first row fans and broke the referee’s count out to kick Watanabe’s bad arm in front of the rest of Queen’s Quest. In the ring she continued to work away at Watanabe’s wrist and elbow with submissions. Watanabe rebounded with a series of dropkicks at 9:00. Priestley came right back with another double underhook stretch. A knee strike rocked Watanabe and a side suplex gave the champ a two-count. Watanabe turned a Queen’s Landing attempt into a victory roll for two. Double knees off the top for another two and into a rear naked choke. Snapdragon and running knees but Priestley grabbed the bottom rope to prevent the pinfall. Watanabe climbed to the second turnbuckle with Priestley on her back but the champ countered into a sunset bomb. Priestley springboarded over the ropes into a double stomp on Watanabe, who was crouching on the apron. Both women were down at ringside at 15:00.
They traded strikes on the apron. Watanabe dropped Priestley on the back of her neck. Once more in the ring but Priestley kicked out. Back to the rear naked choke. Two German suplexes in a row from Watanabe but Priestley kicked out again. She hit one of her own but Watanabe kicked out. Knee strikes. Another German suplex variation from Priestley for another two-count. Queen’s Landing for the win.
WINNER: Bea Priestley in 19:44 to retain the red belt.
-Priestley said Watanabe is a strong fighter. She reminded us that when she issued the challenge for this match to Watanabe she also issued one to Hayashishita. She called her into the ring and suggested the match for the next time they’re in Korakuen Hall. Hayashishita of course accepted and Priestley handed things over to her to close the show.
But first Hayashishita wanted to introduce someone new who will be debuting next month. Saya Kamitani entered the ring in a Queen’s Quest shirt. She said she is from Stardom’s 11th graduating class and will make her debut at Korakuen on August 10. QQ closed out the show with Riho at their side.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The best match Priestley has had in Stardom and the fourth or fifth best match Watanabe has had this year. The fact that she won so decisively lowers Watanabe’s odds of winning the 5Star Grand Prix, I would think, as it doesn’t seem like they should turn right around and go back to this one in two months. Priestley continues to be a little forgettable but that might just be me and due to the surplus of British wrestlers on the roster. She’s simply not as dynamic or showy as Storm, Brookside, or Hayter but that’s also why she’s a perfect fit for the no-nonsense, straightforward athleticism of QQ. With a victory like this and next month’s almost certain win over Hayashishita, how long until Priestley decides that maybe she should be the leader of QQ?)