Stardom held an event on February 11, 2017.
With Tokyo’s Shinkiba 1st Ring arena hosting a night of excellent action, the show featured five matches headlined by a key Triple Threat Tag Team encounter. Several matches were put in place for the 2/23 show which would be the biggest of the month. It was announced that Mayu Iwantani would be off the show due to illness. She was replaced in her scheduled match by Hiroyo Matsumoto.
Match 1:Azumi pinned Ruaka in 5:33
The standard short but spirited opener. The story here was Azumi’s new display of aggression which would be further explained by show’s end.
The two reached a stalemate in a pair of tie ups, each backing the other against the ropes and offering a clean break.It was when Azumi backed Ruaka into the corner off a third tie up that she displayed a ruthless strategy previously unseen. She seemingly looked to back off when a very sharp elbow to the side of the temple connected.
Azumi slammed Ruaka then came off the ropes with a flying knee drop onto the chest. She covered for a one count. Ruaka blocked a knee strike and scored with a spin kick.
Ruaka sent Azumi into the ropes and connected with a flapjack for a nearfall. She then went to work on the right leg with several kicks to set up a single leg crab.
Ruaka went to apply a spinning toe hold but Azumi kicked her away. Both went for a clothesline and connected, putting them on the canvas.
Azumi struck first when they got to the feet, successfully landing that knee strike to the butt of the jaw. Azumi hip tossed Ruaka into the corner followed by a sliding D for a nearfall.
They exchanged waistlocks until Azumi pushed Ruaka throat first into the top rope and rolled her up for the pinfall.
Match 2:Kris Wolf pinned Arisu Nanase in 6: 10
Wolf continued her dominance and win streak though Nanase gave her a good run while the bout lasted.Wolf overpowered Nanase and sent her backwards across the ring then flattened her with a palm exploder.Wolf connected with a backbreaker and bent Nanase over her knee. Nanese surprised her by shifting her body weight into a crossbody type pin for a one count.
Nanase catch Wolf with an elbow following with a facebuster. Nanase scored another nearfall with an Oklahoma Roll.Wolf sidestepped a lariat and landed a rolling elbow to rock Nanase. Wolf hit a snap powerslam for a nearfall. In a move I’d never seen before, Wolf caught Nanase as she attempted a crossbody, executed a fall away slam, and connected with a Pele style kick to the gut before she hit the mat. Wolf made the cover but Nanase was out at two.
Wolf applied a rear chinlock, dropping elbows to the point of the head for added damage. Nanase fought to her feet and broke free with a jawbreaker. Nanase sent Wolf into the corner and attempted to follow in with a body splash; instead Wolf got a boot up to the chest.
Wolf set herself on the top rope and came off with a missile dropkick for a nearfall.Wolf delivered snake eyes and a lariat. She planted Nanase with a Falcon’s Arrow but did not make a cover. She went back up top and hit a double diving knee drop for the pinfall.
Match 3:Christi Jaynes pinned Natsuko Tora in 8:09
This was Jaynes’ first real test in Stardom as a singles wrestler and I believe she passed with flying colors. This was a very solid bout with the final few minutes red hot in terms of action and crowd reaction.Tora wanted to take it to the ground early and kept shooting for the leg but Jaynes went dead weight. Tora threw a knee strike, Jaynes responding in kind.
Jaynes threw an elbow to escape a hammerlock and connected with a snap suplex. She floated over into a cover, Tora kicking out at two. Jaynes wrenched on Tora’s arm until Tora got into the ropes forcing the break. Tora tackled Jaynes onto the mat and rained down with hammer fists. Tora drove her knee into the side of the head and covered for a nearfall.
Tora went for a piledriver but Jaynes backdropped out of it. Fortunately she got the knees up when Jaynes attempted a standing moonsault.
Tora grounded Jaynes with a straight jacket choke as the crowd rallied behind the Dallas native. Jaynes finally got to her feet and rammed Tora back into the corner.Tora ate a boot as she charged in, Jaynes subsequently taking her over with a head scissors. Jaynes nearfalls off a springboard crossbody and a Rough Ryder. Tora avoided a lariat and hit a powerslam. She came off the middle rope with a leg drop but Jaynes moved. Jaynes hit a series of short-arm clotheslines followed by a DDT for a nearfall.
Jaynes’ STO was countered by a spinning back fist. Tora smothered her on the mat again and went for a Kimura Lock. Jaynes fought her off and hit a superkick. She quickly followed with a running STO that was good for the pinfall.
Match 4:Jungle Kyona & Konami & Hiroyo Matsumoto defeated Kairi Hojo & Yoko Bito & Hiromi Mimura in 16:35
An excellent hard hitting six woman tag that carried big implications for the 2/23 show and a championship encounter.
Hojo taunted Konami on her close loss to Shirai at the last show which Konami didn’t take too kindly. She rushed at her only to be greeted by a double spear from Bito and Mimura. Matsumoto and Kyona joined the fray with stereo dropkicks that sent Bito and Mimura scrambling. Hojo pounded on Konami with right hands then brought her to her feet for a standing dropkick.
