December 26, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan
This is Neko Nitta’s Produced show, and her last dojo show before her retirement. I had the opportunity to see this live during my trip to Japan, and my initial impressions of the show can be read here.
We start with an introduction consisting of Akane reading from prewritten notes and Neko emphasizing as needed with her standard “nyahs.” After introducing the card and other things I didn’t understand, the members of the first two matches are called out for some brief comments. The atmosphere here is light and fun, which makes it more intense when Pantera Rosa interrupts and starts waving her whip around.
She grabs Maya by the hair and uses her as a translator to cut a promo. Her first comments upset everyone, but she pushes away through their approach to a different corner and continues for a sentence or two, likely about the main event, then whips Neko a couple times and leaves when the other get in between them.
In the tense aftermath of Rosa’s appearance Neko shocks everyone by dropping the nyahs and responding directly to Pantera’s threats, to supportive applause from the fans. She leaves with Akane and Risa tentatively offers a “Nyah!” to break the tension and then finishes the pre-show announcements.
1) Risa Sera vs Maya Yukihi vs Yuuka ***1/2
Interesting dynamic to this triple threat, as Risa and Maya team regularly as Azure Revolution. Sure enough the bell hits and they both rush Yuuka, whipping her to the far corner and hitting their running double elbow. They try to continue in the same vein but Yuuka uses nice speed and evasions to get them criss-crossing in parallel directions then hits each with a biel. She gets a little carried away though and biels the ref as well, then leads the other three in some sort of cheer. I was lost but it was amusing regardless.
Yuuka continues to play to the crowd and Risa simply kicks her in the midsection to reestablish control. Short lived however, as Yuka reverses a double whip into a shotgun dropkick that catches both members of AR. Risa and Maya up against the ropes on opposite side and Yuuka runs back and forth between them delivering forearms to their chests, then nails a double crossbody as they stumble back to the center of the ring.
Yuuka fires the crowd up for a suplex attempt on both opponents, but it unsurprisingly doesn’t work, so she goes back to the forearms. After nailing Maya however, Risa puts up her arms to stop Yuuka, and cuts a mini-promo that has the crowd laughing and results in Yuuka hiding behind Maya for a second, then Maya and Yuuka deciding to attack Risa together. That must have been some insult and/or bragging by Risa.
Double whip attempt, but Risa counters and sends her opponents to opposite corners, then hit Maya with the running elbow. She catches Yuuka coming, and ties her up in the tree of woe in the same corner Maya’s now sitting in. Running double knees to the upside down Yuuka, absorbed as well by Maya sitting behind her.
Yuuka gets to her feet and lays in the forearms to Risa, ending with one that knocks her back into Maya, who’s still trying to recover in the corner. Risa returns the favor exactly, including knocking Yuuka into Maya. Yuuka’s turn again, and poor Maya is just a crash pad at this point. They start a one for one forearm exchange, but Maya’s recovered enough to take exception. Kick to Yuuka, forearm for Risa, then she grabs the both by the hair and drags them to the corner for a double blockbuster. Leg lariat/legdrop on both simultaneously for 2. Maya calls for a double chokeslam, but she can’t lift them. She pairs off with Yuuka, but when Yuuka’s whipped into the corner she runs up the turnbuckles and springs off into a beautiful crossbody on Risa for 2. Maya just sort of watches the cover (seemingly not being able to decide if she should walk around the ref), which is odd since it’s first fall wins.
Yuuka with some energetic forearms on Maya and then levels her with a running version for 2. Up top for a crossbody, but Maya ducks and Yuuka crashes. Maya up for a swanton, but Yuuka moves and now she crashes. In the adjacent corner to all this Risa quietly climbs herself and goes for diving double knees, but Maya rolls away to complete the circle of crashes. Risa rolls around trying to recover while staying off her hurt knees/shins to laughter. Everyone up to their knees and it’s a triangle of forearms for a minute, then AR reforms for a double chokeslam attempt on Yuuka. She escapes however and hits a crazy double version of her float over bridging backslide for 2. Yuuka continues with a double rollup attempt, but Risa gets free and as Yuuka floats over into the cover on Yuuka Risa hits her with double knees from the middle rope. Great spot.
