Diana at Shin-Kiba 1st RING on 2/9/20 Review
Event: Diana at Shin-Kiba
Date: February 9th, 2020
Location: Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown
Well it must be my birthday, as Diana has released a full show! This is their first televised/streamed event in many years, and their first event released at all since a DVD was sold for an event in October of 2018. Hopefully this is not just a one off appearance. While Diana doesn’t have the best roster, I still like to watch all the different Joshi promotions so the more that make it to air, the better! Here is the full card:
- Banny Oikawa vs. Nanami
- Ayako Sato vs. Sakura Hirota
- Jaguar Yokota and Madeline vs. Mikoto Shindo and Tomoko Watanabe
- Chihiro Hashimoto, DASH Chisako, and Meiko Satomura vs. Haruka Umesaki, Kaoru Ito, and Kyoko Inoue
Short show! Originally Sareee was on the event as well, but sadly she was out due to illness. All the wrestlers have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it. We will have to put up the NicoPro Commentary Box during this event, which sucks, but we will deal with it the best we can.
Banny Oikawa vs. Nanami
We start the event with two young wrestlers battling, as Ice Ribbon’s Banny Oikawa takes on Diana’s Nanami. Banny debuted in Ice Ribbon last May and is still in the ‘learning’ phase of her career, which limited success up to this point which isn’t unusual for newer wrestlers. Nanami debuted in October and is only 13 years old, so obviously the deck is stacked against her as she faces an adult with slightly more experience than she has.
Banny and Nanami circle each other to start and tie-up, the larger Nanami pushes Banny into the ropes and gives a clean break. They lock-up again and trade wristlocks, headlock by Nanami but Banny reverses it. Snapmare by Banny and she goes for a PK, but Nanami ducks it and schoolboys Banny for two. Dropkick by Banny and she throws Nanami into the corner, cartwheel by Banny and she hits a mule kick for two. Banny goes for Nanami’s arm but she quickly gets into the ropes, Irish whip by Banny but Nanami dropkicks her. Three more dropkicks by Nanami, she picks up Banny but Banny blocks the scoop slam. Banny goes off the ropes and his a dropkick, but Nanami applies a bodyscissors. Nanami stretches Banny before goes for a schoolboy, but Banny rolls through it and applies an armtrap crossface. Nanami rolls into the ropes for the break, Banny picks her up and the two trade elbows. Jumping crossbody by Nanami, but Banny kicks out of the cover. Nanami picks up Banny and hits the scoop slam, she picks up Banny but Banny sneaks in a backslide for two. Kicks to the chest by Banny, she goes off the ropes and hits a jumping crossbody for a two count. Banny goes off the ropes and applies a sunset flip, but she can’t get Nanami’s shoulders down. Camel Clutch by Banny but she lets go after a moment, she goes off the ropes and hits the sunset flip, but Nanami reverses it and the two trade flash pins. Backslide by Banny, and she picks up the three count! Banny Oikawa is the winner!
Even by rookie standards, this was rough. I mean, really rough. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sunset flip botched before so that was impressive, but the bulk of it was disjointed in a non-entertaining way. From what I’ve seen of Banny I don’t see a big future in wrestling for her, Nanami is too young to really evaluate but she certainly isn’t a natural at it. Possibly the most poorly executed match from a technical standpoint that I’ve watched in the last decade, please keep them as far apart as possible in the future.
Ayako Sato vs. Sakura Hirota
Next we have what I think we can assume will be a comedy match. Ayako Sato has been wrestling steadily for years but has been off the grid, as she has only had one of her matches streamed/televised since she returned from a break in 2017. So we don’t know a hell of a lot about how good of a wrestler she is, although she does come into the match the World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana World Championship for what that is worth. She is against the comedy wrestler Sakura Hirota, who brought her kids down to the ring with her so this is sure to be my kind of match (I hate kids).
One of Sakura’s kids seems unwilling to leave the ring, so he starts in the corner clinging to the ropes. This seems safe. They tie-up, Sakura pushes Ayako into the ropes and gives a clean break, but Ayako kicks her to the mat. She gets a server tray and hits Sakura with it a few times, Irish whip by Ayako and she delivers a dropkick for a two count. Kid is still in the ring. Sakura throws Ayako into the corner and hits a face crusher, wristlock by Sakura and she runs to the corner to walk the ropes. Which she does, until she misses her hop and crotches herself on the top rope. Ayako goes off the ropes but Sakura drop toeholds her into the second rope, the referee holds the kid while Sakura gives Ayako an Oil Check. Sakura hops over Ayako with theatrics but Ayako kicks her before she can complete her move, Sato brings her kicks in the ring (so now three kids are in the ring) and the kids jump over Sakura before hitting a poor version of Sakura’s signature move. Another one of Sakura’s kids gets in so we are up to four children now, but they finally get all the kids out of the ring.
