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Pantoja’s STARDOM in Korakuen Review 6.29.24

July 4, 2024 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
STARDOM Korakuen Hall 6-2-24 Image Credit: STARDOM
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Pantoja’s STARDOM in Korakuen Review 6.29.24  

STARDOM in Korakuen

June 29th, 2024 | Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan | Attendance: 946

NOTE: For anyone following all of my reviews, my WrestleMania Series is still ongoing. It’s something I’m doing in my free time though so reviews from 2024 (like this one) take precedence. Also, I’m up to the Manias that are like, 7 hours long so it takes a while.

Coming off a successful The Conversion show, STARDOM was back at it with a notable event in Korakuen Hall that includes several title matches.

I popped when the show opened to the tune of “GO ACE” as Hiroshi Tanahashi came out in a suit to cut a promo. I don’t know what he said but I trust my Ace.

High Speed Championship: Saya Kamitani [c] vs. Fukigen Death

It’ll be interesting to see what’s next for Saya. She seemed in line for the top title last year but now holds the High Speed belt and just got dealt a big blow with the dismantling of Queen’s Quest. Anyway, this was a lot like every other Fukigen Death High Speed Title match. It moved along quickly, was kept short, and featured her usual antics. She got some flash pins but never really challenged. Saya as High Speed Champion has been weird. It’s not bad but it seems unfitting unlike when AZM or Mei held it. Saya countered a rollup with her own pin to retain in 4:49. Largely fine, yet nothing special. [**¼]

Aya Sakura vs. Rian

Surprised this didn’t open but I do like this new booker opting to go against the grain of the formulaic booking layout done by New Japan and STARDOM in the past. The equivalent of a Young Lion match. It featured two green wrestlers who still clearly need a lot of work but also two women who brought energy to things and gave it their all. Aya is a little ahead of Rian and it showed here. Maybe it’s all that tagging with more experienced wrestlers. In the end, Aya won with what was seemingly meant to be a flying knee of the top, only it looked like she totally missed. This went 6:24 and again was inoffensive. [*¾]

Ami Sourei, Hina, Lady C, Ranna Yagami and Saki Kashima vs. meltear, Saori Anou, Sayaka Kurara and Yuna Mizumori

It always warms my heart to see Cosmic Angels out there. I don’t know if it’s official but I believe Hina and Lady C have joined God’s Eye. Ranna and Sayaka got some time to go at it to start and they always give it their all. Cosmic Angels actually timed their big group dropkick well, which they usually are a bit off on. This was just one of those matches that moved along nicely and had entertaining exchanges throughout. I got to see meltear do some tandem offense that made me miss them as a consistent team. Saori and Ami traded strikes which is more what I’m looking for from Ami. Then, the finish was very interesting. Saori took a barrage of offense capped by a sitout piledriver from Ami after 9:11. An action-packed match that furthered the story of Saori’s game being off after losing the white belt. I really liked this. [***½]

AZM, Mei Seira, Miyu Amasaki and Starlight Kid vs. Momo Watanabe, Natsuko Tora, Ruaka and Thekla

Though it’s not official yet, this is our look at the proposed stable that SLK brought up at The Conversion (sans the injured Suzu Suzuki though she was at ringside). I hope it becomes an official unit because it’s pretty great. Oedo Tai jumped them before the bell to spark a brawl outside because that’s just what they do. These stables actually could have a fun rivalry down the line because the quickness and plucky energy of the young girls works well against the bully nature of Oedo Tai. That was how this went and we got some good interactions that you don’t see often like Momo vs. Mei. It was also cool to see Starlight Kid against her old teammates. As expected, things broke down late and SLK used a rana into a rollup to beat Ruaka in 12:59. I’m already really liking this potential new stable and I need more from them. [***]

HANAKO, Maika, Waka Tsukiyama and Xena vs. Mayu Iwatani, Momo Kohgo and wing*gori

I’m pretty sure I said it recently but it always looks like the ladies of STARS are having the best time. Xena is fresh off a star making performance against Maika and the two were on the same page here. Again, for the most part this was your standard multi-woman tag. However, it was boosted by the fact that we haven’t seen much of ExV vs. STARS, so a lot of these interactions felt fresh. Mayu didn’t do much but have some goofy moments with Waka. I get it, take the night off queen. Xena and Saya had a hard hitting battle and Saya is quickly becoming a standout on undercard matches alongside her great work with Hanan as a team. It came down to Hanan against HANAKO and the former won with a back suplex variation in 13:15. Another quality tag. [***]

Future of Stardom Championship: Rina [c] vs. Nanami

I am not very familiar with Nanami. Rina has been on quite the run, having a long reign as champion and impressing in the ring over the past few months. Nanami brought the fight to the champion and showed off some decent power offense. Rina was able to give it right back, making for a more evenly matched affair than some of Rina’s other title defenses. She’s kind of been booked above the other girls around her age, so this was interesting. As this progressed, you got the sense that Rina felt like she was in trouble, which again hasn’t been the case for most of her reign. She tried some flash pins that felt desperate. Both women kicked out of moves off the top rope before Rina applied a pretty cool looking submission. Nanami escaped and came close on a rollup but then Rina hit her Gory Bomb finisher only for time to expire in 15:00. Don’t know if they were the right choice for a draw. They’re young and it can be tough to go 15 but they made it work well enough and put on an entertaining match. [***¼]

Goddesses of Stardom Championship: FWC [c] vs. Konami and Syuri

Very intrigued by this. FWC have been outstanding this year and the Konami/Syuri pairing has been a really good part of multi-woman tags lately. This is the biggest match Konami has had since her return. She went right at Koguma in the opening stretch. Hazuki turned the tide and had some really intense interactions with Konami. I only started watching in 2023 so if there’s history there, I’ll have to look into it. There was a fire lit under Hazuki that I’ve rarely seen from her and I always like when she gets a bit more violent. You’d think Konami and Syuri had been teaming consistently for the past year or so given how smoothly they worked together. From stereo kicks to tandem offense, it worked. It does seem like the focus here was on Hazuki/Konami and I hope they get a singles match in the Grand Prix or something. FWC works so well together and they nailed everything from blind tags to hitting stereo moves with precise timing. It was something to behold. Things got intense to the point where Konami whacked Hazuki in the head with a chair. Hazuki survived that and some kicks thrown at her head but Konami kept pouncing and choked her out to win the titles in 16:19. A surprising result as FWC has been cooking but I’m intrigued by it. Yes, it was mostly Hazuki/Konami but they more than delivered. FWC had one of the best tag title reigns in recent memory even if they only held them for a couple of months. [****]

The final score: review Good
The 411
That was really good for being a non-major show. Only one match is something I think you’d want to skip, there’s a fine little opener, and everything else gets at least ***. The Cosmic Angels tag was a lot of fun and that main event was pretty great.

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STARDOM, Kevin Pantoja