The team of Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi triumphed over Hikaru Shida & Maki Narumiya in the main event of ICE Ribbon’s “Yokohama Ribbon” show today at Radiant Hall, becoming the 23rd generation of International Ribbon Tag Champions when Fujimoto pinned ICEx60 Champion Shida at 16:45 following a Venus Shoot. The title reign represents the second reigns for both Fujimoto (28 years old) & Tsukushi (14 years old), although it is their first reign as a team. Fujimoto had previously held the titles with Hikaru Shida (during the period where Fujimoto held all three of ICE Ribbon’s major championships concurrently), while Tsukushi held the titles as recently as December as part of a brief run alongside Emi Sakura. The International Ribbon Tag Titles seem to have been in a constant state of flux for much of the last half year, which has seen eight different title reigns and two periods of vacancy, and one hopes that the belts will find at least somewhat of a more permanent home around the waists of two of IR’s most prodigious talents. Interesting to note that Fujimoto pinned Shida for the win. Not only would it have been far more likely to see Fujimoto beat the junior member of the team (the rookie Narumiya), but considering it was Shida who beat Fujimoto on Christmas night to win ICE Ribbon’s top singles belt, perhaps this indicates an ICEx60 Title rematch is not far off? Perhaps at IR’s next excursion to Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall next month?
Also on the show, Miyako Matsumoto won the Triangle Ribbon Championship – which is defended exclusively in 15 minute three-way matches – from encumbent champion Nekko Nitta and her male wrestling idol Jun Kasai after just over 10 minutes of action. Matsumoto, who “left” ICE Ribbon in May last year, forming the utterly insane Gakenohuchi Puroresu (“Edge of the Cliff Pro Wrestling”), seems to be back working as a de facto regular again since December. Not sure whether Matsumoto’s newfound regularity is linked to the recent departure of Emi Sakura or not, but it’s a return we nonetheless welcome. In fact, if we’re talking about people returning who hastily left the promotion last year, can we please be the first to start the call for Chii Tomiya (now wrestling as Micro on small JWP and Happy Hour shows) to return to the fold?
In other news from the show, The Lovely Butchers (Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi – who are so much better as a team than they are apart) beat Dorami Nagano & Kurumi, presumably to start establishing them back in line for a shot at Fujimoto & Tsukushi, while Aoi Kizuki pinned Sayaka Obihiro in the opener. Since her return from injury, Obihiro has been stuck in a rut, and we hope she can get herself some new gear and hopefully start developing her skills because she is risking getting left behind. Originally the focus of the internet 19pro show, Obihiro is struggling to establish herself in any meaningful way of late.
As noted, ICE Ribbon’s next major show outside the Warabi dojo will be their annual March show at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall on March 20th.
Full results (225 crowd)
1. Aoi Kizuki bt Sayaka Obihiro (7:12)
2. Kayako Haruyama bt Meari Naito (9:10 – Diving Guillotine Drop)
3. Lovely Butchers bt Dorami Nagano & Kurumi (13:05, Hoshi pinned Nagano – Sumo Lariat)
4. Hikari Minami & Chou-un Shiryu drew Riho & Ribbon Takanashi (15:00 Time Limit)
5. Triangle Ribbon: Miyako Matsumoto bt Nekko Nitta (c) & Jun Kasai (10:56, Matsumoto pinned Nitta) – New Champion
6. International Ribbon Tag Titles: Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi bt Hikaru Shida & Maki Narumiya (16:45, Fujimoto pinned Narumiya – Venus Chute) – New Champions
– Stew Allen