No, you’re still reviewing month old Ice Ribbon! I will eventually catch-up. Just give me a year or so.
Maika Ozaki defeated Matsuya Uno
Uno looked like she had Ozaki all figured out in this one. She’d survived her more powerful opponents first onslaught, drawing her in to start twisting on that arm and even feeling confident enough to turn press-ups into an offensive weapon. It was the kind of confidence that teeters into arrogance if left unchecked.
It also makes you look bad when things go wrong, which they did. Having failed to choke her more powerful opponent out, Uno made the mistake of creating distance and when she tried to close it she ran into a Lariat. From there, what looked like a clear road to victory took a wild swing to the left, and she shortly after found herself tapping to a vicious Torture Rack.
It was a story that elevated what was a pretty straightforward opener into something enjoyable. That little wrinkle was enough to push it into the thumbs-up category.
Frank Sisters (Akane Fujita, Hiragi Kurumi and Mochi Miyagi) defeated Suzu Suzuki, Risa Sera and Thekla
Ibuki Hoshi reffed the opener and Tsukushi had pulled on the stripes for this one, so Ice Ribbon were obviously down an official for a night. Now, don’t get me wrong I am 100% behind such a decision because, well, it’s Tsukushi reffing a match. However, you also have to question the person who made it? Skoosh hardly screams reliable official, does she?
Luckily, it ended up being a stroke of genius, as Tsukushi played the role of a walking reaction GIF. I’d highly recommend watching it twice, once for the action and once to watch her. She wasn’t very effective in the role, but she was incredibly entertaining.
A statement that can be extended to the match itself (well, the entertaining part, calling it ineffective would be harsh). These six were having fun, emphasising the silly (my favourite spot was Sera’s failed attempt to spider walk) as they worked through a match that produced all the smiles. Perhaps Tsukushi’s got a future as a ref after all?
Verdict: Ref Skoosh!
Tsukushi defeated Satsuki Totoro and Tsukasa Fujimoto in a three-way
Hard-working Skoosh went straight from reffing to wrestling! That’s ChocoPro levels of devotion to your craft.
The early parts of this match can be summed up by Tsukushi and Fujimoto standing on Totoro’s back, Skoosh waving at the fans while Tsukasa patted her on the head. Not only did it sum up their relationship, but Dropkickers’ realisation that their best bet was to take out their bigger opponent together.
Of course, we know how these things end, and to the surprise of no-one, it was Tsukushi who made the first move. However, they would come back together briefly when acting-ref Risa Sera proved unable to keep up with their exchange of flash pins, annoying them both equally.
Honestly, much like the previous match, this was just a shitload of fun: three great wrestlers, a funny ref and an enjoyable structure. Sometimes you look at a match and know you’re in for a good time; this delivered on that promise.
Verdict: The Smiles Keep Coming
Maya Yukihi and Ibuki Hoshi defeated Hamuko Hoshi and Yappy
The Hoshis were so busy bickering beforehand that Yappy decided to take things into her own hands, charging across the ring to get us started.
That bickering has allowed Ibuki the chance to do some great work recently. Her displeasure with her Mum is allowing her to go full bratty-teen, using every opportunity to point and shout at mother dearest, who generally seems to be a bit bemused about the whole thing.
Of course, while Ibuki was building to a shot at Hamuko, Hamuko had her eyes on Maya, adding an extra layer to the aggro. She initially struggled against the big champs kicks, begging for a time out, but she eventually got a bit of joy by falling back onto the age-old tactic of running into her.
Those interlocking stories did mean poor Yappy’s fate was sealed from the start, but she went down fighting, attempting to decapitate Ibuki in the closing seconds. Sadly, it wasn’t to be, Ibuki taking a couple shots at rolling through into a pin and proving successful on go number two as she picked up another sizeable win.
That was an alright match, but I think it struggled to follow the joy of the pair that came before. Still, it definitely had its moments, and Ibuki’s quest to beat up Mum is a lot of fun.
Verdict: Punch Your Mum (Don’t)
We were treated to the joys of a P’s Party vs Ice Ribbon tug of war contest after the main event. It was utter chaos, but Ice Ribbon picked up what can only be described as a decisive victory. P’s revellers will have to go back to the drawing board for that one.
I tell you what, top to bottom, that might be one of my favourite Ice Ribbon shows so far. While there perhaps wasn’t a blow away match, everything was a shitload of fun with the two middle efforts proving particularly enjoyable. I had briefly considered skipping a bunch of shows in an attempt to catch-up (something I still might do), but I’m glad I chose to watch this one.
Watch Ice Ribbon on niconico: https://ch.nicovideo.jp/iceribbon
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