The New Year’s show at the Ice Ribbon Dojo was the last IR show I saw during my trip. My live thoughts can be read here. This dvd also contains a second show that took place a couple weeks after I left.
Vol 701: January 3, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan
Everyone comes out in turn for a few words to open the show (while IR’s standard music plays), ending with new Ice Cross Infinity Champion Hamuko Hoshi.
1) 235 vs Kyuuri
I’d been previously impressed with Kyuuri, but 235 hadn’t really been given much opportunity to shine on the previous shows I’d seen. Nice to see her in a singles match here. Stalemate on a lockup to start, then 235 starts a forearm exchange. Great energy from both to fire up the crowd right away. 235 gets the advantage, snapmares Kyuuri over, then grabs a chinlock (almost a seated sleeper). She really cranks at it and adds a bodyscissors to keep it from losing the crowd. Kyuuri makes the ropes to applause.
They fight over a scoop slam, which the diminutive Kyuuri eventually gets. She hits the ropes a few times, stepping on 235 with each pass, then hits a cartwheel splash for 2. 235 tries to fight back but Kyuuri maintains the advantage for a while, targeting 235’s arm with various submission holds. 235 fights off a fisherman buster attempt and hits three of her sequential running crossbodies for 2. Flying crossbody from the top for another 2. A trio of rolling vertical suplexes ends with a bridging pin for 2.
A nice judo throw from Kyuuri gives her the advantage back, and another sets up a fisherman’s suplex with bridge for a close 2. 235 gets no breathing room as Kyuuri immediately locks in a crossarm stranglehold variation (with her leg adding pressure) for the win. Very good little five minute match. They made the most of the time they were given.
2) Miyako Matsumoto and Tsukasa Fujimoto vs Azure Revolution (Risa Sera and Maya Yukihi)
Miyako immediately grabs a mic and seems to be complaining about her partner. I missed it live, but she points to a camera at ringside (that followed her around during and after the show) and her objection seems to have something to do with that. She then clearly insults a “shocked” Tsukka as the other team cracks up. Miyako then grabs Risa Sera and declares them teammates, leaving Maya to join the abandoned Tsukka. Highly amusing. Miyako’s a force of nature. It’s cool that this was easy to follow even without speaking Japanese / understanding Miyako’s statements.
So our new match is:
2) Miyako Matsumoto and Risa Sera vs Tsukasa Fujimoto and Maya Yukihi
The way the other three competitors sell bemusement at living in Miyako’s reality is fantastic, as is Tsukka’s expression when Miyako offers her the prematch handshake. Azure Revolution squares off to start with a test of strength, which is even until Risa breaks it to crank the arm and send Maya off the ropes. Shoulderblock collision and nobody budges. Second and the same. They both hit the ropes for the third, and Risa sends Maya down, but Maya back up quickly for another stalemate then Maya returns the favor and finally levels Risa. Crowd’s appreciative and they both tag out.
Tsukka looks ready to kill Miyako and the latter doesn’t help matters by repeatedly shoving Tsukka. They lock up and proceed to trade hammerlocks, taunting and jawing at each other the entire time. Tsukka ends that with a side headlock takeover, Miyako headscissor counter, Tsukka kips up out of that and they square off to applause. Miyako poses and nods, while Tsukka shoots her opponent a disbelieving look as if Miyako is trying the very limits of her patience and good nature. Indeed Tsukka foregoes the lockup to just kick Miyako in the midsection and whips her into the corner. Running forearm from Maya, then Tsukka directs her to cut off Risa and nails a running dropkick on Miyako in the corner.
The bell rings and the match’s stipulation takes effect, as a letter is announced and pinfalls can only be attempted after a move starting with that letter. Tsukka freezes as she pauses to think and Miyako runs out of the corner with a double chop for 2. Tsukka snapmares Miayko and hits a hard kick to her back, then locks in a camel clutch, aims Miyako at her cameraman on the outside, and pulls back Miyako’s nose to mock her. Miyako objects loudly. Tsukka just beats on Miyako for a bit, including choking her against the ropes. But it’s Miyako, and Miyako continues to whine as Tsukka does it, so the crowd cheers.
