It’s time, ladies and gentlemen. The Finals for this years Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix are in the books and boy what a finale it was. I’m gonna go into each match a little bit and give you my personal opinions on them. It was a fantastic finale even if the outcome was totally predictable. Shall we jump right into it then? Without further ado, I bring you the Finals of the 5 Star Grand Prix!
You can find my review of Nights 1 to 4, Nights 5 to 9, Nights 10 to14 and Night 15 and 16 here.
As we enter the finals, the standings for the Grand Prix are as follows.
Mirai def. Saya Iida (6:57)
Try as she might but Saya Iida just couldn’t overpower Mirai. This was a decent match, nothing too spectacular however. Two power houses just trying to get one over on the other. Decent start to the show, but it never got past being decent unfortunately.
Mina Shirakawa def. Natsupoi (7:50)
I can’t even call this one an upset this time. Mina has had some of her best matches this year during the Grand Prix and so defeating Poi is just another feather in her cap. She didn’t quite come close to winning her block, but she did her best this year and this was another pretty good match.
Momo Watanabe def. Hazuki (10:34)
Momo Watanabe completely ended Hazuki’s dream of winning this years Grand Prix. After going 7-0 to start the tournament, Hazuki lost the last five matches that she had to end at 7-5. It was a disappointing end for Hazuki but Momo ended the tournament on a high note. She didn’t make the finals this year but she was damn close.
Saya Kamitani vs Ami Sourei: Double Count Out (8:21)
This one ended in disappointing fashion for me. I would have rather seen a victor in this match instead of a double count-out but I know why they did it. Saya was close to topping Giulia for the block and to protect that lead, they had to have Saya earn only one point. Disappointing but it was a good match.
Mayu Iwatani def. Starlight Kid (13:09)
God this was one hell of a match! Starlight Kid has grown so much since she left Stars for Oedo Tai and even Mayu acknowledged that fact. I could see SLK being one of Mayu’s best rivals going forward and this match was easily both’s best of the tournament. Stole the show for me up to this point.
Giulia vs Risa Sera: Time Limit Draw (15:00)
If this were in a WWE ring, the crowd would have been chanting “Holy Shit” for the entire match. There is no love lost between Suzu and Giulia, so they tried to kill each other here. It was violent in the most beautiful of ways and they took each other to the limit. Absolutely must watch match. With the draw, Giulia wins the block with 16 points.
Unagi Sayaka def. Momo Kohgo (5:24)
Not gonna lie, this one was a bit disappointing for me as well. The match just never seemed to find its flow to me and I think it was due to them having very limited time in the ring. Both women deserved more than they got here.
Saki Kashima def. AZM (0:44)
You wanna talk about deserving better, then you have to talk about AZM for that. She turned 20 on this show and she freaking lost to Saki Kashima in 44 seconds! It didn’t even last a minute. Saki Kashima wins yet another upset in the quickest fashion possible. What the heck Stardom?
Koguma def. Utami Hayashishita (6:01)
In what was the absolute biggest Upset of the Night, Koguma defeated Utami in a fun but quick match. They got six minutes to go out there and put on a show, which they did their best to do. Koguma wins with a roll-up in a decent match.
Tam Nakano def. Saki (7:36)
Tam Nakano wins the match after one hell of a showing by Saki as she tried to prevent Tam from making it to the finals. It wasn’t meant to be, however, and Tam ended up beating Saki and earning herself 16 points to win the Red Block. Fun match but nothing spectacular.
Maika vs Himeka: Double Knock Out (9:57)
In their first ever single’s match against each other, Maika and Himeka took each other to the absolute limit and put on one insane showing. They most definitely earned the Match of the Night for this match and it is a match that I cannot recommend high enough. This was so much fun, go watch it!
Risa Sera def. Syuri (12:11)
Risa Sera put on her best match to date in a win against Syuri here. It had to be considered a major upset to beat the World Champ, but honestly Syuri had some major upsets this year and looked very vulnerable. That vulnerability let Risa Sera earn herself a victory over the champ and I hope she gets a future title shot from it.
Red Block Winner Tam Nakano vs Blue Block Winner Giulia: 5★STAR Grand Prix Finals. Winner: Giulia (25:37)
In what I actually predicted to happen, Tam Nakano and Giulia both won their respective blocks. However, I went with my heart instead of my head when I predicted that Tam would defeat Giulia. Stardom was incredibly predictable when it came to Syuri winning last year, and did it again this year for Giulia. Sure, Giulia deserves it and the match was absolutely phenomenal, but I really would have loved to see Tam win it here.
Tam only has a few years left in her, her own words, and she absolutely deserved the victory here. I guess that Stardom sees more money in a Giulia vs Syuri match on 12/29 than a Tam vs Syuri one. Damn shame but it is what it is.
Congrats to Giulia, she did end up earning the win in a very hard-fought match.
Stardom Awards for the GP:
5★STAR GP 2022: Gino-sho Best Technique Award – MIRAI
5★STAR GP 2022: Kanto-sho Fighting Spirit Award – AZM
5★STAR GP 2022: Shu-kunsho Outstanding Performance Award – Saki Kashima
5★STAR GP 2022: Best Match Award (1) – Saya Kamitani vs. Suzu Suzuki
5★STAR GP 2022: Best Match Award (2) – Maika vs Himeka
5★STAR GP 2022: Jun-yusho Runner-up Award – Tam Nakano
5★STAR GP 2022 Winner: Giulia
There you have it folks. Your winner this year is Giulia and the 5★STAR GP is in the books. I hope you enjoyed the tournament as much as I have. My only hope is that the 2023 tournament won’t be as predictable as this years was. Until next time, take care!