Puroresu Reviews

Stardom 5*Star Grand Prix Day 3 Review, Results (August 28, 2016): Bito vs. Iwatani

6.0/10

Stardom 5*Star Grand Prix Day 3

Watch: Stardom World

Nishi Ward Community Center – Osaka, Japan

Read our Day 1 and Day 2 reviews


Through the first two nights of the Stardom 5*Star Grand Prix, the story of the tournament has been the newcomers at the top of the standings of the tournament as Tessa Blanchard and Toni Storm lead their respective blocks with Io Shirai coming off of tailbone surgery while still being the cocky ace of Stardom as she proclaimed on Day 1 that she will be waiting for anyone in the Finals.

Here are the current standings so far:

Red Stars Block

Tessa Blanchard (4 points)

Courtney Stewart (2 points)

Kairi Hojo (2 points)

Jungle Kyona (2 points)

Io Shirai (2 points)

Kris Wolf (0 points)

Momo Watanabe (0 points)


Blue Stars Block

Toni Storm (4 points)

Kay Lee Ray (2 points)

Mayu Iwatani (2 points)

Blue Nikita (2 points)

Yoko Bito (2 points)

Hiromi Mimura (0 points)

Natsumi Maki (0 points)


Red Stars Block: Kris Wolf vs. Momo Watanabe **

The show starts with Kris Wolf continuing with the entertaining, off beat and weird pre-match interviews as she calls Momo Watanabe a delicious child in her pre-match interview, but since Momo was 16-years-old, she’s a lady now. She said that Momo was a healthy young women and she is going to beat her up. Wolf gave Momo her furry tail when asked for a handshake.

The match started with some good wrestling as Momo got her in a front face lock that was almost a guillotine choke. Wolf showed some agility after she got out of that with a running springboard twisting cross body for only a two count. Wolf took over control of the match by working on Momo’s right leg in the middle of the match. Momo would start a mini comeback that included dropkicks and even a dropkick to Wolf’s stomach after she put Wolf upside on the turnbuckle for the tree of woe. They started to trade strikes back and forth with Wolf ending it with beautiful t-bone suplex that she should use more often. Wolf followed with double knees from the top rope for only a two count. Wolf tries again but misses with Momo following up with another dropkick. She then gives Wolf the three Rolling Suplexes that got a good reaction from the crowd but for only two. Momo followed with a Somato (running meteora pin) and held the ropes by accident for the win.

Good opening match by Wolf again, but I’m afraid she might not a get pin for the rest of the tournament if Momo is beating her.

Official result: Momo Watanabe def. Kris Wolf via pinfall in 7:24.

Toni Storm vs. Hiromi Mimura *3/4

Toni Storm in her pre-match interview says that since she has beaten Hiromi before, she will do it again and stay in the lead for the tournament. But then she starts to look around all of a sudden, only to put on her over sized sunglasses.

The beginning of match has Storm and Hiromi having some decent looking grappling that results in Hiromi trying for quick pinfalls. Storm stopped her with a kick to the gut that got a rise out of the fans for a two count. Storm takes control as she gets Hiromi in a Gorilla Clutch (Reverse Texas cloverleaf) in which she started to spin Hiromi. Hiromi gets out of it and tries to start her comeback with a person in the crowd yelling “You can do it!” like Rob Schneider in the 1998 film “The Waterboy” but Storm headbutts her soon after. She starts to abuse Hiromi with kicks to the back and hits her with the running hip attack in the turnbuckle followed by a fisherman suplex for only two.  Storm then put on a modified version of an Indian Deathlock that turned into a Front Facing Full Nelson that got Hiromi to tap, earning her two more points for the tournament.

Hiromi wasn’t good at all here, as she looked out of place in this match. Toni did her best, but with the short amount of time and Hiromi being bad here worked against her.

Official result: Toni Storm def. Hiromi Mimura via submission in 6:20.

Tessa Blanchard vs. Kris Wolf vs. Hiromi Mimura *1/2

The stipulation in this match was that the losers of the first two matches were scheduled to face Tessa Blanchard in the three way match. Blanchard continues be the cocky heel like her father, as she proclaims in her pre-match interview that it doesn’t matter who in the match is with her because “I’m a Blanchard and I got this.”

Wolf tries to attack both but it doesn’t work. However, Blanchard and Hiromi start shoving each other and exchange forearms. Hiromi tries a running forearm in the corner but Wolf holds her on the opposite corner for Blanchard to deliver one of her own. Moments later, Blanchard would hit Hiromi with a Death Valley Driver where Hiromi almost landed on Blanchard’s thigh neck first.  Trust me, it wasn’t supposed to be an Ushigoroshi.