Miyako down in the corner and Tsukka sets up for a running move, but the bell sounds again and the momentary pause by Tsukka gives Miyako an opening to hit another running double chop for 2. Great spot as Miyako called out a different name for the exact same move used earlier to get it to count for the stipulation. Tsukka was in a similar match on the Risa Sera Produce show and showed the same trouble there for this type of improvising. It’s a nice character trait / minor weakness for the veteran and well established ring technician to have.
Tag to Risa and Tsukka gets the better of a forearm exchange, then ties Risa up in the ropes for the pig face humiliation. She hits the far ropes and nails the still tied up Risa with a dropkick, but her cover doesn’t count. Tsukka calls for the next letter, and again thinks too long giving Risa a chance to get up and slam her. Risa hits her repeated running double knee drops to Tsukka’s back, but the ref doesn’t accept “Sera Risa” before the move name as qualifying for the letter and won’t count the pin. Risa calls for a side suplex, which Tsukka fights off and tries to steal as a valid move, but Risa counters in the air and falls on Tsukka for… a pin that doesn’t count. They continue in that vein a bit through another letter change until Tsukka gets a hurricanrana rollup for a valid 2, then tags out to Maya.
Maya comes in strong, but pauses on another letter change and gives Risa enough time to move out the way of a charging elbow. Hilarious bit follows as Risa again tries to convince the ref on something absurd, this time that messing Maya’s hair counts as a submission attempt. A pair of side kicks from Maya gets 2. She tries to lock something on Risa, and Tsukka cuts off Miyako on the save, but a letter change leads to tandem camel clutches instead. Nice work from the ref, who makes it clear he’s ignoring Tsukka’s hold on Miyako since they’re not legal and only checking Risa for submission. Tsukka eventually lets go, kicks Miyako out, then leaves the ring herself. Maya pauses, at a loss, then hits a few weak forearms as she ponders what to do next. Decided, she hits the far ropes but once again they’ve given Risa time to recover and Maya is nailed with a dropkick.
Miyako in and I’m dying of laughter as she decides the best qualifying move is to repeatedly kick Maya low. Tsukka comes in to swat at Miyako in protest and the ref refuses to count it anyway. Whip to ropes and Maya comes off with a hard shoulderblock to Miyako. Scoop slam and the letter changes to “ma.” The crowd murmurs in anticipation, and sure enough with Miyako down Tsukka and Maya eventually decide to do Miyako’s own Mama Mia posing routine. Risa comes in to break up the pin at two after the finishing double splash. Tsukka knocks Risa back out, and the letter is changed to “su.” No pause at all this time as Maya goes up for “Supa Mama Mia!” An irate Miyako gets up before Maya’s balanced on the top, and stops her to boos. However the crowd forgives her when it’s obvious she’s going to go for her own instead. The way she always makes the ref help her balance for the pose up there is fantastic. Sadly (and expectedly) the splash fails as Maya gets her boots up. Small package by Maya for an extremely close 2.
Miyako actually holds her own in a forearm exchange with Maya for a while, then pushes the ref into a shoulderblock on Maya when the latter hits the ropes (DQs are very rare in Japan, even when refs are assaulted). Letter change to “shi,” and knowing Miyako’s arsenal I can guess the awesomeness that awaiting. Sure enough, double knees in the corner from Risa sets up Maya for the Shining Wizard. Tsukka saves. Slam by Miyako (after another letter change) and Risa hits a brutal flying double knee drop from the top. Miyako up top (with more ref help) and hits “Happy New Year Mama Mia!” doublestomp for the win!
Miyako’s delight as she does victory laps as Dancing Queen plays (and ignoring both the ref and her partner who want to raise her arm) is fantastic, as are Tsukka’s attempts to trip Miyako on every pass. Tsukka eventually trips Miyako and the ref raises just Risa’s hand in victory as Miyako pulls herself off the mat. There was more live, with Miyako posing to celebrate and Tsukka losing her patience and dropkicking Miyako right out of the ring.
