The DDT TV Show has fans! Well, I assume it always had fans, but the fans are now in the building, watching from real seats and making real noise. Yes, they’re not quite at the stage of selling the place out, but this show was a wee slice of normality, and it was nice to see.
Hideki Okatani defeated Keigo Nakamura
I like to rag on Keigo’s general air of uselessness, but it’s all said with love, and the truth is that he’s turned into a nice wee wrestler. When placed in the ring with his fellow rookie, he got a rare opportunity to wrestle someone on an equal footing, showing off his high-flying and proving that while he still looks ridiculous, the kid can go.
Of course, that didn’t mean he was going to win. That’s not Keigo’s lot in life. No, he is one of wrestling’s whipping boys and is destined for a career of heroic efforts followed by defeat. Sadly for him, the people given the right to beat him already include his junior, Okatani. Keigo showed off all his fancy tricks, but the new kid was that bit bigger and stronger, and ultimately that proved the difference. Only three months into his career, the rookie picked up a win.
Honestly, I think this is the perfect way to use Keigo Nakamura. He’s great, and I’m not joking around when I say that, but it’s the kind of great that doesn’t need to win matches. At this point, and maybe it will change in the future, he should be the butt of every joke. This defeat only played into that idea.
Verdict: Poor Keigo
Antonio Honda won the Delayed Entry Battle Royal and the Ironman Title, but lost it shortly after to Danshoku Dieno
Before the match, Dieno grabbed the mic and declared that he’d become attached to the Ironman title. He then said that everyone who was expecting fun and games was set to be disappointed, as he was going to defend his gold like a demon (check out ddtpro_eng on Twitter for your translations).
What followed was an unsettlingly serious Delayed Entry Battle Royal. Dieno even avoided the opportunity to go for a dick grab (which, in light of current events, was a relief) and started throwing Brainbusters. Every new entrant only kept the theme going, the match filling up with wrestlers doing some wrassling. Well, until Honda turned up anyway. He did his usual trip, setting up for the Gon, but no-one would listen! While he desperately tried to grab their attention, telling his tale, they kept going, leaving him to it.
Amazingly, his decision to stand in the corner narrating Gon’s latest adventure would lead to him getting the win as everyone else was either eliminated or dumb enough to leap over the top rope (Shunma and MAO). Only DDT could have a serious match and end it in one of their funniest finishes yet. Of course, Honda didn’t hold onto the belt long, insisting on finishing his story and being rolled up by Dieno while he talked.
ALLOUT (Konosuke Takeshita, Akito and Yuki Iino) defeated DISASTER BOX (Toru Owashi, Naomi Yoshimura and Kazuki Hirata)
It was lovely to have Hirata back. He promised to win the match single-handedly, but Owashi was having none of that and chucked him out the ring. After that, not only were his partners refusing to tag him in, but their opponents wouldn’t even hit him. He was forced to knock himself off the apron when Takeshita wouldn’t play along.
When Hirata did eventually find his way into the match, he’d get his revenge, locking everyone in Paradise Locks and getting the chance to boogie on down. God, I don’t think I realised how much I’d missed that goof.
Sadly, when I say he locked everyone in Paradise Locks, I wasn’t strictly telling the truth. He forgot Iino and then was so busy dancing that the big man got a good minute or so to run the ropes and charge up for a Spear. In among all that beautiful nonsense, there was also some fun wrestling, so this gets the double thumbs up from me.
Verdict: Hirata’s Back!
Yuki Ueno defeated Mad Paulie by disqualification
Sometimes you want a match to surprise you, but other times, you want it to tell the exact story that it should. Mad Paulie is a big fucker who wanted to squash Ueno. Unsurprisingly, Ueno wasn’t such a fan of that idea and employed hit and move tactics, dancing around him and trying to get the win.
It was a tactic that seemed to be working. Yes, Paulie got his hands on Ueno at times, but he was able to avoid those grasping arms more often than not and even bring the big man over with a Suplex. Then, as he climbed up top, Nobu arrived, and he was pissed, beating Ueno down before complaining about not being booked ahead of he and Endo’s tag title shot.
That was a well-worked match followed by an angle that gave Nobu a bit of shine ahead of next week. He was still his usual over the top and ridiculous self (he’s even dyed his hair in a very Linda-style), but the beatdown looked good, and added a violent streak to his usual shtick.
