Stardom MidSummer Champions Report – Syuri vs. Momo Watanabe; Saya Kamitani vs. Starlight Kid

With the Five Star Grand Prix at month’s end, everyone is scrambling to walk in as champion & matches made for Nagoya MidSummer Encounters.

Photo Courtesy: Stardom

Stardom MidSummer Champions Report – Syuri vs. Momo Watanabe; Saya Kamitani vs. Starlight Kid

By: Karen Peterson

MidSummer Champions took place at Tachikawa Stage Garden. Japanese Commentary featured Katsuya Ichikawa & Makoto Ohe with God’s Eye’s MIRAI & Ami Sorei joining after the 8-Woman Tag against STARS & OedoTai. No English commentary was available for this event. I am curious to know when Stardom will resume permitting vocal cheering and if streamers will also return. With NJPW announcing that the first weekend of September will permit it, I am hoping Stardom does the same or by the Five Star Grand Prix. Unless it’s a decision to have a higher audience cap instead.

Opening 3-Way Battle (1/15): I didn’t watch the show live, so when I watched the YouTube playback and the formal PPV playback, this match wasn’t on either. Lady C defeated Hina and Yuko Sakurai (COLOR’S) by pinning fellow QQ member, Hina. (5:31)

Spoiler-Free Synopsis

  • 3-Way Battle: Couldn’t watch it. Not on either stream.
  • Future of Stardom Championship: Could Tsukiyama be the one to finally stop Hanan? – Worth a Watch
  • Tag Match:  The Ace with New Blood in the Water  – Recommended
  • 8-Woman Tag Match: STARS vs. OET – Recommended
  • High Speed Championship (1/30): Has Hazuki’s disciple achieved High Speed Status? – Recommended
  • 10-Woman Tag Match: COSMIC x COLOR’S vs. DDM – Recommended
  • Wonder of Stardom Championship (1/30): Will the Wonder Plummet into Darkness? – Highly Recommended
  • World of Championship (1/30): 2021 Five Star Grand Prix Finals with a Twisted Momo Highly Recommended

Opening Match: Future of Stardom Championship: Hanan © defeated Waka Tsukiyama (8:23) Backbody Drop & Pin

The preshow video opens with a backstage pep talk from Unagi Sayaka to Waka Tsukiyama after another loss. Her kind words of encouragement, reminding her that she not only loves pro-wrestling but many people love and support Waka and her love of pro-wrestling. Hanan invited Waka to have the match because of their mutual love for wrestling. With all of STARS and Cosmic Angels at ringside, I was wondering if today might be the day Waka succeeds, but then I also remembered Hanan was slated for the Five Star and Waka did not qualify, finishing in the Purple Stars Qualifier dead last without a single win.

The match was good, technically sound both competitors put on a great opening to the show. I think the stakes felt raised with their stablemates all at ringside. This was Hanan’s eighth successful championship defense. She officially broke Utami Hayashishita’s defense record in her recent defense against JTO’s Tomoka Inaba with a time limit draw, this win definitely makes her the longest consecutive win streak for the Future of Stardom Championship.

What’s Next? 

  • Hanan: 5★GP Blue Stars; Next Future Challenger TBA
  • Waka Tsukiyama: To focus on her rematch against Ram Kaicho in a tag match against her and OedoTai’s Rina at New Blood 4 (8/26). Waka still needs a partner, and not to ever do that black and white makeup again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd9MK1Eakwk

Future of Stardom: Hanan © vs. Waka Tsukiyama was streamed for free on YouTube.

Tag Match: God’s Eye (MIRAI & Ami Sorei) defeated Queen’s Quest (Utami Hayashishita & Miyu Amasaki) (11:58) MIRAI pins Amasaki after MIRAMARE SHOCK

Fresh off a time limit draw against Goddesses of Stardom Champions, Fukuoka Double Crazy (Hazuki & Koguma), God’s Eye’s MIRAI & Ami have a slight advantage over Queen’s Quest: both members of their tag team qualified for the  5★GP. While Hayashishita is now the leader of QQ, and one of the obvious favorites in the annual tournament, her partner, the Super Rising Star, Amasaki, only debuted earlier this year at New Blood 1 (March 2022) and finished in the lower end of the Purple Stars Qualifiers.

