Stardom Supreme Fight 2023
By Thomas Hall on 24th April 2023
Stardom Supreme Fight 2023
Date: February 4, 2023
Location: EDION Arena Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Commentators: Haruo Murata, Makoto Oe, Mai Sakuai
Let me get this out of the way first: I have no idea what is going on with this show as I do not follow Stardom and since I do not speak Japanese, I am going to be going with whatever I can tell from the show itself. I apologize in advance for any continuity errors or names I get wrong, as the only thing I have to go on is a list of people in each match and whatever pictures I can find to remember who is who. The only thing I know is that Stardom is about as well received of a women’s promotion as there is in the world today so let’s get to it.
We run down the card.
Naniwa Roulette Match
This seems to be something of a gauntlet match with a roulette wheel announcing the entrants. Mayu Iwatani, who has appeared in Ring Of Honor, is in at #1 and Waka Tsukiyama is in at #2. Waka starts fast with a running Downward Spiral for a fast two before jumping on Mayu’s back for a double arm crank. A missile dropkick gives Waka two more but Mayu grabs a cradle for a near fall of her own. Mayu is right back with a dragon suplex for the pin at 2:05.
Momo Kohgo is in at #3 and talks trash to get the crowd behind her (I think?). Mayu is willing to fight her on the apron and they slug it out until Momo hits a dropkick. A 619 misses and the referee’s motions make me think you can be eliminated by going over the top to the floor. Back in and a springboard missile dropkick gives Momo two but Mayu kicks her down. Something like an arm trap Brock Lock makes Momo tap at 6:41 (total, as all times will be) and it’s Miyu Amasaki in at #4.
Mayu wastes no time in taking her down but Miyu grabs some rollups for two each. A DDT gives Miyu two but Mayu grabs a lifting dragon sleeper (ouch) for the tap at 9:57. Tam Nakano is in at #5 and kicks Mayu in the face to start. Mayu misses her own kick and gets kneed hard in the face to send her through the ropes.
Tam goes up for a dive but someone shouts at her not to (the over the top rule seems to be a reality), allowing Mayu to try to pull her down. Instead Tam pulls her back in with Mayu snapping off a super hurricanrana. They strike it out from the mat and trade nasty bridging German suplexes for two each. Another from the knees slugout ensues as the ring announcer keeps saying something, which sounds like a time left call. The bell rings after a two count and both of them seem to be eliminated via the time limit (of what seems to be five minutes a fall) at 17:02.
Mina Shirakawa is in at #6 and Natsuopoi is in at #7 to start things fresh. They run the ropes to start with Mina taking out the knee, only to get caught with a running dropkick against the ropes. Natsuopoi goes up top but gets punched in the head to bring them both back down.
Something like a running sideways sunset flip gets two on Mina and they slug it out. Mina drops her with a spinning backfist but gets rolled up for a few near falls. Natsuopoi snaps off a release German suplex but gets caught in a Figure Four. The ropes break that up so Mina grabs it again, only to have time expire for another double elimination at 25:36. That means Mariah May is in at #8 and Mai Sakurai is in at #9 as we start over again.
Mai dropkicks her down to start but Mariah hits a middle rope version of her own. That just earns Mariah something close to an STF and a top rope missile dropkick (if that was an intentional back and forth idea with the two of them topping each other, well done), followed by a lifting double underhook DDT for two. Mariah is right back with a short powerbomb though, followed by a Tombstone for the pin at 31:53.
Thekla is in at #10 and starts fast with something like an Octopus hold to send Mariah to the apron. That doesn’t go anywhere so Thekla goes up top, only to have them fight to the apron at the same time. They both crash out to the floor and that indeed is a double elimination at 37:51. We’ll hit the reset button again with Natsuko Tora in at #11 and Momoka Hanozono in at #12.
Tora steals Momoka’s sword and chops the head off of Momoka’s doll to start (well that was mean) so Momoka swings at her. That means a doll to the head, only to have Momoka take her down and…look at her. A low bridge sends Tora to the apron but she pulls Momoka out with her. Momoka can’t get a German suplex off the apron (but she can hang off of Tora’s waist in a unique visual), only to get pulled into a fireman’s carry. That’s broken up with what looked like a mini streamer explosion to knock them both to the floor at 43:49.
