SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
STARDOM 5STAR GRAND PRIX
SEPTEMBER 12, 2020
FUKUOKA, JAPAN AT NISHITETSU HALL
AIRED ON STARDOM WORLD
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Death, Death, fifth match Death. Kamitani was in a situation where she has to win every remaining match in order to stay in contention so she wanted to use the momentum from her win over Nakano to stay alive.
(1) GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION SAYA KAMITANI vs. DEATH YAMA-SAN – RED STARS BLOCK
Kamitani hit her running shooting star press but Death no-sold and immediately turned her into a backslide for the pin.
WINNER: Death Yama-san in 4:36.
(Pageot’s Perspective: And with that Kamitani is eliminated from the tournament and Death gets on the board for the first time. Evidently she’s waiting until the tail end of the tournament to start spoiling things. Death has two matches left: the top-scoring Konami and Giulia. Could she rain on their parades too?)
-Kid admitted she’s not good at submissions but wanted to earn two points. Konami thought this might be her first singles match with Kid.
(2) KONAMI vs. STARLIGHT KID – RED STARS BLOCK
Triangle lancer for the submission.
WINNER: Konami in 6:31.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Konami has two matches left: Death and Himeka. She needs to win at least one of those in order to move into the top slot in Red Stars.)
-Hanan showed off some bruises from her afternoon match with Watanabe. Nakano said she would smash Giulia into stardust. Giulia complained about it basically being a handicap match with her facing two Stars members.
(3) WONDER OF STARDOM & ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPION GIULIA vs. TAM NAKANO vs. HANAN
Hanan caught Giulia with a crucifix pin for two but Giulia booted her in the face for three.
WINNER: Giulia in 8:09.
-Giulia waved both her titles in Nakano’s face. She laughed about Stars being unable to get even one win over her. Nakano said she would crush her tomorrow and then take all her belts away. Giulia couldn’t wait.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A little fuel to remind us that Giulia and Nakano are still feuding and might have another white belt match in the future. They had a title match scheduled but it wasn’t able to happen due to the COVID cancellations.)
-AZM said it was a tag team of the current and former High Speed champions. Riho said she was just there to support her as an older sister. AZM said that if they win she has Hayashishita’s permission to offer Riho a spot in Queen’s Quest.
(4) OEDO TAI (Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima) vs. HIGH SPEED CHAMPION AZM & RIHO
AZM had Kashima pinned with an AZM Sushi but Tora pulled the referee from the ring to prevent the three-count. Kashima attacked AZM with a folding chair until the referee pulled her off. He called for the bell.
WINNERS: AZM & Riho in 7:31 via disqualification.
-Kashima shoved the referee to the mat and left in a huff.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Interesting that AZM spoke about having Hayashishita’s permission to extend a stable invite with no mention of Watanabe, the actual leader of the group. Watanabe’s been on a real downward spiral this year from how much of a star she was in 2019. Maybe it’s actually leading somewhere.)
-Syuri said AZM caught her by surprise at the afternoon show. Iida conceded that Syuri is strong. She’d try not to get swallowed up by her.
(5) ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPION SYURI vs. SAYA IIDA – BLUE STARS BLOCK
Syuri with a punt kick to Iida for the pin.
WINNER: Syuri in 8:31.
-Iida stumbled backstage on spaghetti legs to sell the impact.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Syuri has two matches left: Maika and Hayashishita. As of this moment the Maika match doesn’t factor into things as beating Hayashishita would give Syuri the lead in Blue Stars and losing to her would mean she’s out of contention. Iida has two matches left to not finish the GP at zero. Can she pick up a surprise upset over two stable leaders in Watanabe and Tora?)
-Maika reflected back to No People Gate on March 8. Kyona was the first person to pin her in Stardom. Kyona was still hung up on the tainted DQ victory over Tora. She was getting stressed.
(6) FUTURE OF STARDOM & ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPION MAIKA vs. JUNGLE KYONA – BLUE STARS BLOCK
Lock up. Kyona into the ropes. A shoulder block sent Maika to the mat. Kyona hung her up on the top rope and spanked her before dropkicking her in the back. Body slam. Single leg crab. Diving splashes to the back of Maika. A shoulder block sent Kyona to the mat. Arm drags. Monkey flip. STO. Rings Of Saturn. Rope break. Kyona with a suplex. Boston crab. Rope break. Kyona wanted a sharpshooter but Maika scurried to the ropes to prevent it. Kyona went to the top rope but Maika met her and hit a superplex. Kyona fired up with a series of lariats. They traded strikes with Maika going down first. Kyona sat her on the top rope for a Jungle Buster but Maika pulled her into a choke. Vader Bomb from Maika but Kyona grabbed the bottom rope to stop the pinfall. Maika with a spinebuster. STO but Kyona kicked out. Maika with an Enka Otoshi for the clean pin.
