wrestling / TV Reports

Pantoja’s STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Night 14 Review

September 13, 2023 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix Night 14 Image Source: STARDOM
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Pantoja’s STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Night 14 Review  

STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Night 14

September 9th, 2023 | Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan | Attendance: 1,327

STARDOM keeps getting these great houses for Korakuen shows and I am here for it. Syuri gets two points here via forfeit as she was set to face Saya Kamitani.

Blue Stars: MIRAI [6] vs. Saori Anou [6]

Surprised to see this as the first tourney match of the evening given that both are champions. I also expected these two to come right after one another but we got a more subdued start. They worked the mat a bit before progressing into strikes and trading stuff throughout without either one ever fully gaining a clear upper hand. The idea here was that MIRAI was thrown off by Saori’s ability to dodge her and be elusive, while MIRAI could overpower her once she actually managed to grab hold of her. I do wish the top rope rana spot looked a bit better though. Saori didn’t seem to get a great grasp. Down the stretch, MIRAI began to gain some momentum and things were looking rather bleak for Saori only for her to escape MIRAI’s grip a few times and use a backslide pin to steal this in 12:42. That was a very good back and forth opener that told a simple story. [***¼]

Red Stars: Hazuki [4] vs. Starlight Kid [4]

My girl Hazuki finally snapped out of her singles funk and has won two straight. With Starlight Kid already eliminated, she brought all the Oedo Tai tricks out with her, including jumping Hazuki before the bell and fighting with her all through the Korakuen crowd. From the trading of forearms to the Stretch Muffler and Hazuki falling down the stairs, this was more physical and violent than I expected. SLK controlled a good chunk of this as Hazuki struggled to recover from the pre-match assault. She’s a great underdog face though so her rally was filled with fire and the crowd was totally into everything they did. I love the way SLK wrenches down on her Stretch Muffler. It makes it one of the best I’ve ever seen. Whenever Hazuki looked to be on the verge of completing the comeback, that move would get locked in again and she’d be back on her heels. Hazuki survived every attempt, refusing to give up, and then winning with La Magistral in 10:19. SLK can’t buy a victory. That was laid out so well with both women playing their roles perfectly and telling a great story in front of a hot crowd. [***¾]

Red Stars: Suzu Suzuki [4] vs. Tam Nakano [7]

This was more than just a standard tournament match. Tam has a loss and draw already, so she needs to win to stay among the top performers. Suzu knows a win over the champion can do wonders. Throw in their interactions in the Generational Tags and some verbal jabs and you’ve got something with some intrigue. They opened this by trading strikes in a show of toughness and just kept up that level of aggression. Tam folded Suzu in the corner in a brutal way and the fight spilled all the way up the steps in Korakuen. Once they were back in the ring, we got bigger moves and the trading of German suplexes, though I kind of wish Suzu got the better of that exchange since that is kind of her signature move. You could tell there was an added level of intensity in this contest and it felt like more than just two points were on the line. Tam kept blocking the Tequila Shot and had Suzu scouted well. She might’ve gotten a bit too cocky though, as an arrogant pin left the door open for Suzu to kick out of a signature move. I thought Suzu using a softer modified Tequila Shot into a pinning combination was a smart change of pace and added to the chess match nature of this. From there, Suzu kind of grabbed control hitting a move off the top and a German Suplex. Tam countered out of a second attempt but Suzu hit two more to win in 13:24. As if this was going to be anything other than excellent. Just a spectacular pro wrestling match between two of the best right now. Suzu has future World of Stardom Champion written all over her. [****¼]

Blue Stars: Giulia [7] vs. Maika [5]

A battle of DDM. Giulia is the leader but Maika has been on a tear this year, seemingly ready to even possibly lead her own stable. For the third straight match, we got a fight in the crowd which I feel is a bit overkill but whatever, it was entertaining, especially since each match took a different route with it. Giulia taking a suplex on the stage looked brutal. Maika didn’t let up in the ring, hitting a superplex and rolling through to hit two more regular suplexes on top of it. I’m a sucker for power offense like that. It looked like Giulia was outmatched by someone who was rising above her. Wisely, Giulia slowed the pace and wore down Maika to negate some of her power. Maika wouldn’t be denied though, having an answer for whatever Giulia pulled from her bag whether it was by powering up after eating a big move or having a counter for something Giulia did. The kickout at one spot was used effectively here as Maika was defiantly not going down. Giulia sending her back with a simple knee was another effective move. Giulia gave her a taste of her own medicine in the end, hitting a top rope move that she then rolled into the Northern Lights Bomb, getting the three count in a fantastic 12:12. Just a hard hitting match where Giulia took everything Maika threw at her but proved why she’s at the top of DDM. [****¼]

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Of course this was fantastic. STARDOM is firing on all cylinders right now, especially in places like Korakuen. You get a good opener, a very good second match, and back-to-back great bouts to close things out.

article topics :

STARDOM, Kevin Pantoja