Sakura throws Ayako into the corner but Ayako hits a dropkick, another dropkick by Ayako and she hits a double underhook suplex for a two count. Ayako goes up top but Sakura recovers and elbows her before she can jump off. Sakura grabs Ayako as if to powerbomb her but instead just places her on the opposite turnbuckle, Ayako kicks her away and delivers a missile dropkick for two. Ayako picks up Sakura but Sakura snaps off a DDT, she goes off the ropes and hits the Oil Check. Tiger Feint Kick by Sakura, she goes for the Shining Wizard but Ayako blocks it and hits a Double Wrist Armsault for two. Sakura gets Ayako’s back and hits another Oil Check, she goes for a few cradles but Ayako kicks out of each. Ayako gets the server tray and hits Sakura with it, they struggle over the tray until the referee takes it from them. Sakura Oil Checks the referee by accident, Ayako hits Sakura with the tray but Sakura delivers a hurricanrana. The referee is too hurt to make the count, Ayako dropkicks the tray into Sakura’s face and nails a dragon suplex hold for the three count! Ayako Sato is the winner.
So this was a pretty normal Sakura match, for better or worse. Not really my cup of tea, although it was nice to see Ayako Sato in action. She seems pretty solid, when she got a chance to do some actual wrestling she looked good. Better than the first match for sure, but still so-so even for a comedy match.
Jaguar Yokota and Madeline vs. Mikoto Shindo and Tomoko Watanabe
Madeline! I will admit that I am very intrigued by this match. Madeline and Mikoto Shindo (from Marvelous) are both very early in their careers, with Mikoto only being 18 years old. But she shows a lot of potential. She teams with the true legend Jaguar Yokota, who still wrestles quite often at age 58 but usually in non-televised events in Diana. Tomoko Watanabe is in a similar boat, as she is a 30 year veteran that still wrestles regularly but mostly in Marvelous. Madeline is also an MMA fighter and has a quirky personality, making her popular with many online. No idea how these four will mesh but it should be interesting.
Yokota and Mikoto start off, Yokota pushes Mikoto into the ropes and she elbows her in the chest instead of giving a clean break. Mikoto elbows Yokota back but Yokota pushes her into the corner, Irish whip by Yokota but Mikoto reverses it and hits a series of dropkicks. Mikoto picks up Yokota but Yokota blocks the slam attempt and hits one of her own, back elbow by Yokota and she steps on Mikoto’s chest before tagging Madeline. Madeline stomps Mikoto and applies a chinlock, she switches it to an ankle hold but Mikoto gets to the ropes. Back up, elbows by Mikoto and she hits a hard dropkick, giving her time to tag Watanabe. Madeline tries to tackle Watanabe but Watanabe just looks at her funny, dropkicks by Madeline but Watanabe absorbs the blows. Vertical suplex by Watanabe and she puts Madeline in a Scorpion Deathlock, but Yokota gets a chair and hits Watanabe repeatedly in the head with it to break up the hold. Yokota puts Watanabe in the chair, dropkick by Madeline and she puts Watanabe in an armbar, but Watanabe quickly reverses it. Madeline ends up in the ropes to get a break, Watanabe tags Mikoto and Mikoto delivers a a pair of dropkicks. Scoop slam by Mikoto but Madeline kicks out of the cover. Mikoto puts Madeline in a stretch hold, she lets her go after a moment and Irish whips her, but Madeline hits a dropkick and tags Yokota. Yokota tosses Mikoto around the ring before putting her in an Octopus Hold, but Watanabe breaks it up.
Yokota tags Madeline, Madeline applies a modified armbar while biting Mikoto repeatedly, as the referee tries to get her to stop. Cross armbreaker by Madeline but Mikoto gets into the ropes for the break. Madeline kicks Mikoto in the leg but Mikoto dropkicks her and tags Watanabe. Watanabe throws Madeline into the corner and hits a body avalanche, Mikoto returns and she dropkicks Madeline. Madeline sneaks in an inside cradle to Watanabe, it only gets two but it gives her time to tag Yokota. DDT by Yokota to Watanabe, she throws her to the ropes but Watanabe reverses it. Yokota blocks Watanabe’s lariat and goes for the Octopus Hold, but Watanabe pushes her off and hits a lariat for a two count. Watanabe picks up Yokota but Yokota hits a DDT, somersault legdrop by Yokota and she tags Madeline. Double Irish whip to Watanabe and they hit her with a metal stick, Madeline gets too excited however which gives Watanabe time to recover and hits a lariat. Mikoto comes in and Watanabe picks her up to kick Madeline, scoop slam by Watanabe and she hits an elbow drop off the second rope. Mikoto comes in again, Watanabe picks her up and drops her onto Madeline. Cover by Watanabe, but Yokota kicks the referee to break it up. Watanabe gets on the second turnbuckle but Yokota tosses her to the mat, Mikoto throws Yokota in the corner and with Watanabe they hit a double vertical suplex on Madeline. Watanabe tags in Mikoto, dropkicks by Mikoto to Madeline and she covers her for two.