This match sort of felt like three things were happening at the same time: a  5★GP. Red Stars warm-up for Hayashishita, a Goddess Championship warm-up for MIRAI/Sorei (both of whom are in the  5★GP. Blue Stars Block), and somewhat at a distant third, a trial for Miyu Amasaki. Granted, Amasaki just fought Giulia in the main event of New Blood 3 less than twenty-four hours before, but I feel bad for fellow Queen’s Quest members, Lady C and Hina, who were both cut from the show along with Yuko Sakurai (COLOR’S). The cumulative damage from her singles match with Giulia the day before play into Amasaki’s story as the most junior as well. 

The 2022 Cinderella Tournament winner, MIRAI, puts Amasaki away after a valiant fight with a thunderous MIRAMARE SHOCK instead of her MIRAMARE submission. While she and Ami have a tag challenge in the future, there could be trouble in paradise when they meet during the 5★GP.

What’s Next?

  • Utami Hayahashita:  5★GP Red Stars
  • MIRAI: 5★GP Blue Stars 
  • Ami Sorei: 5★GP Blue Stars
  • Miyu Amasaki: Likely the next couple of matches in her Super Rising Star Singles 5-Match Series. Currently 0-1

8-Woman Tag Match: OET (Saki Kashima, Fukigen Death, Ruaka, & Rina) defeated STARS (Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki & Koguma ©, Saya Iida) (8:42) Rina hit Saya Iida with PinkDevil & pinned her.

There wasn’t anything particularly outstanding about this match aside from Rina, who failed to qualify for the Five Star pinning Saya Iida right before Iida’ first 5 Star in two years (having missed last year due to injury). This was a nice way to get a bunch of people on the card and have a preview of many key players from STARS in the Five Star. Most of the OedoTai members in this match aren’t competing in the Grand Prix, so I am curious to see if they play key roles in Stardom in Showcase, MidSummer Champions in Nagoya, and New Blood 4 in August.

What’s Next? 

  • Mayu Iwatani: 5★GP Blue Stars 
  • Hazuki: 5★GP Blue Stars
  • Koguma: 5★GP Red Stars
  • Saya Iida: 5★GP Blue Stars
  • Saki Kashima: 5★GP Red Stars
  • Fukigen Death: Unknown
  • Ruaka: TBA
  • Rina: Looking forward to New Blood 4 & tagging with Ram Kaicho against Waka Tsukiyama & X

High Speed Championship (1/30): AZM © vs. Momo Kohgo (10:39) Numero Uno (submission)

New Gear Alert! Big Match Momo Kohgo has entered the chat! I do love big match gear and The Peach Star is slowly updating her look with each singles’ feature match. I love her entrance gown and Japanese parasol, but I wish she would pick a different signature color or design because it reminds me far too much of OedoTai era Hana Kimura. I know she is her own wrestler and character, but I really want Kohgo to stand out juuuuuuuust a little bit more, especially in a company where two of the three talents also wear red: Syuri, Utami & Giulia.

AZM locked in Numero Uno, and despite her best efforts, had to vocally submit. The Peach Star show everyone a brand new side of herself, and with AZM at the lead, had her best match in Stardom to date. The hard work she’s put in with Hazuki’s guidance is truly starting to show. Even Ami Sorei, who was in AWG with her, noted, “she’s a completely different Momo,” while on commentary. Although Kohgo didn’t qualify for the Five Star and she didn’t defeat AZM, today was her night to finally shine. I could see her becoming a regular in the High Speed picture if she keeps progressing at this rate. 

While the post-match announcements were being read, Rina capitalized on the distracted crowd to climb the top turnbuckle and hit AZM with a double foot stomp. Fresh off her pinning Iida in the previous match, she took the opportunity to declare herself as AZM’s next challenger. AZM accepted, despite not appreciating the cheap shot from the 15-year-old.

What’s Next?

