After pulling off a successful first day of Peter Pan action, DDT were back for round two. Sadly, this one didn’t end in a boneyard, but I have no doubt that there will be plenty of nonsense for us to get our teeth into.
Antonio Honda and Toru Owashi raised some money for charity and ran away
I’m going to shock you, but this match wasn’t entirely serious. Sasadango chimed in via video call and offered a 100 yen in support of medical workers for every chop performed in this match. It didn’t take Honda and Owashi long to figure out plenty of ways to abuse the position he’d put them in.
That included light slaps, chops to people at ringside and eventually the two of them running off backstage to cause more chaos. It also meant the match never had a finish, but as it was made a Falls Count Anywhere, I’ve no doubt we’ll see them again before the night is out.
This was the kind of DDT silliness I’ll always enjoy. I know Honda is in people’s bad books right now, and the shit he posted was horrible, but I’m choosing to believe his apology (with the caveat that he’s on a shoogly peg), and putting him in the ring with Owashi guarantees laughs.
Verdict: A Good Cause!
Yuka Sakazaki, Miyu Yamashita and Shoko Nakajima defeated Rika Tatsumi and The BAKURETSU Sisters (Yuki Aino and Nodoka Tenma)
Time for the traditional TJPW showcase that DDT gives us on all their big shows. Even with the PPV, I’ve been so starved of Tokyo Joshi action that there was never a chance I was going to dislike this. Plus, look at who was involved? They weren’t about to fuck it up.
What was impressive was how perfect an encapsulation of Tokyo Joshi this was. The match featured a bit of everything, from the comedy of Rika’s diamond arse saving her from an atomic drop to Miyu removing heads. Plus, Nodoka Tenma was there, and if you don’t watch her and instantly want to see more, we can’t be friends.
Talking of Tenma, it was interesting just how strongly the BAKURETSU Sisters were highlighted in this. Both got chances to shine, and while Aino faced decapitation for the finish, it felt like they were being put front and centre. Fingers crossed it’s a sign that big things are coming for my favourite sisters.
Verdict: Lovely Stuff
Owashi and Honda were sitting on their phones, eating some crisps and chopping each other lightly. They agreed to go and get some more food while Shota (who is the ref) showed us the counter had reached 313.
Shinya Aoki defeated Yukio Naya in a No Countout match to retain the Extreme Title
To celebrate the lifting of Lockdown, this was a No Count Out match, with the caveat that it can’t end outside of the ring.
Honestly, it wasn’t the most thrilling use of the Extreme Title. They went for a wander around the building, producing a couple of laughs (chief of which was the revelation that Itoh stands in the corridor practising her song in full before matches), but not much more than that. It was all a little bit flat.
Aoki would catch Naya with some clever pinning techniques for a win that could probably be better classified as survival. It was fine, but I suspect people will remember Maki singing a lot more than they will the wrestling.
Eruption (Yukio Sakaguchi and Saki Akai) defeated Itoh NEO Respect Army (Chris Brookes and Maki Itoh)
The first time Sakaguchi tagged into the ring with Itoh, she did what every sensible person would do and hightailed it out of there. When she misjudged how much Chris had hurt him and tagged in only to be met with a very healthy Yukio, she decided that bursting into tears was her best tactic. That left a bemused Sakaguchi to hand her over to Saki as he presumably decided he couldn’t be arsed dealing with that shite.
Itoh’s terror of having to fight Sakaguchi was central to this match and, ultimately, his boot would go crashing into her chest for the win. However, before he put her down, Maki defiantly thrust a middle-finger in his face, so I think we can call that process.
Outside of that, it was a really interesting tag. Saki and Brookes proved to be a great pairing, their long frames combining well. It put Brookes on two impressive matches for the weekend (everyone should check out his ChocoPro bout with Suruga), gave Eruption a big win and poor Maki a new mission in life.
Verdict: Run Itoh-chan
Owashi and Honda had made their way to Ebisuko Tavern, a restaurant owned by DDT. Unfortunately, they weren’t allowed in as Ken Ohka explained they are operating under social distancing. Instead, he gave them take-out and got kidnapped because why not? The chops are still flying, by the way, so Dango’s wallet is getting light.
Danshoku Dieno and Makoto Oishi was a no contest I guess
We learnt that this match was nearly wrestled on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th of June. Sadly, your everyday problems like Dieno leaving a pot on the stove, Oishi’s baby crying and both of them being naked prevented it from happening.
To Dieno’s despair, today would be no different. Baby Owashi still wouldn’t stop crying, and Dieno was forced to plead with Imabayashi and Matsui to give him time to make it to the arena. It was heartbreaking and accompanied by a lovely montage of their careers together. Make sure and check out the ddtpro_eng translations of this beautiful nonsense.
Amazingly, Owashi did turn up in time. Less amazingly, he then fell down the stairs and couldn’t wrestle anyway. I love you, DDT.
