I’ve been having a lovely time with the D-Oh so far, and it continued in Itabashi with a show that they aired live on YouTube before it took a while to get to On Demand. It’s another shorter card with just four tournament matches, but there are a couple of tasty combos in there, so let’s see what went down.
Block A: Yuki Iino (2-1) defeated Chris Brookes (0-2-1)
Chris Brookes might have had a couple of the more impressive matches in the D-Oh so far, but they haven’t translated into results. He knows it too, and was looking to address that problem against Iino, attacking quickly as he tried to get one over the big man.
From there, Brookes threw everything he had at this. He attacked Iino’s arm, locking on submissions and using a chair on the outside to do as much damage at possible. At one point, he also slapped him so hard I imagine there was a handprint on the inside of his opposite cheek.
However, that might have been a hint as to where he went wrong too. While Brookes can throw a mean strike, he’s not quite as big and strong as Yuki Iino. That man is a tank and blows that would have felled a lesser man were shrugged off like nothing. Then, when he went on the offensive, the he looks like he could barrel through a garden wall. Brookes tried, and then he tried again, but nothing worked, and a spear kept Iino’s standout tournament rolling.
Verdict: Four Stars
Block A: Yuki Ueno (2-1) defeated Tetsuya Endo (0-2-1)
Defeat to Ueno left Endo in the same great performances with little to show for it club as Chris Brookes. He’s been fantastic this tournament, but he’s going to have to start picking up some wins, or he’ll be wrestling for nothing.
And much like his Brookes’ match, this was a masterclass in pacing. Ueno and Endo started slow, working some cool grappling before slowly making their way through the gears, building and chiselling away at what they’d already done to set-up a frantic final few minutes. It was classy as hell pro-wrestling, that made both men look fantastic.
It was Ueno who got the win, though, getting his knees up on a Shooting Star Press before bundling Endo up for the three. He’s another one who is having a good tournament, with the only difference being that he actually has some points.
Verdict: Four Stars
Block B: Masato Tanaka (4-0) defeated Yukio Sakaguchi (1-3)
Tanaka and Sakaguchi kicked things off with some grappling, which had me worried for a second. They’re both very capable wrestlers, but that’s not what I was here to see. Thankfully, at least one of them agrees as Sakaguchi delivered a couple of stiff elbows and we were off.
From there, this was just two hard bastards beating on each other. If you like your wrestling stiff (and I do), you’re in for a treat. These two know how to throw a strike, and you could hear the crisp thunk as they came flying in.
Things did get a bit silly towards the end as Tanaka hit a Brainbuster followed by a Frog Splash only for Sakaguchi to slip straight into a submission, seemingly unfazed by the combination. If he’d reversed the Frog Splash into it, I’d have probably bought it, but it seemed a bit too much.
Still, this was a hard-hitting, joyous sprint that left me with a smile on my face. I’m not going to ruin that by whining about selling.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
B Block: Daisuke Sasaki (2-1) defeated HARASHIMA (1-1)
What we got here was a classic tale of HARASHIMA’s wrestling vs Sasaki’s shithousery. HARA spent the entire match going after Daisuke’s leg, looking to rip it out from under him to set-up the submission victory.
However, Daisuke had other plans, and when HARASHIMA and referee Matsui ended up on the floor, Mad Paulie gave them both a ‘hug’. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that while that was going on, Sasaki decided to do some DIY, removing turnbuckle pads for the fun of it.
They’d end up being decisive, a missed Somato into the corner driving HARA’s face into the exposed pad and leaving him free to be rolled up. This was a fun match that never quite hit the next level as they focused on story over action. It was still good, but probably the weakest on the show.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Calling the main event the weakest match on the show might sound like a diss, but on a show this good it’s really not. This might not have peaked as high as previous nights, but every match delivered. If anything, the D-Oh is getting better, and that’s worth getting excited about.
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