  • AZM: 5★GP Red Stars; Rina
  • Momo Kohgo: TBA

10-Woman Elimination Match: Cosmic x COLOR’s (Tam Nakano, Mina Shirakawa, Unagi Sayaka, and SAKI & Hikari Shimizu) defeated Donna del Mondo (Giulia, Maika, Himeka, Natsupoi & Mai Sakurai) (16:09) Tam wins… with some unexpected help

Much like the STARS/OET match, this was another way to get a bunch of the Five Star participants on the card for a taste of what is to come in the upcoming series. I say this every time a large elimination match or tag ranks higher on the card when there are titles on the show. I know they want to have breathing room between the multi-person tags and some of the title matches, but it gets harder for people to take titles like the High Speed seriously when throw-away matches with little consequence outrank them on a card. 

I enjoyed the match, especially seeing SAKI and Giulia square off, especially since they are in separate Five Star blocks. While Giulia and Natsupoi worked together against Tam whom they both had heated rivalries, they’ll be fighting each other in the Five Star Blue Block while Tam’s busying herself in the Red Stars. 

WAIT ONE COSMIC JUSTICE DRAMATIC MINUTE!?! Natsupoi turns on Giulia?! Defects to Cosmic Angels!! This is why I never write my reviews while I watch! There was something I had wondered about when it came to Natsupoi’s series with Tam ending in a one-all draw. If Stardom isn’t going to do a draft, this is one other way to shake things up. Mai leaving Cosmic Angels to join Giulia, MIRAI leaving DDM to join Syuri and now Natsupoi siding with Tam and Cosmic Angels. 

(Back to my regularly scheduled programming…)

So it was down to Giulia, Natsupoi & Tam, and they found themselves on the apron, with Tam between the two members of DDM. However, Natsupoi would grab Giulia and call to Tam, and they worked together to dump Giuia off the apron, getting the elimination. Without a word, Natsupoi hopped off the apron eliminating herself and serving up the win to Tam, Cosmic Angels, & COLOR’S much to the absolute shock and silence of DDM. After the match, they gave Natsupoi and DDM time to say their farewells, which was somewhat long and exceptionally emotional. If this means that Natsupoi gets the room she needs to breathe and grow, I am here for it. 

Eliminations

  • 4:57 Himeka and Mina Shirakawa eliminated OTTR
  • 7:24 Hikari Shimizu eliminated Mai Sakurai via pin
  • 8:58 Maika eliminated Unagi Sayaka via Michinoku Driver II/pin
  • 9:06 Maika eliminated Hikari Shimizu via Michinoku Driver II/pin
  • 9:19 SAKI eliminated Maika via inside cradle
  • 12:54 Giulia eliminated SAKI OTTR
  • 15:59 Natsupoi & Tam eliminated Giulia & herself with a Poisutei German
  • Tam Nakano is the sole survivor/winner

What’s Next?

  • Tam Nakano: 5★GP Red Stars
  • Mina Shirakawa: 5★GP Blue Stars
  • Unagi Sayaka: 5★GP Red Stars; Ganbare Pro Wrestle Sekigahara vs. Yuna Manase (7/10)
  • SAKI (COLOR’S): 5★GP Red Stars; GPU COLOR’s Yes, My Way vol.  3 (7/15)
  • Hikari Shimizu (COLOR’s): GPU COLOR’s Yes, My Way vol.  3 (7/15)
  • Giulia: 5★GP Blue Stars
  • Maika: 5★GP Red Stars
  • Himeka: 5★GP Red Stars
  • Natsupoi: 5★GP Blue Stars
  • Mai Sakurai: 5★GP Red Stars

Semi-Final Wonder of Stardom Championship (1/30): Saya Kamtani © (QQ) defeated Starlight Kid (OET) (23:35) Phoenix Splash & pin

Loved SLK’s Wonder of Stardom White Overmask and her new Summer of SLK costume with Wonder White Belt accent, a color she hasn’t worn since she joined OedoTai. It also better matches her tag partner, Momo Watanabe. Starlight Kid hasn’t been lying that she’s been studying El Desperado tapes because as soon as the bell rings, one of the first moves she went for was his Number Dos submission. Of course, all the seconds of OedoTai kept themselves busy at ringside attacking Queen’s Quest especially as the referee was distracted and SLK and Kamitani fought on the entrance ramp.

