Ice Ribbon has been one of the most popular Joshi promotions over the last decade. Some of the best wrestlers in the world have competed in the promotion including AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida and Saori Anou.
In 2023, they have a young group of talent making names for themselves to push Ice Ribbon into it's next generation. At the lead is reigning ICExInfinity Champion, Ibuki Hoshi.
Hoshi is one of the best young wrestlers in the world as at just age 20, she was able to capture the top title of Ice Ribbon.
This weekend, she will be challenging for the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship with her partner Kaho Matsushita.
Ahead of that title challenge, Fightful's Scott Edwards had a chance to interview the reigning ICExInfinity Champion.
Here's what Ibuki Hoshi had to say!
You’ve been wrestling since you were 14 years old and are essentially a veteran at 20 years old. While you’re still so young, yet you’ve wrestled so much. Do you feel like a veteran? Or do you still feel as though you’re just getting started?
I don’t consider myself a veteran, because there’s still so much that I haven’t learned.
You have the loudest chops in Joshi. Who taught you how to chop?
In the beginning, Tsukasa Fujimoto said to try using chops if my shoulders were in pain. When I tried it doing it my chops ended up being that way. Also, I watched a lot of Kenta Kobashi videos.
(context: a couple years ago Ibuki sustained a shoulder injury that caused her to be unable to do throw forearm strikes)
At what point did you know you wanted to join your mom in Ice Ribbon?
I never thought of joining to be with my mom. I wanted to debut as a pro wrestler, and Ice Ribbon was the promotion that I chose.
Of course, there’s been a lot of change in Ice Ribbon over the last few years. Have the changes made you want to step up more for the promotion? Have you felt any added pressure as one of the key competitors of Ice Ribbon moving forward?
I did feel that I needed to protect Ice Ribbon. There is pressure, but if everyone works together, then people can see that Ice Ribbon is a wonderful promotion.
In 2022, you won tag team gold with Hikaru Shida. What did you learn from Shida as a partner and as an opponent? Do you hope to face her again?
I really learned a lot from her. If it weren’t for the single and tag team matches with Hikaru Shida, Ibuki Hoshi wouldn’t be where she is today. Wearing the belt alongside Hikaru Shida gave me confidence. But she is still my rival. I see her as a wrestler that I have to defeat.
You got to take part in Tsukasa Fujimoto’s single-day return to wrestling! You also teamed with her in one of her final matches at the Yokohama Budokan in 2022. What has she meant to your career?
I knew Tsukka before I even started wrestling. I’m now really surprised to be standing next to her as the pro wrestler Ibuki Hoshi.
Are there any wrestlers that you haven’t had the chance to face yet in a singles match that you’d like to in the future?
In the two times that I fought in Sareee’s self-produced shows called Sareee-ISM, she as a wrestler got me really fired up.
You’ll have had the chance to compete on both Sareee-ISM shows and you have faced Sareee back in 2021 before she left for WWE. What does it mean to you to get a chance to compete on such important shows?
I think getting booked by those who have competed internationally is the first step to connecting with the world. I’m also hoping to wrestle internationally, so I would like to continue working in shows like this whenever possible.
You’ve won the tag team championships with your mother Hamuko Hoshi as well as lost tag team championships to her. Is there a difference in your relationship with her when it comes to inside and outside of the ring? How does she challenge you to get better?
Our relationship in and out of the ring is completely different.
Inside the ring, she’s a wrestler that is reliable and well-respected by everyone.
Outside the ring, she’s a kind mother who encourages me to challenge myself in various ways.
The ICExInfinity Championship has been one of the most important title belts in pro wrestling for a long time now. What does it mean to you to win the championship and get to represent Ice Ribbon?
When I declared that I was going to be the face of Ice Ribbon, I was thinking about what I needed in order to become that, and the first that came to mind was that I needed the belt. From this point on, I will become the type of wrestler who will lead Ice Ribbon and not cause any embarrassment as representative.
Who would you like to defend the ICExInfinity Championship against now that you're the champion?
Hamuko Hoshi and Kaho Matsushita.
I definitely want to defend against these two.
Hamuko is someone that I have to surpass both as my mother and as my senior.
Kaho Matsushita is the kind of wrestler that is both good to have as an opponent or a tag partner. Even if she’s not my rival, I don’t want to be left behind by her so I’d like to defend against her.
What did you learn from your title challenges against the likes of Tsukushi and Tsukasa Fujimoto that prepared you to be champion?
I think it’s physical fitness. Tsukushi and Tsukka are in such good physical condition that they can be called stamina monsters. If you aim for that kind of physical fitness, you can withstand even long matches.
What are some of your favorite things you’re not wrestling?
I love the Pokemon called Snorlax.
I have Snorlaxes all around my bed.
Are there any wrestlers from the past who inspire your hard-hitting wrestling style?
Even if fighting her hurts a lot, she’s a very fiery wrestler who I want to fight a singles match, no matter how many times.
What’s one match that you’re very proud of so far in your career?
August 26, 2023 Korakuen Hall.
Because it was the day that I wore the singles belt for the first time.
Many new fans will want to see the best of Ibuki Hoshi. What are two matches that any new wrestling fans of yours should go out of their way to see to learn who you are as a pro wrestler?
The singles match and title match with Hikaru Shida. The match for the singles title against Tsukasa Fujimoto. This match contains over 240 chops.
Would you like to wrestle outside of Japan in your career? If so, where?
AEW or WWE.
I want to be a wrestler who is active in both Japan and overseas.
What are your goals moving forward as a pro wrestler?
My goal is to bring Ice Ribbon to various places and to become the face of Ice Ribbon. So instead of the negative rumors going around, I would like to try different things in order to spread the good word about us. And also to have the highest number of defenses for the singles belt.
We want to thank Ibuki Hoshi for taking the time to take part in this interview. We'd also like to thank Yappy for helping make this interview happen as well as for translating Hoshi's responses for us.
If you want to follow Ibuki Hoshi and her career, follow her on X: @hoshi_ibuki