The D-Oh is getting ever closer, but before we get to that, it was time for Episode 12 of DDT TV. It was another chance for Eruption to step up to the main event and continue their dominant run with the trios titles. That’s what happened, right?
Makoto Oishi defeated Hideki Okatani
We opened with a match between Junretsu teammates and a rock-solid exhibition of the classic rookie vs veteran formula. Oishi is an underrated wrestler, someone who rarely lets you down, and he did a good job of cutting off Okatani’s fire.
As for Okatani, we got a glimpse of both his positives and his negatives. In-ring, the guy is as solid as you’ll get from someone at this stage of his career. The problem is his complete lack of personality. If he was in New Japan, I don’t think that would be an issue right now, but on DDT cards he becomes very forgettable.
Maybe it will come, or maybe Okatani will reach an in-ring level that makes it irrelevant, but even the best workers in DDT tend to have more than that to their bow. So far, and it is worth remembering how early in his career he is, Okatani has been found lacking in that regard.
Verdict: Solid Opener
Danshoku Dieno defeated Gorgeous Matsuno
Gorgeous Matsuno’s cheap shots being ineffective is hilarious. They didn’t even bother stopping Dieno’s music when Matsuno attacked him on the floor, Matsuno moving away to come charging in only to turn around and find that Dieno had continued into the ring, totally unfazed. It left Ref Matsui struggling to hold back the giggles.
The rest of the match didn’t quite live up to that start, sadly. Perhaps this is an example of me overthinking something, but about halfway through I became aware that Dieno was beating up an old man. It was funny for a while. Then it was a bit sad.
In saying that, Matsuno did kick out of the Danshoku Driver, which is a surprisingly protected move, and made a sort-of comeback. It didn’t get him anywhere, but at least he wasn’t totally humiliated. Plus, despite losing, he declared he still intends to get his O-40 title back, specifically for his 60th birthday anniversary show next year. Well, you can’t fault the old bastard for trying.
Verdict: Don’t Beat Up Old Men
DAMNATION (Tetsuya Endo and Daisuke Sasaki) defeated Antonio Honda and Keigo Nakamura
Endo and Sasaki look better together. Scuzzy uncle and ridiculously ripped uncle should never be apart.
The running gag here was people continually interrupting the Gon story. We had everything from Daisuke rudely declaring he knew the punchline (he reckoned it would be ‘vagina’) to Keigo getting frustrated and joining DAMNATION because he wanted a serious match. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t stick, so he rejoined Honda to chant masturbation.
It’s an outing which benefits greatly from our old pal. ddtpro_eng, but there was plenty of physical comedy too. Honda certainly had Endo and Daisuke staring off into the distance, hands over their mouths as they tried desperately to hold back the laughter. Matsui, meanwhile, cracked for the second match in a row.
Look, it was utter nonsense, but it was nonsense played out by people who excel at it. You already know whether this match is for you and if you’re watching DDT, it probably is.
Verdict: Chaotic Nonsense
Sauna Club (Konosuke Takeshita, Yuki Ueno, MAO and Shunma Katsumata defeated HARASHIMA, Toru Owashi, Chris Brookes and Yukio Naya
Sauna Club may be a little bit silly and incredibly homoerotic, but damn that’s a team that can go. There was a hint of nonsense here, including Shunma going all Linda and repeatedly throwing himself at Naya, but it wasn’t the focus as this turned into a cracking match.
Highlights included a great back and forth between Brookes and Take, Naya getting a bit of fire underneath him as he took out the entirety of Sauna Club solo and MAO being MAO, which is enough by itself. He may not have bothered taking his shirt off, but he was still hitting Split-Legged Moonsaults.
By the end, chaos broke out, everyone flying in and out of the ring to hit moves. It was multi-man tag wrestling 101, but it fucking works and you’d have to be in a right mood not to have a good time. In the aftermath, Sauna Club suggested this was far from a one-time thing, which judging by this, is fine by me.
Verdict: Damn Good
Wakate Tsushin Generation (Akito, Kazuki Hirata and Shota) defeated Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi, Saki Akai and Yukio Sakaguchi) to win the KO-D Trios Titles
I demand a recount! This a tragedy of justice and you better give DAMNATION those belts back, or I will, I will, em, throw a colossal tantrum?
Alright, jokes aside, this caught me off-guard. It makes sense for Sakaguchi and Higuchi, but what’s the plan with Saki? They’ve pushed her hard, but now she’s lost her title (taking the pin in the process) and isn’t in the D-Oh? What next?
Questions about the booking aside, it was another great Eruption match. In fact, they looked dominant for a lot of it, Saki getting a rare chance not to be worked over as Akito stepped into the role. As someone who doesn’t watch lucha or Dragon Gate, I can’t think of many trios who work together better than those three, as they fit together perfectly.
On the other side, Shota would be the surprise package. He’s someone I associate with spot-on impressions rather than his in-ring ability, but he looked great out there. There would be a reward for it too, as he bundled Saki up for the three, much to her fury as Higuchi and Sakaguchi had to stop her continuing the fight. It was a damn good match, but I’m still retaining the right to sulk.
That was another reliably solid episode of the DDT TV Show. If you’re looking for short, fun and easy to watch wrestling, it does the job perfectly. Long may it continue.
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