I’ve fallen behind on the old D-Oh (not actually that old), so I guess it’s time to make the effort to catch-up!
B Block: Daisuke Sasaki (4-1) defeated Bull James (2-3)
Sasaki and James have been arguing about strip clubs on Twitter. It’s something to do with Bull promising to take Sasaki to meet Candice Michelle (who he has a bit of a thing for) and take him to a club in New York, which sadly didn’t happen. Honestly, all of that was ten times more interesting than the match itself, which sucked.
It was a slow, plodding, and excruciatingly dull watch. I’ve been kicking James all tournament, but Sasaki isn’t in the midst of some otherworldly run either. The nicest thing I can say is that they weren’t fucking up every spot. They were just boring.
Verdict: Two Stars
A Block: Chris Brookes (1-2-1) defeated Yuki Ueno (2-3)
Chris Brookes is a desperate man. His D-Oh has not gone to plan and coming into this match he knew he had to win. Unfortunately for Ueno, he was the poor bugger who was left to stand in his way. Brookes destroyed him in this match, throwing him off the top with a Butterfly Suplex and hitting one of the sickest Michinoku Drivers I have ever seen. Seriously, the poor fucker lands on his head. It was a Michinoku Piledriver.
And that’s not a side of Chris Brookes we see very often. Just the day before he was messing around with Yuni, enjoying himself, so to see him get violent was as good a way to sell this tournament as anything that’s happened in it so far. You now buy that he will murder a motherfucker to stay alive in this thing, and that’s not a shabby message to send.
Verdict: Four Stars
B Block: Keisuke Ishii (3-1) defeated Chihiro Hashimoto (2-2)
Today I learnt that Hashimoto has been wrestling for four years and is twenty-seven. I had no reason to believe this, but in my head, she was at least a ten-year veteran who had been beating the shit out of people for years. How does joshi make people so brilliant, so quickly? Meanwhile, Baron Corbin has been doing his thing for seven years and, well, you get the point.
I’m marvelling over Hashimoto because this was yet another outstanding performance from her. Her tournament storyline boils down to all these men being terrified that she’s going to commit suplex murder. That leaves them with no choice but to ground her as quickly as possible. Ishii was vicious in his attempts to keep that power at bay, kicking Hashimoto in the head and stomping on her at every opportunity.
You can only hold a good suplex down for so long, and eventually, Hashimoto came forward, dumping Ishii on his head. She was hurting, though, so it turned the final section into a fight, with these two laying into each other. Stiff blow after stiff blow rained in until Ishii connected with the Spinning Heel Kick for the three. No-one was leaving that ring feeling healthy, though.
Verdict: Four Stars
B Block: Masato Tanaka (5-0) defeated Naomi Yoshimura (0-4)
Yoshimura felt like the first person to bring the fight to Tanaka, matching him in the striking exchanges. In response, Tanaka dragged him to ringside and drove a chair into his leg, so he might have been better off not doing that.
From there this was a hard bastard trying to cut down a big man. Tanaka was like a hardened pitbull, snarling and ripping at Yoshimura’s leg (except pitbulls can be lovely, and I imagine Tanaka is always a hard bastard). He managed to turn Yoshimura into the underdog, and he did a great job selling it, as he convinced everyone watching he was having a pretty horrible time.
And despite taking that beating, Yoshimura came so close to winning. Towards the end, he fired the fuck up, unleashing on Tanaka, but he would not stay down. He chews up pain and spits it in his opponent’s face, eventually hitting the Frog Splash followed up by a Sliding D for three. However, this was the second match in a row where Yoshimura has shined. He might not be getting points, but he’s building up his reputation all the same.
Verdict: Four Stars
B Block: HARASHIMA (3-1) defeated Soma Takao (1-3)
Ah, the classic enjoyable match that I don’t have much to say about. HARASHIMA and Takao went out and had a classy back and forth full of stiff kicks and a smidgen of rule-breaking from the DAMNATION man. It bounced along at a nice level, keeping the attention but never doing enough to get me excited. In a week, if you were to ask me what I thought of it, I probably wouldn’t be able to remember a single spot.
All of which is fine, by the way. Not every match can feature insane bumps or incredible storytelling, particularly in the midst of a long tournament. Sometimes two wrestlers are perfectly entitled to put on a fun little match, and that’s what these two did.
Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars
A Block: Tetsuya Endo (2-2-1) defeated Konosuke Takeshita (2-2)
Endo and Takeshita are clever wrestlers, aren’t they? I feel like I’ve been raving about Endo’s match construction all tournament, but I’m going to do it again because damn, it’s good.
Against Takeshita, it was all about the work Endo did to the leg. Early on, he went after it, doing as much damage as he could. However, for a while, it felt like that had moved to the back burner. They transitioned into a back and forth, two brilliant wrestlers looking to get the advantage. Then, Takeshita locked on the Walls of Takeshita, and that injury reared its ugly head. Crouched down with all his weight on the leg, he couldn’t keep it on, and Endo was able to escape.
From there, it felt like Endo had trap after trap that Takeshita walked into. Takeshita would get the Walls in again, but an errant kick had knocked Referee Matsui out, meaning he couldn’t get the win. Then, in a frantic final few minutes, as they danced between flash pins, Takeshita kicked out only for said kick out to put him right into a submission and force him to tap. That was some damn fine pro-wrestling and even with a slow start, I always felt like I was in safe hands.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
Guess what? This was a great show, apart from the Bull James match. I’m beginning to bore myself with how repetitive that statement is. Still, one short plodding performance a show is hardly going to kill me, so I will continue on, keeping my complaints to myself (well, apart from when I write about them).
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