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Pantoja’s STARDOM New Blood 9 Review

June 6, 2023 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
STARDOM New Blood 9 Image Credit: STARDOM
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Pantoja’s STARDOM New Blood 9 Review  

STARDOM New Blood 9

June 2nd, 2023 | Shinagawa Intercity Hall in Tokyo, Japan

What a welcome surprise this is. I was unable to review New Blood 8 due to a busy May schedule that included the Best of the Super Juniors. However, New Blood 9 is available on YouTube and though I have to deal with ads, I wish more of STARDOM’s shows could be put up in this timely fashion on YouTube.

HANAKO and Aya Sakura vs. The New Eras

Look at our tag champs in a non-title opener. This worked for what it was meant to be which was to give the new girls a chance to test themselves and give the champions a bit of a showcase victory. HANAKO in particular stands out because of her size. It makes her different from everyone else, which is always good. The champions had the better chemistry and tandem offense but like the Young Lions of New Japan, Sakura and HANAKO weren’t backing down and brought a lot of energy to this. Sakura even got Sourei trapped in a pretty sweet submission down the stretch and MIRAI had to make the save. She also got in some vicious kicks late and had a few close calls. Alas, she couldn’t survive a deep Boston Crab from Sourei, submitting in 11:43. That was more competitive than I expected and had a lot of fire in it. I’m looking forward to more of Sourei and MIRAI as champs and of Sakura and HANAKO in general. [***¼]

Hanan and Saya Iida vs. Kohaku and Ruaka

I’ve never seen Kohaku before but I liked that she immediately exchanged power spots with Iida. They have similar builds so I thought that was a good idea. Hanan and Ruaka had some back and forth too but you almost immediately got the sense that the Kohaku/Iida stuff was better and more important. Indeed they went back to that well several times with that kind of being the focus of the match. When it was Hanan against Ruaka it was fine but it lacked that energy of the two short powerhouses going at it. STOCKY QUEENS FTW. The Hanan/Ruaka stuff got better late as they traded forearms for a bit. In the end, it was Hanan who scored the win with a rollup of Ruaka at the 11:20 mark. After the match, Kohaku and Iida continued to kick each other. [***]

Maika Ozaki and Ram Kaichow vs. Sexy Dynamite Princess and Waka Tsukiyama

Ah, it looks like Mariah May will not get the chance to meet Sexy Dynamite Princess despite expressing hope for it on Twitter. Maybe one day. They did have Mina Shirakawa with them though. This was our comedy match of the evening as it started with Princess twerking and Ram selling that like death. Princess also had a “sexy-off” with Ozaki and did a Stink Face, so that should tell you what this match was all about. Things eventually became a bit more serious, especially when Ozaki started to bully Waka. Down the stretch, the two traded near falls on pinning combinations and big moves, including Ozaki doing a vicious looking Torture Rack. Waka, as always, fought hard but couldn’t keep it up and fell to the Muscle Buster in 10:55. This was perfectly fine for what it was. [**½]

Passion Injection Match: Mai Sakurai vs. Nanae Takahashi

Guys, I have no idea what a Passion Injection match is. I tried looking it up but couldn’t really find anything. Nanae has killed it whenever I see her in a singles match and Mai is someone who is always pretty solid but hasn’t ever stood out to me. She came out firing here but Nanae was able to weather that storm and teach her a lesson. She beat the hell out of her both in and out of the ring for the majority of this match, though not quite as much as she did to Waka Tsukiyama a while back. That was kind of the crux of this match as Nanae kept giving out a beating and Mai never backed down, firing back with energy and fury behind every shot. Try as she may and try as she might, Mai didn’t have enough, falling to a Fisherman Buster in 14:21. A really good match that told a story I always like seeing. [***½]

AZM vs. Miyu Amasaki

Miyu has been on a series of trial matches and though I haven’t seen many (or any to be honest), this is the final one. What I liked about this was that AZM seemed peeved that she lost her High Speed Championship. She was seemingly on a mission here to beat the shit out of Miyu. It’s funny that AZM is the veteran here given that Miyu is a year older. When Miyu fired back, you could see some of that greenness coming into play. For example, she laid into AZM with forearms in the corner that were meant to be a vicious barrage but they all looked really weak and the camera never moved away from that angle. That was kind of the crux of this match. AZM would beat down on Miyu who would fight back though it never was able to really match AZM’s intensity. Down the stretch, Miyu survived a lot of what was thrown at her and AZM did some cocky covers that cost her at times but the former High Speed Champion pulled out the win with a diving double stomp in 13:46. A very good match that was one of Miyu’s better showings but you can see there’s still growing to do. [***¼]

New Blood Tag Team Championship: Unique Glare [c] vs. Azusa Inaba and Tomoka Inaba

Title match time. The Inaba ladies look cool with their entrance gimmicks and such. The Unique Glare team has been solid so far and I’m always impressed by Starlight Kid. Everything the girls did here was done at a wild pace and it’s actually ridiculous that they pulled this stuff off so seamlessly at their ages. Azusa is like 15. She looked really good here, keeping up with SLK which is no easy task. In the same vein, I thought SLK’s exchange with Tomoka were also highlights. I’m still not sold on the Karma character. Umesaki is a good wrestler but I’m not feeling the gimmick so some of her stuff isn’t clicking. SLK took the heat for a bit before she and Karma started in with some tandem offense that led to a moonsault near fall. The challengers came close a couple of times after until SLK retained with a cradle Tombstone in 13:41. Another good match with moments that could’ve been better (like a particularly bad looking missed knee strike). [***¼]

Post-match, it seemed like AZM and Miyu Amasaki (who showed each other respect earlier) challenged Unique Glare for a title shot. Hanan and Saya Iida also showed up so maybe a three-way?

Future of Stardom Championship: Rina [c] vs. Lady C

Rina recently won the title from Ami Sourei. I’ve mentioned before that Lady C is someone who I’ve really enjoyed on undercards. Right from the start, you could tell that Lady C was going to use her size to her advantage. It’s fun to have a tall woman like her around because it makes for a different dynamic. She overwhelmed Rina with that size, adding height to moves that would otherwise be basic, and really gaining an upper hand. Rina fought back after taking a diving knee to the outside and had some impressive offensive moves. Even something like turning an abdominal stretch into a slam came off really well. It’s mind boggling that she’s 16. The closing stretch saw the action pick up and both women nabbed near falls. Rina surprised me with a brutal looking submission out of a pinning combination that got her the win in 11:52, capping our fourth straight really good match. I look forward to more from both women down the line. [***¼]

The final score: review Good
The 411
Six of the seven matches got *** from me and the one that didn’t was still fine. There’s nothing must see on this show but I was entertained from start to finish and that’s all I can really ask for.

article topics :

STARDOM New Blood, Kevin Pantoja