DDT is back! You can’t keep a bunch of goofs down for long, so it’s no surprise that they’re returning behind closed doors to give us what they’re promising will be a weekly television show. Is that smart? No, probably not. However, if they’re going to do it, I’m going to watch, and as I’ve said before, no-one is better suited for dealing with weird times than DDT.
Yoshihiko defeated Yuki Iino to win an Anytime Anywhere Gauntlet
Yoshihiko is one of those wrestlers that rises or falls to the level of his opponents. He’s capable of being pulled up to greatness but can be dragged down easily too.
In this case, he and Iino were on the good side of things. Early on, the big man’s power seemed to catch Yoshihiko off-guard as he was able to easily toss him across the ring. However, a couple of risky moves, including a huge dive to the outside, turned the match back in his favour.
The risks would pay-off, Yoshihiko surviving a vicious onslaught of Powerbombs to reverse one into a picture-perfect Sunset Flip Bomb. That was enough for the three, and he’s got his hands on that gauntlet. It was the start of what would turn out to be the big night for the often feared wrestler.
Verdict: Fun Opener
Danshoku Dieno defeated Akito to retain the DDT Ironman Heavyweight Title
We moved location for the second match, heading to the DDT Dojo and into TJPW’s ring where we got a match that was just a bit out there.
The actual action was pretty straightforward, Dieno picking up the win after some help from Keigo Nakamura and a low-blow. However, after we were done, the tape proceeded to rewind, and we discovered there were layers to this victory We discovered them via an in-depth breakdown of what we’d seen from a manga style dived into the action with the aid of a narrator.
It was all very DDT and will mean nothing to an English speaker without a helping hand from ddtpro_eng on Twitter. That distance also probably ruins a lot of the humour, as reading translations will never be as funny as experiencing the jokes live. Still, I can’t help but respect it. DDT is gonna DDT.
NEO Itoh Respect Army (Maki Itoh and Chris Brookes) defeated HARASHIMA and Pokotan
Itoh and Brookes committed some heinous acts in this match. Poor Pokotan had his tail bitten, his head stomped and was eventually decapitated. It was cool-blooded and vicious, leaving you wondering just what goes on in those two young people’s heads.
It did leave HARASHIMA feeling a bit irrelevant to the action, but if you’re going to have a third wheel, you might as well make it HARA. He’s quite good, you see. Plus, it was just cool to see him facing off with Maki Itoh, even if they didn’t spend that long in the ring together.
Pokotan’s beheading saw him fire-up, but Chris put an end to that by throwing his head at him and having Maki hit a Mega Headbutt while wearing the poor mascot’s decapitated appendage. There is something particularly galling about murdering someone with their own head, but you’ve got to admit, it is funny.
Verdict: There’s Been A Murder!
MAO defeated Naomi Yoshimura and Konosuke Takeshita in a Three-Way-Fight
Yoshimura has spent his lockdown turning his hair into a rainbow. I’m glad he found a way to keep himself amused.
For 99% of this, it was our first serious match as this trio had a really cool face-off. They did a great job of keeping all three involved while Yoshimura was given plenty of chances to look like a stud. It was a group of talented dudes working well together to create something that probably wouldn’t go down as special, but was a lot of fun.
Then, we got a ref bump followed by MAO taking Yoshimura out with a low-blow. That wasn’t the twist, though. The twist occurred when Takeshita set-up to hit MAO with a German only to be interrupted by the lights going out and Yoshihiko taking his opponent’s place.
Having already destroyed one member of ALL OUT in the opener, Yoshihiko followed up with victim number two leaving MAO open to take the win. The real question, though, is what ALL OUT has done to attract Yoshihiko’s wrath.
Verdict: Great Stuff
Akito was understandably angry afterwards, asking Yoshihiko what his problem was and challenging him to a match. The steely faced monster didn’t say a word in response, but it looked like he’d accepted.
Daisuke Sasaki defeated Antonio Honda to retain the Universal Title
Can we talk about Antonio Honda being one of the best wrestlers on the planet? Too many people dismiss him as a comedy act (which is dumb by itself because it suggests doing comedy is somehow lesser), but he’s been fucking brilliant recently. Not only is his comic timing and delivery exceptional, but when it comes to a big match situation, he’s as good as anyone.
His battle with Sasaki was a perfect example of that. We got brilliant touches of humour (there was a moment where he had to pull up his strap to pull it down and fire-up) combined with fantastic wrestling sequences, the two of them going back and forth. The guy can do it all, and with someone as good as Sasaki opposite him, there was no way this wasn’t going to be great.
The finish was awesome too, Sasaki seamlessly kicking out of an O’Connor Roll to transition into a Chicken Wing Facelock thing (technical name) and giving Honda no choice but to tap. This was some more damn fine pro-wrestling, and you all better start appreciating Antonio Honda, or I’ll be having words.
Verdict: Honda Is King
Sasaki offered to take on any challenger, which brought out Brookes who wants his belt back. Daisuke then decided he didn’t mean any challenger, but any Japanese challenger. Sadly, one suspects he doesn’t have a choice in the matter as Brookes responded by dropping him on his head.
Kazusada Higuchi defeated Tetsuya Endo to win a sword
With Saitama postponed, the sword is now for the right to challenge for the KO-D Title, so it’s basically a fancy Anytime Anywhere gauntlet. I have no complaints about that because my boy Higuchi looks good with it.
He had to go to war to get it too, as these two turned out to be well-suited opponents. It was a battle of Higuchi’s power vs Endo’s speed and technical ability, which is a perfect style clash around which to build a match.
It also saw Endo make Higuchi look like a monster. He threw a lot at the big man, but he kept coming, beating the shit out of Tetsuya in return. At one point, he tried to join Endo on the top rope only to be pushed back down to the mat. He lay there for a second, let out a roar and rose again, a horror villain continuing the fight.
In the end, Endo just didn’t have enough to put him down, and the big man came through, earning himself a new weapon. It’s the first part of Eruption’s plan to take over and I, for one, am delighted to see it.
Damn, it was nice to have DDT back. They came out the gates firing too, delivering a fantastic combination of nonsense and brilliant wrestling. If this is what this show is going to be like going forward, I can’t wait to turn it into my regular Saturday morning viewing.
Watch DDT: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe