Event: Ice Ribbon New Ice Ribbon #1029
Date: March 14th, 2020
Location: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 553
Since I finally got around to updating the Ice Ribbon Roster, it seemed only fitting to review a recent Ice Ribbon show. Even though wrestling events are being delayed or cancelled around the world, that isn’t stopping Ice Ribbon as they return to Korakuen Hall. This is a big event, as we see Suzu Suzuki take on Tsukasa Fujimoto and Hiragi Kurumi challenge Maya Yukihi. Plus we have a four-way ladder match! Here is the full card:
As this event aired on Samurai TV!, some matches will be clipped. All the wrestlers have profiles on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it.
Banny Oikawa, Aono, Thekla, and Yappy vs. Uno, Shingaki, Syuri, and Honma
Wild to see Syuri in a meaningless opening match, that can’t be the best use of promotional funds. At least Syuri is with her posse, The Joint Army, which is a collection of wrestlers from different promotions that team together on a pretty regular basis in some combination. They are up against the Ice Ribbon wrestlers that had nothing else to do on the card, plus the gaijin wrestler Thekla and Miku Aono from Actwres girl’Z. I think this is the first time I’ve seen The Joint Army so I’m curious to see how they work together since it seems like a pretty random group of wrestlers on paper.
We join the match in progress, with Rina and Banny in the ring. Rina applies a kneelock with The Joint Army running in also as all four members put someone on the other side in a submission hold. We jump ahead to Syuri being in the ring with Banny, Banny ducks Syuri’s kick and schoolboys her for two. Kick to the chest by Syuri and she tags in Uno, shoulderblock by Uno but Banny reverses the scoop slam into a cradle. Dropkick by Banny and she makes the tag to Yappy. Running leg drop by Yappy and she hits a backbreaker on Uno for a two count. Yappy goes off the ropes but Uno avoids the lariat and applies a sleeper, Joint Army protects her but Yappy rams Uno back into the corner to break the hold. Her teammates run in as Uno is attacked by all of them, Final Cut by Yappy but Syuri breaks up the cover. Yappy picks up Uno and goes for a chokeslam, but Uno blocks it and Tae hits a missile dropkick on Yappy. Diving crossbody by Rina and Syuri hits Yappy with a running knee. Uno picks up Yappy and slams her to the mat, but the cover is broken up. Uno gets Yappy up again and applies the RE:BORN Lock (cross armbreaker), and Yappy quickly taps out! The Joint Army win the match.
This was obviously way too clipped to really get a vibe of the match, but what they showed was fine. The Joint Army seems to work together really well which I think is all they wanted us to get out of this, and they effectively hid what I am sure were some awkward moments from the losing team. I wouldn’t have minded seeing a bit more of this match but considering the card I’m not surprised this match got chopped up.
Hamuko Hoshi and Mochi Miyagi vs. Maika Ozaki and Tsukushi
Up next we have The Lovely Butchers in action as they take on Maika Ozaki and Tsukushi. Ozaki and Tsukushi still mostly hover in the mid-card these days, but do have their moments and aren’t just opening fodder. The Lovely Butchers are one of the most successful tag teams in Ice Ribbon history, with three runs together as the International Ribbon Tag Team Champions. Nothing is on the line here, but Maika and Tsukushi have an uphill battle to beat the more accomplished team.