The comedy spot of the match was when Hiromi came off the top rope for a splash with Blanchard and Wolf catching her while yelling at each other, only in result of dropping her. Towards the end of the match, Hiromi disappeared to let Tessa and Wolf square off. They started to have weird exchanges as Tessa tried to pin Wolf by pulling Wolf’s arms and pinning Wolf with her feet while sitting. Also, Tessa hesitated doing her version of the Stratusfaction and got complete silence from the crowd. Tessa won with a senton off the top rope onto wolf (shades of Yoshiko, sorry Mauro) with the finish being abrupt as Minura was a few feet away from the pin and choose not to break it up. Very awkward second half of this match.

Official result: Tessa Blanchard def. Kris Wolf and Hiromi Minura via pinfall in 5:37.

Blue Stars Block: Kay Lee Ray vs. Blue Nikita**1/2
 

Both mentioned that they wrestled each other before and Blue Nikita says three months ago she won that match. This match took place in the British promotion called RQW for their women’s title which Nikita still has.

Before the match Nikita intimidates the ring announcer Fuka. During her ring introduction, Kay Lee Ray is called the Extreme Queen and gets excited as she gets streamers from the crowd for the first time during the tournament. The match started with Ray and Nikita going back and forth on offense with Ray busting out a nice hurricanrana and an attempted springboard cross body bulldog but Nikita caught her with a fallaway slam. Nikita gave Ray a back breaker and a sidewalk slam for only a two count. Just as you think that Nikita was slowing the pace and working more as a heel, she comes out of nowhere with a reverse hurricanrana, which might be the spot of the whole tournament so far. Nikita continues to slow down the match by choking Ray on the bottom rope and even did her 300 inspired “This Is Sparta!” chant. The tide turns in the match as  Ray starts back with a headbutt and a tilt a whirl headscissor that rolls into a modified guillotine choke. Nikita gets out of it by getting up and doing an overhead belly to belly suplex.

Coming down the stretch, the two have a nice strike exchange that leads to Kay Lee Ray doing a triple tope spot. The first two topes seemed pedestrian as she did not do them the same speed as she usually does but it made sense as it lead to Nikita catching her with a Death Valley Driver onto the apron. After another strike exchange, Ray catches Nikita with a Gory Bomb and follows with a Swanton Bomb to stay at the top of the standings. Decent match, but I feel like they have a better match between them that we will be waiting to see.

Official result: Kay Lee Ray def. Blue Nikita via pinfall in 9:24.

Red Stars Block: Kairi Hojo vs. Courtney Stewart ***
 

As the pre-match introductions finish, Stewart clotheslines Kairi through a cascade of streamers. However, Kairi is stuck in purple streamers and Stewart just waits until she gets out of the streamers. Very odd. Stewart teases to throw Kairi’s entrance mask to the crowd but throws it down to the canvas. That is when the forearms of Kairi start flying and they have a decent forearm exchange. They eventually end with a standoff to the applause of the crowd. Kairi made Stewart as bully as she worked on Kairi’s back and arm. Stewart gave Kairi a double stomp to the stomach for only two that looked brutal. Once Stewart got Kairi up to trade forearms with her again, Kairi came back with her trademark offense including her Spear. She did give Stewart an Octopus Hold where she did her salute pose to the ringside photographers, which was odd and made the match almost silly for a half of second.

She followed with more of her trademark offense including the Sliding D into Stewart, who was placed near the turnbuckles and the Flying Forearm from the top rope. She misses the second Sliding D and gets hit by Stewart with a knee. Stewart goes for a cross armbreaker to neutralize Kairi’s elbow offense, only for Kairi to get to the ropes. They go into a nice strike exchange down the final part of the match with Kairi giving Stewart a stiff Uraken. Kairi tries to get the submission with a Stretch Muffler but turns it into the cross legged Boston Crab where she leans all the way back to the canvas. She then goes to the top for her Diving Elbow Drop for the win.

Good match. Kairi made Stewart have a hard-hitting match with Stewart controlling most of it. Felt like the drama fest battles that we love out of Kairi Hojo. If you are a fan of Hojo, this was a decent match to view.

Official result: Kairi Hojo def. Courtney Stewart via pinfall in 11:37.

