SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
STARDOM GODDESSES OF STARDOM
OCTOBER 10, 2020
OSAKA, JAPAN AT EDION ARENA
AIRED ON STARDOM WORLD
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Welcome to the start of the annual Goddesses Of Stardom tag league, a round robin tournament with teams divided into two blocks. The winners earn a shot at the tag titles, currently held by Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani, who are in the tournament.
Teams for this year’s tournament were only announced three days ago. Interestingly, only two duos in Stardom teamed together more than four times this year and neither were eligible for the league: Kyona & Konami paired up six times while Giulia & Andras Miyagi competed five times. With travel restrictions still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s tournament is exclusively Stardom roster members. The roster members notably not part of the tournament are Jungle Kyona and Natsu Sumire (both out with injuries), the twins Hina and Rina, the young Ruaka, and new DDM member Natsupoi. Also notable is that AZM is teaming with Watanabe rather than Mei Hoshizuki, which was a parternship heavily teased on the September 28 show.
Last note: in a (confusing) twist, teams don’t compete against members of their block. Rather, a given Red Goddesses team will wrestle every Blue Goddesses team once instead. When all matches are complete, the high-scoring team in each block advances to the finals against each other.
We opened with the Goddesses Of Stardom tag league opening ceremony. Each team entered one at a time wearing Stardom t-shirts over their gear. Riho led Death Yama-san by the hand, who had a t-shirt covering her face. Konami had added white back to her hair. Syuri and Himeka had a secret handshake. Saya Iida was alone as Hanan presumably wasn’t in attendance. The tag champs were out last. They all posed for a group photo in the ring.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I always dislike it when any promotion makes the whole roster come out in matching t-shirts. It makes them look like little school kids and, in a situation like this, really doesn’t seem like the kind of thing Oedo Tai would agree to.)
-Shirakawa said she didn’t know anything about Kashima but wanted to get to know her before the league starts. Judging by Kashima’s Instagram she likes the anime Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and she does too. Maybe Kashima’s a good person then?
(1) SAKI KASHIMA vs. MINA SHIRAKAWA
Kashima was aggressive to Shirakawa out of the opening bell. Shirakawa came back with a somersault senton and her surfboard. Kashima with a kick to the chest and a springboard bulldog. Double-stomp from the second turnbuckle. My Emblem countered into a surfboard-like submission from Shirakawa. Twisting crossbody but Kashima kicked out. Thesz press. Big boot from Kashima. Pedigree but Shirakawa kicked out. My Emblem for the clean win.
WINNER: Saki Kashima in 6:35.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Shirakawa is definitely still a novice. A lot of her moves show light and there were multiple instances where she grabbed Kashima but it wasn’t clear what she was hoping to attempt. She feels like an early 2010’s WWE Diva in a lot of ways. Thankfully they’re not presenting her as a serious threat in the ring so it’s fine for now. Kashima never wins so losing clean to her is a real indication that Shirakawa’s being established as a lower midcarder at this point.)
-Himeka wanted to know why she was having a singles match during tag league. She implied that Tora is a pig in some unironic fatshaming from the “jumbo princess.”
(2) NATSUKO TORA vs. HIMEKA
Himeka mocked her height so Tora kicked her in the gut and tossed her around by her hair. Kashima pulled her hair some more from ringside while the referee had his back turned. Tora with a boot to Himeka’s face. Himeka with a shoulder tackle. Boston crab. Torture rack but Tora raked the eyes to escape. Samoan drop to Himeka. Top rope frog-splash. Kashima slipped Tora her chain but Himeka hit a high knee before she could use it. Torture rack again into a torture rack slam. Tora kicked out. Kashima passed off the chain again as Maika distracted the referee. Tora hanged Himeka from the ropes for the disqualification.
WINNER: Himeka in 7:02 via disqualificaition.
-Tora gave Himeka and Maika some more boots after the match and ran Himeka into the ring apron.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Hands up if you assumed this would end with Tora getting disqualified the second you saw the match announcement. They really need to find a new wrinkle to this. Either Tora and Oedo Tai need to be punished accordingly or they need to just keep leaving Oedo out of title matches until she realizes that losing every match isn’t good for your record. Anyway Himeka deserved all the punishment she took here after her pre-match comments. Who is she, Michelle McCool? She herself lost close to 20 pounds in before signing with Stardom.)