The Lovely Butchers attack before the bell rings and end up getting both opponents in opposite corners, but Maika and Tsukushi both make a comeback. Miyagi and Hoshi take the opportunity to pose, which Maika and Tsukushi don’t appreciate as they stomp on the Lovely Butchers. Things settle down with Tsukushi and Miyagi in the ring as the legal wrestlers, and Tsukushi stomps down on Miyagi’s hands. Tsukushi twists Miyagi’s leg in the second rope before tagging in Maika, Maika stomps Miyagi against the ropes and chokes her with her boot. Maika offers Miyagi her hand but its all a ruse as she hits a Mongolian Chop, Miyagi returns fire and throws Maika into the corner before hitting a body attack. Maika comes back with a lariat, elbow drops by Maika and she covers Miyagi for two. We jump ahead in the match to Tsukushi and Hoshi being in the ring, running body attack by Hoshi and she tags Miyagi. Miyagi sits down on Tsukushi and hits a seated senton, cover by Miyagi but it gets two. Hoshi comes in and they both hit Tsukushi with body blocks, Hoshi picks up Miyagi and tosses her onto Tsukushi for a two count. Miyagi picks up Tsukushi but Tsukushi gets away and applies a flying armbar. Maika comes in too and puts Hoshi in Argentine Backbreaker, but Miyagi gets into the ropes for the break.
Tsukushi elbows Miyagi but Miyagi elbows her back as they trade shots, Miyagi knocks Tsukushi down but Maika runs in and lariats her. Dropkick by Tsukushi while Miyagi is slouched against the ropes, she gets on the top turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick for two. Hoshi comes in and lariats both Maika and Tsukushi, Miyagi recovers and they hit a double backdrop suplex on Tsukushi. Miyagi goes up on the second turnbuckle and hits a Reverse Splash, but Maika breaks up the cover. Hoshi goes to the top turnbuckle but Tsukushi avoids her body press, Miyagi also goes up top but Tsukushi joins her and hits a Frankensteiner for a two count. Maika goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton, Tsukushi follows with a diving double footstomp but Hoshi breaks up the cover. Tsukushi picks up Miyagi but Miyagi blocks the Tiger Suplex, hurricanrana by Tsukushi but she lets go to hit footstomps. Tsukushi goes off the ropes but Miyagi delivers the Mochiri Body Scissors, with Maika makes the save. Hoshi takes care of Maika, Miyagi picks up Tsukushi but Tsukushi gets away from her and applies a jackknife cover for two. Halcaze by Tsukushi, and she picks up the three count! Maika Ozaki and Tsukushi are the winners!
A pretty by-the-numbers midcard tag match, but perfectly watchable. This was Miyagi’s first full match since she suffered an injury last July, and she didn’t seem to have any ring rust as she was her usual self. Tsukushi is one of my favorite wrestlers in Ice Ribbon and she was a bundle of fun here as always, alternating smoothly between killer moves and slick pinning situations with no hesitation. Nothing overly memorable but certainly a good enough match for where it was on the card.
Aja Kong vs. Ibuki Hoshi
Oh boy. Sometimes, promotions send out their children to get killed, and this is one of those times. Ibuki Hoshi is the 16 year old daughter of Hamuko Hoshi, and has been wrestling for almost three years. Aja Kong is, of course, one of the most successful Joshi wrestlers still active and loves to crush people. The question isn’t who will win, but if Ibuki will at least get in some spots before she gets planted into the mat.
They lock to to start to the match, Kong pushes Hoshi into the ropes but Hoshi switches positions with her and hits a series of elbows. Kong just looks at her when she goes for an Irish whip and blocks it, more elbows by Hoshi but Kong throws her into the ropes. Hoshi goes for shoulderblocks but Kong doesn’t budge, finally Kong clubs Hoshi with a lariat and kicks the kid out of the ring. Kong goes out after her and hits a vertical suplex on the floor, Kong gets a chair and cracks it over Hoshi’s head. She hits Hoshi with the chair again, the match clips ahead with them back in the ring but Hoshi’s situation has not improved in the meantime. Hoshi tries to fight back but Kong headbutts her back to the mat, Kong picks up Hoshi but Hoshi blocks the suplex attempt and elbows Kong in the chest. Kong doesn’t go down and fires back with a hard elbow, Hoshi struggles back to her feet and elbows Kong again, but Kong clubs her down. Hoshi slowly returns to her feet but gets elbows to the mat again, again she gets up but gets slapped in the face.
