Ice Ribbon “New Ice Ribbon #748” on 8/23/16 Review

Event: Ice Ribbon “New Ice Ribbon #748 – Tsukasa Fujimoto and Miyako Matsumoto 8th Anniversary Show”
Date: August 23rd, 2016
Location: Ueno Park Mizudori Arena in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 185

There are small shows and there are really small shows, and this one falls in the latter category. It is unusual as there is a title match, but it is only a four match card and they are in one of the smaller arenas that they wrestle in. The show is really all about the main event, pitting Fujimoto and Matsumoto against each other in both of their anniversaries, but all the other Ice Ribbon regulars are wrestling as well. Here is the full card:

Remember you can click on the names above to go to their profile on Joshi City.

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Maika Ozaki vs. Tsukushi

We kick things off with some young ones, you may be familiar with Tsukushi but Ozaki is a bit more of an unknown. Tsukushi is only 18 but has been wrestling for several years so she is far from a rookie, she has even had title success in Ice Ribbon. Ozaki wrestles in Actress girl’Z but is not one of the wrestlers that Stardom has used, so this is one of her first times on a more ‘national’ stage. Tsukushi is the clear favorite here but hopefully Ozaki will get a chance to impress.

iceribbon8.23-1Tsukushi and Ozaki circle each other to begin and trade wristlocks, Tsukushi kicks Ozaki to the mat and flings her down by the hair. Tsukushi runs on Ozaki’s back and puts her in a camel clutch, she then picks her up and rakes her face in the ropes. Dropkick by Tsukushi but Ozaki hits a series of shoulderblocks, cover by Ozaki but it gets two. Senton by Ozaki but Tsukushi blocks it when Ozaki tries to put her on her shoulders. Tsukushi applies a stretch hold but Ozaki gets a foot into the ropes to force a break, dropkick by Tsukushi but Ozaki hits a lariat. Ozaki gets Tsukushi on her shoulders and applies an Argentine Backbreaker, she throws her off and hits a trio of lariats but Tsukushi barely kicks out of the cover. Ozaki gets on the second turnbuckle but Tsukushi avoids the diving senton, footstomp by Tsukushi and she dropkicks Ozaki in the corner. Dropkick by Tsukushi, she goes up top and she hits a missile dropkick for a two count cover. Tsukushi goes up top and nails a diving footstomp, and she gets the three count cover! Tsukushi is the winner!

A pretty basic opener. I don’t think I have seen Ozaki before, she seems fine and does more power moves than I am used to seeing from the other Actress girl’Z wrestlers. Tsukushi has a lot of spunk but this was a more based match than I am used to seeing from her, they slowed it down a bit considering the match placement on the card. Not a bad way to start but nothing special.

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235 and Risa Sera vs. Hiragi Kurumi and Maruko Nagasaki

More Ice Ribbon babies! Well 235 is 29 years old so she is an honorary baby. Risa Sera is the most accomplished wrestler in this match by quite a bit, as she is a former ICExInfinity Champion in Ice Ribbon. Kurumi is only 16 years old, while Nagasaki s a rookie. The teams are a bit lopsided, but Kurumi has shown a lot of potential.

Nagasaki and 235 start but Sera comes in with a water gun. Mio stops her from using it, Kurumi gets in the ring and Sera is double teamed in the corner. Kurumi throws Nagasaki onto 235 and then hits a footstomp, Nagasaki picks up 235 but 235 slams her and tags in Sera. Sera puts Nagasaki in a crab hold and then into the Rocking Horse, double knee drop by Sera and she covers Nagasaki for two. Nagasaki fights off Sera with elbows and they trade shots, Sera throws Nagasaki into the corner but Nagasaki blocks her charge and they fall to the mat. Sera puts Nagasaki in an elevated crab hold but Kurumi breaks it up, Nagasaki dropkicks Sera and she makes the hot tag to Kurumi. Shoulderblocks by Kurumi and she hits a somersault senton, picking up a two count.

iceribbon8.23-2Hard shoulderblock by Kurumi, Sera tags in 235 but Kurumi catches her when she goes for a crossbody. Sera runs over and kicks Kurumi over, they throw Kurumi into the corner and they hit running strikes. Sera swings 235 into Kurumi, cover by 235 but Kurumi kicks out. 235 gets on the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody, but the pin is broken up. Back up, elbows by 235 but Kurumi elbows her back, cannonball by Kurumi and she gets a two count cover. Kurumi picks up 235 but 235 sneaks in a sunset flip for two, 235 goes off the ropes but Kurumi hits a swinging side slam. Kurumi gets Sera and Nagasaki on her back, she walks over to 235 and she hits a body press, but 235 barely gets a shoulder up. Kurumi goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails a diving body press, picking up the three count cover! Kurumi and Nagasaki are the winners!

This wasn’t great for a number of reasons. For wrestlers that interact quite a bit they didn’t have great chemistry, and a few of the sections looked clunky. On top of that, 235 just looked off most of the match and several exchanges looked botched. Kurumi and Sera are both great and had their good spots, but overall very skippable.

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Hamuko Hoshi and Kyuri vs. Maya Yukihi and Mochi Miyagi

Another all-Ice Ribbon affair. Hoshi and Miyagi are normally friends, but they teamed on August 18th so I assume nothing serious has happened to break them up, they just happen to be on different sides here. Kyuri is a young wrestling and Yukihi was briefly in Ozaki-gun but she wasn’t a good fit so she is a babyface again as she created a tag team with Risa Sera called Azure Revolution. Nothing here that looks exciting but we’ll see if there are any surprises.

