Leo Onozaki vs. Hanan
A decent showing from Leo so early in her Stardom career. As is usual for the young rookies, the wrestling was basic but it was done well and at a decent pace. Hanan submitted Leo Onozaki with an armbar for the win. 2/5
Mari Apache, Natsumi & Shiki Shibusawa vs. Nao Yamaguchi, Ruaka & Kaori Yoneyama
Natsumi looked much better here and chained a few holds and takedowns together which looked nice. Nao did fine too even if she has still not shown anything exciting in terms of offence. The match itself was pretty standard with a few comedy spots. Shiki Shibusawa pinned Nao Yamaguchi after a missile dropick. 2.25/5
Hana Kimura & Natsu Sumire vs. Session Moth Martina & Candy Floss
A really enjoyable comedy match. I’ve been impressed with how easily Martina & Candy have been able to get over in Japan. Martina’s attempt at a kip up were hilarious. Candy can obviously wrestle too as well as the comedy stuff. Hana and Sumire made the perfect victims for the antics of the gaijin. Hana Kimura eventually submitted Candy Floss with an octopus stretch. 3/5
Chardonnay & Bea Priestley vs. Natsuko Tora & Konami
It’s nice to see Chardonnay back. All four women impressed in this match. Konami I feel is finally moving upwards in recent weeks and seems to have a renewed intensity, her exchanges with Bea were particularly good. Natsuko was very solid and hit a great spear. Chardonnay pinned Natsuko Tora after a double arm suplex. 3/5
Queen’s Quest (Momo Watanabe, HZK & AZM) vs. Stardom Army (Jungle Kyona , Starlight Kid & Saki Kashima)
A really good match and the bets Saki has looked since her return. She seems like she could work very well in fast-paced acrobatic matches with AZM and Starlight Kid and will be a major asset for Stardom, helping to fill the void left in the upper mid-card by Yoko Bito’s retirement. Everybody looked great in this match, I particularly enjoyed the Momo and Starlight Kid exchange and of course AZM and Starlight Kid again put on a real show. AZM pinned Starlight Kid after an assisted lionsault. 3.75/5
Kagetsu vs. Io Shirai vs. Mayu Iwatani
In this match the first person to gain a pinfall, submission or throw someone over the top rope would get first pick in the draft and leave the match. The other two wrestlers would continue to fight for the second pick. This was a lot of fun even if it wasn’t really the technical showcase you might expect from three of the best wrestlers in the world. There was a lot of Oedo Tai shenanigans at ringside and they incapacitated Io quite early allowing Mayu and Kagetsu to fight. Mayu almost eliminated Kagetsu but Oedo Tai made the save. Io then rejoined the action and there was a brief Thunder Rock reunion between Io and Mayu to combat Kagetsu before Oedo Tai again interfered and distracted Io enough for Kagetsu to get her over the top rope and spit water in her face that eventually made her feet hit the floor. Kagetsu won the first round and recieved first pick in the draft. There was a very brief, but great exchange between Io and Mayu where Io landed on her feet after an attempted Dragon Suplex by Mayu. Io then lifted Mayu over the ropes but Mayu pulled Io over onto the apron too. They exchanged big strikes but Io got the better of Mayu and threw her off the apron to claim second pick in the draft. A great match! 4/5
Oedo Tai (Leader: Kagetsu):
- Hana Kimura
- Natsu Sumire
- Nao Yamaguchi
- Session Moth Martina
Queen’s Quest (Leader: Io Shirai):
- Momo Watanabe
- Bea Priestley
Stars (a.k.a. Stardom Army) (Leader: Mayu Iwatani):
- Starlight Kid
- Saki Kashima
- Shiki Shibusawa
- Tam Nakano
- Team Jungle (Jungle Kyona, Natsuko Tora & Kaori Yoneyama)
So the biggest news from the draft was HZK being drafted to Oedo Tai (in Oedo Tai she will from now be referred to as Hazuki). Hazuki is already very good in the ring and I feel Oedo Tai will be a great way for her to further develop her character. Nao Yamaguchi was a surprise pick but i’m sure it will lead to some interesting stuff and Nao’s terrified reaction was great.
Konami is the big news from Queen’s Quest. I have long thought that Konami was the most underutilised wrestler in Stardom so hopefully this will lead to her getting better matches.
Mayu’s picks for Stars were certainly weird, particularly how low down Tam was. I hope this leads to interesting stories in the future.
Team Jungle were initially not picked before joining Stars, this will obviously lead to more story opportunities.
Overall the draft did not quite shake things up as much as I thought it would but everything they have done has many future possibilities so I feel Stardom is in a great place.