Scoop slam by Mikoto and a second one, but Madeline kicks out of the cover again. Mikoto applies a crab hold but Yokota breaks it up, Mikoto picks up Madeline and throws her into the corner before hitting a dropkick. Irish whip by Mikoto but Madeline reverses it and kicks her. Mikoto elbows Madeline in the corner before hitting a dropkick, but Yokota knees Mikoto from the apron. Madeline applies an armbar but Watanabe breaks it up, Mikoto and Madeline trade elbows until Madeline kicks Mikoto to the mat. Madeline goes for the armbar but Mikoto is too close to the ropes, Watanabe comes in and she slams Madeline before hitting a diving body press off the second turnbuckle. Cover by Mikoto, but Yokota breaks it up. Mikoto picks up Madeline but Madeline applies the Fujiwara Armbar, but Mikoto gets to the ropes. Madeline tags Yokota, vertical suplex by Yokota and she covers Mikoto for two. Backdrop suplex by Yokota, but Watanabe breaks up her cover. Yokota picks up Mikoto and drops her with the Fisherman Buster, she drags Mikoto up again but Watanabe runs in and hits a lariat. Sunset flip by Mikoto, but Yokota kicks out. Madeline runs in and dropkicks Mikoto, Watanabe lariats Madeline but she also accidentally lariats Mikoto. La Magistral by Yokota to Mikoto, and she picks up the three count! Jaguar Yokota and Madeline win!
While at times it was disjointed and dragged too much, I still couldn’t help but enjoy this. Yokota is such a treasure, she isn’t just going through the motions even 40 years into her career as she was actively involved in the match. Watanabe did her part too and when Yokota or Watanabe was in the ring, I had a great time watching it, they just know how to do all the small things right. The match only suffered when Madeline and Mikoto were paired up, they didn’t seem to have talked it out before the match and don’t have the experience to freestyle something cohesive. Madeline in particular is a charming personality with lots of charisma, but still needs to be led in the ring. A fun and unique match, but the parts with Watanabe or Yokota were certainly the highlight. Mildly Recommended
Hashimoto, DASH Chisako, and Satomura vs. Umesaki, Kaoru Ito, and Inoue
What a collection of wrestlers for the main event! Sendai Girls’ has invaded the home promotion, with the legendary Meiko Satomura being joined by her former trainees DASH Chisako and Chihiro Hashimoto. This is Sendai Girls’ dream team and the top three wrestlers from the promotion, so they certainly didn’t send over a trio that would be easily pushed around. They are against a Diana team composed of two long time veterans and a rookie. Kaoru Ito and Kyoko Inoue debuted over 30 years ago, they are still fairly active but mostly stay in Diana. Haruka Umesaki debuted last March, she is somewhat a mystery but has been in some matches that made tape in her first year as she has had matches in WAVE, Marvelous, and Sendai Girls’. Haruka is the clear weak link in this match, but I am sure her veteran teammates will protect her the best they can.
Haruka and Chihiro start the match, Haruka dropkicks Chihiro but Chihiro doesn’t go down. Haruka elbows Chihiro but Chihiro elbows her to the mat, Haruka goes for a crossbody but Chihiro catches her and slams her to the mat. Chihiro gets Haruka around the waist and suplexes her to the mat, scoop slam by Chihiro and she covers Haruka for two. Chihiro tags Chisako, Chisako stomps on Haruka and the two trade elbows, which Chisako naturally gets the better of. Irish whip by Chisako but Haruka dropkicks her and tags in Inoue. Chisako hits a Stunner on Inoue and tags Satomura, Satomura and Inoue don’t rush into locking up but eventually do as Inoue pushes Satomura into the corner. Inoue throws down Satomura by the hair and butt smushes her in the corner, snap vertical suplex by Inoue and she tags Ito. Ito throws Satomura into the corner, Irish whip by Ito and she hits a lariat. Single leg crab hold by Ito, but Satomura inches to the ropes to force the break. Ito stomps on Satomura’s back, Haruka comes in the ring and they both slam Satomura’s knees into the mat. Ito tags in Haruka and Haruka keeps at Satomura’s leg, Satomura blocks the crab hold for a moment but Haruka eventually locks it in. Satomura gets into the ropes again, Haruka picks her up but Satomura hits a hard elbow followed by a scoop slam. Elbow drop by Satomura and she tags Chihiro, snapmare by Chihiro and she cranks on Haruka’s neck.