-Natsupoi really loves Osaka and really loves her big sister Syuri. Syuri said she played her big sister on stage and now they’re together in DDM. Stars explained that this wasn’t a tag league match. Nakano apologized for not choosing Iida as her league partner. She wasn’t thinking.
(3) DONNA DEL MONDO (Artist Of Stardom Champion Syuri & Natsupoi) vs. STARS (Tam Nakano & Saya Iida)
Natsupoi and Nakano started. They fought to a stand off, then both tagged out. Syuri immediately took control over Iida. Nakano eventually made the hot tag and took out both opponents. Syuri came back with some kicks. They traded forearms. Springboard stunner from Syuri. Spinning heel kick from Nakano. Iida tagged in and covered Syuri out of a bridging German suplex from Nakano for two. Missile dropkick. Syuri blocked a northern lights suplex and flapjacked Natsupoi onto Iida. Gutbuster from Syuri but Nakano made the save. Iidabashi but Syuri kicked out. Buzzsaw kick for the win.
WINNERS: Donna Del Mondo in 10:38.
(Pageot’s Perspective: With that Iida’s two-win winning streak comes to an end. I wish they’d build up the Iidabashi to be more lethal. It’s such a fun flash pin but she hasn’t won with it in a long time. Like Kashima’s Revival, giving it some extra protection could make it a real ace in the sleeve giant killer for later big matches.)
-Death still had a t-shirt over her head for her backstage promo. Riho said that today Death Yama-san becomes Gokigen Death. She said that earlier in the day the members of Stars cast a spell on her but there was no reveal at this time. Iwatani & Kid had matching masks for the first time. Kid hoped their spell on Death worked. Only her name changed, though they tried to make her visually closer to Stars.
Death came out in a full circus clown outfit with bright colors and polka dots. Her face makeup was a white base with bright blue and red over each eye and she wore a bow in her hair and red boots. She still did the sign of the horns with her hands.
(4) MK☆SISTERS (World Of Stardom Champion Mayu Iwatani & Starlight Kid) vs. COLOR ME POP (Riho & Gokigen Death) – TAG LEAGUE
Riho and Kid started with a renewal of their high speed rivalry. Death tagged in and did her usual posing to the crowd. The other three played along before Death and Riho do-si-do’ed in the center of the ring. Stars isolated Death and tagged in and out. Iwatani couldn’t stop laughing at her new look. She finally made the tag to Riho. A tilt-a-whirl headscissors sent Iwatani to the floor. Kid with a codebreaker. Riho with a northern lights to Iwatani for two. Kid tried leaping off of Iwatani’s shoulders while she stood on the second rope (this went poorly last time) but Riho stopped them before anyone got hurt. Death went up top but Kid arm dragged her off. Iwatani hit a top rope frog-splash but Death kicked out for a near-fall. Stereo tiger feint kicks and standing moonsaults from Iwatani and Kid. Riho hit a palm strike to Iwatani, who fell backwards over a crouching Death, and Death pinned the world champion.
WINNERS: Color Me Pop in 9:54.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Gokigen loosely translates as pleasure or pleasing. Evidently the Stars crew are not KISS fans and did not want the Gene Simmons makeup in their unit. Kaori Yoneyama is clearly having fun with her ridiculous characters, which helps get them over in a way that they might otherwise not. Like with Death v.1 it’s a bit disappointing that they didn’t come up with a more unique look. This is just a straight-up clown costume with no real tweaks. Something “inspired by” would have been more interesting. And she’s otherwise the same as TCS Death in that she just yells Death a lot and still does the devil horns and poses. I’d say a third of what she does lands for me and actually amuses me, though, which is a better percentage than I would have expected. So help me, it’s endearing.)
-Hayashishita pointed out that this one was QQ vs. former QQ.
(5) GODDESS OF STARDOM CHAMPIONS APHRODITE (Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani) vs. BLACK WIDOWS (SWA World Champion Bea Priestley & Konami) – TAG LEAGUE
Hayashishita and Konami started. Kamitani jumped in illegally to knock Priestley off the apron and double-team Konami. She tagged in as they continued to isolate Konami. Priestley entered for the first time at 5:00. She tossed Kamitani to the floor and Kashima got some cheap shots in while Konami distracted the referee. Tora tied her chain around Hayashishita’s throat. The referee finally saw the shenanigans and politely asked them to stop. Back in the ring Hayashishita took out both heels. Hayashishita and Priestley were both down at 10:00.
