KELLER INTERVIEWS ROB VAN DAM FOR FIRST TIME...
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STARDOM 5STAR GRAND PRIX
SEPTEMBER 14, 2019
OSAKA, JAPAN AT OSAKA WORLD PAVILION
AIRED ON STARDOM WORLD
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Kamitani didn’t think there’d be many chances to fight Iwatani so she’d do her best right here. Iwatani pointed out that Kamitani recently debuted and her match tally is still in the single digits. (This was her sixth.) It had been a long time she’d been in an opening match.
(1) MAYU IWATANI vs. SAYA KAMITANI
Iwatani hit a frog-splash to the back and a Boston crab for the tap out.
WINNER: Mayu Iwatani in 7:43.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Like most rookies Kamitani excels at selling. Beyond that she hasn’t had a chance to show much else yet. She has a good look, though, and seems rife with potential.)
-Avary didn’t know how she beat Kashima on the last show but she just needed to keep going. Hazuki had nothing to say.
(2) HAZUKI vs. AVARY – RED STARS BLOCK
Hazuki with a brainbuster.
WINNER: Hazuki in 5:43.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Avary is now officially out of contention. Even if she wins her remaining three matches it wouldn’t make a difference.
Hazuki using the brainbuster as her finishing move now is about the only progression she’s had since dropping the high speed title. This win takes her into the lead in the red stars but Watanabe could tie her again before the show is over. )
-Onozaki said she and AZM have a good relationship, unlike their opponents. Nakano evidently still doesn’t like Hoshiki. She said she had a headache, then claimed that someone called Hoshiki, tricking her into leaving.
(3) STARS (Wonder Of Stardom Champion Arisa Hoshiki & Tam Nakano) vs. QUEEN’S QUEST (AZM & Leo Onozaki)
AZM and Nakano started. Nakano body slammed Hoshiki onto Onozaki and hit double knees onto both of them. AZM with the octopus to Hoshiki. Rope break. Top rope-double stomp. Double cutter from Nakano to both opponents. Roundhouse kick to Onozaki.
WINNERS: Stars in 7:42.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Nakano beating up her partner as an offensive move against their opponents was the highlight. I guess their pancake lunch back in the spring didn’t really change anything long-term.)
-Sumire said she’d beat Watanabe just like she did in last year’s Grand Prix. Watanabe said she was down to her last three matches (Sumire, Kimura, Iwatani) and she’d kick Sumire to death.
(4) ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPION NATSU SUMIRE vs. MOMO WATANABE – RED STARS BLOCK
Watanabe wouldn’t shake hands so Sumire pummeled her in the corner. Flapjack from Watanabe and she took control. Sumire hung Watanabe upside-down in the corner and hit an inverted crotch assault to the back of the head! Then she dropped her down the right way and continued grinding on her face. Watanabe looked for the rear naked choke but Sumire fought out and hooked an inside cradle for two. Second rope dropkick from Watanabe. Running dropkick in the corner. Another. Saito suplex. Sumire looked for a Peach Sunrise but Watanabe avoided being hit with her own move. Running knees flattened Sumire. Inside cradle! Kick out from Watanabe at two and a half. Watanabe looked for the Peach Sunrise. Sumire reached for the rope break. Watanabe fell back into a rear naked choke and the tap.
WINNER: Momo Watanabe in 5:58.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Sumire is now officially out of contention as well but she could play spoiler for Nakano still.
This was quite fun, as are all Sumire matches. Watanabe and Hazuki are now tied at 8 points each to lead the red stars but Hazuki beat Watanabe in their first match of the tournament so technically Hazuki is our front-runner should it come down to a tie.)
-Oedo Tai stared at the camera in silence, then left. Kimura did the Tetsuya Naito eye-opening gesture. Konami walked into the shot and said their chances of winning? 100%. Kashima said she had some real personal issues in this match. She told Iida it could get dangerous and suggested she stay out of the way.
