Event: Ice Ribbon #1183
Date: March 5th, 2022
Location: Ice Ribbon Dojo in Saitama, Japan
Announced Attendance: 38
Broadcast: Streamed Live on Club Ice Ribbon
Last month, Ice Ribbon launched a new streaming service – Club Ice Ribbon. Club Ice Ribbon shows different content than their Nico Pro channel, with its main ‘draw’ being they will air live all their dojo events. Other events will also be added on a delay, and there will be other special features, but the dojo events are the main attraction for people that just want to watch as much wrestling as possible. These are smaller shows, as the name implies, and likely will not have any title matches or big matches in general as those will be saved for non-dojo events. These are more designed to help get experience for the younger wrestlers while hopefully also putting on a good show. Here is the full card:
Lots of young wrestlers here, should be fun to see how they are coming along. All wrestlers on the event have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it.
Ibuki Hoshi and Kiku vs. Kaho Matsushita and Sumika Yanagawa
We start the event with some less experienced wrestlers, which will be a common theme throughout the night. Ibuki and Kaho are both under 20 years old and are two wrestlers that Ice Ribbon would love to develop into the next stars of the promotion. Kiku is a rookie but is also 43 years old, she is unlikely to be a future star in the promotion but its great that Ice Ribbon embraces people of all ages that want to live their wrestling dreams. Finally, Sumika is visiting from JUST TAP OUT, she started wrestling in late 2020 and is 31 years old. A unique combination but with similar experience levels.
Ibuki and Kaho start the match, they trade wristlocks and hammerlocks until Ibuki gets Kaho to the mat. Kaho quickly gets out of it and hits a dropkick, she tags in Sumika and Sumika elbows Ibuki against the ropes. Irish whip by Sumika but Ibuki hits a hard shoulderblock and tags Kiku. Kiku goes for a slam but Sumika blocks it and hits one of her own, snapmares by Sumika and she applies a stretch hold. Ibuki comes in to help but Kaho cuts her off and puts her in a stretch hold as well, before both teammates let go. Sumika pushes Kiku near the ropes and stands on her back, knee to the back by Sumika and she works a headlock. Kaho tags in, Kaho throws down Kiku by the head and kicks her in the corner. Camel Clutch by Kaho but she lets go after a moment and hits a scoop slam. She tags Sumika, Irish whip by Sumika and she hits a drop toehold. Sickle Hold by Sumika, but Kiku inches to the ropes to get the break. Sumika picks up Kiku but Kiku elbows her off, headbutt by Sumika but Kiku schoolboys her for the two count. This gives her time to tag Ibuki, shoulderblock by Ibuki to Sumika as Kaho runs in, Kaho tries to help but Ibuki dropkicks both of them. Ibuki goes back to Sumika, chop by Ibuki but Sumika catches her with a boot. Snapmare by Sumika and she applies a full nelson, but Ibuki gets to the ropes. Sumika sets up Ibuki in the ropes and hits a knee to her back, cover by Sumika but it gets a two count.
Sumika picks up Ibuki and throws her into the corner, jumping knee by Sumika but Ibuki delivers a Codebreaker. Both wrestlers end up knocking each other out, Sumika gets to her corner first and tags in Kaho. Kaho dropkicks Ibuki, she picks her up and the two trade strikes. Ibuki ends the duel by hitting a side Russian leg sweep, she quickly applies a submission hold from it but it gets broken up. Kaho ducks an elbow and delivers a dropkick, hard shoulderblock by Kaho and she follows with another dropkick for two. Ibuki slams Kaho to the mat and makes the tag to Kiku, Kiku goes off the ropes and hits a dropkick. More dropkicks by Kiku but Kaho eventually stands toe to toe with her as they trade elbows. Schoolboy by Kiku but Kaho gets out of it and applies one of her own for a two count. Dropkick by Kiku and she applies a modified Scorpion Deathlock, but it gets quickly broken up. Kiku kicks Kaho in the corner and hits a neckbreaker, but Kaho kicks out of the cover. Shoulderblock by Kaho and she puts her in a kneelock, but Ibuki breaks it up. Sumika gets rid of Ibuki, Kaho drops Kiku onto the mat and covers her for two. Leg hook slam by Kaho, but the cover gets broken up. Vertical suplex by Kaho, she picks up Kiku and nails a wrist-clutch half nelson suplex for the three count! Kaho Matsushita and Sumika Yanagawa win!
