Stardom Nagoya Supreme Fight!
By: Karen Peterson
English Commentary Unavailable
However, Hanan would join the Japanese commentary team later in the show.
Ladies’ Section Gifts?!
I hope the next time I am in Japan, I can attend a big Stardom event where I can enjoy the perks of sitting in the ladies’ section. The sponsor for Nagoya Supreme Fight, hoyu, provided gift bags for every attendee sat in the ladies’ section with a selection of hair care products. (I’m still sad I missed out on those really cute ladies’ section lap blankets at Wrestle Kingdom 14 because it was freezing cold.)
Road to Nagoya Supreme Fight
- Momo Kohgo arrives in Stardom (2022.01.03) – Debut match set against Unagi Sayaka (2022.01.23)
- Thekla and MIRAI are revealed as the latest members of DDM (2022.01.03)
- Syuri vacates the SWA Championship; Mina Shirakawa and Thekla both express interest in challenging for the title
- ALIKABA (Syuri/Giulia) lose the Goddesses of Stardom Championship to Fukuoka Double Crazy (FWC; Hazuki/Koguma) at Korakuen Hall during NEW YEAR STARS (2022.01.09)
- Nagoya Supreme Fight Press Conference (2022.01.12)
- Stardom’s 11th Anniversary of its foundation; Momo Kohgo loses to Unagi Sayaka in her debut match within Stardom. (2022.01.23)
The Kamitani Keep-A-Secret Challenge
After nailing her third Phoenix Splash in a New Japan ring at Wrestle Kingdom 16, Stardom’s Golden Phoenix decided she not only earned, but deserved a one-on-one Phoenix Splash-off against Kota Ibushi. She went to plead her case with Rossy Ogawa, only to find him holding a closed-door meeting with a mysterious individual covered from head to toe, including a white towel and bucket hat to conceal the visiting party’s identity. While Kamitani does knock, she doesn’t wait to be asked in, interrupting Rossy midconversation and catching a glimpse of exactly whom Rossy is meeting with. After her spectacular mistake at the 5 ★GP Press Conference, where she accidentally spoiled the surprise entry of Takumi Iroha, choosing this avenue to tease a big reveal (and possibly a long-awaited fantasy booking favored the return of a beloved former mainstay)– leans heavily into the moment Kamitani thought she was going to get fired.
Kamitani would go on to overhear a hushed phone conversation about “meeting in Nagoya,” reluctantly share her newfound knowledge with new arrival (with an unfortunate first name) in Momo Kohgo, and manage to get called into the principal’s office in Nagoya with the Mystery Guest. The audio isn’t the greatest, but if I am hearing it clearly, Rossy casually continues his conversation with Kamitani having a front-row seat.
“We have to wait until your current contract concludes, so perhaps Ryogoku might be the place…. We also have the press conference coming up, so I would like you to be in attendance as well…” – Rossy Ogawa (to TOp Secret Mystery Guest)
Again, I am not going to get my hopes up until the fuzzy bucket hat is taken off, but all signs are pointing a certain way.
Last-Minute Card Changes
Tam Nakano, Waka Tsukiyama & Mai Sakurai were removed from the shows just hours prior to the start, citing the wrestlers are feeling unwell. Out of an abundance of caution, they were removed from the show, and several matches were audited. The Battle Royal featuring Sakurai/Tsukiyama alongside Momo Kohgo and OedoTai would become a 5-Way Battle and the World of Stardom Championship Number One Contenders Match featuring Giulia, Mayu Iwatani and Tam Nakano would remain with the same stakes (winner gets a match during opening weekend of Stardom Climax 2022 the last weekend in March), but it would become a singles match between Giulia and Iwatani. No additional members were added to the match.
Spoiler-free Synopsis (-MTL = Minute Time Limit; one fall unless otherwise noted)
- 5-Way Battle: Will it be an equal 5-way match or a 4-on-1 fight?
- Future of Stardom Championship (15-MTL): New Champion’s First Defense
- The Grudge: OedoTai vs. Queen’s Quest (20-MTL): The Black Peach Saga continues, but doesn’t disappoint. – Recommended
- Vacant SWA Championship (30-MTL): Entertaining from start to finish. – Recommended
- Goddesses of Stardom Tag Team Championship (30-MTL): Has Maika overcome her Koguma Fever?! – Recommended
- Wonder of Stardom Championship (30-MTL): Is 2022 truly going to be The Year of The Phoenix? – Recommended
- World of Stardom Number One Contenders Match (30-MTL): Beautiful Madness and The Icon never disappoint – Highly Recommended
- World of Stardom Championship (30-MTL): Could this match be the beginning of splintering in DDM?! – Highly Recommended
5-Way Battle: Momo Kohgo (STARS) eliminated Ruaka and Rina over the top rope to defeat OedoTai (including Fukigen and Saki Kashima) (6:37)
Without Tsukiyama and Sakurai participating, Kohgo was decidedly outnumbered against OedoTai 4-on-1. Knowing she is outnumbered, Kohgo proposes “over the top rope” rules, so she has a fighting chance (and hopes it splits the loyalties amongst OedoTai), and Rossy accepts.
