Match Ratings
  1. CHAOS vs House of Torture NR
  2. Queen's Quest vs Donna del Mondo NR
  3. Giulia, Sabre Jr vs Syuri, Lawlor ***1/4
  4. Suzuki-gun, meltear vs Suzuki-gun, Black Desire ***1/2
  5. Tanahashi, Utami vs Maika, Goto ***1/2
  6. Los Ingobernables de Japon vs United Empire NR
  7. CHAOS, Muta vs United Empire NR
  8. IWGP US Heavyweight Title: Ospreay(c) vs Shota ****
  9. IWGP Women's Title, Decision Tournament Finals: Mayu vs KAIRI ****1/4

Digest

I need to rewind a bit before I close out my 2022 STARDOM coverage. Note that this one will not be appearing on the Substack and will instead be exclusive to this site.

First, this show is a big deal. New Japan are the titans of the industry in Eurasia but Japan remains a place that treats joshi performers as needing segregated promotions. There are exceptions like GLEAT, but most follow this rule rather closely. NJPW isn't as progressive but they are starting to incorporate STARDOM talents onto their shows so...it's something.

It's fucking idiotic that this is "progress", though.

Second, I'll be watching select matches in full. The rest will get NR ratings above and I'll simply stick to highlights (mainly from the video above) coupled with reports of results etc.

The first contest featured a ragtag CHAOS four-man against EVIL and his dipshits. Meh.

The second saw Saya, AZM, and Lady C besting Himeka, Mai, and Thekla. It looked like it meant a lot to them and came off as a fairly good trios encounter in the clips I watched.

Next, Lawlor and Sabre did fun tech shit and then the real stars of the match kicked their asses for looking like idiots. The best looking match of the show so far and the first one I actually watched. Good shit.

Starlight and Momo teamed with Despy and DOUKI but would fall to a union of Tam, Nat, Kanemaru, and Taichi. A very good contest and one that came pretty close to what I'd want to see more of in future editions of this super show (presuming they run it back again annually or something).

Tana and Utami would defeat Goto and Maika next in a follow up equal in quality and respect of performers. I'd actually really like a rematch of this one if possible and really enjoyed the choice partners here.

Moving along, we had a sausage fest with LIJ and United Empire B-Team up next. Ospreay's faction did not in any way look good here in the highlights and the entire thing felt like a major waste of the victorious side.

Muta, nearing the end of his career, has been rightfully given loads of respect. He's also a dude that has been plaguing companies for a few years now with subpar performances at the top of cards. This wasn't super good but for a sausage fest meant to showcase a vet in largely a throwaway, it seemed fine.

Ospreay's 2022 really did well to keep the trend of excellence he's been proving for moving along and he's turned himself into a dude that gives other dudes their best matches. That's what this was and he made Shota look like a big deal. Fantastic stuff.

We closed the show with a truly historic contest that saw Mayu Iwatani, the heart and soul of STARDOM, against the recently returned STARDOM legend, KAIRI, with the new IWGP Women's Championship on the line. Hojo had seemed to honestly be a bit of a shadow of her former self upon return though was still a very big name and clearly still very talented. Reports from Meltzer suggest that the outcome was not the original plan, either way, as Iwatani seems to have pushed for a better contract. The match itself felt a lot like they kept the original plan but changed the finish, too, and I think it's held back a tad as a result. Iwatani sold like a champ, had some great spark moments, but would indeed eventually fall and the overall result here was rather enjoyable, at least. In fact, this was legit fantastic when all was said and done and even though it could have clearly been better it's truly just nitpicking at a certain point.

The IWGP Women's Championship disembarks on its' maiden voyage here with a pirate at the wheel.

Historic X-Over was a treat and they made it feel like the special event that it was. If you missed any of this, consider fixing that. Thank you, as always, for reading.