Kong goes for a lariat, Hoshi ducks it and goes for a schoolboy, but Kong blocks it. Hoshi moves when Kong tries to sit on her and delivers the Hamu Roll, but it only gets a two count. Kong drops Hoshi with a backdrop suplex, she picks Hoshi back up but Hoshi reverses the brainbuster attempt into an inside cradle for two. Hoshi delivers a series of mounted elbow strikes, she goes off the ropes but Kong lariats her. Kong gets on the second turnbuckle but Hoshi recovers before she can jump off and hits Kong from behind before tossing her to the mat. Hoshi hits a hard elbow and finally knocks Kong off her feet, cover by Hoshi but it gets two. Hoshi goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving body press, but Kong kicks out of the cover. Hoshi picks up Kong and ducks the Uraken, elbow strike by Hoshi but her cover gets a two count. Hoshi goes up top but this time Kong avoids the diving body press, Kong gets her paint can and hits Hoshi in the head with it. Brainbuster by Kong, but Hoshi barely gets a shoulder up on the cover. Kong positions Hoshi, she gets on the second turnbuckle and nails the back elbow drop for the three count! Aja Kong wins!
There are few things in life I enjoy more than Aja Kong beating up a younger and smaller wrestler. It just fills me with happiness. So I enjoyed the bulk of this match, with Kong going way beyond what was needed to defeat a child just to prove a point. In a way its a compliment to Hoshi that instead of just putting her in a crab hold and winning, she hit her with a chair and dropped her with a brainbuster before driving her elbow into her soul. My only complaint actually is I think Hoshi had maybe one or two too many hope spots. The first elbow that knocked over Kong was fine, and the diving body press, but throwing in the second elbow strike just felt like overkill. But its hard to complain about a veteran giving a younger wrestler a bit of an extra rub. This over-delivered what my expectations were, a really fun quasi-squash match. Recommended
Suzu Suzuki vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto
This is probably the match I’ve been looking forward to the most on this show. Tsukasa Fujimoto is the veteran leader of Ice Ribbon with six reigns with the ICExInfinity Championship and multiple other title reigns to boot. She is against the most talented young wrestler in Ice Ribbon, Suzu Suzuki. Suzu is only 17 years old and just debuted in late 2018, but has already captivated the fans and has shown a good deal of potential. This is a big match for her to prove she is on the right track to be the future Ace of the promotion.
Suzu and Tsukasa tie-up and trade standing submissions, armdrag by Tsukasa but Suzu avoids her charge and rolls up Tsukasa for two. They end up reaching a stalemate, Tsukasa gets Suzu to the mat and puts her in a kneelock, but Suzu quickly reverses it. Tsukasa reverses it back and starts working over Suzu’s leg, she sets up Tsukasa in the ropes and dropkicks her in the back. Cover by Tsukasa, but it gets two. Tsukasa throws down Suzu by the hair but Suzu cartwheels out of it when she tries again and delivers a dropkick. Tsukasa bridges out of the pin attempt and hits a dropkick of her own, she throws Suzu into the corner and knees her in the face. Running cutter by Tsukasa, and she covers Suzu for two. Tsukasa kicks Suzu repeatedly in the back but Suzu catches the PK and hits a dragon screw. Suzu tries to roll up Tsukasa but Tsukasa rolls through it, she goes for a PK again but again Suzu catches it and hits another dragon screw. Suzu applies a kneelock, she grabs Tsukasa’s arm to try to slow her down but Tsukasa gets to the ropes for the break. Running shoulder tackle by Suzu in the corner, she gets on the top turnbuckle but Tsukasa hits her before she can jump off and flings her back to the mat. Tsukasa rolls through it and tosses Tsukasa into the corner, she charges Tsukasa but Tsukasa catches her with a dropkick. Suzu throws Tsukasa into the corner but Tsukasa flips out of it and dropkicks Suzu, she follows up with another dropkick before hitting a scoop slam for two. Tsukasa applies a crossface but Suzu inches to the ropes to get the break.
