Mayu Iwatani vs. Giulia (STARDOM Nagoya Supreme Fight 1/29/22)

Match Reviews

Featured image by @arisan_009

A bit of a mixed bag of a match. The 30 minute time limit is a big issue here as the material does feel stretched a little thin but just a little bit of editing might have smoothed over some of the issues I had with it. In particular, I just really don’t like the floor segment in the late stretch that took up so much time. The fact that it culminated in a fine, but not especially impressive, Tombstone on the floor made it feel a bit like wasted time that killed a lot of the momentum.

There’s a lot that I did like though. She’s no great technician but I enjoyed Giulia’s arm work in the opening stretch. I thought Mayu did a decent enough job selling the injury through a lot of that first half until it ceased being a center of attention in the final half. Also, I enjoyed the bomb throwing at the end. Lots of really great, impressive looking moves, and even some surprising nastiness that I wasn’t expecting. These two throw great headbutts when the moment calls and we get a few of those here. The big highlight for me is just Mayu’s performance though. I find her a very endearing worker, incredibly easy to root for even when I’m not always in love with her matches as a whole. In that respect, she reminds me a lot of Go Shiozaki. I wish I saw her in different settings with different opponents but left to her own devices I find her a very impressive performer. Her selling on the top rope, trying to find the balance for that final moonsault was truly compelling stuff. And the actual moonsault itself when she hits it? Well, just see Giulia’s face when the bell finally rings.

I can’t say it’s great, there’s a lot here I didn’t like. But I think, on the balance, this tips ever so slightly towards “good.”

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