The Future of Joshi series is an effort to highlight the best, young talent in Joshi pro wrestling for fans to keep an eye on in 2023 and beyond. Led by Scott Edwards, a number of Joshi podcasters, writers, and fans took part in hyping up the best young talent from the scene as 15 wrestlers will be highlighted as well as honorable mentions. The next wrestler up in the series is Ibuki Hoshi of Ice Ribbon.
The future of Ice Ribbon remains awfully bright despite a shaky end to 2021 and an up-and-down start to 2022. It has been pretty well documented as to what the promotion has gone through, so rather than looking back, we continue to look at the future. Saori Anou has been the constant, consistent ICExInfinity Champion that the promotion needed during this time but what should excite everyone all the more is the future stars who have taken big steps over the past few years. We’ve already highlighted Asahi in this series, so it’s only fitting we follow up by looking at the talent Ibuki Hoshi and everything she has already proven to be.
One-half of the reigning International Ribbon Tag Team Champions, Ibuki has shown that her bright future has already become the present. The 19-year-old has chopped her way into the hearts of many Ice Ribbon fans as she’s set to have quite the busy year, making it all the more important to follow her in her journey.
There are several roads to follow for Ibuki Hoshi is what should lead Ice Ribbon all year long. From her rivalry-turned-tag team with Hikaru Shida that has absolutely remained a rivalry to the chase to becoming ICExInfinity Champion, it’s difficult to be anything other than excited for what she has in store. She doesn’t just have the making to be a champion, but the ace and lead of this company for years and years to come.
If you’re looking for someone on this list who gives you the must-watch in-ring work, Hoshi also fits the bill there. She’s not only a massive talent because of her chest-shattering chops, but because of how impressive her matches are at this age. 2022 saw her match with Hikaru Shida make many fans outside of the Ice Ribbon bubble take notice, but it should have been the Yokohama match where she teamed with Tsukasa Fujimoto against Arisa Nakajima and Shida that caught the eye of fans. Not only is this specific match the one I find to be the best of Ice Ribbon from 2022, but it very well might be her best.
Her challenges of the ICExInfinity Championship over the last two years against Fujimoto and Tsukushi Haruka have shown that while she’s not on the world title level just yet, a challenge in 2023 against whomever the champion may be at the time tells us that it may finally be her time.
— 星いぶき (@hoshi_ibuki) November 6, 2022
Ice Ribbon’s prodigy, trained by her mother Hamuko Hoshi, made her debut on June 11, 2017. She has one of the hardest knife-edge chops in wrestling today. She is a huge piece of Ice Ribbon’s future. She is currently a two-time International Ribbon Tag Team Champion. She won the title with her mother Hamuko Hoshi at RibbonMania 202. After having a match-of-the-year contender wrestling against AEW superstar and Ice Ribbon original, Hikaru Shida, at the July Korakuen Hall PPV show, Ibuki and Shida challenged Hamuko and Makoto for the tag titles at the September Korakuen Hall PPV show. and then won the titles. Her rivalry with Hikaru Shida is my favorite rivalry in pro wrestling today, and a rivalry that I highly recommend keeping an eye out for in 2023. A great all-around performer that has become quite the striker as of late. She has added lots of kicks to her arsenal. Roundhouse kicks, enzuigiri, thrust kicks, buzzsaw kicks, etc. She has become such a joy to see perform. Like Asahi and Kaho Matsushita, she will be a future ace and ICExInfinity Champion one day. — Abid (@abid5706)
As Abid writes, the relationship she has with Hikaru Shida is what people should be keeping an eye out for. It was after their first defense at RibbonMania on Dec. 31 that Shida, rather than share words of encouragement with her tag team partner, seemingly put doubt on her partner that makes it obvious their rivalry is far from done despite being tag team champions. While there is certainly a problem as to when Shida will be back in Ice Ribbon due to how busy she is with her obligations to AEW, but once she’s back, the next chapter of their story will be well worth watching.
Ibuki Hoshi is an undeniable talent. She was born for this with her mother, long-time Ice Ribbon star Hamuko Hoshi, being the reason why. Becoming invested in Ibuki Hoshi and where her career will take her would not only be a smart decision but an entertaining one at that. Seeing how good she is already at 19, imagining where she’s be even at year’s end is all the more exciting. She’s an immense talent and one who does not back down from any fight.
2023 feels like the year she puts it all together to win Ice Ribbon’s top prize and lead the promotion forward. There’s no better time than now to start following what will be a special career for Ibuki Hoshi.
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