DDT is the next promotion I have pencilled down to start watching, so I was intrigued to check out their trip to America and see one of their shows with the benefit of English commentary. However, that also means I am coming into this with exactly zero prior knowledge, please don’t judge me.
Before we got started, Mr Haku addressed the crowd to explain some of DDT’s intricacies. That’s such a simple thing to do, but smart. It also featured our first title match of the show as Saki Akai lost the Iron Man Title to Makoto Oishi after he snuck out and rolled her up. What a perfect way to start the show.
DAMNATION (Tetsuya Endo and Soma Takao) defeated Shuten Doji (Yukio Sakaguchi and Masahiro Takanashi)
As someone coming in blind, this was a great opener. We got some light comedy from Takanashi (who was very over), established DAMNATION as a heel stable and got the bonus of a fun match.
Sakaguchi was the standout as his MMA inspired style shone. He had a lovely striking exchange with Takao which made both guys look good before being held on the outside as Endo forced Takanashi to submit.
It all added up to a solid and pacey start to the show. Perhaps nothing that will linger in one’s mind, but a great way to warm up the fans.
Verdict: Three Stars
Kazuki Hirata defeated Yoshihiko, Colt Cabana, Saki Akai, Makoto Oishi, Yuu and Mizuki Watase in a Delayed Battle Royal to win the DDT Iron Man Heavy Title
The start of the match was mired in controversy as Kikutaro was stopped on his way to the ring by a doctor. Sadly, he was informed that the New York State Athletic Commission would not allow him to wrestle due to high blood pressure. The X was thrown up, so you know it was real.
What followed was all the fun. It was a constant stream of funny shit which I won’t spoil by writing out. The final entrant would be GIF superstar Yoshihiko who came close to winning the whole thing only to be pipped by Harada at the last. Not that he held onto the Iron Man Title for long. Saki Akai charged into the ring, pinned him and regained the belt she lost at the start of the show before fleeing to the back. He did, however, win an Anytime Anywhere challenge by beating Yoshihiko.
The DDT that you see via Twitter GIFs was the DDT you got in this match. It was wild silly fun that will appeal to fans of wild silly fun. I am, thankfully, one of those people. Thumbs up.
Verdict: Three Stars
HARASHIMA and Kazusada Higuchi defeated RENEGADES (Shigehiro Irie and Jason Kincaid) and Akito and Ethan Page in a Three Way Tag Team match
Match number three was just as wild as the last but in a very different way. You had a bunch of big boys in there, plus Jason Kincaid. Although all the big boys could move, so while we had plenty of hoss-offs, there was also bodies bouncing around the ring.
It’s kind of hard to pick out a highlight because they all did great. Irie seemed to be involved in everything while Higuchi is built like a tank. HARASHIMA and Akito both shone while even Ethan Page, who is usually an okay in-ring worker at best, had his working boots on.
Akito and HASHIMA saw us out with a nice sequence, and post-match everyone had a wee hug. This continued the hot start to the show as DDT are bringing it so far.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Sanshiro Takagi defeated MAO in a Weapon Rumble
Takagi’s gimmick seems to be that he’s Stone Cold? I can dig it. MAO, meanwhile, has some of the strangest entrance gear I’ve ever seen – I’m not even sure how to describe it.
Anyway, the Weapon Rumble is the DDT match style that I was most looking forward to watching, and it did not disappoint. Mao’s first weapon was Antonio Honda dressed up as Hulk Hogan which was roundly booed (I wonder if they expected that?) as he ran through the racist’s offence on Takagi. It wasn’t enough to get the win, though.
It would only get more chaotic from there. The bike that was ridden around the ring seemed quite reasonable by the time Mao was taking an incredible bump off a DDT into a toilet. The final weapon was Chinsuke Nakamura who would attack both men (apparently he was the wildcard?) while Mao hit a 450 through a plastic container before Takagi got the win via a Powerbomb through two of them. That was wonderfully chaotic.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars (I don’t really know how you rate this stuff?)
