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  1. This is for Jungle's and Tora's Goddesses of Stardom tag titles. The main story throughout this match is the continuation of the Jungle/Utami feud. Every interaction between these two is fantastic. Natsuko Tora had possibly the best performance of her career in her first Korakuen Hall main event. Not crazy about the booking here but with that said this match could be the precursor to a run of very strong tag matches in 2019 for Stardom. ****1/4
  2. This is a big match in the Red Stars block as both of these women were at the top of the standing there. Kagetsu had another quality performance here mostly because she actually managed to play an effective heel. None of her shtick felt shoehorned in like it usually does. Jungle was Jungle here, a lot of fire, some nice power moves, and very good selling. They would have had something great if they had some better transitions during the finish but even still this was a really good match well worth watching. ***3/4
  3. This was one of my most anticipated matches from this year's 5* Grand Prix and it didn't disappoint. The story of the match is setup early as Jungle drills the post on the outside trying to chop Konami. The rest of the match is build around Jungle's tremendous selling of the arm as she tries to work through it while avoiding Konami's submissions. She succeed in doing that by effectively plowing over Konami hard enough to get the win. Terrific storytelling here. ****1/4
  4. This is Utami Hayashishita debut match. Utami has a bit of fame in Japan because her dad is a reality TV star in Japan on a show that focuses on him and his large family. This is really, really, good for a debut match with Utami showing some tremendous ring presence. The match was laid out in such a way that she looked reasonably competitive with one of the top stars in the company. Jungle does a nice job on her end making Utami look strong although she doesn't really push Utami to the point of being in any danger of losing. Well worth checking out for the debut performance. ***3/4
  5. This is Momo Watanabe's first defense of the Wonder of Stardom after her big breakthrough win last month. The biggest thing that I like about this match is that they kept focused on their strengths and didn't feel the need to have the typical Japanese wrestling title match. Primarily, they didn't over do it with too many big moves or nearfalls. Momo shows the same cold-blooded drive she did in her title win but also displaying a dangerous, strike at any moment potential. This is personified when, after Jungle gains the early advantage by working over Momo's leg, she erases that advantage by hitting a B-Driver on the floor. Jungle puts in yet another spirited challenge and shows a lot of resolve. This match feels like it's just the start in what will surely be a hell of a race to become the next Ace of Stardom. ****1/4
  6. This is Viper's first defense of the SWA title that she had just won a couple of shows ago. Not only is Jungle in her hometown but it's also her birthday. So her entrance ends up being a big deal and the match itself has great heat throughout. Jungle's pride gets the better of her at the start as she tries to show off her power by attempting to slam Viper. This backfires, allowing Viper to squish Jungle and for her to start using her size to were Jungle down. Jungle does make a spirited comeback highlighted by her powerbombing Viper out of the corner. The finish has a really nice exchange of near-falls with the crowd getting into each one. A strong title match. ****
  7. New Chibis (Hiromi Mimura & Konami) & Team Jungle (Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora) vs. Oedo Tai (Hana Kimura, Kagetsu, Kris Wolf & Sumire Natsu) This was a fantastic debut for Sumire, she fits so well alongside the colorful characters in Oedo Tai. Hiromi is a perfect target for her, their heat-building was brilliant. Hana and Tamu are not getting along with the newest addition to the stable so there was also a relevos increibles element to this match that was amusing. Hot crowd, quality brawling and comedy. ***1/4
  8. These two had a very underrated match at the beginning of the year to kick off Kyona's run of title matches. Kyona uses her power to control the early going until Ray gets in some quick shots from unusual angles. The match turns into a nice back and forth between the two of them. They could have used more time to build up a better finish as it feels like Ray wins out of nowhere. Still one of the better matches of the tournament so far. ***3/4
  9. 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
  10. NEW-TRA showing up in Stardom is a much needed breath of fresh air, too bad they are not around for very long. Iroha looks awesome here, especially in the way she carries herself as she comes off as a big star from another company. Both Tora and Kadokura looked really good here. The big difference between the two of them is that Kadokura has more viable offense, so you can buy that she could possibly end a match on her own. A very good match between two teams of young talent in joshi. ***3/4
