STARDOM NewYear Stars 2020
Event Date: February 16, 2020 (12:00 JST)
matches published individually on Stardom World
Ring Announcer: Yurie Kozakai
Hina vs Jamie Hayter (SWA & Goddess Champ)
(referee: Barb Sasaki)
Result: Jamie Hayter wins via submission with a Boston crab
This was a fine opener. Hina got in a bunch of nice pin attempts, but Hayter otherwise dominated this match. It was an easy night for the double-champ.
Rina & Hana Kimura vs AZM & Momo Watanabe
(referee: Barb Sasaki)
Result: AZM pins Rina after a diving double-foot stomp
Good match. Rina spent a lot of time in the ring against AZM, and they worked really well together. Rina has come a long way, and AZM continues to impress. Watanabe and Kimura came in at times, though ultimately it felt like they were there to support AZM and Rina. I liked that, and I liked the match.
Leo Onozaki Retirement Match
Itsuki Hoshino & Jungle Kyona vs Saya Iida & Leo Onozaki
(referee: Daichi Murayama)
Result: Jungle Kyona pins Leo Onozaki after a diving splash
Very good match. The first part was fun and had some nods back to the JAN unit that everyone in this match (except for Hoshino) was in. Hoshino and Iida both looked ggod in the match, but after a while it really just became Onozaki versus Kyona. Kyona and Onozaki traded strikes for a long time, and it seemed like Kyona was trying to push Onozaki to push back even harder. Onozaki doesn’t win a lot of matches, but she looked good here tonight. It was also nice seeing Queen’s Quest at ringside to support Onozaki.
After the match, Iida helps Onozaki get to her feet so she can bow to everyone. Onozaki then takes a knee as Kyona talks about how many people around the world support Onozaki. She talks about how the fans can give wrestlers energy and allow them to confront difficulties in their lives. Kyona says Onozaki had a hard time and lost many matches, but even in loss, Onozaki gave people courage. Kyona asks Onozaki if she’s glad she became a pro wrestler, to which Onozaki replies that she is very happy. Kyona hopes Onozaki’s time in the ring will give her courage whenever she remembers them.
Next Itsuki Hoshino and Saya Kamitani pay tribute to Onozaki. Members of Stars are next, then Giulia and Maika of Donna del Mondo pose with Onozaki, then Natsuko Tora slaps Onozaki on the back, then Tokyo Cyber Squad tosses Onozaki in the air, and finally Queen’s Quest forms a big group hug with Onozaki. As a surprise, Kagetsu comes out to wish Onozaki well. Then Rossy Ogawa has a few words with Onozaki as well.
Onozaki then says that her retirement was sudden, but she’s happy that so many people came out to see her. She was able to fulfill her dreams of being a pro wrestler, but a number of injuries forced her decision to retire. She was able to last as long as she did because of the support of the fans. Pro wrestler Leo Onozaki retires today, but she wants her second life to be even happier. Then the bell rings ten times for Onozaki. Onozaki is announced one last time, and she is showered in streamers.
Maika & Giulia (Artist Champs) vs Leyla Hirsch & Konami
(referee: Barb Sasaki)
Result: Giulia pins Leyla Hirsch after the Glorious Driver
Good match. Once again, Leyla Hirsch felt like a bit of an outsider on her own team. Donna del Mondo is already working well together, but Hirsch is having trouble fitting in with Tokyo Cyber Squad. Hirsch and Konami were both great on their own, but Giulia and Maika were able to exploit TCS’s lack of teamwork on multiple occasions.
Zoey Skye & Natsu Sumire & Saki Kashima & Natsuko Tora & Bea Priestley (Goddess Champ) vs Starlight Kid & Riho (High Speed Champ) & Tam Nakano & Arisa Hoshiki (Wonder Champ) & Mayu Iwatani (World Champ)
(referee: Daichi Murayama)
Result: Natsuko Tora pins Arisa Hoshiki after a spinning side slam
Great match. There was a whole lot going on here, and Oedo Tai made it choatic pretty much the entire time, but there were still some very clear messages being sent in the match. Kashima wanted to start he match against Iwatani, but Iwatani chose not to start against Kashima. Iwatani isn’t necessarily avoiding Kashima, she just doesn’t care about her. Oedo Tai was able to pull Iwatani away from her teammates for a while though, and Kashima was able to beat up Iwatani for an extended time with the help of the rest of Oedo Tai.
