The big show is behind them, but there is no rest for DDT. Instead, they’re gearing up for the D-Oh and all the slightly deflating wonders that contains. I kid, the line-up might not have lit my fire, but it’s sure to be good. Before we get there, though, it’s back to TV land for episode 11 of the DDT TV Show.
Danshoku Dieno defeated Yukio Naya
Naya is so dull that Dieno’s usual nonsense doesn’t affect him. Having questioned if it was actually effective before the match, he went on to no-sell all of the normal grope based offence.
Which, for a few minutes, had me interested. I’ve always felt that Dieno is a funny guy doing a lazy gimmick, so anything that pushes him outside of his box gets the thumbs up. Unfortunately, that wasn’t really what happened here. It was more that they stepped out of the box for a bit before clambering back in for the finish, Naya eventually falling victim to a tender Dieno smooch.
In the aftermath, Naya grabbed the mic and suggested that he’d enjoyed being on the receiving of Dieno’s lips. Sadly, even the way he said that was with all the personality of recently dried cement. It’s a shame, the idea of someone being immune to Dieno’s shite amused me, but the execution was somewhat lacking.
Verdict: Nice Idea, Boring Match
Toru Owashi defeated Gorgeous Matsuno to win the O-40 Title
Owashi wants nothing to do with the O-40 Title but was tricked into taking this match for his 20th-anniversary celebration when Takagi promised he’d receive 100% of the merch sales. The big man obviously forgot that the DDT TV Show is filmed in front of, em, no-one.
Owashi was going to get his dues one way or another, though. It quickly became clear that Matsuno probably didn’t pose much of a threat (even his pre-match sneak attack failed to make a dent), so Owashi decided to use the time to plug as much merch as possible. The man has a future on the shopping channel if he does decide to pack in the wrestling.
Gorgeous Matsuno’s one flurry ended when he took so long to set up his Gorgeous Superstar Elbow that Owashi hadn’t just rolled away, but lit a cigarette, made himself a coffee and caught up on the morning headlines. Still, the guy is 59, and you can’t fault the effort. Sadly, his year plus title reign was to end, Owashi showing how much the belt meant to him by throwing it away seconds after he won it. If you’re looking for great wrestling, you probably aren’t watching this match, but it made me chuckle.
Verdict: It Was What It Was
Dieno was unimpressed by Owashi’s disrespect and kicked off a somewhat bizarre segment which ended with him and Matsuno agreeing to a number one contender match. Check out ddtpro_eng for your translations.
ALL OUT (Konosuke Takeshita and Shunma Katsumata) defeated HARASHIMA and Keigo Nakamura
These four all fell short at Ultimate Party, losing singles matches or, in the case of HARASHIMA, taking the fall in a tag.
And with four talented wrestlers in there, it was always going to be a good match. However, it was also in the mid-card of an unimportant show, so while it was good, it was nowhere near what it could have been. Takeshita and HARASHIMA weren’t about to go to war in this environment, and there was a degree of taking it easy.
That is for everyone apart from Keigo, who I don’t think is capable of doing so. He threw himself at Takeshita, and while I know he’s about as intimidating as a toddler with a teddy bear, I will defend that kid to the death. His weirdness is his greatest gift, and while he obviously took the fall, he was the one to inject some life into proceedings.
Verdict: It’s Alright Lads, Keigo Has This
DAMNATION (Tetsuya Endo, Daisuke Sasaki, Soma Takao and Mad Paulie) defeated Junretsu (Jun Akiyama, Makoto Oishi, Mizuki Watase and Hideki Okatani)
While Charisma being back in his rightful spot means the world is a better place, I do want to know what this means for eyeliner Yamato. Please don’t take that away from me.
Anyway, while the last match felt a bit directionless, this made its purpose clear before the bell had even rung. Endo walked across the ring and shoved that title in Akiyama’s face, suggesting that maybe those two are on a collision path (I’m good at picking up clues like that).
It leaves DAMNATION as the latest group tasked with getting something interesting out of Junretsu. This was an alright start, as it benefited from not being another match with ALL OUT. On the other hand, it was somewhat damaged by the knowledge that it was all about Endo vs Akiyama, leaving everything else to feel like little more than build-up to the main showdown.
The flurry we got between the two of them was brief, but violent, an onslaught of elbows completed by Akiyama hitting an Exploder. While Endo would recover to get the win, the gauntlet had been thrown down, and the post-match made it clear that my ingenious powers of deduction have not failed me yet.
Verdict: Endo’s Got A Challenger
Yuki Ueno defeated MAO to retain the Universal Title
MAO is one of my favourite wrestlers to watch move around the ring. Not just in the homoerotic way that sentence might imply, although it helps, but also because every step is weird. The guy is incapable of doing anything without a flourish, which makes him fascinating to watch.
Unfortunately, that weirdness didn’t quite cross over into the match. It was good, at times better than that, but I think I wanted something different from these two. They’re two very talented wrestlers who excel at thinking outside the box, so them working to a rather standard B-tier show main event style was a tad disappointing. I was left with the distinct impression that they could do a lot more.
Now, it should be said, that’s it possible Ueno took a knock early on. He spent a lot of time on the floor, MAO even smartly giving him a couple of excuses to stay down there, and it wasn’t anything that seemed to fit within the flow of the match. Whether he had been rattled or not, I can’t say, but it wouldn’t surprise me, and if that was the case, he recovered really well and my criticisms should be tempered.
Injury or not, I don’t want to be mean about it because I did enjoy a lot of what they did. The problem isn’t with what they gave me, but my expectations. Expecting them to go out and rip up the rulebook is unfair, especially on a no-fans show coming off DDT’s biggest event of the year. They had a strong, back and forth match that gave Ueno his first defence. There should be nothing to complain about.
Verdict: Hurt by My Expectations
The aftermath saw Ueno and MAO have a big old hug, which was lovely. Shunma and Takeshita then joined them to set-up a match for Sauna Club on the next TV Show. Gotta keep that half-naked hugging to the sauna, lads.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a slight Ultimate Party hangover feel to this show. Everyone was happy to turn up, but they weren’t quite ready to go all out, which is fair enough. Despite that, DDT slipped a few blocks in place for upcoming stories, and the D-Oh is about to start anyway, so they can take it a bit easy on the old booking front. Episode 11 was a solid hundred or so minutes of wrestling, which is all you need sometimes.
Watch DDT: https://www.ddtpro.com/universe