The IW19 tournament came to an end, em, almost a month ago actually, but shush, let’s ignore that. Yea, you probably all know what went down by now, but I’m ploughing ahead anyway, desperate to review all these shows. Why? Because it’s what I do, that’s why.
Mochi Miyagi, Yappy and Ibuki Hoshi defeated Tsukushi, Matsuya Uno and Nao Ishikawa
Ibuki Hoshi was out to impress, as she and Tsukushi were left alone to go at it for a couple of moments. She unleashed with some mean looking chops and never looked outclassed.
That was part of what proved to be an enjoyable opener. They were given a lot longer than I expected, which meant everyone got at least a chance to shine. Ultimately, though, Nao insisted on being tagged in, and we know how that ends. Still, the wee rookie fought well before she died, and this was a solid start to the show.
Verdict: A Nice Start
Suzu Suzuki defeated Akane Fujita
Akane bowed to Suzu pre-match, so Suzu screamed at her because, well, Suzu.
There was a shitload of chops and slaps in this match. Fujita slapped Suzu in the stomach early on, and it was the start of both wrestlers taking every opportunity to come in with a stinging blow. They sounded fucking sore.
If that wasn’t enough, it caught me off-guard how hard these two went. This was no friendly run out, but a hard-hitting back and forth with Akane challenging Suzu ahead of her title shot. She was able to match up with Suzuki, outpowering her at times and eating up a lot of her offence.
Suzu did think she’d won at one point, mistakenly believing the over the top rule was still in effect and could argue that with a minute longer she would have got the three. However, she was beaten by time and had to put this one down as a draw. It’s hardly the momentum building form she would have wanted, and her post-match promo certainly gave off a vibe of frustration and, em, more shouting.
Verdict: They Went Hard
Tsukasa Fujimoto and Thekla defeated Risa Sera and Satsuki Totoro
This match has already been launched into infamy, as not long in Tsukasa and Risa Sera entered a portal at the back of the Dojo, kicking off a journey that would see them wrestle all across the world. You can only bow down in front of that kind of genius.
Their first foray would end with Sera leaving Fujimoto somewhere, giving her and Totoro the chance to isolate Thekla for a bit. It was moments like that which made the joke. Yes, Sera and Tsukasa were vanishing off to who knows where, but it wasn’t treated like a big deal. It was just another part of the action, Totoro and Thekla continuing as if it was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. The ridiculous is ten times funnier when it’s not treated as such.
Towards the end, they’d head-off again, leading to a frantic dash from a T-Rex among other things. As I chuckled along, I could only wonder how sad it would be to be someone who believes that comedy wrestling is somehow lesser. Who wants to live in a world where Tsukasa Fujimoto isn’t hitting a Double Knees off the Houses of Parliament?
There was normal wrestling in there too, but let’s not pretend that’s what anyone is going to remember. Although Thekla did pick up a sneaky big victory, dodging a Totoro Senton to bundle her over for the three.
To add to my earlier point, they started the post-match interview not with Tsukasa talking about her recent escape from a dinosaur, but with Thekla reflecting on beating Totoro. That’s how you sell the bit! It also turned out it wasn’t over as Sera turned up and dragged the Ace back into the portal, sending them off on another adventure.
Hamuko Hoshi defeated Maya Yukihi to win the IW19 Title
Hamuko was having fun at the start of this one. She took control early on and was luxuriating in it, playing to the wrestlers at ringside and looking like she was out for a stroll in the park. There was a brief moment where Maya went after her arm, but it was shrugged off as she regained the momentum.
Then, things changed. Maya snapped and started kicking away at her, booting her up the arse repeatedly. It was the moment the match went from a fun time to a fight, the two working stiffer and making sure that every blow counted.
It was a tone-shift that was played to perfection. The longer this went on, the more vicious it got, Maya in particular driving kick after kick into Hamuko’s skull. Suddenly, the underdog wasn’t having so much fun, desperately clinging on and grasping at opportunities.
And, eventually, she’d grab one of them. With time ticking away, that nineteen minute mark getting closer and closer, they began to get desperate, diving into flash pins at every opportunity. It would be Hamuko who capitalised, though, catching Maya as she came charging in and dragging her to the ground where she was unable to kick out.
I really enjoyed that. The match had a cool flow to it with Hamuko coming in taking it a bit too lightly, but being pushed to get serious by Maya. It made that finish all the more satisfying as she proved she was on Yukihi’s level and got the win with less than thirty seconds remaining.
Verdict: Hamuko Steps Up
I was about to write that was a solid show, but looking back over it that’s bollocks. It was great! We got a fun opening tag, a hard-hitting draw, some genius nonsense and a brilliant main event. You can’t have any complaints about that, surely?
Watch Ice Ribbon on niconico: https://ch.nicovideo.jp/iceribbon