In October of 2015, Stardom held it’s first ever American shows in California, two nights pitting the Stardom faithful against well-known wrestlers from the independent scene. Headlining Night 1 was a Wonder of Stardom Championship match, Io Shirai defending against Mia Yim.
A quick exchange starts the match as neither can get the advantage, slipping out of each other’s attempt to lock in a hold. Dueling chants for the two break out, it’s pretty surreal seeing Io wrestling in front of an American crowd. She attempts to take down Mia with shoulder blocks but Mia won’t budge, Shirai challenges her to do the same and tricks her, ducking a high kick and rolling up Mia for two. More quick sequences into Shirai hitting an arm drag sending Mia out, Shirai going for a suicide dive but Mia clocking her in the head to block it. Mia works her over on the outside, throwing her into chairs and hitting her with a running kick from the apron. Mia has the advantage, working Shirai over with some brutal kicks and slapping on a boston crab. Shirai counters another kick with a dragon screw and nails Mia with a dropkick to the head, evoking “Holy Shit!” chants from the crowd. Shirai goes to finish her with a moonsault but gets kicked down by Mia, who grabs her into a beautiful sit-out powerbomb. This match has a lot of fun seamless sequences. Mia has the control but not for long as Shirai takes her out with a dropkick, and hits a moonsault to the outside. Shirai gets her back in, hitting her missile dropkick into tiger feint kick combo, not quite enough to put Mia away. The two trade stiff shots, Mia hitting a desperate high kick that takes Shirai down, but she goes down too. They both stagger up at a 9 count, Mia hitting Shirai with more shots and a headbutt, and spiking her with a german. Mia goes up top for the finish but Shirai just goddamn nails her with a palm strike and a top rope rana. Shirai won’t stop, hitting the package german on Mia as the crowd breaks into a Suplex City chant. Never thought I’d hear that get chanted at Io, but that’s pretty amazing. Shirai spikes Mia again with a double-arm facebuster, and finally puts her away with a beautiful moonsault.
Awesome match with great chemistry between the two. Mia Yim really stood out in this match and I’d love to see her in Stardom someday, she’d be a great fit with the way she works matches. Io Shirai is of course, one of the best in the biz, it was great seeing her perform in the USA. She seemed really pumped about it, even breaking out some English in her post-match promo to pop the crowd. I’m hoping that this first tour’s success will bring Stardom back to the states, hopefully doing some shows on the east coast so I can actually catch one! Thanks for reading.