Hojo dropped an elbow but her lazy cover only netted a one count. Konami fought back with forearms but when she came off the ropes, Hojo flipped her with a knee to the midsection. Bito tagged in and worked over Konami with knees to the spine. Konami reversed a whip and followed Bito into the ropes with a rolling forearm smash. Kyona tagged in and dropkicked Bito then Hojo off the apron. Kyona hit a bicycle kick on Bito for a nearfall.
Matsumoto got the tag and she and Kyona hit a double shoulder tackle on Bito. Matsumoto followed with a running senton for a nearfall.
Mimura caught Matsumoto coming off the ropes with a knee to the lower back allowing Bito to land a running hip attack and make the tag. Mimura pulled Matsumoto into the corner and all three worked her over as the referee had to keep Kyona at bay.
Mimura bent Matsumoto’s elbow upward and stomped on it causing the crowd to audibly gasp. Mimura hit a single arm DDT, covering for a nearfall. Bito tagged back in and scored with a neckbreaker in the center of the ring. She walked the middle rope and came off with an elbow for a nearfall.Matsumoto fought out of a reverse chinlock with elbows to the midsection. She went for a lariat, Bito ducked and nailed her with a crossbody for another nearfall.
Bito took too long going up top and Matsumoto leapt up and sent her back down with an armdrag. She made the hot tag to Konami as Bito tagged in Mimura.Konami ran wild with flying cross chops to Mimura and an incoming Bito. She cradled Mimura for a good nearfall. Mimura countered a suplex attempt with a fisherman’s suplex, Kyona breaking it up at the count of two.
Konami was sent into the ropes but was able to body surf out of a powerslam into a pinning predicament. Mimura kicked out before one. The action broke down late as all six went at it. Konami hit a shining wizward on Mimura when Bito stepped back in and hit her with a B-Driver. Matsumoto clotheslined Bito over the top rope.
Matsumoto landed two head kicks and tagged in Kyona. Kyona went for the Hammer Throw Powerbomb but Mimura held on. That is until Mimura snapped her neck across the top rope allowing Kyona to complete the move and score the pinfall.
Kyona challenged Bito for the Wonder of Stardom Championship which was accepted for the 2/23 show.Konami challenged Bito to a singles match which was also accepted for the 2/23 show.
Main Event:Triple Threat Tag Team Match
Shayna Baszler & Deonna Purrazzo defeated Queen’s Quest (lo Shirai & HZK) and Toni Storm & Zoe Lucas
This was an extremely wild match that was a pretty cool mix of an Open The Triangle Gate title match from Dragon Gate, Strong Style, and Lucha Libre. I loved it!Baszler went right for Shirai and kicked her in the ribs. Shirai answered back with kicks of her own. Baszler screamed bloody murder and chopped at the chest. Shirai powered up and rocked her with forearms. They wildly exchanged more forearms as the crowd went wild.
Baszler took Shirai to the ground and went for a North and South choke. Shirai escaped and kicked out Baszler’s leg. Lucas flew off the top rope with a dropkick that sent Shirai rolling to the floor. Lucas hit a flipping clothesline on Baszler for a nearfall. Lucas went for a backslide but Baszler blocked it and took her down with a knee smash to the face. Baszler hooked Lucas for a German Suplex when Storm came from behind and delivered one of her own, everyone sent flying.
Purrazzo squared off with HZK and kept her off balance with a series of arm drags. She trapped HZK with a Backlund Bridge for a nearfall, Shirai returning to make the save. Shirai and HZK hit a double slingshot suplex on Purrazzo.
Storm sent Baszler into the security railing then slid into the ring and took out HZK with a jumping piledriver. Shirai floored her with a head kick. Purrazzo swept Shirai’s leg and hit a standing moonsault. Baszler recovered and got a rare tag into the match. She delivered kicks to anyone with a pulse. She ground and pounded on Storm before applying a triangle choke. Storm nearly tapped when Lucas made the save with a diving headbutt.
HZK hit a rolling Chaos Theory on Storm and was then taken out with a jumping neckbreaker from Purrazzo.
It came down to Purrazzo and Lucas in the end with everyone else either down or brawling. Lucas rocked Purrazzo with an elbow strike and got a nearfall with a spinning fisherman’s buster. Purrazzo amazingly avoided the Lucas Landslide and hit a leaping neckbreaker for the pinfall.
Purrazzo issued a challenge to Storm for the SWA Championship which she accepted for the 2/23 show.The big moment came when Queen’s Quest recovered and was in the ring. Azumi walked out with a Queen’s Quest shirt and requested she be added to the group and replace the injured Momo Wantanabe. Shirai thought it over briefly before enthusiastically accepting her into the fold!
A truly fantastic show with strong wrestling from top to bottom.Everything came into place for the month end blow off show. Those who picked up victories did so logically and it established them as vital title contenders.
Watch to watch: If strapped for time, I definitely recommend watching the main event. If you have time for anything else, Team Kyona vs. Team Bito and Jaynes vs. Tora are worth a watch.