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Found 22 results

  1. This was a special challenge match to setup the Apache sisters challenging for the Goddesses of Stardom titles at the end of the month. They come off looking really strong here as they show off a strong mix of lucha style spots with some real hard hitting strikes. HZK takes the brunt of the Apache's offense, including a couple of nasty figure four variations from Faby. They also work together to contain Io. Overall, just a great showcase for what the Apache's can do. ***3/4
  2. Loser Leaves Unit - Gauntlet: Oedo Tai (Kris Wolf, Sumire Natsu, Kagetsu, Hana Kimura & Tam Nakano) vs. Queen's Quest (AZM, Io Shirai, Viper, HZK & Momo Watanabe) This was an amazing match, the stakes are high and you can feel the tension. Sumire's sleazy heel character has quickly become one of my favorite things in Stardom - she was so good in this. The Kagetsu-Viper segment had breathtaking spots, and Hana-HZK was a heated back and forth that ends with an insane bump. The final between Momo and Tamu was rough at times, but they fought with a lot of heart and the crowd was hot. ****1/4
  3. This is for Queen's Quest's Artists of Stardom titles. As someone who was never enjoyed this feud, I was surprised that I ended up liking this as much as I did. This was one of the rare times that Oedo Tai's heel shtick worked well within a match. They also manage to work some nice sequences and pulled off some nice double teams. QQ were also able to give their typical trios level performance because they weren't weighed down by Oedo Tai's antics. A much better match than the overrated elimination match from the week before. ***3/4
  4. Wonder of Stardom Championship: Io Shirai © vs. HZK This is the third match between these two this year, and I thought it was the best of the three. This was an intense back and forth with amazing bumps and counters. Io has been doing a great job of keeping herself fresh lately, she has been finding new approaches to her matches and I thought she was interesting here. HZK's growth was on full display. ***1/2
  5. Io and HZK have been the only team to consistently have watchable matches in this Stardom Tag League. Surprisingly though, this was their best match of the tournament against AZM and Kid. It's getting to be kinda of freaky to see how much better AZM is when she's in the ring with her QQ teammates as opposed to being in there by herself. Even Starlight Kid looked solid, not the typical young who is just going to do a bunch of flippy stuff in a sloppy manner. A very fun match. ***3/4
  6. Queen's Quest vs. Oedo Tai Challenge Series: HZK vs. Kagetsu HZK was going all out to put down the big bad wolf of Oedo Tai, but Kagetsu had a couple of tricks up her sleeve. This was great. HZK was roughhousing Kagetsu in grand fashion, and delivering one of the best singles performances I've ever seen from her. Hope she's able to maintain this momentum. ***1/2
  7. Hey, remember when Stardom use to have really good tag/trios matches on their house shows. This was a flashback to more enjoyable times with this match. QQ cut off the ring on Kyona and do a good job with working her over. The best part of this match is how Kyona never really spends enough time out of the match to truly recover from the beating she took early on. She's able to hang in there for most of the match but QQ keep knocking Bito out of the picture eventually hitting a Bombs Away/Moonsault combo for the win. ***3/4
  8. Queen's Quest (AZM & HZK) vs. Team Jungle (Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora) This was an awesome slugfest; action-packed. AZM connects gnarly kicks, and puts on her best performance yet. HZK brings the hate, Kyona brings the explosiveness, Tora continues to look impressive -- great match! ****
  9. HZK vs. Jungle Kyona This match has a vile-sounding headbutt in just the opening sequence! It's amazing that they were able to keep up the pace, because that looked (and sounded) like it hurt like hell. HZK's bully-esque offense was great, with her stomps and kicks to the head, and Kyona brings a certain raw emotion to her performances that draws you in. Great, hard-hitting match. ***3/4
  10. 5★STAR GP Blue Stars Block: HZK vs. Tam Nakano Tam got loads more streamers than HZK. What was meant by this? This was a fine match, it had an extra bit of heat with HZK being the bully, and the slap exchange was enjoyable. Tamu has potential and she is already over with the crowd, I'm excited to see how she'll perform in this tournament. **1/2
  11. Queen's Quest (AZM & HZK) vs. NEW-TRA (Takumi Iroha & Rin Kadokura) Takumi spams superkicks like a western indie wrestler; she rarely makes tape so I was anticipating her every move, seeing what interesting techniques she would use, and I dig this NEW-TRA team. Kadokura is getting out of her rookie phase, and showed off some new moves in her new attire. I thought Queen's Quest did great as well; AZM gave a strong effort. Very solid tag match. ***1/4
  12. Artist of Stardom Championship: Team Jungle (Hiroyo Matsumoto, Jungle Kyona & Kaori Yoneyama) © vs. Queen's Quest (HZK, Io Shirai & Viper) A solid match for Io's return. I thought she looked great, and she did some new flippy stuff. Viper ends up crushing Kyona's face and causing a nosebleed, and I thought it added to the match visually. It's also nice to see HZK pick up the big win. ***
  13. HZK vs. Io Shirai HZK almost snaps herself in half launching backwards on Io's front dropkick, and I loved the way she took Io's tombstone too. Her bumping was on point here. This was a back and forth match that flowed well, and HZK came off looking strong with her Michinoku driver on the apron. Unfortunately, the heat was lacking and the crowd was strangely not as lively as you would think for this match-up. ***
