I am pushing ahead with the Ice Ribbon catch-up in the hope that I can at least get close to being up to date some time this year. We’ve got through the big title shot, so let’s calm things down a bit with one of P’s Parties.
Tsukushi and Crea defeated Banny Oikawa and Haruka Umesaki
With Japan returning to something that at least resembles normality, we’re starting to see more wrestlers pop into P’s. Umesaki has wrestled for Ice Ribbon once before and, I believe, came through Darejo at the same time as Mei Suruga (Mei described her as a rival on a stream). Crea, meanwhile, is less than a year into her career and is a PURE-J wrestler who was making her Ice Ribbon debut.
Between the two of them, Umesaki was the one to catch my eye, slapping away Tsukushi’s hand before the bell. They both showed flashes of awkwardness, their greenness coming through in the ring with unfamiliar opponents, but she was that little bit tighter. Plus, the attitude she showed set her up for a satisfying battle with Skoosh.
Not that Crea should be totally dismissed. She was the least experienced wrestler in the ring, so to judge her harshly is unfair. I actually enjoyed her playing the role of Tsukushi’s heavy, as she worked well with everyone’s favourite goblin brat. Both Crea and Umesaki can come out of the match with their chins up, and I’ll happily watch either one of them again.
Satsuki Totoro defeated Madeline
Madeline was peak Madeline in this match, doing a whole lot of yelling. Seriously, poor Totoro must have come out the other end with her ears ringing from all the screeching.
It made for an entertaining contest, though, with Madeline playing the wee lass to Totoro’s big. Satsuki was happy to go down the simple route, standing on Madeline and splashing her with glee. For a bit, it looked like she was going to breeze through.
However, while she would eventually pick up the win, Madeline made sure she had to work for her, displaying plenty of fire in the second half of the match. It wouldn’t be enough, but, as always with Madeline, it was fun to watch.
Verdict: The Madeline Show
Mari Manji defeated Nao Ishikawa
I tend to get attached to rookies. There are few things in wrestling more exciting than watching a young talent put everything together and figure this mental world out. Just a handful of matches into her career, Ishikawa already feels like she’s getting there.
She’s not perfect, and there are still moments where she looks awkward or stumbles, but the important stuff is coming. Watch the way she went at Manji in this match, unleashing with strikes only to bounce back when hit with a single blow from her more experienced opponent. Or her desperate attempts to escape a submission, clawing and screeching as she tries to get away.
For me, that is the stuff that makes a wrestler. Ishikawa is good enough in-ring that the smoothness will come, that just takes time, but she’s already figured out the intricacies. If she can hone them, learning to fit them to the match and the story, then she’ll be one of those rookies I enjoy watching for a long old time.
Verdict: Rookie Love!
Suzu Suzuki and Thekla defeated Ibuki Hoshi and Rina Shingaki
Rina stood out for me a lot more in this match than she did her previous Ice Ribbon appearance. She’s a strong technical wrestler who looked good attacking Thekla’s arm. At this point, she’s only a couple of years into her career but already looked like someone who had been doing this for a long old time.
As for the other three, we know they’re good. Thekla and Suzu proved a fun team, pulling off dual spider-walks before twisting around to hit Spears (a sequence slightly ruined by the pause to make sure they didn’t run into each other, but I appreciated the effort). My only minor quibble is that I could have used Thekla selling that arm a little bit more, especially since she ended up using it to get the submission win.
Still, that wasn’t a huge deal and it was an enjoyable match with Thekla picking up another victory, something that’s becoming a common occurrence. She obviously enjoyed wrestling Rina as she challenged her to a singles match afterwards, something that went down on the next P’s Party (I’ll get there eventually).
My P’s Party reviews are slightly repetitive as they’re always fun shows that I have a blast watching. The fact they clock in at around 45 minutes is the cherry on the cake, making them a quick snack you can eat at any time. Love it.
Watch Ice Ribbon on niconico: https://ch.nicovideo.jp/iceribbon