Maya tries to take advantage with a cover but Risa isn’t having it, and picks her partner up for a DVD onto Yuuka. Yuuka moves, but Risa realizes that doesn’t matter much and covers Maya for 2. Rollup on Risa by Yuuka which Maya breaks with a kick right to Yuuka’s mouth. Yuuka rolls out of the ring and Maya tries an octopus hold, but Risa counters into a nice stretch muffler variation for the win as Maya screams in pain. Risa looks both happy and a touch remorseful as she celebrates her victory. Live they played this up even more, as both Yuuka and Maya walked out looking annoyed while Risa looked concerned.
I think this played a little better on dvd than live for some reason, as it’s even better than I recalled. A lot of clever uses of the format and impressive multi-person spots. Yuuka in particular has great energy in the ring and is phenomenal for her experience level.
2) 235 vs Kyuri vs Akane Fujita **1/2
More tentative start to this one, as the competitors circle one another. 235 proposed a triple test of strength, then breaks the connection with Akane once it’s locked in and they double team Kyuuri. Double clothesline is followed by a whip to the corner and a running forearm by 235. But when she whips Kyuuri out the latter ducks past Akane, then shoves Akane into a shoulder block on 235. Ever agreeable, Akane now follows Kyuuri’s instructions to team up on 235. 235 tries to counter a double whip with a crossbody, but akane catches her, slams her, then catches Kyuuri and slams her onto 235.
Akane follows with an Earthquake splash sort of on top of them both (Kyuuri is half off 235 so her shoulders will be down and Akane lands on her knees) and stays there for a cover for 2. Kyuuri out and Akane with a slam and elbow drop for 2. Odd spot as Akane hits a shoulder block which 235 sells by dropping to her knees. Wonder if she was trying to hold her ground and legitimately got caught wrong and stunned for a second. She reverses a whip and locks in a sleeper on Akane, but Kyuuri sneaks in and breaks it with a kick to 235’s back, then applies an armbar as Akane rolls out of the ring.
235 reaches the ropes to break, then reverses a suplex attempt and goes into to her multiple running crossbody sequence. She hits three and covers for 2. Kyuuri reverses a whip into the corner, calls Akane back in, then whips her at 235, but 235 has jumped up onto the turnbuckles and catches Akane with a double boot followed by a tornado DDT. Kyuuri tries a top rope crossbody, but eats canvas as 235 ducks. 235 goes up herself and hits a crossbody on both of her opponents for 2.
Kyuuri now rolls out and 235 attempts a suplex, but Akane’s too big/strong. However Akane’s reversal into her own suplex is reversed again into a small package by 235 for 2. 235 hits the ropes and runs at Akane but is leveled by a shoulder block. Sitout slam and a cover but Kyuuri saves 235 and crucifixes Akane for 2. Fujiwara attempt but Akane’s too close to the ropes.
Akane tries a tilt-a-whirl as Kyuuri runs at her but loses her balance and tumbles over still holding Kyuuri. She gets back up and hits a scoop slam, but as she goes for the cover Kyuuri cradles her for an odd 2, where it didn’t look like Akane actually got her shoulder up. Another inside cradle and again the ref stops counting 2 without Akane escaping or raising a shoulder. A second after that she makes Kyuuri break the cradle and I have no Earthly idea what is going on. Fisherman’s Suplex by Kyuuri (during which Akane’s shoulder visibly DOES come off the canvas) for 3. The ref can be seen checking in on Akane for a moment before the fade out.
Well, something clearly went wrong at the end and things fell apart a bit, but otherwise this is better than it came across live. No idea if it was edited and I seem to remember more issues with the match outside of the finish, but what’s presented here isn’t bad overall. These three do have better chemistry as a team than as opponent though. Kyuuri seems to be the most polished of the three.
3) Cats vs Dogs Captain’s Fall Elimination Match: Akane Fujita, Leon, Maruko Nagasaki and Neko vs HAYATE, Rabbit Miyu, Mochi Miyagi and Miyako Matsumoto ***
As far as I could tell it was elimination style, except that the match would end immediately if a captain was eliminated. Eliminations could be by pinfall/submission or over the top to the floor. Captains were chosen by rock, paper, scissors. The Dogs are dismayed and the Cats ecstatic as Miyako becomes the Dogs’ Captain. Miyako herself of course is thrilled. The Cats’ Captain turns out to be their smallest and least experience member, Maruko, leading to reversed reactions. Neko encourages Maruko however while the Dogs (and the crowd) mock/taunt Miyako.
