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Pantoja’s STARDOM Supreme Fight 2024 Review

February 10, 2024 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
STARDOM Supreme Fight 2024 Image Credit: STARDOM
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Pantoja’s STARDOM Supreme Fight 2024 Review  

STARDOM Supreme Fight

February 4th, 2024 | EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan | Attendance: 1,377

I’m excited this show is now available to stream but it is not a good time for STARDOM right now. With the controversy surrounding the contract termination of Rossy Ogawa and talk of a pretty mass exodus by wrestlers loyal to him, things could get very ugly. That’s for another time though, so let’s just focus on this show.

HANAKO vs. Mai Sakurai vs. Ranna Yagami vs. Ruaka

This is technically a pre-show bout. A lower card four way featuring two of the newer ladies to the roster, Ruaka, and a fun veteran in Mai Sakurai. This was pretty basic with HANAKO using her size, Yagami throwing kicks, Ruaka doing some underhanded things, and Mai injecting it all with some personality. That included her tying opponents up in the Paradise Lock. After doing that to Ruaka and HANAKO, she trapped Yagami in her Escargot submission to win in 5:09. It was a match that happened and we got the right winner. [**]

Ami Sourei and Saki Kashima vs. Hanan and Saya Iida

We’ve got more pre-show action. This is a non-title match featuring the New Blood Tag Champs, Hanan and Iida. They’ve developed solid chemistry so their stuff came off well. Saki and Ami are an intriguing duo because of how different they are. Ami is pretty straightforward as a wrestler (one of my knocks on her as there isn’t much else to her) while Saki brings the personality and is one of the more fun wrestlers to watch in this company. I’m liking Hanan more and more with each passing match. Watching her lean into forearms from Ami as if they were nothing made for a cool little sequence. Saki made the save but then got beat up but the champs. It came down to Saki and Hanan in the end, with Hanan using a pinning combination to get the win in 5:53. A fun little pre-show tag here. Hanan is quickly moving up my favorites. [**½]

Onto the main card.

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

There’s actual hype here because Yuzuki is so very good after having just a handful of matches so far. Both ladies brought fire to this, trading forearms, letting out loud screams of aggression, and fighting for everything. When Rina trapped Yuzuki in a simple submission, Yuzuki made it so you could feel the desperation as she crawled to the ropes. She’s good at some of the little things already. It never felt like she took control here as Rina remained one step ahead of her. That made sense given Yuzuki’s lack of experience and it made her a fiery underdog, which suits her. The near fall on the diving double stomp by Rina was a good one and it led to one hell of a close call on a Yuzuki pinning combination. Rina responded with a Gory Bomb to retain in 9:08. I may be the high may on this score but whatever. That was good, picked up down the stretch, and had some quality drama. [***¼]

Lady C and Miyu Amasaki vs. Momo Watanabe and Natsuko Tora

I believe Momo and Natsuko are likely getting a Goddesses of Stardom Title match soon, so this was just here to give them a win ahead of that. So, I don’t have much to say here because it was kind of an extended squash. Miyu was decent at fighting from beneath and Lady C fared better but still wasn’t really a match for her opponents who are much higher on the card. Lady C took shots from both and fell to Momo’s B Driver in 6:07. This was fine for what it was and did just what it needed to. [**]

Mina Shirakawa and Waka Tsukiyama vs. Tam Nakano and Yuna Mizumori

It’s the big return of Tam Nakano and marks the first notable match for Moonlight Venus (Waka and Mina) since they formed the new ExV stable. Mina and Tam went at it from the start, which is always welcome. They did have one of my favorite matches of 2023. Mina and Waka put the target on Tam’s knee and surprisingly isolated her. I get that it makes sense given her recent injury but you’d expect her to get the hot tag spot in her big return. Yuna came in and was kind of off her game with a few moves that she didn’t hit as crisply as she likely wanted. When it got back to Tam vs. Mina, this ruled. The camerawork with the closeups to their facial expressions during a strike exchange was all expertly done. Yuna took out Mina with a lariat and then did an awkward tandem move with Tam before Tam finished off Waka using Twilight Dream in 12:43.That was really good and it just made me want another Tam/Mina match in 2024. [***¼]

