Given the wrestlers involved in this match, it had no reason to be as great as it was. On one side of this match you have Giulia who, as far as I’m concerned, had the worst match of 2021 so far with her no DQ match against Natsuko Tora. Slow, boring and full of slip-ups to the point where it was laughable and not in a good way. On the other side you have Starlight Kid who is essentially Stardom’s mascot and only recently she has been proving she is more than that. Other than her chase in the High Speed division, she is most often Mayu’s tag partner with little championships or big wins to her name. So how did these two come together and make one of the best matches of the year so far? Simple storytelling, amazing action and a heel/face dynamic that worked to perfection.
For a little bit of context, Starlight Kid’s High Speed rival AZM had just challenged for the SWA title in the semi-main event of this show and now it was Starlight Kid’s turn for a major title opportunity. Before the match begins, we get pre-match promos from both, Starlight Kid visibly happy and excited to prove herself in without a doubt the biggest match of her career to date. Giulia on the other hand is excited to defend her title and make an example out of Kid, threatening to expose her bare face.
The opening of this match really establishes the difference between these two. Giulia is the aggressor, wanting to end Kid quickly and make a mockery of the symbol of Stardom whereas Kid is persistent, standing and trading forearms with the Wonder of Stardom champion and even getting the upper hand, a dynamic that would change toward the end of the match. There are a few slip-ups early on but nothing that takes away from the overall match. Kid hits a brutal looking draping DDT from the apron to the floor followed by an amazing dive and Giulia drops Kid on her head with a nasty German Suplex (a neck bump that Mayu would be proud of). Things really pickup when Starlight Kid hits an awesome looking cazadora off the second rope followed by her signature Ki-chan Bomb for a near fall. Later on, she even steals Giulia’s Glorious Driver and follows it with a moonsault for another near fall.
An underrated moment of this match is Starlight Kid going for a Tiger Suplex and Giulia desperately scurries to the ropes after realising how much of a threat her opponent is. Once she gets control again, she tears away at the mask, trying to take away her pride and embarrass her but all it does is motivate Starlight Kid even more, kicking out at 1 from a series of kicks and destroying the champion with brutal slaps. This is where the aggressive Giulia vs persistent Starlight Kid changes with Kid standing over Giulia, firing away with stomps in the ropes while Giulia has to summon her fighting spirit to try and survive. She does so with a headbutt so brutal that it gets an audible noise from the COVID-19 restricted crowd followed by a Glorious Driver for the win.
After the match, Giulia grabs a pair of scissors and cuts Kid’s mask, ripping it off her face and holding it high like a prize. She gets on the mic and belittles Kid but also acknowledging the threat of her challenger, telling her to come back and face her again once she is ready.
Going into this match, I didn’t have high hopes. On the one hand, I was excited for Kid to main event Korakuen Hall in a major singles title match but the inconsistency of Giulia also had me worried. However, everything about this match worked for me. Perfect storytelling and action and hopefully in a few years time when Starlight Kid is a main event star, we can look back at this as the defining match that proved she can be a huge name given the opportunity. For me this is one of Stardom’s best matches in a long long time, not including Mayu’s red belt defences. After accompanying the Icon of Stardom for her major title matches over the last few years, it was a joy to see Mayu on the outside watching Kid excelling in the same spot. After this performance, I think the position of big title matches could easily go to Starlight Kid and I wouldn’t complain at all and while Giulia isn’t my favourite wrestler in Stardom, this match disproved a lot of regular criticisms she gets. Definitely check this match out, one of the best in recent months.