While OedoTai continuously worked as a cohesive unit to make her first iPPV experience a miserable one, a double team from Team We Love Tokyo Sports, helped give Kohgo the momentum to push both Rina and Ruaka off the ring apron after they both cleared the top rope.
Future of Stardom Championship: Hanan © defeated Lady C (QQ) (5:56)
This was another short-showcase for the Future division. Lady C has a little more confidence now that she is starting to figure out her identity as a member of Queen’s Quest. However, the spotlight largely remained trained on Hanan.
It makes me wonder that when Saya Iida eventually returns, if Hanan is still champion, if Iida will challenge for the Championship she had to relinquish when she injured her knee, or if her triumphant return will have her sights set on other championships.
Hanan’s first successful title defense as the 8th Future of Stardom Champion; next challenger: Momo Kohgo (STARS)
Prominence’s Declaration of War
Shockwaves hit the Joshi scene last December, when the sudden departure of seven wrestlers from Ice Ribbon all simultaneously announced their departure from the company. Of the names included in that group, Risa Sera, Suzu Suzuki, Mochi MIyagi, Akane Fujita, & Kurumi Hiiragi would elect to form a five-woman stable with the intention of solely pursuing deathmatch wrestling.
“Consider this our declaration of war. At Ryogoku in March, we’re coming to crush you all.” – Risa Sera (Prominence; in-ring promo)
This could be seen as Giulia’s comeuppance for her hasty and complicated departure from Ice Ribbon in autumn 2019, as Suzu Suzuki had some choice words in particular for Giulia, “You betrayed me, and that place fell to pieces… I believed in you… do you have any clue how much I suffered because of you!” The complete scope of Prominence’s motives in Stardom are unclear, but they are starting their campaign with Giulia and anyone one who aligns themselves with her. Could we possibly see Deathmatch del Mondo in the future? Will the bringing the fight to Giulia satisfy the unfinished business with Prominence or like Marvelous and Seadlinnng, could we be in for an extended showcase of violence?
— スターダム✪STARDOM (@wwr_stardom) January 29, 2022
Donna del Mondo and Prominence wage war backstage.
The Grudge: Starlight Kid/Momo Watanabe (OET) defeated AZM/Utami Hayashishita (QQ) (9:43)
Earlier in the month, AZM would be removed from a show card after sustaining an injury after Momo Watanabe casually slipped a wrench into her kickpad prior to drilling her shin directly into AZM’s head (what is with all these rogue wrenches being left around ringside?!)
While some wonder where the path will take these two groups, I have to wonder if Rossy’s mystery guest could possibly come into play as QQ remains the smallest of the factions within Stardom despite the addition of Lacy C to their ranks. With Kamitani preoccupied with the Wonder Championship and her side quest to keep Rossy’s secret, the responsibility to hold QQ together falls upon the shoulders of AZM and Utami.
OedoTai plays the numbers game to their advantage, knocking out the referee and dragging him out of the ring, allowing them to have a free-for-all against QQ. Momo & SLK debut a new tag team finisher, which could mean they could be aligning themselves for a future Goddesses of Stardom challenge. Starlight Kid pins AZM after a stunning Spanish Fly.
“Would you shut up for a minute? You do realize you don’t have the red belt any more, right? I have no use for you now Utami Hayashishita.” – Momo Watanabe
I don’t know where QQ goes next unless they start searching for allies to join them. I wonder if Kamitani’s Secret Side Quest could potentially align themselves with QQ when the time is right. This combination of power and high speed never disappoints because all four are evenly matched. I’m guessing to keep QQ strong in defeat, OET needed to utilize all of their resources, especially numbers to make it possible.
Vacant SWA Championship: Thekla (DDM) defeated Mina Shirakawa (CA) (9:58)
After her remarks both at the press conference and in backstage comments, I definitely pulled for Mina Shirakawa purely for her vision of taking the SWA championship abroad, so she could not only defend it in foreign countries as it was intended, but to recruit international talent for Cosmic Angels. Additionally, Shirakawa actively using her English language ability to appeal not only to her opponent, Thekla, but to fans around the world, made me want her to win this championship purely because she presented a big picture approach to an often overlooked championship.
