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Pantoja’s Stardom New Blood 7 Review 1.20.23

January 24, 2023 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
STARDOM New Blood 7 Image Credit: STARDOM
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Pantoja’s Stardom New Blood 7 Review 1.20.23  

Stardom New Blood 7

January 20th, 2023 | Belle Salle Takadanobaba in Tokyo, Japan | Attendance: 307

I love a show being on YouTube. Even though I have to deal with ads, at least I can watch it on the Fire Stick and not my laptop. For this show, we’re starting a tournament to crown New Blood Tag Team Champions.

Miran vs. Rina

So, I was like “Oh, I don’t know who Miran is” and apparently, she’s 13 years old. That seems wild but given the track record some Stardom girls like AZM have at such a young age, wrestling this early lines up. Meanwhile, Rina is the “veteran” at 16. Look, this match wasn’t anything special but you have to consider their ages. Most of your favorites probably weren’t anywhere near this crisp as teens. I liked how Rina was kind of the bully, enjoying the rare chance to pick on someone younger than her. Miran got in some solid little offensive moves but was mostly taking a beating and learning some lessons. She got in a few near falls and even some aerial stuff before losing to a Gory Bomb in 7:16. Honestly, way better than any match between a 13 and 16 year old has any right to be. [**½]

Marika Kobashi vs. Ruaka

Again, I’m not too familiar with Marika Kobashi. We’ll see how this goes. She’s only 21 and this is her Stardom debut. Despite these women having more experience than those in the previous match, this wasn’t as good. It felt like they never really clicked with Kobashi taking awkward bumps on Ruaka spots and the bully role Ruaka played here didn’t work as well. I did enjoy the bits where Kobashi was on offense as she seemed more comfortable there and that was when she was at her best. Ruaka beat her with a top rope splash in 6:34. This was inoffensive. [**]

Nanae Takahashi vs. Waka Tsukiyama

Now we’re getting somewhere. Takahashi is a beast and Tsukiyama comes across as this plucky underdog so it is ripe for the kind of story I love. Waka came out of the blocks firing with dropkicks and doing everything she could to get something going against Takahashi. They continued to play up that story I was hoping for, with Takahashi overwhelming her and basically squashing Waka at points but the fiery fighter never gave up. She his missile dropkicks and had the crowd rallying behind her. She even wore her down with a rear naked choke for a while. Try as she might have, Waka couldn’t overcome the odds and lost to a splash in 11:43. A fun match that told a good story though it was odd to do the same finish in two straight matches. [***½]

There was a post-match promo by Takahashi though I’m not sure what she said. It looked like it might’ve been a respect thing for Waka which is cool.

New Blood Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Ami Sourei and Nanami vs. Momo Kohgo and Momoka Hanazono

Onto the meat of the show for the tournament. I don’t know much about Nanami and Hanazono but I’ve seen a fair bit of Sourei and Kohgo at this point. Nanami is apparently 16 and it was clear early on that Momoka can bring the comedy which I love. Her failed attempts at shoulder blocking Sourei and subsequent actions were really enjoyable. Whether it was her little mannerisms or jokes or sitting with bubbles as Kohgo worked a camel clutch, I was into it. From a wrestling standpoint, this was at its best when it was Sourei against Kohgo but I was having the most fin when Momoka was in there. The closing stretch involved Sourei and Kohgo and saw Sourei pick up the victory with a Blue Thunder Bomb at the 11:53 mark. That was fun. [***]

New Blood Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Chanyota and Mai Sakurai vs. Hina and Lady C

Lady C wasn’t scheduled for this tournament but subbed in due to an injury. She was slated for the earlier Ruaka/Kobashi match as a three-way. Right off the bat, it was clear that Lady C and Hina worked well as a unit. They didn’t blow me away or anything like that but they felt like a well-oiled machine at times. The Sakurai/Chanyota pairing was also pretty smooth. The teams traded stuff early, with neither gaining a clear upper hand. Sakurai and Lady C traded some impressive shots in the center of the ring at one point and I’m almost always down for that. Eventually, Sakurai took the heat and that set up the hot tag to Chanyota, who is in great shape. Chanyota and Sakurai did a Samoan Drop/missile dropkick combo that was followed by Sakurai hitting a diving elbow to win in 9:05. That was a perfectly acceptable tag match and nothing more. [**¾]

New Blood Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: KARMA and Starlight Kid vs. Mariah May and Xia Brookside

I’m intrigued here as Club Venus has shown potential and Starlight Kid is really good. I don’t know much about KARMA though she has a cool look. May opened against Starlight and made sure to stop and taunt once she got even a slight upper hand. It felt like the Club Venus ladies were overmatched one-on-one but worked well enough as a team to swing the momentum when in there together. May looked a bit more polished here as her offense came off well and her double Spear had fire. Brookside feels like she needs a bit more work than her partner. Kid and KARMA got going and hit stereo twisting splashes for two. KARMA was then left alone with Xia, had an awkward exchange, and used a pinning combination to beat her in 12:26. That was again, a good match that didn’t do anything special. [**¾]

New Blood Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Hanan and Saya Iida vs. MIRAI and Tomoka Inaba

Inaba is new to me here but I’ve seen the other ladies in Stardom so far. She has a title though I’m not sure where it’s from. Her early exchange with Hanan was solid but it was when they tagged out that this quickly got kicked up a notch. Iida wasn’t backing down from the hard hitting MIRAI and they just laid into each other. When it went back to Hanan and Inaba, they kept up that pace and level of intensity. Still though, it was the MIRAI/Iida battle that really intrigued me. They threw everything at each other and the crowd was completely invested in what they were doing. The kickout at one was done better here than in most matches. Iida firing up after getting sandwiched by kicks only to take another sandwich shot that folded her was great. Alas, it did set her up to fall to a sitout DVD of sorts after 12:02. A fantastic sprint that is one of Stardom’s best matches in 2023 so far. [***¾]

The final score: review Average
The 411
Another case of a Stardom show that wasn’t anything special but was still enjoyable. Nothing was bad, the tournament worked well enough, and the two ***1/2+ matches are enough of a reason to check this out.

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STARDOM, Kevin Pantoja