The fifth first-round match of the 2020 Cinderella Tournament saw Tam Nakano (STARS) against Saki Kashima (Odeo Tai) in a clash between the pure babyfaceness of Nakano and the pure heel of the Saki, who recently joined Odeo Tai.
This match drew special interest due to Saki being elevated at No People Gate earlier in the month when she took World Of Stardom Champion, Mayu Iwatani to her limit. The match saw Saki continue her aggressive streak, and take a brawling style to Nakano, who used her creativity and flexibility to escape several tough situations.
Nakano would defeat Saki in 5 minutes and 20 minutes to move on to face the winner of Saya Kamitani and Natsuko Tora. While a solid match, some of Saki’s shortcomings were visible, but she should be able to fix those during training.
While taking the loss to Nakano, it doesn’t mean Saki loses all of her recent momenta; she will likely have another big moment later in the year. Nakano’s victory keeps her a viable threat in singles competition, and a bit of revenge over her former STARS unit mate who she was twice Artist Of Stardom Champion with alongside current World Of Stardom Champion, Mayu Iwantani. Earlier in the year, Saki turned on STARS when she turned on Iwatani during a tag match on January 3rd.
With the victory, Nakano moved on to face the winner of Saya Kamitani and Natsuko Tora in the quarter final round of the tournament. Saki is currently in an interesting stage where there is enough buzz surrounding her after joining Odeo Tai that she could have a quick rebound and have her moment sooner rather than later. It doesn’t seem like this is the end of her battle against STARS.
STARDOM NEW YEAR STARS 2020
◆Kagetsu's Retirement Road
Kagetsu & Hana Kimura defeated Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima.
Saki turned on Mayu during the match.
Part 4 pic.twitter.com/XVGD8MTzsO
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) January 3, 2020
The first round of the Cinderella Tournament can be seen below.