Stardom & Queen’s Quest Produce Golden Weeks Stars
May 4 2019
We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring for an intriguing Stardom show where a returning Toni Storm challenges Momo Watanabe and Bea Priestley comes gunning for Kagetsu’s World of Stardom title that she’s held since June 2018.
Queen’s Quest really nailing down that group pose. This is a Queen’s Quest show so they have a bunch of matches with their guys and also a blindfold sword fight gimmick, which is a lawsuit waiting to happen. There are antics. Sumire trips Jungle while she’s running the ropes. This is a mistake. Jungle Kyona, holding the sword backwards as to avoid a fatality, swings once and hits Sumire in the face.
Blindfold sword fighting in Stardom. Everyone else struggling with the concept. Jungle Kyona smashes Sumire in the face with a single swing.
I'm not saying she's a ninja but… pic.twitter.com/J4UsapnrZt
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) May 15, 2019
Jungle goes 3-0 to win the tournament.
Hanan vs. Rina
Rina has been hanging around with Hana Kimura in the Tokyo Cyber Squad. It is in no way apparent! Hanan is the surly veteran here with two years experience at 14 years old. Rina is a year in and is 12. You might look at this as weird but this is how Japan produces the best women’s wrestlers in the world. They start young and have a solid handle on psychology before most male wrestlers have started training properly. Look at Momo. She’s 19 years old, runs her own stable and has six years experience. Rina has a decent showing here but she gets caught in an armbar and has to tap.
Final Rating: *3/4
Hina vs. Hana Kimura
Hana Kimura. She’s the opposite of wholesome and yet she’s so appealing. The furry rainbow boots. The gas mask. The “fuck you”. The middle digits. The mockery of the crowd for booing her. She’s the Steve Austin of her generation. Hana certainly needs to improve her basics. She can’t take a decent bump and most of her counters are sloppy but her charisma is off the charts. Hina gets tapped out here after getting a few fluke pin attempts.
Final Rating: *1/2
Leo Onazaki vs. Saya Iida
They both used to be junior members in JAN. Iida is 21 but only debuted this year. Onozaki, despite looking like a teenager, is actually 25. She’s 5’1” and has a big size advantage of the diminutive Iida. Her head is level with the top turnbuckle when she’s standing upright. This match is very brisk. Saya pounds Onazaki for a lot of it and then gets the roll up win before anything has really happened. Leo looks pretty mad about it.
Final Rating: *1/4
Oedo Tai (Hazuki, Andras Miyagi, Natsuko Tora & Natsu Sumire) vs. Tokyo Cyber Squad (Jungle Kyona, Konami, Rebel Kel & Ruaka) vs. Stars (Arisa Hoshiki, Saki Kashima, Tam Nakano & Starlight Kid)
This is the day after Oedi Tai lost the dance rights so they’re not very excited.
Sumire’s most energetic moment comes from photobombing Kashima’s streamers. This is a three-way match up so there are three women in the ring at all times. Everyone wants to make friends with Rebel Kel because she’s a foot taller than everyone else. There are a lot of moving parts in a triple threat four-on-a-team tag. It’s tough to keep track of who’s supposed to be doing what and the match succeeds the most when it finds a way to a one-on-one. The best part being Hazuki vs. Hoshiki. They have great chemistry and Hazuki has someone who can keep up with her. Starlight Kid gets the pin here as she’s due to get a shot at Hazuki tomorrow. This was fine.
Final Rating: **1/2
Toni Storm vs. Momo Watanabe
It’s Toni Time. She has the NXT UK strap and that gets a reaction.
Rumour has it Toni isn’t allowed to take any jobs on this tour. That’s part of the stipulations of her coming over. Going against Stardom’s ace (well, it depends how you look at it) is certainly a test of that. The 15 minute time limit is a bit of a clue. It might as well be billed as an exhibition. Technically the match is very solid. Both workers are accomplished mat wrestlers. After five minutes they pick it up a bit and work in submissions, throws and strikes. Again it does feel like they’re going through the motions a bit but both are very talented so it still feels semi-important. Momo is clearly not at her level best as is demonstrated by a couple of sloppy dropkick spots. Momo is actually at her best in this match when selling and Storm seems to have become keen on smashing people with lariats, as is customary when you sign for WWE and come back to Japan. Axe Bomber!! The match is designed for Storm to kick Momo’s ass a lot but have Momo survive the piledriver and make it to a draw with an accomplished globe-trotter. Momo’s own offensive moves on Toni are relatively tame. They seem to time the finish wrong with Momo popping off her wrist clutch German suplex variant (I can’t remember the name, sorry) and Toni kicks out. Then Momo gets pissy about it and then the bell rings for time.
Final Rating: ***1/2
World of Stardom Championship
Kagetsu (c) vs. Bea Priestley
The support for Bea here is quite low key. Whereas Kagetsu is strongly supported. Are Stardom about to drop a bollock? Let’s see. Bea is not a disaster or anything and Stardom do like to build up powerful gaijin as main eventers to mix it up with their own guys. Alpha Female and Toni Storm have both held this spot beforehand. It’s whether you think Bea can live up to that. She’s shown flashes of it and she’s largely fine here. Kagetsu drives the match with her flying and submissions. It’s a well-rounded performance and one that almost blows Bea away. The trouble with having one wrestler largely outperform the other is it creates a dynamic where it feels like a routine victory, or in this case title defence. In Bea’s defence she grows into the match even if her execution doesn’t match that of Kagetsu. It’s going to be a tough sell on me for her to have a strong title run. They work in some absolute shite here. There’s a ref bump, a mist spit and the assorted nonsense that comes with both. Plus there’s a terrible looking Cheeky Nandos to set up the Ocean Cyclone. Bea wins the belt and she’ll need better performances as champion to sell me on the idea. On the upside Kagetsu had a good title run and looked strong in defeat here.
Final Rating: ***
Stardom has done a good job in recent times coping with the loss of their top card talent but this was not a good example of it. Toni Storm was required to prop up the only really strong match on this show and everything else is a total pass. The curio of the title change is what drew me in but that match is quite disappointing. Hopefully Bea Priestley can improve in this role but she did not impress in this title change match up.