Hoshi and Kyuri charge their opponents to start and double team Yukihi and Miyagi, Hoshi stays in with Yukihi and they trade wristlocks. Yukihi tags in Miyagi, Miyagi spins Hoshi around but just makes herself dizzy in the process. They pose a bit because that is what they do but Yukihi and Kyuri run in to break it up. Hoshi tags in Kyuri, dropkick by Kyuri to Miyagi and she kicks her repeatedly in the back before hitting a PK for two. Miyagi gets away and tags in Yukihi, kicks by Yukihi to Kyuri and she hits a scoop slam. Miyagi comes in and they dance around Kyuri, but Kyuri avoids the double body press attempt. Hoshi comes in and Yukihi is double teamed, Kyuri officially tags in Hoshi and Hoshi puts Yukihi in a crab hold. She gets out of it, waist lock by Yukihi and she puts Hoshi in a Cobra Twist. Miyagi puts Kyuri in one as well, Hoshi goes off the ropes but Yukihi catches her with a big kick to the head.

iceribbon8.23-3Yukihi tags in Miyagi, seated sentons by Miyagi to Hoshi but Hoshi elbows her and they trade elbows. DDT by Miyagi but Hoshi blocks the Shining Belly Block. Body Block by Hoshi, she gets on the top turnbuckle but Miyagi brings her back down and goes for a double underhook facebuster. Hoshi blocks it and tags in Kyuri, lariats by Kyuri to Miyagi and she puts Miyagi in a cross arm submission. Tiger Feint Kick by Kyuri to Miyagi, and she covers her for two. Kyuri goes up top but Yukihi grabs her from the apron, allowing Miyagi to throw Kyuri to the mat. Shining Wizard by Miyagi to Kyuri, but it only gets a two count. Miyagi goes up top but Hoshi hits her from the apron with a red ball. Kyuri hits Miyagi repeatedly with her red ball of doom, then Hoshi comes in and hits a lariat. Kyuri goes up top and hits a diving crossbody on Miyagi, but the cover gets two. Kyuri goes off the ropes but Miyagi hits a Lou Thesz Press, Miyakoko Clutch by Miyagi and she gets the three count! Yukihi and Miyagi win!

Like the last match, some good and some bad with nothing being really memorable. Really none of these four are great wrestlers so expectations were already low. Kyuri and Yukihi are still young so I won’t hold it against them (although I don’t think Yukihi has shown much progress), while Miyagi and Hoshi are half comedy wrestlers so their matches tend to be oddly structured. Maybe an average match but that is about it.

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(c) Tsukasa Fujimoto vs. Miyako Matsumoto

This match is for the ICExInfinity Championship. I am not sure if Matsumoto would get a title shot normally since she is more of a comedy wrestler but since this is their anniversary show I guess it makes sense (to be fair, Ueno also got a title match recently and she is a rookie). Fujimoto won the title for the 5th time on July 3rd from Risa Sera, and this is already her fourth defense of the title. Matsumoto has held the title before herself but it was back in 2010, which is the last time that she held a singles championship in her career.

They begin with intro submission trading and tie-ups, Matsumoto gets out of the ring and jumps on the microphone and whatever she said pissed off Fujimoto as she ran out after her. Matsumoto throws water at Fujimoto and the crowd, they put hats on and generally mess around with props at ringside. This is about what I was expecting on the serious-scale. Matsumoto does suplex Fujimoto in the stand which sounds like a real move but it was a super slow motion suplex that looked silly. They finally return to the ring after a few minutes and Fujimoto dropkicks Matsumoto in the ropes, but Matsumoto applies a hanging armbar. Face crusher by Matsumoto and she nails the Shining Wizard, but Fujimoto kicks out at two. Matsumoto gets on the top turnbuckle, but Fujimoto shakes the ropes to knock her off.

iceribbon8.23-4Dropkick by Fujimoto in the corner and she hits another one, missile dropkick by Fujimoto and she puts Matsumoto in a facelock. Matsumoto gets into the ropes, Fujimoto puts Matsumoto on her shoulders but Matsumoto slides off and the pair trade elbows. Double underhook facebuster by Matsumoto, she picks up Fujimoto and but Fujimoto blocks the Rainmaker. Fujimoto goes off the ropes but Matsumoto ducks the elbow and hits the Rainmaker this time, but it only gets two. Double underhook side slam by Matsumoto, she goes off the ropes but Fujimoto rolls her up for two. Kicks to the back by Fujimoto and she hits two PKs, but Matsumoto gets a shoulder up. Fujimoto gets Matsumoto up on her shoulders but Matsumoto gets away and applies the Gedo Clutch for a two count. Enzuigiri by Fujimoto and she hits the Venus Shoot out of the corner. Fujimoto goes up to the top turnbuckle and she deliver the Mamamia Z for the three count! Fujimoto retains the championship.

Hmmm well, I will say that once they got the silliness out of the way, it was a ‘normal’ title match the last half of it with both doing their damnedest to win. I still couldn’t really buy Matsumoto as a threat, she has just been a midcard type half-comedy wrestler for too long and Fujimoto is the veteran ace of Ice Ribbon, so her losing here would have been quite the shock. They actually did work really well together and it never felt awkward/forced which is a plus, and if they had trimmed down the outside-the-ring portion it would have been a pretty solid match. Not a bad main event for a small house show, and Fujimoto is awesome, but overall not exactly a high end title match even though it had its entertaining sections.  Mildly Recommended