This week saw the biggest and best World Wonder Ring Stardom event of all time in the famous Yokohama Arena in front of 5.5k fans. From famous comedians to some of the best wrestlers of all time, the whole card delivered and many stories were finished in the process. We also saw some great Lucha action, and an anomaly of a RAW which was some solid matches!
-Konosuke Takeshita (Konosuke Takeshita vs Lee Moriarty, ROH, 20/4)
-Jay White (Jay White vs Komander, AEW, 19/4)
-Saori Anou (Prominance vs REstart, Stardom, 23/4)
#10 - Fuwa-chan
In her second ever pro wresting match, Japanese Youtuber and comedian, Fuwa-chan, had a tremendous display for someone of her experience level while teaming with Hazuki to take on Miyu Amasaki and Utami Hayashishita at All Star Grand Queendom on Sunday.
Fuwa-chan really went full boar in this match and didn't shy away from getting into the thick of it, taking big bump after big bump. She also executed some amazing moves like a Missile Dropkick from the top rope on Miyu and a nasty German Suplex onto Utami. The most impressive part of her performance however was probably a devastating bump she took as Hayashishita nearly decapitated her with and running lariat that drove Fuwa's head straight into the mat.
Overall a really impressive match for someone's second, and a great improvement from her first, which wasn't bad in itself either! Definitely worthy of one point this week.
#9 - Mei Seira
Making her Stardom return alongside Starlight Kid, Mei Seira, formally known as Mei Hoshizuki took on the High Speed champion AZM and Mei Suruga in a fast paced match that showcased her abilities perfectly.
This match was the true definition of "High Speed" with Lucha style tag rules that facilitated an amazingly fast match with some of the best wrestlers in the company and outside too. Coming off over a year and half of inactivity Mei showed that ring rust was no issue as she kept pace with the other three girls, hitting fast and flashy offence before pinning AZM for the win, and in turn another High Speed championship match against the "High Speed Bomb Girl"!
#8 - Mike Bailey
Coming out of Impact's Rebellion PPV, Mike Bailey teamed with his opponents on that night Trey Miguel and Jonathan Gresham to take on the MCMG and KUSHIDA team, Time Machine on Impact Wrestling, Thursday.
This story of this match was a really good "can they co-exist" team vs an established trio going head to head and Speedball was the glue that tried to hold the rivals together. Mike was the legal man for an unusual amount of the time as Trey and Gresham would 'unintentionally' screw over Bailey, who would also take the majority of the offence as a result. Bailey was great at selling in this match while still showing off his amazing moves like the Moonsault from the inside of the turnbuckle to the floor, and the Ultima Weapon which he accidentally hit on Miguel at the end of the match before Sabin caught the X-Division champ with the Cradle Shock for the win!
A great, cleanly executed, and story driven match focused around Speedball's athleticism and selling. It made for a great opening match to Impact's first TV show since Rebellion.
#7 - Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins had a good match with The Miz on Monday Night RAW this week. Miz would focus the leg in this match which Rollins sold really well, even if it took a back seat for the finish of the match.
I'm a sucker for limb work in matches and the selling of said limb work, so seeing such a match on WWE TV was quite a shock to me. The work around the limb was great, but it was also a sprint of a match that really showcased both men's abilities which was something that has been missing from RAW for a while, at least until HHH took over creative. There was some rare intensity in this match too, especially for a random TV match without too much story behind it.
Seth was great in this match and really brought The Miz up to a solid match like the ones he used to have with Dolph Ziggler in the Smackdown Live days.
#6 - Mayu Iwatani
Mayu Iwatani had an amazing match against the IWGP Women's champion Mercedes Mone at All Star Grand Queendom where she won the title from the "CEO" after losing the inaugural championship match against KAIRI back at Stardom X NJPW Historic Crossover last year.
This was a dream match happening in front of our eyes as two of the most influential women's wrestlers of the past decade collided in a ring for the first time ever, and hopefully not the last. The match was relatively short for big Stardom matches, but it played to the advantage of both women. The match revolved around Mercedes desperately trying to get off the Mone Maker, getting Mayu into the Gory Special position multiple times only for the Stardom Icon to wriggle free and strike the shit out of Mone with kicks to the head. One of which gave Mercedes a massive lump on her forehead early in the match. There was a great spot where Mercedes managed to hit the Mone Maker, but Mayu was too close to the ropes. Mone tried to pin the Icon multiple times, unable to believe that her big move couldn't finish Mayu off.
The rest of the match was great, with barely a botch in sight and clean, quickly executed moves throughout with smooth reversals that made the match exciting despite its short run time. A great match that could have gotten Mayu closer to the top of the list if there wasn't already a large amount of great matches on the show.
#5 - Syuri
Syuri had a hard hitting "knockout and submissions only" match against Big Hash, Chihiro Hashimoto at All Star Grand Queendom in what was a brilliant blending of the two's styles. Both of them are very comfortable with the technical aspect of wrestling, but from different sides of the martial arts world. Syuri used her Kickboxing experience to land devastating strikes, whereas Hashimoto used her amateur wrestling prowess to throw Syuri around the ring with suplexes and powerbombs.
Chihiro would go toe to toe with Syuri in a technical wrestling exchange off the bat, and manage to transition into some big suplexes that Syuri took and sold like death while the God's Eye leader would try and fight back with stiff knees to the gut and face. Syuri pulled out some of her own suplexes however, taking Hashimoto off the top rope with a Superplex while still keeping on control of the arm, transitioning into a brutal Fujiwara Armbar that had Chihiro on the ropes.
