Dream Slam Weekly: NOMADS’ Freelance Summit, Stardom Five Star Grand Prix

Karen Peterson is back with Dream Slam Weekly with an analysis of the NOMADS’ Freelance Summit, Stardom’s Five Star Grand Prix, and more.

Dream Slam Weekly (vol. 4)!

By: Karen Peterson 

May is quickly barreling to the end and while Memorial Day weekend seems to be packed with wrestling here in the US, the scene across Japan is showing no signs of stopping. Between tournaments, anniversary shows, and an increasing number of international excursions (including foreign wrestlers returning and debuting in Japan)! The more outstanding events cards that get announced and surprise entrants in promotions around the world, the more I have the itch to pack my bag, grab my passport and hop a plane! Let’s dive in!

BIG EVENT/NEWS

NOMADS’ Freelance Summit: No Home… Yes! Ambitious” (5/20) Shinjuku FACE

When the team of Sumire Natsu, Rina Yamashita, Maya Yukihi, and Miyuki Takase announced they wanted to hold an event that showed exclusively freelancers, I was immediately hooked. From their initial press conference where they announced the concept of “No Home… Yes! Ambitious,” especially the struggle many freelancers went through during the pandemic as many companies closed ranks due to limitations and health regulations. They wanted to create a space where all freelancers were welcomed and treated as equals, even designing a logo that represented how they are all linked together in a network as many of them work multiple promotions. 

From the participating wrestlers to the ring announcer, referee, and even their English content translator, everyone involved is a freelancer. Even as the card came together, the Core Four (Natsu, Yamashita, Yukihi & Takase) referred to themselves as more as an events committee as opposed to an executive committee, placing themselves on equal footing with all the other performers. Their inaugural card quickly became a who’s who among the freelance community, and also made me realize why I couldn’t figure out which promotion many of these wrestlers belonged to because they kept showing up everywhere with different tag team partners and stables in different promotions!

Results

Surprise Exhibition Match: Sumire Natsu vs. Miyuki Takase (5:00 Time Limit Draw) – Sumire originally hadn’t planned on wrestling on this show, as she had spent the greater part of the pandemic focusing on her health with time away from the ring. 

Opening Singles Match: Tae Honma defeated Momoka Hanazono (8:15) – The more I see Hanazono, the quicker she is becoming one of my favorites to watch! Tae Honma also recently returned from an injury as well and had an enjoyable match together. Hanazono ropes the referee into helping her with a couple of tag team movies much to Tae’s chagrin.  

6-Woman Tag Match: YMZ (Kaori Yoneyama, Makoto & Maika Ozaki) defeated COLOR’S (Hikari Shimizu, Rina Amikura & Yuko Sakurai (10:13) – COLOR’S brought the music as they performed their group song and I can’t get enough of the YMZ team. Another fun, lighthearted match with plenty of speed and power. 

In-Ring Return Match: Hiroyo Matsumoto defeated Kaho Kobayashi (11:45) – Kobayashi decided to make her return to wrestling after an extended absence, selecting someone who has been crucial to her career as her return opponent: Hiroyo Matsumoto. I loved the opening in particular, because when Kobayashi extended her hand formally, Matsumoto replies with, “I’ve been waiting for you.” This was the final match announced on the card, but quickly became one of the wants I wanted to see the most. Compared to the previous three-match, this one shifts too a much more strong-style faire, yet still emotional. I still remember seeing Matsumoto in the second Mae Young Classic, and she’s still that cool. 

Semi-Final: SAKI & Saori Anou and ASUKA (Veny) & Yuu (19:23) Double Count Out – Tag long enough with someone, and suddenly, it is no longer a quest of if you’ll face one another, but more of a question of when. At the core of this match was a burgeoning rivalry between Anou/ASUKA. Yuu and SAKI also pulled no punches and were fantastic to watch. All four competitors begin brawling all over the venue, and the match ends after a very generous twenty-count. 

