Stardom Review 2/4/17: Shirai vs. Konami, Toni Storms defends the SWA Championship!

Stardom held an event on February 4, 2017.

With KBS Hall in Kyoto hosting the night of action, six matches were held with one being contested for a championship.It was announced beforehand that due to injury, Momo Wantanabe would be off the show.As a result the main event would be changed to  Yoko Bito & Kairai Hojo vs. Queen’s Quest HZK and a mystery partner.

Match  1

Kris Wolf pinned Ruaka in 5:59

A short but very intense opener.  Wolf has really grown into her role as something of an enforcer for the Odeo Tai faction.Wolf went on the offense immediately, landing a flying cross chop after ducking a clothesline attempt.  Wolf got a nearfall with a sunset flip.Ruaka blocked a head kick and spun Wolf around to deliver a lariat to the back of the head.  Ruaka followed with a running senton splash then got a nearfall with a knee drop to the side of the face.Wolf utilized a jawbreaker to escape a modified chin lock and rocked Ruaka with several chops across the chest.  Wolf sent Ruaka through the ropes with a well placed dropkick.

Wolf looked poised for a plancha but Ruaka rolled back into the ring and hit a flipping clothesline as she came off the ropes.  Ruaka scored a close nearfall with a backslide.Ruaka sent Wolf into the corner but ate an elbow to the jaw as she followed in. Wolf came off the middle rope with a leaping DDT.Wolf went up top and delivered a beautiful diving double knee drop for the pinfall.

Match 2:Zoe Lucas pinned Hiromi Mimura in 5:35

This was the most impressive outing I’ve seen from Lucas since I became aware of her.  A total showcase for her abilities in this bout.The women locked up after the bell sounded with Mimura overpowering Lucas and backing her up against the ropes.  She offered a clean break but soon after landed a knee strike to the rib area.Mimura hit a power slam for a nearfall then picked Lucas off the mat to deliver a headbutt. Mimura whiffed on a back fist attempt and Lucas took her over with a headscissors.  Lucas followed with a springboard Whisper In The Wind and a standing moonsault for a nearfall.

Lucas countered Mimura’s kick with a leg sweep and a flipping splash off the ropes.  She went up top but Mimura was there to catch her with a right hand.Lucas blocked a superplex and knocked Mimura to the canvas.  She came off with a flying bodypress but Mimura rolled through for a nearfall.Both women rolled to their feet, Lucas connecting with a spinning uppercut.  With Mimura dazed, she quickly followed with the Lucas Landslide for the pinfall.

Match 3:Shayna Baszler & Deonna Purrazzo & Christie Jaynes defeated Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora & Arisu Nanase in 9:31

An excellent six woman tag bout with Baszler continuing to shine.  I can’t state enough how impressed I am with her growing improvement in wrestling, especially in a hard hitting environment like Stardom.Purrazzo and Kyona also had solid outings and exchanges.

Tora and Purrazzo started for their respective teams and exchanged arm bars upon locking up.  Purrazzo took Tora over with an arm drag to create space.

Tora looked as if she wanted a second tie up but caught Purrazzo with a boot to the midsection; she sent her into the corner and followed in with a rolling elbow.

Nanase tagged in and took Purrazzo over with a snapmare followed by a spinning back elbow to the small of the back.  She missed an elbow allowing Purrazzo to hit a hangman’s neckbreaker and tag in Jaynes.

Jaynes got a nearfall with a rolling reverse cradle and stunned Naese with a springboard arm drag.  Nanaese blocked a suplex and took Jaynes over with one of her own.  Jaynes ducked a clothesline but was caught going for a crossbody and hit with a wicked Tilt-a-Whirl backbreaker.

Kyona got the tag and peppered Jaynes with rights and lefts, all the while staring down  Baszler.  Jaynes threw a desperation kick but it had no real force behind it; Kyona simply smirked and landed a hard kick to the ribs followed by a unique looking slingshot brainbuster.

Kyona made the cover but somehow Jaynes kicked out at the last second.Kyona tagged in Tora and held her for an attack. Tora went for a Disaster Kick but Jaynes moved leaving Kyona to take the blow.Baszler got the hot tag and immediately floored Kyona with a head kick.  She then bulldozed Tora into the corner and threw knees as if they were going out of style.Nanese came in and was hit with a T-Bone suplex.  Baszler knocked the wind out of Tora with a spear.

Kyona came off the top with a missile dropkick to Baszler. Purrazzo immediately took her down with a leaping neckbreaker from the middle rope. Jaynes dove onto Nanase leaving Baszler and Tora in the ring. Tora went for a double underhook suplex but Baszler  took her over with a backdrop.  Baszler landed another roundhouse kick then dead lifted Tora into a gutwrench suplex position.  She rolled with Tora to deliver the move and score the pinfall.

Match 4:lo Shirai pinned Konami  in 9:55

This was an exciting bout buoyed by the story of Konami looking to pick up some major wins and earn the respect of Stardom’s elite.Konami wanted to shake hands before the match got underway; Shirai obliged but didn’t seem at all concerned.Shirai got the better of the opening tie up and took Konami to the mat with an arm bar. She dropped a sharp knee to the point of the elbow and got a 1 count off a half nelson cradle.

Konami rolled to her feet and tried for a single leg takedown but Shirai stuffed it and landed a hard slap to the left ear.  Shirai got a nearfall with a snap suplex.Shirai went back to the arm and tied it up into the ropes, kicking away at it.  She followed with a hammerlock body slam, covering for another 1 count. Konami  threw elbows to break free of an arm bar and booted Shirai in the face.  She landed a second then rolled her up for a nearfall.

