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[2017-06-21-Stardom] Io Shirai vs Mayu Iwatani


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World of Stardom Championship: Io Shirai © vs. Mayu Iwatani


This was a great match, but never reached that next level due to Io's selective selling of the neck. There are moments where she collapses due to her bad neck, followed by moments where she's jumping around, throwing German suplexes without so much as wincing. I thought it made the match less compelling, and Mayu's big moment didn't feel as grand because of it. But, there is a lot to be enjoyed here, like Mayu's tombstone! I hope she adopts it in tribute to Io. ***1/2


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I really loved this match. Neck selling kind of opens itself up to be more selective in selling compared to an arm and leg but I still thought Io did a good enough job of relating to the viewer that some of her flurries were stunted due to the damage done on the neck. The main theme of the passing of the guard felt spot on and Iwatani gave a spirited performance really going all out with big risks like the dive off the balcony and showing some stiffness indicating that she wasn't letting this big moment pass her by again. This is probably the best joshi match I have seen this year. ****1/4

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Loved how Io dominated the early portions of the match. She showcased that cocky ace character work of hers - it wasn't until they were fighting in the crowd that Mayu made her big comeback. That is when she started to get more into the match & Io was in big trouble - I was getting some Zayn vs. Neville (R Evolution) vibes from the thing w/ the feeling in the air being that the challenger was not gonna be denied this time around, but the champ was gonna do everything she could to keep that title. And she sure did - she threw everything she got at Mayu, but Mayu survived that by finding new ways to cut off Io's offensive flurries. The neck work was finally what was her key to victory - she started targeting Io's taped & banged up neck & that got her the victory. Brilliant stuff. And on top of all that, the post-match stuff is also really awesome & genuinely heartwarming. Gonna rank very high on my MOTY list; an all-time classic. ****1/2

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  • 1 month later...

Watching this in hindsight, I don't think that Io was really *selling* the neck as much as her being in legit pain. You don't see anyone selling there neck by having the ref and the doctor check if you have feeling in your hands. The Hokuto level tape job on the neck was noticeable as well.


Anyway, neck stuff aside, this was great. I really like how Iwatani took a more patient, tactical approach in the early going. It showed that she knew that she couldn't just throw everything at Io and hope for the best. The transitions where fantastic, especially Io reversing Iwatani's dragon attempt into German on the floor and Mayu breaking up Io's attempted entrance way dive into one of her own. The biggest strength of the match is how it managed to swing back and forth in both a smart and dramatic fashion. ****

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  • 3 months later...
  • GSR changed the title to [2017-06-21-Stardom] Io Shirai vs Mayu Iwatani

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