Miyu Yamashita defeated Maki Ito to retain the Tokyo Princess of Princess Title
Up next is a Tokyo Joshi Pro match-up. As far as I can gather, TJP is the Joshi off-shoot of DDT? So they get a featured match on some DDT cards.
Maki Ito was stupidly over. Not only were fans cheering for her, but they seemed genuinely upset when Yamashita started kicking her. Although that is understandable, she was kicking her really really hard.
That was very much the story of the match. You had Ito’s unconventional offence up against Yamashita’s attempts to remove her head. In the end, despite Ito firing up and giving it her all, the head removal was successful as Crash Rabbit Heat got the win.
Another enjoyable match which didn’t have enough time to be more than that, but made sure that if I do check out DDT, I’ll be checking out TJP too.
Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars
Joey Ryan and Royce Isaacs defeated Antonio Honda and Danshoku Dino
Dino made his entrance through the crowd kissing people. Even DDT had apparently raised the question of how Dino and his gimmick were going to go down in America.
Early on Antonio Honda ‘hurt’ his knee and retired. However, before he went, he wanted to tell his famous Gon the Fox story. I had heard of this story, but have, of course, never heard it before. It was hugely enjoyable, and he then revealed he was never actually injured! What a shock.
Outside of that, this was a Joey Ryan style match which no longer interests me. It came down to Joey’s dick vs Dino’s arse, and if you’re into that style of gross-out humour, you’ll probably enjoy it. It didn’t do much for me.
Verdict: Two Stars
Daisuke Sasaki defeated Konosuke Takeshita to win the KO-D Openweight Title
Sasaki looks like he’s been moulded out of grease and you’ve got to love a sleazy heel. He took control early on by attacking the knee of Takeshita leaving the champ fighting from underneath and grasping at opportunities as he struggled to gain a foothold in the fight.
That led to a cracking performance from Takeshita. He never forgot to sell his knee, grimacing through every bit of offence he got. Sasaki, meanwhile, wrestles the way he looks. The more defiant Takeshita got, the more prickish Sasaki did. He hit a Side Russian Leg Sweep into the chairs at ringside before sitting Takeshita down in them and leaping from the top with an elbow drop, crashing through some poor fans’ seats.
Somehow, Takeshita fought on. A ref bump and a low blow didn’t put him down before a dive to the outside seemed to fire him up. He was giving his all and got a two count off an insane German followed by a Lariat as for the first time in the match, he was on the front foot.
At that point, it looked like he might even win. A Springboard Senton to a seated Sasaki looked brutal, but as Takeshita went for a German, the cowardly bastard grabbed the ref. That gave him the chance to hit a second low blow followed by a Head Scissors into the pin as the prick won it. Fantastic match, though.
Verdict: Four Stars
Tetsuya Endo defeated Daisuke Sasaki to win the KO-D Openweight Title
As Sasaki cut his post-match promo he made the mistake of slapping stable-mate Tetsuya Endo’s Anytime, Anywhere Contract out of his hand. We’ll never know whether Endo had planned to cash in or not, but if he was on the fence that made his mind up and he took his shot with a stiff Lariat
What followed felt like a matter of time rather than a match. Sasaki tried. He gave everything he had left, but it wasn’t enough. The Shooting Star Press would see the title change hands for the second time that night.
This was a storyline moment more than a work rate one which makes it hard for me to evaluate. Still, it was cool that DDT went out to try and make this show as memorable as possible for their fans.
Iron Man Shenanigans
We still weren’t done! Akai appeared in the ring, fighting people off only to get caught by Oishi in the exact way as she did at the same of the show. Hirata then sneaked up behind him for the roll-up before Ito turned up and hit a low blow followed by a pin of her own. Finally, Dino turned up, kissed all the guys, headbutted Ito and Piledrived her with her head in his trunks for the three. Four title changes for those counting, with Danshoku Dino ending the night with the title. I have no idea if he still has it.
What a fantastic show. Any reservations I had about checking out DDT are gone. It was a fantastic mix of work rate performances, comedy and insanity. Everyone was raving about this coming out of it and I 100% get why. I shall be adding DDT to my watch list sooner rather than later.