Puroresu WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

Stardom “5th Anniversary” (1/17/16) Review

Stardom held it’s first show on January 23rd, 2011. 5 years later, nearly to the exact date, they held their 5th Anniversary show. Time sure does fly. To celebrate the anniversary, we have a pretty stacked show headlined by Io Shirai defending her newly won World of Stardom championship against Kairi Hojo in a no time limit match. Mayu Iwatani’s High Speed title is also on the line when she defends it against newcomer Kay Lee Ray. This show features an influx of Stardom’s newest batch of gaijin acquisitions, so it’ll be interesting to see how they all fit in. All that in mind, let’s get to the show.

Azumi vs. Starlight KidN/R

This five minute match was edited for TV to just over two minutes. A sequence of Azumi getting the better of Starlight with dropkicks and a suplex, but Starlight tossed her off the top, hit a middle rope splash and a standing moonsault to win the match. Not really much to say about a sneeze and you’ll miss it match, but Starlight’s lucha style continues to improve.

Jungle Kyouna & Momo Watanabe vs. Hiromi Mimura & Saori Anou**1/4

A fun bout between these four, a good showcase of the new rookies in Kyouna and Mimura. Kyouna is already well embraced by the fans for her powerful style. Watanabe spiked Mimura’s face into the mat with a flatliner at one point and went to follow it up with a top rope dive but Saori caught her with a beautiful fisherman suplex. A good last-minute sprint at the end, Watanabe picking up the win with the F-Crush on Mimura.

Chelsea Green vs. Haruka Kato*

This is the same Chelsea from last year’s Tough Enough revival, making her Stardom debut. I was surprised to hear that Stardom brought her on and it should be interesting to see how she fits in. Right away she definitely shows some charisma, even getting some of the crowd behind her. A short six-minute match, Chelsea’s offense was a little shaky but she didn’t do bad. Kato worked over the arm for the majority of the match. Chelsea hit a nice dropkick from the top, a DDT and finished Kato with the Unprettier to win. Not sure how I feel about the Unprettier being her finisher, but Kato sold it like death so in this instance, it did work well.

(#1 Contender's Match for Goddesses of Stardom Championships) Team Hyper Destroyer (Evie & Kellie Skater) vs. Kaitlin Diamond & Viper**1/2

Act Yasukawa’s newest recruits to Oedo Tai, Viper and Kaitlin Diamond taking on 2/3rds of the Artist of Stardom champions. Evie and Diamond had a pretty good sequence, I love Evie and her kicks, she’s a perfect fit in Stardom. Evie and Skater traded tags in their attempts to take out Viper with their combinations of kicks. Their attempts were thwarted by Act who jumped up on the apron and spit alcohol in their faces, Viper dropping Skater with a forward electric chair. Skater tried to comeback with a big superkick but Viper didn’t fall, planting Skater with a michinoku driver and finishing her with the Viper Bomb, crushing Skater and getting her team the three count. A very decent match here, Skater and Evie were great and Viper fills the role of ‘big unstoppable force’ pretty well.

(High Speed Championship) Mayu Iwatani (c) vs. Kay Lee Ray****1/4

The High Speed championship being defended in a match with a fitting pace. Iwatani and Ray have a quick back and forth, trading holds with neither able to get a leg up on the other. Iwatani goes for her dropkick into the ropes but Ray moves, Iwatani landing hard on the bottom rope and tumbling outside. Ray follows it with three consecutive suicide dives. Kay Lee Ray takes the advantage, dropping Iwatani into the turnbuckles with gory specials, and even a springboard heel kick. Iwatani manages to hit the dropkick on the ropes in the second attempt. Another high speed sequence between the two, great action throughout this match, Ray and Iwatani having some awesome chemistry for their first match together. A rapid fire sequence of pin attempts between the two, Ray blocking a small package attempt and reversing it into the gory bomb! Ray hits a senton from the top but Iwatani gets right up and nails a snap dragon suplex. The match turns into a straight up slugfest as they throw elbows at each other, Ray nearly knocking Iwatani out with a hard one. Iwatani escapes another gory bomb attempt and goddamn drills Ray with a frankensteiner. Ray tries to go up top but Iwatani gets her with a super northern lights, kicks her head off, and nails the dragon suplex hold to win the match and retain the title. One damn good match here, these two killed it and didn’t miss a beat. Kay Lee Ray solidifying herself as someone who can match up with the best in just her second show with the company. Iwatani is one of the best and continues to prove it each night that she competes.

