Well it’s finally happened. 8 weeks into 2023 and a Dark match has made it off our weekly After Dark article and into it’s very own Match Review because this match truly earned it. If you want to watch it in it’s entirety on YouTube, click this link.
Billie Starkz comes out to… could it be? Yes, her own music & tron! Emi meanwhile puts her crown on a young fan in the front row.
Billie & Emi start with a steady back and forth pace. Definite elements of “the cocky precocious upstart versus the hardened legend” in this match. This match was in a way assisted by the fact it was on Dark because you feel like these matches could end within the first 2-3 minutes so when Emi put a Mexican surfboard on Billie I was half expecting the match to end right there!
Billie and Emi exchange some really flush strikes including a knee from Starkz that may have drawn blood. Throughout the match Emi just has a straight line of blood from the bridge of her nose to her chin that looks… Just great.
Billie nails Emi with a jumping Tombstone Piledriver that had me both wincing (in a good way) for Emi’s neck as well as Billie’s knees. She follows that up with a picture perfect Senton Atomico. Emi Sakura does really well here to seem like she’s just trying to escape the onslaught. She crawls over to the apron but Starkz sees this as an opportunity to time this up for a flipping leg drop but Emi moves sending Billie crashing onto the apron and she wails in pain! Awesome spot!
Emi takes this opportunity to hit a crossbody splash on a convalescing Billie against the stage. Emi hits her stalling double underhook backbreaker to which Billie lets out another wail in pain. She’s good. Emi finishes the match with a Moonsault and then has a hilarious moment with Referee Stephen Smith sitting on his knee. She’s done it before but this time it was like, they really nailed their chemistry which is a funny thing to say about a wrestler & referee spot.
It took a few years but Emi Sakura is finally getting the respect she deserves. I’m desperate to see her work a match against Jade Cargill while the memory of Emi vs Jamie Hayter is still fresh in the minds of AEW’s wider TV audience and she’d give Jade a credible challenger, which she dearly needs, as well as a great TV match.
Billie Starkz, what’s left to say? 18 years old. She’s been wrestling since she’s 14 (younger?) and in closing in on 350 matches. She’s already so good at this. I think we’re all hoping there’s an #AllElite graphic in her future