Singles Match Between Wrestlers Who Want To Participate In DDT Regularly
Seigo Tachibana vs. Nobuhiro Shimatani - 6.5/10
That is literally the stipulation and match here, two guys that don't do a lot of DDT Pro, but they kinda want to start doing more. I can't say that I know either a lot, I've seen Shimatani maybe once more, but that's it, but they're good wrestlers, and I think they could both have potential in both comedy and the serious sides of DDT. Tachibana does have a cartoony thug gimmick already, so that could give him a good chance given he finds a story to get involved with.
Match was straight back and forward match, they traded momentum and played around with Tachibana's taunt until Shimatani hit a ugly looking Spike Crucifix Pin for the win. Solid wrestling.
Post-match - Shimatani cut a small promo saying that he won and will return to DDT. Assistant Producer Imabayashi came out and told Seigo that he lost his second chance and is no longer needed in DDT, but Dino came out and, looking kinda angry, helped Seigo up and to the back. This could either mean that he'll try to seduce him, or help him join DDT.
Hiroshi Yamato & Saori Anou vs. HARUKAZE & Keisuke Ishii - 5.5/10
Yamato is everyone's middle aged weird uncle, way too weird for Saori to hang out with him, who is just straight up awesome and someone to look out for in the next two years. For my Mexican friends, I think the best way to describe Yamato is 'Chavoruco'. Ishii is a really talented guy, but I will NEVER get over his look, he reminds me of a combination of YOSHI-HASHI and Nintendo's Miyamoto.
Match was mostly Yamato and Saori working over HARUKAZE until she got the tag on Ishii. After Ishii took on both, Saori and HARUKAZE tagged in, had a nice little exchange with Saori's arm being destroyed, and then she won with a German.
DAMNATION (Mad Paulie & Soma Takao) vs. Hideki Okatani & Keigo Nakamura - 5/10
DAMNATION is one of the better established stables in DDT, whereas, Nakamura is for the most part an underdog babyface rookie and everyone's joke, so it's a clash of rookies vs big scary established guys.
Nothing match, nothing really especial. It was almost a squash with a lot of hope spots. While unsuccessful, Nakamura's hot tag was the best thing of the match. Soma pinned Keigo with a top rope foot stomp.
Pokotan visits Niigata - Pokotan arrived at Sakai's company, where Sasadango is working, Poko brought gifts from Tokyo and a letter from Takagi. Letter pretty much said congrats on the work promotion and said that he was going to book Dango at Peter Pan, but he is likely really busy, so instead he sent Pokotan to him.
Dango said that he is very busy and can't have a match right now, so Pokotan offers to help in any other way, which Dango immedialty thinks as free labor. Dango introduces his PR employee Yukako Mito, and Pokotan quickly falls in love, or is just being a perv, hard to say with his stoic facials.
Mito puts Pokotan to work on the molds for Sasadango's action figure, work in progress for some years now, but soon after, Pokotan gets bored and goes find Dango or Mito, and finds that Dango has been trying to open a new promotion -- Niigata Joshi Pro Wrestling (#njpw) and Mito is being trained by him. They discovered Poko spying on the training, which consisted of attacking boxes without damaging them, and they can't allow Pokotan to leave knowing the secret and because he's been perving on Mito.
This was originally booked as "Yoshihiro Sakai Presidential CEO Inauguration Match In Niigata" between Super Sasadango Machine Vs Pokotan, but as we've now seen, Dango is trying to open his own Joshi promotion and so instead of Dango vs Pokotan, we have Mito-chan, representing NJPW in a pre-inaguration match.
Niigata Joshi Pro Wrestling Pre-Inaguration Match
Pokotan vs. Yukako Mito - No Rating, it was...something
This match made Lulu Pencil look like Manami Toyota. If at this point you still don't know, Pokotan is DDT's mascot, in a mascot suit, so just keep that in mind. They locked up, Pokotan had some strikes, but then Mito hit a desperation whip reversal and sent Poko to some boxes, hit a Cartwheel Elbow, and hit her finisher, the Beautiful Cross Body, for the win. Now imagine all that between a mascot and an untrained, ultra-dramatic, teenager with Sasadango laughing his ass off at Mito screaming that her hands hurt.
Post-match - Dango and Mito cut a promo telling DDT and TJPW that #njpw is gonna get them!
Jun Akiyama & Mizuki Watase vs. ALL OUT (Akito & Yuki Ino) - 7/10
Akiyama's gimmick for the last 2 years or so, has been about being an angry grizzled veteran that mostly works with the younger wrestlers. Tired of Menso-re, he has landed in DDT to fight people. Story here is that he had a fight with Watase, who earned Jun's respect in such fight, and now they're taking on ALL OUT. The match itself seemed to be all about Ino getting Jun's respect too, but Ino kept antagonizing Jun, even after the match, so I don't know where this will go.
The match itself was good, Akito and Ino made Jun put his working boots on for once. Watase was the babyface in peril for most of the match, but was also the young up and coming kid that had the most heart towards the end, showing off against both Ino and Akito. Finish saw Ino hit Watase with a big Spear for the win. Ino and Watase had a good showcase here, but Akito was kinda lost, who is arguably the better of the 3.
Dieno joined commentary to talk about the show - Even in Japanese, you can hear how natural and geniune this converstaion was, not BS corporate commercials, or fake enthusiam, or scripts to follow. Beautiful.
Kazusada Higuchi, Sanshiro Takagi & Tomomitsu Matsunaga vs. Kongoh (Hao, Kenou & Masa Kitamiya) w/the rest of Kongoh - 8.5/10
The story here is long, it goes back to CyberAgent buying NOAH. When the purchase happened, Kenoh vowed that he wouldn't allow Sanshiro Takagi turn NOAH into a comedy ridden DDT-like promotion, that Takagi doesn't care about NOAH, and that he's just a straight up disgrace to Pro Wrestling; and thus declared war against Takagi. Kenoh, along his stable Kongoh, invaded DDT and thus, we now have this match. I really won't call this a DDT vs NOAH match, because both side's are the worst represantations for either side. Give me Harashima vs Nakajima or Marufuji vs Yoshihiko. Having said that, the reson Takagi chose Higuchi and Matsunaga was because Higuchi has worked in NOAH before, and Matsunaga was the young kid that set up the ring in NOAH's first ever show.
Match was great. It started slow with Kenoh disrespecting Takagi, but once Takagi brought out a plastic box, Kenoh lost his shit and Kongoh started to beat the shit out of Team DDT. The one low point of the match was Takagi bringing out the Dramatic Dream Mobile bike, which he just can't ride at all. Aside from that, the action was great, Higuchi and Kitamiya looked like beasts, Hao was like a top level speed demon, Kenoh looked like a superstar, and Takagi, well, he looked like a 50 yr old that recovered from heart surgery. We had some great near falls towards the end, but it was Hao pinning Matsunaga that sealed the deal.
Post-match - Weird. Kenoh and Takagi had a staredown. Kenoh took the mic, but just threw it and stormed to the back. Takagi did get the mic and told Kenoh and Kongoh that after fighting them, he realized that they will never get along in ideologies, philosophies, and surely, wrestling style and so to each their own, they should go back to NOAH and do their own thing and DDT will do their own, since both companies have the same goal, the top of the industry.
This was weird, it sounded like the babyface was like yeah, I just lost, I don't wanna fight you again, let's just agree to disagree. it did sound like he told Kongoh that if NOAH doesn't make it to the top of the industry, they'll have to meet once again in the ring.
Sasaki "State of Emergency" Video - Ok. Build up video for the match, from Sasaki not pinning Brookes for the title, to Kodaka and Katsumata making their challenges for the title. Only cool part was Katsumata saying that he had 0% chance at defeating Sasaki, but Super Harcore Katsumata had 1% chance.
