Event: Marvelous at Shin-Kiba 1st RING
Date: August 24th, 2020
Location: Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown
Sometimes I like to take a step back and review a smaller event to bring some eyeballs to promotions that may be off many fan’s radars. Marvelous is a promotion run by the legendary Chigusa Nagayo and they air the bulk of their events on their FRESH LIVE streaming service. This event is more special than some of their shows as this is the first match by Mio Momono in the promotion since she suffered an injury last year. I will only be reviewing the Joshi matches on the card, here is the line-up:
As this aired on FRESH LIVE, all matches were shown in full. All wrestlers on the show have profiles on Joshi City, you can click on their names above to go straight to it. Let’s get to the matches!
Masha Slamovich vs. Mikoto Shindo
We kick off the show with a match between a Gaijin on an eternal excursion against one of the younger wrestlers in Marvelous. Masha went to Japan right before the pandemic hit and at this point I am not sure if it is still by choice but she is still in Japan wrestling for Marvelous and other smaller Joshi promotions. While I don’t think she initially planned for a seven month stay, she is certainly getting a good experience out of it so things could be worse. Mikoto is two years into her career and is only 19 years old, but has shown a lot of early potential.
They tie-up to start and trade hammerlocks until Mikoto gets Masha to the mat and puts her in a headlock. Masha struggles back up and gets out of the hold, she gets Mikoto’s arm but Mikoto quickly gets to the ropes for the break. Back up, Masha applies a hammerlock but Mikoto elbows out of it, wristlock by Mikoto but Masha gets away and slams Mikoto to the mat. Mikoto returns to her feet as Masha asks for a knucklelock, Mikoto obliges as they go into a Test of Strength which Masha easily wins. Mikoto springs back up and armdrags Masha, Masha falls out of the ring and Mikoto dropkicks her as she tries to get back in. Mikoto goes out after her but Masha quickly rolls back in, Mikoto rolls in too but Masha kicks her as she does and hits a hard elbow. Scoop slam by Masha, she picks up Mikoto and elbows her in the chest for a two count.
Masha puts Mikoto in a stretch hold but Mikoto gets into the ropes for the break, Masha picks up Mikoto and hits a backdrop suplex, but that gets a two count as well. Masha puts Mikoto on the top turnbuckle and joins her, Masha clubs on Mikoto but Mikoto elbows her off and back to the mat. Mikoto boots Masha back and delivers a dropkick, more dropkicks by Mikoto and she covers Masha for two. Masha recovers and clubs Mikoto as they trade blows, hard elbow by Masha but Mikoto lands on her feet on the attempted backdrop suplex. Masha grabs Mikoto and hits a German suplex hold anyway, but it gets two. Masha picks up Mikoto but Mikoto sneaks in a cradle, elbows by Mikoto and she dropkicks Masha in the corner. Another dropkick by Mikoto, she picks up Masha and hits a scoop slam for two. Mikoto goes to the apron and springboards in, but Masha catches her on her shoulders. Mikoto slides away but Masha catches her with a dragon suplex hold for two. Masha puts Mikoto on an Argentine Backbreaker and drops her to the mat, sliding lariat by Masha but Mikoto kicks out of the cover. Masha picks up Mikoto and elbows her into the corner, but Mikoto avoids her charge and schoolboys Masha for the three count! Mikoto Shindo is the winner.
A fun opener, what I found most interesting was that Mikoto was kicking out of pretty much all of Masha’s big offense. I really thought the dragon suplex hold would be it, or the sliding lariat but instead Mikoto kicks out and gets a cradle win just a moment later. This was sold as an upset/surprise win, nothing wrong with having the underdog when by sneaky means of course, but it was a pretty one-sided affair and just as a fan I’d have liked to have seen more from Mikoto in general. A good way to kick off the show though, they have good chemistry together and they put on solid match. Mildly Recommended
Hibiki, Maria, and Hoshizuki vs. KAORU, Takumi Iroha, and Watanabe
Time for a six woman tag with all the rest of the Marvelous wrestlers. These teams are random, particularly the ‘old vet’ team since KAORU and Tomoko are in competing factions, neither of which Takumi Iroha is in. But they teamed them up to tell a common story, as the young upstart underdogs all team together to take on the far more experienced team to see how long they can last or maybe even find some way to sneak out a win.