Total comedy match, and another example of how good IR in general and Miyako in particular are at it. Again the humor was wrestling based and related to trying to win, which keeps immersion in the show as a whole strong. Some of this played a little better live where the “thinking pauses” didn’t seem quite as long and sometimes awkward, but overall this was great fun.
In particular the individual proficiencies regarding the match style, with Miyako mostly getting it, Risa thinking quickly but often to poor effect, Maya thinking slowly but to good effect, and Tsukka just not being able to deal, were highly amusing.
3) Hamuko Hoshi, Yuuka, and Maruko Nagasaki vs. Aoi Kizuki, Akane Fujita, and Mochi Miyagi
Hoshi is opposite both the former champion Aoi, and Hoshi’s regular partner Mochi (who was Hoshi’s upcoming challenger for the belt). Hoshi and partners ambush their opponents before the bell, and perform stereo buttblocks in three different corners, followed by stereo bulldogs. Apparently Hoshi and Mochi are legal, as that’s the pin the ref counts. Tower pose on top of Mochi, which Aoi breaks up.
Aoi’s team stacks up their opponents on the mat, then Mochi splashes them with Akane on her back, and Aoi finishes with her trademark pose with a foot on the whole pile. Akane trying to do the pose too while being part of the pile is amusing.
Everyone extra exits and we’re left with Mochi and Maruko in the ring. Mochi locks in a body scissors then repeated rolls back to bring Maruko off the mat and slams her back down. Roll to the side gets 2. Tag to Aoi for some hairmares, then an exchange of Maruko forearms vs Aoi’s windmill double chops. Maruko eventually backs Aoi up with a flurry, but Aoi power poses while walking forward and absorbing more forearms to push Maruko back across the ring. More forearms, countered with a clothesline, but Maruko moves out of the way of Aoi’s senton. Maruko wins a fight over a scoop slam for 2. Whip by Maruko into the corner reversed, but Aoi’s charge misses. Dropkick for 2.
Yuuka in with repeated running dropkicks for 2. She forearms Aoi’s partners off the apron and calls her teammates in. Maruko with a running forearm to Aoi but stays in position, then Yuuka forearms MARUKO with Aoi still behind her. Yuuka then gets into the corner as well and calls for Hoshi to splash all three of them. Aoi is cracking up at the “strategy,” safely cushioned by her two opponents.
Hoshi ties up Aoi in the ropes and Yuuka lays in some forearms, but Aoi shakes them off, reverses position, and lands some of her own. Off the far rope but Yuuka gets free and levels the approaching Aoi with a forearm. Aoi right back up with a power pose, but clothesline ducked by Yuuka, but Aoi cartwheel’s out of being spun around and hits a dropkick. Fun sequence.
Aoi crossbody to Yuuka’s midsection in the corner. Tag to Mochi. Aoi slams Yuuka, then she alternates her running senton with Mochi’s Earthquake splashes in a nice spot. Aoi counts a super fast 3, but the ref only gets to 1. In annoyance the ref counts a super fast 4 on Aoi to get her out of the ring. Splash in the ropes by Mochi followed by a quick leg cradle for 2. Yuuka reverses a whip but misses a dropkick when Mochi holds on to the ropes. Maruko in and knocks Akane off the apron, but Aoi just shrugs off the forearm. Nice double dropkick on Mochi by Maruko and Yuuka. Twisting doubleteam suplex for 2.
Running dropkick in the corner by Yuuka followed by a tornado DDT for 2. Tag to Hoshi. Mochi fights out of a fireman’s carry, and we get a series of running shoulderblock stalemates, then an energetic forearm exchange. Good way to build Mochi a bit as Hoshi’s equal before her title shot. She wins the exchange and hits the ropes, but knocks Hoshi back into a rebounding shoulderblock of her own that wipes out Mochi. Running belly to the face attempt is countered with a shot from Mochi’s whip (in full view of ref, still getting used to that) and a rollup gets 2 on the champ. Slam in the corner and a Vaderbomb get 2 for Mochi.