Main Event: Miyuki Takase & Ryo Mizunami defeat Rina Yamashita & Maya Yukihi – When the events committee announced the main event, they profusely apologized for putting three-fourths of the team in the main event. However, with Takase wanting to fight Yamashita, this tag match format was a great way to close out their first show. Bringing in Mizunami, who they all love and respect for the strides she’s made in the international scene through her time in AEW, the main event closed the show on a high note. (19:33)

With such a wide wrestling scene in Japan, I truly love that NOMADS’ has created a safe haven for freelancers and a unique sisterhood. I am thrilled that they were able to not only sell out their first show but had an outstanding event from start to finish. I was relieved to see that it simply wasn’t a one-off either, as, at the end of the show, they announced their second event! Mayu Yukihi praised both Yamashita and Takase for their upcoming international dates, and cites that she wants to follow suit, too! All the performers formed a circle in the ring together to close out the show, rallying the fans to say “NOMADS!” together!

Next Installment: NOMAD’s Freelance Summit returns to Shinjuku FACE on Friday, August 5th at Shinjuku at 7 PM JST. Tickets go on sale Saturday, June 4th. Details soon. 

International Excursions & Adventures

*NEW* Miyuki Takase vs. Miyu Yamashita set for Deadlock Pro’s No Pressure (June 5th)

*NEW* Yuka Sakazaki  vs. Masha Slamovich set for PWG’s NINETEEN (July 3rd)

International Appearance Schedule

  • SHE-1 (229 The Venue, London, England; June 18th-19th)

Introductions & Round-up (alphabetical)

DIANA 

Results (5/15) (as part of their 11th Anniversary Celebration)

  • Haruka Umesaki defeated Himiko (9:33)
  • Ayako Sato defeated Miran (8:22)
  • Jaguar Yokota defeated Madeline and Deborah K (8:48)
  • Kyoko Inoue defeated Nanami (13:26)

Gatoh Move & ChocoPro

Need to cleanse the heart & soul, you know that Gatoh Move & Choco Pro are the place to be. 

Results

  • ChocoPro #228 (5/15)
    • Mei Suruga defeated Tokiko Kirihara (12:41)
    • Chon Shiryu & Sayuri defeated Chie Koishikawa & Masahiro Takanashi (11:20)
    • Baliyan Akki defeated Sawasdee Kamen (16:11) 
  • ChocoPro #229 (5/21)
  • ChocoPro #230 (5/22)

Girls’ Pro-wrestling Unit COLOR’S
After their showing at Stardom’s New Blood 2, they held their third show! The next show Yes, My Way 3 is scheduled for July 15th at ShinKiba 1st Ring, but before that SAKI, Sakurai and Shizimu will battle against Cosmic Angels on June 5th, with the losing unit joining the other as their trainees. 

COLOR’s ☆Festival (May 15th) Results

GLEAT 

Dash Chisako (Sendai Girls) defeated Michiko Miyagi – (14:38) 5/18; Korakuen Hall)

Ice Ribbon

Ice Ribbon Princess’s Party (5/18) Saitama, Japan

  • Amin & YuuRI defeat Himiko & Kiku (10:59)
  • Kaho Matsushita & Sumika Yanagawa defeat Misa Kagura & Nao Ishikawa (10:59)

JUST TAP OUT 

Business is picking up for the JTO Girls including a self-produced all-women’s show and a tournament for your busy summer schedule! 

  • AOTOMO JTO’s Aoi & Tomoko Inaba Produced Women’s Show (5/21) – Basement Monster Hachioji
  • Queen of JTO Tournament (Starts 5/29, Quarter-Finals 6/5; Finals 7/9) – Seed rankings as of May 2022.

Prominence 

Kuen Ranbu (5/29) Match Card Announced

  • Miyako Matumoto Produced 3-Way Match (1/20): Tsubasa Kuragaki (OZ) vs Miyagi Matsumoto vs Itsuki Aoki
  • Singles Match (1/30): Yuki Miyazaki (WAVE) vs. Mochi Natsumi
  • Singles Match (1/30): Akane Fujita vs Dash Chisako
  • Singles Match (1/30): Risa Sera vs. Suzu Suzuki 

Upcoming Appearances

  • Stardom Flashing Champions (5/28)
    • World of Stardom Championship: Syuri © (Stardom) vs. Risa Sera (Prominence)
    • 6-Woman Match: Cosmic Angels (Mina Shirakawa, Unagi Sayaka & Waka Tsukiyama) vs. Prominence (Suzu Suzuki, Akane Fujita & Mochi Natsumi)

SEAdLINNNG

Next Big Match (6/10) – Shinjuku FACE | {Tour Date Calendar}

Sendai Girls {@SendaiGlobal|@senjo2006 |#仙女 #sendaigirlspro }

Next Big Show (6/16) ~The Sky is The Limit~ ShinKiba 1st Ring 

Stardom {@We_Are_Stardom | @WWR_Stardom | #STARDOM #スターダム}

Utami Hayashishita Becomes QQ’s Leader On May 15th, Queen’s Quest closed the show with a five-way battle featuring AZM, Utami Hayashishita, Saya Kamitani, Hina, and Lady C.