The young ones attack before the match starts but the veterans soon get the advantage as they stack their opponents in the corner and deliver running strikes. Maria is isolated and attacked by all three, KAORU stays in as the legal wrestler and continues working over Maria. Watanabe is tagged in and she keeps doing the same as she attacks Maria’s arm, dropkick by Watanabe and she tags in Takumi. More of the same from Takumi, scoop slam by Takumi and she tags KAORU back in. Slam by KAORU, she tags in Watanabe who slams Maria as well, followed by Takumi taking her turn. Takumi kicks Maria and encourages her to fight back, but Takumi avoids Maria’s dropkick and kicks her in the chest for a two count. Snapmare by Takumi and she kicks Maria in the back. Hibiki comes in but Takumi slams her on top of Maria, she then grabs Mei and does the same before covering Maria for two. Takumi kicks Maria in the arm but Maria connects with a front roll into a dropkick, which gives her time to tag out. Mei and Hibiki both come in as Takumi is triple teamed, Watanabe comes in too but it backfires as they slam her on top of Takumi. Mei stays in as the legal wrestler and dropkicks Takumi, she drop toeholds Takumi into the ropes before going out to the apron to hit a dropkick. Another dropkick by Mei and she covers Takumi for two. Mei goes for a scoop slam but Takumi blocks it, elbows by Mei but Takumi elbows her back.
Kick combination by Takumi and she hits a sliding kick, Takumi picks up Mei but Hibiki comes in to help. Takumi isn’t phased and hits a double vertical suplex on both of them, vertical suplex by Takumi and she tags Watanabe. Watanabe comes in the ring with a diving body press off the second turnbuckle, picking up a two count. Watanabe picks up Mei but Mei reverses the backdrop suplex, Hibiki and Maria both run in and they all dropkick Watanabe. Mei goes for a scoop slam but Watanabe blocks it, Hibiki comes in and scoop slams Watanabe before helping Mei hit a footstomp on her. Mei succeeds on the scoop slam on her next try and dropkicks Watanabe in the head, she charges Watanabe but Watanabe dumps her onto the apron. Mei dropkicks Watanabe through the ropes and applies a jackknife cover for two. Mei tags in Hibiki, Hibiki drives Watanabe into the corner and hits a series of shoulder tackles. Hibiki goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, cover by Hibiki but Watanabe kicks out. Hibiki picks up Watanabe and hits the Kamikaze, she goes up top but Watanabe recovers and tosses her back to the mat. Watanabe picks up Hibiki and she hits a hard lariat, cover by Watanabe but it gets a two count. Mei and Maria run in and stomp on Watanabe, Irish whip to Watanabe but Watanabe hits a springboard crossbody on all three of them and tags in KAORU. KAORU comes in with her piece of board and hits all three of her opponents.
KAORU goes to the second turnbuckle but Mei cuts her off, Hibiki headbutts KAORU but KAORU headbutts her back. Another headbutt by Hibiki and she hits the spear, picking up a two count. Hibiki tags Maria, Mei also comes in and they both dropkick KAORU. More dropkicks to KAORU before Hibiki hits a shoulder tackle, cover by Maria but it gets a two count. Maria picks up KAORU but KAORU blocks the scoop slam, she also goes for one but Maria blocks her as well and finally hits her own scoop slam. She covers KAORU but KAORU bridges out of it, KAORU gets her board but she hits Watanabe by accident. Takumi then holds Maria for KAORU but KAORU hits Takumi with it by accident as well, Mei takes the board from KAORU and Maria dropkicks her. Mei and Maria both hit dropkicks on KAORU, cover by Maria but it gets a two count. Mei grabs KAORU and hits a scoop slam while Hibiki goes up top, but Watanabe grabs her from the apron. KAORU hits at Hibiki while Watanabe slams Maria on top of Mei, KAORU then goes up top with Hibiki and superplexes her onto both Mei and Maria. Takumi comes in and superkicks Maria, lariat by Watanabe and KAORU picks up Maria, but Maria quickly applies a cross armbreaker takedown and hits the hold applied for the quick tap out! Maria, Mei Hoshizuki, and Hibiki are the winners!
Even though the ending move was a little clunky in execution, which is unfortunate, it is still a big moment for Maria to tap out one of the veteran wrestlers like KAORU. The first half of the match was pretty slow going, with the beatdown on Maria, but once the younger wrestlers got in control it was a lot more fast paced and interesting. The young team constantly was cooperating and working together, which they had to do, which set them apart from their opponents who weren’t helping each other near as much. For a six wrestler midcard tag match this was probably a bit better than I was expecting, as the veteran team gave the young team quite a bit of offense once we got to the second half of the match. I wouldn’t have minded a few minutes trimmed from the Maria Beatdown portion but I understand what they were going for and overall it was pretty good. Mildly Recommended
HIRO’e vs. Mio Momono
For the main event, Mio Momono makes her grand return to Marvelous to take on the retiring HIRO’e. Originally, HIRO’e was set to retire in August but due to all the pandemic-related delays she is now scheduled to retire on September 18th instead. Since her retirement was delayed, she gets a chance here to take on the recently returned Mio Momono, who is the life of Marvelous even if in the last two years she has spent more time on the shelf than in the ring. HIRO’e never saw much success in her five year career and was mostly a midcarder in WAVE, so even though Mio isn’t too experienced they are on a similar level. I am sure they will try to give HIRO’e a good sendoff here, especially since the two are in the main event.