I know many would typically write-off an SWA match, but I found it delightful, especially the chemistry between Thekla and Mina. They get very creative with one another, but also just really have fun wrestling. Personally, I enjoyed the match because it showcased the very diverse arsenal of Thekla, but also continued to highlight Shirakawa’s growth since she joined Stardom. If you aren’t familiar with Thekla’s body of work prior to Stardom, this match alone could draw one into her spider’s web. She’s outstanding.
“This match was Artist versus Artist. Entertainer versus Entertainer. Crazy Person versus Crazy Person.” – Thekla (backstage comments on her match against Shirakawa).
Thekla wins with a Poisonous Spider Deathdrop and a pin in Shirakawa to become the 8th SWA Champion.
Goddesses of Stardom Tag Team Championship: FWC (Fukuoka Double Crazy; Hazuki/Koguma) defeated MaiHome (DDM; Maika/Himeka) (13:27)
Maika and Himeka had a brief stint with the Goddesses of Stardom Championships, so I was very happy to see them return with the gear they had made after they won to match the silver and gold belts. While their championship gear was outstanding, FWC rolled in with their more cohesive tag team look in white, navy and lime green. (If you’ve followed my reports, you’ll know I am a sucker for tag teams who dress the part, even if it is just a matching color palate).
Much like The Grudge match of QQ/OET this combination of STARS/DDM is can’t miss. While each woman has their own singles journey in mind, the synchronicity of FWC and MaiHime underlines why each and everyone of them has been a Goddesses Champion. In the lead up to the match, Koguma managed to cast her hypnotic Kuma Dance Spell on Maika, breaking the usually stoic wrestler’s resolve to the point that Maika attempted to get Hazuki to do the Kuma Dance during the match.
The match was fast-paced and hard hitting, and if you enjoy tag team wrestling, I would say make sure you run it back a couple of times as well. Koguma wraps up Himeka with a Small Package for the win. With the looming shadow of Prominence on the horizon, keeping the championships out of reach for DDM. The vague promise that Prominence would bring their brand of violence to Ryogoku could mean that not just Giulia, but all of DDM might
Have their hands full come the end of the March.
“We’ve got no idea who will be challenging next, but we’ll be waiting for a pair as crazy as we are.” – Hazuki (backstage comments)
FWC’s first successful defense as 22nd Goddesses of Stardom Tag Team Champions; Next challenger currently unannounced.
Wonder of Stardom Championship: Saya Kamitani (QQ) © defeated Unagi Sayaka (CA) (18:47)
The Opportunist with Fighting Spirit, Unagi Sayaka, unable to defeat Tam in her quest for the white belt, jumped to the front of the line to immediately challenge Kamitani for her freshly won championship at Dream Queendom. I know that Stardom sees not just potential but dollar signs with her, but between her being the Gatekeeper of the Newbies, I need them to pump the brakes on all her singles titles attempts, unless they want to pad her record with loses in the name of giving her big match experience. Like others who make the journey to the white belt, it should be a long and slow-burn, not a rapid-fire, spam the participation button.
As Wonder of Stardom Champion, I also want Kamitani to have more than the Rossy Secret Side Quest and her desire to challenge Kota Ibushi to a Phoenix Splash-Off to define her championship reign. Their match was good with both refusing to give in or give up, with the fighting outside the ring being equally as aggressive as it was inside the ring. For a first defense it was solid, but I feel like Kamitani is still getting used to the idea that she is actually champion. I need her confidence to be amped up a bit because she worked hard to claw her way to that championship, so I want her to hang onto it for a little while.
Kamitani successfully defends against Unagi, closing with a Phoenix Splash. Kamitani’s first successful defense as the 16th Wonder of Stardom Champion. Next challenger unannounced.
World of Stardom Number One Contenders Match: Giulia (DDM) and Mayu Iwatani (STARS) draw at 30-minutes.
Had Tam not been pulled from the show, I have a feeling that the Aichi Prefecture native might have been one of the three to secure one of the two opportunities to challenge for the World of Stardom Championship in March. However, having just lost the Wonder of Stardom Championship to Kamitani back in December, she is also the most recent singles champion of the three participants.
That being said, it’s Giulia versus Mayu. Two unit leaders, two former Wonder of Stardom Champions, and two of the standard bearers within Stardom. Take their match on the anniversary of Hana Kimura’s passing (May 23rd, 2021), and double the length and turn the violence up to twelve. They get gritty and dirty and even when Giulia’s chin gets busted open near the end of the match, they don’t stop until the final bell rings.