Updated to Flashing Champions Card (5/28)

  • 6-Woman Tag Match: Cosmic Angels (Mina Shirakawa, Unagi Sayaka & Waka Tsukiyama) vs. Prominence (Suzu Suzuki, Akane Fujita & Mochi Natsumi
  • 6-Woman Battle: Ami Sorei (God’s Eye), Lady C (Queen’s Quest), Hina (Queen’s Quest), Saya Iida (STARS), Momo Kohgo (STARS) & Rina (OedoTai)
  • Special Tag Match: Queen’s Quest (Utami Hayashishita & Miyu Amasaki) vs. Tam Nakano (Cosmic Angels) & KAIRI
  • Future of Stardom Championship: Hanan (STARS) © vs. Ruaka (OET) 
  • Artists of Stardom Championships (1/30): Donna del Mondo (Maika, Himeka, & Natsupoi) vs. OedoTai (Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid & Momo Watanabe)
  • SWA World Championship (1/30): Mayu Iwatani (STARS; Japan) vs. Fukigen Death (OedoTai; Space Alien)
  • High Speed Championship (1/30): AZM © (Queen’s Quest) vs. Thekla (DDM)
  • Goddesses of Stardom Championship (1/30): Fukuoka Double Crazy © (FWC; Hazuki/Koguma) vs. Donna del Mondo (Giulia & Mai Sakurai)
  • Wonder of Stardom Championship (1/30): Saya Kamitani © (Queen’s Quest) vs. MIRAI (God’s Eye) 
  • World of Stardom Championship (1/30): Syuri © (God’s Eye) vs. Risa Sera (Prominence) 

Partial Five Star Grand Prix Participants List Announced

This year’s field will see 26 competitors divided into two blocks of 13 (Red Stars & Blue Stars) This year another “X” is in the field but will be revealed at a later date.

  • STARS: Mayu, Koguma, Hazuki, Hana
  • Queen’s Quest: AZM, Utami Hayashishita, Saya Kamitani 
  • Oedo Tai: Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid, Momo Watanabe
  • Donna del Mondo: Giulia, Maika, Himeka, Natsupoi, Thekla
  • Cosmic Angels: Tam Nakano, Mina Shirakawa, Unagi Sayaka
  • God’s Eye: Syuri, MIRAI
  • Prominence: Risa Sera, Suzu Suzuki

The final three participants will be determined in a qualifying tournament starting on June 5th and running through June 28th (both shows at Korakuen Hall) featuring: Saya Iida, Momo Kohgo, Ami Sorei, Ruaka, Mai Sakurai, Rina, Waka Tsukiyama, Lady C, Hina & Miyu Amasaki.

Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling (TJPW) {@tjpw2013}

Pro-wrestling EVE’s RHIO’s First Trip to Japan! She will participate in the shows on May 28th (Otemachi) and June 4th (Hamamatsu.). This is RHIO’s first trip to Japan, and the first time TJPW has had foreign wrestlers in two and a half years.

WAVE {@P_W_WAVE |#wavepro}

WAVE Nagoya WAVE ~ Kin Shachi Vol. 22 (5/15) Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

  • Opening Match: Ayame Sasamura, Yuki Miyazaki & Yuu defeated Itsuki Aoki, Miyuki Takase & Yumi Ohka (18:41)
  • Catch The Wave 2022 Future Block: Kohaku defeated Haruka Umesaki (8:54)
  • Catch The Wave 2022 Comical Block: Miyako Matsumoto and Sakura Hirota – Time Limit Draw (15:00)
  • Catch The Wave 2022 Kicking Block: Nagisa Nozaki defeated Sae (13:34)