Verdict: I’m Not Crying, You Are
Honda and Owashi were hanging out eating their food with a tied-up Ohka who they kept chopping. KUDO then turned up to demand they pay their bill from Ebisuko but, as a good dude, he decided to contribute the money to the cause and get in on the torturing Ohka fun.
We then learnt they’d done 1,000 chops, costing Dango 100,000 yen. That was, of course, the end of the match because why wouldn’t it be? As Takeshita pointed out on commentary (his eye has recovered), wrestling isn’t always about winning and losing. Again, I love you, DDT.
A few minutes later Dango got on the phone and was horrified to discover how much he owed, checked up on Takeshita (revealing in the process that he doesn’t subscribe to Wrestle Universe), provided an update on NJPW (which has earned the nickname NiiJo) and asked about the situation in Tokyo. It sounded like a conversation that started as a bit and then turned into friends having a catch-up and messing around.
HARAFUJI (HARASHIMA and Naomichi Marufuji) defeated ASUKA and MAO
Every time ASUKA is in the ring, I am contractually obliged to point out how incredible she is. I was already fully aware that she is an extraordinary wrestler (especially at 21). However, since witnessing her bravery at that ChocoPro show, that amazement has stepped up to awe.
If you had any doubts about that, then her wandering into the ring with Marufuji, dismissively booting him in the head and not giving a single shit should tell you just how good she is. She was in there wrestling two legends of the puro scene, men with more incredible performances than most have matches, and she didn’t even blink. It’s the stage she’s meant to be on.
I should probably mention some of the other people involved, as they’re all a bit good. This was a chance for MAO and ASUKA to show their flash, hitting simultaneous Moonsaults to the floor from the same turnbuckle and exhibiting that sprinkle of genius they both possess. Ultimately, though, the veteran team would prove just a bit too good, combining with some vicious knees to put ASUKA away and end an impressive showing.
Afterwards, Marufuji looked like he might be about to pay respect to ASUKA, but she was having none of that. She spat at him and slapped him across the face, going out as the motherfucking badass she is. GIVE US THAT MATCH!
Verdict: ASUKA = Queen
HARASHIMA was his adorable dorky self after the match, playing to the fans who aren’t there while Marufuji said he still wants to face-off with CIMA and Takao.
Nautilus (Naomi Yoshimura and Yuki Ueno) defeated Strong Hearts (El Lindaman and T-Hawk) to retain the KO-D Tag Team Titles
I love Linda and T-Hawk, but I am very glad that Nautilus got to keep hold of their belts. Corona cut the momentum from their title reign, but they’ve grown into a hell of a team, and this would have felt like a flat time for them to lose. However, I would 100% like to see this match again in front of a crowd because it was great.
For it turns out these four match up pretty perfectly. You’ve got Ueno, the all-rounder who I swear can do everything, Lindaman bringing more personality than one ring can handle, Yoshimura hossing out and T-Hawk being a cool motherfucker who chops the shit out of people. You throw all of that together, and you’re guaranteed a lovely old time.
It was fast-paced, hard-hitting and included a moment where Linda managed to get Naomi off his feet, which was brilliant. If there is a criticism, it perhaps went a bit too long, as they worked quite a traditional tag formula building to the Yoshimura hot tag, but didn’t quite nail the moment where they should have climaxed the match. It wasn’t egregious, though, and in front of a hot crowd might not have been a problem at all.
Verdict: Everything You Need
Tetsuya Endo defeated Masato Tanaka to win the KO-D Openweight Title
Masato Tanaka’s DDT run has been built around the idea that the man can’t be killed. He wrestles like a particularly aggressive (and mobile) brick, throwing himself at people until they crumble under the relentless onslaught. And sure, they can hit him back, but what’s the point of hitting a brick? Alright, it’s not the best comparison. I’m trying to say he’s a hard bastard.
And if you thought he was going to let that run end without one more display of hardness, you’re a fool. Tanaka gave Endo everything he gave everyone else, slamming into the DAMNATION man repeatedly. They drew heavily from the play book he’s used all through this run as tables were pulled out and he attacked Endo’s leg. It’s a formula, but it’s a formula that works.
In this case, it works because Endo comes across as the ultimate hot young stud, throwing himself at this grizzled old vet and trying everything to put him away. He did a fantastic job of selling that leg, it crumbling out from underneath him on more than one occasion, but he also kept getting up. Not just trading with Tanaka blow for blow, but matching his toughness too. He embraced the fight, knowing it was going to take something extraordinary to get the win and climbing up to the top rope twice for the Shooting Star Presses that would finally do the job.
Afterwards, Tanaka presented the belt to Endo, paying his respect before heading to the back. It’s been a hell of a run for him, and he’s done everything DDT needed him to, come in, dominate and put someone over. I think that’s a job well done.
Verdict: Tough Bastards
I think I’d put that just a smidge above the previous day’s show. There was only one match that fell flat, Naya vs Aoki, and I enjoyed the undercard just a little bit more. It was a great show, and while I’m sad Endo no longer has a sword, he now has a belt, and that’s a decent trade.
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