That means it’s time for Billy Ken Death to come in at #13 and Yuna Mizrumor to come in at #14 as the roulette wheel only has one name left. Death seems to be some kind of a wildcard and is dressed something like a golden clown to make things even odder. A bunch of posing has Yuna annoyed but she takes Death down for a splash. Death is right back with a rollup for the pin at 49:23, leaving Saki Kashima to complete the field at #15. Death’s small package gets a fast two but Saki blocks a suplex attempt. Saki catches her on top and hits a middle rope backsplash for two of her own. A cradle gives Saki the pin at 54:51.
Rating: B. This one took me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting the opener to go nearly an hour. The match felt like something of a Stardom buffet, as you got a little taste of a bunch of people, but unfortunately only a few (Iwatani in particular) stood out. I do like the match getting time though, as gauntlet matches with thirty second falls get annoying fast (If you can beat someone that fast in a gauntlet match, why can’t you in a regular one?).
That’s where the twist of the time limits makes things more interesting, as they have another reason to go as fast/hard as they can. I liked the rule tweaks here and I saw a lot of people who probably wouldn’t have made the show otherwise, so well done on a fun and unique opener that kept me interested for a long time.
Post match Saki gets a scroll and says something on the mic.
Triangle Derby I: Stars vs. Oedo Tai/Karuka Umesaki
That would be Hazuki/Koguma/Saya Iida vs. Ruaka/Starlight Kid/Umesaki and this seems to be something of a six woman tag tournament. Koguma and Kid start things off with the fans seeming to like the latter better. Everything breaks down fast and Kid heads to the floor, where she hits Koguma with….it looks like a suitcase that Ruaka brought with her.
Ruaka (as shown by a name bar during the match for a NICE addition) comes in to slowly kick at a dazed Koguma. Iida comes in to strike away at Ruaka, who runs her over with a crossbody. Umesaki hits a running dropkick against the apron but Hazuki comes in to take over. Everything breaks down and the Stars hit stereo kicks to the face against the ropes.
Hazuki and Umesaki slug it out until the latter catches her with a suplex. Kid gets sent to the apron by Koguma, who gets sent face first into the buckle for her efforts. A standing moonsault gives Kid two and an assisted double suplex drops Koguma again. Kid’s Lionsault gets two but a crucifix sets off a pinfall reversal sequence with Koguma stacking her up for the pin at 9:06.
Rating: B. This was quite the departure from the first match as they had all six women going all over the place until someone got the pin. It was a different style from the opener and showcased more of the teamwork, which was nice for a change. Another solid match and I could go for seeing more of all six, especially Umesaki.
God’s Eye/Konami vs. Queen’s Quest
That would be Ami Sourei/Syuri/Konami vs. AZM (a champion of some sort)/Lady C/Utami Hayashishita. AZM and Konami start things by going to the mat for a wrestle off. It’s quickly off to Syuri, who snaps off a butterfly suplex for a fast two. Syuri kicks AZM in the back and then sits down so AZM can kick her….which is a ruse to sucker her into a rollup (point for not doing the weird thing).
AZM’s run up the ropes is pulled out of the air though and a trio of running knees in the corner has her in more trouble. Ami unloads on AZM with chops against the ropes until a suplex gets AZM out of trouble. Utami comes in for a running hip attack in the corner and a running shoulder puts Ami down. It’s back to Konami with a missile dropkick and a cross armbreaker, with AZM having to make a save.
Everything breaks down and some armbars over the ropes have Queen’s Quest in more trouble. Utami’s arm is fine enough for a German suplex to Konami before Lady C comes in with a giant swing to Konami. The chokeslam gives Lady C two and Utami’s double stomp off of Lady C’s shoulders gets two more. The cobra clutch is broken up and a Death Valley Driver plants Lady C. Stereo running kicks set up Konami’s cross armbreaker but AZM makes the save. Everything breaks down (again) and Konami rolls Lady C into an armbar for the win at 11:27.
Rating: B. They changed gears again here as this was more about the intensity and pain instead of athleticism. Lady C was treated like a monster and Konami got to take her apart piece by piece for a good story to the ending. It was more good stuff with a lot of talented stars and I could go for more of them. This would especially include Syuri, who I’ve heard a lot about but haven’t seen much of so far.