  14. This is kind of two matches for the price of one as it starts out with the listed matchup but after a double countout, Konami asks for everyone to switch partners which leads to Hojo/Io vs. Konami/HZK. In that sense, the match does have a house show main event feel but the work here is still of high quality. Even after the partner switch up, both teams still work really well together. Nice to see that the novelty of the match produced a couple of quality matchups. ***3/4
  15. This is the opener of Stardom's Cinderella Tournament, which is a one night, single elimination tournament. Each match, excluding the final, has a ten minute time limit and you can also win by throwing your opponent over the top rope. This was a really scrappy sprint as these two have started a spirited feud over the last few shows. They go right after each other from the start, including doing some nice nearfalls to get over the over the top rule. After that, it becomes a big rush of strike exchanges and bomb throwing. This definitely looks to be the rivalry to watch in the future for Stardom. ***3/4
  16. This is for Queen's Quest's Artists of Stardom Titles. This is yet another match in the line of smoothly worked QQ trios matches that have happened in the last few months. They control the match in the early going with some slick triple teams. The action is fairly quick throughout, even Mimura and AZM do a solid job working the finish. QQ cut off Mimura from the rest of her team and seemingly had the match won but Mimura gets surprise rollup on AZM to get the upset. ***1/2
  17. This is a second round match of the Cinderella tournament. Another strong showing for HZK. Her offense isn't flashy but she's getting smarter at knowing how to use it and her heel persona effective. Hojo gives her a lot here as HZK controls most of the match and Hojo has to earn all of her comebacks. Even the draw finish makes HZK look good as she gets a bit to cocky leading her to hit finisher too late but still could have finished off Hojo. Another strong short match from this show. ***1/2
  18. Goddesses of Stardom Championship: Hiroyo Matsumoto & Jungle Kyona © vs. Queen's Quest (Io Shirai & HZK) HZK is a wild girl, and she was pushing Kyona to the edge with pesky kicks to the head. She's a pressure cooker; filled with heat. I thought Godzilla & Gorilla looked much better here than they did in Nagoya. Kyona's strikes looked good, even those weak corner splashes she does had actual impact; and I like the sumo palm thrusts, mostly because they are such an odd move of choice for a jungle lady. Io was very interesting here, showing off her athleticism with clever offense. QQ grab hands to escape stereo powerbombs, and then HZK bridges over to apply pressure to Io's pin while adding leverage to her own. HZK rules! Some fine tag team wrestling. ****
  19. Artist of Stardom Championship Tournament, Semi Final: Queen's Quest (Io Shirai, HZK & AZM) vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto, Jungle Kyona & Tora Natsuko AZM calls out Hiroyo! Holy shit! This was another really good Queen's Quest trio in a line of really good Queen's Quest trios. Jungle Friends were a very energetic team, and I thought Tora was fun. HZK's feud with Kyona is really starting to heat up, I can't wait for their Cinderella Tournament match. Io is the ace, but she kind of lays low in these matches and let's her teammates get the spotlight. It is generous of her. Tora gets squashed so hard under HZK's diving raiden drop that I think it may have caused her head to whiplash against the mat. Bomb's Away may be the most destructive finisher in modern joshi. ***3/4
  20. This is yet another Queen's Quest trios match, not that I'm complaining as they are usually pretty good. The main goal here is to setup the High Speed title match between Iwatani and Watanabe, which unfortunately was for not as Momo hurt her ACL a few days after this. That's a real shame as the work between her and Iwatani here was a highlight. Mimura gets in a fair bit of offense to and it's nice to see that she adding more moves beyond her various rollups. She also puts up a gutsy fight at the finish until she accidentally gets hit by her teammates making her easy fodder for QQ to finish her off. Yet another super fun Stardom/QQ trios match. ***1/2
  21. This is a fun six-man that main-evented this show. While Queen's Quest came out with their newly won Artist titles, they weren't on the line here. QQ take control in the early going over Kyona and do a good job of working her over. The match really picks up after Iwatani tags in as she has a couple of great exchanges with Io and Momo. They work in a couple of nice car-wreck spots before QQ cut off Kyona and finish her off for the win. ***1/2
  22. This is the main event of Stardom first show of the year with the new tag champs, Hojo and Bito, taking on Io and her Queen's Quest partner HZK. The QQ duo control the early going with some effective bullying tactics, managing to cut off the ring on both Hojo and Bito at separate times. HZK looked solid working as a heel and was fine holding her own during the finish although she should try to develop her own shtick rather than aping Yoshiko. Io and Hojo carry the the finish of the match. The two of them continue to have fantastic chemistry together. A high quality main event to start off the year for Stardom. ***3/4
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