** Pre-Show **
Keigo Nakamura vs. Hideki Okatani - 4.5/10
Good short young boy match, no shenanigans, just back and forward action. Okatani rightfully won with a double arm suplex.
Hiroshi Yamato and Hoshitango vs. Mizuki Watase and Yukio Naya - 5/10
Yamato looks so weird with long hair and eye shadow, he lost all that older man City Hunter looks.
This was way too long, it touched on all points, but it felt like it went over a couple of minutes after the hot tag. Hoshitango worked well for his size, a lot of his movement looked like 90's Abdullah, but some looked perfectly ok, he and Naya obviously had the hoss clash. Yamato submitted Watase for the pin.
Imabayashi Introductions - The usual merch announcements. Yuki Iino, who has been out with an injury, was there to give an update, he said that he expects to be back by February. He asked for a chance to do his haka, and so he did. It was kinda weird that he did it without being interrupted. I miss this guy.
We got a video recapping a lot of DDT's year since the pandemic started. GOod memories.
** Main Show **
MAO vs. Shunma Katsumata - 7/10
Shunma had kept away from hardcore stuff for a while, but he picked MAO's return match to suddenly bring out the Lego baseball bat.
MAO's injury had been on the neck, and so Katsumata went after the neck. He hit a Meteora on the apron, locked in some leg-scissors, stomped on the neck and so. Once he had some advantage, he went for the Lego bucket, but the referee stopped him, unfortunately, MAO jumped in with a kick and accidentally kicked the box and Lego went flying.
And so they just had a match, mat wrestling and all, in a Lego filled ring. They traded submissions and roll ups and moves and all over Legos. MAO had some trouble keeping Shunma down, but at the end, he won with a springboard Phoenix Splash. Good return match for MAO, he kept it basic, but he looked good.
Dieno/Imabayashi meeting - Dieno walked out of the WC, he seems to be having stomach problems. Imabayashi tells Dieno that they're on a lot of media channels today, and so he needs to be under control, and thus gives him a bamboo muzzle. Akito on his room said that he didn't sleep last night, and thus has drank many many energy drinks.
Danshoku Dieno vs. Akito - 6.5/10
This was a match of many stories. Dieno has the muzzle and the threats by Imabayashi to keep it safe, and so Akito is just goading him, going for the legs, arguably a boring match; but then Akito got tired and told Dieno that this isn't the Dieno he wanted to face, he wants the real Dieno. Akito undressed to convince him, and so Dieno removed the muzzle.
After some Dieno style of wrestling with kisses and all, Akito, who had drank a lot of energy drinks, he started to piss himself, but after a lot of moves and laughing at him, it was Dieno, who had been having stomach problems, that accidentally shit himself. He took off the trunks to reveal he had a diaper and could go on. He hit the Stinkface on Akito, and almost submitted him like that, but Yuki Iino came down to cheer Akito to recover, turn things around, lock Dieno in a Goliath Birdeater and Kiss combo for the win.
I wasn't expecting anything different from this match.
Trios Elimination Match
ERUPTION vs. Disaster Box (Toru Owashi, Naomi Yoshimura and Kazuki Hirata) vs. #DamnHearts (Mad Paulie, El Lindaman and Nobuhiro Shimatani) vs. Super Sasadango Machine, Makoto Oishi and Antonio Honda - 6.5/10
ERUPTION just defended the 6-man titles a week ago and none of these teams really any claim to a shot at this point, so no point in putting them on the line. Before the match, Sasadango revealed he had Mad Paulie face paint underneath his mask as a plan to get in their heads.
This was really chaotic at first, they wanted to get several spots in before the first elimination (it being #DAMNHearts). We already had a Honda injuring himself spot, then we had Sango betraying his team to join DAMNHearts in order to save himself from a beatdown. We had some dissension between Disaster Box because Owashi needed an extra person for a lucha style rana assist, and he used Hirata. We got a three-way hoss battle between Naomi, Higuchi, and Mad Paulie. At the end of all that sequence, Dango betrayed his new friends DAMNHearts and rejoined Honda and Oishi, setting up Hirata to roll up Nobu for the elimination.
There was a 4-on-4 submission, but Honda was left out, and so he was going to give up out of sadness, but before that, he would tell his Gon The Fox story that ended with Honda being rolled up by Hirata for the team elimination. It's down to DIsaster Box vs ERUPTION. After some roll-up teases between Hirata on Sakaguchi, the latter reversed and pinned Hirata for the win. The champs remain on top. There was very little wrestling, but it was a fun and enjoyable match. There was a lot more stuff that could had been done with more time.