Tag and Akane comes in for the first time. Running forearm to Hoshi in the corner, but when Akane goes back for speed Hoshi follows and nails Akane with a clothesline in the far corner. Splash from the middle from Hoshi, but Aoi stops her when she goes up top. Slam off the top and a Texas cloverleaf by Akane while Aoi and Mochi cut off Hoshi’s partners. After a rope break, Hoshi gets the better of Akane with a hard clothesline to the back and hits the running stomach to the face for 2. Tag to Maruko, who hits a series of running dropkicks for 2. Akane tries to reverse the smaller wrestler’s scoop slam attempt, but Maruko reverses the reversal into a small package for 2. Yuuka in with a top rope crossbody, Hoshi with a lariat, then Maruko hits an uranage. Aoi and Mochi get by Hoshi and Yuuka to break up the pin at 2.
Maruko calls for another uranage, but Aoi stops it and hits a flying clothesline. Mochi follows with a Vaderbomb that sets up a brainbuster by Akane, but Hoshi and Yuuka save. Deep single arm stranglehold by Akane is broken up by Hoshi. Mochi takes Hoshi out with a Thesz press and everyone spills outside to leave Akane and Maruko alone again. Akane seems to go for a powerslam, but Maruko fights to her back then drops down to roll her up for 2. Small package for another 2, sunset flip reversed by Akane for 2, but then completed by Maruko for 2. Maruko off the ropes but runs into a big shoulderblock. Akane picks her up for the powerslam for 2.999. Sitout version gets 3.
Not everything here was as smooth as they would have liked, but it was a lot of fun, featured several story threads, and had very good action overall.
Roundtable features Aoi’s “graduation” announcement that she will be leaving Ice Ribbon and going freelance after IR’s 1/9 show and a match against Maruko. Maruko is emotional charged up and crying throughout. Aoi slams her (and then Tsukka, who tries to interfere) and does her trademark pose to “cheer up” Maruko. She then calls everyone else in for the “Happy Ice Ribbon” cheer while still standing on the pile of Tsukka and Maruko (who are cracking up).
Kurumi comes out with a cake for Akane as Happy Birthday plays. Akane says a few words, blows out the candles, blocks Risa from potentially slamming the cake in her face, then leads another “Happy Ice Ribbon” cheer to close the show.
A lot of wrestlers got a chance to shine here, and this show highlighted both the comedic and technical aspects of wrestling that IR is so good at.
Vol 703: January 16, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan
This show was after my trip, so this is my first time seeing it.
1) Maruko Nagasaki vs Maya Yukihi
Forearm exchange right away. Maya throws them hard and the crowd oohs at Maruko absorbing them. After taking Maya down with a dropkick Maruko’s a little lost for a second as she tries to figure out where Maya’s going to position herself, then goes for another, which Maya kind of absorbs to take over. Maya in control for a while with what in the US I’d call heel tactics (choking Maruko with her foot against the ropes, dismissive kicks to the face, etc) but in IR this seems a common form of taunting from nearly everyone when facing a younger or less experienced competitor.
Maruko reverses a scoop slam at one point but Maya right back on offense with a running knee followed by a shoulderblock. Then she works variations on a Boston crab for a bit. After escaping Maruko takes over with running dropkicks (and does a nice jumping sunset flip out of the corner for 2 in the middle of them). Uranage gets a close 2, but a second is blocked for a chokeslam attempt, but Maruko reverse that into a rollup for 2. Schoolboy gets 2 for Maruko, but Maya kicks right out of that into a Rings of Saturn, which is then turned into a triangle choke for the submission. Short match that was almost all Maya and was very basic. Still fine though and had some nice sequences at the end.