(5) TOKYO CYBER SQUAD (Goddess Of Stardom Champion Jungle Kyona & Hana Kimura) vs. OEDO TAI (Artist Of Stardom Champion Andras Miyagi & Natsuko Tora) vs. STARS (Saki Kashima & Saya Iida)
Kimura charged Kashima (still smarting from her 8-second loss to her in the tournament) while Tora looked on. Oedo Tai double-teamed Kashima. Tora and Kyona renewed their rivalry. Iida tried to dropkick them both but they side-stepped her. Forearms to both of her former JAN stable mates. Double shoulder tackle disposed of the rookie. Kashima back to take out both women. Iida with a sleeperhold. Tora used the opportunity to hit the JAN triple backpack splash onto Kashima! Kyona and Tora found themselves falling into their old groove until a Kashima duck caused them to collide. Double Iidabashi to Kimura and Miyagi but they both kicked out. TCS double-teamed Iida and Kimura pinned her off a running boot.
WINNERS: Tokyo Cyber Squad in 5:13.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This was a lot more fun than I expected. They had the burgeoning Kimura-Kashima rivalry, the three former JAN members each on opposing teams, and Miyagi to offer up a bunch of threads to pull from.)
-Hayter said Konami was going to get her fucking ass beat. Konami said they’re into the second half of the tournament and she was hunting for heads. Her last three opponents are all Oedo Tai (Hayter, Miyagi, Tora) and she’d cut the witches’ heads off.
(6) GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION KONAMI vs. JAMIE HAYTER – BLUE STARS BLOCK
Konami with a missile dropkick to the back at 5:00. Dragon sleeper. A trio of German suplexes. Hayter with a backbreaker. Deadlift suplex. Diving clothesline to the back of the neck. Falcon arrow backbreaker.
WINNER: Jamie Hayter in 7:48.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow. I really had Konami here. I thought Hayter’s shock wins at the start of the tournament were just to sell the unpredictability of the Grand Prix and that she would fall back into her usual losing pattern as we headed toward the end. Instead she’s still in first place in the blue stars and being built up as a credible upper midcarder for when the tournament wraps.
Tora is now officially out of contention, though she still has matches against Priestley, Konami, and Miyagi, which will be super important to each of them.)
-Kagetsu said this is a tournament match but Priestley took the red belt from her so it’s more personal than that. If she loses here, her chances at winning the Grand Prix are done. (She only has one match left against Hoshiki. A win there would tie her with Priestley and Hayter for first place but, since she will have lost to Priestley, it wouldn’t matter.) Priestley said Kagetsu is shit and the last time they wrestled she won the red belt. She didn’t understand why she was in the tournament (fair point since the winner earns the right to face her). She said her loss to Kyona was a fluke and her loss to Hoshiki was a fast count by the ref.
(7) WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPION BEA PRIESTLEY vs. ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPION KAGETSU – BLUE STARS BLOCK
Priestley choked Kagetsu on the ropes at 5:00. Kagetsu awkwardly suplexed her back into the ring. Springboard dropkick. Death valley driver. Priestley got her up for Queen’s Landing but she escaped. Bridging back suplex to Kagetsu for two. Loud “Kagetsu” chant from the crowd. Another Queen’s Landing attempt countered into a roll-through into a falcon arrow. Double-stomp to the spine from Priestley. A third Queen’s Landing attempt blocked. Priestley hung Kagetsu upside-down in the corner. Kagetsu managed to grab the referee and tossed him from the ring. Red mist to Priestley. Avalanche death valley driver. Oedo Coaster. Death valley driver.
WINNER: Kagetsu in 11:30.
-Kagetsu said Priestley is amazing. She was happy she chose Stardom as her promotion and will wrestle her any time. Kagetsu asked to no longer be called the prime minster of Stardom but instead The Emperor Of Stardom.
(Pageot’s Perspective: And Kagetsu takes the lead. She and Hayter are tied for first in the blue stars but Kagetsu beat her in their tournament match, putting her ahead. Still not a single time limit draw in this year’s tournament. Very surprising.)
Red Stars standings after show 8:
Hazuki – 8
Momo Watanabe – 8
AZM – 6
Mayu Iwatani – 6
Hana Kimura – 6
Tam Nakano – 6
Saki Kashima – 4
Avary – 2
Natsu Sumire – 2
Blue Stars standings after show 8:
Kagetsu – 8
Jamie Hayter – 8
Arisa Hoshiki – 6
Konami – 6
Jungle Kyona – 6
Andras Miyagi – 6
Bea Priestley – 6
Utami Hayashishita – 6
Natsuko Tora – 2