On Sunday, June 21st, World Wonder Ring Stardom held their first event in three months (due to COVID-19) titled “STARDOM is again” in front of a reduced crowd of 100 fans.
No matches had been announced before the event meaning that the entire card was a mystery to entice fans to watch and be surprised.
At the start of the show, as the matches were unannounced, all of the pre-match promos were done in the STARDOM units so that everyone got to speak about how excited they were to be back in action. During this, Tokyo Cyber Squad, headed by Konami, gave a heartfelt shoutout to the late Hana Kimura asking her to watch and that they would do her proud.
As the roster entered the ring, everyone in attendance took part in a sombre 10-count salute to pay their respects to Hana’s recent passing, before Jungle Kyona cut a promo announcing that she wouldn’t be taking part tonight as she needed time to heal and recover from the past few months events but would 100% return and be better and stronger than ever.
MATCH: Hina (Queen’s Quest) vs. Natsu Sumire (Oedo Tai) vs. Rina (Tokyo Cyber Squad)
The opening contest was a hotly contested affair and was a great way to open the show. The young talent that STARDOM has on its roster holds great promise for the future of this great promotion. Twin sisters Hina and Rina both outshone the comparable-veteran Natsu Sumire after the latter took charge in the early game. Rina managed to weather the storm of Sumire about midway through the match before the sisters teamed up briefly to remove Sumire from the equation after she escaped from Rina’s superb Octopus Hold submission. However, shortly after Rina, who continues to impress on every outing caught her twin in said submission hold whilst standing and brought her to the canvas, which looks devastatingly painful for the youngest to endure before she ultimately had to tap out to her blood relative and TCS member.
WINNER: Rina via submission on Hina [8:55] Rating: 3.5 out of 5
MATCH: Death Yama-san (Tokyo Cyber Squad) vs. Saki Kashima (Oedo Tai)
This was definitely the comedy segment of the night’s festivities. Death Yama-san came out and of course, played up her gimmick to the crowd, the ref and her opponent. After hearing enough of her opponent, Saki Kashima began to lay the beatdown on Yama-san as a short back and forth broke out between the pair before Kashima grounded Yama-san. Yama-san managed to eventually win by reversing Kashima’s Inverted Double-Underhook Facebuster for a quick pinfall.
WINNER: Death Yama-san via pinfall [5:11] Rating: 2.5 out of 5
MATCH: Natsuko Tora (Oedo Tai) vs. Konami (Tokyo Cyber Squad)
This match was more of a taste of what is to come between these two highly talented competitors. The contest starting off slow with Konami keep Natsuko grounded using those incredibly effect techniques that she has acquired by being trained by WWE star Asuka. Eventually, Natsuko managed to whether the storm with hard hitting Sentons and, after pushing the referee and removing him from the equation, she wrapped Konami up in the ropes using her iconic chain and, when the ref came to, disqualified Tora for using an illegal weapon. Although the match was short, if these two were given more time, we could have a classic on our hands.
WINNER: Konami via DQ [9:25] Rating: 3 out of 5
MATCH: Utami Hayashishita & Saya Kamitani (Queen’s Quest) vs. AZM & Momo Watanabe (Queen’s Quest)
These four women absolutely stole the show in easily the match of the night. Utami-san and Kamitani-san teamed together for the first time and their chemistry was as if they had been teaming together for years (they also debuted new ring gear which eluded to their choice to team together for the future). The two duos from Queen’s Quest vied for dominance within their unit and all four proved why STARDOM is the elite promotion in women’s wrestling.
AZM and Utami started the match and for the first ten minutes the pacing was fast and strong with both teams not keeping anything back just because they are squad mates. About mid-way through Utami and Momo clashed and provided multiple false finishes keeping the audience invested for the whole twenty minute match.
As the match approached the time limit, the four talented competitors increased the tempo even more even though they had been pulling out all the stops and eventually the bell rang for the time limit draw.
Post-match, Utami-san and Kamitani-san vowed that they will bring the Goddesses of Stardom titles back to Queen’s Quest once Oedo Tai’s Jamie Hayter and Bea Priestley are able to return to Japan to defend their titles.
A classic match and one that any wrestling fan should definitely check out.
WINNER: Time Limit Draw [20:00] Rating: 4.5 out of 5
MAIN EVENT: Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano, Starlight Kid & Saya Ilda (STARS) vs. Giulia, Maika, Syuri & Himeka (Donna del Mondo)
This main event was a hell of a lot of fun and did a remarkable job in accomplishing two things – 1) Setting up a feud between Tam Nakano and Giulia (hopefully for the vacant Wonder of Stardom title after Arisa Hoshiki had to vacate due to retirement) and 2) Introducing Himeka as the new member of Donna del Mondo to devastating effect.
Each of the eight ladies got a suitable amount of offence in including a great spot later on when in quick succession they all hit damaging moves on each other including a four way drop kick by team STARS on Syuri.
As much damage as Saya Ilda took which led to her being the one to take the submission loss from the much larger and more powerful Himeka, Starlight Kid was team STARS MVP of the match with her seamless and high octane work removing any hint of ring rust.
A super entertaining main event that worked on multiple levels and did its job in getting STARDOM back in action.
WINNER: Team Donna del Mondo after Himeka submitted Saya Ilda [23:28] Rating: 4 out of 5
Overall, STARDOM’s return to the ring was highly entertaining and, although it was apparent that some had a tiny bit of ring rust which is totally understandable, everyone had a moment to shine and it was just great to see these talented performers back doing what they do best. QQ vs QQ was match of the night.
SHOW RATING: 3.5 out of 5