Review: Major Stardom Matches, May 2018

May 5, Shinkiba

Wonder of Stardom Championship Match: Io Shirai (c) vs Kagetsu Brilliant action, as can be expected from these two. Good big match feel and decent pacing, though a slower match would have been even better. As the match progressed, the psychology got very specific in a very compelling way, and they laid out the plot of this match really well. Both women showed awesome fire towards the end. The finish was just slightly flat. ****1/2

May 6, Shinkiba (Cody Rhodes sighting at ringside, right next to Rossi!)

Future of Stardom Championship Match: Starlight Kid vs Ruaka Really not bad at all, but slightly clunky and by-the-numbers. Some good moments and a hot crowd. ***1/4

May 23, Korakuen Hall

Wonder of Stardom Championship Match: Io Shirai (c) vs Momo Watanabe Really nice back-and-forth here. I don’t know that Momo is quite as good technically as Kagetsu, so this match was unlikely to be as good by that criterion. However, this one probably felt a bit more dramatic and slightly better paced, though there were perhaps too many false finishes and not enough excitement for the actual finish. ****1/2

May 27, Osaka (Day)

Artist of Stardom Tournament: Jungle Kyona, Kaori Yoneyama, & Natsuko Tora (Jungle Assault Nation) vs Tam Nakano, Shiki Shibusawa, & Saki Kashima (STARS) Some good stuff, but also a lot of clunkiness, especially early. A handful of really cool spots and a competitive, energetic tone keep this match from being under three stars. ***

Artist of Stardom Tournament: Kagetsu, Hana Kimura, & Hazuki (Oedo Tai) vs Momo Watanabe, AZM, & Konami (Queen’s Quest) Fantastic start between Momo and Hazuki. Some standard Oedo Tai chaos follows, but then there’s a nice sequence between Hana and Konami/Momo. Awesome sequence between Konami and Kagetsu after that! The match then really became a tag team match rather than a string of brief singles matches, and—while I think it probably should have been a little bit shorter—it was really good. ****

May 27, Osaka (Night)

Artist of Stardom Tournament Finals: Jungle Kyona, Kaori Yoneyama, & Natsuko Tora (Jungle Assault Nation) vs Kagetsu, Hana Kimura, & Hazuki (Oedo Tai) Oedo Tai’s prematch promos have been funny for this tournament, even if I don’t totally understand what they seem to be referencing. Some good action in this and even better psychology, but I just didn’t love it. Sometimes Oedo Tai/Suzuki-gun style brawling kills the momentum of a match for me, and that was the case in this one. What followed was a competitive-feeling but somewhat incoherent match to my eyes. Definitely not a bad bout, though. ***1/2

Jungle Assault Nation Post-Match Promo Kyona is one of my favorite babyfaces in wrestling, and—while it was totally straightforward—I thought she gave a really good speech here. Natsuko Tora also gave an emotional speech that was quite compelling. ****

Photos of the products in the Meatless Rib Store.

Keep up with posts as they’re published by staying in touch via social media: