STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix 2023 

September 30th, 2023

Yokohama Budokan 

Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

Attendance: 2,507 fans.

After 22 shows spanning just over 2 months, the time is here for STARDOM’s annual Grand Prix to meet its conclusion.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Block A Match

Hanan vs. Mariah May

What a way to open the show with the best looking human being on the planet, Mariah May! Her opponent is Hanan, who entered as one half of the New Blood Tag Team champions. Mariah’s run in STARDOM is going to get her prepared for WWE eventually. Working with the tight Japanese Women’s wrestlers and their physical work will only prepare her well. Crossbody to the outside by Hanan, and again those Young Girls help caught them on impact which still puzzles me. Imagine a feud with Mariah and Tiffany Stratton in a Barbie Dollhouse Extreme Rules Match? That’s money. This was a war between these two. Mariah nearly had the win with the angels wings. Mariah with the TKO, another near fall. She’s not winning this, she going to the AEW show in a few days! Mahistrol Cradle by Hanan, and she won!

Winner: Hanan in 8:47.

I hear Mariah May is leaving STARDOM, and I know there’s rumblings about her going to AEW, which I hope are not true. AEW’S track record of giving the Women spots on TV and PPV’s has not been the best, they have enough talent there right now. We don’t need Mariah wasted by being stuffed on ROH TV. Personally, I’d like to see her give Impact Wrestling a shot.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Block A Match

Momo Watanabe vs. AZM

Momo attacks during the announcements and it’s on for young and young. Immediate brawl on the outside. Momo’s kicks would destroy a mere mortal man. Watanabe is very precise in her attack, but AZM fired it back just as relentlessly. AZM’s hair colour change really works too! AZM had fired up real well but damn, she got cut off several times by these strong Momo kicks! AZM with a ferocious head scissors on the outside followed by a punt off the apron. Momo soon after SHOVED AZM through some chairs in the front row. Tucked tombstone piledriver by Momo, roll through by AZM, near fall. AZM kept on her, as we neared the end of the match. Momo hit this crazy suplex to win!

Winner: Momo Watanabe in 8:13.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Block A Match

Saori Anou vs. Mina Shirakawa

Mina of Club Venus is in the next one and I’m Club Venus all day baby! Saori Anou is her opponent, and she’s cute as a button but lethal as a weapon. This is a battle of beauties here, beauties that hit hard. These two went back and forth, especially with the kicks. Saori was relentless with the straight jacket choke, they were both selling the physicality and pain vocally very well. Saori looked to choke Mina out! Mina locked in a wild figure 4 and it was sold like grim death by Saori! She got a rope break during her desperation. Saori pinned Mina after reversing a Figure 4 into a small package!

Winner: Saori Anou in 11:07.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Block A Match

Maika vs. MIRAI

Again, ferocious the ladies come out of the gate testing each other with shoulder blocks to a stalemate. Nobody can get the clear advantage on the other. This has not had a heat at all, it was constantly back and forth. They both showed so much passion like this was the most important fight of their lives. Deep into the match, it’s still a stalemate. They exchanged lariats like life depended on it. Michinoku Driver ended it and Maika gets the win.

Winner: Maika in 11:00.

Before the next match, they introduce my sweetheart Giula-San on commentary. Isn’t she just so cool? I would hire her to WWE the moment she was available. Her sense of fashion, her hair style, she’s just groovy.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Block B Match

Syuri vs. Ami Sourei

Syuri was my pick to win this one as the first match from Block B takes place. Ami Sourei was ferocious with knife edge chops as the match began. These ladies are just so intense! With this being my 3rd STARDOM show, I continue to slowly learn more and more, but I still have some questions – for example, the referees count cadence, especially when they are going for that 3 Count – I wonder why the 3rd count has such hesitation. Is it simply for the drama? A lot of striking took place between Syuri and Sourei. Ami Sourei reversed a an arm submission into a pin for the shock victory!

Winner: Amy Sourei in 9:14.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Block B Match

Hazuki vs. Natsuko Tora

Natsuko’s presentation is very cool with the entrance and the outfit! Hazuki shows promise and athleticism, but just sizing them both up, Natsuko looks like she should be able to put Hazuki away pretty easily. They really love bumping into piles of chairs at STARDOM! Natsuko went flying through them like a bowling ball. Hazuki really took it to Natsuko in the early going, which kind of debunked my consideration to their size difference. HUGE clothesline at one stage by Natsuko, I often wonder if the ladies of STARDOM get a sore throat after their matches for screaming so much? Natsuko hit a sweet Spicolli driver off the 2nd rope for a near 2 count. They kicked out of a heap of winnable moves, it looked like Natsuko would win after spitting mist in Hazuki’s eyes, but Hazuki won with a mahistrol cradle! After the match Natsuko Tora dropkicked Hazuki in the face and then spat water on a lady at ringside.

Winner: Hazuki in 9:41.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Block B Match

Natsupoi vs. Tam Nakano

Our 3rd block B match was next, and this should be a good one, Natsupoi enters as one half of the Goddesses of Stardom Champions, and of course, Tam Nakano is the World Of Stardom Champion, the most important prize in Joshi puroresu. Both had tremendous entrance attire! We got a technical stalemate to start this off, Tam Nakano jumped off the top rope to the outside, Natsupoi moved out the way and she took out that group of ladies who catch all the dives! And Natsupoi did the exact same thing, which I thought was pretty funny. Tam hit a crossbody to the outside and this time – Natsupoi copped it sweet. Tam hit her amazing straight jacket suplex into a pin, these ladies have necks made of rubber, I swear to god. Natsupoi pins and defeats Tam Nakano with a straight jacket suplex into a pin of her own! That was an unexpected victory.

Winner: Natsupoi in 10:54.

The commentators start talking at the entrance way and Giulia is corpsing big time. I wish I knew everything everybody was saying, but thankfully I am learning Japanese at the moment so I can understand everything in the next few years.

5STAR Grand Prix 2023 Final Match

Suzu Suzuki vs. Maika

Here we are, it’s time for the finals. Apparently a lot of ladies could have made it to these finals, and it’s come down to Suzu Suzuki and Maika. Apparently Suzu won a Battle Royal to start this show, but on the copy of the show I have, that Battle Royal was not on there! I had a feeling going into this, this would be a long match. Suzu dominated a lot of the early proceedings. I dig Maika, I like her presentation and attitude. She hit this superplex into 2 more superplex’s that was quite impressive. Suzu tried firing up and got powerbombed out of her boots, followed by a spinning powerslam for a near fall, as Maika continued dominating. Suzu nearly won with a poisonrana, but then again in Puroresu it seems like people can win with anything! The counts on some of these bridging german suplex’s – I swear the referee hit 3 a few times! In the end, Suzu Suzuki hit this amazing spiral off the top rope into a splash to pin Maika and win the 2023 5Star Grand Prix!

Winner: NEW 5STAR GP Champion, Suzu Suzuki in 14:03.

Suzu has won the tournament, and I am sure she will be challenging World of Stardom Champion Tam Nakano in the near future! I really enjoyed the show, as I always do with STARDOM, and I hope to cover more of them soon here at! If you’re interested in other Japanese wrestling events, check my recent review of Sukeban’s all women wrestling show.

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Karlifornia is a Freelance Journalist for RealProWrestling.Com and TheRockpit.Net and Host on the Insiders Edge Podcast through his YouTube channel, the WZWA Network. He has been a die hard Pro Wrestling fan since 1998, and his favorite time period in wrestling is the Attitude Era/Monday Night Wars.

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