The match was filled with scary spots that gave the match an air of brutality that nothing else on the show matched and was a welcome break from some of the more emotionally heavy bouts and gave us some great action, including a few shoot headbutts that led to the Syu-Sekai and a Buzzsaw kick to keep Hashimoto down for the ten count!
#4 - Mina Shirakawa
After having her jaw broken by the Wonder of Stardom champion Saya Kamitani, Mina Shirakawa would finally get her moment as the rematch would see Mina, the leader of the newest Stardom faction Club Venus, claim the White belt from Kamitani at All Star Grand Queendom!
Mina was outstanding in this match, her passion and intensity on full display as she did everything she could to take what was yanked away from her the last time the belt was within reach. Not only was the belt a goal for Mina, but getting revenge for her broken jaw was also weighing heavy on the mind of the soon to be Wonder of Stardom champion. It was a test for Kamitani too as she hadn't used the Phoenix Splash since she injured Mina's jaw with it in their last match, and the match hinged on whether or not she would have the courage to pull it off and retain the championship.
Mina started to target Saya's leg right out of the gate and would continue to focus on it throughout the match in an attempt to tap out the Golden Phoenix with the Figure Four Leg Lock, even locking it on with Kamitani's legs around the ring post. Mina kept up the pace of the match despite the limb work and her desire to win shone through every move. By the end of the match the crowd was on the edge of their seat for both submission and pin attempts and popped big when Shirakawa finally pinned the Wonder of Stardom champ to claim the belt for Club Venus!
This was Mina's best match to date in my opinion and she completely changed my mind on her being the Wonder of Stardom champion as she showed her desire and determination to put on a great match.
#3 - El Hijo del Vikingo
Vikingo had two awesome matches this week. One on ROH TV and the other in the main event of AEW Rampage, both of them against some of the best Lucha talent in the world in Gringo Loco and Dralistico respectively.
There's not too much point talking about these matches individually since there wasn't too much in terms of story or skillset that differentiated them from each other, but both consisted of incredible highflying moves and innovative offence. For example in the Gringo Loco match Vikingo would jump up onto Gringo's shoulders and do a front flip Hurricanrana sending Loco to the other side of the ring. He also hit a massive Canadian Destroying on Dralistico while they were on the apron that was perfectly executed. Not to mention the two horrific bumps he took on the outside as his opponent dodged a Tope Suicida out towards the ramp way leaving Vikingo to crash right onto the floor like a bird hitting a windscreen.
These were two classic Vikingo style matches that, while not being blow away, still got the crowd hyped up, even the dead AEW Rampage crowd right at the end of a long night of wrestling. Truly a once in a lift-time performer.
#2 - Himeka
Himeka's final match in Stardom was also part of the big All Star Grand Queendom show, and it didn't disappoint in any aspect. From the entrance to the ending the match, it was perfect.
Her opponent could only be one person. Her wrestling sister and tag team partner for the whole of the Jumbo Princesses career in Stardom, Maika. The two work so well together both as a team and as opponents that it made for the best send off Himeka could have asked for. The two started out trading shoulder blocks all around ringside for quite a while, with the emotion building throughout. The match was equal for the most part, with both women getting big offence in like a Superplex from the top rope from Himeka and a shoot headbutt followed by three Michinoku Drivers. Maika would plead with Himeka to kick out, not wanting the career of her wrestling soul-mate to end, but unfortunately her time was up and the ref counted three.
This was a great retirement match that put over both women in the process, with Maika looking like a star, and Himeka's career being cemented as a short, but very impactful run in Stardom history. It's sad that these will be the only points Himeka receives for my list, but I'm glad she got nine at least.
#1 - Tam Nakano
The main event of Stardom's All Star Grand Queendom saw one of Stardom's most volatile and emotion-filled rivalries come to a close (or at least the end of this chapter) as Tam Nakano defeated the World of Stardom champion Giulia in an all out war to claim the Red belt for the very first time in her career.
These two women are probably the most bitter of rivals the company has seen in its history and this was evident when the two locked up in the ring on Sunday. Giulia hit a Northern Lights Bomb early on Nakano who rolled out to the floor as the DDM leader fetched a table from under the ring. She would eventually hit a nasty snapmare from top rope on Nakano, who damn near broke her back on the edge of the table as she plummeted to the outside. Giulia would drag her to the middle of the ramp and attempt the Glorious Driver, but Tam countered with a reverse DDT and two running v-triggers, Muta Style (getting a big run up from the top of the ramp). Tam struggled a lot in this match, trying to fight out of Giulia's moves and attempting to get off her own, emphasising the will to win from both wrestlers.
Giulia would come out on top of a slap fight, only for the Cosmic Angel to hit a shoot headbutt and a slap of her own, pushing Giulia to use a closed fist punch, but Nakano would not stay down. No matter how many big moves Giulia would throw at her, Tam would continue to fight and wear down the champion with her Northern Cross submission followed by a Tiger Driver for a two count. Four more V-Trigger and a Twilight Dream also failed to get it done and it seemed like Tam was out of the running with another Northern Lights Bomb getting a near fall on the Cutest in the Cosmos. Tam would later hit a Northern Lights Bomb of her own, followed up by a second Twilight Dream for a two count, but it was the Violet Screwdriver that finally finished the story for Tam Nakano as she raised the World of Stardom championship in victory.
This was a great match that harkened back to their match back in 2020 and showcased what Stardom does best in long, emotional, and climactic storylines that are based around the will to win and competitive matches between the best in the world. Tam Nakano being one of those wrestlers.
Here's a look at the leaderboard after Week 16: