Photo by Mr. Youji Kawauchi
At the 5/3/2012 Stardom show – “Golden Star 2012″ @ Korakuen Hall, the fans witnessed the main event of Hiroyo Matsumoto challenging Nanae Takahashi for the World of Stardom Championship title! From all accounts, it appeared to have been a spectacular match!
From pictures taken by Mr. Youji Kawauchi, posted on Facebook, here’s what happened:
After posing with the belt, the two were officially announced, and it looks like Hiroyo got a ton more streamers than Nanae, so Hiroyo wins the streamer round ;-D
After that, it shows that Hiroyo extended her hand for a handshake, but turned it into an attack to gain the upper-hand, and Hiroyo is off to a strong start. Mr. Youji’s photo showed that early on, Hiroyo managed to pull off her Tokaido Drop, and even the new finisher – Hiroyo Stone on the champ:
After a missed Top Rope Diving Body from Nanae, Hiroyo seized the opportunity to pull off the Ligerbomb finisher that she inherited from Devil Masami:
But that was not enough to put Nanae away. Amazingly, Hiroyo goes for a Backdrop Driver from the 2nd Rope! *NOTE the ref’s expression!*
I can’t tell if Hiroyo was successful in pulling off the move, but judging by Nanae’s angle, it looks like she may have reversed it to change up the momentum. From there, Nanae started hitting a series of hard-hitting moves that would have finished a lesser opponent, including Nanae’s Wheelbarrow Powerbomb, Lariats, and the Nanaracka! But Hiroyo stayed alive!
Nanae tries to go for her ultimate finisher – One Second EX, but Hiroyo resists. However, after a hard shotei, Hiroyo was helpless, and was pinned by Nanae’s new finisher at 25 minutes and 26 seconds.
While Hiroyo did not win the coveted World of Stardom title, this main event further proves that Hiroyo has what it takes to be a champion. She gave arguably the best active joshi wrestler a helluva fight, and won the crowd over. Hiroyo tweeted after the match that she was touched by the “Matsumoto” chants at the end.
Mr. Youji witnessed the match, and according to his personal opinion, could not choose whether this match was better or the title match Nanae had against Meiko Satomura on March 20, 2012, which many already think is a MOTY candidate. Here’s a big CONGRATULATIONS to Lady Destroyer on all her accomplishments, and I know all her fans around the world are proud of her!
For more wonderful pictures of the match, check out the SportNAVI coverage: http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/fight/other/photo/2012/2012050305/5/index.html
Moment Before Impact – Photo by SportNAVI