Stardom Review And Analysis: January 19 in Shinkiba

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Two more shows will close out January for Stardom including a day show at Shinkiba 1st Ring. Next up is January 27 in Osaka where Kagetsu will defend the World of Stardom Title against Oedo Tai partner Hazuki.

On this Stardom show, however, Kagetsu teams with Jamie Hayter to take on Hazuki and Natsu Sumire in a special Oedo Tai tag team match while Utami Hayashishita defends the Future of Stardom Title against Hanan.

January 14’s show at Korakuen Hall saw the debut of Saya Iida who was welcomed warmly into Jungle Assault Nation after battling Natsuko Tora. Saya, Natsuko, and Jungle Kyona will team for the first time to take on the Queen’s Quest trio of Momo Watanabe, AZM, and Konami. In another trios match, Mayu Iwatani, Tam Nakano, and Starlight Kid battle Hana Kimura, Sadie Gibbs, and Bobbi Tyler.

In the semi-main event and main event respectively, Utami Hayashishita defends the Future of Stardom Title against Hanan who recently nearly defeated Starlight Kid for the same title. At the top of the card, Oedo Tai will square off in a special tag team match as a preview for the January 27 main event between Kagetsu and Hauzki.

Hina & Rina vs Kaori Yoneyama & Ruaka vs Saki Kashima & Alex Gracia

In their pre-match promo, Saki and Alex declared their bond over their shared interest in the color pink and their dismay for Kaori who Saki referred to as “a happy old lady” from JAN.

Once things got underway, Rina and Saki had some fun interactions with the three-way rules in full effect. Rina continually convinced Saki to team up against their opponents before attempting to sneak a pin once Saki let her guard down. Rina definitely comes off as having a great sense of ring awareness and a heightened level of character work than her sisters.

At one point, a figure four sleeper hold human caterpillar took form in the center of the ring with Kaori being the only one not locked into the hold. Instead, she took turns stomping on the stomachs of everybody else (Ruaka excepted) to break up the 5-person hold.

In the end, Rina found herself on the receiving end of a Kimura lock from Saki forcing the tap out to give the win to Saki and Alex.

Thoughts: The antics between Saki and Rina were a lot of fun and helped set Rina apart from Hina. Alex Gracia is still rough around the edges but I think, with time, she could really flourish. She’s been wrestling for just under a year having trained under Rudy Boy Gonzalez at Texas Wrestling Academy. Her first match came after just 5 months of training, which seems fast, so experiences like working in Stardom may be her best friend.

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