WKPWP - Flagship w/Keller & Powell talking Super Showdown, AEW PPV Preview, WrestleMania line-up, 10 Years of NXT
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STARDOM x STARDOM
AUGUST 10, 2019
TOKYO, JAPAN AT KORAKUEN HALL
AIRED ON STARDOM WORLD
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
New Stardom World opening! Lots of orange and warm colors and each of the units are spotlighted with their names over photos of them.
-Rina said she was dead-set on AZM in our five-way opener. Hina said she wanted to be the winner. Ruaka said five-ways are out of the norm. Onozaki wanted to win with her Leo Clutch. AZM said she was surrounded by newcomers and little shits. She’s the senior in this match (at the ripe old age of sixteen).
(1) AZM vs. LEO ONOZAKI vs. RUAKA vs. HINA vs. RINA
AZM mouthed off to the tweens so they all swarmed her. The match wound up being less of a five-way and more a mini-gauntlet with everyone trying to take down AZM one at a time. She ended up pinning Rina with a bridge.
WINNER: AZM in 5:28.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A fun little opener that made AZM look like a star. The fact that it was three Queen’s Quest and two TCS didn’t really factor into things. Everyone was single-mindedly focused on the elder statesgirl to their own folly.)
-Watanabe said it had been a while since we’d had a debut (Saya Iida on January 14) and she takes it seriously. There was no way a rookie was winning against her, though. Kamitani burst through the curtain and did a whole little dance routine on the stage before making her way to the ring. She also ran a lap around the ring. Her gear is mint green and white with lavender accents.
(2) MOMO WATANABE vs. SAYA KAMITANI – DEBUT MATCH
Kamitani got a Boston crab in briefly and a handful of forearms but otherwise this was Watanabe just whupping her for eight minutes. She eventually tapped to a disgusting Liontamer with Watanabe folding her in half.
WINNER: Momo Watanabe in 8:41.
(Pageot’s Perspective: She sells well and has a dynamic look and lots of energy. Beyond that, time will tell. I’m already looking forward to Saya vs. Saya in December for rookie of the year. That’s a feud that could last a decade. No indication here of her being recruited to Queen’s Quest and she seems a bit too peppy for them but Stars already has a rookie named Saya and TCS is overloaded with young’uns.)
-TCS said this was Tyler’s last show of the tour but she’d be back soon (teaming with Zoe Lucas in the Goddesses Of Stardom tournament in October?). They also said Saki Kashima was out of this match for an undisclosed reason and replaced by Saya #1. Kimura hypothesized that Kashima left because she’s not cute enough. Iwatani had an apparent nosebleed backstage as Iida talked about representing on Kashima’s behalf.
(3) TOKYO CYBER SQUAD (Goddess Of Stardom Champion Konami, Hana Kimura, & Bobbi Tyler) vs. STARS (Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano, & Saya Iida)
Iida tapped to Kimura’s octopus.
WINNERS: Tokyo Cyber Squad in 10:33.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Apologies but I’ve been conditioned my whole life to view six-person and eight-person tags as filler “get everyone on the card” matches and I still reflexively tune out of these ones as soon as they start. I try, I swear, but it’s hard to care.)
-Riho introduced herself. She was really nervous but wanted to win that belt! Kid wasn’t happy about Riho being added into the match without ever wrestling a match for Stardom. This would mark her fourth attempt at trying to capture the high speed title. Death said it was her first title defense, death death death.
(4) DEATH YAMA-SAN vs. STARLIGHT KID vs. RIHO – HIGH SPEED CHAMPIONSHIP
Kid took out both opponents with a springboard crossbody. She and Riho traded forearms. Tiger feint kick avoided but Kid kept swinging and caught her on the second try. Riho went up top but Death intervened and put Kid into an Indian deathlock. Death stacked up her opponents and hit a back senton onto the pile. Another one fro the second rope to Kid but Riho broke up the pin. Rolling double-stomp to Death. They all traded near-falls. Slingblade from Kid to Riho. They traded roll-ups in the same way Kid pinned Death in a tag match on July 24. Riho made the save. Code red to Death! Riho with running knees to Kid for the win.
WINNER: Riho in 4:38 to capture the high speed title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Well, that’s one way to introduce her with a bang. It’s the high speed title, not the most important belt around, but Hazuki made it feel important over the past few months and Riho feels like a suitable successor. I obviously would have rather seen Riho earn her way to a match with champion Hazuki and her beating her one on one but using Death as a transitional champion is also fine in this scenario. I have doubts AEW will let her defend the belt on their shows but with two hours of weekly TV to fill it’s not impossible and would be quite fun.)
-Oedo Tai Wolfpac were featured first. Hazuki promised the best and worst would be standing at the end. Oedo Tai Hollywood were next. Miyagi threatened that the heels of Oedo Tai were going to level up today. Sumire looked scared.
Wolfpac entered first. As Hollywood made their entrance Hazuki’s team attacked them the second they walked through the apron. Hayter whipped Sumire with her own whip. Hazuki threw Miyagi into the ring and out the other side. That was enough for the referee to call for the bell.
(5) OEDO TAI (Kagetsu, Andras Miyagi, & Natsu Sumire) vs. OEDO TAI (Hazuki, Natsuko Tora, & Jamie Hayter) – ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
Kagetsu was pissed. She ran Tora head-first into the ring post and pelted her with water bottles. Tora reversed an Irish whip and sent Kagetsu colliding into the fans’ chairs. She took a fan’s toy sword and clubbed Kagetu with it. Miyagi took a springboard dropkick from Hazuki for a two-count less than 90 seconds in. Hazuki threw Miyagi around by the hair. Sumire could be seen in the background running back to the stage to fetch the Oedo Tai placard. Hazuki avoided a swing of it from Miyagi. Tags to Kagetsu and Tora. Kagetsu with a series of shoulder blocks that wouldn’t budge Tora. Tags to Sumire and Hayter. Sumire’s whip connected behind the referee’s back. Crotch assault. Death valley driver to Sumire into the corner. Cannonball. Placard to the head! Kagetsu broke up the pin. Double placards to Kagetsu and Miyagi. Falcon arrow from Hayter to Sumire but she kicked out. Everything broke down. Kagetsu and Tora ended up legal again but it only took a moment before their parents were all back into the fray. Tora with a spear. Top rope frog-splash. Miyagi looked to break up the pin with the placard but Tora moved and Kagetsu got clunked again. Tora called for another frog-splash at 10:30. Kagetsu spit mist in her face while Sumire occupied the ref. Stereo suicide dives from Kagetsu and Miyagi. Cradle DDT from Sumire to Tora. Oedo Coaster!
WINNERS: Oedo Tai Hollywood in 11:32 to retain the trios titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Now that’s how you get me invested in a six-person tag. It was non-stop from the get-go. Well, technically, from before the official get-go. It’s always fun to see Oedo Tai face each other as they all try to cheat and outsmart but they also all already know each other’s tricks. You can look forward to more of that in the 5Star Grand Prix as Kagetsu, Miyagi, Tora, and Hayter are all in the same block and Hazuki and Sumire are in the other.)
-Kyona said this was her fifth time challenging for the white belt but she felt fresh going into this one. Hoshiki said this was her fourth defense. She and Kyona had only ever fought once before so she thought this one had high potential. She promised something we’ve never seen before.
(6) ARISA HOSHIKI vs. GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION JUNGLE KYONA – WONDER OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
Kyona dodged Hoshiki’s kicks but found herself backed into the corner. Kyona won a test of strength and caught a kick from Hoshiki, turning it into a dragonscrew leg whip. She went to work on Hoshiki’s legs with targeted attacks and an ankle lock. Hoshiki charged at ringside for a double knee strike to the chest but Kyona caught her and slammed her back-first onto the edge of the apron! Kyona rolled in at the referee’s count of 14. Hoshiki made it back at 19. Backbreaker submission into a gutbuster from Kyona. Sleeperhold from Hoshiki. Kyona looked for a Boston crab but Hoshiki caught with her a jackknife pin for two. Kyona with the big swing! 20 rotations? I lost count. Kyona up top and the big splash connected but the champ kicked out. Stretch muffler! Rope break. Knee strike to the back of Kyona’s head. Hoshiki went up top but Kyona stopped her. Hoshiki kicked her off and hit a twisting splash from the top. Back up top and Hoshiki stepped off into a kick to the side of Kyona’s head. Sliding clothesline from Kyona. They traded strikes. Kyona with a clothesline. Muscle buster! Hammer throw powerbomb countered into double knees to the chest. Kyona ran into a kick to the side of the head but Hoshiki was too beat to make the cover. They traded forearms from their knees. Hoshiki with some kicks but Kyona wouldn’t stay down. Running knee strike! Kyona grabbed the bottom rope to prevent the three count. Brazilian kick blocked. Knee strike. Clothesline. Jumping knee from Hoshiki. Another. Brazilian kick landed.
