One day I will catch-up on Ice Ribbon shows. Today is not that day, but it is a day in which I creep a little closer, so that’s something.
Ibuki Hoshi defeated Banny Oikawa
We kicked things off with an enjoyably scrappy encounter between two people who can still claim rookie status. They didn’t go for anything complex, and you aren’t going to come out the other end desperate to share it with the world, but there was a nice streak of fire running through it as they exchanged blows. Plus, Hoshi got the win with the same pinning technique she used to beat Yappy recently and it was noticeably smoother, so that was a good sign.
Verdict: Nice Start
Risa Sera defeated Nao Ishikawa
Sera has a fun moveset for tormenting rookies as she spun Nao around with a Giant Swing. While she uses that in normal matches, there’s a degree of disrespect to it that makes it perfect for one like this.
Not that wee Nao is worthy of disrespect, as she continues to impress. She’s got a great energy to her, getting across that rookie desperation. There are still the occasional awkward moments in her matches, she seemed very unsure going into what I think was supposed to be a strike exchange, but they’re always forgivable. If this is the start point from which she’s going to improve, she’ll be just fine.
Verdict: Round And Round
Dropkickers (Tsukasa Fujimoto and Tsukushi) defeated Hamuko Hoshi and Thekla
Tsukushi gagging while Hamuko and Thekla took it in turns to do sexy poses in front of her was very harsh, but also very funny. I’ve mentioned the fun Fujimoto seems to be having recently and her partner joined her in that joy here. It was nice to see the horror of being voted out of the tournament didn’t last long.
On the whole, this was the kind of match Ice Ribbon have been packing these shows with. Fast-paced, a lot of fun and only damaged by the lack of real stakes. If you’re looking for some enjoyable wrestling to put on in the background, you could do a lot worse.
Talking of a lack of stakes, my rather basic Japanese suggested that Hoshi fancied a go at those tag titles. I’m pretty sure they set-up Lovely Butchers as challengers and a peek at some later cards on Cagematch seems to confirm it.
Maya Yukihi defeated Satsuki Totoro and Suzu Suzuki in the IW19 Semi-Final
There was a moment in this match where Suzu attempted to use a skipping rope to tie Maya and Totoro together. It, em, didn’t work, and ended with the two of them turning around and giving her a beating. I think those few seconds sum up my taste in wrestling single-handedly.
Outside of that, this match saw Yukihi playing the smart game. Early on, Suzu and Totoro combined, attempting to take her out, so she realised it was smarter to leave them to fight each other. At one point, she slipped into the ring, noticed them hitting it out and slipped straight back out again, choosing to have a rest on the apron instead.
Maya wasn’t the only one to wrestle smart, as Totoro realised that while Suzu hadn’t used that skipping rope to perfection, she could. It’s much easier to tie one person to a railing than it is to tie two people together, and it served as a pretty effective way to remove Suzu from the action.
Despite that galaxy brain wrestling, it was the champ whose brains came through as she slipped off Totoro’s shoulders to lock her in a chock. Satsuki would make it to the ropes, but the damage was done, a Swanton followed, and we’ve got our final!
Verdict: All The Brains
Maya conducted her post-match interview while a screeching Suzu was still trying to escape from her bonds. That’s my match of the year, right there.
Ice Ribbon’s lockdown shows continue to be incredibly easy to watch. If you’re in a rush, you only really need to tune into the main event, but the whole thing barely creeps over the hour mark (and that includes all the interviews), so you might as well enjoy it all.
Watch Ice Ribbon on niconico: https://ch.nicovideo.jp/iceribbon