With a solid chair shot to Kamitani’s knee– her foundation for a significant selection of her moves– SLK capitalizes and targets on inflicting as much pain and damage as possible, especially using the chair, rope, and ring post. The referee was also rather liberal with the five counts. Kid gets a little taste of her own medicine after The Golden Phoenix rolls over a figure four leg lock, forcing the rope break.

Kamitani manages to do a top rope springboard dive and give SLK a suplex onto the arena floor for all her troubles. She also nails SLK with a missile drop kick from the top turnbuckle, and she’s repaid with a gnarly dragon screw followed by a tiger suplex outside on the ring apron. (There is a slight delay outside the ring as it looked like Kamitani lost a contact lens.) They get back in the ring and quickly start trading roll-up, and Kid keeps working Kamitani’s knee, with a rounding body press and a second attempt at the Numero Dos. Kamitani reverses it into a massive German Suplex, dumping SLK onto the mat. Even with all of the OedoTai theatrics and shenanigans, they are evenly matched. 

Kamitani couldn’t get the Phoenix Splash, but as Kid went for a moonsault, Kamitani got her knees up. Kamitani went for the Star Crusher, but Kid got out and transitioned into the Black Tiger Punishment, bending Kamtani in half and forcing her to scramble to the rope or give up the belt. SLK got another moonsault and a stunningly gorgeous tiger suplex and yet… Kamitani kicked out again. SLK went for the Star Suplex, but Kamitani reversed it into another Star Crusher as they cleared the twenty-minute mark. SLK went for Eternal Foe, and I don’t know if either of them landed like they were supposed to, but somehow Kamitani pulled an Ospreay and found herself standing, while Kid was sprawled on the mat.

Kamitani stopped Kid’s offense with what looked like a variation of a Blue Thunder Bomb before going up top for the Phoenix Splash… and pinning Starlight Kid for the win. While this was a great match, what will they have left for the Five Star GP and their Casket Match against the Mysterious Grim Reaper in Nagoya on July 24th. Kid has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of with this loss because her consistency has been one of her shining points. Personally, I would love her to win the Wonder or Five Star on her own. She proves that she can do it all on her own. 

This was Kamitani’s seventh successful defense. She declares that she wants to defend her Wonder of Stardom Championship at Nagoya (MidSummer Champions; 7/24). COLOR’S Leader & Five Star SAKI interrupts to express her interest. Kamitani accepts. This was followed by the arrival of Nanae Takahashi who announces that she will be KAIRI’s tag partner… and Lady C comes forward. Their tag match date is TBA, but possibly for STARDOM x STARDOM on 8/20, as Kamitani’s dance card for 7/23-24 is already full. 

What’s Next? 

  • Grim Reaper in a Casket Match at Stardom in Showcase (7/23) vs. Saya Kamitani & Starlight Kid
  • Saya Kamitani: 8th Defense against SAKI at MidSummer Champion (7/24) 5★GP Blue Stars
  • Starlight Kid: 5★GP Blue Stars 

Main Event: World of Stardom Championship (1/30): Syuri © (GE) vs. Momo Watanabe (OET) (20:16) Byakko (White Tiger)

On a personal level, this match is special purely because it was Syuri vs. (then Queen’s Quest leader) Momo Watanabe in the finals of last year’s Five Star Grand Prix, where my coverage of Stardom with POST began. It is surprising to see how they each had very different trajectories after Syuri’s win last year, with Syuri going on to dethrone Utami Hayashishita as the World of Stardom Champion and later leaving DDM to strike out on her own with God’s Eye and Momo throwing everything she knew from Queen’s Quest away, giving into the dark side seduction of Starlight Kid and OedoTai.

Much like their previous match-up, the kicks are H-E-A-V-Y (even without the added weight of a wrench) and the strikes sound like shotgun shells. This new unleashed and unhinged incarnation that is The Black Peach provides Syuri another guaranteed noteworthy championship defense, especially if she can keep Momo away from the overly eager and helpful hands of the rest of OedoTai. Watanabe is one of Stardom’s most decorated champions, having one of the longest reigns with the Wonder Championship, but the World has always eluded her. Much like Giulia, Mayu and Utami, Momo is another one (regardless of faction) I can depend on to draw out the very best in Syuri. 

