Saturday, June 23, 2018

Stardom - Shining Stars 2018 (6/9/2018)

2. Hanan vs. Natsuko Tora

Great showing from Hanan in this match. I was surprised at how strong she looked here, locking in an arm bar and nailing a chain of judo slams, before Tora made her comeback. Tora's selling of the arm was a nice touch

***1/2

4. STARS (Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid & Tam Nakano) vs. Queen's Quest (AZM, Io Shirai, Konami & Momo Watanabe)

Great 8-man scramble. Konami accidentally hits Starlight Kid with a kick to the face, causing the latter to bleed from the nose and be unable to finish the match. I thought it worked well into the pacing and gave the match an organic heat.

***3/4

5. World of Stardom Championship: Toni Storm (c) vs. Kagetsu

Totally fine with Toni Storm defending the belt twice (in Japan) against high profile opponents. It isn't much different from Satomura's reign with the belt. This was an awesome match, both worked hard and pushed each other to the limit in what I feel is the best match of their respective careers. Intense, snug action throughout. Super Toni's second wind and Kagetsu channeling senpai with the Death Valley Bomb were such great moments.

****3/4

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tokyo Joshi Pro - The 5th Tokyo Princess Cup (6/17/2018)

5. Tokyo Princess Cup - Round 2: Miyu Yamashita vs. Nodoka-oneesan

Great climax with Nodoka coming back from the brink of death. Oneesan's on another level when it comes to creating drama and drawing the crowd in with her selling. Her ragdoll-bumping really did Miyu's hellish kicks justice.

****

7. Tokyo Princess Cup - Round 2: Rika Tatsumi vs. Shoko Nakajima

This was pleasant surprise since I didn't have any interest going in. They were working hard and there were some amazing spots, such as Rika's running dropkick on the apron to Shoko's leg.

***1/2

Stardom - Queen's FES in Sapporo (6/3/2018)

2. Future of Stardom Championship: Starlight Kid (c) vs. AZM

Solid showcase of what these two can do together. Spotty execution, but they paced and built everything well into the time limit draw. I liked the heated moments where they traded slaps and AZM's little stomps to the head.

***

3. JAN (Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora) vs. Oedo Tai (Hazuki & Sumire Natsu)

Sumire's cheating and hijinks and Hazuki's surliness works well together. This made me psyched for their GoS title challenge. Also, nice to see Nao hit an axe bomber in her hometown!

***1/2

5. Goddesses of Stardom Championship: Oedo Tai (Hana Kimura & Kagetsu) (c) vs. STARS (Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima)

Good competitive tag match with exciting momentum shifts and near-falls. Hana had a strong performance here, hit some nice head-sweeping boots and sold the defeat really well after getting misted and Dragon Suplexed.

***3/4

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura (Fortune Dream 5, 6/14/2018)

Kenta Kobashi Produce - Fortune Dream 5 (6/14/2018)

Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura

Io's dynamic flippy style works so well in a 3WAY setting. This had cool spots and sequences and everything flowed together well. This was a lot of fun.

***3/4

Stardom - Shining Stars 2018 (5/27/2018)

2. Candy Floss vs. Konami

I really liked the counters and how smoothly everything flowed in this match. Konami's against an opponent who wrestles a similar submission-based style so that was nice to see. Well-paced technical clash.

***1/2

3. Oedo Tai (Martina & Sumire Natsu) vs. STARS (Tam Nakano & Zoe Lucas)

Fun mixture of shenanigans + action. Both teams gelled well together. Tamu has been doing some interesting stuff lately, she's improved her execution as well.

***

4. STARS (Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima & Starlight Kid) vs. Queen's Quest (AZM, Io Shirai & Momo Watanabe)

It's been fun watching Saki get her groove back, every show she's introducing something new to her arsenal. Highlights were Mayu's selling of Momo's diving somato and SLK trying to break AZM with a Boston crab.

***1/2

5. Artist of Stardom - Finals (decision): J.A.N. (Jungle Kyona, Kaori Yoneyama & Natsuko Tora) vs. Oedo Tai (Hana Kimura, Hazuki & Kagetsu)

The closing segment here with Hazuki and Kyona was awesome - that headbutt and that slap from Hazuki! Great trios to end the tournament, there were some cool double teams and tandem sequences. 

***3/4

Friday, June 15, 2018

Azure Revolution (Maya Yukihi & Risa Sera) vs. Maika Ozaki & Saori Anou (Ice Ribbon, 5/13/2018)

Ice Ribbon - #884 ~KFC Ryogoku Ribbon~ (5/13/2018)

International Ribbon Tag Team Championship: Azure Revolution (Maya Yukihi & Risa Sera) (c) vs. Maika Ozaki & Saori Anou

Classic International Ribbon match where its all action, visually stunning sequences and double teams. Probably went longer than it needed to be. Dug Sera fighting dirty with closed-fist punches to Maika.

***3/4

Kaori Yoneyama & Masa Takanashi vs. Riho & Kenny Omega (Gatoh Move, 2/9/2013)

Gatoh Move - Japan Tour20 (2/9/2013)

It was cool to see Omega's flashy, high-impact offense on the Gatoh Move mattress. Yoneyama was amazing here as well, and her interactions with Omega were great. Highly entertaining match in Kenni's first and only GM appearance. 

****