Red Stars Block: Jungle Kyona vs. Io Shirai***1/4
 

The match starts off with a good lockup with both struggling to the ropes. Jungle clotheslines Io to the outside and hits her with a splash. Io gains control after Jungle misses a splash into a ring post and does a quebrada moonsault which she lands on on the ringside chairs ankle first. It sounded like her ankle snapped or the chair that she landed on snapped. The doctor comes out to check on her and she eventually gets up to continue the match.

Io surprisingly controls the match after the missed quebrada, only shaking her a leg a few times. Jungle gains back on offense with power moves such as splashes and a backbreaker. Then she turns her attention to Io’s tailbone as she ties her up in the ropes with Io facing the crowd and precedes to give Io another splash. Whenever Io starts to get on a roll with her fast paced flying, Jungle answers by smacking her on the back and eventually gives her an overhead duplex from the top rope. Towards the end of the match, Io gives Jungle a Tombstone Piledriver and both pass out. They both beat the referee’s ten count with Io giving Jungle running knees in the corner. Io gives Jungle a German Suplex for only two, but follows with a kick and a deadlift German suplex for the win.

Another good match as Io is working her tailbone injury like her favorite wrestler, Hiroshi Tanahashi, was with his shoulder in the G1 Climax.

Official result: Io Shirai def. Jungle Kyona via pinfall in 11:09.

Blue Stars Block: Yoko Bito vs. Mayu Iwatani**3/4
 

This is the second time that Iwatani is in the main event in the tournament as she takes on someone who some thought of as a future ace in Yoko Bito. Sort of a battle for who is next to dethrone Io.

They start off with a good forearm exchange that followed with sprinkles of lucha style arms drags that leads to a standoff. They battle for a test of strength but Mayu finds her way out of and high kicks Bito right in the face into the corner.  Bito would recover to reverse out of an attempted suplex to kick Mayu in the face to send her outside the ring. Mayu beats the referee’s ten count similar to what her favorite wrestler, Kota Ibushi, would do and Bito takes full control after that. The crowd (with a little help from Kairi Hojo slapping the mat at ringside) really starts to get behind Mayu as she struggles to get out of Bito’s Half Boston Crab to the ropes. Mayu manages to come back after she ducks a spinning roundhouse kick and hits Bito with a high kick and superkick as Fuka starts to make her ring announcements for the amount of time left. Mayu tries to go to top but Bito catches her with a superplex for only a two count.

This marks off the close of the match as both are desperate going for pinfalls. Mayu tries a sunset flip for two, then does a Sling Blade for two that turns into a Fujiwara Armbar. Mayu sends Bito to outside with a dropkick and does a splash off the top rope but time is running out. She follows with a front dropkick along with a double stomp from the top rope for only two. She gives Bito a German suplex but Bito comes back with a kick to the head as they both pass out. After both get up to the referee count of six, Bito wins a strike battle that looks really choreographed and gives Mayu a German suplex for only two. She follows with the B-Driver, but Mayu grabs the ropes at the last second to kick out. The bell rings seconds after to mark a fifteen-minute draw.

Good effort as it was getting up there as a really good match, but didn’t reach that level you would think of in terms of a back and forth draw.

Official result: Yoko Bito and Mayu Iwatani went to a Time Limit Draw in 15:00.


UPDATED STANDINGS

Red Stars Block

Tessa Blanchard (4 points)

Kairi Hojo (4 points)

Io Shirai (4 points)

Courtney Stewart (2 points)

Jungle Kyona (2 points)

Momo Watanabe (2 points)

Kris Wolf (0 points)


Blue Stars Block

Toni Storm (6 points)

Kay Lee Ray (4 points)

Mayu Iwatani (3 points)

Yoko Bito (3 points)

Blue Nikita (2 points)

Hiromi Mimura (0 points)

Natsumi Maki (0 points)

Stardom 5*Star Grand Prix Day 3
  • Decent - 6/10
    6/10

OVERALL

This show was not like the second night of the tournament as the undercard did not breeze by--but there were three decent/good matches on this show that was better than anything on the first two nights with the exception of the Kay Lee Ray vs. Mayu Iwatani match from Day 1 and the Io Shirai vs. Momo Watanabe match from Day 2. Having the foreigners at the top of the standings is in interesting thing to see as the tournament goes on but hopefully Blanchard, Nikita, and Stewart start delivering in the match quality department compared to Kay Lee Ray and Toni Storm.

6.0/10
User Rating 6/10 (1 vote)
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