Tsukasa runs up the corner but Suzu slides out to the apron and grabs her, she tries to throw her off and finally manages to do so as Tsukasa lands on the apron. Tsukasa rolls out to the floor, Suzu goes to the top turnbuckle and dives out onto her with a plancha suicida. Suzu slides Tsukasa back into the ring and hits a swandive missile dropkick, cover by Suzu but it gets two. Octopus Hold by Suzu, but Tsukasa walks to the ropes to force the break. Suzu goes for a suplex but Tsukasa blocks it and puts Suzu in a cross-arm submission. Suzu gets a toe on the ropes to force Tsukasa to let go, Tsukasa goes up top and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Tsukasa picks up Suzu but Suzu blocks the Yoshi Tonic, dropkick by Tsukasa and she hits a step-up enzuigiri. She goes off the ropes but Suzu catches her with a jumping front kick, and both wrestlers are down on the mat. Tsukasa and Suzu return to their feet and trade blows, spinning kick by Suzu and she hits a standing moonsault for two. Suzu picks up Tsukasa goes for a German suplex, but Tsukasa lands on her feet and kicks her in the back. PK by Tsukasa, but Suzu kicks out of the cover. Tsukasa goes up top and hits a diving neckbreaker, but the cover gets two. Tsukasa picks up Suzu but Suzu avoids the Infinity, jumping kick by Suzu and she covers Tsukasa for a two count. German suplex hold by Suzu, but Tsukasa gets a shoulder up. Suzu picks up Tsukasa but Tsukasa quickly rolls her up, getting a two count. PK by Tsukasa, but that gets a two count as well so she hits another one. A third PK by Tsukasa, but Suzu won’t stay down for three. Tsukasa goes for the Venus Shoot but Suzu ducks it, cradle by Suzu but it gets two. Suzu picks up Tsukasa but Tsukasa hits an enzuigiri, Infinity by Tsukasa but Suzu kicks out. Tsukasa goes for the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex but Suzu reverses it into a front cradle for the three count! Suzu Suzuki wins!
Quite a big win so early in Suzu’s career. Even though she won with a cradle, it was a highly competitive match up to that point so it wasn’t a fluke victory. The match started a bit rough as the early exchanges weren’t great, but the next 15 minutes flew by. For someone at her experience level, Suzu is really smooth, the only thing she is missing is a ‘super’ finishing move but her offense feels fresh and she certainly does feel like a future star in the promotion. Tsukasa led her well, I wouldn’t say it was her best performance as she spent much of the match trying to make Suzu look good but she was solid. It needed more drama or suspense to really elevate to a high end match, but still very entertaining and a good showcase for Suzu Suzuki. Recommended
Ram Kaicho vs. Rina Yamashita vs. Risa Sera vs. Satsuki Totoro
For a change of pace, up next is a Ladder Match! Only two of these wrestlers are officially affiliated with Ice Ribbon, as the queen of hardcore Risa Sera joins in the fun along with Satsuki Totoro. Also in the match is Triplesix wrestler Ram Kaicho, one of my personal favorites, and the Freelancer Rina Yamashita. As they climb the ladder, two cards are hung from the ceiling and the two wrestlers that get a card will face off against each other in May for a brand new championship – the Fantast ICE Championship. Not a ton of details on what the championship will be about but I am sure they will tell us more later. Kaicho and Rina are friends going into the match and probably would like it if they both won one of the cards, but I am sure eventually it will be “every woman for herself” as these things tend to be. With something tangible on the line, hopefully that leads the match to be more of a serious one.