Chihiro applies a cross armbreaker but Haruka quickly gets to the ropes for the break, Chihiro picks her up and yanks on Haruka’s arm. Chihiro tags Chisako, who keeps working on Haruka’s arm with wristlocks and stomps. Chisako applies a Fujiwara Armbar but Ito breaks it up, Chisako wraps Haruka’s arm in the ropes and twists it. Chihiro is tagged back in to continue the arm work, then Satomura comes in and kicks Haruka repeatedly in the chest. Irish whip by Satomura to the corner and she hits a jumping elbow, but Haruka ducks the next one and hits a neck drop. Missile dropkick by Haruka and she makes the hot tag to Inoue. Lariats by Inoue to everyone, Satomura fights back with kicks but Inoue elbows her. A spinning heel kick sends Inoue to the mat, Satomura tags Chihiro and Chihiro hits a somersault senton for two. Waistlock by Chihiro and she applies a stretch hold, but Inoue gets to the ropes for the break. Irish whip by Chihiro but Inoue reverses it, she goes for a lariat but Inoue stays up. Chihiro tries a few more times and finally knocks over Inoue with a lariat, but Inoue gets back up and sends Chihiro to the mat with a lariat of her own. Inoue tags Ito and Ito immediately hits a running footstomp followed by a senton for a two count. Ito picks up Chihiro but Chihiro elbows her off and the two trade blows. Chihiro goes off the ropes but Ito knocks her down with a lariat, Ito picks up Chihiro but Chihiro hits a back bodydrop. Spear by Chihiro and she makes the tag to Chisako.
Chisako goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, sliding kick by Chisako and she covers Ito for two. Chisako picks up Ito and goes for a crucifix, but Ito falls back and lands on top of her. A side suplex by Ito sends Chisako out of the ring, Chihiro and Satomura are knocked out also and Ito connects with a baseball slide on all of them. Chisako is rolled back in the ring as Inoue gets in as well, and she hits a double lariat with Ito. Powerbomb by Ito and she tags in Haruka. Haruka goes off the ropes and hits a dropkick, two more dropkicks by Haruka but Chisako avoids the next one and boots her in the face. Satomura and Chihiro both come in the ring as they all hit running strikes on Haruka in the corner, cannonball by Chisako and she covers Haruka for two. Chisako goes up top but Inoue strolls in the ring and joins her, hitting a superplex. Ito gets on the second turnbuckle and connects with a diving footstomp, jackknife hold by Haruka but the cover is broken up. Haruka goes for another flash pin with no luck, she picks up Chisako and they trade elbows. Dropkick by Haruka, Ito comes in but Chisako pushes Haruka into Ito and dropkicks her. Satomura comes in and kicks Ito, meanwhile Haruka hits a jumping crossbody on Chisako. Chihiro lariats Haruka and hits a waterwheel drop, diving footstomp by Chisako but Ito breaks up the cover. Chisako picks up Haruka and hits the Northern Lights Suplex, but Haruka gets the shoulder up. Chisako positions Haruka and goes to the top turnbuckle, Hormone Splash by Chisako and she picks up the three count! Chihiro Hashimoto, DASH Chisako, and Meiko Satomura are the winners.
Even though they followed the pattern you’d expect with a rookie in the match, it was just fun to get to see Kaoru Ito and Kyoko Inoue again. Their interactions with Chihiro and Chisako were solid, but they weren’t as giving as Satomura was to Haruka. Shocking, I know. Ito in particular wasn’t overly helpful to Chihiro or Chisako, but cranky old veterans being cranky is entertaining in its own way so I’m not really complaining. The end stretch was fast paced and entertaining, and unlike the last match it didn’t feel like it dragged at any point. While the limb work naturally didn’t go anywhere, the rest of it made sense and the teams worked together well. For a smaller Diana show, a fitting way to end things but I wish that Sareee wasn’t sick as she would have been a fun inclusion in the match. Mildly Recommended
While Diana is not a promotion I probably need to watch on a weekly basis, for a change of pace I enjoyed it. Wrestlers like Yokota, Inoue, Watanabe, and Sato don’t appear on tape very often these days so its good to see how the old veterans are doing. I thought all four did pretty well, with Yokota in particular still looking pretty damn good at the age of 58. Its not high end wrestling, no MOTYC to be found here, but the last two matches were both fun if you enjoy the veteran vs. rookies dynamic. Some skippable stuff here for sure, and not an ideal event for casual fans not familiar with the vets, but it still had some bright spots and I am glad to have finally gotten to see Diana again.
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