STARDOM Women's Pro Westling had a show at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo yesterday. Here is my report:
The show was sold out. I was lucky enough to grab one of the last two seats before the show. Shin-Kiba 1st Ring holds around 350-400 so selling out isn't a huge deal. If you have never seen STARDOM before they have alot of young attractive women doing matches which overall has worked out pretty well. Think of what would happen if WWE divas were put into the Japanese training system and STARDOM would be what you would get. I'd also like to point out that with most japanese companies, STARDOM is a little relaxed on the rules, particularly in situations where there are alot of people interfering.
They had a dance number before the show featuring STARDOM GM and former idol wrestler Fuka.
They had a laughable brawl before the show started with Hiroyo Matsumoto, Yoko Bito and their crew vs Yoshiko and her crew. It was over quickly and most of the Bito crew laughed during it.
Natsumi Showzuki/Mayu Iwatani vs Miho Wakizawa/Yuuri Haruka
Showzuki has a background in kempo and plays up to it with kicks. Iwatani is probably the second or third most popular wrestler. Wakizawa is a formerly retired comedy wrestler from All Japan Women's. Haruka is one of the newer girls and really only has a spot due to her chest size. This match was alright but it wasn't memorable. Naturally since Mayu is by far the most over, her team lost when Haruka pinned Showzuki.
Kyoko Kimura vs Eri Susa
Kyoko Kimura is a japanese wrestler with a possible half-brazilian background. She was so bad when she was first starting out that her former company JWP fired her. She improved a ton and ended up main eventing JWP and other companies. She is usually on the heel side at one point had a memorable afro hair style. Susa does a wannabe MMA fighter gimmick. This match didn't work at all. Kimura did heel tactics but Susa didn't have much to offer. They did a really weird spot with Susa doing a weak ground and pound on Kimura and then for whatever reason, Kimura got one of Susa's MMA gloves and put it on. She then started hitting her with it. Wouldn't a bare-knuckle shot be more effective? Kimura won this one with her trademark big boot.
Act Yasukawa/Yoshiko/Natsuki Taiyo vs Yoko Bito/Hiroyo Matsumoto/ Kairi Hojo
I have no idea what Act is supposed to be, but it's an entertaining gimmick. The best way to describe it would be some kind of punk gimmick. Yoshiko is STARDOM's best heels and is a little heavy, which plays into her offense. She once had a match with the companies' ace Yuzuki Aikawa in which she did a bunch of boob destroying offense(Aikawa is also mainly pushed for her chest size, but she has the talent to go with it). Natsuki Taiyo is one of the smallest and fastest wrestlers in Japan and is overall probably top 10 for japanese women. Yoko Bito hasa background in Karate and is one of STARDOM's more attactive wrestlers. Hiroyo Matsumoto a pretty good wrestler who just hasn't found the right company to get a push in. Kairi Hojo is a small wrestler who does alot of power moves like the spear. This match was good. The story of it was Act sucking up to Natsuki and Kyoko Kimura trying to interfere and failing. Yoshiko and Bito were really stiff and the match was so much better anytime Bito was kicking someone. Act won it with a sloppy swanton bomb.
They did an intermission and after it, they had an interview segment with Bito, two extremely young girls(maybe 11 and 7) and Fuka. They did an exhibition with Bito vs one of the young girls and Bito was pretty stiff with her. Fuka and the dancers from earlier helped out the young girl and dogpiled onto Bito to give the young girl the pin. Why did I have to sit through that? It went on forever.
Nanae Takahashi vs Yuhi
Nanae is one of the last hold outs from AJW. She is the essential main eventer and she almost always has a good match. Yuhi is 2012's rookie of the year. There is NO other rookie who is even close to her level and there's no question about it. But, few people will see her which will hurt her chances. Yuhi is only about 16 and has a kickboxing background. She only has a handful of matches to her name. This was a great match. Yuhi just has it(as I've mentioned in previous posts). She's credible, she has a cool look, is stiff and has good matches. They did submissions and lots of stiff shots. Yuhi ended up taking the loss here much to the dismay of the crowd, but it wouldn't have been a good venue for Nanae to takea loss like that. Yuhi is where it is at. Everyone needs to check her out ASAP. This was easily atleast ***3/4 and I think it's saying something when Yuhi had a better match with Nanae Takahashi than Meiko Satomura did. Match of the night.
Yuzuki Aikawa(aka Yuzupon) vs Saki Kashima
As I previously mentioned, Aikawa is STARDOM's ace. I had once said that if I were to build a joshi company around any woman in Japan, it would be her. She's a former gravure idol(basically a model), has a taekwondo background and is heavily pushed due to her looks and chest size. Everything about her wrestling wise is also a clone of Fuka. She's really stiff and was my candidate for 2011's Rookie of the Year. Kashima just jointed the bad girls club with Natsuki Taiyo and Yoshiko. Kashima had a good performance here. She didn't show me alot in previous matches but she did well. She still has work to do with doing better strikes and moves, but there may be hope. This match was good but the finish came out of nowhere. Aikawa won with some kind of TKO. I actually thought Kashima had won it but apparently not. Good match
After the show, they sold merchandise for over an hour. Joshi companies tend to have a weird system in place where they sell their gimmicks first then do polaroids for around $10. It really sucks if you are in a hurry or in just general do not feel like wasting your time for an hour. I tried to get a picture with Yuhi but for whatever reason, she does not do them. Oh well, I saved money there. I was able to get pictures with Yoko Bito and Yuzuki Aikawa though. The girls all look really different after having matches. The make up is off and it kind of brings down the model thing.
Overall, it was an alright show with a terrific semi-main. It's always a little tough to justify dropping $40+ to see 5 matches though.