Event: Ice Ribbon “New Ice Ribbon #778”
Date: January 7th, 2017
Location: Ice Ribbon Dojo in Saitama, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown
So before I even get into it, a couple disclaimers. First, I am aware this is a small dojo event and that it wasn’t designed to be a high end show. Second, I am reviewing this on DVD, it did not air, so that is why you probably haven’t seen any of these matches. As part of my quest to review at least one event from the bigger promotions, I had to pick something from Ice Ribbon as their biggest event of the month (on the 29th) isn’t available yet and I didn’t want to get that far behind. And this show looked better than 1/3 which was the other show I was considering. Still, this show does have some potential, as all the stars of Ice Ribbon are doing something on the event. Here is the full card:
See, an itty bitty show. But it will be shown in full, which is always nice. You can click on the wrestler’s name above to go to their profile on Joshi City.
Hiragi Kurumi and Tequila Saya vs. Kyuri and Matsuya Uno
We kick off the show with the babies (either based on age or experience). Kurumi is only 16 but has been wrestling for six years, so she knows what she is doing. Saya and Uno both have debuted in the last year, Matsuya was 32 years old at the time of the match however so is starting her wrestling career very late. Kyuri is 18 and has been wrestling for three years, so in this case the young wrestlers are actually the more experienced ones which creates a unique dynamic.
Saya and Matsuya kick things off, Matsuya pushes Saya into the ropes but she gives a clean break. Wristlock by Saya but Matsuya rolls out of it, kick to the chest by Matsuya and she tags in Kyuri. Body press by Kyuri, she sits up Saya and puts her in a stretch submission hold. Saya gets to the ropes for the break, crossbody by Saya and Kurumi comes in to pick up Saya and toss her into Kyuri. Elbow by Saya and she dropkicks Kyuri before making the tag to Kurumi. Dropkick by Kurumi and she puts Kyuri in a crab hold, but Kyuri gets into the ropes for the break. Irish whip by Kurumi but Kyuri ducks the lariat and hits a trio of neck drops for a two count cover. Short armbar by Kyuri and she reverts it into a double armbar, but Kurumi muscles out of it. Kyuri and Kurumi trade elbows, which goes better for Kurumi, and Kurumi hits a body avalanche in the corner. Cannonball by Kurumi and she hits a somersault senton for a two count. Kurumi tags in Saya, dropkicks by Saya and she hits a scoop slam on Kyuri for a two count. Saya puts Kyuri in a stretch hold but Kyuri gets a foot on the ropes, Saya picks up Kyuri but Kyuri takes her to the mat. Backstabber by Kyuri and she makes the tag to Matsuya. Shoulderblock by Matsuya but Saya knees her in the stomach, she goes off the ropes but Matsuya hits a spear for a two count cover. Matsuya goes up top and hits a chopping chop to the head, but again her cover gets two. Matsuya goes off the ropes but Kurumi runs in and hits a lariat, dropkick by Saya and she covers Matsuya for two. Saya goes up top and hits a reverse diving crossbody, but Kyuri breaks up the pin. Saya goes up top again but Matsuya hits her from behind and schoolboys her for two. Matsuya tries a few more schoolboys with no luck, Matsuya picks up Saya and slams her to the mat but Kurumi breaks up the pin. After trading flash pins, Matsuya goes for a lariat but Saya catches it and applies Gran Maestro de Tequila for the three count! Saya Tequila and Kurumi win!
For a rookie match, it was acceptable, as while there were a few iffy moments that is to be expected. This is my longest look at Matsuya Uno so far, she seems fine but at her age I doubt she’ll ever get much of a chance to progress too far up the card. But she has the basics down anyway. Kurumi continues to be the bright spot in most matches I see her in, she is embracing her inner hoss-ness and has really improved in the last year. A decent way to kick off the show, not everything was smooth but the effort was certainly there.
235 vs. Mochi Miyagi vs. Tsukushi
Triple Threat Match
This will be under normal triple threat rules, so one fall to win. All three of these wrestlers have been in Ice Ribbon their entire career. Tsukushi is the baby of the group as she is only 19 while the other two are 29, but there experience levels are pretty similar so it is anyone’s game. In terms of success, however, Tsukushi has the clear advantage as she has held the ICExInfinity and the Ice Ribbon Tag Team Championship 7 (!!!) times in her short career.
