Another grab-bag of matches now, as we go around the last decade with some Ice Ribbon, NWA and FWA!

Minoru Suzuki vs. Miyako Matsumoto
We’re going through to March 2013, and an Ice Ribbon show from Korakuen Hall. There’s no commentary on this release, nor entrances, so there’s no Kaze Ni Nare for you today!

Miyako Matsumoto is a former actress who’s worked for the Ice Ribbon group for pretty much her entire career – debuting back in December 2007 in a tag team match where she came up short… although when your partner was a ten year old (in the form of Riho), that’s not so much of a shock. As for the match, it’s obviously intergender stuff, and it starts with Miyako trying to chop Suzuki… with exactly the effect you’d expect. He issues a chop in response, and it downs her like she’s been shot. Again, exactly what you’d expect given the size difference.

Suzuki goes for a knee bar, but Matsumoto escapes… and quickly gets pushed down after getting in a slap. Her offence is pretty much limited to charitable stuff, like Suzuki giving her his back – and in fairness, she was able to get an armbar out of it, but Suzuki nonchalantly rolled over and switched it into a Kimura instead.

Ater a rope break, Suzuki gets in the referee’s face, which allowed Matsumoto a way back, but she’s quickly thrown to the outside as Suzuki turfs her into some of the (admittedly limited) chairs on the floor before going after folks at ringside to buy some more time. Again, Miyako tries to fight back with slaps to the back, but Suzuki just rolls her back inside again before he slaps her and reapplies the knee bar for the submission… a submission that was comically ignored as the Matsumoto tapped when the ref wasn’t looking.

So Minoru puts it back on, and the ref keeps missing the submissions. Is this Japanese Chris Roberts? After getting a rope break, Matsumoto gets free and tries to win with a load of claps to the chest, before holding her leg up high like it was a yoga pose. A splash after that just seems to make Minoru snap back into an armbar, but again, we have a rope break!

More attempts at a fightback follow, but Suzuki ducks and puts on a rear naked choke, before rolling up Miyako for a near-fall… and that’s the beginning of the end as Suzuki just slaps her before folding her in half for a reluctantly-counted pin. Totally one-sided, but at least this wasn’t as savage as it could have been. **

Tim Storm vs. Jocephus
It’s an empty arena match from January 2018, complete with Impact’s Jeremy Borash and Sam Shaw on commentary. Taped before a round of Impact tapings, we retain entrances and what have you for some reason as the winner of this match gets a shot at Nick Aldis’ NWA title.

Jocephus has a photo of his “spiritual advisor” with him, and he’s jumped in the aisle by Storm, who throws him down the ramp as we open with some ringside brawling. We get a tour of the Impact Zone as Storm mutters about comments Jocephus made about his family, before using some handrails to rake Jocephus’ eyes. There’s more walk-n-brawling through the bleachers, as Storm keeps telling Jocephus to stay away from his family as he’s then shoved down those bleachers.

Down on the floor, the guard rails get pushed into Jocephus’ throat as he begs for mercy. It’s not forthcoming as Storm helpfully retells the story so far for those of us who just dipped in for this match, before hitting Jocephus across the back with some chair shots, eventually burying his former title challenger under a pile of chairs. Well, it’s not like Impact needs them, going by recent crowd sizes…

Next up are the ring steps, which Jocephus gets thrown into as Storm keeps muttering the words “retribution” and “redemption” as if he’s forgotten his line and is trying to jog his memory. Eventually Storm grabs a ladder and bridges it between the ring and guard railings, before throwing another into the face of Jocephus, who I don’t think has had a single bit of offence so far. Storm tries to get some more payback, by pulling out a tube of salve to rub into Jocephus’ eye, but the fightback starts there with some low blows and chair shots, before a Kendo stick’s brought into play. After a while, Storm puts on the brakes after he blocks a Kendo stick shot, and drags Jocephus towards the edge of the ring as he teases a suplex through the ladder.

