On Sunday, Stardom held its second pay-per-view, Yokohama Dream Cinderella 2021 In Summer. It was, perhaps, their biggest show of the year in terms of having one-up their last event, Tokyo Dream Cinderella, which featured the critically-acclaimed match between Utami Hayashishista and Syuri that had the pro wrestling world buzzing. The question was simple: Could they live up to the hype?
The answer was “yes.” While a stressful and upsetting end to the pay-per-view will remain the talk of the town among fans, it turned out to be another show where the entire Stardom roster gave it their all and showed why they may very well be Promotion of the Year.
Freak injury leads to sad conclusion of a great show
In the main event, World of Stardom Champion Utami Hayashishita took on Oedo Tai leader Natsuko Tora. Not only was this a massive match for Hayashishita, who had been delivering in every single one of her title defenses since winning the championship late last year, but it was the biggest match of Tora’s career, as well. Fans around the world welcomed this meeting of two major powerhouses facing off, both so different yet great in their own way. It was the perfect follow-up to what fans got to witness just weeks ago between Hayashishita and Syuri.
One highlight came when the challenger would grab Hayashishita’s signature rose and place it in her mouth before landing a frog splash from the top rope down through a table on the floor.
When Tora went for a diving double stomp off the apron, it would ultimately end the match, and in stunning fashion: Tora twisted her left knee awkwardly, and minutes later would be deemed unable to continue. The air was sucked out of the room as Hayashishita and everyone involved was visibly upset by injury. Not only was this unfortunate, but it would have been a great talking point coming out of the show. With Oedo Tai on top of the company right now, it would have been a great chance for Tora to shine.
Oedo Tai’s Saki Kashima has promised to watch over Oedo Tai while its one true leader, Tora, makes her recovery. Hayashishita stated that she will do everything in her power to keep the World of Stardom Championship so that she can rightfully defend it against Tora when she returns. There is no word on the severity of the injury as of this writing. (UPDATE: Tora has a torn ACL.) It was a brutal close to what was a good show, as all anyone can do now is wish a speedy recovery to Tora.
Tam Nakano vs. Saya Kamitani: Nakano’s incredible run as Wonder of Stardom Champion continued with this fantastic battle. It was also another impressive showing by Saya Kamitani, who has become one of Stardom’s top stars this year. The champion was able to create yet another heartfelt match with her opponent, following up on back-to-back battles of the same feeling with Giulia and Natsupoi. Not only did every moment in this match feel special, but it showed that Kamitani is going to have the reign of her career somewhere down the line but not yet. She managed to keep showing the world she can do things no one else can do in Stardom. Phenomenal match.
Giulia & Syuri vs. Mayu Iwatani & Koguma: The Donna del Mondo team of Giulia & Syuri never fail to show that they were everything Stardom’s tag team division needed. Their pace mixed with hard-hitting style makes them one of the best teams in wrestling right now. This was also a treat for Mayu Iwatani fans, as she was finally removed from feuding with Oedo Tai for the first time in what felt like forever. She and Koguma made up a great challenger to face off with Alto livello KABALIWAN. ALK rightfully walked out as the winners and are destined for a super match with AphroditE soon enough.
Momo Watanabe & AZM vs. Starlight Kid & Ruaka: The best non-title match of the entire show came in the form of MOMOAZ facing off with Oedo Tai’s Starlight Kid and Ruaka. As Kid debuted her new dark side, she was still able to channel the anger and energy that had always driven her as the underdog before. Of course, Watanabe and AZM proved that not only were they still at the top of their game but putting them in the ring with anyone was a guarantee for a good match. AZM was able to take the win on Ruaka via Azumi Sushi. This is a match that will be overlooked because of the great title matches that followed, but it’s worth a look.
Maika & Lady C vs. Hanan & Hina vs. Saki Kashima & Rina vs. Konami & Fukigen Death in a Gauntlet Match: This was a fine opener, but nothing to write home about by any means. Maika and Lady C formed a fun team but it was a foregone conclusion that Konami and Death would walk away winners in this one
Mina Shirakawa vs. Unagi Sayaka: The Cosmic Angels duo facing off could have gone a lot better if both showed more anger here. They tension leading up to the encounter was there, but it went all out the window in the match. And the finish that made little sense considering the Future of Stardom Championship rules.
Utami Hayashishita vs. Natsuko Tora: It’s unfair to say this was bad as everything leading up to the devastating Tora injury was excellent. The faction warfare, the massive dive to the outside, and the power exchanges were all great. The injury changed everything, resulting in this being an entire other section. A sad moment, to say the least.