We recap Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Mirai, which seems to be Mirai trying to slay a monster.
Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Mirai
Chihiro backs her into the corner to start and grinds away on a headlock. A headscissors stays on the head/neck as Mirai can’t figure out what to do here. Back up and they trade hammerlocks until Mirai reverses into a quickly broken Fujiwara armbar. More grappling gets Mirai backed up against the ropes again and a hard slam puts her back down.
Some shots to the face seem to wake Mirai up but Chihiro runs her over again. A middle rope flipping splash misses for Chihiro though and a basement dropkick to the back of the head staggers her a bit. Mirai adds a missile dropkick for two but gets pulled into an abdominal stretch to mix things up.
With that broken up, Mirai grabs a sleeper and a quick Downward Spiral gets two. Chihiro suplexes her way out of what looked like an armbar, only to get knocked down again. Mirai’s backsplash gets two and they strike it out until Mirai blasts her with a clothesline for another near fall. Chihiro grabs an ankle lock into a German suplex Mirai is mostly done and Chihiro’s hard lariat gets two more. A bridging German suplex finally finishes Mirai at 15:20.
Rating: B-. This was just slightly weaker than the rest of the show and if this is the low mark, we’re in for a rather good one here. They played the story of Mirai trying to chop down the monster and not being able to do it until Chihiro finally put her away. It’s something that has been done forever and it worked here, though I never bought Mirai as a big threat and the main comeback didn’t seem to get close to stopping Chihiro.
Post match Chihiro says something to the still unconscious Mirai. Syuri comes in and we seem to have another match set up.
Intermission (I think).
We recap the Tag Team Titles match, which again seems to be a team coming after some monsters.
Goddesses Of Stardom Titles: Neo Stardom Army vs. Donna del Mundo
This would be the Tag Team Titles and it’s Nanae Tahahashi/Yuu (Neo Stardom Army) defending vs. Himeka/Maika (Donna del Mundo). After the big match intros, Yuu shoulders Maika down to start but gets taken down as well. Maika’s sliding lariat misses though and we have an early standoff. It’s off to the partners but everything breaks down rather fast, with the champions getting caught in the corners.
The Army is sent outside for running knees from the apron….and Himeka is hurt. Nanae throws her back inside anyway and goes after the banged up knee, with Maika’s save not really doing much good. The bigger Yuu starts in on the knee but misses a charge in the corner, allowing Maika to get in a kick to the head. The tag brings in Maika to clean house (the fans approve) but Yuu knocks her down for a backsplash.
A Cannonball crushes Maika in the corner and Nanae drops her again with a suplex. They slap it out until Maika scores with a legsweep, followed by a belly to back suplex. Nanae gets in a shot of her own but a clothesline cuts her off, allowing Himeka to come back in for the house cleaning. A kick to the knee takes her down again but she’s fine enough to hit a sliding lariat for two. Everything breaks down and Nanae grabs the logical Figure Four.
That and a kneebar send Himeka bailing to the ropes so Maika catches Nanae on top. Himeka adds a powerbomb to her partner to make it a Tower Of Doom but the knee gives out, allowing Yuu to hit a Cannonball. Himeka is back up for a double suplex, meaning Yuu has to make a save. Somehow the knee holds up for a powerbomb out of the corner to Nanae but Yuu breaks up a running knee (which didn’t seem to be a good idea). The Army hits back to back splashes for two and Nanae’s sliding lariat gets two on Himeka. A hammerlock air raid crash gives Nanae the pin on Himeka to retain at 18:55.
Rating: B+. This match felt like the biggest on the show and that is how it came off in execution. There were near falls and false finishes until one of the teams got a pin. I got into this one near the end and it was a heck of a showdown. The fact that it is (so far) the best match on a pretty awesome show is quite the feat and they made it work here.
Post match the champs brag and receive a trophy but Oedo Tai (Ruaka and Natsuko Tora in this case) come out, seemingly as the next challengers.
We recap the Wonder of Stardom Title, with champion Saya Kamatani and Momo Watanabe wanting the title and fighting on the way here.