Kamitani tagged back in. Crossbody to Priestley. Missile dropkick. Boston crab but Konami immediately broke it up. Hayashishita hit Priestley with a sidewalk slam. Kamitani whiffed a shooting star press and Priestley kicked out. Konami tagged and immediately went after the arm. Spinning heel kick from Kamitani. Konami looked for an armbar but Hayashishita broke it up. She tagged in and started tossing Konami around. Hayashishita with a Samoan drop at 15:00.
Rear naked choke from Hayashishita to Konami. All four women wound up in the ring again. Konami caught Hayashishita with a guillotine choke. Hayashishita powered out. Back and forth between them. Stereo enziguiris from Oedo to Hayashishita. Torture rack slam from Hayashishita to Konami and the bell rang.
DECISION: Time limit draw in 20:00.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This is the 11th time limit draw in Stardom this year but they hit 17 in 2019 so we’ve still got a way to go. Here and there I appreciate the draw as a device and it seems silly that WWE doesn’t keep it in their toolbox. More than once a month, though, is too much. Then it just feels like they’re going to it because they’re too cowardly to have either team lose.)
-Watanabe was curious to lock up with the white belt champion. Giulia called her a second-rate woman.
(6) ARTIST OF STARDOM CHAMPIONS CRAZY BLOOM (Wonder Of Stardom Champion Giulia & Future Of Stardom Champion Maika) vs. MOMOAZ (High Speed Champion AZM & Momo Watanabe) – TAG LEAGUE
AZM and Maika started. QQ took the early lead and Watanabe tagged in as they isolated Maika. AZM tagged back in, working over Maika’s left arm. Maika hit a Rock Bottom and tagged Giulia. Watanabe and Giulia faced off for the first time. They traded forearms.
At 10:00 AZM had Maika in a ground abdominal stretch. Rope break. Maika avoided a double-stomp and hit a boot. Watanabe jumped in and took out Maika. AZM hit the double-stomp but Maika kicked out. Leg lariat from AZM into an armbar. Vader Bomb from Maika but Watanabe broke up the pin. AZM Sushi but Giulia broke up the pin. Second-rope superplex from Maika to AZM. Vertical suplex. Watanabe broke it up again. Clothesline from Maika to AZM. Enka Otoshi (twisting powerslam?) for the pin.
WINNERS: Crazy Bloom in 14:54.
-Maika assured they’d continue to win and end up in the finals.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I’m definitely getting burnt out on Stardom and that’s even after all the months they were off during the pandemic. The lack of foreign talent being available might be taking its toll. I feel like I’ve already seen all these women wrestle each other so many times and they all have the same style. You know there’ll be the spot where two wrestlers trade forearms. You know there’ll be 15 different moments where the illegal partner comes in to break up a pinfall. 32 variations of an armbar. 47 dropkicks. And nine times out of ten it’s obvious which person in the match is going to take the fall. I mean it certainly doesn’t help that three of my favorite wrestlers on the roster this time last year have since retired and two of my current favorites are both out with injuries. I think, for me personally though, it’s just too much content. One hour per week with a 3-hour special every couple months is my perfect sweet spot in wrestling whereas Stardom ran 8 full-length shows in September and have another 8 scheduled for October. I’ll almost definitely be pulling back some in 2021 and might stick to only providing reports for the big shows and sticking to result summaries for shows like this.)
Blue Goddesses standings after day 1:
Color Me Pop (Gokigen Death & Riho) – 2
Black Widows (Konami & Bea Priestley) – 1
Dream H (Tam Nakano & Mina Shirakawa) – 0
Grab The Top (Syuri & Himeka) – 0
MOMOAZ (Momo Watanabe & AZM) – 0
Red Goddesses standings after day 1:
Crazy Bloom (Giulia & Maika) – 2
AphroditE (Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani) – 1
Devil Duo (Natsuko Tora & Saki Kashima) – 0
MK☆Sisters (Mayu Iwatani & Starlight Kid) – 0
wing★gori (Saya Iida & Hanan) – 0