(World of Stardom Championship) Io Shirai (c) vs. Kairi Hojo****1/2

We knew Kairi would be getting her title shot after her 5 Star GP win, but we all thought it’d be against Satomura. A big change brought us into 2016 as Io won the belt from Satomura, and promised the title shot to Kairi. So, here we are. A respectful handshake turns into a damn shoot as these two immediately blast each other with stiff shots, firm hands across the face echoing through Korakuen. From stiffness to a sequence of grappling, Shirai and Hojo try to lock in holds but neither one letting up enough to get caught. Shirai rebounds off a handspring backflip and hits a missile dropkick sending Kairi out, and follows it with a springboard moonsault to the outside. Kairi throws Shirai into the ringpost and goes to follow it with a spear but Shirai moves and Kairi rams her shoulder hard into the post. Shirai gets the advantage and slams Kairi onto the apron. It’s getting a bit brutal, folks. Shirai is showing no sympathy and continuing the stiff assault on Kairi. Shirai goes for a dive but gets met with a vicious hand across the face, and Kairi stomps her off the rope. Kairi goes up top and gets drilled with a springboard missile dropkick by Shirai, and a crossbody to the outside. Shirai brings Kairi all the way up to the stands, Kairi fights her off and jumps off the banister, nailing the FKE. Kairi marches across the arena, charges at Io and nearly breaks her in half with a massive spear.

There’s so much intensity, these two sell the ‘big fight feel’ to damn near perfection. Back in the ring, Kairi works her over with a cloverleaf, and focuses the attack on her back. A slower pace is worked as these two focus on grapplin’, trying to wear each other out with a variety of holds. Shirai tries for the double-arm facebuster but Kairi keeps getting out of it and even goes for a Rainmaker attempt, countered by an uppercut from Shirai. Shirai went for the double-arm facebuster but Kairi popped out and hit her with a sliding lariat. An incredible sequence right there, absolutely seamless. A desperate, exhausted fight breaks out as they exchange blows and Kairi rears back and slaps Shirai as hard as she can. Shirai somehow pulls out FOUR rolling germans, the last one into a hold that Kairi pops out of. Shirai goes up top and hits Kairi’s own elbow drop on her, but doesn’t get the three. Shirai goes for the moonsault but Kairi pops up and takes her out with a powerbomb. Kairi decimates Shirai with more chops, elbows and stiff as hell strikes. Kairi busts out the brutal spinning backfists over and over. Kairi finally hits the diving elbow drop but Shirai pops the shoulder up at nearly 3. Another attempt is thwarted by Shirai kicking her arm on the way down. Shirai gets the adrenaline she needs to hit a tombstone, a package german, a goddamn tiger suplex and finally, the moonsault to finish Kairi off and get the three. What a goddamn finish! It took literally everything Io had to put her away. The match went just under 30 minutes, and the pace changed up throughout, from quick stiff brutality, to well-worked grappling on the mat. It’s hard to expect anything but excellence from these two when they face off.

Io’s emotional celebration with Kairi and the other Stardom women are interrupted by a big group of all the new foreigners, backed by Act Yasukawa. The gaijins destroy the Stardom faithful and leave. It looks like this is going to lead to a big Stardom vs. Foreigners angle, not entirely sure where they go with this but it could be good. Give me Evie vs Iwatani out of this, please! Two great title matches were the highlight of this show, definitely go out of your way to catch those. The future looks very interesting and I’ll be covering it every step of the way. Thanks for reading.

About the author

Dan Notarile

Hello everyone, I'm Dan. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and I'm always looking to write about new things. Combine that with the massive and varied world of wrestling, and you have me stoked about being on board with Wrestling With Words. From WWE to joshi puroresu, the writing will flow endlessly.

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