Event: Marvelous at Shin-Kiba 1st RING
Date: May 19th, 2021
Location: Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown
Broadcast: Streamed on Marvelous Nico Channel
As I dive back into recent Joshi wrestling events, this one really caught my attention. Marvelous is low-key one of my favorite Joshi promotions, as they have a handful of entertaining wrestlers and tend to put on shorter but quality events. Watching them generally isn’t free, but as long as the action is good I certainly don’t mind forking over a little money. This is my first time watching Hibiki since she started acting a little “crazy” so I am interested in seeing how that goes, and the main event is a banger. Here is the match line-up, I will only be reviewing the Joshi matches on the card:
As this streamed on the Marvelous’ streaming service, all matches will be shown in full. All wrestlers have a profile on Joshi City, you can click on their name above to go straight to it.
Maria vs. Ai Houzan
Maria has new attire since I last saw her, guess she finally graduated from rookie gear. Ai debuted for Marvelous in March and Chigusa Nagayo believes in a more traditional role for rookie wrestlers, so she is going to be in slotted here in the opener for the bulk of her matches. Maria is still fairly low on the pecking order as well in her third year but is a solid wrestler that has shown flashes of potential. This will just be a traditional veteran vs. rookie match, but hopefully Ai gets a chance to do something impressive.
Houzan asks for a handshake before the match, Maria turns her back on her so Houzan schoolboys Maria for two. A few more get the same result, elbows by Houzan but Maria runs her off the ropes and hits an armdrag. Houzan comes back with a dropkick and throws down Maria by the air, but Maria cartwheels out of it and kicks Houzan in the chest. Now it is Maria that twists the hair and throws Houzan into the corner, kick to the arm by Maria and she kicks her arm again while she is against the ropes. More arm-focused offense by Maria before she kicks Houzan in the face, Houzan tries to fight back but gets kicks in the face again. Fujiwara Armbar by Maria but Houzan quickly wiggles to the ropes to force the break. Maria picks up Houzan and Irish whips her, but Houzan hits a jumping crossbody.
Another crossbody by Houzan and a few more, she eventually keeps one on for a cover but it only gets two. Houzan goes for a slam but Maria blocks it, elbows by Houzan and she hits a dropkick. Another dropkick by Houzan and she covers Maria for two. Scoop slam by Houzan, but again her cover gets a two count. Houzan picks up Maria but Maria elbows her as the two trade strikes, dropkick by Maria and she covers Houzan for two. Maria quickly transitions to the Fujiwara Armbar, she traps Houzan’s leg as well but Houzan gets to the ropes for the break. Boot by Maria but Houzan quickly schoolboys her for two. Houzan goes for a few more flash pins with no luck, snapmare by Maria and she delivers a sliding kick, but Houzan again cradles her. Front dropkick by Maria, she quickly picks up Houzan and applies a cross armbreaker. Houzan struggles for a moment but has to tap out! Maria is the winner.
Maria is a bit of a mystery to me as whenever I watch Marvelous, she looks solid enough but doesn’t really seem to be focused on very often by the promotion like Mei and Mikoto are. She gave Houzan a fair amount of offense here, and even though limb-based offense is rare in a rookie opener it was nice to see some type of story being told. Houzan would sometimes shrug off offense too quickly to go to her flash pins, probably something she should work on, but she has time. Nothing too memorable but Houzan seems to have the basics down pat and Maria led her well enough, a decent opener.
Itsuki Aoki and Tomoko Watanabe vs. Mei Hoshizuki and Mikoto Shindo
Itsuki and Tomoko have teamed a few times before so they aren’t unfamiliar with each other, although its not quite often enough for me to consider them a regular team (its the 4th time since December). Its quite a dynamic as Itsuki is an excitable young wrestler while Tomoko is a cranky vet. They are against two young talented wrestlers from Marvelous in Mei and Mikoto. Both have had some early success in their careers as they climb up the card, but both are still 20 or under so they still have a lot to learn. Should be a fun match.