Ever the sportswoman, Miyako kicks Neko’s hand as everyone else shakes so the Cats attack her as a group while her own team retreats to the apron. Miyako miraculously forearms them all away from her, but misses her swing at Neko and is rolled up for what’s nearly the end of the match as her team frantically storms in to break the count. They quickly drag her over to their corner and throw her out of the ring.
HAYATE comes in for the Dogs and Neko with a huge show of confidence as she tags in the Cats’ Captain Maruko. HAYATE mostly in control during a sequence of leg sweeps, etc but Maruko keeps him on guard with quick recoveries and a couple of arm drags mixed in. He ties her up with a leg applied hammerlock and grabs her other arm and legs, then turns her over for 2 as the rest of his team holds of the Cats.
Back to center, HAYATE locks up Maruko’s arm, but she slips a leg over his head and backflips to counter and goes right into an armdrag. Running dropkick by Maruko and she tags Neko. Big cheers for that sequence from Maruko. Back of forth into the ropes, then Neko lands a springboard armdrag and follows with another out of a double knuckle lock. HAYATE to the outside and Mochi comes in with a double axhandle from behind and hits her triple Earthquake splash for 2. Face rake by Neko but Mochi catches her off the ropes with a double clap and rolls Neko up for a close 2.
Neko goes to her corner and stuffs something into her tights. The next time Mochi runs at her she reveals it to be a bag of treats. Mochi excitedly begs for one like a dog, then “sits” and “shakes” at Neko’s command. Neko gives her the bag and Mochi digs in, only to be hit with a lungblower by Neko and pinned.
Neko’s music mistakenly starts, but it was an elimination, not the end of the match. Rabbit missile dropkicks Neko and Leon comes running in to counter her rival. Waistlock by Rabbit, which Leon tries to counter with elbows but Rabbit ducks them all. Rabbit gets the better of Leon for a while, including a nice stunner after another waistlock/ducking Leon’s counter elbows sequence. Leon finally catches her coming off the ropes and despoits her in the corner, where Neko launches off Leon’s back into a dropkick on Rabbit.
Neko picks up Rabbit as Leon goes up, but Rabbit fights off Neko and knocks Leon to the apron from the turnbuckles. Rabbit rushes and Leon pulls down the ropes, resulting in them facing off on the apron near the Dog corner. Rabbit gets a waistlock and Miyako tries to forearm Leon, but Leon ducks and Miyako knocks Rabbit off the apron and eliminates her. Cats with a 4 on 2 advantage.
Miyako in and Akane hits her with a double chop for 2, then picks her up for a slam. Miyako wriggles free though and pins Akane with a modified victory roll. Miyako is very proud of herself and celebrates excessively, so Neko comes in and starts whipping Miyako with her tail. Springboard back elbow gets 2, with HAYATE breaking up the pin with an elbow drop. Leon and Neko try to double team HAYATE, but he ducks a double clothesline and pushes Leon into Neko. Leon recovers quick however and catches HAYATE off the ropes with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Lungblower from Neko, then Leon alley-oops her into a splash. Miyako saves and whips Neko around the ring in a circle by her tail, knocking Neko into Leon, HAYATE, and the ref along the way.
Eventually Miyako seems to pull the tail right off, but it was in fact only a cover and Neko reveals a new tail that is actually a cat o’ nine tails. Cute. Neko whips eveything that moves, including Miyako, HAYATE, the ref, and her own partners. She celebrates on the turnbuckles and HAYATE nearly knocks her out from behind, but she lands on the apron and Leon attacks HAYATE. He reverses a corner whip and charges, only to be backdropped to the apron, where he and Neko (who both went over the top to get there) trade blows.
Miyako comes in and hits the far ropes intending to knock Neko of the apron for the elimination, but Neko ducks and Miyako eliminates another of her owns teammates by knocking HAYATE to the floor. Unfortunately for Maruko and Leon, Neko is a little too excited and nails the eliminated HAYATE with an Asai Moonsault to the floor without going back in the ring first, eliminating herself. Neko’s dramatic reaction upon realizing what she’s done is a nice touch.