WINNER: Arisa Hoshiki in 20:34 to retain the white belt.
-Hoshiki offered a handshake. Kyona teased shaking but saluted instead. Hoshiki saluted her back.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow. I had high expectations based on the quality of matches these two have had throughout the year but this surpassed even those. Their styles mesh perfectly with each other, Kyona’s strength and ground power versus Hoshiki’s agility and strikes. You had to know there was no way Kyona was winning the title right before starting the 5Star Grand Prix but this could set up stories for both of them in the tournament. Kyona is even more of an underdog babyface now than she already was. If she can win the whole tournament now, or even just the Blue Stars block, the reception will be huge. Hoshiki wrestled this one with kinesio tape on the back of her neck. With the apron bomb she took and all the targeted attacks to her legs on top of that she could sell entering the tournament banged up and injured and that would excuse her taking some losses. These two will even face each other again as they’re both Blue Stars. This was probably my second favorite match of 2019, with Kyona vs. Watanabe from March 3 winning out only due to all of the pageantry and emotion that one had.)
-Hayashishita said she was a few days away from her one-year debut and this was her first time challenging for the red belt. Priestley said they went to a time limit draw the last time they faced each other in a singles match. She said holding the red belt means she’s the best in Stardom and she refused to tap out. She loves and respects Hayashishita but she would bow down to the top gaijin.
(7) BEA PRIESTLEY vs. FUTURE OF STARDOM/SWA WORLD CHAMPION UTAMI HAYASHISHITA – WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPIONSHIP
Even back and forth offense left both women down at 10:00. Strike exchange. Koji clutch from Priestley. Hayashishita blocked a Queen’s Landing attempt. Side suplex from Priestley. Release German suplex from Hayashishita. Bridging German with a roll-through into a second. Kick out from Priestley. Rear naked choke from Hayashishita. Bridging back suplex from Priestley for two. Queen’s Landing.
WINNER: Bea Priestley in 16:22 to retain the red belt.
-Priestley and Hayashishita spoke about it being her anniversary. Hayashishita acknowledged that they’ll face off again in the Grand Prix.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A decent match, which is high praise from me considering how incredibly dull and without personality I find both of them to be. This was another where the outcome was never in question. It doesn’t make sense to have your top title change hands on the eve of a huge tournament to crown a #1 contender. The story of Hayashishita challenging for the top belt roughly on her one-year anniversary as a wrestler is a fine one, though. Give it another year and a month and she’ll probably leverage her 2020 Grand Prix victory into capturing the gold.)
-The top three members of TCS came out. They each made brief comments about the Grand Prix. Oedo Tai crashed the party next. All six of them made comments. Stars were out next and the four of them spoke. Watanabe spoke last. She mentioned that Irish wrestler Kasey Owens had been pulled from the tournament due to visa issues and asked Rossy Ogawa who would replace her. He announced… AZM!
-Cameras caught up with Priestley backstage. She said Hayashishita couldn’t beat her and nobody can beat her. When she wins the Grand Prix she’ll use her victory to request a white belt match against Hoshiki and she’ll take that one too.
(Pageot’s Perspective: With that we are officially into Grand Prix season. 13 shows and 145 tournament matches await us. I’ll try my best to keep up with the content as it pours onto Stardom World and stay timely with my reports here. See you in the fray.)