Itsuki and Mei start the match, Itsuki talks a bit as she does and she eats a dropkick. Mikoto helps Mei as they double team Itsuki, she eventually leaves and Itsuki punches Mei in the stomach. Itsuki puts Mei in the ropes and applies a chinlock, she lets go and delivers a running double knee to Mei’s back. Mei stomps on Itsuki’s foot to regain the advantage, she gets Itsuki in the ropes and hits a dropkick. Mei picks up Itsuki, Irish whip and she hits another dropkick before tagging Mikoto. Itsuki pokes Mikoto in the eyes and hits a hard shoulderblock, she tags in Tomoko and they double team Mikoto in the corner. Scoop slam by Tomoko and she hits an elbow drop off the second rope for a two count cover. Tomoko picks up Mikoto, Mikoto fights back with elbows but Tomoko hits a short-range lariat. Irish whip by Tomoko but Mikoto connects with a dropkick, giving her time to tag Mei. Tomoko greets Mei with a boot but Mei ends up on the apron and dropkicks Tomoko through the ropes. Mei puts Tomoko in a submission hold but Tomoko gets to the ropes for the break. Irish whip by Mei but Itsuki kicks her from the apron, she holds Mei for Tomoko but Mei moves out of the way and dropkicks Tomoko into Itsuki.
Mei goes for a scoop slam but Tomoko blocks it, hard elbow by Mei but Tomoko kicks her in the shin. Kick to the leg by Tomoko but Mei blocks the Irish whip attempt, Mikoto runs in and kicks Tomoko but Tomoko hits a backwards jump springboard on both of them. She tags Itsuki, shoulderblock by Itsuki to Mei and she hits a face crusher followed by a double kneedrop for two. Mei fights back as they trade elbows until Itsuki elbows Mei hard to the mat, Itsuki picks up Mei but Mei slides off her shoulders and stomps on her foot. Lariat by Itsuki but Mei avoids the next one and dropkicks Itsuki from the apron. Running dropkick by Mei and she tags Mikoto, dropkicks by Mikoto to Itsuki and she covers her for two. Mikoto goes for a scoop slam but Itsuki blocks it and hits one of her own, Irish whip by Itsuki but Mei runs in and they both dropkick her for two. Running elbow by Mikoto to Itsuki and she dropkicks her in the corner, corner dropkick by Mikoto and she hits the scoop slam for a two count. Mikoto goes off the ropes but Itsuki catches her with a Samoan Drop, she tags in Tomoko who comes in the ring with a body press off the second turnbuckle.
Mikoto gets her feet up however so that backfires, Mei runs in and stomps Tomoko but Itsuki cuts her off. Itsuki stacks both opponents in the corner and hits a lariat followed by a Tomoko body avalanche, Mikoto and Mei stagger to the middle of the ring and both are bit with stereo body avalanches. Falling body press by Itsuki on both, they then stack Mikoto on top of Mei before Tomoko hits a body press of her own. Scoop slam by Tomoko to Mikoto, she gets on the second turnbuckle and hits a body press, but Mikoto barely kicks out. Tomoko picks up Mikoto but Mikoto get away and dropkicks her in the back, another dropkick by Mikoto and she cradles Tomoko for two. Mikoto picks up Tomoko and hits a springboard dropkick, Mei hits a dropkick as well before Mikoto delivers a swandive sunset flip for a two count. Itsuki runs in and lariats Mikoto, Tomoko follows with a lariat of her own but Mikoto reverses it into a flash pin. She goes off the ropes but Tomoko levels her with a lariat, cover by Tomoko and she gets the three count! Itsuki Aoki and Tomoko Watanabe are the winners.
This was a pretty by-the-numbers tag match but still had more good than bad. Tomoko played her role well as grumpy vet, as she mostly dominated while in the ring but did let Mikoto have quite a run on her before killing her with a lariat so it was far from lopsided. Mei’s offense isn’t overly interesting but both she and Mikoto are more than capable so everything was smooth both in the one on one match-ups and tag moves. Itsuki didn’t get too much of a chance to shine here but brought her usual energy. A perfectly fine mid-card tag match, but nothing more than that.
DASH Chisako vs. Hibiki vs. KAORU
I’m not really sure what to expect here but I’m excited. Hibiki this year went from friendly happy wrestler to crazy wrestler, invading random shows and generally upsetting everyone with her over-the-top antics. Think of a slightly less predictable version of what Cassandra Miyagi was doing in Sendai Girls’. Both KAORU and DASH Chisako are tired of her shit, so even though this is a triple threat, they will likely be on the same page more often than not as they try to control the unpredictable Hibiki. I am all for Joshi wrestlers playing with their characters and I am interested to see how it comes across.
