Stardom 5STAR Grand Prix N8
September 16, 2019
We’re in Fukuoka, Japan at Nishitetsu Hall.
Avary  vs. Tam Nakano 
Tam is happy because P-Chan is back but reminds us she’s “not good against foreigners”. I’m not expecting much here. Tam raises her game based on stronger opponents and Avary, in spite of some decent showings, is one of the weaker talents in this tournament. Tam’s best work here is getting freaked out by Avary’s hand licking antics. Avary however seems buoyed by her last performance and looks way better than usual. Tam is sluggish and a lot of her big spots look tentative. Avary drills Tam with her DDT for the win and to move onto a more respectable 4 points. Avary has spent this tournament steadily improving.
Final Rating: **3/4
Bea Priestley  vs. Natsuko Tora 
Tora only has two points, as Bea demonstrates here. Punching down, literally. The match structure matches this as Bea controls for the most part. The structure doesn’t help Tora at all as she’s made to look second rate, presumably to give Bea a strong win as champion over someone who’s not had a strong tournament. Tora does get a comeback in and her wind-up urinage is a delight but generally the flow benefits the champ. They have a few issues. The Piggyback Stunner doesn’t quite look right and that’s the move that leads right into the Backdrop Driver finishing for Priestley.
Final Rating: **1/2
Andras Miyagi  vs. Konami 
Konami gives us the unfortunate news that Jungle Kyona is injured and won’t be able to compete in the tournament any more. The pacing here is positively glacial and am immediate tip off that this is going broadway. The thing is; 15 minutes is not a long time limit. Miyagi has, in general, looked very poor during this tournament and I can only assume it’s her wrestling in character as a bad guy because I have no issue with her work elsewhere. Only in Stardom. The match is frankly dull with the odd lively spot right before they head into another rest hold. Konami has the better showing, targeting a potential choke-out win and getting a tap out outside the ring, which doesn’t count. They don’t even have a hot finish with Konami hitting a German suplex and the bell ringing. Time’s up. 15 minute draw.
Final Rating: **
Natsu Sumire  vs. Saki Kashima 
This is the battle to see who has the best roll up after Sumire used the Revival to pin Mayu Iwatani.
This leads to a cagey, tense match up. Not ideal to follow on from a sluggish 15 minute draw. I was hoping for five minutes of solid flash pin attempts. For a match based on ‘who has the better roll up’ there are very few actual roll ups. There’s also a terrible ref bump where he’s in position but Sumire isn’t. This leads to Revival being missed entirely and Sumire promptly wins with her own version. This was all over the place. Mostly a comedy match but tonally it never had any focus.
Final Rating: **
Momo Watanabe  vs. Hana Kimura 
Do or die time for Hana. A loss here and her 5STAR is over. They both get a bit screamy from the off. This is a big match and they’re both keen to show they mean business. They don’t spare the kicks here. It’s all full bore and the whole thing feels a level above everything else on the show. My favourite part of the match is Hana in the tree of woe with Momo unloading with kicks and Hana is screaming at the top of her voice about her apparent displeasure. It’s a stiff, intense, competitive main event from two wrestlers who are keen to establish themselves as top dog around here. There is a feeling this can go either way and the match ebbs and flows. Hana trapping Momo in the Octopus doesn’t work out but a piledriver does. She refers to this combo finish, with a missile dropkick set up, as the Tiger Lily. Hana is still alive and it’s a ballsy decision to debut a new finish the day before the tournament finishes.
Final Rating: ***1/2
AZM  vs. Avary 
Avary complains of facing some “16 year old ninja”.
Here’s a cat I killed earlier.
Avary has to play spoiler here and her improving form and results reflect her positioning in the tournament now. Avary looks solid again here, suggesting her early tournament woes were due to communication issues. AZM struggles to cope with Avary, from a worked stance, and gets planted with the DDT. Another decent win for Avary. AZM has had a great tournament so losing here is fine. It’s not like she was going to win the whole thing.
Final Rating: ***
Natsuko Tora  vs. Konami 
Tora has had arguably the worst tournament of anyone. Both from a kayfabe perspective and from a workrate one. Konami has been patchy by her own high standards. Tora continues her consistent run of being shit in this tournament and attacks with an umbrella. Alright, settle down Martin Scurll. There’s a lot of that nonsense going on. The referee does a poor job of pretending he cares about it. Triangle Lancer finishes because it has a 100% win ratio. There’s no escape! This wasn’t very good. Another Tora match where the character stuff overwhelmed the match.
Final Rating: *1/2
Hazuki  vs. Saki Kashima 
Big chance for Hazuki as a win would put her top of Red Stars on her own. She has decent chemistry with Saki and they have a fast-paced match. It’s not actually the main event as Oedo Tai take on STARS after this. It doesn’t feel like a big match due to its positioning but it’s not helped by Hazuki slipping on the ropes and the finish is out of nowhere. Kashima getting Revival on Hazuki and that’s it. Overall a poor capper to a weak days wrestling.
Final Rating: **1/4
I’ve not seen everything off this tour but this is undoubtably the worst of the tour that I have seen. Two shows of middling quality at best, highlighted by Hana Kimura vs. Momo Watanabe and not much else. Even the big ‘who has the better roll up’ match didn’t work out. Two Tora matches and a Miyagi time limit draw and I nearly tapped out halfway through this.