That started ok but it really went off the rails the last couple minutes, not sure what happened there. I’m never going to be but so hard on rookies/young wrestlers as there is still learning going on, but the execution here was pretty hit and miss. Sumika and Kaho both looked good in general, Ibuki had her moments but Kiku has the worst showing of the foursome with some iffy dropkicks and strikes. The sequence between Kaho and Kiku towards the end while Sumika stayed in the ring seemingly thinking a spot was coming for her but never did was awkward, clearly a misunderstanding of some sort but pretty noticeable. Good experience for all involved and Kaho shows some early promise, but not the tightest match with rookies I have seen, may have benefited by being half the time it was.
Totoro Satsuki vs. Yuko Sakurai
Our only singles match on the event, as Yuko challenges Totoro. Yuko started her career in AgZ but after the promotion “ceased” running wrestling events (which they did not actually do) she became a Freelancer as part of the Color’s unit. She debuted back in 2018 but she has not had much notable success in her career, thus why she is in the second match of a Ice Ribbon Dojo event. Totoro debuted in Ice Ribbon in 2017, she has developed into a solid midcarder but may have reached her ceiling. Not too high of expectations for this, but I am interested to see what Yuko can do.
Yuko starts the match trying to knock over Totoro but isn’t able to, as Totoro sends her crashing to the mat. Totoro picks up Yuko and throws her into the corner, Totoro mushes her with her foot but Yuko gets away and connects with an elbow. Yuko starts on Totoro’s back and puts her in a stretch hold, she lets go after a moment and stomps her towards the ropes. Totoro stands up which sends Yuko flying, stomps Totoro and she stands on Yuko’s back. Totoro sits on Yuko’s back and stretches her, she lets go and picks up Yuko, leading to the two trading elbows. Yuko gets Totoro’s back but Totoro hiptosses her down, body press by Totoro and she covers Yuko for two. Totoro picks up Yuko but Yuko wiggles away and puts her in an abdominal stretch. Totoro gets to the ropes for the break, dropkick by Yuko and she covers Totoro for two. Lariat by Totoro but Yuko fires back with an elbow and shoulderblock. Yuko picks up Totoro and puts her in a dragon sleeper, but Totoro gets to the bottom rope. Yuko positions Totoro and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Totoro recovers and elbows her. Totoro gets Yuko on her shoulders but Yuko gets away and rolls her up for two. Yuko goes off the ropes but Totoro hits a crossbody for two. Kamikaze by Totoro, and she covers Yuko for two. Totoro goes to the second turnbuckle and nails a diving senton, and she picks up the three count! Totoro Satsuki is the winner!
A pretty standard bigger wrestler vs. smaller wrestler match. Totoro has improved over the years and works well within her limitations, although she didn’t have as much to work with here as they were really focused on the big vs. little storyline. As such, Yuko didn’t get a chance to show much, but she looked fine in what they did. A pretty basic match, nothing wrong with it but nothing particularly memorable either.
Asahi and Misa Kagura vs. Nao Ishikawa and Amikura
Ice Ribbon gets some more help from outsiders, as the young Misa Kagura and Rina Amikura join the fray. The “Ice Ribbon” people on twitter are high on Asahi and Nao Ishikawa as having a strong future in the promotion and I haven’t watched them in awhile, so I am interested to see if there is some truth to that or wishful thinking. Misa Kagura debuted in 2020 and wrestles out of JUST TAP OUT, while Amikura is the part of the Color’s unit with Yuko Sakurai. This batch of wrestlers has slightly more experience/potential than those in the opener, so I am expecting a better structured and more fluid match here.
Nao and Misa start the match but Rina comes in too to give Nao some extra encouragement. She brings Asahi into the ring and both Rina and Nao hit shoulderblocks followed by body presses. They goof around with Asahi and Misa for a bit until things return to normally, hard shoulderblock by Nao to Misa and she tags Rina. Rina and Misa run into each other with neither going down, Rina finally knocks Misa over but Misa avoids the running senton and applies a side headlock. Drop toehold by Misa and she hits a senton, picking up a two count. Misa tags Asahi, Asahi picks up Rina and slams her head into the mat. Asahi boots Nao to the floor while Misa gets in the ring, as they double team Rina. Asahi picks up Rina but Rina chops her and the two trade blows, a battle that Asahi gets the better of. Asahi tosses Rina down by the head and pushes her down in the corner with her boot, Asahi picks up Rina but Rina catches her with a shoulderblock and a senton for two. Rina picks up Asahi and applies a backbreaker, she hangs Asahi upside down in the corner so that she and Nao can both hit running strikes. Cover by Rina, but Asahi kicks out. Rina gutwrenches Asahi but Asahi slides away and dropkicks Rina. Asahi goes off the ropes but Rina hits a rolling chop, giving her time to tag Nao. Cartwheel kneedrop followed by a body press by Nao, she picks up Asahi and hits a crossbody for two. Rina comes in, double Irish whip to Asahi and they hit a double shoulderblock. Misa runs in and hits a face crusher on both of them, but accidentally lands both on top of Asahi, so she causes more harm than good.