2) Miyako Matsumoto vs Yuuka
Chain wrestling to open, which Yuuka continually gets the better of. She’s so smooth in the ring, especially for her experience. Miyako as normal works posing in at every opportunity, and as usual does it once too often and eats a dropkick during the stalemate. A fired up Yuuka tries to slam Miayko, but the latter reverses, forces Yuuka to pose, and gets a schoolboy for 2. Hairmare into the corner and Miyako chokes away at Yuuka while badmouthing her. Scoop slam gets 2.
Miyako goes for an abdominal stretch and Yuuka really tries to spin out of it/turn it around, which Miyako eventually stops with a flurry of back chops and secures the hold. In a great touch she grabs Yuuka’s left arm to further twist and prevent Yuuka from using it to get the ropes. Yuuka gets her foot to the bottom rope for the break, so Miyako rolls back into a cover for 2. Yuuka fights up and hits a couple running dropkicks into the corner for 2. Forearm exchange and I love the consistency with which Miyako’s shots always affect her opponent less than their’s does to her.
Yuuka backs Miyako up to the ropes with more forearms, hits a running one against the ropes, hits another to knock Miyako down in the center, then lands her sweet diving version. I love that sequence. Miyako reverses at 2 and eventually twists Yuuka into a Rings of Saturn. Miyako’s taunting and Yuuka’s screaming in pain really enhance the submission attempts. Yuuka uses her legs to power over towards the ropes, but Miyako again grabs the extended appendage and pulls Yuuka’s right leg back to further tie up the youngster. Yuuka desperately struggles and gets the rope break with her left leg. Another nice touch: Yuuka makes sure to sell pain in her arms after she escapes and as Miyako picks her up for a slam.
Ref assisted Super Mama Mia attempt, but Yuuka’s up and hits the far corner to shake the ropes and knock Miyako off balance. Running dropkick sends Miyako tumbling to the apron then the floor, gibing Yuuka a chance to recover her arms for a second. She pulls Miyako back in and to the center then goes up for a flying crossbody for 2. Slam and she goes up again for the top rope version of her diving forearm, but Miyako gets the boots up. Miayko then unwisely starts another forearm exchange, but catches Yuuka at the end of it off the ropes with the double chop for 2.
Yuuka tries to reverse a whip into her float over backslide, but Miyako rolls with and cradles for 2. Miyako then tries HER trademark rollup, but Yuuka reverses this time for another close 2. As Miyako is trying to get up from that Yuuka immediately rolls her up with the 120% rollup for the win. Miyako’s right shoulder was clearly up and Miyako rightly throws a fit complaining (though also falsely claiming she was in the ropes), but it was out of sight of the ref. Don’t know if that was a slight miscue or an angle, but given what the ref saw it was the right call to count the 3. Really enjoyed this, as both are favorites of mine and they had great chemistry as opponents. The little touches from both to enhance the match were excellent.
3) Kyuuri and Hamuko Hoshi vs 235 and Mieko Tanaka
Interesting pairings. Opponents from Vol 701’s opener square off to start, with some nice back and forth chain wrestling including exchanging hammerlocks, waistlocks, side headlocks, etc. Eventual stalemate leads to them both tagging out, and in contrast to their technical display Hamuko and Meiko come in charging each other. Meiko summersaults over the top to reverse a corner whip, shoulderblocks Hoshi to the midsection from the outside, then goes up top. Hamuko rushes in and Meiko leapfrogs from the top into the center of the ring. They duck each other’s clotheslines then Meiko drops down, only to have Hoshi drop down beside her for the “Seductive” posing routine. Meiko’s startled and stumbles back to her corner. She rushes Hoshi and gets tripped, and another pose by Hoshi, which 235 thankfully interrupts with a kick.
Some nice double teaming follows from Meiko and 235 to give them the advantage, but Hoshi takes back over with a bellybutt on Meiko after 235 leaves and traps Meiko in the corner for her rubbing belly on opponent’s face spot. Personally I can’t stand Hoshi’s gimmick and the associated moveset, so I spend these parts of her matches waiting for them to get on with itthe rest of the match Thankfully we get a tag to Kyuuri once Meiko’s done being tortured and making retching noises. Wait, I spoke too soon as Meiko’s sent to the corner for doubleteam buttblocks. Bulldog by Hoshi followed by Kyuuri’s cartwheel splash gets 2.