The match starts the ladder already set up in the ring, all four charge for it but they stop each other. Totoro knocks over the ladder for… reasons and gets into a tug-of-war over it with Rina, with Kaicho and Sera helping. We clip ahead to Totoro climbing the ladder, but Rina stops her and pulls her out of the ring. Kaicho and Sera then both climb the ladder but Kaicho flips off Sera once they reach the hop. Totoro and Rina both return and tip over the ladder, with Sera being “trapped” underneath it and Kaicho on top of it. Totoro and Rina trade shoulderblocks until Rina knocks over Totoro, she then grabs Kaicho off the ladder and puts her down. The ladder is set up in the middle with Kaicho and Rina going to climb it, but they are stopped by their opponents. Sera powerbombs Kaicho into the corner and hits a double knee strike, but Rina hits her from behind. She tries to suplex Sera onto the ladder but Sera blocks it and the two trade elbows. Knee by Rina but Sera gets her on her back and hits a Schwein onto a ladder. She picks Rina back up but Rina wiggles away and hits a backdrop suplex onto the ladder. They both get back up and Rina hits a hard lariat on Sera, but Sera comes back with a Samoan Driver and both wrestlers are down on the mat. Totoro gets on the second turnbuckle but Rina avoids the diving senton, Sera puts a ladder on top of Totoro and tries to suplex Rina on it, but it is blocked. Kaicho then runs over to help Rina, and they suplex Sera onto the ladder that is on top of Totoro. We clip ahead to Rina tries to climb the ladder, but Totoro grabs her from behind and hits the Kamikaze. Totoro goes to climb the ladder but Kaicho throws chalk in her face, Kaicho and Rina both climb the ladder but Sera stops Kaicho from behind. Kaicho dives off the ladder with a crossbody onto Sera, Rina keeps climbing and she gets one of the cards! Rina Yamashita moves on to the title match.
Kaicho quickly tries to climb the ladder but Sera grabs her from behind and drops her with a Schwein. She goes to climb the ladder but Totoro gets back in the ring and stops her. Totoro picks up Sera and slams her in front of the corner, she goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton. Totoro puts the ladder on top of Sera and goes up top, but Sera recovers and joins her. Superplex by Sera (partially on the ladder), Sera sets up the ladder near the corner and climbs up to the very top before delivering a diving double kneedrop. Sera pushes Totoro out of the way, she sets up the ladder and climbs to the top, grabbing the other card! Rina Yamashita and Risa Sera win the match and will advance to the title match in May.
I’m not saying this was the worst ladder match I’ve seen, but it is probably pretty close. There were a lot of things not to like here. Ranging from the lack of selling for the few “big” bumps of the match, the occasional comedy elements, the weird spot with Sera acting like she was pinned under the ladder when she wasn’t… it just had a lot of issues. On top of that, with a third of the match cut, it was hard to really get invested in whatever they were doing as there were constant jumps in the action. There were some quality wrestlers in this match, but the final product simply wasn’t very good.
(c) Maya Yukihi vs. Hiragi Kurumi
Time for the main event! Maya Yukihi has had a strangle hold on the ICExInfinity Championship since winning it in December of 2018, as she is the only wrestler since then to hold the title (it briefly was vacated but she won it right back). This is her fourth defense since re-winning the title in September, so she is a fairly active champion even though she splits time between Ice Ribbon and OZ Academy. She is against Kurumi, who is also a former champion as she held the title in 2018. Even though Kurumi is only 19 years old, she is a ten year veteran (only in Ice Ribbon….) so it won’t be an easy defense for Maya.
They get into a knuckle-lock to start, knees by Maya but Kurumi knocks her down with a hard shoulderblock. Maya trips Kurumi and dropkicks her, she goes off the ropes but Kurumi does too and Pounces her out of the ring. Maya gets back on the apron but Kurumi goes out to the apron also and drops her with a modified piledriver. Maya drops down to the floor with Kurumi joining her, Kurumi throws Maya into the chairs at ringside before picking her up and doing the same on the opposite side. Kurumi goes for a suplex on the floor but Maya blocks it, Kurumi clubs Maya but Maya ducks an elbow and Kurumi hits the ring post by accident. Maya wraps Kurumi’s arm around the post and pulls on it, she lets go but only to get a chair and press it into Kurumi’s arm. Maya slides Kurumi back in and kicks her in the back before going back to Kurumi’s arm. Maya charges Kurumi but Kurumi moves, Maya slides out onto the apron and snaps Kurumi’s arm over the top rope. Maya goes up top but Kurumi avoids her dive, STO by Kurumi and she hits a few footstomps on Maya.
