January 5, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan
Earlier the same day Ice Ribbon had strong show at Yokohama Radiant Hall. This was a few hours later, and was not a “normal” Ice Ribbon event. Entitled “I Like Frank More Than Three Bowls of Rice,” this was produced by the “Frank Sisters” of Akane Fujita, Kurumi Hiirgi, & Mochi Miyagi and had a decidedly different feel.
1) Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Ibuki Hoshi
Ibuki’s a fantastic, natural fiery underdog (and in a different way than say Asahi is) and really shines in matchups like these. She had a nice showing of resilience against the force of nature that is the Lady Destroyer before Hiroyo put her away for good.
2) Mochi Miyagi & Papillon Akemi vs Makoto & Moeka Haruhi
I’ve only ever seen Akemi before as Emi Sakura W in Gatoh Move, but the gimmick’s very similar here. This was weird, but reasonably fun. Makoto & Moeka might have been the defacto heels, but I found their aggression and games of one-upmanship towards Akemi somewhat amusing and was pleased when they pulled out the win.
3) Hot Dog Eating Contest Match: Tsukasa Fujimoto & Hamuko Hoshi vs Maya Yukihi & Tae Honma
Tsukka certainly did not look happy coming out for this. After losing her title and participating in a jump rope match within days prior to this, it was a rough week for her.
Music would randomly be played during this tag match, at which point any wrestler currently in the ring could eat hot dogs (brought in by the respective teams’ seconds). The team that ate the most hot dogs eaten at the end of the match won (winning the fall to trigger the end of the match by pin or submission was worth five “virtual hot dogs” in the final count).
This was absurd in all the best ways. It was viscerally hard to watch them stuff their faces and then bump on their stomachs seconds later, and as usual with Ice Ribbon everyone was fully invested in making even the most ridiculous of situations wonderfully compelling. This was given proper time to emphasize the gimmick, with the match going almost twenty minutes, and the wrestling in between the eating was top notch.
Tsukka won the fall with the stranglehold while Tae was still chomping on THREE hot dogs at once. However, with a count of 22-18, Tae & Maya still won. Subtracting the 5 virtual hot dogs, Maya & (mostly) Tae outate Tsukka & Hammy by 9 hot dogs. TAE IS A MONSTER. Fantastic in ways I can’t properly describe.
4) Hardcore Tag: Risa Sera & Yuko Miyamoto vs Akane Fujita & Minoru Fujita
No surprise seeing Risa and Akane break out the hardcore stipulation for their mixed tag. There was a lot of silliness in this that required a go-with-the-flow kind of attitude when watching, but was highly enjoyable on those terms. They played baseball with rubber duckies, duplexed each other on Legos, and so on.
When things got more “serious” Risa’s tendencies to go a little overboard took me out of the match a bit. There’s a line between compelling violence used to tell a story and unnecessary, cringeworthy spots that look like they hurt the person performing them more than the one receiving it anyway. This was a fun for what it was brawl otherwise though, with Risa & Yuko picking up the win.
Main Event) Kurumi Hiiragi vs Kengo Mashimo
In the past several of the intergender matches I’ve seen from Ice Ribbon have been solely about how much damage the woman can take before losing. This had a more fully realized story/layout with Kurumi actually aggressively fighting back and giving a dismissive Kengo a bit of comeuppance before losing. Kurumi worked really well against her larger opponent and this was a strong way to end the show. Kengo messed with her more after the match, to LOUD boos.
Talked to Tae after the show, during which she related how full she was and expressed a desire to not eat any more hot dogs for a year. She also cheerfully displayed her “Best Enemy” award from the earlier show.
“I Like Frank More Than Three Bowls of Rice” was something different in wonderful ways, and just a blast overall to be at.