It doesn’t come off thanks to some eye rakes, as Jocephus throws Storm through a chair that had been wedged in the turnbuckles, before grabbing a crutch from under the ring. Some rather lackluster crutch shots follow from Jocephus, which looks to draw blood… we get the Salve to the eyes again from Jocephus as he tries to superplex a blinded Storm through a chair, before instead throwing the chair to send Storm off the top rope and through that ladder, landing badly on a second ladder… and with this being falls count anywhere, that’s enough for Jocephus to claim the win. A surprising result, given that Storm owned the lion’s share of the match… and even more so when you consider what this sets up. Is anyone asking for Jocephus vs. Nick Aldis? Thought as much… **½

Dave Breaks vs. Shane Oldham
Shot in the middle of what looked like an exhibition, this was from the FWA’s last attempt at a revival in 2011. This is an “Adrenaline Division” match, which is basically an Under 24s division with a ten minute time limit. Kind of like what NGW’s Gen X league is doing these days.

Stevie Aaron is doing ring announcing, while Dave Bradshaw is on commentary with “TV and radio star” Joel Ross. Your referee? Chris Roberts. Christ, three of them are constants in British wrestling this decade, eh? Oldham’s apparently from Newcastle, and on first sight is the epitome of the pleather generation. He’s the “Daredevil Dragon”, which necessitates the Oriental-sounding theme. Commentary mocks Breaks for being pale, while also reminding us that Oldham used to go by the name “Shane Spyral”.

Breaks goes to the technical stuff early, grabbing a cravat as he tries to trick Roberts into giving the early submission. Oldham breaks it in the corner, but he ends up eating some chops as Breaks tried to follow up… only for Oldham to hit some chops of his own before flying over him and coming back with a nice ‘rana.

Breaks responds with some headscissors of his own as he tried to come back with a sunset flip, but instead he decides to stomp on Oldham’s arm as he works over it for a while. It’s pretty methodical, one-way stuff as Breaks wears down Oldham. A quick clothesline to the outside sees Oldham – who Bradshaw kept calling by his old name – follow up with as good a tope as you’d be able to do in such a cramped area, before returning to miss a moonsault back in the ring.

Just like that, Breaks tries to sneak in a chicken wing, but Oldham wheelbarrows out of it, rolling up Breaks for the win. A so-so TV-style match, and a far cry from the high-flying action that things like the X-Division were offering at the same time. **

FTW Women’s Championship: Allie Reks vs. Candy Cartwright (c)
Going back to September 2017 here, and Fight The World Wrestling’s “Sacred Heart Slam” event. We’ve not exactly been high on Candy Cartwright in SHINE (or EVOLVE for that matter)… so is she any better in her “home” environment, where she’s their women’s champion?

When we finally get going, Cartwright takes Reks into the corner with a tie-up… and that leads to a shoving match before Candy starts to work on Allie’s arm. They swap wristlocks before Reks gets shoved into the ropes for a headscissor takedown… and she largely stays a step ahead, until Candy shoves away a bulldog out of the corner.

A Northern Lights suplex straight after gets Candy a near-fall, before she took Reks into the corner for a Kevin Nash boot choke. Candy’s bulldog works, but instead of going for a pin she decides to pull Allie into a bow-and-arrow hold, keeping her on the mat until Allie somehow broke free. There’s plenty of forearms in the comeback, until a dropkick knocks Candy down for a near-fall. I must say, they’re showing a LOT of hard camera/long shots in this edit…

Candy comes back with a Samoan drop for a near-fall before taking Allie back into the ropes for some choking, including another go around of that Nash boot choke. A missed kick gave Reks another window of opportunity, as back-and-forth forearms sent both women into the ropes, but Candy edges ahead and goes back to the Samoan drop… but this time it’s turned into a sunset flip for a two-count.

Reks keeps up the pressure with a crucifix pin and a roll-up, still getting two-counts, but in the end she’s taken into the ropes for a 619 from Cartwright, who then cartwheels over her into an elbow drop for another two-count. Candy takes too long on a neckbreaker and ends up taking Eat Defeat from Reks, but Allie takes too long to follow up with a DDT as Candy counters into a modified Cross Rhodes for the win. Or was it? The ref clearly counted two, and Reks did look to kick-out, but Candy took the win… and since her music played, they didn’t argue or have a do-over. This was nowhere near as bad as some of Candy’s worst in SHINE, but this felt like an late 00s WWE women’s match with a bit more time to it. *½

That wraps up another batch of “Odds and Sods” – if there’s anything you think we should take a look at in this little vacuum, hit us up via that Contact form!