Hibiki won’t even get in the ring to start the match, jawing at both KAORU and Chisako, so they start without her. Dropkick by Chisako but Hibiki trips her from the floor when she goes off the ropes, this gives KAORU time to kick Chisako and hit a vertical suplex for two. Hibiki gets in the ring but quickly bails, Chisako and KAORU trade elbows but turn their attention back to Hibiki as KAORU kicks her through the ropes. This stuns Hibiki, allowing Chisako to charge from in the ring and hit a dropkick through the ropes on her. KAORU and Chisako both leave the ring to get Hibiki but Hibiki runs away and into the back. Hibiki reemerges from the other side and gets in the ring, but Chisako catches her with a missile dropkick. She follows with another dropkick, KAORU comes in with a piece of table board and hits Hibiki in the head with it. Chisako and take turns striking Hibiki, double Irish whip and they hit a double boot followed by a double vertical suplex. Assisted footstomp by Chisako, they wait for Hibiki to get up and take turns booting her.
Chisako and KAORU go up to opposite corner, Hibiki avoids KAORU’s Valkyrie Splash but rolls right into a diving footstomp by Chisako. Cover by Chisako, KAORU tries to break it up with the board but Chisako moves and she hits Hibiki instead. Cover by KAORU, Chisako tries to break it up with a chair but she too ends up hitting Hibiki. KAORU goes back up top but Hibiki recovers and knocks her out of the ring down to the floor. Hard elbow by Hibiki to Chisako but she elbows her back as they trade blows, Chisako goes for a Northern Lights Suplex but Hibiki blocks it. Knees by Chisako but Hibiki catches her with a lariat, cover by Hibiki but KAORU is back and breaks it up. Double Irish whip to Hibiki but Hibiki hits a spear on both of them, she goes off the ropes again but is hit with both a chair and piece of board at the same time. Chisako goes up top while KAORU picks up Hibiki, but Hibiki slams KAORU and tosses Chisako back into the ring (and on top of KAORU). Hibiki goes to the top turnbuckle but both wrestlers avoids her diving senton, Hibiki gets a white powder and throws it into KAORU’s face. Chisako comes over to help with a chair but she hits KAORU by accident, Hibiki quickly dropkicks Chisako and schoolboys KAORU for the three count! Hibiki is the winner.
A short match but still fun to watch and it progressed Hibiki’s unique story. For a match that wasn’t very long, it had a lot of shenanigans and hard hits, as all three did their part to put over what they were doing. Hibiki out-maneuvering her opponents in what was essentially a 2 vs. 1 match was well done as it felt smart rather than cheap. Hibiki took a fair beating on her way to victory to earn it, and she is definitely not wrestling as a comedic gimmick but rather unhinged. For a short three way match, I thought they delivered what they were going for and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Hibiki in the future. Mildly Recommended
Chihiro Hashimoto and Mika Iwata vs. Mio Momono and Rin Kadokura
Main event time! This match is to help build to the GAEA event in June, which features wrestlers from various promotions but with Marvelous and Sendai Girls’ leading the way. Its great to see Mika Iwata back – she missed a year and a half due to injury but has been wrestling pretty regularly since November so hopefully her injury woes are behind her. She teams with Chihiro Hashimoto, the undisputed Ace of Sendai Girls’. On the Marvelous team, the young wrestlers Mio Momono and Rin Kadokura tag to defend their turf. No weak links here as all four are quality wrestlers, and I expect them to go all out as they build to the big event next month.
Rin and Mika jaw before the match can even start and start trading blows, while their two teammates look on, letting them go at it. Rin temporarily wins but Mika battles back, dropkick by Rin and she covers Mika for two. Rin tags Mio, kicks by Mio in the corner and she delivers a dropkick. Mio gets Mika up and applies a rolling front necklock, but releases the hold so she can dropkick her in the back of the head. Mio tags Rin back in, scoop slam by Rin and she mushes Mika’s head. Enzuigiri by Mika and she kicks Rin against the ropes before tagging in Chihiro. Hard shoulderblock by Chihiro, she scoop slams Rin and hits a running somersault senton. Mika returns, kicks by Mika and she applies a headlock. She lets go after a moment and stomps on Rin, starting to focus on her arm. snapmare by Mika and she kicks Rin in the back, she tags in Chihiro who puts Rin in an abdominal stretch. Mio breaks it up with a dropkick, Chihiro picks up Rin but Rin fights back with elbows. Chihiro elbows her back to the mat and applies a cross armbreaker, but Mio breaks it up. Chihiro picks up Rin and yanks on her arm before tagging in Mika, Irish whip by Mika but Rin delivers a jumping lariat.
