Jungle Kyona and Tam Nakano had the match of the show on Day Three’s afternoon show. They came firing hot out of the gates from the bell and didn’t stop tearing into each other until it was all over. Tam wrestled with her neck and back taped up, still feeling the damage from her first two matches. Jungle made this a focal point as she brutalized Tam with backbreakers and submissions centered around the lower back. Jungle used a Canadian Backbreaker into a spinning backbreaker across the knee which I don’t think I’ve seen before but looked devastating. Tam held on as long as she could, including leveling Kyona with a number of kicks that looked like they could have ended the match. Jungle wound up taking the two points here, though, with a submission win via Sharpshooter as Tam wailed in pain. I still absolutely feel it in my heart when Tam roars in pain; it sounds like she’s being drawn and quartered in the ring.

In her pre-match promo, Tam sold the history between herself and Jungle (as well as the shared history between STARS and JAN) incredibly well to get you invested in the match. Kyona came back by noting that this would be their first one-on-one meeting in a year and that it would end the same way their previous encounter had – with Jungle Kyona taking the victory.

Mayu Iwatani and Jamie Hayter had the other standout match of the afternoon with Mayu finally scoring a victory in the tournament. This brings her up to 2 points and out of the bottom of the bracket where she had sat with previous goose-egger Natsu Sumire. Sumire found herself with two points of her own with a flash victory over Momo Watanabe who looked to continue a perfect record in Blue Stars Block. Momo is only 18 but is so damn good and crisp that her upside is basically infinite. She dishes out some lethal kicks and nailed Sumire with a corner dropkick that I thought was going to take her head off.

Nicole Savoy put a stop to Saki Kashima’s hopes of joining the 4-pointers club by securing a victory to reach 4 points herself. The match was short and fine for what it was, but nothing here really stood out for me. In the opener, Konami got back on the winning track by tapping Natsuko Tora out with the Triangle Lancer. Konami is going to be a shining part of STARDOM for me in the tournament and beyond. Her too-cool-for-school attitude is great; you see the wrestler who refuses to shake hands in a tournament all of the time, but the way she just blows it off from the opposite corner without so much as making eye contact with her opponent stands out to me. It’s a nice touch that goes beyond someone being cocky or mean and moves into being apathetic toward the person they’re about to rip into shreds.

In non-tournament matches, Hazuki and Kagetsu beat the trio of Hanan, Ruaka, and Leo Onozaki. Hanan started off like a firecracker by dropkicking Hazuki as the introductions were made and the threesome were relentless as they controlled her for much of the match. A Hazuki Codebreaker on Leo led to Kagetsu being tagged in and the advantage shifted here toward Oedo Tai. The rookies were able to stave off defeat for several more minutes before Hazuki locked Hanan and Ruaka in a double cross-face while Kagetsu tapped Leo out with a deep Boston Crab.

In a trios match, the team of Americans in Rachael Ellering, Kimber Lee, and Kelly Klein took down Utami, Starlight Kid, and Shiki Shibusawa. I have to say that I really tire of Kimber’s trademark move of doing a split to counter some other move from her opponent. It looks silly and she always winds up grabbed by her opponent after waggling her finger at them, so what’s the point? In the end, Ellering lifted Shiki up for a Sky High spine buster and both came down smashing heads. It was clear something went wrong by the way Shiki looked immediately after taking the move and, after the pin, Ellering was bleeding pretty heavily from the head while others tended to Shiki in the ring. It sounds like both were fine and wrestled in the evening show, so luckily nothing too serious came out of it. Still a bit of a scary spot.

In the evening show, we’ve got Jungle Kyona vs Konami which should be a beautiful trainwreck of kicks and yelling and bodily harm. I’ve been vocal about how much I’ve enjoyed Konami and Utami during the tournament so far, but Jungle Kyona is right up there with them. JUNGLE JUNGLE!

For now, let’s check the standings after the afternoon show:

Red Stars Block

  • Utami Hayashishita: 4
  • Jungle Kyona: 4
  • Konami: 4
  • Kagetsu: 2
  • Tam Nakano: 2
  • Rachael Ellering: 2
  • Kimber Lee: 2
  • Natsuko Tora: 0

Blue Stars Block

  • Momo Watanabe: 4
  • Hazuki: 4
  • Nicole Savoy: 4
  • Saki Kashima: 2
  • Kelly Klein: 2
  • Jamie Hayter: 2
  • Mayu Iwatani: 2
  • Natsu Sumire: 2

Catch up: