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Found 174 results

  1. This is the rematch of the close title match that these two had in May. The big difference here is that Io turned on her Thunder Rock partner Mayu and switched the competitive teacher/student rivalry into something more bitter. I really liked the approach that both took out of the gate. Iwatani tries to be the aggressor by trying to hit some big offense early. Io takes a more methodical approach, looking to try take Mayu down to grind on her in an effort to slow her down. Io's leg work was really good but unfortunately Iwatani was very selective on how she sold it. This does eventually turn into a bombfest, with Io always seeming to be either just smart or just tough enough to keep Iwatani from finishing her off. The finishing sequence was spectacular but I felt that some of the transitions during it were weak which lessen the effect of the moves being hit. Not quite the MOTYC that their May match was but still a great spectacle on its own. ****
  2. This is for Io's World of Stardom title (Red Belt) and if she's successful in defending it she will break her own record of title defenses. Io does a fantastic job of putting over Baszler as serious threat. She bumps and sells incredibly well for Baszler's power offense and submissions. I felt Baszler held up her end of the match fairly well. She has always carries herself well but her in-ring is inconsistent. In this match, her offense looked good and flowed nicely plus her selling was solid. The finish was a bit weird though. Baszler seemingly puts Io out with a sleeper but the ref makes her break the hold which didn't make any sense since that's exactly how Baszler won a trios match at the last show. Other than that, this was great match with probably the best performance from Io in awhile. ****1/4
  3. donsem43

