DDT Dramatic Survivor 2021
September 4th, 2021
Tonight's tournament is a reverse tournament, where the losers are the ones that advance to the finals, being that the losing team of the finals has to disband. That's not all, in the case of DAMNATION or The 37KAMIINA, if they lose, the must relinquish the team championships, the 6-Person and Tag titles respectively. This is organized by Takagi as a way to keep everyone on their toes, and to force change in the product, trying to keep things fresh.
Mr. Takagi, would you like to book NJPW for a short season?
Opening announcements - Nothing special, Dieno from The Pheromones was there to promote their upcoming tag title shot against Takeshita and Katsumata.
Mad Paulie vs. Keigo Nakamura - 4.5/10
This wasn't a squash, but close to it, Paulie pretty much dominated Nakamura, who had some offense, but nothing really strong.
Dramatic Survivor Eight Man Tag Team Tournament First Round Match
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki, Soma Takao, Tetsuya Endo & Yuji Hino) vs. DISASTER BOX (HARASHIMA, Kazuki Hirata, Naomi Yoshimura & Toru Owashi) - 7.5/10
This was pretty good, the members of DISASTER BOX tend to get involved in a lot of comedy stuff and don't necessarily have the strongest members, but in this match they came in an took it serious because of the repercussions of losing the match. They even came into the match with the plan that they needed to keep Hirata outside of the match as much as possible in order to not risk it.
The story revolved around DB keeping Hirata out of the match until things to so hard that Yoshimura was forced to tag out and get Hirata in. He went against the meanest man in all of the promotion, Hino, and while it took him a bit, but he did manage to bring him down, not enough to pin him or anything, but it wasn't just the complete destruction of Hirata. Soma came in and when it seemed like DAMNATION had the win, Hirata managed to counter Soma and pin him for the upset win with a Miracle Small Package.
DAMNATION must defend their existence against the loser of the next match.
Dramatic Survivor Eight Man Tag Team Tournament First Round Match
Junretsu (Hideki Okatani, Jun Akiyama, Mizuki Watase & Yusuke Okada) vs. The 37KAMIINA (Konosuke Takeshita, MAO, Shunma Katsumata & Yuki Ueno) - 7/10
Good match. The great thing about Junretsu matches are that for the most part, Okada, Watase, and Okatani are forced to take things super seriously because of the lack of experience and because of Akiyama, and so we tend to have pretty basic and solid matches. Because of that lack of experience in some of the members of Junretsu, we did get the 3&KAMIINA be the dominant team in the match, at least until Akiyama got in the ring. Finish saw Akiyama set up MAO with a running knee for Okada to pin an win.
Finals will be DAMNATION and Junretsu.
Akito & Yukio Naya vs. Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi & Saki Akai) - 6/10
Ok match, they tried to pretend that Naya is stronger than Higuchi and I just wasn't buying it. This ended up being good for Higuchi vs Akito and that alone. Akai was mostly in the ring as the babyface in peril and a couple of spots leading to the finish where Higuchi took out Naya with a chokeslam and won.
Antonio Honda & Sanshiro Takagi vs. The Pheromones (Danshoku "Dandy" Dieno & Yuki "Sexy" Iino) - 3/Fun
The Pheromones' gimmick is that they're so beautiful, that people faint just by looking at the. They also smell like cheap perfume.
This was way longer than I expected and had less comedy than I expected, if that is to be believed. They're building The Pheromones as contenders to the tag champions, so they had to get a somewhat stronger win than a normal second match comedy would give them. The match still was a lot of comedy with the Gon the Fox spot and Iino and Dieno doing butt stuff. Finish saw Dieno give an electrified "Earth Kiss" to Takagi and set him up for a Banzai Drop from Iino.
Post-match - Dieno teased there is a third Pheromone coming, which could make things interesting for the title match, specially because I don't expect Takeshita to hold both the KO-D title and tag titles for long.
Yukio Sakaguchi (w/Eruption) vs. Chris Brookes (w/Antonio Honda) - 8/10
Really great match, arguably one of Brookes best matches I've seen all year. This was 90% strikes and 10% submissions which led to the finish when Brookes went all octopus on Sakaguchi and tapped him out. I do want to mention that all the striking was great, really loud, but not necessarily stiff or off putting, just really loud kicks and chops from both men.
Brookes is Takeshita's next challenger, so he needed a strong win, and this did it.
Dramatic Survivor Eight Man Tag Team Tournament Final Match
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki, Soma Takao, Tetsuya Endo & Yuji Hino) (w/Mad Paulie) vs. The 37KAMIINA (Konosuke Takeshita, MAO, Shunma Katsumata & Yuki Ueno) - 9/10
This is the most unlikely of scenarios that I expected to find ourselves in, these two teams are the strongest in the promotion and most popular. I honestly expected DISASTER BOX to be here since they feel so fragmented at this point, or even Junretsu since we don't know what is Akiyama's future with DDT, but nope, instead we got DAMNATION vs The 37KAMIINA. As they came out to the ring, there was a feel of importance in the air, we were about to see the fall of one of the top stables in the promotion.
The match itself was really freaking good. There was a determination and desperation from everyone involved to see their team win, even Paulie who was outside at one point when it all seemed lost for his team, he jumped in and started going after everyone, only to get taken out too. We had some GREAT pair ups with Endo and MAO, Take and Hino, and Ueno versus Sasaki, which eventually led to the finish with Sasaki getting destroyed by the 37KAMIINA and a moonsault from Ueno for the win.
Post-match - Ueno was the one to talk for 37KAMIINA, he said that they couldn't afford to lose and while he has a lot of things against Sasaki, he didn't wish for them to disband, but stipulations are stipulations.
Sasaki took the mic and said that it was all Takagi's bullshit, but they lost and will disband, they will start a goodbye tour and end it in 2025. Imabayashi announced that the goodbye match will take place on 9.26.
Ueno closed the show saying that a lot of people are not going to be happy with the result either way, but that is wrestling, we win and we lose and that's what makes this so great.
This ended up being a great show just for the tournament alone, historical in a way. The non-tournament matches in the card may not had been the strongest, but they mostly had the purpose to build up a challenger. In addition, it was a really easy watch, it went by faster than I expected. If you're a fan of DDT, I'd totally recommend the main event.
NJPW, RevPro, CMLL, DDT, etc
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