DDT returned to the Dojo for another fun wee show to fill in this continually widening gap without the joys of wrestling. Wash your hands, throw away your tissues and read me having a blather about what went down.
Naomi Yoshimura defeated Jordan Heatley
Jordan Heatley is an Aussie trainee who was making his first appearance although (like Okatani) it doesn’t count as his debut because it’s an exhibition match. I’m awful at judging these things, but he looks like a big boy, matching Yoshimura in height.
As you’d expect, this was kept simple, but there were a few interesting moments. Heatley got Yoshimura off his feet with a Shoulder Block and had a nice takedown into a Heel Hook. He was presented as someone who could rock the big boy, even if it was always going to end in defeat.
All things said it was a strong showing and he looks like he could be a prospect. He also did his post-match introduction in Japanese, so he’s made an effort to at least pick up a bit of the language. With him and Royce on the roster, DDT seems to be following NJPW into the Aussie market, which can’t be a bad thing.
Verdict: Hello, Newbie!
MAO and Brookes were on the opening call, with MAO naming them the Black Country Crew. He then tried to list things they liked about England which included Carling and ASDA, so whoever MAO was crashing with when he was over there probably owes him an apology.
Masahiro Takanashi defeated Keigo Nakamura
Keigo is used to being beaten up, it’s how he spends most of his days, but he’s rarely outclassed like he was in this match. Takanashi went out and wrestled rings round the rookie, wrapping him up in bows and showing off his vastly superior grappling ability. It was a lovely display of technical wrestling, that was mainly just a pleasure to watch.
Towards the end they did stand up, Masa inviting Keigo to shoot his shot. However, the rookie would end up being hoisted by his own singlet, as Takanashi literally tied his arm up in it before rolling him up for the three.
My favourite thing about this was them telling the story of Masa being a much better wrestler than Nakamura. Too often these kinds of matches have the person who has shown no previous grappling talent match the technical master, but there was none of that. Takanashi went out and dominated him, which gets the two thumbs up from me.
Akito and Yuki Iino fought Danshoku Dieno and Yukio Naya to a No Contest (I think)
Akito very sensibly pointed out that it was obvious what Dieno was going to do in this match, questioning referee Matsui as to why he never disqualifies him. (It appeared to have never occurred to Matsui that sexual assault might be considered illegal.) He then demanded that this match be reffed strictly, or he’d refuse to take part.
What followed was the wrestling equivalent of someone trying to follow the law in GTA. Dieno could do it for a little bit, but there was always an annoying pedestrian, a faster car or a rocket launcher (I’ve heard that’s what Akito calls it) popping up to tempt him. Matsui tried to steer him in the right direction, but chaos was always just a step away.
And chaos would eventually find its way through, with poor Akito not only being assaulted but having it happen from the point of view of Dieno with a camera. It was, well, it was something that happened. How much enjoyment you’ll get out of it will depend on how much enjoyment you get out of Dieno.
Around that, there was some decent wrestling with Iino and Naya doing their hoss thing and Akito being his usual reliable self. Sadly, I can’t imagine anyone is going to remember that as the end of the match descended into horror. Em, you know what, I can’t figure out how to describe it. The image above gives you a taste, and if you want to see more, you know where to find it.
Verdict: It’s Dieno Stuff
DAMNATION (Tetsuya Endo and Soma Takao) defeated Kazusada Higuchi and Mizuki Watase
Somehow the match where one of the wrestlers brought a literal sword to the ring felt like the moment where things calmed down. Endo would have had to stab someone to make it more unsettling than the previous one.
Thankfully (or sadly depending on your preferences), that didn’t happen. What we did get was a much more straightforward wrestling match with DAMNATION isolating Watase to build to that sweet Higuchi hot tag. The big man wasn’t exactly busting a gut, but just watching him crumple Endo over his knee was enough for me. There is an effortlessness to the way he throws people around that is incredibly satisfying to watch.
The final sequence was cool as Endo leapt on Higuchi’s back and the big man responded by tumbling over the top rope, taking them both out of the action and leaving Watase and Takao to take us home. They’d have an alright exchange before Takao slipped into La Magistral for the win.
It all added up to something that I’ll class as alright. I enjoyed it while it was on, and Higuchi vs Endo hinted that they could do something great, but there wasn’t enough there for me to remember it this time next week.