Nao picks up Asahi but Asahi avoids a strike and hits a Lou Thesz Press. Nao gets Asahi on her back before slamming her to the mat, cover by Nao but it gets two. Nao goes off the ropes but Asahi hits an armdrag, cradle by Asahi but Nao rolls through it and applies a leg submission hold. Asahi gets to the ropes to get out of the hold, Nao goes off the ropes but Asahi drop toeholds her into the second rope and hits the 619. Cover by Asahi, but Nao kicks out. Asahi tags Misa, stomps by Misa and she elbows Nao into the corner. Armdrags by Misa and she stomps on Misa some more, but Nao blocks the slam attempt and hits a scoop slam of her own. Nao sits down on Misa but Asahi kicks her in the head to break up the cover. Rina also comes in as Nao and Rina take back the advantage, shoulderblock by Nao to Misa and she goes to the top turnbuckle, hitting a diving crossbody for two. Nao picks up Misa but Misa throws her into the corner, lariat by Misa and she jumps on Nao’s back with a standing submission hold. Rina makes it back in to break it up, Asahi gets rid of her while Misa puts Nao in a crab hold. Nao gets to the ropes to force a break, she goes off the ropes but Rina runs in and slams her. Jackknife cover by Nao, but Asahi breaks it up. Nao goes off the ropes but Misa catches her with a dropkick, Asahi goes to the top turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick to Nao. Lariat by Misa, but Rina breaks up the pin. Misa picks up Nao and goes off the ropes, but Nao applies the Tachia Girl (cradle with a bridge) for the three count! Rina Amikura and Nao Ishikawa are the winners.
So if the main focus of these events is rookie/young wrestler evaluation and growth, looking at that is probably the most fair way to evaluate these matches. I’m not a huge fan of random mid-match goofiness, just a personal taste, so bell to bell not my general favorite match as they went to that “well” a few times with no real benefit. Asahi and Nao looked really good, they have all the basics down pat and have added a few intermediate moves to their arsenal as well. Misa and Rina were a step down from those two, nothing bad but a few moments that didn’t quite click right with Rina in particular at times looking a step behind. A perfectly acceptable basic match with a few bright points, but I’d like to see Nao and Asahi in a singles match to really see their potential.
Oikawa and Tsukushi Haruka vs. Saran and Fujimoto
For the main event we get really our first two higher ranked wrestlers, as Tsukasa Fujimoto and Tsukushi anchor their respective teams. Fujimoto and Tsukushi need no introduction as they are the two top wrestlers in Ice Ribbon with multiple title wins between them. Saran debuted last summer and is only 13 years old, best case she is probably still a few years away from having a big role in the promotion but they are hopeful that she can develop into a quality wrestler. Banny has a shorter ceiling but since switching from a referee to a wrestler she has shown she can hold her own in the ring. I assume the vets will let the less experienced wrestlers get in most of the work, so I am curious to see how Saran has been coming along.
Saran is dressed like Tsukushi, who recently announced she is retiring, making the young wrestler quite sad. If she stays in wrestling, she’ll eventually get used to the sudden retirements we see so often in Joshi. Fujimoto and Tsukushi start the match, Fujimoto pushes Tsukushi into the ropes and hits an armdrag. They trade armdrags and flash covers, but they eventually end up in a stalemate. Fujimoto tags Saran, Saran and Tsukushi tie-up before they trade wristlocks. They then trade hammerlocks as they jockey for the advantage, Saran stomps on Tsukushi’s foot repeatedly which just makes Tsukushi mad as she throws her into the corner. Tsukushi returns the favor by stomping on Saran’s foot, Irish whip by Tsukushi but Saran catches her with a dropkick. Scoop slam by Tsukushi and she knocks Fujimoto off the apron, she goes back to Saran and puts her in a Camel Clutch. Tsukushi lets go and tags Banny, Banny picks up Saran and throws her down by the head. She does it a second time before pushing her down in the corner with her boot, Banny picks up Saran and sets her up in the ropes. Kicks by Banny and she tags Tsukushi back in, Tsukushi puts Saran’s hands on the mat and stands on them.
Banny returns, she throws Saran into the corner and delivers a dropkick. Another dropkick by Banny, she snapmares Saran and kicks her in the back before applying a submission hold. Fujimoto breaks it up, Banny goes for a crab hold but Saran quickly cradles her for two. This gives her time to tag Fujimoto, Banny briefly fights back but Fujimoto puts her in an Octopus Hold. Tsukushi breaks it up but Fujimoto delivers a dropkick to both of them, Banny kicks Fujimoto in the leg and delivers a heel drop to her back. Heel kick by Banny and she covers Fujimoto for two. Banny tags Tsukushi, Tsukushi goes for a roll into a footstomp but Fujimoto reverses it and kicks Tsukushi in the chest. Fujimoto picks up Tsukushi but Tsukushi elbows her and the two trade shots. Tsukushi wins the battle as she applies a step-over cradle followed by a low hurricanrana. Missile dropkick by Tsukushi but Fujimoto springs back up and hits a dropkick of her own. Saran runs in and also hits a dropkick, Fujimoto goes up top and delivers a missile dropkick for a two count. Fujimoto picks up Saran but they can’t execute whatever move they were going for (confused), snapmare by Fujimoto to Tsukushi and she kicks her in the back. PK by Fujimoto and she covers Tsukushi for a two count. Fujimoto tags Saran, dropkicks by Saran but Tsukushi bridges out of the pin. Saran pulls her back to the mat and kicks Tsukushi into the corner, she gets on the second turnbuckle but Banny grabs her from the apron.
That gives Tsukushi time to recover but Saran gets Tsukushi in a sleeper, while Fujimoto comes in and puts Banny in a dragon sleeper. Tsukushi gets to the ropes for the break, elbows by Saran to Tsukushi but Tsukushi elbows her back. Tsukushi elbows a lot harder than Saran so Saran is feeling each one, Irish whip by Saran and she hits a crossbody. Saran goes to the top turnbuckle but Tsukushi recovers and knocks her off. Dropkick by Tsukushi but her cover gets two. Running elbow smash by Tsukushi, but that gets a two count as well. Banny comes in and both strike Saran, Tsukushi goes to the top turnbuckle but Saran avoids the footstomp and schoolboys Tsukushi for two. Irish whip by Saran, reversed, but Saran flips out of the corner and sunset flips Tsukushi for a two count. Saran quickly goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody, but Banny breaks it up. Saran goes off the ropes but Tsukushi catches her with a knee, low crossbody by Tsukushi but Saran rolls through the cover. Footstomp by Saran and she applies the Denden Mushi, but Banny breaks it up. Fujimoto dropkicks Banny out of the ring, Saran grabs Tsukushi’s arm but Tsukushi blocks whatever she was trying to do and applies the Tsuchigumo for the three count! Banny Oikawa and Tsukushi Haruka are the winners.
Aside from one really awkward spot towards the end, this match was pretty good. Saran is probably the smoothest young wrestler we’ve seen tonight, and even though I don’t love the idea of a new wrestler being a “clone” she did hit Tsukushi’s moves very smoothly. Obviously way too soon to say what her future holds but she seems to have a lot of potential. Fujimoto and Tsukushi acted as the vets you’d expect, looking sharp and keeping the match moving so it never wore out its welcome. Banny was just there but inoffensive, she didn’t add much to the match but she didn’t take away from it either. This mostly felt like an effort to spotlight Saran, which I think they did pretty well. A solid match and a fitting way to end a smaller dojo show. Mildly Recommended
I reviewed this event as someone who only casually follows Ice Ribbon, which will obviously play a part of my thoughts of the show. There were some promotion storyline developments on the event I didn’t mention, as I usually don’t on reviews unless its something massive, and hardcore Ice Ribbon fans will no doubt enjoy seeing these minor tweaks to a wrestler’s character as these dojo events roll on. There is no doubt in my mind that to the biggest Ice Ribbon fans, these dojo shows are a real treat and worth watching, especially since they aren’t very long and can be finished relatively quickly. As a fan of Joshi overall but not solely in Ice Ribbon in particular, I do enjoy seeing the development of young wrestlers as they build up their skillset, but on this particular event I didn’t see a lot that showed me any of this batch are particularly close to ready to take over for the wrestlers Ice Ribbon has lost. Doesn’t mean they won’t get there, but we may be in for the long haul. This isn’t an event I could recommend fans seeking out outside of the strongest Ice Ribbon supporters, but the main event was fun and nothing was “bad” even if most of it was pretty basic.