Hoshi leaves the ring and Meiko immediately gets the better of Kyuuri, escaping a scoop slam attempt, nailing a dropkick in the corner, then getting a slam of her own for 2. Back and forth for a few moves then Meiko tags out after hitting a dropkick, putting us back to 235 vs Kyuuri as in the beginning. They trade slams, then hard forearms, and 235 gets the better of it backing Kyuuri up to the ropes and unloading with with about 20 in a row. 235 then hits her triple running crossbody sequence for 2. Suplex attempt countered by Kyuuri into an octopus stretch, then she converts into a crucifix for 2, countered by 235 into a cradle for 2, followed by a judo throw from Kyuuri for 2. Very nice.
Tag to Hoshi and a big splash on 235 for a close 2. Trademark Boston crab follows as Kyuuri keeps Meiko away. 235 makes the ropes. Up again and she ducks Hoshi’s clotheslines, mocking the latter with her own poses after each one. However Hoshi catches 235 on her shoulders after a crossbody attempt, but 235 struggles to Hoshi’s back and applies a sleeper. Hoshi drives 235 into the corner to break, but 235 goes right into a victory roll from that position for 2. Tag to Meiko and she UNLOADS on Hoshi with shoulderblocks in the corner. Kyuuri stops her from going up top and Hoshi gets a fireman’s carry, but Meiko fights down to her feet. Hoshi chops prompt a flurry of headbutts from Meiko, which leads to a 235 top rope crossbody followed by a missile dropkick from Meiko for 2.
Meiko can’t get Hoshi up for a fireman’s carry, so resorts to a scoop slam instead and goes back up. Hoshi avoids the senton and almost a slingblade from Kyuuri on Meiko sets up the running belly to the face for Hoshi. 235 gets by Kyuuri and saves. Lariat ducked but the back one isn’t, but Meiko then counters a Hoshi charge with a spear for 2 (Kyuuri saves). Some more back and forth then Hoshi finally lands the Samoan drop she’s been going for for 2. Splash from the top rope (with Meiko halfway across the ring) gets the win for Hoshi.
Not everything clicked here, but great effort all around regardless and still a decent match with 235 and Meiko getting some nice offense on the champ before Hoshi put them away. Like I’ve said about Yuuka, Kyuuri is also amazing for her age and experience.
4) Avid Rival (Misaki Ohata and Ryo Mizunami) vs Akane Fujita and Tsukushi
Always nice to see Avid Rival in IR. Good learning opportunity for Akane here, as both her opponents and partner all have much more experience than her. Misaki and Tsukushi start. Quick paced, high intensity counter wrestling for a couple minutes that gets nice applause when they stalemate. Misaki looks a little more wary of Tsukushi then when they started as they both tag out.
Mizunami holds her ground as Akane hits all four sides in succession trying to knock the former down with running shoulderblocks. Then they both hit the ropes and stalemate a couple times, until Ryo knocks down Akane on their third collision. Nice sequences from the power wrestlers. Mizunami keeps control for a bit, then Misaki comes in for a big double slap with Ryo holding Akane in the ropes. Mizunami’s developed incredible charisma to go with her excellent in ring skills and she and Misaki compliment each other so well as a tag team.
Tag to Misaki and the beatdown and mocking of Akane continues. Quick switch back to Mizunami and she grounds Akane with a side headlock, eventually transitioning into a camel clutch and calling Ohata in. After knocking Tsukushi off the apron, Misaki jits the ropes several times for momentum and ends with a dropkick to Akane’s face. Then they switch positions to Akane’s dismay (Misaki applying the camel clutch and Ryo running the ropes) for another dropkick to Akane’s face for 2. Mizunami with her crowd pleasing “firing up” posing into a corner clothesline spot for 2.
Akane fires back with forearms, but a scoop slam attempt is reversed by Mizunami. Akane recovers again though to catch Mizunami off the ropes with a double sledge, then rolls into her corner to tag Tsukushi. Tsukushi dropkicks Mizunami into a corner then recovers from Misaki swatting away a dropkick to headscissor Misaki into the same corner Ryo’s recovering in for a running dropkick. Scoop slam on Misaki, then she drop toeholds Ryo into splashing Misaki and doublestomps Mizunami in that position.
Misaki rolls out and Ryo’s had enough of Tsukushi, lifting the smaller wrestler over her shoulder and ramming her into Avid Rival’s corner. Tag brings Misaki in legally and she splashes Tsukushi then hits her crossbody to seated opponent in the corner after Tsukushi drops down. Misaki up for one of her gorgeous top rope crossbodies but Tsukushi moves and Misaki eats the canvas. Hard dropkick in the corner and now it’s time for Tsukushi’s version of the seated crossbody. Loving the back and forth nature of the match.
In a great bit, they going into what look like it would be a forearm exchange, but Tsukushi’s too quick so everytime Misaki tries to rear back for her shots Tsukushi lands another of her own instead before Misaki can strike. After the flurry Tsukushi hits a JUMPING KILLSWITCH (her variations on that move always drop my jaw, and kudos to Misaki for taking that) followed by a vicious dropkick to the face with Misaki laying against the ropes.
Tiger supex (or perhaps another killswitch) countered into german attempt, countered into a snapmare to set up a seated dropkick off the ropes, but Misaki rolls back out of the way to try one of her own, but Tsukushi rolls back from THAT, and nails the seated dropkick to Misaki’s face for 2. Tremendous sequence. Tag to Akane and she further wears out Misaki with scoop slams. After Misaki fights one off Akane whips her into a dropkick by Tsukushi. Tsukushi then climbs the ropes to get into position crouching on Akane’s shoulders, then Akane walks her over to Misaki and Tsukushi hits a double stomp from Akane’s shoulders.
Misaki stuggles back up and tries to fight back with a spinning sledge but Akane ducks, and nails a forearm. However when she hits the far side of the ring Mizunami, who had crept into the ring moments earlier, wipes her out against the ropes with a clothesline then Misaki hits a seated Akane with a crossbody. Misaki up top and hits the diving crossbody this time for 2. Tag to Mizunami and the powerhouses trade forearms. Cheapshot kick to the back by Tsukushi when Mizunami hits the ropes followed by a jawbreaker across them turns the tide, and a Tsukushi dropkick followed by a shoulderblock by Akane sets up the powerslam for 2.
Mizunami fights off another slam and weathers some forearms, then catches Akane with a spear as Misaki comes in to simultaneously land a clothesline. Running legdrop gets 2, then Misaki nails the spinning sledge to send Akane into another Mizunami spear. Tsukushi breaks up the pin with a top rope doublestomp to Mizunami’s back (unfortunately not really doing her partner underneath Ryo any favors). Tsukushi tries to fight off both members of Avid Rival with forearms, but runs into a picture perfect 3D.
Misaki kicks Tsukushi out of the ring and Mizunami goes for a dragon suplex, but Akane fights out and hits a back body drop for 2. Scoop slam blocked once again by Mizunami, who then wears out Akane with elbows to the face. She’s caught off the ropes though with a powerslam that gets Akane 2 as Misaki makes the save. Akane calls for the end and hits the ropes, but is leveled with a Mizunami lariat.
Tsukushi saves, but pays the price as Misaki comes up behind her and hits a beautiful deadlift German to send her back outside. As Akane struggles to her feet Mizunami measures her and then hits a huge lariat for the win. Excellent main event. Akane held her own and we got the great tag match to be automatically expected from the other three.
As usual I couldn’t follow much of the roundtable, but it was interesting that Misaki and Ryo participated. With Tsukka missing Hoshi led the proceedings. Akane conducted the “Happy Ice Ribbon” cheer to close out.
Two really good shows here make this dvd an easy recommendation. It would actually be a good disc for newcomers to IR, as it showcases the various styles they feature as well as nearly all of their current stars.