Verdict: Solid Stuff
Jun Akiyama defeated Makoto Oishi
Getting to face off with Akiyama was a big spot for Oishi who is usually slotted into a comedic role. It’s been interesting to see who DDT have paired off with the veteran, with their choices so far feeling a little bit left field.
However, Oishi can look at this one with pride. He was outclassed, Akiyama proving to be the badass he is, but Oishi showing a shitload of heart. The story here was that he wasn’t on the legend’s level, but if Jun wanted to beat him, he was going to have to kill him.
Sadly for him, that’s exactly what Akiyama did. Well, not exactly. He didn’t literally kill him. That would be a bit much. He did beat him in a wrestling match, though. Wow, that doesn’t feel like much now. Anyway, my point is that this was the perfect example of how to look good in defeat. Oishi may have been the weaker man, but he took his beating like a champ and earned an Akiyama handshake afterwards. That’s got to be worth something.
Verdict: Well Done, Oishi
Oishi grabbed the mic and was about to say something when Takeshita turned up flanked by ALLOUT. He felt it was time for them to get some coaching, an invitation Akiyama was happy to accept. However, he needed some pals of his own, at which point Watase turned up and gracefully allowed Akiyama to be on his team. With Oishi having earned his spot, the final member was a hyped-up Okatani who having beaten Nakamura had decided he could now take ALLOUT. I’m not sure Akiyama would have put those three top of his draft picks, but I’m sure he’ll whip them into shape.
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki and Soma Takao) defeated Chris Brookes and HARASHIMA
The build to Brookes vs Sasaki continues, and it’s safe to say those crazy kids still aren’t getting along very well. It didn’t take long for Brookes to have a chair wrapped around his neck before being run into the ring post.
That kind of set the theme for what was to come. Sasaki and DAMNATION felt like they were a step ahead of Brookes, thwarting him at every turn. Even when he managed to stop Daisuke mid twisting and turning to spike him with a Tombstone, Soma was there to pull the ref from the ring. It was the same kind of trickery that opened him up to a low blow and being smashed over the head with the DAMNATION sign as a set-up for the finish.
Throw in some good stuff from Soma and HARASHIMA, and this was a strong match. Daisuke even used his promo promised to show Chris that Japanese penis is better. I’m honestly not sure what that had to do with anything, but it led to Brookes smashing the DAMNATION sign over Sasaki’s head and earning the last laugh.
Verdict: Japanese Penis Is Better?
Eruption (Kausada Higuchi, Saki Akai and Yukio Sakaguchi) defeated DAMNHEARTS (Tetsuya Endo, T-Hawk and El Lindaman)
Saki Akai was the fucking star of this match. There was a moment early on where, after Linda’s attempts to humiliate her, T-Hawk threw her back towards her corner, demanding she tagged out. For a second, she looked up at him, a scared look on her face as I assumed she would. Instead, she stood up and booted him in the chops, refusing to give him the satisfaction of her walking away. Now that’s a wrestler I can get behind.
And while everyone in this match is brilliant, it was Saki’s story. She was the emotional heart of it, standing up and facing off with Linda, in particular. We all know her tag-team partners are badasses, but Saki was out there to prove that she’s just as tough. She took a beating, eating chops and Suplexes galore, but always kicking out. You got the impression they could have bashed her head in with a hammer, and she’d have kept going.
It was a fight that she’d be rewarded for as while she didn’t get the final pin, she provided the assist. Then, after Higuchi got the three, Akai was on the outside, audibly weeping as her partners ushered her into the ring, making sure she took her moment. It’s her first big title in DDT, and you don’t have to be an expert in body language to see that it meant the world to her.
Verdict: Bow Down To Akai
Akai’s night wasn’t over as Imabayashi announced that they’d have their first defence at next month’s Korakuen before giving Saki the news that the final opponent in her trial series will be one Meiko Satomura. That’s going to fucking rule.
Both Sakaguchi and Higuchi got their chance to speak, but, in yet another lovely moment, Higuchi handed the mic to Saki last, proclaiming her the main act and letting her close out the show with her new title in her hands.
That was a brilliant end to a very enjoyable episode of DDT TV. They announced that next week will be the final edition of this format, as they’re at the stage where they can return to a normal schedule, and I’m going to miss it. DDT is a rare wrestling company that is suited to weekly TV. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll still have plenty of treats for us in the future.
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