Down to Maruko and Leon vs Miyako. Miyako take a running dropkick by Maruko and a running spear by Leon in the corner, but reverses a whip into a crossbody on both of them for 2. Shining Wizard on Maruko nearly ends it, but Leon saves. Miyako dropkicks Leon’s knee then ties her up in a pinning predicament, but Maruko saves. No one’s leaving the ring so Miyako’s truly going two on one here. Maruko holds her for Leon, but Miyako moves, Maruko eats the spear, and Miyako rolls up Leon for a nearfall everyone bought as an elimination. Big ovation for Leon’s escape there.
Miyako and Leon trade rollups fighting for an advantage and Leon eventually gets Miyako down with a deep hook of the leg and gets the win. Nice little touch from Maruko, who was down with her back turned, where when she heard the count start she spun around and crawled toward the pin in case it was her partner in trouble. Miyako pouts in disappointment afterwards as Neko’s team celebrates. Unsurprisingly on Neko’s show, Cats beat Dogs. 😉
Fun for what it was. No real flow to the match, but the comedic overtones worked and there was decent wrestling mixed in. Miyako causing half her team’s eliminations was a great payoff to their horror at learning she was the captain.
4) Aoi Kizuki and Tsukasa Fujimoto vs Tsukushi and Hamuko Hoshi ****
ICE Cross Infinity Champion Aoi Kizuki is once again across the ring from her number one contender, Hamuko Hoshi. What’s interesting is Aoi’s partner on Vol. 698 is now Hoshi’s partner here. Tsukka and Aoi are two of my personal favorites, so it was awesome to see them team up.
The participants in Ribbonmania’s impending title match start us off, and aggressively fight over a collar and elbow tie-up until Hoshi powers into a side headlock. Aoi pushes her into the ropes and then shoot her off to break, but holds onto Hoshi and applies a side headlock of her own. Hoshi tries the same escape but Aoi holds on to the headlock and drives Hoshi down to the mat. Back to standing and Aoi cranks the hold repeatedly.
Show of strength as Hoshi lifts Aoi into the air, but Aoi gets back down to her feet and was supposed to armdrag Hoshi, but the latter didn’t roll with Aoi and Aoi had to pull her into a roll to complete the move after Aoi had already hit the mat. Aoi takes control with boots and double axhandles to Hoshi’s back, then hits a running forearm. Hoshi stands her ground and responds with a forearm of her own, then side headlocks Aoi over. Aoi counters out of it and both roll away from the other, and I guess it’s time for Hoshi’s seductive posing routine. Aoi awesomely responds to the come hither finger with a huge kick to the head of the kneeling Hoshi, then hair-mares her around the ring. Stomps to the head in the corner and Aoi is just mauling her future challenger at the moment. Back to her corner and we get the first tag of the match to bring in Tsukka.
Tsukka with a big slam to Hoshi, then she catches Tsukushi coming in and slams her on Hoshi. This is what Aoi usually does with her opponents to set up her signature pose where she places a foot on the pile of opponents and joins her hands over her head. As Aoi came in the audience no doubt expected them to pose together, until Tsukka just kept going and slammed AOI on top of the pile. Tsukka then made a gesture as if to say “exactly what I wanted” and goes to complete Aoi’s usual routine, but Aoi trips her when she places her foot on Aoi, then Aoi slams Tsukka on top and shows her how it’s done while Tsukka freaks out “trying” to get up. Highly amusing. Aoi and Tsukka good-naturedly shove at each other a little more then Aoi exits, leaving Tsukka with Hoshi.
Tsukka with a hard forearm to back Hoshi up and a hard double slap to follow. Some more of each after a comment from Hoshi and Tsukka whips Hoshi to the far rope only to be leveled by shoulder block when Hoshi comes back off. Hoshi belly strikes her into the corner and climbs to the second for her signature “bend over corner opponent and rub belly into face” spot. Tsukka comes out of it retching, which the takes the spot even further out of my personally appreciation zone. Tsukushi comes in and takes Hoshi’s place over Tsukka to copy the move herself as Hoshi holds off Aoi. Funny moment when Tsukushi hesitates for a second in fear when she sees the expression on Tsukka’s face, but then does it anyway. As Tsukushi really has no belly, it’s not very effective and Tsukka no sells the move when Tsukushi gets down and smacks her stomach.
Hoshi grabs Tsukka and sends her headfirst into Hoshi’s corner and a tag brings Tsukushi in legally for the first time. Tsukushi ties Tsukka up in the ropes and pulls back on her nose for embarrassment (posing her smiling face next to Tsukka for contrast), then bounces of the far rope for a running dropkick to Tsukka’s back. Tsukka bridges out of a cover and nails a dropkick, then ties Tsukushi up in the ropes for a taste of her own medicine, which the crowd actually boos. I guess picking on Tsukushi is off limits.
Tsukka finishes the spot with the running dropkick to Tsukushi’s back and tags in Aoi. Scoop slam by Aoi and a pair of running sentons followed by a running twist splash gets two. Tsukushi into the corner for an extended sequence of machine gun chops, but after she’s done Tsukushi reverses position for her own version (using both hands). Aoi no sells them and pushes out a bit while doing a double bicep pose to show strength then lands a few more strikes before tagging Tsukka.
Tsukushi gets the better of Tsukka with her rollup into a double stomp then tags Hoshi. Hoshi runs over for a shot at Aoi on the apron as Aoi is taking a drink of water, so Aoi squirts at her with the bottle. Scoop slam to Tsukka and Hoshi calls Tsukushi in for her running on an opponent’s back spot, and joins Tsukushi much to Tsukka’s pain and dismay. Cover when they’re done gets 2.
Tsukka reverses a whip into the corner and signals for Hoshi’s own buttblocks. She hits them but Hoshi’s unfazed and nails a dropkick to Tsukka’s back. She traps Tsukka in the opposite corner and kind of does knees to Tsukka’s head, then an ace crusher out of the corner for 2. Hoshi with her Boston Crab variation into a half crab. Tsukka makes the ropes to break, then fights off Hoshi’s shoulders, hits the ropes and lands her rollup into a hard kick to the chest sequence. Tsukka hits the ropes but Hoshi counters with her belly to put Tsukka on her knees and in position for Hoshi to hit her normal belly to the face strike.
Tag to Tsukushi and she also signals for the belly to the face, but Tsukka stops her with a dropkick. Now it’s Tsukka’s turn to try to steal the move but Tsukushi instead steals Tsukka counter and hits her with a dropkick. Crowd very into that whole sequence.
Tsukka up and firearms Tsukushi in annoyance. Tsukushi lands one of her own, which doesn’t impress Tsukka, so Tsukka hits another and Tsukushi crumples to the mat and sells it like death for a few seconds. She slaps the mat to fire herself up and hits another on Tsukka, who takes a step back this time but immediately responds and sends Tsukushi back into the ropes. Tsukushi with a flurry that puts Tsukka to a knee, and when Tsukka tries to respond Tsukushi ducks this time and hits another forearm herself. Tsukka showing effects so she puts an end to the exchange with a spinning kick to Tsukushi’s chest.
Tsukka pics up Tsukushi and says “I am Ayako Hamada” (that much Japanese I understand 😉 ) and goes for a powerbomb, but Tsukushi fights out of it and hits a TORNADO KILLSWITCH (!!!) and follows with her vicious dropkick with Tsukka laying against the bottom rope. She goes up top but Tsukka swats away her missile dropkick and sends her into the opposite corner. Aoi comes in and hits her crossbody on a standing Tsukushi in the corner, then Tsukka hits a dropkick. Tsukushi seated now and Tsukka with a hard running dropkick.
Back the the middle of the ring and Tsukushi reverses a scoop slam into one of her own then hits a shotgun dropkick to the seated Tsukka’s head. Tsukka rolls right back up and sends Tsukushi staggering back into her own corner with a dropkick. Hoshi tags herself in and clotheslines Tsukka back into her corner, where Aoi tags HERSELF in. I’m digging both the move swipe spots and all the parallel moments in this.
Hoshi and Aoi lay into each other with forearms until Aoi ducks one and spins Hoshi around into a stunner. She whips Hoshi into a corner and charges but Hoshi bounces right back out and floors her with a shoulder block. Aoi fights her off, hits the ropes, then lands a rolling grapevine takeover and transitions Hoshi into position for the STF. Hoshi crawls to rope to break and Aoi goes up the turnbuckles, but Tsukushi stops her with a handful of hair and Hoshi recovers to land a forearm and take over. She slams Aoi off the turnbuckles and goes up herself for a shotgun dropkick off the middle. Folding press gets 2 and now she puts Aoi into an STF.
Tsukka gets by Tsukushi and kicks Hoshi to break the hold. Tsukka’s sent out of the ring and a Samoan drop by Hoshi on Aoi is followed by a top rope double stomp by Tsukushi. Tsukushi picks Aoi up to slam her in better position, then Hoshi hits a big splash from the top rope. Tsukka saves. Aoi struggles to her feat, then ducks a charging Hoshi which allows Tsukka to hit a step up enzugiri. Aoi off the ropes with a spinning forearm, then a Northern Lights Suplex for 2. Tsukka pulls Hoshi into position for Aoi’s Snow Blow. Pinfall interrupted by Tsukushi.
Straightjacket suplex attempt by Aoi countered into a nice rollup by Hoshi for 2. Hoshi hits the ropes but is followed by Aoi and small packaged the second she bounces off for 2. Aoi tries a rollup but Hoshi twists around and drops down for her own cover, and Aoi kicks out at 2 just as the bell ring signifying time has expired. The finish makes sense just a week away from Aoi’s defense against Hoshi.
I’m still not enamored with Hoshi’s gimmick and the awkward armdrag annoyed me from someone with her experience, but she has her strengths and this match was excellent overall once it got going. The constant reversals, one-upmanship displays and move stealing spots were all highly entertaining and there was some great wrestling at its center. Oh, and that’s the first time I’ve seen a tornado killswitch, and it’s insane.
5) Neko Nitta vs Pantera Rosa ****
Neko slowly walks across the ring with a determined look on her face once the bell rings as Pantera lounges dismissively in the corner. Neko slaps her twice while Rosa continues to shrug and look unconcerned. On the third attempt however Rosa blocks, hits a slap of her own, then gets her whip and whips the hell out of Neko as the latter tries to roll/crawl/scamper out of range. It goes on for a while, then Rosa escalates it even further by grabs Neko by the hair and just wearing out the whip across Neko’s back.
She pauses in apparent amusement for a second when Neko tries fighting back with a couple shots to the midsection, then kicks Neko back down and stands on her back while holding the ropes. THIS gets the ref to put a 5-count on Rosa to make her get Neko out of the ropes. Is the whip legal or something? Rosa rolls Neko out to the apron, then wraps the whip around her neck from inside the ring. She breaks before 5.
Mocking kick to Neko’s back pushes her off the apron, and Rosa goes out too for another ten or so whip shots to Neko’s back. Slap to Neko’s face and Rosa slams her face first into vacated audience seats. Rosa sends Neko farther down the aisle and more whipping occurs right in the middle of the crowd. Rosa claims someone’s chair and slams Neko’s head into in several times in rapid succession. And more whipping. I had forgotten that this was ALL Rosa for so long. She mocking rubs/rams the whip handle in to Neko’s forehead for a bit.
Whip by Rosa reversed as Neko tries to fight back, but Rosa reverses again immediately and Neko is rammed into the metal framing around the entrance. Rosa puts her whip over her shoulder and shrugs as Neko’s laid out, and turns her back to go back to the ring. Neko crawls back out from under the curtain, and is bleeding from the forehead. She crawls all the way back to the ring, refusing to give up, as Rosa arrogantly lounges across the ropes in a corner.
Neko with a hard forearm to Rosa, but all it earns her is another round of the whip handle being rammed into her head repeatedly. Neko curled up in a ball on the mat, and Rosa begins the whipping again. After a few shots she throws it away and starts clubbing on Neko, and the latter’s face shows a glimmer of hope at a possible opening. Rosa sends her into the ropes and Neko bounces off the second for a back elbow, but Rosa simply steps out of the way and Neko’s down again. Half of Neko’s face is covered in blood at this point.