  11. This is for Bito's newly won Wonder of Stardom title. The match is also in the same building that Kyona won the tag titles earlier in the year with Hiroyo Matsumoto, so there's intrigue as to whether she can win her first singles' title here. Kyona controls the early going with her power but Bito manages to stay in the match with her kicks. With a longer build to the finish, this match might have been up there with Kyona's run of title matches from earlier in the year. Even so, this match ended up being the lone bright spot in a pair of really awful shows for Stardom. ***3/4
  12. 5★STAR GP Blue Stars Block: Io Shirai vs. Jungle Kyona Io's injured neck is the MVP of this tournament! I'm liking the matches being built around it so far. Kyona brought her wild energy as the aggressor. Io was bumping hard, and there were nifty spots, like the tombstone counters and Io's springboard dropkick sequence. ***3/4
  13. I really liked the SWA title match that these two had earlier this year so I was looking forward to this one. While being shorter than that match, this one is almost as good. They just cut straight to the heavy hitting and keep it up the whole way till Toni wins it with a nasty piledriver. I hope these two work together more in the future cause they have surprisingly good chemistry together. ***3/4
  14. 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! ****
  15. 5★STAR GP Blue Stars Block: Jungle Kyona vs. Tam Nakano The crowd was lively for this one. Tam is green, but she makes up for that with her charisma. Kyona's leg gives out when she lifts Tam for her powerbomb finisher and the move falls apart. She doesn't know how to lift. She needs to work on lifting! ***
  16. 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
  17. 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. ***
  18. This is for BY Ho's Goddesses of Stardom tag titles as they are challenged by rising star Kyona and veteran freelancer Matsumoto. Like both of her other two title matches from earlier this year, the match is built around making Jungle Kyona look like a major player in the promotion. Again, while there are times where her work isn't smooth and her inexperience shows, she still manages to look like she can hold her own. Hiroyo looked great here too. It shows you how she's a super underrated tag worker she is when she already has two great tag title matches this year with completely different women in both matches. The finish is well done as the match is held in Kyona's hometown so the crowd really gets behind her during the nearfalls and the eventual win. ****1/4
  19. 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
  20. 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. ****
  21. 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
  22. This is for Storm's SWA title and is Kyona's forth title match this year. I really enjoyed the opening with Storm trying to use her British style matwork but Kyona countering it with her strength so Toni has to get inventive in order to counter back. Very good back and forth at the finish with Storm busting out some nice new offense. Another standout title match performance from Kyona and one of the better performances from Storm. ***3/4
  23. This is for Hojo's Wonder of Stardom title (White Belt) and is Kyona's second title shot in less than a month. It's clear from the early going that the intent of this match is to make Kyona more of a potential threat to the top girls in Stardom and it definitely succeeds in that regard. From the very start Kyona shows little fear of going toe-to-toe with Hojo, even managing to hold her own in strike exchanges. Hojo herself does a great job of putting over Kyona's performance. She goes from confident veteran showing no fear of what Kyona has to offer to realizing that she is going to have to hit all of her big moves if she is going to retain. Just an excellent, well built match that builds on the star potential of Jungle Kyona. ****
  24. This is a match for Kay Lee Ray's ICW Women's title and it's also Kyona's first notable title match. When this match was first announced, I thought that it would end up being a styles clash but I was quite surprised at how well this two worked together. This the first time that I've seen Kyona work some elaborate sequences that come off being very smooth. She also works in her power offense really well with some top notch selling. KLR had maybe her best performance in Stardom here. All of her offense hit right on point and she did a terrific job of putting over Jungle's offense to the point that you believe that she had a real chance to pull off the upset. The first surprisingly great joshi match of 2017. ****
  25. 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
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