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Time Waits For No One: STARDOM 5 Star Grand Prix 2018 Day Six

Time Waits For No One: STARDOM 5 Star Grand Prix 2018 Day Six

Day Six may be one of the best, if not just one of the most eventful, nights of the entire 5 Star Grand Prix. Not only did we get two incredible time-limit draw matches, but we also got some unfortunate dissension within Oedo Tai and a Match of the Century candidate with Natsu Sumire and Hanan.

In the main event, Hazuki and Momo Watanabe fought their way to a 15-minute draw earning each woman a single point in Blue Stars Block. These two really just beat the Hell out of each other the entire time and it was beautiful. Hazuki jump-started the match with a running dropkick which found its target on Momo’s face, and from that point forward these two worked to tear one another to pieces.

What’s even more insane about how good this match is? Hazuki is 20 years-old and Momo is only 18! To be fair, both of them have about 4 years of experience as wrestlers outside of the US generally start way, way younger but still – to have a match at this level, and to be consistently this good, is totally mind-blowing. Both wrestlers tried desperately to finish the match as the remaining time ticked away with Momo looking to have things locked away after a Tiger Suplex. Unfortunately, the bell would ring in the middle of the count bringing the match to an end.

After the match, Hazuki ran down Momo a bit and ordered her to leave the ring so Oedo Tai could close the show. Kagetsu stormed off yelling that she wasn’t feeling well, clearly still reeling from the incident I’ll get into later with Hana Kimura from earlier in the show. With Oedo Tai retreating, Momo and Queen’s Quest closed out the show.

In the pre-main event, Utami Hayashishita and Jungle Kyona went to another time-limit draw. Not only was this the second draw of the night, but it’s the second time these two have faced off with the same result. Jungle was Utami’s debut match and, to the surprise of many, the rookie was able to hold her own and withstand Jungle’s onslaught. On Day Six, the two fought hard for another 15 minutes to a brutal draw. I can’t say enough good things about this match, Utami, and Jungle altogether.

This is a feud and a match that I could happily watch for the next ten years and not get bored of it. Jungle is an insane fury in the ring; she often hits a certain point where she just starts screaming endlessly with every move she hits and it heightens the emotion in the match tenfold. There was a lot of notable stuff going on here – Utami dropkicked Jungle from the top rope to the arena floor before following with the Torture Rack outside of the ring. After releasing her, Jungle caught a kick attempt and destroyed Utami’s back with an apron powerbomb that would make Kevin Owens jealous.

From that point onward, Jungle was trying to tap Utami out in the center of the ring to no avail. Jungle was able to flatten Utami with her spinning, gutwrench powerbomb but the referee couldn’t make it to the three count before the bell ring to end the match via time-limit draw. This match and Hazuki/Momo are two of my favorite matches of the past several months and ones that I’m sure I’ll be going back to watch again soon.

In a tag team match earlier in the night, Rachael Ellering & Nicole Savoy picked up a win over Shiki Shibusawa & Mayu Iwatani and Kagetsu and Hana Kimura. This is Hana’s second match back from excursion in Mexico and things went awry for the Oedo Tai pairing. While Kagetsu held Ellering in position for a much-deserved bludgeoning with the Oedo Tai sign. As Hana reeled back, Ellering broke free and it looked like Kimura should have had plenty of time to stop her momentum. Instead, the crashed the sign down over the head of Kagetsu who collapsed to the mat. After the match, as Kagetsu recovered in the ring, Hana walked directly past her and to the back. As we saw after the main event, the apparent betrayal (or accident?) from Hana is still stinging the World of STARDOM Champion. I’m stinging not only from that, but having to see Rachael Ellering win another match on this tour.

Due to injury, Saki Kashima was unable to compete in her advertised match against Natsu Sumire. This gives Natsu an automatic 2 points due to forfeit but also meant that she wouldn’t be wrestling on tonight’s show. Outraged, Natsu stormed the ring and tried to pick a fight with the ring announcers before rookie Hanan told Natsu that she would fight her tonight in an attempt to get revenge for a previous encounter. Natsu accepted and the match was made! This whole thing was perfect. I’ve mentioned it before – Natsu is not a workrate champion who is going to have the best-wrestled match on the show, but she routinely will have the most fun/enjoyable match of any show she’s a part of.

Natsu came out sporting the QQ flag and AZM’s mask which she stole on the previous show. The referee came into play here as a Hanan dropkick to Natsu’s back sent her flying into the official. From this point on, all bets were off. The ref caught a big boot to the face while he attempted to recover in the corner and thanks to some quick moves and a reversal of an Irish whip on Hanan’s part, he wound up clotheslining Natsu in the corner. Frustrated by Natsu’s general behavior and actions, the ref began fast-counting Hanan’s pins and slow-counting Natsu’s pins toward the end of the match. With a flash roll-up and a quick count, Hanan scored possibly the biggest win of her career albeit slightly tainted. Natsu chased the referee and Hanan out of the ring post-match with her cat o’ nine tails.

Tam Nakano and Natsuko Tora had a hell of a fight in Red Stars Block for 2 points. They barely waited for the introductions to be over before charging one another in the center of the ring – from here, they simply brutalized one another as Natsuko looked to finally break her 5*GP curse and get on the board with some points. Despite Tam’s flurries, Natsuko was able to hit a top rope splash to pick up the victory. She’s obviously not going to win the block at this point, but she’s going to walk away with at least one win under her belt. Post-match, Natsuko pulled Tam up by the hair before being slapped in the face.

Kelly Klein inexplicably grabbed a win over Jamie Hayter in a match where these two beat each other like someone owed someone money. I don’t know if there’s any legit beef between these two or anything, but this was an unpolished fight that bordered on uncomfortable at times. Maybe it just looked that way because Klein isn’t very good. Either way, I’ve been disappointed at how many losses Hayter has racked up since she’s far and away the best foreigner on this tour with Nicole Savoy coming in at a close second place. Speaking of foreigners I’ve been disappointed with, Kimber Lee rightfully took a loss to Konami and her Triangle Lancer.

In the opener, AZM handily defeated Ruaka and Leo Onozaki in a three-way battle. AZM was nice enough to step out of the ring at times to let the JAN rookies fight amongst themselves, though in the end, it was a la magistral cradle that would put things away for the maskless QQ member. We’ll see if AZM can bounce back enough on this tour to retrieve her mask and the recently-defaced flag from Oedo Tai.

On Day Seven, only Red Block matches will be happening as Kagetsu and Kimber Lee lock up while Tam Nakano and Rachael Ellering face off. Kick her good, Tam. Kick her good and hard. Until then, let’s check the standings – the top spots in the blocks are still pretty open at this point with the remaining matches being hugely important for who goes onto the 5*GP Finals.

Red Stars Block

  • Jungle Kyona: 8
  • Kagetsu: 7
  • Utami Hayashishita: 7
  • Rachael Ellering: 6
  • Konami: 6
  • Tam Nakano: 2
  • Kimber Lee: 2
  • Natsuko Tora: 2

Blue Stars Block

  • Momo Watanabe: 7
  • Hazuki: 7
  • Nicole Savoy: 6
  • Mayu Iwatani: 6
  • Kelly Klein: 6
  • Jamie Hayter: 4
  • Saki Kashima: 4
  • Natsu Sumire: 4

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