Quick kick by Rin and she makes it to her corner to tag Mio. Mio comes in the ring with a diving crossbody, sliding kick by Mio but Chihiro kicks her from the apron. Chihiro gets in to help but Mio throws Chihiro into Mika and then hurricanranas Chihiro onto Mika. Dropkick by Mio to Chihiro, she goes back to Mika and hits a sliding kick for a two count. Mika shakes Mio off and hits a high knee in the corner, snapmare by Mika and she kicks Mio in the back. Mio ducks the PK but Mika kicks her in the head anyway and tags in Chihiro. Lariat by Chihiro in the corner and she hits a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Chihiro gets Mio on her shoulders before Mika comes in and delivers a head kick. Double Irish whip to Mio, Mio tries to get out of it but is slammed for her efforts. Mika then flips Chihiro onto Mio, picking up a two count. Chihiro gets on the second turnbuckle and nails a somersault senton, but Mio gets a shoulder up. Chihiro picks up Mio but Mio slides away, lariat by Chihiro but Mio fires back with a dropkick. Chihiro hits another lariat but Mio lands on her feet on the suplex attempt, hard elbow by Chihiro but Mio hits a twisting headscissors takedown for two. Mio makes the tag to Rin, Rin goes up top and connects with a missile dropkick. Elevated DDT by Rin and she hits a sliding kick for two. Rin goes off the ropes but Chihiro spears her, she tags in Mika and Mika kicks Rin into the corner.
More kicks by Mika and she applies the cross armbreaker, Rin wiggles out of it so Mika switches it to an armtrap crossface. Mio breaks that up but Chihiro throws her out of the ring, Mika picks up Rin but Rin kicks her in the head. Mika returns the favor, more kicks by Mika and she covers Rin for a two count. More kicks by Mika but Mio breaks up the next cover, Mika picks up Rin and goes to the turnbuckles but Mio grabs her from the apron. Rin pulls Mika back into the ring, missile dropkick by Mio and Rin hits a diving footstomp for two. Rin gets on the top turnbuckle but Mika avoids the somersault senton, they trade elbows as they get up until Chihiro runs in and hits a lariat. Jackknife cover by Mika, but Rin kicks out. Mika waits for Rin to get up but Rin ducks the high kick and goes for a few flash pins for two counts. Rin goes for another cradle but Mika blocks it, Mio dropkicks Mika in the head but Rin can still only get two. Strike combination by Mika and she covers Rin, but Mio breaks it up. Mio dropkicks Chihiro when she comes in too but Mika kicks Mio, high kick by Mika to Rin but Rin barely gets a shoulder up. Mika goes off the ropes but Rin kicks he, crucifix slam by Rin but Mika is too close to the ropes. She hits a second one, and this time she holds down Mika for the three count! Mio Momono and Rin Kadokura are the winners!
One could never accuse these four of not being hard hitting, they certainly were holding nothing back in this match. Lots and lots of kicks so if you like kicks, this is the match for you. I wish that Mio and Chihiro did more as they felt almost like the side attractions, particularly Chihiro who didn’t get to do much that was memorable as Mika was the focus. But they have to save something for GAEA. Mika and Rin did a good job conveying disdain for each other and even though the arm work was shrugged off, at least they did go back to it towards the end so it wasn’t a meaningless exercise. I don’t love a match like this having a “trading flash pins” part, which seems to now be a requirement in every Joshi match even if it doesn’t fit, but at least they got over it and didn’t end the match in that manner. Not long enough to wear out its welcome (I wouldn’t have minded if it was a few minutes longer), an entertaining match and a good prelude to their match next month. Recommended
A fun event from Marvelous. This is a pretty typical Marvelous show – some quality action and not much downtime or wasted effort. All of their young wrestlers are solid (still too early to say in Ai’s case) and well trained, so their matches tend to be well executed. The continuing saga of Hibiki is entertaining, and the main event was great. Probably nothing here that will blow you away, but a good offering by Marvelous top to bottom.