Ice Ribbon on 2/6/16 Review

Event: Ice Ribbon “Live On Ring In Skip City” #706
Date: February 6th, 2016
Location: Industrial Technology Center in Saitama, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown

There are a few things of note about this event. First, it is quite short, with only four matches and no title matches. Second, the main event is shown with a commentary box at the bottom of the screen which may be great if you understand Japanese but to me it is just distracting. That all sounds negative, which it is, but we also get a Syuri singles match which is awesome, don’t get to see her in 1 vs. 1 situations very often. Here is the full match listing:

Remember you can click on any of the names above to go to the wrestler’s profile. Quick show, let’s get right to it.

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235, Makoto, and Maruko Nagasaki vs. Akane Fujita, Kyuri, and Miyako Matsumoto

The event kicks off with a potentially silly opener (always a risk with Matsumoto) but with some quality wrestlers mixed in as well.  Nagasaki is the newest wrestler of the bunch, as she debuted in September. On the other side is Makoto, who is a nine year veteran so there is a nice variety of experience levels here. Low expectations but there may be some good wrestling mixed in here and there, I expect Nagasaki to do the bulk of the work since she is still a rookie.

Fujita and company charge their opponents to start but it doesn’t go well as Makoto and friends quickly take back over. Matsumoto ends up on the mat and all five of the other wrestlers dance around her, but Matsumoto moves as they all try to jump on her. Things settle down with Kyuri and 235 in the ring, Kyuri stretches 235 on the mat but Nagasaki breaks it up. Crossbodies by 235 to Kyuri but Kyuri applies a cross armbreaker, which is also broken up. 235 tags in Makoto and she works over young Kyuri, but Kyuri knocks Makoto to the mat. Backstabber by Kyuri and she rolls up Makoto, getting a two count cover. Makoto applies a sleeper but Kyuri gets out of it with a jawbreaker. Kyuri tags Fujita, elbow drop by Fujita to Makoto but Makoto hits a face crusher. Scoop slam by Makoto and she hits a cartwheel double knee drop for two.

iceribbon2.6-1Matsumoto runs in and hits a footstomp on Makoto, Fujita picks up Makoto but Makoto hits a butterfly suplex hold. Makoto tags Nagasaki, Nagasaki dropkicks Fujita but Fujita hits a scoop slam. Nagasaki wiggles away, thrust kick by Makoto to Fujita and 235 hits a diving crossbody. Uranage by Nagasaki to Fujita, but the pin is broken up. Over the shoulder slam by Fujita and she tags in Matsumoto, short armbar by Matsumoto and she applies a crossface, but Nagasaki gets to the ropes. Matsumoto and Fujita trade elbows, dropkick by Nagasaki and she goes up top, but Matsumoto avoids the missile dropkick. Fujita comes in and she slams Nagasaki, Matsumoto goes up top but Nagasaki gets her feet up when she dives off. Nagasaki goes for a few quick pins with no luck and all six wrestlers end up in the ring. Makoto spears both Fujita and Kyuri, Nagasaki grabs Matsumoto  but Matsumoto hits an extremely modified STO. Shining Wizard by Matsumoto and she gets the three count! Fujita, Kyuri, and Matsumoto are the winners.

Better than I was expecting, which I know is faint praise but at least it was pretty solid for an opener. Matsumoto’s comedy was kept really minimal which is fine with me as it gave Nagasaki and Fujita more time to work together. Makoto was really here just to hit a few spots and perhaps to help manage the match, she is on a different level than the other five so realistically there wasn’t a lot she was going to do within the match itself. Six wrestlers is a bit much for a sub-ten minute match as it makes it hard for any one wrestler to stand out but I thought that the rookie Nagasaki looked solid considering her experience level. Not a bad way to kick things off but nothing special either.

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Hamuko Hoshi and Mochi Miyagi vs. Hanako Nakamori and Yuuka

A mismatch on paper, as Hoshi and Miyagi not only are a regular tag team (called The Lovely Butchers) but Hoshi is the ICExInfinity Champion coming into the match. They are up against what is basically two random wrestlers, as Nakamori and Yuuka have never teamed before. Nakamori is a JWP wrestler and very rarely visits Ice Ribbon, so I am not sure what she is doing here at all to be honest. So it certainly does not look good for Nakamori and Yuuka to win this one but it still may be a good match anyway.

iceribbon2.6-2Miyagi and Yuuka are the first two in but their tag partners come in too, Nakamura and Yuuka get their opponents in the ropes and kick them in the chest. The Lovely Butchers make a comeback and hit double face crushers, Miyagi puts Yuuka in the corner and Yuuka gets the double belly smush. Yuuka DDTs Miyagi  but Miyagi puts Yuuka in an Argentine Backbreaker, running belly smash by Miyagi and she covers Yuuka for two. Dropkick by Yuuka and she hits a tornado DDT for a two count, she tags in Nakamori who kicks Miyagi in the chest before hitting a leg drop. Stretch
hold by Nakamori but Miyagi gets out of it and hits a swinging side slam for two. Dragon screw by Miyagi, she goes up top and hits a reverse splash for a two count cover.

Miyagi tags Hoshi, she trades elbows with Nakamori until Nakamori hits a backdrop suplex, but Hoshi blocks the Shining Wizard attempt. Running belly smash by Hoshi, and she gets a two. Hoshi goes up top but Nakamori throws her off, high kick by Nakamori and she hits the Shining Wizard. Nakamori tags Yuuka, Yuuka elbows Hoshi but Hoshi hits a running belly smash. Double belly smash by Hoshi and Miyagi but Yuuka blocks the double backdrop suplex. Nakamori goes up top as does Yuuka, and both hit missile dropkicks. Yuuka tries to pick up Hoshi but can’t, Lou Thesz Press by Miyagi and Hoshi rolls over Yuuka for two. Nakamori kicks Hoshi and Yuuka rolls her up, but Miyagi breaks up the pin. Yuuka goes up top and hits a diving crossbody, but it gets only two. Hoshi lariats Yuuka, Samoan Drop by Hoshi but Yuuka kicks out of the cover. Miyagi goes up top and hits a diving body press, Hoshi then goes up and hits a diving body press as well, picking up the three count! The Lovely Butchers win the match.

This was a bit sloppy, with a number of moves just not being hit very smoothly. Most of them happened when Nakamori was in the ring, she just isn’t a very polished wrestler and a lot of what she does feels off. Hoshi and Miyagi aren’t my favorites anyway since they do stomach based offense… but they try to make it look serious instead of just being comedy so it comes across as odd. Yuuka I love but she wasn’t going to be able to save this match by herself. Limited redeeming qualities and a very skippable match.

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Syuri vs. Tsukushi

This is the match I am most excited about so it better be good. Tsukushi is one of the brightest young stars of Ice Ribbon, as she is only 18 years old but has already held the singles and tag team championship in the promotion. Syuri on the other hand is the ace of REINA, a legitimate kickboxer and a serious ass kicker. Going into the match she holds the ECCW Women’s Championship and the REINA World Tag Team Championship, so she definitely has the advantage over the hometown favorite.

They feel each other out to start, Syuri gets Tsukushi to the mat and twists on Tsukushi’s leg. They get back up and lock knuckles, Tsukushi takes Syuri down but Syuri quickly switches positions with her. Syuri works a headlock before kicking Tsukushi in the back, but Tsukushi returns to her feet and they circle each other again. Elbows by Tsukushi and she dropkicks Syuri through the ropes and to the floor. Back in, Stunner by Tsukushi and she runs on Syuri’s back before putting her in a stretch hold. Syuri slams Tsukushi and kicks her into the corner, running knee by Syuri and she covers Tsukushi for two. Sleeper by Syuri but Tsukushi gets a foot on the ropes, kicks by Syuri and she covers Tsukushi again for a two count. Syuri hits a jumping knee in the corner and hits a single arm suplex, Syuri goes for a cross armbreaker but Tsukushi gets a foot on the ropes. Syuri stomps Tsukushi but Tsukushi ducks a lariat and hits a headscissors.

iceribbon2.6-3Dropkick by Tsukushi and she dropkicks Syuri in the back for a two count cover. Syuri and Tsukushi trade elbows, knee by Syuri and she hits the PK for two. Tsukushi quickly rolls up Syuri and hits a footstomp, missile dropkick by Tsukushi but Syuri kicks out of the pin. Release German by Syuri but Tsukushi comes back with one of her own, and both wrestlers are down. They trade elbows on their knees and as they get back up, Tsukushi charges Syuri but Syuri kicks her in the head. Syuri applies the short armbar but Tsukushi rolls out of it and hits a hard elbow. Dropkick by Tsukushi but Syuri shrugs her off and hits a German suplex hold for two. Running knee to the chest by Syuri but Tsukushi catches the next kick and puts Syuri in an ankle hold. Syuri gets into the ropes to break the hold, Tsukushi grabs Syuri and hits a scoop slam before going up top, delivering the diving footstomp for a two count. German suplex hold by Syuri and she nails a running knee, but the bell rings as time has expired. The match is a Draw.

The best part of this match was just getting to see Syuri do her thing for 15 minutes, she is one of the best strike/submission wrestlers in Japan. Tsukushi kept up pretty well which is a credit to her and it was a really smooth match. Some of the transitions were a bit shaky however and I still am not a fan of draws unless there is a storyline reason for it. No reason for Syuri not to win here as there will likely never be a re-match anyway, but I guess they didn’t want their young star to lose to the outsider. A really solid match overall, but with a few small improvements it would have been really top notch.  Recommended

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Arisa Nakajima and Tsukasa Fujimoto vs. Maya Yukihi and Risa Sera

Even though Nakajima and Fujimoto come into the match with three tag team titles around their waists, this is a non-title match against the young team of Yukihi and Sera. Sera debuted in 2012 and has been teaming off and on over the last few months with the less experienced Yukihi. But it is still a great opportunity for Yukihi and Sera against the veteran and successful champions, and winning here would give them more opportunities in the future.

Sera and Yukihi charge their opponents as soon as the bell rings but the veterans quickly take back over and double team Sera. Fujimoto kicks Sera in the back and applies a stretch hold before throwing her to the mat by her hair. Sera comes back with a dropkick and tags Yukihi, but Fujimoto promptly slams her and tags Nakajima. Nakajima tosses Yukihi around and hits a combination of strikes, she puts Yukihi in the ropes and hits a dropkick to the back. Yukihi fights back but Fujimoto dropkicks her, Irish whip by Fujimoto and she hits another dropkick for a two count. Nakajima returns and puts Yukihi in a crab hold, suplex by Nakajima and she covers Yukihi for two. Jumping knee by Nakajima in the corner and she hits a double underhook suplex. Knees by Nakajima and she boots Yukihi in the face. Another boot by Nakajima but Sera runs in, Yukihi hits a STO and tags Sera. Sera dropkicks Nakajima but Fujimoto runs in, Sera puts both her opponents in the corner and hits a running knee to the stomach. Sera puts Nakajima in a crab hold and then into the Rocking Horse. Double knee drops by Sera and she goes for a swinging side slam, but Nakajima reverses it. Fujimoto runs in and kicks Sera, Nakajima does the same and covers Sera for two. Back up they trade elbows, and Nakajima catches Sera with a bridging fallaway slam for two. Fujimoto is tagged in, Nakajima runs back into the ring and kicks Sera in the head. Double dropkick to Sera and they go up top, but Yukihi comes in the ring and they throw Best Friends off the top turnbuckles.

iceribbon2.6-4Nakajima and Fujimoto are thrown into the same corner and hit with running strikes, Fujimoto goes for a hurricanrana on Sera but Sera catches her and applies a crab hold. Sera kicks Fujimoto into the corner and hits a running knee, full nelson slam by Sera and she gets a two count. Enzuigiri by Fujimoto, Nakajima runs in and suplexes Sera and Fujimoto applies a Jackknife for two. Sera picks up Fujimoto and hits a reverse neckbreaker, she hits a reverse double knee drop and covers Fujimoto for two. Sera tags in Yukihi and hits a few shoulderblocks but Fujimoto knocks her back and they trade elbows. Sera runs in and Fujimoto eats a double dropkick. They go for a double chokeslam but Fujimoto flips out of it and hits a double dropkick. Nakajima comes in and Yukihi is double teamed in the corner, they both go up top and hit double missile dropkicks for a two count cover. Fujimoto puts Yukihi in a cross-arm submission, Nakajima goes up top and she hits a diving crossbody. Fujimoto goes up top but Sera catches her when she jumps up and nails Ayers Rock. Yukihi kicks Fujimoto in the head, Sera comes in and they hit a double chokeslam. Yukihi goes up top and hits a somersault senton, Fujimoto fights back with elbows but Yukihi nails her with a high kick. Double underhook suplex by Yukihi, but Fujimoto kicks out. Yukihi picks up Fujimoto but she slides away, Fujimoto rolls up Yukihi and she gets a two count. Fujimoto goes up top and hits a diving neckbreaker to Yukihi, picking up a two. Fujimoto the Venus Shoot out of the corner, and she picks up the three count! Nakajima and Fujimoto win the match!

This was good but was missing something to take it to the next level. I don’t think that Yukihi is quite ready for this spot, there were several places that they didn’t seem to be on the same page and the match wasn’t the usual smoothness that I’ve come to expect from Joshi matches. There were also some really iffy transitions, for example towards the end when Fujimoto quickly recovered after Yukihi hit a combination of some of her better moves. I still enjoyed it as Nakajima and Fujimoto are top notch, but it was lacking in quite a few areas.  Mildly Recommended