DDT Kawasaki Strong 2021
February 14, 2021
Culttz Kawasaki, Kawasaki, Japan
Junretsu (Hideki Okatani & Mizuki Watase) vs. Toi Kojima & Yusuke Okada - 6.5/10
This was very good, the young guys trying to show off in a big stage. Watase and Okada have recently started a rivalry, and it got quite heated here, they were going heavy on each other. Match was mostly back and forward, they made sure that Watase and Okada had a good chance to do their thing in the ring. At the end, it came down to Watase submitting Kojima, while Okatani held off Okada outside. Okada was obviously upset that he lost to Watase.
KO-D 10-Man Championships Announcement - It's announced that due to COVID restrictions, to avoid having too
many people around the ring, the titles are temporarily being transformed from 10-Man to 8-Man Championships.
Hirata Skit - Since winning the 6-Man titles, Hirata doesn't get as much time to dance in the ring, and thus is having withdrawal. Aoki promises he'll find Hirata time to dance in the ring.
Vacant KO-D 8-Man Tag Team Title No Disqualification Match
Antonio Honda, Kazuki Hirata, Shinya Aoki & Super Sasadango Machine vs. Danshoku Dino, Makoto Oishi, Sanshiro Takagi & Toru Owashi - Dud, but well, it was something.
Match revolved around the story that Hirata hadn't danced in a match in a long time, so he made all efforts to rid the ring of wrestlers, including his team, so he could dance. When he finally managed to do it, the power of his music overloaded the breakers and the lights went out. As his hard broke and Imabayashi wasn't able to reconnect it quickly, Dieno offered the power of his asshole to generate electricity so that Hirata could dance. Honda, SSM, Oishi, Imabayashi, Owashi, and even Shota that wasn't in the match, all made a human conducting chain to power up the lights and music player. HIrata danced until Takagi tried to catch him by surprise and steal the win, but Hirata reversed, rolled up Takagi, and won the match. There was also a Honda Gon The Fox spot, but that's a given.
Hirata is now 6-man champion and 8-man champion with completely different people.
Miyako Matsumoto & Saori Anou vs. Maya Yukihi & Saki Akai - 7/10
This was Mean Girls: The Match, but the The Plastics in this case are the fan favorites. During the press conference, Anou expressed that she rather team with Yukihi and Akai, she doens't like Miyako, and so the story of the match wa a display of her reasons. Miyako was a bit of a klutz and for those reasons, Anou was beaten up for about two thirds of the match until she made her own comeback and tagged out. Even when Miyako was in there, Anou had to deal with her until the point that she had enough, turned on her, and left her for Akai to pin. None of this was done in a babyface/heel dynamic way, more of a real people that don't like each other and tried to make it work way.
Tornado Six Man Tag Team Match
NEO Itoh Respect Army (Maki Itoh & Chris Brookes) & Super Delfin vs. Keigo Nakamura, MAO & Mirai Maiumi - 6.5/10
This is NEO Michinoku Pro vs NEO Osaka Pro. Itoh and Brookes came out to Super Delfin's theme, so I feel robbed of both Brookes' and Itoh's themes.
Itoh came in dressed with the Gran Naniwa's robe and claws, she performed a lot of his spots throughout the match, in a way, this was Itoh's and Delfin's tribute for him. Itoh even won with a Gran Naniwa style headbutt. Chris Brookes played the part of Jinsei Shinsaki for that matter.
Story of the match early on was that whatever Delfin did, he'd accidentally, and sometimes not so accidentally, take out Itoh, building to the point that Itoh was ready to leave the match. Second half of the match was totally chaotic, with true Tornado tag action.
Mirai Maiumi looked great in this match, weirdly enough, she looked like she belonged here more than TJPW.
HARASHIMA & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Kazusada Higuchi & Yukio Naya - 8.5/10
This was great. I have been hoping for Okabayashi vs Higuchi for a while now, they've had some matches a couple of years back, but nothing new. I still want a singles match, but I can satisfy the hunger for now with this. The match was hoss and stiff, with both different pair ups. I don't have to mention that Higuchi vs Okabayashi was great, but for that matter, Naya paired up nicely with both Okabayashi and HARASHIMA, who he lost to at the end.
Post-match - HARASHIMA thanked the crowd for coming out. COVID and earthquake makes for hard times, but people still showed up.
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki, Mad Paulie, Soma Takao & Yuji Hino) vs. ALL OUT (Akito, Konosuke Takeshita, Shunma Katsumata & Yuki Ino) - 9/10
The true rivalry here is between the returning Ino and Hino, who joined DAMNATION while Ino was out due to surgery. Hino defeated Ino in a arm-wrestling match not long ago, and so Ino wants to get some revenge.
