SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

I don’t normally review Ice Ribbon as I’m still somewhat new to watching it consistently but with this show being a potential Show of the Year on paper I just couldn’t resist.  This was a clipped version from Samurai TV so there may be parts of matches cut that improve or worsen a match.

Kyuri, Maika Ozaki, Saori Anou & Tae Honma Def. Banny Oikawa, Kaori Yoneyama, Rina Shingaki & Satuki Totoro

If more wrestling were like this then I would be a very happy fan.  I got 4 minutes of these eight people going balls to the wall to get the win.  Can’t complain here it was fun **1/2

Suzu Suzuki Def. Riko Kawabata

While I was initially disappointed that Asahi had to be replaced I quickly got into this match as Kawabata was pretty impressive, Suzu was great as always this was just my first time seeing Riko.  Anyone that’s seen a Joshi rookie match knows what type of match we got here and this was a higher-end match for that genre.  Kawabata had some impressive and clean suplexes while Suzu was her usual intense self and really laid in her forearms.  Good intense match here from the two rookies ***

Triangle Ribbon Championship
Matsuya Uno & Jiro Kuroshiro Def. Hideki Suzuki & Ram Kaicho, Jun Kasai & Miyako Matsumoto, Matsuya Pinned Miyako And Wins The Title

Joshi isn’t just ferocious women trying desperately to beat the hell out of each other it is also home to some of the most absurdly brilliant wrestling in the world.  If you don’t think Hideki Suzuki (yes, THAT Hideki Suzuki) being hit with a rainmaker from a tiny woman while having an even tinier woman on his shoulders is the best thing ever then I don’t know what to tell you.  The clipped version started with a balcony dive and only got more crazy from there this was so fun ***1/2

Tsukushi & Makoto Def. Kaho Kobayashi & Marcela

With over half of the match being cut this one felt like a Marcela/Tsukushi singles match and I am totally ok with that.  From what I got to see it was 6 minutes of good action but left me wondering just how good the full thing must have been.  **3/4

Hiragi Kurumu, Rina Yamashita & Himeka Arita Def. Aja Kong, Yoshiko & Akane Fujita

In a way, I was disappointed in this match because my expectations were set for an all-out war of some of the hardest hitters in Joshi.  What we got was a bit of a plunder filled match that grew on me as the spots escalated in violence.  Akane Fujita, in particular, took some insane bumps.  Kurumi getting the win makes sense as she was the only full-time Ice Ribbon member on her team. ***

Tsukasa Fujimoto Def. Sareee

This was fantastic right from the word go.  The story here is simple Tsukasa Fujimoto Ace of Ice Ribbon Tokyo Sports Joshi Grand Prix winner 2018 taking on Sareee the new star on the block, likely winner of the 2019 Joshi grand prix award, a double world champion and Ace of Diana.  Both out to prove that they are the best of the best.  The story got the match it deserved too as they used every move in their arsenals with Sareee seemingly intent on dropping Fujimoto on her head as much as possible.  From the intense strikes and no selling of stiff kicks all the way to Sareee refusing to die until finally, Fujimoto pulled out the Ocean Cyclone Suplex this was an epic match that more than lived up to its hype.   I also really liked the added touch of Sareee, unhappy with her loss, going after Tsuka post-match because it only makes sense she would be angry after such a big loss. ****1/2

International Ribbon Tag Team Titles
Burning RAW (Giulia & Tequille Saya) Def. Hamuko Hoshi & Ibuki Hoshi

This wasn’t a bad match at all but compared to the last match this just felt like it dragged.  Both went 19 minutes but that was much more noticeable here.  Both teams are good though so the work was ok it just didn’t do much for me ***

ICExInfinity Title
Maya Yukihi Def. Risa Sera

I was all ready to call this a bad match due to the unbelievably slow pace.  Then Maya hit a beautiful knee to the face of Sera and the match escalated into these two trading death moves and I was quite happy with things.  That doesn’t change the fact that half of this match was slow and boring but it saved it from being a legitimately bad match.  Yukihi wins to regain the vacant title which she never lost. ***1/4

Final Thoughts

Maybe not a show of the year as there’s some very stiff competition this year, still a very good show.  The undercard breezed by and was a fun watch and then Tsuka/Sareee delivered big.  While I didn’t love the top two matches they also weren’t bad but I think the beauty of this show is in the fun undercard and the Sareeee/Tsukasa match.