…and you all know how much I hate those tables from Japan… especially when there is a piledriver onto one and it barely bends. I’m just relieved that they didn’t keep trying it until it did break. Momo capitalizes on Syuri being dazed, setting up the Tequila Sunrise, but the champion manages to escape. Momo goes up for a meteora, and then the battle of suplexes and throwing begins. Syuri locks in Byakko (White Tiger), forcing Momo to scramble for the ropes, and just off-camera, she’s slipped a wrench that Syuri knocks away. Momo retaliates with a Hitodenashi (Bastard) Driver and slips the wrench into her kick pad. With a single kick, Momo thinks she has the match won, but Syuri kicks out. 

Momo hits Syuri with not one or two, but THREE Peach Sunrises, but Syuri still kicked out! She set up Peach Thunder, but the champion escaped. In her exhaustion, Syuri manages to hoist Momo up for SyuSekai, but Watanabe kicks out. Now, it’s The Black Peach’s time to raller, but Syuri  does everything to esure Momo is in the dead center of the ring. With Byakko, Momo is forced to verbally give up, and Syuri has her sixth successful defense. 

Seeing Momo clutch her taped knee after the match makes me hope that she stops putting the wrench into her kick pad and wrestling with it because she could easily take more of her own damage. The ring doctor checked on her and Saki & Natsuko hurry a limping Momo to the back. Real or not, it makes me worry with the Five Star this close. 

“Momo Watanabe, you’ve completely changed since you went to OedoTai and were reborn as The Black Peach and it makes me wonder why the hell you did it all. However, today, you showed me that you’re still moving forward in your own way. I’m sure you can’t hear me right now, but you’re strong, and I want to fight you again one day. Thanks.” – Syuri 

“When you think of Nagoya, there’s only me! I’m going to take your Red Belt, go to the Aichi show on August 20th [Stardom x Stardom Nagoya MidSummer Encounters]… take the White Belt and become a double champion! What do you think?!” Tam rejoiced.

“I think you’re putting the cart before the horse. However, I’ve been waiting for you to show up. Things aren’t going to go as you have planned. I’m going to hang onto this belt and in Aichi, I’ll keep showing the world the true power of Stardom.” – Syuri

I am looking forward to seeing what Syuri and Tam can do with the World of Stardom Championship on the line, but you all know by now how I also feel about double champion situations. I would hate to see Tam lose in her hometown, but I wouldn’t mind seeing her lose twice if it means the August show has some sort of stakes (and Syuri derails Tam’s momentum). However, after her hair vs. hair match with Giulia and her cage match with Natsupoi, I don’t know what sort of stakes Tam would suggest unless she were to give UWF rules a chance.  We’ll have to see. I’m sure there will be some press conferences coming up for Stardom in Showcase and MidSummer Champions in Nagoya. Earlier this week, Stardom held the Five Star Presser, so that’s at least sorted. 

Another solid show, especially with the defenses of Hanan, AZM, Kamitani & Syuri. 

What’s Next? 

  • Syuri: 5★GP Red Stars; MidSummer Champions Nagoya (7/24) vs. Tam Nakano (7th Defense)
  • Momo Watanabe: 5★GP Blue Stars; Falls Count Anywhere Match (7/23) Stardom in Showcase vs. Tam Nakano vs. AZM vs. Koguma 

Upcoming Appearances: Check Dream Slam Weekly for results and info on appearances outside of Stardom events!

Summer 2022 Big Match Schedule

FYI: With the Five Star Grand Prix starting the weekend after Stardom in Showcase and MidSummer Champions in Nagoya, these two shows will be in a condensed review in the volume of Dream Slam Weekly released on 7/30.

UPDATE: STARDOM x STARDOM MidSummer Encounters (8/21)

Additional details have been released about the mid-August big event during the Five Star Grand Prix (5★GP). With the full schedule released, it was noted that this event will NOT be a  5★GP tour stop, so we may be able to expect a break from all the great league action for some championship matches and fun! The 5★GP Big Match on August 21st will be at the Dolphins’ Arena in Nagoya with the title STARDOM x STARDOM 2022 Midsummer Encounter.