The match was built around DAMNATION working over Ino's newly recovered back, up to his comeback where he went back and forward against Hino. The trick here is that they're also building towards a one-on-one between them, so Hino had the better of Ino in this match; nonetheless, Ino had a great performance, getting the win over DAMNATION's other big boy -- Mad Paulie.
Every other part of the match was great too. We saw Takeshita take on both Hino and Sasaki on separate parts of the match, Katsumata wrestled Soma. Katsumata for that matter, took a nasty bump, where he was supposed to land on a ladder bridge, but missed it and only snapped his back and leg on the edge. Akito had a light participation in this match, he came in and out, but didn't have his one single pair up against someone. I figured they'd may use this match to build up some contenders for Akito's 6-man titles, or Katsu's hardcore title, but none of that happened.
Post-match - Ino cut a small promo saying he was back in perfect form and would defeat Hino in Nagoya.
DDT Universal Title Match
Yuki Ueno (c) (w/MAO) vs. Yukio Sakaguchi (w/ERUPTION) - 9/10
Ueno called for Sakaguchi to be his next challenger, the very same man that choked him out twice to take the tag team titles back in October. Ever since Ueno called him out, Sakaguchi has choked out Ueno in pretty much every encountered they've had, even outside the ring. The truth is, Sakaguchi is a trained MMA fighter, with great striking and submission skills, and Ueno, he just doesn't have the defense necessary to take on someone like that, Ueno is a moonsault and DDT type of guy, a lot of heart, but outmatched when it comes to striking and submission work. As a means of preparing, Ueno started training with Aoki, another MMA guy, but surely, there is just so much that you can learn in only a month.
The match played into all of it, Sakaguchi beat the shit out of Ueno, out-grappled him, kicked the fuck out of him. Ueno fought with heart and kept kicking out, kept trying to come back. As the match went on, Ueno's work over Sakaguchi started to pile up more and more and more, but surprisingly enough, it all came down to Ueno managing to escape and counter a sleeper into a sleeper of his own and choke out Sakaguchi. Aoki's teachings worked after all.
It's fair to say that this was the best Sakaguchi match I've seen, and that may include the ERUPTION matches. Personally, I would have rather see Ueno finally beat Sakaguchi using Ueno's own techniques, to prove that his game was strong too after all.
Post-match - Sakaguchi gave the title to Ueno, who then thanked him for teaching him so much about the areas he needed to work in.
Kenta Kobashi is the special guest to witness the upcoming match.
KO-D Openweight Title Match
Tetsuya Endo (c) (w/DAMNATION) vs. Jun Akiyama (w/Junretsu) - 9.5
This was just fucking great. A true classic, at the level of what Endo has been delivering for months now. DAMNATION and Junretsu were both out there, but aside from one interference from Mad Paulie holding Akiyama's leg for a second, which led to Endo's point of focus, they kept away from interfering. As mentioned, Endo worked over Akiyama's leg throughout the match, but he did have to change his game to the upper body as he started chasing the Torture Rack Bomb and the EITS. Akiyama, on the other hand, focused on the head from the get go, he started dropping Endo on his head over and over and over, he kneed and kicked him and everything that hurt Endo. The match just went back and forward until the very end, when Akiyama dropped Endo with a Sternness Dust Alpha for the win.
The more I think about it, the more I think that Akiyama was a good choice to take the title, and it may have happened at the best time too for Endo. The amount of credible challengers was somewhat low at this moment, surely you can build anyone and take guys like Takeshita or Akito or HARASHIMA, but it seemed like DDT is trying to avoid those matches, potentially saving them for a Peter Pan or an Ultimate Party. With Akiyama taking the title, we now have a bunch of first time challenges, he can help a lot of the roster get some title shot experience, and in a way, he'll try to legitimize the title a bit.
Feels completely different from Mutoh winning the GHC title, which feels like a step back, while Akiyama is a step forward.
The biggest tragedy if this is that Endo never got to defend against Omega, who he kept calling out.
Post-match - Kenta Kobashi gave Akiyama the title and posed for the photo-op. Akiyama told Endo that this wouldn't be the last time they faced and said this had been fucking awesome.
Akiyama explained that Kobashi tried to put the belt around his waist, but he asked not to do so, he doesn't want to wear the belt until he defeats the only man in DDT that has a win over him, and so he named Higuchi as his first challenger. Akiyama thanked the crowd, did some jokes about the Wrestle Universe stream having problems and blaming Dieno's anal power. Really good closing promo, I'm really happy with Akiyama right now.
Awesome show, top to bottom, it was great. The matches were either great comedy, or just great wrestling. There wasn't a single match that disappointed me at all.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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