Verdict: Solid Stuff
Imabayashi managed to plug the online store while Endo menaced him with a sword, which is further proof of the evils of capitalism.
ALL OUT (Konosuke Takeshita, Royce Chambers and Shunma Katsumata) defeated DISASTER BOX (HARASHIMA and Naomi Yoshimura) and Makoto Oishi
Shunma has taken to saying Neppower a lot. According to ddtpro_eng (get him on Twitter for your translations), it’s something to do with saunas? I have no idea, but it became a bit of a thing in this match as it felt like everyone apart from Shunma got a reaction for saying it.
In among those jokes, this turned into a sneakily good wrestling match. A lot of the focus continues to be on letting Chambers shine, and he’d have a dominant run against Oishi before getting the win, but we also got a smidge of Takeshita vs HARASHIMA and plenty else to keep your eyes on the screen. It’s a point I make all the time, but if you shove a load of good wrestlers in the ring, they tend to produce good wrestling. It sounds obvious, but there are a lot of people who struggle with the concept.
Chambers got the win, recovering from a slightly awkward attempt to backflip out of an Oishi Chokeslam to hit a cool Neckbreaker thing which I’m sure has a much better name than that. DDT seems to be strapping a bit of a rocket to that kid, so I’m intrigued to see where he’s headed.
Verdict: Royce Shines Again
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki and Mad Paulie) defeated Chris Brookes and MAO
Sasaki had somehow got his hands on Brookes’ title, using his attempts to return it before the match to get a sneak attack in. This being Daisuke (I tend to assume he’s drunk), it didn’t quite go to plan, but he’d get the last laugh.
Before we get to that, there were a lot of weird wrestlers in this match, and it led to some interesting situations. Some of those were downright bizarre (MAO waving a magic duck wand at Paulie) and others were inventive (Sasaki climbing on Paulie’s shoulders while he was stood on Brookes in the corner). These guys have a brain for this stuff, and it means their matches are almost always worth watching.
And as much as I joke about Sasaki being drunk, he’s also a very good wrestler. Brookes and his interactions were great, hinting at the potential for that match. He’d also be the one who snuck out with the win, throwing a duck up in the ring (MAO blamed the wand for that) and hitting a low blow for the three. Nicely, and weirdly, done all-round.
Verdict: Ducks And Drunks
Royce Chambers won a Timit Limit Battle Royal and a Anytime Anywhere Gauntlet
Have they been keeping Iino locked up during this coronavirus outbreak? He seemed to have a lot of built-up aggression, going all Brock Lesnar and clearing the ring before murdering Keigo with a Spear in mid-air (much to the delight of Imabayashi). When you combine that with what he was getting up to with Dieno earlier in the show (again, you’ll have to watch it if you want to see), I wonder if he needs a run and a cold shower. At one point he was literally screaming into Dieno’s arse.
As usual with these matches, this was packed with brilliant moments. I don’t like listing them because it feels like it ruins the fun for anyone who wants to watch later. Still, some personal highlights were Higuchi and HARASHIMA having a catch-up while chopping and kick each other, HARA’s brilliant balancing act and Masa being the smartest guy in the room.
The last act once again saw the focus turn toward Royce, who answered my question about DDT’s plans for him quicker than I’d expected. His biggest scalp was Takeshita who he took out with an insane Canadian Destroyer before throwing him over the top. The cherry, though, was Dieno popping up (he spent most of the match in the corner with his arse in the air), giving him a chance to kick out of the Danshoku Driver, escape the molestation and hit a Shooting Star Press for the win.
I always enjoy DDT’s Battle Royals, so it’s no surprise to say I had a good time with this one. Royce getting the win and the Anywhere Anytime Gauntlet was a bit of a shocker, but he can always drop it somewhere down the line. It’s yet another sign that DDT like this kid, though.
Verdict: Lovely Stuff
I’d put this towards the bottom of the Dojo shows, but I still enjoyed it, and it was a remarkably easy watch. I don’t think there is a company in the world that are better suited to dealing with something like this than DDT, so while I’m obviously looking forward to things returning to normal (both in real life and wrestling), it’s been a lot of fun to watch them experiment too.
Watch DDT: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe