Earlier this year, REINA fell on its arse. It dissolved in May on what was billed as its first anniversary show. Instead, manager and Champion Yumiko Hotta announced that it was finishing, to the surprise of many people on the roster. It quickly emerged that REINA’s other top brass were backpedalling from what Hotta said, and things would continue in some form.
What followed at the end of May was the announcement of REINA x World, with Aki Kambayashi stating that she, Aoi Ishibashi and Mia Yim would be part of it. What followed in June was Hikaru Shida and Tsukasa Fujimoto winning the REINA x World Tag Team Championship, and things continuing on as before, with imports from the US like Crazy Mary Dobson and from Australia like Alex Lee, but fewer from Mexico.
Now things are expanding. Mia Yim’s blossoming relationship with REINA x World leading to a US offshoot with Real Championship Wrestling based in Baltimore, MD. Called REINA World Joshi Puroresu, its debut show will be on October 6 (yes, October’s going to be a busy month for women’s wrestling), and has already announced Kanbayashi, Ishibashi, Yim and Dobson, under her real name of Sarah Bridges. (more…)
Up for review here is Ice Ribbon‘s “Ribbon March” show at Korakuen Hall on March 21st, headlined by ICEx60 Champion Tsukasa Fujimoto defending her title against the masked Ray. This was the first big Ice Ribbon show since the Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami that crippled the country only ten days prior, so this show not only has the emotional weight of the disaster on its shoulders, but is presented basically “bare bones” as far as presentation is concerned, due to energy conservation – so no special lighting effects etc.
Elimination Match: Hikari Minami, Kurumi & Tsukushi vs Tamako, Riho & Maki Narumiya
So we start with a six girl elimination match. I don’t know an awful lot about some of these girls, and in fact one of them (Tamako) is making her pro debut here, while another (Narumiya) had only debuted less than a fortnight earlier. It does feature a bunch of the absolute youngest girls on the roster though… Kurumi is 10 years old, Riho is 13, while Tsukishi and Hikari Minami are both 15 years old. Bizarrely, the aforementioned new girls Tamako (at 21) and Narumiya (at 26 years old) are double the age of some of the other competitors here. Absolutely insane. Anyway – Tamako is super cute, but is clearly not at all ready, muddling her way through 54 seconds with Tsukishi before being pinned by a terrible schoolgirl. Riho works with Kurumi and pins her with a Northern Lights Suplex Hold at 2:43 to even the odds. Narumiya doesn’t look too bad before Hikari Minami pins her with a Finlay Roll – which leaves Riho alone against Tsukishi & Minami. Here’s where it started to pick up. Riho worked for three here, handling both with the polished aplomb you *really* don’t expect a girl of 13 to have. She eliminated Minami via ringout (causing your opponent to hit the floor – a common Japanese variant of the usual elimination rules), duelled with submissions and rollups with Tsukishi before eventually being pinned in 8:40 with a victory roll. The first half of the match was pretty awful, but Riho saved it with some excellent stuff in the second half. Good job.