High Speed Championship: Mei Seira [c] vs. Hazuki

I like Mei Seira but her High Speed Title reign doesn’t have that signature defense yet. The matches with Thekla and Fukigen Death have been fun, yet nothing more. That could change here against one of my favorites in Hazuki. This was everything you want in a High Speed Title match. They went hard as hell from the opening bell, moving quickly and almost never taking a breather. Hazuki threw everything into her spots, whether it was some stiff kicks or her trio of aggressive tope suicidas. There was a great spot where both were down only to do stereo kip ups and get right back into the fast paced fight. The only time the pace somewhat slowed was when Mei was trying to choke out Hazuki but even that felt like a struggle. The same goes for Hazuki going all ZSJ with submissions that transitioned into other submissions. Hazuki’s corner Codebreaker looked better than ever as I’d buy it as a match ender with how Mei took it. The frantic battle of flash pins in the closing minute was outstanding, featuring several near falls that I bit on but the bell ultimately rang as the 15:00 time limit expired. Incredible pro wrestling and everything to love about this division. It’s between this and Mayu/Syuri for the MOTY after a month and a few days. [****½]

AZM, Mayu Iwatani, Nanae Takahashi and Utami Hayashishita vs. Giulia, MIRAI, Suzu Suzuki and Syuri

This All-Star tag was here to celebrate the company’s anniversary. It was intriguing to have Thekla walking around at ringside watching what unfolded. The start here saw everyone go at it and we got some spots where all eight women were involved. Mayu was the one taking the beating when things calmed down a bit as the other team isolated her in the corner and used quick tags to keep her at bay. Giulia was next to get isolated for a while. A few interactions stood out more than rest like AZM against Syuri and Suzu vs. Mayu. That’s a match I want to see at some point this year. It was great in last year’s Grand Prix but at only around 13 minutes, we could do with more. Just watching Giulia and Suzu work together is great and I wish we had more time with them as a unit. This match just kept moving along with some seamless sequences and whenever it seemed like a move would end it, someone was there to break up the pin. In the end, it was a Mayu moonsault on Suzu that resulted in the win at the 20:51 mark. A very good match. I think parts of it felt like people just playing the hits rather than telling a story or something like that but I had a good time. [***¾]

Wonder of Stardom Championship: Saori Anou [c] vs. Starlight Kid

A big, well-deserved spot for Starlight Kid. Saori is an interesting case right now because I really like her and think she has some fantastic sprints in her but as champion so far, things haven’t fully been great. There’s nothing bad but it hasn’t reached the highs you probably want. This got off to the fast start you’d expect, with them bringing fire and aggression to the forefront. SLK slammed Saori’s leg on the announce table outside and that gave her a target, though it also meant the pace had to slow down just a bit. Things like them chopping each other or trading stiff shots worked well but this mostly lost its momentum when it came to the middle portion after the hot start. Although the stuff they did in the middle was pretty good, none of it stood out and just kind of existed. Things picked up again down the stretch with the kind of quality back and forth you’d want from these two. It was intense and Saori does really well at making parts of her matches feel like they’re between two people who hate each other. They traded suplex variations late before Saori retained with a Tiger Suplex in 17:42. There was a great match in there but it got bogged down by a middle section that didn’t quite hit. [***½]

World of Stardom Championship: Maika [c] vs. Saya Kamitani

This is something of a belated shot for Saya who was reportedly in line to win the Grand Prix before getting injured on night one. There was kind of a big fight feel to this and they lived up to it. In a lot of ways, it felt like Saya was trying to bring everything in her arsenal to dethrone the champion, throwing her biggest shots at every turn only for Maika to seemingly be too much. She just kept getting back up. Maika targeted the arm, which made sense given Saya’s recent injury history. She also did a great job of scouting the Phoenix Splash, avoiding what has become Saya’s most dangerous weapon. In fact, both had the other scouted well, leading to some great counter wrestling and reversal spots. The one that stood out was when Maika caught a Saya dropkick into a sitout powerbomb. Not only did it look dope but it fit into their styles perfectly. The scouting lined up with their history as Maika hasn’t beaten Saya in several years and had to overcome this challenge to establish her title reign. The main story here was that for everything Saya threw at the champion, she couldn’t hit the Phoenix Splash and that prevented her from pulling off the big win. Saya charged up late but ran right into a Michinoku Driver. Maika couldn’t cover in time and only got two. She again got two on another one but then secured the win with a hammerlock Michinoku Driver in 21:36. I wish they didn’t do the second finisher kickout. That said, this was a great main event and a strong start to Maika’s title reign. [****]

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Even with all of the turmoil and drama backstage, STARDOM knows how to deliver in the ring. It’ll be interesting to see what happens going forward but on this night, they reminded everyone why they’re so great. Several really good to great matches, one of the best in the year in Hazuki/Mei, and some notable undercard stuff all made for a hell of a show.

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Kevin Pantoja