Without Tam in the match-up Rossy Ogawa allows Giulia and Mayu to decide between themselves who will face the Wonder of Stardom Champion on Day 1 (March 26th) and Day 2 (march 27th) of The Stardom World Climax. Giulia says she wants to fight Syuri and relieve her of the World of Stardom Championship, so she can turn around and defend it against Mayu on the second day. Mayu agrees, willingly accepting to take night two, and whoever is left standing after the impending brutality between Syuri/Giulia.
Again, I am wondering if Prominence’s vendetta against Giulia will spell disaster for this promised rematch that hinges on Giulia defeating her own stablemate and tag team partner in Syuri, and if this could lead to turbulent waters for DDM in 2022. While Giulia has greater numbers in DDM, having brought Thekla and MIRAI into the fold, I wonder if she is going to have a bit of remorse for intentionally attacking Cosmic Angels, using them as fodder to introduce her new acquisitions, placing herself and DDM in the middle of two potential melees moving forward.
World of Stardom Championship: Syuri defeated MIRAI (26:47)
With her official arrival on January 3rd alongside Thekla, MIRAI quickly made a name for herself by managing to secure not only a championship match, but the first main event of a iPPV in 2022, by challenging World of Stardom Champion and fellow DDM member, Syuri. Having just been revealed as one of Giulia’s Masked Assailants who help attack the newer members of Cosmic Angels, it made me worry that Giulia was beginning to prepare backup, should DDM reach “Bullet Club is Fine” levels of a power struggle within the group. Having just lost the Goddesses of Stardom Championships she held with Syuri, it makes me wonder if Giulia is preparing backup plans, should DDM get in over their heads in 2022, especially now with Prominence arriving to collect on some outstanding receipts from their time “In That Other Place.”
With Konami’s departure, I am wondering if The New Fighting Princess, MIRAI could become a future rival for Syuri as Syuri has plans on creating her own brand of pro-wrestling that mixes the various fighting-styles she’s studied in her career. As someone unfamiliar with MIRAI’s journey prior to her arrival in Stardom, this match with Syuri allowed for a sampler platter of MIRAI’’s potential and gave the viewers a solid idea of what to expect from her in the future, and how she will become a key asset to DDM’s survival in the coming months.
Syuri knows how to elevate and highlight her opponents, and her match with MIRAI was no exception. I would like to give it another run-through or three because while I watched the match, I didn’t feel as moved with it as I have with many other matches of Syuri’s I’ve seen. I am wondering if it is my own limited knowledge and experience with MIRAI as a wrestler that is feeding into this feeling, but what I saw, I liked, it just didn’t resonate with me as many of Syuri’s previous matches. I think it was the short journey from arrival to top belt challenge that just made it feel hurried. After the hellacious journey to the red belt, worrying that it could be swiftly snatched away after 18-months of emotional investment in Syuri sort of put an obstacle between myself and the match. I will definitely give it a rewatch.
I really loved the way their martial arts backgrounds played into the build within the match. Syuri finally shuts MIRAI down with SyuSeikai. The challenge moving forward is if Syuri/Giulia will be able to withstand someone other than the leader holding the company’s top championship (hopefully for an extended period of time) because when it happened in Queen’s Quest, The Black Peach arrived.
Syuri’s first successful defense as 14th World of Stardom Champion. Next challenger: Giulia (on March 26th) at Ryokgoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall)
— スターダム✪STARDOM (@wwr_stardom) January 29, 2022
The ultimate challenge for the World of Stardom Championship: nailing the pronunciation of Ryogoku Kokugikan as there are lots of K’s & G’s.
Road to Cinderella Journey in Nagaoka
- High-Speed Championship: Starlight Kid © vs. Natsupoi (2022.02.01; Korakuen Hall)
In addition to working several PR events in December and January, both Saya Iida and Natsuko Tora have been seconding and accompanying their respective stables on and off since Ryogoku Dream Queendom in December. While neither has been cleared or return dates announced, both seem to be in good spirits. Resuming posting to social media as they document their progress on their roads to recovery.
Upcoming Big Event Schedule
- February 2022
- Stardom Fan Convention – at Osaka Edition Arena – could possibly to include Cinderella Journey in Nagaoka Press Conference and possibly the reveal of Ogawa’s Mystery Visitor (February 11th & 12th)
- Cinderella Journey in Nagaoka (Niigata Prefecture) at Nagaoka Aore Arena (February 23rd; National Holiday)
- March 2022
- Stardom World Climax 2022 ~ The Best ~ at Ryogoku Kokugikan (March 26th (Day 1) & 27th (Day 2))
- April 2022
- Cinderella Tournament 2022
- Opening Night (2022.04.03) Tachikawa Stage Garden (Tokyo)
- Mid-Tournament Stage (2022.04.17) Korakuen Hall
- Finals (2022.04.29) Ota Ward Gymnasium