Monday, July 07, 2008
Yoshida absent for July 6 Ibuki show
Ibuki's latest show was July 6 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Ibuki owner Mariko Yoshida missed the show to make a return appearance at the Japan Exposition in Paris. She took Misaki Ohata because Ohata didn't go last year. Of course it's odd that she would book an Ibuki show for the same weekend. And considering her mother hen behaviour on her blog, I wonder if she'll miss another show. On Saturday, she said she was concerned in general about the show running smoothly without her presence. In particular, she expressed concern about Chihara Oikawa's broken nose, Mongolian rookie Esui's ring attire and about an injury Atsuko Emoto may have suffered in a recent comedy grappling match in DEEP. It's pretty funny. Yoshida & Ohata worked with British wrestlers Sweet Saraya & Bella Punk. Yoshida thought that surely Sweet Saraya must be a teenager when of course Saraya is actually an 18 year mat veteran. They wrestled in front of 2500 fans and Ohata got a standing ovarion for a moonsault.
Shuu Shibutani addressed the crowd before the show to announce her absense from the show due to a knee injury. She didn't give any indication of how long she will be out. The opener was between Ibuki rookie and arm wrestling champ Yoko Yamada and Battlarts rookie Chihara Oikawa. Yamada is the tiniest wrestler I have seen in many years. Oikawa recently suffered a broken nose while practicing with Fuuka. With the Battlarts style, you'll see a lot of martial arts strikes and submission attempts. It can be very awkward working in that style especially for a rookie like Yamada. So they exchanged strikes. Yamada hit a dropkick and then Oikawa went for an ankle lock followed by a dragon sleeper. They went back to exchanging strikes until Yamada hit a lariat and rolled Oikawa up with an inverted hold down for the win at 5:25.
Next up is Kyoko Kimura against the Mongolian rookie Esui making her re-debut. You may recall that she debuted at last year's Ibuki 2nd Anniversary show and then she returned home apparently due to homesickness. But now she's back. She looks awkward in the pics. You'll notice Kimura is now sporting dreadlocks. But fans love the afro. Kimura behaved as a good heel should by abusing Esui and then ignoring the ref. She applies a double toehold and grabs her hair and cackles. Esui comes back with a forearm smash and a knee lift. But Kimura traps her in the corner, stands on her and laughs. Esui comes back with chops and a chokeslam but Kimura get control for good and finishes Esui with a cross arm breaker at 12:57.
Next up is Atsuko Emoto & Mio Shirai vs Sakura Emi & Aya Yuki. One of the things we love about the Shirai sisters is their willingness to be heels. A lot of young wrestlers won't do it. They want to be liked. Of course the wrestlers usually shake hands before the match. Mio refused. The ref told her she had to shake hands. Mio crossed her arms and asked why. Remember, it's the little things that make a great wrestler. Emoto exchanges blows with Yuki and Yuki gets an atomic drop. Emi tags in and chops Emoto. Mio tags in and hits Emi with a high kick. Then she kicks Yuki while Emoto bodyslams Emi. Both Emi & Yuki apply STFs. The ref gets the match under control. Yuki punches Emoto but Emoto comes back with a brainbuster, a lariat and a near kick for the win at 11:06.
Next was Ran YuYu vs Io Shirai. Io continues the Shirai sisters heel behaviour when she flipped the bird to Ran. But Ran's a veteran so that's not going to bother her. Ran controls the first part of the match with a bow & arrow followed by a fireman's carry where she just drops her. Io comes back with a flying head scissors followed by a fallaway slam and a missile dropkick. Ran comes back and a knee to the head takes a lot of steam out of Io. Ran hits a German suplex followed by a high kick to the side of the head and a diving knee drop to the head for the win at 17:19.
The main event was Ray & Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Natsuki*Taiyo & Ryo Mizunami. Mizunami was filling in for the injured Shuu Shibutani. Of course Matsumoto defeated Mizunami in the final of the recent Sendai Girls tournament. They glare at each other before the match. Matsumoto begins with Natsuki and traps her in the corner. Mizunami tags in and applies a surfboard followed by a leg drop to the back of her head. Natsuki attempts a cross body from the top rope but Matsumoto catches her and slams her. Ray hits a missile dropkick on Natsuki but Natsuki comes back with her own offense. She hits a power bomb followed by a Northern Lights suplex for two. Mizunami hits Ray with a spear, a leg drop and a lariat but Matsumoto breaks up the pin. Ray gets the win on Natsuki*Taiyo with a hurricanrana at 17:30. So it looks like the show went smoothly even with Yoshida absent.