    Current Joshi Talk

    Decided to start this thread since both Stardom and Pro Wrestling WAVE now have their own streaming services, plus the Real Hero google drive makes it easier to find shows from other groups. Just finished watching the opening night of the 5*GP. Thought it was a fine show, but nothing memorable. Storm/Bito, Hojo/Wolf, and Iwatani/KLR were all good yet would say that you have to rush out to see any of them. The only bad match was Blanchard/Watanabe, which was a mess. Courtney Stewart looked good having a short, solid match with Jungle Kyona. The show ended with promos from Kay Lee Ray, Toni Storm, and Io Shirai whom I assume they are teasing as being in the finals.
  4. This is a match for both the World of Stardom title and the Wonder of Stardom title with the winner taking both belts. This match gets off to a fairly methodical start but it never feels like its killing time as they always seem to keep things moving along. They do manage to slowly, but naturally, increase the pace along the way to point that you don't suddenly notice that they are in the finishing run. A very well laid out title match. ****
  5. 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
  6. This is for Watanabe's Wonder of Stardom title and the match that Iwatani asked for after winning the 5* Grand Prix the previous match. This is pretty much a slugfest from beginning to end. These two lay into each other while mixing in some big spots. Not quite the great match that you would expect between these two but very enjoyable none the less. ***3/4
  7. This was Kagetsu's second title defense of the day as she takes on Shimmer champ Nicole Savoy. Savoy actually controls the opening part with a mix of matwork and power forcing Kagetsu to use more of her high-risk offense. I really liked the matwork here a lot. It's not smooth looking but the roughness of it made everything come off as earned. Savoy going back and forth between matwork and throws worked well because you felt like she was keeping Kagetsu off balance. The finish keeps this from being great as Kagetsu sprays mists in Savoy's face right in front of the ref leading to the end. Still, a entertaining match that will hopefully led to Savoy coming back to Stardom assuming that she doesn't sign some where. ***3/4
  8. 5STAR Grand Prix 2018 Finals: Mayu Iwatani vs. Utami Hayashishita This was a star-making performance for Utami in her first ever Korakuen main event. The dismissive veteran versus the cool super-rookie dynamic was played well. Mayu does a splendid job bumping (as usual) for Utami's power-based offense when the tide turns and her comebacks were well obtained. Excellent match to cap off a great tournament. ****1/2
  9. This is the biggest challenge of Utami's short career as she takes on World of Stardom champion Kagetsu. Once again, this match is inexplicably great given Utami's inexperience. Kagetsu is fantastic here, quite possibly the best performance of her career. She more of a straight forward bitchy veteran heel who tries to goad Utami into losing her cool. Utami stays under control and actually manages to fire back using a sleeper and working over Kagetsu's back. A truly amazing match worked in the traditional veteran/rookie dynamic. ****1/4
  10. This is for Mayu's and Saki's Goddesses of Stardom tag titles as they take on their STARS teammates Tam and Kid. The match was pretty entertaining as they cut a quick pace while maintaining a nice flow throughout the match. There's no big flashy double teams but they do make their moves count and sell everything fairly well. A nicely worked tag match that you shouldn't skip even though it's in the middle of the 5* GP. ***3/4
  11. This was a big match in the Blue Stars block with the winner being in control of her own fate going into the final day. Hazuki is just nasty in this match, jumping Iwatani at the start then viciously going after her arm. Iwatani stays in the match by hitting just enough big shots while still selling her arm, eventually catching Hazuki with a dragon suplex for the win. Short, but quick and action packed. ***3/4
  12. This match happen of the final show of the 5*GP. For Konami, this was quite the bookend to a tremendous tournament for her. She looked great here again working over Utami with kicks and various holds. For her part, Utami has another better than expect performance. She sells Konami's arm-work well and fires back with some judo throws and submissions of her own. This was a bit on the short side but the work here makes it well worth checking out. ***3/4
  13. 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
  14. Kelly Klein has been a bit of a surprise in this tournament. She was painfully dull in her first Stardom run late last year, but she's at least watchable so far. This match was the first time that I feel that she genuinely held up her end of a pretty good match. Momo put in another strong performance here as she's been the most consistent performer in the tournament so far. ***3/4
  15. 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
  16. This is the Wonder of Stardom champ versus the Shimmer champ on the opening night of the 5* Grand Prix. These two ended up working together really well due to the similar styles. The match has a lot of nice back and forth switching in between strike, suplexes, and submissions. It was nice to finally see a match like this in joshi that didn't ended up with the politically mandated draw. Very entertain stuff. ***3/4
  17. This was the main event to the opening night of the Stardom 5* Grand Prix. Konami put in a tremendous performance here as she takes this to the mat early and forces Kagetsu to remember that she was a Meiko Satomura trainee. Konami seems to have an answer for everything that Kagetsu throws at her in this match. If Kagetsu tries to go to mat, Konami outworks her there. If Kagetsu tries to outstrike her, Konami hits harder than her. Even when Kagetsu tries to out duel her with big moves, Konami beats her there to. Just a fantastic match to start the tournament. ****1/4
  18. 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
  19. This is for Mayu and Saki's Goddesses of Stardom tag titles as they take on the new ass-kicking duo of Momo and Konami. Wow, do those two beat the ever-living crap out of Saki in the early going. Ever since she became a contracted wrestler with Stardom, Konami has just become a much more vicious wrestler and it's so fun to watch. Mayu had one of her best performances in a while as she got a good working over to from the challengers as well and put it over with strong selling even while she was on offense. The quick rollup finish here worked because during the finishing run Saki kept getting good counters on Momo which setup her getting the pin. Still, this seemed like a tease to the inevitable Momo/Konami tag title run which should be awesome. ****
  20. This is Io Shirai's last match in Stardom before leaving to go to the WWE. This match is a bit hard to judge since while they work in some fun, lighthearted spots into the middle of the match that is mostly serious and competitive. When they are being serious no one lets up at all. Each one of them work really stiff. Io and Mayu do work in some old Thunder Rock spots in the finishing run. Overall, the match is a mixed bag but is still incredibly entertaining. ***3/4
  21. 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
  22. This is for Toni's World of Stardom title. The pre-match for this is weird as both cut promo that are directed at English speaking critics rather than the match itself. The actual match does get off to a nice start as they do some quality matwork. Toni looked great here, especially in how she would mix in big moves in with her matwork. What her title run lacked in defenses it sure made up for in quality. Kagetsu's performance was a mixed bag, she was really spirited but her selling was lacking. Also, I really hope that every one of her title defenses doesn't have multiple ref bump/distraction spots in them. All in all, this was a very good title match. ***3/4
  23. 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
  24. This is a prelude to the Io/Momo title match that would be happening a few days later. If your looking for a new "Kick the shit out of your opponent" tag team then you'll want to check out Momo and Konami. They put a beating on AZM to the point that AZM's screams start to get a bit unsettling and they are not afraid to take to Io either. In the end, the match actually ends up being fairly one sided as Io/AZM never really get any momentum in the match. Still a well worth a watch given the display that Momo/Konami put on. ***3/4
  25. Well, I think that match worked as a spectacle but that's pretty much it. The build to the first bat shot was well done. It was shocking when Kagetsu hit Io with the bat because I was expecting Io to avoid it at least one more time before it hit. I'm not death match expert, but I don't understand how the second bat shot didn't directly lead to the finish. Especially after Natsu sold it like she was done only for everyone else to just start working like it was a finish to a regular tag match. I don't know, I guess just find gifs of the bat shots and that's really all that you need to see.