WAVE Weekday WAVE Vol. 124 – (5/18) Tokyo, Japan

  • Opening Match: Ayame Sasamura, Haruka Umesaki, Miyuki Takase & Nagisa Nozaki defeated Itsuki Aoki, Riko Kawahata, SAKI & Yuu (13:32)
  • Catch The Wave 2022 Future Block: Chie Ozora defeated Kohaku (11:07)
  • Catch The Wave 2022 Comical Block: Hibiscus Mii and Miyako Matsumoto – Draw (13:40)
  • Catch The Wave 2022 Comical Block: Kaori Yoneyama vs. Sakura Hirota – Double Count Out (12:05)
  • Catch The Wave 2022 Kicking Block: Hikari Shimizu defeats Sae (9:48)
  • Catch The Wave 2022 Hardcore Block: Risa Sera vs. Yuki Miyazaki – Time Limit Draw (15:00)

Meanwhile in North America…

WWE Results/Updates

  • Asuka defeats Becky (WWE RAW; May 16th) Asuka is now the number one contender for the RAW Women’s Championship at Hell in a Cell (9:55)

AEW Results/Updates

  • Emi Sakura & Nyla Rose defeated Ana Jay & Yukazaki (AEW Dark Elevation Ep 64; May 18th)
  • Maki Itoh is THE JOKER (AEW Dynamite; May 18th) Itoh lost to Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. Baker advances in The Owen Hart Foundation Tournament and will face Toni Storm in the semi-finals.  (6:44)

Independent Scene Spotlights for May 2022

May 23rd: Hana Kimura Memorial Show: BAGUS! {@mm85adKcZDBeliQ | #木村花バグース}

  • International Availability via FITE TV Much like last year, FITE will be hosting a broadcast of the Memorial Show. The show will cost $20. A full event report will be available later on Monday after the show, right here on POST. Please check previous DSWs for more details on this event. 

May 2022 Big Event Calendar

Summer 2022 Events

  • TJPW: CyberFight Festival 2022 (6/12) – Saitama Super Arena (a DDT, NOAH, & Ganbare Pro supershow) 
  • SenJo: The Sky is the Limit (6/16: ShinKiba 1st Ring;6/19: Miyagino Ward Cultural Center)
  • Stardom: Fight in the Top 2022 (June 26, 2022) Nagoya International Conference Center
  • WAVE: NAMI1 July ‘22 (July 1, 2022) – Shinjuku FACE, Osaka Rhapsody vol. 55 (July 2, 2022) – Azarea Taisho, Osaka, Nagoya WAVE vol. 23 (July 3, 2022) – Nagoya Naka Sports Center, CATCH THE WAVE 2022 FINALS (July 17, 2022) – Korakuen Hall
  • TJPW: Summer Sun Princess (July 9, 2022; 2:00 PM) – Ota Ward Gymnasium; 9th Annual TJPW Princess Cup 2022 (July 16-August 14, 2022) – The series has seven scheduled event dates throughout this period.
  • Stardom: Five Star Grand Prix (5★GP) 2022 Opening Weekend – (July 30-31, 2022) Ota Ward Gymnasium & Five Star Grand Prix (5★GP) 2022 Finals – (October 1, 2022) Musashino Forest Sun Plaza’s Main Arena (Chofu Ward, Tokyo)

Weekly Match Selection

Apologies for the truncated match this week, as it comes from the second Mae Young Classic, so if you want to see the full match, you’ll need to head to the WWE Network or Peacock. I really wanted to showcase a match featuring Hiroyo Matsumoto, but the one I kept finding myself coming back to was the first one I ever watched. With her recent visit to Deadlock Pro and her outstanding match with NOMADS’, I figured it was a great time to remind many that you might already have seen Hiroyo Matsumoto!

https://youtu.be/x41h3f5Odgs

This was her first-round match against Rachel Evers (Rachael Ellering). This match only went 9:47, and Matsumoto would defeat Evers to advance to the second round. She would then lose to the tournament winner, Toni Storm in the second round. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen Matsumoto’s name cropping up all over the place, but it still blows my mind that I got to see her wrestle live. 

WWE Official YouTube

  • Promotion: WWE
  • Show: (September 26, 2019)
  • Competitors: Hiroyo Matsumoto (Freelance) versus Rachel Evers (Rachael Ellering)
  • Venue: Full Sail University, Orlando, FL

Thanks for reading! Have a great week! 

About Karen Peterson 31 Articles
Occasionally drops by wrestling podcasts, but remains rather elusive. Joined the Japanese wrestling fan scene in summer 2017, and continues to work on bridging the language gap between fans. Outside of wrestling, she’s a dog mom, perpetual Japanese learner, and when conditions permit, world traveler. Never skips dessert.