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Pantoja’s STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Nights 19 & 20 Review

September 29, 2023 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix Day 20 Image Credit: STARDOM
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Pantoja’s STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Nights 19 & 20 Review  

STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Nights 19 & 20

September 23rd, 2023 | Miyagi Aztec Museum in Sendai, Miyagi | Attendance: 433

I’m combining these two shows into one review since it’s only three total matches.

Blue Stars: Maika [9] vs. Mina Shirakawa [8]

Two favorites to win it all with a lot on the line here. It started with Maika messing with Mina by grabbing at her assets again, which I’ve seen her do on previous shows in undercard tags. Maika threw the first big blow with a suplex on the apron, putting Mina on the defensive. How did Mina combat that? The best way that she knows how which was to target the leg. I swear she studied Hiroshi Tanahashi with her Dragon Screws and such. Maika sold it all really well, better than she typically does. When the focus wasn’t on the leg, the two were trading strikes and you really got the sense that the two points in this match mattered. Far too often in these round-robin tournaments does it feel like matches are just happening. Here, they really sold the importance of almost every moment. As this got past the 10-minute mark, you could feel the tension rise and the near falls were all really well done. As this neared the time limit, Mina applied the Figure Four and Maika was in trouble but refused to tap, resulting in a draw after 15:00. Another in a long line of great matches in this stellar tournament. Both remain alive heading into the final night. [****]

Red Stars: Hazuki [8] vs. Suzu Suzuki [8]

Both have a shot though Suzu’s win over Tora puts her in the best possible position. On top of that, her final match was set to be against Saya Kamitani, so that’s two points she’ll be getting on the 30th and she won’t have to compete twice like other ladies if she’s in the finals. Even better, these are two of my faves in the company so I was all in. Surprisingly, it was Hazuki who came out of the gates hot though Suzu was able to weather the storm and hit her sliding German suplex to turn the tide. Even more than the previous match, you got the sense that so much was on the line here. They were fighting for everything and this was truly a struggle between two hungry competitors. I didn’t even type anything out for the final five or so minutes because I was CAPTIVATED. They put on a show with great late drama and some fantastic action. Suzu ended up taking the win with a German Suplex after 11:35. One of the best matches of the tournament and it nicely sets up Suzuki as a major contender going into the final night. Throw in the hot crowd and this was special. [****¼]

September 24th, 2023 | Sanjo City Hall in Sanjo, Niigata | Attendance:  504

Red Stars: Starlight Kid [4] vs. Syuri [9]

A less than impressive showing from SLK in terms of points in this tournament. Actually, I don’t think I was blown away by any of her matches either though she never had a bad one. Syuri remains alive with a win but SLK was here to play spoiler, attacking her before the bell. Oh, those Oedo Tai tactics. That sparked a fight outside where SLK threw the former World of Stardom Champion into chairs and more. That was a smart way to start this because it allowed Syuri to fight from beneath and still feel like the superior wrestler. She is a top star after all. SLK focused a bit on the leg and applied her Stretch Muffler, which always looks top notch. Syuri survived that and started in with her offense before winning with Ryuen in 10:56. A very good match though not nearly on par with the best of the Grand Prix. [***½]

The final score: review Average
The 411
The tournament reaches the final night on a high note with three matches that were all recommended watches.

article topics :

STARDOM, Kevin Pantoja