Kurumi throws Maya into the corner and hits a lariat, she goes for a dropkick but Maya moves out of the way and hits a kneedrop onto her arm. PK by Maya and she applies a choke, but Kurumi gets to the ropes for the break. Maya goes off the ropes and knees Kurumi in the head, she goes up top and hits a missile dropkick for two. Maya kicks Kurumi and goes off the ropes, but Kurumi catches her with a powerslam. Dropkick by Kurumi and she covers Maya for two. Kurumi picks up Maya but Maya elbows her and the two trade shots, kick combination by Maya but Kurumi catches her with a superkick. Kurumi ducks the enzuigiri attempt and hits a snap German, but Maya gets back up and delivers the enzuigiri, leaving both wrestlers down on the mat. They slowly get up and trade elbows again, Maya takes Kurumi to the mat and goes for a cross armbreaker but Kurumi prevents her from fully locking it in. Maya switches to a Triangle Choke attempt instead but Kurumi slams her way out of it, Nut Driver by Kurumi and she covers Maya for two. Kurumi goes up top but Maya avoids the diving body press, Omiwatari to the back by Maya and she kicks Kurumi in the arm. Superkicks by Maya and she hits a Buzzsaw Kick, cover by Maya but Kurumi gets a shoulder up.
Maya waits for Kurumi to get up and hits another Omiwatari, cover by Maya but that gets a two as well. Maya goes up top but Kurumi gets up before Maya can jump off and joins her, superplex by Kurumi but she is too hurt to capitalize. Maya recovers first and kicks at Kurumi, but Kurumi slaps her and stomps Maya into the mat. Turnbuckle Cannonball by Kurumi, she picks up Maya but Maya sneaks in a cradle for two. Kick by Maya and she kicks Kurumi in the arm, she goes off the ropes but Kurumi levels her with a lariat for a two count. Kurumi picks up Kurumi and nails the reverse piledriver, but Maya gets a shoulder up. Modified piledriver by Kurumi and she follows that with a German suplex hold, but it only gets a two count. Kurumi sets up Maya and goes to the top turnbuckle, she delivers a diving body press but Maya reverses the cover into a two count. Maya goes for another flash pin before putting Kurumi into a Triangle Choke. She rolls Kurumi over so she can apply the Icicle Back Triangle, and Kurumi has no choice but to submit! Maya Yukihi wins and retains the championship.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but this match was pretty damn great. Kurumi may be young but she has been wrestling for a long time so she knows what she is doing, and Maya Yukihi is one of the most under-rated in-ring wrestlers in Joshi right now. I loved the arm work and the constant focus on it, and Kurumi respected that by giving the occasional arm shake which is all it takes to remind viewers that her arm is hurting even if she is on offense. Both wrestlers really stayed on task, with Kurumi going for high impact moves while Maya just wanted to knock Kurumi loopy enough to lock on a submission hold. Even though the match was 21 minutes there was no downtime, and the ‘outside the ring’ part was short and they stayed active so it didn’t feel like just wasting time like we sometimes see. Hard hitting and well-executed, this was one of the better Joshi matches I’ve seen so far in 2020. Highly Recommended
A really enjoyable and complete show by Ice Ribbon. It had about everything you could ask for but what I liked the most is the spotlight on their young talent. Ibuki Hoshi and Suzu Suzuki both got a chance to shine (well, at least shine in defeat), and Kurumi really took it to Maya Yukihi in the main event. The only disappointment was the ladder match, it just wasn’t good and was a downer on a show that generally delivered or over-delivered on every level. For a two hour presentation, an easy recommendation from me, and if you are new to Ice Ribbon I think you’ll be impressed with what they have to offer.