Konami  ducked behind Shirai and hit release German suplex.   She followed with a running knee lift that drove Shirai into the corner.Konami rushed in but Shirai moved and she further damaged her arm against the ring post.  Shirai repeatedly smacked it against the ring apron before dropping a knee across it.Shirai went for the Magic de lo but Konami fought her off and hit a lariat with her good arm.  Konami scooped up Shirai but Shirai floated over to deliver a Lung Blower for a nearfall.

Shirai locked in a Fujiawara Armbar.  Konami nearly tapped but was able to drag herself close enough to the ropes to drape her foot over them.  Shirai hit a single arm DDT followed by a La Magistral cradle for a nearfall. Konami blocked another attempt at Magic de lo and surprised Shirai with a jackknife cradle for a nearfall.  She followed with a DDT but was unable to capitalize.

Konami went for a powerbomb but couldn’t maintain her grip.  Shirai grabbed the damaged arm and repeatedly elbowed the hell out of it.She finally forced Konami onto the mat executed Magic de lo for the pinfall.

Match 5:SWA Champion Toni Storm pinned Viper in 16:55

A really great back and forth bout.  Storm has been a great addition to Stardom since being signed full time.The action started off fast with Viper catching Storm with a running dropkick that drove her back into the corner.  She followed with  a second and nearly won the match and the title in record time.

Viper went for a cradle DDT but Storm slipped out and hit a death drop.  Storm went to the apron and hit a slingshot splash for a nearfall.   Storm went for a German Suplex, Viper throwing elbows and reversing into one of her own.Viper went for an Oklahoma Roll but Storm cradled her for a nearfall  Viper recovered and landed a forearm smash to the jaw.

Viper applied a neck vice. Storm fought to her feet but was quickly spun around and floored with a knee strike to the face.  Viper hit a bridging fall away slam for a nearfall. Storm was sent into the corner and caught Viper coming in with a boot.  Viper shook off the cobwebs and charged a second time, Storm catching her with a rolling cradle for a nearfall.  Viper leveled Storm with a lariat.

Viper stood on Storm’s throat using the ropes for the illegal leverage; she didn’t break until the count of four and a half.   She trapped Storm in a body scissors, punishing her with elbows strikes wherever she could reach. Storm finally fought free and caught Viper coming off the ropes with a stun gun.  She followed with a running enzuigiri and a splash across the back.

Storm hit a blockbuster off the top rope for a nearfall.  She brought Viper to her feet to deliver hard slaps.  She connected with  a bicycle kick to the chest for good measure.

Viper countered a DDT with a rabbit lariat for a nearfall.   Storm blocked a second lariat attempt and the two struggled in a backslide attempt.  Viper won out but only got a count of two.Storm knocked Viper off balance as she went up top and took her to the mat with  superplex. Storm hooked Viper’s arms from behind and delivered a reverse Lung Blower for the pinfall.

Main Event:Kairi Hojo & Yoko Bito defeated Queen’s Quest in (HZK & Io Shirai) in 19:10

An excellent headliner with the crowd into everything.  They popped when Shirai came out, still buzzing from her big match earlier against Konami.All four women went at it before the bell even rang.  Queen’s Quest drove Hojo and Bito from the ring and took them out with stereo planchas through the ropes.

HZK rolled Bito back into the ring and hit a discus lariat.  She sent Bito into the corner and made the tag to Shirai.  Shirai wrapped Bito’s arm around the turnbuckle and pulled back on it. Shirai tagged HZK back in and the two sent Bito into the ropes; they dropped their heads for a double backdrop only for Bito to leapfrog over and hit a double bulldog off the ropes.

Hojo got the tag and hit a flying clothesline on HZK.  She followed with a Triple H style knee smash and a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall.  Hojo connected with a backbreaker and stretched HZK across her knee.HZK raked the eyes and leverage Hojo thoat first into the middle rope.   Shirai tagged in and landed hard kicks to the ribs and left arm.  She hammer locked the arm and slammed her to the canvas, using the earlier strategy that worked against Konami.

Shirai stretched out the arm across the mat and dropped a leg across it, then returned to a vertical base still holding onto it.  Hojo escaped the grip and adrenaline allowed her to press slam Shirai to a big reaction.Hojo went for a rolling cradle but did so too close to Queen Quest’s corner allowing HZK to make a blind tag.  As Hojo went through with the move, HZK delivered a Ghetto Blaster to the back of the head.

After several minutes of being worked over, Hojo saw light at the end of the tunnel when Shirai missed a top rope splash.  Bito got the hot tag at the same time as HZK and the two  at it. Bito connected with the Sling Blade and followed up with a standing frog splash for a nearfall.  She landed a German Suplex but HZK countered a rolling attempt at a second one with a half nelson suplex that dumped Bito right on her neck.

HZK locked in a camel clutch as Shirai delivered a double dropkick directly to the face.  HZK rolled into a cradle for a nearfall, Hojo making the save with a bulldog. Bito and Hojo hit an Ally Oop/Codebreaker combination on HZK, Shirai breaking up Bito’s pinfall with a diving headbutt.Bito went for the B-Driver but twice HZK blocked it.  Finally Bito landed an palm exploder and completed the Driver for the pinfall.

Final Thoughts:
This was a great show from the Stardom crew.They have done such a strong job in establishing the core of their undercard as consistent, possible threats to all title holders.Names like Jaynes, Baszler, Konami,  Kris Wolf, and Zoe Lucas all came off really strong.

Toni Storm has made the most out of her reign as SWA Champion and her defense here against Viper was one of the best in the history of the title.You can never go wrong with a Queen’s Quest main event and it truly delivered in spades. Their two very best up against a strong tandem of Bito and Hojo provided some damn good tag team action and ended the night on a high note.

What To Watch:  If you’re strapped for time, I recommend watching Shirai vs. Konami, Storm vs. Viper, and Bito & Hojo vs. HZK & Shirai.

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