DDT Universal Title Three Way Hardcore Match
Daisuke Sasaki (c) vs. Isami Kodaka vs. Shunma Katsumata - 2/10
This match sucked ass, it was terrible. It was dangerous in the 'not cool' way, Sasaki was completely unsafe with his headshots. Kodaka, for the deathmatch guy, had the weakest and most boring offense, except when he was just straight up unsafe. Katsumata flying was the only redeeming thing in this match, but that was like two times that he took a break from being the punching bag and ragdoll for Kodaka and Sasaki. Finish saw Sasaki pin Katsumata with the Sasaki-Shiki Huracanrana, one of the weakest finishing moves ever.
I do need to point out one spot that was just straight up dumb. Katsumata poured out the legos, but then covered them with chairs to hit his move, making the legos COMPLETELY irrelevant to the spot!
I've said this before, in-ring weapon matches don't work if there is no one there to pop for the spots. Make it a brawl if you want, but no one needs to be falling off a ladder onto a bed of chairs if no one is going to pop for it.
Post-match - Sasaki sat on a chair, Kodaka sat on a ladder. They buried Shunma and said they should have a singles match instead, but after a month or so. Then they praised each other and Sasaki said that his next challenger will be Masahiro Takanashi, who is sidelined for about a year more, thus Sasaki won't have to defend until then. I'm ok with this.
Takeshita vs Yoshihiko Build Up Video - Awesome, it covered everything and it was super dramatic.
Tokyo 2020 Last Man Standing Match
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Yoshihiko - No Rating, but perfect for what it was.
Story here is that Yoshihiko vowed that she would destroy ALL OUT, she has defeated several ALL OUT members, even Takeshita with the help of Yoshihiko's sister; and thus Takeshita went crazy for revenge, and in the process, she tore off the arm of Yoshihiko's sister. Now both Takeshita and Yoshihiko want their own revenge in this blood feud.
Now THIS was a graveyard match! Yoshihiko had mentioned that she wanted to turn ALL OUT into ALL DEAD, so a graveyard seems like a fitting place to fight. They met each other in the middle of the night and they wrestled, they straight up did a sequence of reversals to start the match. Then, it became a horror movie with Yoshihiko playing tricks on Takeshita. After some more brawling, Takeshita escaped and tried to call Ino, but Yoshihiko attacked him and Takeshita had to run. The chase continued into a roof where after a brawl, Yoshihiko came close to throwing Takeshita off, but instead, Takeshita countered and tossed Yoshihiko off, only for her to return all bloodied up and choke out Takeshita.
Takeshita escaped and tried to burn Yoshihiko, but she fought back and PULLED TAKESHITA'S EYE OUT! Literally! Takeshita reclaimed the eye and put it back. Yoshihiko hit the Destroyer on fucking wood (pretty ugly in non-kayfabe) and tried to burn Takeshita, but he woke up, took the lighter and tossed it at Yoshihiko to burn her in a huge explosion. Takeshita wins.
Alright, so the pros and cons. I really liked how they framed this, it started at night and ended at dawn, making it seem like it lasted for several hours. In reality it went about 15 minutes, but the editing and story didn't allow for the comedy to overstay its welcome. I think the escalation of violence worked, fake blood and all, even to the point that when they started to tease someone burning, I started to wonder if Yoshihiko was really going to shoot burn, and made me get worried. The story itself was fun, it wasn't just a brawl with a doll.
Now, the bad thing to me was that watching a Yoshihiko match without audience is hard, watching it without the ring sound was even harder at times. They had music for the more dramatic parts of the match, but I think they needed music for the whole match to really hide those parts where we clearly see Takeshita fight himself in a graveyard.
Finally, THIS is how Last Man Standing matches should be, when someone straight up doesn't get up, none of that referee interrupting the match for 10 count bullshit!
Post-match - Ino arrived with bats, but Takeshita had already won. They walked down the street as the credits rolled over. After the credits, we saw Yoshihiko come back to life.
This was a fun show. I won't say it was great like some other Peter Pans, but it was good for the most part, I just got really sour after that 3-way. I always thought that the strong card was for day 2 anyway, so I'm not counting this year out yet. Overall, I'd say go watch the DDT vs Kongoh match and the Akiyama match for the Puro fans, and the main event for the DDT fans.