Ramblings About’s Matches of the Month for January 2023

A painful start to the year. Credit: TJPW

Maybe it’s just me, but January always feels like a fresh start for my wrestling viewing. My backlog from the previous year goes out of the window, under the assumption that if I haven’t watched it yet, I never will, and it’s a chance to jump back into promotions that I might have fallen away with it. When you throw in Ittenyon and all the excitement around that, it’s usually a good month, something this list makes clear.

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Ice Ribbon Ribbonmania (31/12/22) Review

Credit: Ice Ribbon

I may have written up all my end-of-year lists and put a cap on 2022, but the year isn’t over until we talk about Ribbonmania, Ice Ribbon’s annual year-closing show. It might have only been a six-match card, but with two title matches and Yuuki Mashiro’s goodbye (which doubles as Suzu Suzuki’s return), there were plenty of things to get us talking.

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Ramblings About’s Matches of the Month for December 2022

Wait, that’s not your gimmick. Credit: TJPW

That’s a wrap! My final round-up of the month for 2022 is a bit shorter than the others, thanks to Christmas, end-of-year stuff and probably a few too many beers. Still, there were a few matches that I wanted to shout out, so there is plenty to get your teeth into anyway. Plus, if you do want more, I’ve written about my wrestlers of the year, the best of the rest matches and my match of the year, so give those a read after you’re done with this.

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Ramblings About’s 2022 Match of the Year: Miu Watanabe vs Yuka Sakazaki

Two stories. Credit: TJPW

Coming into 2022’s Princess Cup Final, it felt like the focus was entirely on Miu Watanabe. With good reason, too. Miu going deep in the tournament, beating Shoko Nakajima and Miyu Yamashita on the way, felt like the stepping up of Tokyo Joshi’s next generation. Yes, they’ve made it to main events and battled for titles before, but no one had ever done it by going through two of the heads on TJPW’s Mount Rushmore. Miu was brute forcing her way to the top, breaking down walls for those who followed, and people were desperate for her to go the distance.

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Ramblings About’s Matches of the Year 2022: The Best Of The Rest

Somehow, we’ve made it through another year, and while I think it’s safe to say all is not well in the world, the wrestling has at least been very good. 2022 was a year of change in the world of joshi, a lot of which was quite anxiety-inducing for someone who takes comfort from this nonsense, but I think we’ve come out the other end of it all with the scene in strong and (more importantly) interesting health. There have also been a lot of incredible matches, and this is my list of the ones that aren’t quite my match of the year but which, on a different day, may well be so. Enjoy!

Quick note: I sorta cheated this year and snuck an extra match in by writing about it elsewhere. The brilliant and lovely Flupke (FlupkeDiFlupke on Twitter) invited me to write about the wonderful Ice Ribbon gauntlet of gauntlets as part of his newsletter. You can find my thoughts (alongside his much better ones) on that here. Then, once you’ve read that, you should also read the rest of his end-of-year stuff, which is equally great.

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Ramblings About’s Wrestler of the Year 2022: Mei Suruga & Pom Harajuku

Having gone back and forth for weeks over who my wrestler of the year was, I managed to whittle it down to two candidates and began the process of figuring out who would be number one. Then, having spent far too long thinking about it, I realised that this award is my own creation, which means I can do whatever I want. Therefore, for the first time ever, Ramblings About Wrestling have two wrestlers of the year, and what a pair they are. The best in the world in 2022, as decided by me, were Mei Suruga and Pom Harajuku.

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Marvelous (15/12/22) Review

Credit: Marvelous

For Marvelous’s penultimate show of the year, they gave Queen Aminata a shot at the big one as she went up against the new AAAW champion Chikayo Nagashima. Even in the relatively modest confines of Shinkiba, that’s a decent opportunity to impress and a chance for her to come away from this Japan trip with a standout performance under her belt. Let’s see how she did.

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