They tie-up to start, HIRO’e pushes Mio into the ropes and she gives a clean break. Wristlock by HIRO’e but Mio reverses it as they trade holds until they reach a stalemate. Kick by HIRO’e and an Irish whip, but Mio flips over her and hits an armdrag. Spinning headscissors by Mio and she hits a dropkick before kipping back up to her feet. She goes for another dropkick by HIRO’e moves, stomp by HIRO’e and she throws down Mio by her hair. Snapmare by HIRO’e and she puts Mio in a stretch hold, she then switches it to a Camel Clutch but Mio bites her hand to get out of it. HIRO’e throws Mio into the corner and rams her head into the turnbuckle, but Mio sneaks in a cradle for two. Sliding kick by Mio, she picks up HIRO’e and applies a waistlock but lets go and hits an elbow. HIRO’e punches Mio in the gut in return, Irish whip by HIRO’e but Mio hits a spinning crossbody for two. Mio applies a Fujiwara Armbar into a double armbar but HIRO’e gets into the ropes for the break. Mio twists HIRO’e’s arm in the ropes and yanks on it, dropkick to the arm by Mio and she goes up top to hit a diving crossbody for two.
Mio goes back to HIRO’e’s arm and applies a modified armbar, she lets go after a moment and goes for the JK Bomb, but HIRO’e blocks it and slams Mio into the mat. Running shoulder tackle by HIRO’e in the corner, spear by HIRO’e and she covers Mio for a two count. Mio ends up against the ropes but HIRO’e dropkicks her in the face, she does it two more times before Mio tumbles out of the ring to the floor. HIRO’e goes up top but Mio gets back on the apron and back into the ring before HIRO’e can do a move. Mio goes for a powerbomb while HIRO’e is still up top but HIRO’e blocks it, hitting a Codebreaker. Vertical suplex by HIRO’e and she covers Mio for a two count. HIRO’e goes for a Northern Lights Suplex but Mio blocks it, elbows by Mio but HIRO’e hits a shoulder tackle. Backbreaker by HIRO’e and she puts Mio in a crab hold, but after Mio never submits HIRO’e lets go to figure out something else to do. HIRO’e stomps on Mio and goes to the second turnbuckle, hitting a missile dropkick. HIRO’e picks up Mio and delivers the Northern Lights Suplex, but Mio kicks out at two.
HIRO’e goes for a backdrop suplex but Mio blocks it, Mio goes for a cradle but HIRO’e reverses it into a German suplex hold for a two count. HIRO’e goes to the second turnbuckle but Mio gets up and grabs her, slamming HIRO’e back to the mat. Mio goes off the ropes and applies a flying cradle into a footstomp, she keeps footstomping HIRO’e but HIRO’e kicks out of the cover. Mio goes off the ropes but HIRO’e catches her with a spear, release German by HIRO’e but she is too hurt to immediately capitalize. They trade elbows as they return to their knees, HIRO’e elbows Mio repeatedly in the back of the head but Mio ducks her lariat attempt. Spear by HIRO’e, but Mio gets a shoulder up on the cover. Another spear by HIRO’e for a two count, HIRO’e goes for a flash pin but Mio reverses it and the two go back and forth. HIRO’e goes off the ropes but Mio cradles her again for two, Mio goes off the ropes and nails the JK Bomb for the three count! Mio Momono is the winner!
A pretty good match between two motivated wrestlers. One thing about Mio is even though she has a lot of fans she is still an unpolished singles wrestler. In four years (less experience than that due to injuries) she has never won a singles title and doesn’t really have a lot of impactful offense, making her better suited for tag team wrestling with a partner that provides the “boom” so to speak. That was on display here, as HIRO’e was doing much of the painful looking moves while Mio was sneaking in cradles and other flash pins to try to win. Its not that she *has* to expand her moveset but she probably won’t be seen as a serious singles contender until she does. Anyway, this was probably stretched a little longer than it needed to be but it never slowed down as they kept the action moving. HIRO’e isn’t great but she did everything well here, and seemed to have some extra fire to her. The end stretch was well done and smooth, and while it didn’t feel like the “right” wrestler won its understandable that Mio would win in her home promotion. A fitting ending for a small streaming-only show, pretty entertaining match. Recommended
I have had a subscription to Marvelous’ FRESH LIVE service since it first launched years ago, and even though their events are frequently short I’ve never regretted it as they put on a good show. With four matches total (three Joshi matches) its not a huge time commitment but Chigusa Nagayo has trained a good crew of young wrestlers that put on entertaining matches, which is all one can hope for. Its been fun watching their careers grow and while its still too early to tell where their careers will end up they are very smooth and spunky wrestlers. The main event was better than I though it would be, between HIRO’e being an average wrestler and Mio just being back from injury, but they put on a good match. Overall an easy watch, nothing close to MOTYC-level here but still a solid show.