Another match that had some setting up done here was Tora versus Hoshiki. Late in the match, Priestley hit Hoshiki with a few moves that rocked the Wonder champ. Priestley spiked Hoshiki on her head, and that looked like it really made Hoshiki loopy for a while. That led directly to Tora taking advantage of the situation and beating on Hoshiki while Oedo Tai held back the rest of Stars. Hoshiki fought back of course, but Tora was in a much better way going into their fight, so Tora had the upper-hand for nearly the entire time.
Everyone else looked great as well, but there are almost too many smaller things to mention in a match like this. Overall, Oedo was strong as a unit, and this was a super fun match.
After the match, Natsuko Tora demands a Wonder title match from Hoshiki. Hoshiki says she never said “no,” so of course she’s willing to put her title up. Kashima then, again, tells Iwatani that she wants a match. It doesn’t have to be a title match, Kashima just wants a fight. Kashima will even let Iwatani choose the rules. Kashima holds her hand out for Iwatani to shake on it, but Iwatani just leaves.
Future of Stardom Title Match
Saya Kamitani vs Utami Hayashishita (Future Champ)
(referee: Daichi Murayama; title match official: Rossy Ogawa)
Result: Utami Hayashishita wins via pinfall after a torture rack bomb
Very good match. I never really thought Kamitani had a chance of beating Hayashishita going into this match, but Kamitani put up a really good fight and showed a lot of heart. Plus, Kamitani has been doing well in her matches lately while Hayashishita has lost multiple title matches within the past month or so. So maybe there a little bit of doubt in my mind about Hayashishita’s chances. Just a little though. Hayashishita was strong early in the match, but Kamitani’s perseverance proved to be a big factor tonight. Kamitani was able to mount a solid strong of offense as the match went on, and that pushed Hayashishita further than she probably thought she’d be pushed tonight. I think this was a strong match for Kamitani and is good for her prospects going forward.
After the match, Hayashishita thanks Kamitani for the match. Hayashishita is happy about her sixth defense, but she has decided to relinquish the Future of Stardom title. She is now aiming for the Wonder and World titles, so holding the Future belt doesn’t seem right. Hayashishita sets the belt down in the ring and bows.
Hayashishita talks about Leo Onozaki retiring and Bea Priestley leaving the unit recently. She wants Queen’s Quest to be on top, but maybe they don’t have enough members now. She turns to Kamitani and offers her a spot in Queen’s Quest. Kamitani says she’s been trying to follow in Hayashishita’s footsteps since she started training, so she’d be honored to join.
Queen’s Quest rushes into the ring and they all hug Kamitani. Kamitani turns to Itsuki Hoshino who is at ringside. Kamitani says she wants Hoshino to join Queen’s Quest with her so they can grow together. The rest of Queen’s Quest seems to like that idea, but Hoshino isn’t thrilled about being put on the spot and forced to make a choice right now. Hoshino says she doesn’t want to stand next to Kamitani, she wants to move past her. Hoshino wants to join Stars, and Tam Nakano happily welcomes Hoshino to the Stars Unit.
Kamitani wishes Hoshino luck, but Hoshino says Kamitani doesn’t have to worry about her anymore. Nakano doesn’t seem happy with Kamitani, but Hayashishita strongly urges Stars to leave the ring area. Hayashishita offers to let Kamitani close the show, and after some brief coaching, the newest member of Queen’s Quest leads everyone in closing the show.
This was a really good show. I think having a big moment in the middle (Onozaki’s retirement) made this show feel really important. I also enjoyed the setup done in the next to last match, and the drama of everything after the Future of Stardom title match. With their Korakuen Hall show happening earlier in the month, this kid of felt like a secondary show of high importance (if that makes sense).
Match of the Night
Oedo Tai vs Stars (10-person Tag)
This fast, chaotic, hard-hitting, and even a little dramatic. I thought it was great.
Official Results (Japanese): https://wwr-stardom.com/news/2020%e5%b9%b42%e6%9c%8816%e6%97%a5%e3%80%80stardom-newyear-stars-2020/