Rosa continues to toy with her with soft, mocking kicks to Neko’s head, just pushing her around the ring. Neko can’t get up so Rosa covers for 2. Whip to the ropes and Neko ducks a clothesline and hits the springboard back elbow for her first successful offensive move of the match. She’s getting her second wind now and is pissed off, hammering Rosa widown with double axhandles and then grabbling Rosa’s chain and punching her repeatedly with it. Unfortunately for Neko it doesn’t last, as Rosa turns them over, grabs the chain from Neko and unloads with chain shots of her own for a bit. But the Neko reverses gets some more chain assisted punches in.
Neko then ditches the chain and throws Rosa into a corner, but drops to a knee in exhaustion for a second before following up. Whip into the far corner and then a running forearm onto Rosa and Neko is firing up. She sends Rosa back to the other corner and hits another running forearm, but Rosa kicks out at 1. Neko grabs the whip to finally pay Rosa back a bit. Once she gets a few solid shots in she goes up top and hits a shotgun missile dropkick. She then gets the chain again and puts it in the center of the ring, positioning Rosa bent over above it, and goes up top. Another shotgun missile dropkick causes Rosa to land on the chain, and she comes up selling extreme pain in the back. So Neko does it again from another corner. Cover for 2. Both struggling to get up, as Neko’s selling exhaustion and Rosa’s selling her back being screwed.
Neko rolls under a right hand but is slow to get up, and Rosa takes the opportunity to get the whip again. Another ten plus hard shots to Neko’s back. Rosa picks her up for something but Neko starts a forearm exchange. Neko’s have nothing on them and Rosa starts preening again. After a couple of back and forth shots Rosa decides to rake the eyes instead. More whipping, but Neko counters by throwing powder in Rosa’s face (kind of – Rosa had turned away to run towards the ropes) and rocks her with some palm strikes. Rosa grabs the chain, but Neko keeps her at bay with more palm strikes, and gets 2.
She pulls Rosa into position and can barely stand up, but signals she’s going to the top rope. Slow climb and Rosa gets up and just throws the chain at her. She then positions the chain on the mat and dramatically signs that she’s going to drive Neko into it. Rosa climbs and hits a barrage of forearms to the side of Neko’s head, but Neko fights back and side slams Rosa of the middle turnbuckle onto the chain. It only gets 2, so Neko goes up again and nails the moonsault. Again only 2,shocking the crowd. Neko puts the chain on Rosa’s stomach and goes up for a final moonsault, but Rosa gets the knees up and cradles Neko for a very close 2. She doesn’t let up though, grabbing Neko’s arms then hooking Neko’s legs with her own and bridging herself up to keep Neko down for 3 this time.
Rosa walks towards Neko with the whip on her shoulder, and a kneeling Neko reaches out for Rosa’s arm. Rosa slaps her, then makes “what the hell” gestures as Neko grasps her hand and shakes it, but eventually returns the show of respect and then gets down on her knees as well to hug Neko.
This was a war. It’s unlike anything else I’ve seen in Ice Ribbon, and the atmosphere they kept up was amazing. It felt quite different live, as it was easier to get swept up in the mayhem and I didn’t realize that Neko went most of the match without ANY offense. It worked both live and on dvd though and got even more intense at the end. Wish I knew why weapons were legal but being in the ropes wasn’t and on disc the early whipping portions seem long, but those are small points. Great main event.
Neko and Rosa going to the back together isn’t shown, but we do get the entire post-show interview before the roundtable, with Mochi playing the role of interviewer and Neko (face still covered in dried blood from her match) coming back with Rosa’s mask and seems to explain that Rosa is gone. Neko then brings out 235, Akane, and Kyuuri and reads something she brought out with her to them (with everyone visibly touched and fighting tears) and announces her retirement match for RibbonMania involving the three of them.
The rest of the show’s roster joins them in the ring and Neko speaks to the audience a bit. Tsukka interrupts her for a second to present some gifts from the roster (she gets very excited about the cake), then Neko finishes by thanking the crowd and having everyone else in the ring join her is a cry of “Happy Ice Ribbon Nyah!” The dvd then fades to a photo of them all (taken just a little later) for several seconds as Neko’s music plays.
Fun show and a great way for Neko to say goodbye to the IR Dojo.