Post-match - Shota and Akito ran down and joined Hirata to challenge ERUPTION for the trios titles. ERUPTION said that he had indeed called out for any competition, and so they agreed. Imabayashi said that this will take place before the D-Oh Grand Prix.
DDT Extreme Division Championship Weapon Rumble Match
Shinya Aoki (c) vs. Sanshiro Takagi - 4.5/10
Stipulation is that every minute or so, a new weapon enters the match, assigned to a wrestler. So, since Aoki hasn't actually signed the contract for the match yet, this starts with a table in the center of the ring. Aoki finally signs, but used the table for a piledriver to start the match.
First match is Aoki's, and it's Nakamura himself, who attacks Takagi, but he's just too weak and gets taken out, but the distraction is enough for Aoki to jump him. Second match for Takagi is a Barbwire Explosive bat, which he uses to kill Nakamura. Aoki's third is Maku Donaruto!! Takagi was dry-humped for a bit, but then his weapon came out - MMA Legend Hayato "Mach" Sakurai. He just started to kick Donaruto's ass and chased him away. Weak cameo.
6th weapon was Aoki's and it was Dieno and Dango, or someone that looked like them, revealing Takagi's secret that he once considered taking advantage of a fan who really liked him, but HE DIDN'T, don't start stories. In return, Takagi's next weapon was an interview with Aoki's ex-wife, who implied that Aoki taps out really quick. In what I'd consider a cheat, the next weapon was also Takagi's, and it was someone that Aoki tried to convince to go to a Love Hotel, and with that one, Takagi rolled up Aoki for the win. I personally expected a bit more of this match, more weapons.
Post-match - Takagi puts over Aoki for being 37 and still having an active sex life. Imabayashi asked him if he had plans for the future. Takagi said he had no challengers in mind since he had been focused on Aoki, but that going forward, he was inviting anyone in the world to challenge, wrestler or not, DDT, NJPW, NOAH, anyone. He also said that he won't be defending in the ring, but on the streets, and that his matches will be on Youtube.
After taking off, Shunma Katsumata attacked him with a chair in the back. Shunma made his intentions clear, he's going for the Extreme title.
D-Oh Grand Prix 2020 Announcement - Participants will be Konosuke Takeshita, HARASHIMA, Daisuke Sasaki, Yujio Sakaguchi, Akito, MAO, and Chris Brookes in block A. Tetsuya Endo, Kazusada Higuchi, Soma Takao, Makoto Oishi, Yuki Ueno, Shunma Katsumata, and Jun Akiyama in block B.
HARASHIMARAFUJI (HARASHIMA & Naomichi Marafuji) vs CIMASOMA (CIMA & Soma Takao) - 8.5/10
After watching the Soma vs CIMA match from last week, it's really hard not to see Soma Takao as the ultimate babyface of the match, he's teaming with his hero and surely you want to see him do good. And then he has his buddies outside the ring cheering for him against a cocky Marafuji, since he always likes being extra cocky in DDT for some reason.
The match was great, the stuff between CIMA and Marafuji lived up to my hopes, even if it was short since it was a tag match and it was only given about 13 minutes, and that was the biggest detriment in the rating. Match saw Soma initially be the babyface in peril, but past the CIMA hot tag, Soma recovered and had a great finishing run with HARASHIMA until he defeated him clean! It's hard to believe that aside from Soma, they're all 40+ years old, just overall quality.
The way that this match played out, it really felt like DDT was putting over CIMA and Marafuji as the legends they are, and I wouldn't be surprised if DDT wants to be the promotion to make the singles match happen.
Post-match - CIMA and Marafuji had a stare off, in a we must do this again way. CIMA and Soma said that since they made some matching gear, they should keep teaming going forward.
DDT Universal Championship
Chris Brookes (C) vs Yuki Ueno - 8/10
Ueno is sporting an injured shoulder after the attack from Brookes at Korakuen Hall, and so Brookes went after the shoulder from the get go, and because of this, Ueno's whole offense had to change into using his other arm instead, or rely on kicks and dives. Brookes started off dominant, going all calamary with submissions, but Ueno kept fighting back and as time went on, the match started to slip away from Brooke's hands. Ueno started to get closer and closer, forcing Brookes to go for bigger moves and more submission attempts, but he just couldn't keep Ueno down. Eventually, Ueno had Brookes damaged enough that he hit the WR and won.