WINNER: Maika in 10:02.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Sigh. With that Kyona has been eliminated from the tournament. So much for my hopeless belief that her red belt loss before the tournament was a set up for her coming back and winning this. Instead it’s just another heartbreaking setback for Kyona ahead of TCS likely breaking up in two weeks. What happens to her after that? Maybe she becomes the #3 in Stars and remains idling in the tag division.)
-Himeka said Iwatani’s like a zombie. No matter what happens she always comes backs to win.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I know she’s new to Stardom but I don’t think Himeka’s been watching much this year. Iwatani has a 5-3-3 singles record in 2020. She’s literally won less than half of her matches.)
(7) WORLD OF STARDOM CHAMPION MAYU IWATANI vs. HIMEKA – RED STARS BLOCK
It was Himeka’s size and strength against Iwatani’s ragdoll resilience. In the end Iwatani caught Himeka with a superkick as she came off the ropes and followed with a German suplex and a dragon suplex to end her undefeated streak.
WINNER: Mayu Iwatani in 8:10.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This was a must-win for Iwatani. A loss would have knocked her out of the tournament and it would have given her another red belt challenger. Her slate is already full with title shots owed to Syuri, Giulia, and Konami. Speaking of which, Giulia has now been eliminated from the tournament.
The top 5 singles records of 2020 are now:
Giulia – 10-2-2
Himeka – 5-1-1
Konami – 9-3-1
Syuri – 6-2-2
Maika – 6-2-2)
-Hayashishita pointed out that she’s had four matches and four wins so far. The last time she fought Watanabe was in New York City one year ago. She’s been waiting a long time to face her again and wanted to end the tournament with a perfect record. Watanabe knew she needed to win here if she still wanted to make it to the finals. She further added her onto their history by saying that this is their first singles match in Japan.
(8) GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPION UTAMI HAYASHISHITA vs. MOMO WATANABE – BLUE STARS BLOCK
A handshake before the match and a slow feeling out process to start. By 5:00 the speed had picked up. With Hayashishita at ringside Watanabe ran the apron and connected with a penalty kick. She then slid under the ropes to hit her with a dropkick. Camel clutch from Watanabe. She continued to work over Hayashishita until the latter caught her with a dropkick. Her rally didn’t last long, though, with Watanabe going back to the camel clutch. Guillotine choke at 10:00 but Hayashishita made the rope break.
Hayashishita wanted a torture rack but Watanabe slipped out. Hayashishita choked her on the ropes until the referee forced her to break. A frustrated Hayashishita turned aggressive, stomping at her leader and dropping her knees on Watanabe’s lower back. Boston crab. Watanabe fired up with some dropkicks but Hayashishita put her back down with some judo throws at 15:00.
Hayashishita went up top but Watanabe threw her off with a t-bone superplex. Hayashishita hit a release German suplex and both women were down. Running knees from Watanabe. B-Driver. Hayashishita kicked out. Hayashishita with a release German into the corner. Clothesline. Air raid crash. Watanabe kicked out. Rear naked choke to Watanabe. Watanabe hit a German of her own. She wanted a Peach Sunrise but Hayashishita fought out. Clothesline to Watanabe and the clock ran out.
DECISION: Time limit draw in 20:00.
-Hayashishita mourned the end of her undefeated streak. She calculated that her 9 points still leaves her at the top of the Blue Stars block, though. Watanabe said she would win the rest of her matches and catch up to her.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Watanabe is still hanging onto a shred of credibility but she’s now eliminated from the tournament, I believe. IF… Watanabe beats Iida and Kyona, Hayashishita loses to Maika and Syuri, Maika loses to AZM, and Maika vs. Syuri ends in a draw…. then we would have Watanabe, Hayashishita, Maika, and Syuri each with 9 points. However, in that tie-breaker scenario, Watanabe would have 1 tie, 1 win, 1 and loss against the other three. As would Syuri. Hayashishita would have 1 tie and 2 losses. But Maika would have 2 wins and 1 tie so I assume the block would be awarded to her. It’s possible they would do some sort of last-minute four-way match to break the tie instead but I’m going to assume my math is right. Also, the way she’s been booked this year makes it a moot point. Watanabe is not winning the Blue Stars.)
Red Stars standings after show 6:
Himeka – 9
Konami – 8
Mayu Iwatani – 6
Tam Nakano – 6
Giulia – 6
Saya Kamitani – 3
Starlight Kid – 2
Death Yama-san – 2
Blue Stars standings after show 6:
Utami Hayashishita – 9
Maika – 6
Syuri – 6
Jungle Kyona – 6
Momo Watanabe – 5
AZM – 4
Natsuko Tora – 4
Saya Iida – 0