Invitational Programs

With the increase of Stardom’s branding and the first match announcements for Stardom in Showcase on July 23rd, Stardom explained the expansion in content. While it is uncertain if these shows will be moved to an iPPV format or if they will continue being streamed for free on Stardom’s YouTube page, many are excited about all the potential with these additional programming formats. 

New Blood – invitational format, spotlighting newer talent from Stardom and other promotions. 

Stardom in Showcase – Akin to NB, but you can see anyone… or anything… happen! The first installment of SiS will be on July 23rd in Nagoya. 

MidSummer Champions in Nagoya (7/24) 

  • Goddesses of Stardom Championship (1/30): Fukuoka Double Crazy (Hazuki/Koguma) vs. God’s Eye(MIRAI/Ami Sorei)  
  • Wonder of Stardom Championship (1/30): Saya Kamitani © vs. SAKI (COLOR’S)
  • World of Stardom Championship (1/30): Syuri © vs. Tam Nakano (Cosmic Angels)

Five Star Grand Prix (5★GP) 2022 (7/30-10/1/2022)

Red Stars Block

  1. Syuri (God’s Eye) 
  2. Tam Nakano (Cosmic Angels)
  3. Utami Hayashishita (Queen’s Quest)
  4. AZM (Queen’s Quest)
  5. Koguma (STARS)
  6. Maika (Donna del Mondo)
  7. Himeka (Donna del Mondo)
  8. Thekla  (Donna del Mondo)
  9. Unagi Sayaka (Cosmic Angels)
  10. Saki Kashima (OedoTai)
  11. Mai Sakurai  (Donna del Mondo)
  12. Risa Sera (Prominence)
  13. SAKI (COLOR’S)

Blue Stars Block

  1. Mayu Iwatani (STARS)
  2. Giulia  (Donna del Mondo)
  3. Saya Kamitani (Queen’s Quest)
  4. Starlight Kid (OedoTai)
  5. Momo Watanabe (OedoTai)
  6. Hazuki (STARS)
  7. Saya Iida (STARS)
  8. Natsupoi  (Donna del Mondo)
  9. Mina Shirakawa (Cosmic Angels)
  10. Hanan (STARS)
  11. MIRAI (God’s Eye)
  12. Ami Sorei (God’s Eye)
  13. Suzu Suzuki (Prominence)

5★GP Opening Weekend – All 5★GP League Matches

Opening Day 1 (7/30) Ota Ward Gymnasium

  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Syuri vs. AZM
  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Maika vs. Risa Sera
  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Utami Hayashishita vs. Himeka
  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Unagi Sayaka vs. SAKI
  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Thekla vs. Mai Sakurai
  • 5★GP Blue Stars (1/15): Giulia vs. Hazuki
  • 5★GP Blue Stars (1/15): Mayu Iwatani vs. MIRAI
  • 5★GP Blue Stars (1/15): Ami Sorei vs. Saya Iida
  • 5★GP Blue Stars (1/15): Starlight Kid vs. Suzu Suzuki

Opening Day 2 (7/31) Ota Ward Gymnasium

  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Syuri vs. Utami Hayashishita
  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Tamu Nakano vs. Himeka
  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Koguma vs. Thekla
  • 5★GP Red Stars (1/15): Risa Sera vs. SAKI
  • 5★GP Blue Stars (1/15): Giulia vs. MIRAI
  • 5★GP Blue Stars (1/15): Saya Kamitani vs. Starlight Kid
  • 5★GP Blue Stars (1/15): Mina Shirakawa vs. Momo Watanabe
  • 5★GP Blue Stars (1/15): Ami Sorei vs. Suzu Suzuki

NOTES: 

  1. The remainder of the 5★GP Match Cards will be posted weekly via Dream Slam Weekly along with results block standings starting with the first DSW in August. 
  2. I will try to pick a 5★GP Match of the Week in addition to the usual DSW match recommendation, but this will depend on how quickly the matches are added to Stardom World as they won’t be broadcast live. However, you will likely need to go to Stardom World to watch the match in its entirety. 
  3. The entire schedule has been announced including league matches, but at this time it is uncertain if additional tag matches may be added at a later date. Full preliminary schedule is available here. 
About Karen Peterson 103 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.