After a short break, DDT have decided to revive the TV Show they were running during the worst of lockdown in Japan. Taking place in what appears to be an actual studio, I believe it’s going to be filmed twice a month and kicked off with Yoshimura challenging Brookes for the Universal Title.
Kazusada Higuchi defeated Yukio Naya
The new era of the DDT TV Show started with the big boys in a match that summed up my issues with Yukio Naya. Was he bad here? No, he didn’t struggle to keep up with Higuchi or look outclassed, but he also made little to no impact. The thing that makes him stand out is that he’s big, so when you put him in there with someone else who is big, it’s his lack of personality that you notice.
It was still enjoyable enough. Higuchi hitting power moves on Naya was an impressive sight, and two beefy chaps beating on each other rarely lets you down. The problem was that one of those beefy boys stood out significantly more than the other.
Verdict: The Right Beef Won
Danshoku Dieno and Sanshiro Takagi’s Popularity Deathmatch was ruled a no-contest when Akito shouted at them.
One of DDT’s longest-running feuds continued with a Popularity Deathmatch. The stip meant that any wrestler who announced their allegiance to Deino or Takagi would be free to interfere. The problem is that neither of them is particularly popular, forcing them to argue over wee Keigo’s allegiance.
Unsurprisingly, this was nonsense heavy, and fellow English speakers will need ddtpro_eng’s translations open to keep up with the action. The long and short of it was that Takagi started bribing people around the ring, drawing them onto his side. At one point, Referee Kiso was tapping out Referee Matsui which gives you a pretty good insight into what went down.
It was also the rare occasion where the lack of a finish played into the match’s hands. The whole thing ended up being the set-up for the punchline of EVP Akito ringing the bell, sending everyone to their room for being embarrassing and challenging Dieno to a match at Ultimate Party. Of the one million ways they could have set that up, they went for the elaborate display that featured Imabayashi getting in the ring. I have no complaints.
Verdict: Only In DDT
Konosuke Takeshita and Jiro Kuroshio defeated ALL OUT (Akito and Shunma Katsumata)
Incredibly, Jiro’s entrance featured no delays of any kind, as he perhaps decided the lack of fans meant he needed to speed things up a bit. Like Sareee, COVID has given him a second farewell run, part of which involved throwing Shunma in a lake at the Toshimaen show. For some reason, he was still a bit salty about that.
Not that Shunma’s anger was going to ruin Jiro’s day. He brings the sillier side out of Takeshita, the two working through a series of spots where Ikeman kept accidentally hurting his partner’s leg. Between that, his attempt to throw Shuma off a balcony and the usual jacket based exploits, he was going out with a smile on his face.
There was a more serious side to the match, though, Akito and Shunma seeing a chance to show up the boss man and take advantage of that leg. For a lot of the action, they were essentially props around which Jiro and Take had a laugh, but when they got a wee chance to shine, they did a solid job of grabbing it.
In the aftermath, Jiro and Take joked about how many times they’ve said goodbye before Ikeman put over DDT on his way out. Presuming this is his final appearance, it was a fun one on which to say goodbye.
Verdict: Cheerio, Jiro!
DISASTER BOX (HARASHIMA, Yuki Ueno and Kazuki Hirata) defeated Junretsu (Jun Akiyama, Makoto Oishi and Hideki Okatani)
I know Akiyama is going to have a good match with Takeshita and will probably go on and do the same with a few other members of the DDT roster. That’s a given, something that I’ll enjoy, but which only excites me to a certain extent. The real intrigue of him being in DDT, at least for me, is watching how he engages with the other side of the company.
There were two sides to this match, the very solid six-man tag and the story of Hirata wanting to welcome Akiyama with a dance. Unfortunately, both the opposition and his teammates had no time for him today, leading to his early efforts coming to nought. Well, they were until a punchline that I shall not spoil, but which got a chuckle out of me.
Everything I like about DDT was summed up in this match. They took what, in most companies, would have been a good if slightly dry six-man and added a twist that helped it stand out. That’s all it needs to get the thumbs up from me.
Verdict: The DDT Twist
Chris Brookes defeated Naomi Yoshimura to retain the Universal Title
I was a tad disappointed by the opening of this match. Yoshimura is a young wrestler getting a title shot and yet he ambled into the first act. He’s a big boy, someone who could bully Brookes, but he was flinching back from chops and letting the pace be dictated for him, Brookes going after his arm.
Thankfully, we would eventually get some fire from Naomi, Brookes managing to draw it out of him. An awesome throw set him up to hit a One-Armed Powerbomb, powering through after the arm Brookes had worked over gave out on him. However, it wasn’t enough for me. Ultimately, this felt like a very one-sided title defence, Brookes getting a slight scare, but looking like he was Yoshimura’s better in every way.
It’s possible that was the point. Perhaps I’ve come into it expecting one thing and being disappointed not because it was bad, but because it didn’t give me what I was hoping for. The post-match certainly hinted that was the intention, Brookes dismissing Yoshimura and calling him weak, a take that pissed off Ueno. In response, he challenged Chris, setting up yet another big match for Ultimate Party.
Verdict: Not What I Was Hoping For
A fine episode of the DDT TV Show that isn’t about to go down in history, but was an easy watch. It went under two hours, and while I don’t think any of the matches particularly shone, there was plenty there that was fun.
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