Tsukushi and 235 double team Miyagi to start since she has the size advantage, but Tsukushi flies out of the ring on a missed dropkick and Miyagi easily takes over on the isolated 235. Tsukushi returns but now she attacks 235 as well, Miyagi boots 235 in the head but Tsukushi dropkicks her, Tsukushi then decides to be friends with Miyagi but Miyagi shoulderblocks her. Footstomp by Tsukushi to Miyagi and they trade elbows, Tsukushi goes for a bodyscissors but Miyagi catches her. Tsukushi wiggles away and gets Miyagi over, but 235 returns and breaks up the festivities. 235 sends Tsukushi out of the ring and hits a crossbody onto Miyagi, seven more crossbodies by 235 and she covers Miyagi for two. 235 jumps on the second turnbuckle but Miyagi slaps her and tosses her off, Raideen Drops by Miyagi and she covers 235 for a two count. Facebuster by Miyagi, she gets on the second turnbuckle and hits the reverse splash, but Tsukushi goes up top and hits a diving footstomp onto her back. Tsukushi charges 235 but 235 moves, diving crossbody by 235 but Tsukushi kicks out. Back up, elbows by Tsukushi and she dropkicks 235 while she is against the ropes. Unprettier by Tsukushi, but 235 barely gets a shoulder up on the cover. Miyagi returns and hits a Lou Thesz Press onto Tsukushi, she picks up 235 and hits a body avalanche against the ropes. Hard elbow by Miyagi but 235 elbows her back, inside cradle by 235 but Miyagi kicks out. 235 goes for a suplex but Miyagi blocks it and hits a few Mongolian Chops. Miyagi goes for a suplex but 235 reverses it into rolling verticals with a bridge, but Tsukushi breaks it up. Miyagi lariats 235 and picks her up, but Tsukushi missile dropkicks her from behind. Jackknife hold by Tsukushi to 235, and she picks up the three count! Tsukushi is the winner.
Realistically speaking, there wasn’t really any way this match was going to be particular entertaining. A short triple threat match really can only succeed if there are cute three way spots to amuse everyone, but this match only had maybe two of those. The rest of it was just them taking turns while the other waited outside, and since Miyagi and 235 are good but not great wrestlers the action itself was pretty bland. I love Tsukushi but there wasn’t a lot here to work with, they just didn’t have the time or the structure to really do a whole lot. Skippable match.
Maruko Nagasaki vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto
This is a bit of a mismatch but it should give us a good look at the young Maruko. Fujimoto is one of the biggest stars in Ice Ribbon, she is an eight year veteran and has 13 title reigns in the promotion as well as a handful in other promotions. Maruko is only 21 years old and debuted in 2015, she hasn’t had a lot of luck early in her career however and mostly still wrestles around the opener. She isn’t winning here, but she can gain a lot of experience as she looks to start moving up the card and stay ahead of the new rookies.
They get right into it when the bell rings, they trade Irish whips but Fujimoto gets Maruko on the mat first and kicks her hard in the back. She gets back up, wristlock by Fujimoto but Maruko reverses it. Fujimoto takes Maruko down and puts her in a leg submission hold, she lets it go after a moment and dropkicks Maruko in the corner. Cutter by Fujimoto, and she covers Maruko for a two count. Fujimoto picks up Maruko but Maruko cartwheels away and delivers a dropkick. Dropkick by Maruko and hits another one for a two count cover. Maruko goes for a cute handstand but Fujimoto has none of it and rolls her up for two. Maruko returns the favor but it has the same result, they get back up and trade elbows on their feet. Maruko rolls out to the apron and goes up top, but Fujimoto dropkicks her down onto the apron. Fujimoto goes up top and goes for a footstomp, but Maruko moves and runs around the ring on the apron. Fujimoto chases after her and catches her, she goes for a footstomp but Maruko moves and (mostly) hits a handstand body press on the apron. Fujimoto rolls back in the ring while Maruko goes up top and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Maruko picks up Fujimoto but Fujimoto gets her in a guillotine, Maruko flips out of it and she trips Fujimoto before covering her for two. Maruko goes for another dropkick but Fujimoto dodges it and they trade flash pins. Spear by Maruko, she goes for a pump handle move but Fujimoto gets out of it and hits a enzuigiri. Dropkick by Fujimoto in the corner, she goes up top and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Fujimoto gets Maruko on her shoulders but Maruko slides away and rolls up Fujimoto for two. Maruko goes off the ropes but Fujimoto catches her with the High Angle Sunset Flip, getting her the three count pinfall! Tsukasa Fujimoto wins!
This pains me to type as Maruko gives it every ounce she has, but she isn’t there yet. Some of the ideas are good, but the execution just isn’t there. She’ll probably get it one day, hopefully, but as of January 2017 she still has a bit of work to do. For every good move this match had there was another move that just wasn’t hit right, and Fujimoto is borderline flawless so I know it wasn’t her fault. I still think its an above average match due to how good Fujimoto is and how hard Maruko was trying to impress, but it didn’t really click and it was too short to overcome the different issues. I think Maruko has a bright future but more practice is in order.
