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STARDOM 5STAR GRAND PRIX
SEPTEMBER 5, 2020
TOKYO, JAPAN AT SHIN-KIBA 1ST RING
AIRED ON STARDOM WORLD
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
After two roster members testing positive for COVID-19 and four weeks of cancelled shows we were back in Shinkiba for the official third night of the 2020 5Star Grand Prix.
-Rina said she wanted to win here so she could challenge Maika for the Future title. Maika said this was the first three-way of her career. Kashima and the Oedo Tai members are still refusing to film promos.
(1) ARTIST OF STARDOM & FUTURE OF STARDOM CHAMPION MAIKA vs. SAKI KASHIMA vs. RINA – NON-TITLE MATCH
The rookies jumped on Kashima and cleared her from the ring before battling each other. Maika pinned Rina with an STO.
WINNER: Maika in 3:47.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A harmless opener. Even in three-way contests the priority is giving DDM another win rather than trying to inject some life into the listless Oedo Tai.)
-Hina said this was her first time teaming with Hayashishita. She couldn’t lose to her sister. Her sister Hanan was back for her first match since May 16, 2019. She’s 16 years old now and had new blue and yellow gear with her name across the chest. Iida wanted to give her the win.
(2) QUEEN’S QUEST (Goddess Of Stardom Champion Utami Hayashishita & Hina) vs. STARS (Saya Iida & Hanan)
The sisters started for their teams. Hayashishita pinned Hanan following an air raid crash.
WINNERS: Queen’s Quest in 6:03.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Obviously all the attention was on Hanan here, seeing where she stands after a year off. She hit another growth spurt and towers over most of the rest of Stars now. It seems like they have their hopes pinned on her being a future breakout star in a couple years. For now she’s still only 16 so she’s still just limited to your basic in-ring offense. Back in February after her retirement gauntlet Kagetsu officially bestowed her jumping armbar onto Hanan so I’m surprised that she didn’t beat her sister with that here and instead took the pinfall.)
-This was Death’s second tournament match. Nakano mocked her chanting and declared she would be the winner.
(3) TAM NAKANO vs. DEATH YAMA-SAN – RED STARS BLOCK
Death played to the crowd while Nakano mimicked her. Death wanted the O’Connor roll but Nakano slipped through and landed her tiger suplex for the pin.
WINNER: Tam Nakano in 4:12.
(Pageot’s Perspective: As good of a match as you’re probably going to get out of the one note Death character.)
-Himeka said there’s no way Kid can stop her. Kid said there’s a big size differential here but she’s been working out and she’s getting jacked too.
(4) STARLIGHT KID vs. HIMEKA – RED STARS BLOCK
As expected Kid tried to use her speed but Himeka knocked her around and grounded her. Kid managed a few tilt-a-whirl headscissors but Himeka made her tap to the torture rack.
WINNER: Himeka in 8:32.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Not a lot of intrigue in most of the GP matches this year. Usually there’d be a couple gaijin guest stars who were booked as wildcards that could feasibly win or lose any match. That gave things a certain amount of unpredictability. Instead this year’s tournament seems like it’s just functioning as another plot point in the story of Donna Del Mondo winning everything.)
-Kyona pointed out that she had zero points but said she’d overwhelm AZM’s speed with power. AZM mentioned that she’s also lost a bunch lately and wanted to redeem herself as champion.
(5) HIGH SPEED CHAMPION AZM vs. JUNGLE KYONA – BLUE STARS BLOCK
Kyona matched AZM’s speed in the opening minutes and dropped her with a shoulder block. AZM got a couple moments of shine but Kyona controlled the narrative for the most part. Kyona escaped two octopi with rope breaks. AZM with a double-stomp but Kyona kicked out. Boston crab but AZM made it to the ropes. Abdominal stretch from the champ, into an armbar, but Kyona with another rope break. AZM springboarded into a right hand from Kyona. Lariats from Kyona. Sleeperhold. Kyona hoisted her up into a swinging sleeperhold and AZM was out. Top rope splash for the pin.
WINNER: Jungle Kyona in 9:41.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This felt like a fresh match-up on paper and speed vs. power is always a reliable premise. Kyona gets on the board. This could be a strong white belt feud in another reality.)