This is the best outcome for both Ueno and the title. It gives Ueno a taste of singles gold, that he can now defend and build and grow as champion for when he is ready to take the big one. Likewise, the title had been misused since Sasaki took it, but now it feels like one of the future guys of the promotion has it and it means something. Now to see if Ueno can live up to the spot.
Match was good. Brookes didn't heel it up enough for me to get behind Ueno with a passion. Instead if felt like a match between two babyfaces, one of which was hurting more than the other, and maybe that was the point, but the two angles prior to the match seemed like Brookes was acting more cocky and heelish than I thought.
Post-match - Disaster Box came out to celebrate with Ueno, including Marafuji who had a DB tee. Ueno announced that he is leaving Disaster Box, apologized to all for not saying anything earlier, but he wanted to be his own man. Yoshimura and Ueno had a nice little moment at the end. Yoshimura is out for surgery now and Ueno will run by himself now, but I think that whether he comes back as a friend or a foe, there are stories to tell.
After everyone left, MAO rushed the ring. MAO tricked Ueno for a hug, but attacked him instead and challenged for the Universal title at the 11.8 TV show. This last part was weird.
Takeshita vs Akiyama Video Package - Great stuff. They both talked about what they thought about each other in terms of careers, as opposed to any heated generic 'I'm gonna kill you' promo. Akiyama explained why he had joined DDT and that he wanted to do for the young starts what the Four Pillars and such did for him.
Jun Akiyama vs Konosuke Takeshita - 9.5/10
Story of the match was that after the initial measuring up stuff, youth started to prevail, and thus the more experienced Akiyama managed to drop Take with a DDT on the apron, tricked him into going knee first into the ring post, and from there on, Akiyama started decimating Takeshita's leg with every move you can think of. All of this happened in the first half of the match, and so from there on, it was just a match of Takeshita fighting through the pain.
This was a total 90's AJPW match. Takeshita took so many apron spots, so many exploders and Germans, and at the same time, he's so big that he was able to toss around Akiyama too. Takeshita at one point hit the Blue Thunder Bomb, that Akiyama himself innovated. Akiyama would switch around working the head when he was in control, or going for the leg when he needed to cut off Takeshita's momentum. At the end, they just hit each other with everything they had left until Akiyama managed to get Takeshita in a Front Necklock and submit him.
Endo vs Sasaki Video Package - Awesome. It recapped the story between the two, from Sasaki inviting Endo to join DAMNATION, to Endo's rise, to the betrayal.
KO-D Openweight Championship
Tetsuya Endo (C) vs. Daisuke Sasaki - 9/10
Surprisingly for Sasaki, but there are big match feels as he came out. Sasaki said that if he loses, he'll retire, but Sasaki is not exactly one to keep his word when it comes to these things.
Sasaki surely had his working boots on, this was a great match. Had some drama with Endo's leg getting hurt early on and him having to fight with it. DAMNATION early on kept interfering, and so Endo told them stop because he wanted a 1-on-1 match, but Sasaki wasn't above using the distraction to attack Endo, and this was the flavor of the match, Endo trying to do the right thing, but Sasaki being willing to take advantage, which led to the ref bump where Endo finally had enough and went for Sasaki's chair, only for Mad Paulie to turn on Endo and return to his homie Sasaki. But not even after that, after breaking the chair on Endo's head, after locking in the Crossface, did Sasaki get a visual submission.
Endo on his side, had a lot of trouble keeping Sasaki down. He missed a Tetsuya In the Sky, Sasaki kicked out of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but and the end, when Sasaki was just visibly done, Endo hugged him and hit a second Tetsuya In The Sky to seal the deal.
Post-match - Endo called Sasaki back in the ring. He told him to hold up to his word, and so Sasaki accepted and called for Yamato to ring the bell 10 times for him. Endo stopped him and told him that retirement was just running away, he wanted Sasaki to instead keep his word that he'd take responsibility, work hard, and grow. He invited him to do it together, which Sasaki accepted.
Shuji Ishikawa came out to serenade us all with a beautiful song. After he was done, Endo cut a promo saying that this show was supposed to be at Saitama Super Arena, but that COVID had derailed a lot of their plans, but here they were with a big show nonetheless, and that no matter what, they'd make it to SSA soon.
WE ARE DAMNATION, we don't conform, we don't kiss ass, we don't get married.
Honestly, why is it so hard for other promotions to have fun shows with happy endings and wholesome stories? This was a really long show, but at no point was I ever bored or annoyed, it was just fun wrestling whether it was comedy or workrate. There were some matches that I was expecting more from, but it's the problem of having such a big card, at the point that I'm glad that we didn't have a tag title defense here.<