Hamuko Hoshi and Miyako Matsumoto vs. Maya Yukihi and Risa Sera
When the main event has two half comedy wrestlers, there is a pretty good chance that I won’t be overly amused. Hopefully Matsumoto and Hoshi behave. Maya is definitely the baby of the group, she is only two years into her career and is the only wrestler to have never held the ICExInfinity Championship. Maya and Risa are a regular tag team called “Azure Revolution,” you will note here that Maya wears blue/white and not black like she does in Oz Academy as here she isn’t evil. Nothing on the line but hopefully they put in some extra effort to send everyone home happy.
Hoshi and Matsumoto both attack as the match starts, they throw their opponents out of the ring and do fake dives before posing. Risa and Maya quickly return and beat down Matsumoto, as Risa stays in the ring with her and tosses down Matsumoto by the hair. Maya is tagged in and she keeps up the attack on Matsumoto, Risa returns and she puts Matsumoto in a crab hold. Back bodydrop by Risa, and she covers Matsumoto for two. Sera goes for a dropkick but Matsumoto avoids it and hits a footstomp, giving her time to tag in Hoshi. Maya comes in too but Hoshi shoulderblocks both of them, body avalanche by Hoshi to Risa and she hits a bulldog. Crab hold by Hoshi but Risa gets into the ropes, punches by Risa but Matsumoto knees her from the apron. Risa gets away and dropkicks Hoshi into Matsumoto, side slam by Risa and she covers Hoshi for two. Belly bump by Hoshi and she tags in Matsumoto and Matsumoto hits a face crusher onto Hoshi’s belly for a two count. Hoshi returns the favor by slamming Matsumoto onto Risa, Matsumoto jumps up on the second turnbuckle but Risa joins her. Risa puts Matsumoto on the apron but Matsumoto applies a hanging armbar, Risa gets out of it and she dropkicks Matsumoto out of the ring. Maya slides Matsumoto back in and gets in the ring as well, double running elbow to Matsumoto and Risa hits a running double knee strike for a two count. She tags in Maya, kicks by Maya and she hits a running knee.
Running boot by Maya but Hoshi breaks up the cover so Maya kicks Hoshi off the apron. Kicks to the back by Maya but Matsumoto ducks the PK, face crusher by Matsumoto and she covers Maya for two. Matsumoto goes up top and Hoshi helps her hit a somersault senton for a two count cover. Maya runs in and dropkicks Matsumoto, Maya puts Matsumoto in a modified STF but Hoshi breaks it up. PK by Maya, but again Hoshi breaks up the cover. Maya picks up Matsumoto but Matsumoto kicks her back and hits a body press off the second turnbuckle. Matsumoto tags in Hoshi, chops by Hoshi and she shoulderblocks Maya over. Matsumoto comes in and hits a Shining Wizard, Shining Onaka by Hoshi but Maya bridges out of the cover. Hoshi goes up top and hits an assisted senton, but Risa runs in the ring and hits the Ayers Rock. Superkick by Maya, but Hoshi gets a shoulder up. Maya and Risa go for a double chokeslam but Hoshi ducks it and hits a double lariat. She goes off the ropes but Maya decks her with a kick to the head, they finally hit the double chokeslam but the cover is broken up. Maya picks up Hoshi but Hoshi wiggles away and hits a lariat. Northern Lights Suplex by Hoshi, Matsumoto goes up top and with the referee’s help hits a diving footstomp. Hoshi then goes up and delivers a diving body press, and she picks up the three count! Hamuko Hoshi and Miyako Matsumoto win!
For a smaller show main event, no major complaints. Maya Yukihi has improved quite a bit in the last six months, working in OZ Academy probably helped. Matsumoto and Hoshi did a bit of comedy but not an excessive amount, and the match kept the pace up so it never dragged. Of course I’d prefer the last match on a card to go longer than 13 minutes and it felt like they had more they could have done, but Ice Ribbon Dojo shows aren’t going to do but so much. A solid match and pretty entertaining, although ultimately nothing special. Mildly Recommended
As I mentioned at the top, this was a small show. The benefit of smaller events is the younger wrestlers generally get more of a chance to impress as normally Maruko Nagasaki would never get a chance against a wrestler like Tsukasa Fujimoto. Unfortunately, this event didn't have anything that popped out as something I'd recommend by itself, but as a package none of the matches were bad. Some were just a bit bland. Definitely just an event for the hardcore Ice Ribbon fans as it is very short (about 40 minute of in-ring action), but not without some fun stuff to watch even though no one particular match is worth too much effort in tracking down.