-Kamitani called Giulia a queen. Giulia asked Kamitani to entertain her.
(6) WONDER OF STARDOM & ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPION GIULIA vs. GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION SAYA KAMITANI – RED STARS BLOCK
Glorious Driver for the win.
WINNER: Giulia in 11:25.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Kamitani continues to hold the worst singles record in Stardom in 2020 at 0-7-1.)
-Watanabe accused Tora of using weapons too much. She wanted a proper fight.
(7) MOMO WATANABE vs. NATSUKO TORA – BLUE STARS BLOCK
Tora attacked Watanabe as soon as she stepped through the curtain. She tossed her in the ring and beat her with her own mask. Folding chair to the back. Folding chair to the throat. Face wash in the ropes. Cannonball in the corner. Watanabe with her first burst of sustained offense. Tora with a top rope frog-splash but Watanabe kicked out. Ascension but she kicked out again. Watanabe ran the ropes but Tora pulled the referee into her path and she took him out by accident. Tora grabbed her chain. Watanabe kicked it out of her hand. Saito suplex from Watanabe. Running knees for a two-count. Double knees from the top for another two-count. Peach Sunrise blocked by Tora. Kashima handed the chain Tora and she connected with a clothesline on Watanabe. Kashima forcibly pulled the ref into the corner as Tora wrapped the chain around Watanabe’s throat. She hanged Watanabe over the top rope while Kashima continued to goof around with the ref. The crowd was dead silent. Tora released Watanabe, Kashima rolled her back in, and Tora placed a foot on her unconscious body for the win.
WINNER: Natsuko Tora in 9:09.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I’ve been a defender of Tora’s Oedo Tai recent work. I liked that they were more sadistic and outright heel than Kagetsu’s era. I thought their approach to wrestling – refusing to do promos, not caring if they got disqualified – was something different for Stardom, but we’ve already reached the point where it’s become formulaic. Kashima held the referee in the corner for 52 seconds. That’s just parody by that point.)
-Konami said they’d be wrestling her pace. Iwatani said she’d do what she could to avoid her submissions.
(8) WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPION MAYU IWATANI vs. KONAMI – RED STARS BLOCK
Slow feeling out process to start as they grappled on the mat. At 10:00 Iwatani hit a bridging German suplex. Konami rolled into the triangle lancer. Iwatani managed to grab the bottom rope with her foot. Konami with a double stomp to the spine. She went up top but Iwatani cut her off. Konami kicked her leg out and locked on a draping rear naked choke. Missile dropkick to the back of Iwatani’s head for a near-fall. Guillotine choke. Rope break from Iwatani. German suplex. Iwatani kicked out but Konami held on and rolled into a triangle armlock. Iwatani managed to get her down for a two-count but Konami kept the submission locked on. After some rolling around Iwatani realized she couldn’t escape and was forced to tap.
WINNER: Konami in 13:39.
-Konami proclaimed her victory and immediately wanted to close the show but Kyona stopped her. Wasn’t she forgetting something? Kyona called out Oedo Tai. Konami agreed, if that’s what she wanted. Tora and Kashima headed to the ring. Tora asked Kyona if she was high. On September 28 at Korakuen Hall it will be the end of Tokyo Cyber Squad. Kyona agreed. She said TCS won’t disband, they just have to win. She and Konami shook on it. Rina and Death joined them to close the show.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Konami just tapped out the champ, earning herself a future title shot and marking the rest of the GP a moot point for her. A good match and one might consider this a star-making victory for her except we fell for that multiple times last year and she always ended up the bridesmaid. Unless TCS break up on September 28 and Konami joins DDM it’s unlikely she’ll be anything more than a one-off challenger for the red belt. That said, that scenario is very possible.)
Blue Stars standings after night 3:
Utami Hayashishita – 4
Maika – 4
Syuri – 4
AZM – 2
Jungle Kyona – 2
Natsuko Tora – 2
Momo Watanabe – 2
Saya Iida – 0
Red Stars standings after night 3:
Himeka – 6
Giulia – 4
Konami – 4
Tam Nakano – 4
Mayu Iwatani – 2
Starlight Kid – 2
Saya Kamitani – 0
Death Yama-san – 0