Every one of these DDT Dojo shows has at least one super interesting match on it. For last Tuesday’s, that treat was newbie Royce Chambers taking on Chris Brookes in the main event. He was given a chance to show-off on the previous show. Now it was time to find out if he can do more than that.
Akito defeated Hideki Okatani
Our opener wasn’t our opener as it was an unannounced rematch and again branded as an Exhibition.
They kept to a similar structure to that previous match, with Akito playing the veteran hand. Okatani was given a few brief moments to impress, but this was more about putting him through his paces. Hopefully, these two closed-door matches will at least calm the nerves slightly before his proper debut.
It does get a big thumbs up for the finish, as Akito went for multiple covers and it actually led to a three-count. So often that spot is done with little to no jeopardy, but Akito made sure to cinch those pins in a bit tighter each time, wearing Okatani down to the point that he couldn’t kick out. More of that kind of thing, please.
Verdict: Cool Finish
HARASHIMA was on opening call duty and agreed to make his match with Shunma for the title. They settled on a Barefoot Block Toys match (I say settled, it was Katsumata’s idea) because Imabayashi made it very clear that Lego is copyrighted.
Antonio Honda defeated Keigo Nakamura
Whatever the Gon the Fox story was in this match, it popped the hell out of those at ringside. They thought it was hilarious. In fact, Honda seemed to be on fine form full stop, and you’ll want to have ddtpro_eng open on Twitter to figure out what’s going on.
Although, as I say that, I’m not entirely sure you do need it. Yes, it helps at times, but Honda is a naturally hilarious person, so even when I don’t know what he’s saying, I find myself chuckling along. Throw in poor useless Nakamura as his foil and you’re going to be laughing away whether you understand them or not.
The match itself was basic, but it didn’t need to be anything more than that. There were two funny people in the ring being funny.
Verdict: Time For Giggles
Yuki Iino won a Delayed Entry Battle Royal for a Anytime Anywhere Gauntlet
Talking of funny men, Hirata is another one who makes me laugh even when I don’t have a clue what he’s saying. He was the star of the opening portion of this match, debuting his new Shining Sleeper Hold, which appears to be a Sleeper, but he hits the ropes before putting it on.
That set-up one of the best Delayed Entry Battle Royals I’ve seen in DDT, and I fucking love these things. There were multiple brilliant comedy spots, including MAO surviving elimination thanks to a Higuchi piggyback, only to attempt a WWE style return to the ring and completely stack it when the chair collapsed from underneath him. It was made all the better by everyone lining up on the apron to watch him do it.
There was also some really solid wrestling mixed in among the nonsense. At one point, Higuchi Lariated Watase so hard that he got kicked in the back of the head while Naya and Iino had a fun hoss-off in the final two. It was a perfect example of how to put together a ridiculously fun Rumble-style match, and I guarantee you won’t regret giving it your time.
HARASHIMA defeated Shunma Katsumata in a Barefoot Toy Block Deathmatch to retain the Extreme Title
This match had unique psychology as the pile of toy blocks in the middle of the ring slowly spread across the canvas. It turned simple moves like a Dropdown into something more complicated, as the wrestler not only had to leap over their opponent but the tiny spiky death trap as well.
It also gave certain things an extra spice, as HARASHIMA was able to use a Rolling Romero Special to place Shunma repeatedly in the blocks. On the flip side, it turned certain offensive moves into a two-way street, as you also forced yourself onto the vicious little buggers.
The final touch was its effect on the Running Somato, as the lack of a path through the chaos foiled HARASHIMA’s first attempt to hit the move. On his second, the one that would win him the match, he was able to leap from clear spot to clear spot before crashing into his pal.
It was all a brilliant example of how to play to a gimmick. DDT not only does these daft matches but also wrestles to them, using the stipulations rather than barrelling through them. If you’re looking for some inventive wrestling, you could do a lot worse than checking this out.
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki and Tetsuya Endo) defeated ALL OUT (Konosuke Takeshita and Akito) in a Captain’s Drinking Match
Daisuke wandered down to the ring drinking a beer as he continues to cement his status as my spirit animal. It turned out that he’s worried about Corona because of the coronavirus, so he wanted to make this a drinking match. Unfortunately, Take was driving while Endo can’t drink because he needs to protect his beautiful muscles. So, they decided it would be a captain’s drinking match with Akito and Sasaki doing all the drinking. They established that they’d drink for rope breaks and kick-outs.
Said rules turned out to be very open to abuse, and it wasn’t long before the beer was flowing. Sasaki was breaking up Endo’s pins so he could have a drink, both men went to the toilet and Akito’s love for Endo became overpowering, as he started protecting him from Takeshita and even sung him a song.
Now and then a wrestling match would break out, and most of it was pretty good, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed it more than the drunken antics. Credit to Endo and Take, who played their designated driver roles well, but this match wasn’t about them. It was about the nonsense, and the nonsense was good.
Verdict: Don’t Drink And Wrestle Kids
To cap it off, post-match Sasaki (who vanished for the final minutes) returned to ringside with a bag of cans, having apparently decided they were running low. God, I love that man.
Chris Brookes defeated Royce Chambers
Royce Chambers is very impressive. He flips and flops around the ring with an elegance that makes it look effortless. From that point of view, the kid is already nailing it.
However, as I said in my review of the previous show, there’s a difference between impressive and brilliant. A lot of wrestlers can do cool shit, but the great ones can put that all together. This was Chambers’ first opportunity to prove he could do that and sending him out with Brookes, one of the best wrestling minds going, was the perfect way for DDT to introduce him.
And they told the exact story you’d want from them as Brookes tried to ground this impressive newbie, but found himself falling victim to more than one incredible bit of high flying. Chambers looked good for it, selling the wear and tear of the match well and taking some impressive bumps. The way he bounced into the air from Brookes’ Brainbuster was particularly impressive.
The home stretch saw the two chop it out before exchanging kicks, Chambers holding his own. All it took was one missed Shooting Star, though, and the whole match flipped on its head, Brookes hitting the Praying Mantis Bomb for the winner.
However, this was a second impressive performance from Chambers and a hint that he is more than just a boy who can do flips. DDT might have got something special on their hands, let’s hope he can live up to it.
Verdict: I Like The New Kid
Another fun show from the DDT Dojo as we got a load of great comedy-based matches followed by an exciting main event. I joked the other day about DDT making this Dojo shows a regular thing, but would it be that bad an idea? Not every week of course, but a few a year would work perfectly, and I assume they’re not expensive to run? It’s certainly food for thought.
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