Wonder Of Stardom Title: Saya Kamitani vs. Momo Watanabe
Saya is defending and this seems to be the company’s midcard title. They trade kicks to the head and near falls in the first twelve seconds before Watanabe misses another kick. The fight heads outside with Watanabe hitting her with some kind of paddle and then whipping Saya into the chairs.
Back in and Saya grabs a Boston crab but Watanabe reverses into a rollup for two. Saya slaps on a figure four necklock, which doesn’t last long either as Watanabe knocks her out to the apron. The table is set up at ringside but Saki hurricanranas her off of it for a breather. Saki puts Watanabe onto the table and hits(ish) a top rope double stomp which knocks her off (but doesn’t break) said table.
Back in and Watanabe snaps off a German suplex to leave both of them down for a needed breather. Watanabe fires the kicks to the chest but Saki is back up with the hard forearms. A pair of dragon suplexes give Watanabe two but Saki bulldogs her way out of trouble. Saki hits a sitout fisherman’s buster for two, followed by a 450 to retain the title at 16:41.
Rating: B. It was a good match, but I didn’t quite but Watanabe as a major threat here. It felt like she was supposed to be this evil challenger and while she came close here and there, I didn’t quite buy the title as being in jeopardy. Maybe knowing more of the backstory would help, but this was a step down from some of the other matches on the show.
We recap Suzu Suzuki challenging Giulia for the World Of Stardom Title (seems to be the World Title). It seems that they used to be friends but now they’re fighting over the title, which is a story that will work every time.
World Of Stardom Title: Suzu Suzuki vs. Giulia
Giulia is defending and while I’ve heard a lot of great things about her, I’ve never seen her in the ring. Suzuki (whose video says CRAZY GIRL) has a title of her own but for the sake of clarity, I’ll only refer to Giulia as champion. They fight over wrist control to start until Giulia grabs a headlock to slow things down. Suzuki reverses into a headlock of her own, which is broken just as quickly.
An exchange of rollups gets two each and they’re at another standoff. They roll away from each other again before going with the slow exchange of forearms less than five minutes in. Suzuki gets in the first hard shot to take over though and it’s a running knee to the back to rock Giulia again. A tornado DDT gets her out of trouble though and it’s time to work on Suzuki’s arm. Giulia suplexes her down again but Suzuki takes it to the floor and whips Giulia into the chairs.
They go up the ramp, where Giulia counters a suplex into a DDT, only to get planted right back by Suzuki. Back in and they trade headbutts until Suzuki kicks her in the head. Giulia is able to catch her up top though and a butterfly superplex sends Suzuki crashing. Suzuki flips out of a suplex and grabs a Spanish Fly to leave both of them down.
It’s time to start going after Suzuki’s arm, with Giulia first tying up the legs for easier access. Something close to a Rings of Saturn has Suzuki in more trouble but she’s able to get to the ropes. A piledriver in the vicinity of the apron (to avoid the whole broken neck thing) knocks Giulia silly and a super half nelson slam makes it worse.
Something like a reverse Paige Turner gives Suzuki two and a bridging German suplex gets the same. A top rope bridging German superplex (egads) gets another two on Giulia and they’re both down again. Suzuki grabs some rollups for two each but Giulia plants her with a suplex. The knee to the face gets one before a Snowplow finishes Suzuki to retain the title at 25:07.
Rating: B+. This was another match that felt like a struggle with both women working as hard as they could to beat the other. I’m not sure how personal it felt, but what mattered is the fact that they did so much to each other that it felt like Suzuki finally fell at the end. Heck of a fight here and it felt like a main event, which is one of the hardest things to do these days.
Post match Giulia gets the mic and says something to Suzuki, which the fans seem to appreciate. Suzuki gets the mic and says something also positively received before talking about Stardom. She says something to Giulia, who seems to agree, before falling down and leaving Giulia alone in the ring. Giulia seems to thank the fans and poses for a bit.
Overall Rating: A. I’m not sure what else I could have asked for her as this show was pretty awesome. The best compliment I can give it is that while I watched it in a few different sittings, I wanted to come back and see how the rest of the show would go. It kept me interested in people I don’t know and in stories I don’t understand because the action was that good. There isn’t a must see match on the show, but there is a bunch of very good stuff and for a three and a half hour card, that is pretty awesome. Check this out.
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