Opening video package - It was to celebrate the 24th anniversary and it was great, just going through all the KO-D Openweight Champions.
Chris Brookes & Toi Kojima vs. Yuki Iino & Yusuke Okada - 6.5/10
This was really good, the stuff between Iino and Brookes was surprisingly good, not that it shouldn't it, but I don't remember ever seeing them wrestle each other. Okada was great as usual and Kojima stepped up to the plate. Okada submitted Kojima with a Boston crab. I really wouldn't mind seeing a Iino vs Brookes singles match after this.
Okada and Kojima had a singles match on 3.18 and it was great.
Soma Takao vs. Hideki Okatani - 6.5/10
As good as a trainee vs established name can get. Soma beat up Okatani, who had a couple of hope spots, but ended falling to Soma at the end with a Gin 'n Tonic.
Ultimate Tag League 2021 Announcement - We got the participants to the tournament, it'll be a round robin tournament. It starts on May 9th. Teams are:
Brookes/Honda (Europe representatives)
Pre-match - Dieno came to Oishi to explain their new tag team move, the Analing Dead (a play to the Walking Dead since they'll turn their opponents into zombies using the anus), but Oishi told Dieno that he has joined Akiyama's Jinretsu, he can't be doing these things anymore. Dieno was obvously annoyed at the response and was ready to fight Oishi before Akai broke it off.
Danshoku Dieno, Makoto Oishi & Saki Akai vs. Akito, Keigo Nakamura & Toru Owashi - 3.5/10
The story now is that Oishi is all about following rules and 'real' wrestling, even calling Lucha Libre fake. So half of the match saw Dieno get dominated, while Oishi wouldn't save him, and then when Oishi was being beaten up, he said he didn't need Dieno to save him. At that point, Akai convinces Dieno to save Oishi regardless and gets ready for the Analing Dead, but Oishi still won't have it.
Akai, Owashi, and Akito try to convince Oishi to put Nakamura's head in Dieno's ass. Eventually he agreed, but Nakamura had recovered and reversed the whip, Oishi ended in Dieno's ass as all three opponents forced it in, and so Oishi became an anal zombie. Dieno afterwards quickly pinned Nakamura with the Gaydo Clutch.
KO-D Eight Man Tag Team Title Match
Antonio Honda, Kazuki Hirata, Shinya Aoki & Super Sasadango Machine (c) vs. Team Thoroughbread (Chikara, Sanshiro Takagi, Yakan Nabe & Yukio Naya) - 5.5/10
I wasn't that familiar with Chikara or Nabe, the former has actually been wrestling for a while and been doing some AJPW lately, he's part of Yoshitatsu's group, I had seen him here and there, but never made a scratch in my brain. Nabe, as far as I understood, is a comedian that has been wrestling for a couple of years for the BBJ promotion, that being Best Body Japan.
There wasn't much to the match. Aoki and Chikara did stuff together, Honda did his Gon The Fox story about Star Wars, and at the end, Naya pinned SSD Machine with a Backdrop Driver. I was surprised by the title change, I wasn't sure of Nabe and Chikara were here to do more shows, but I guess they will.
HARASHIMA vs. Yukio Sakaguchi - 8/10
For a 6 minute match, this is as good as it gets. Great chain wrestling transitioned into a strike fest until HARASHIMA got the roll up win.
We're getting ERUPTION vs HARASHIMA & Yuji Okabayashi on 4.11, so I figured HARASHIMA was winning here to add some fire to that match, but I didn't expect this to be so short, and I have to say, it was a really pleasant surprise. It doesn't hurt the champ at all, but introduces that HARASHIMA can still do it if he finds the opening, even further, it introduces that any strike in a match can lead to a tumble and pin.
2021 Wrestle Peter Pan Announcement - It will be taking place on August 21, at Fujitsu Stadium Kawasaki, a soccer field that was build over the Kawasaki Stadium, that has some wrestling history. This place is huge and has a large capacity, hopefully by August, they can go all in with ticket sales.
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki, Mad Paulie, Tetsuya Endo & Yuji Hino) vs. The 37KAMIINA (Konosuke Takeshita, MAO, Shunma Katsumata & Yuki Ueno) - 8.75/10
Really good match, even Sasaki had his working boots on. They really built the idea that no one in the 37KAMIINA can take on Hino, except Takeshita, who is better than Hino, which was an interesting thing to do, since Iino had just left Takeshita's side less than a month ago. In addition, they also keep putting Sasaki and Ueno together, I have to imagine that at some point in the future, he'll be going after the Universal title again, only to lose.
The rest was great, but more straight wrestling that any story building. At the end, Take got the win over Paulie with a German bridge.
Akiyama vs Higuchi Package - Awesome, they played Komm, Süsser Tod to it! Story told was that Higuchi, who has been with DDT for a while now, felt that Akiyama, while bringing a lot of eyes to DDT, was still an outsider, and so he wanted everyone to elevate to him, defeat him, and take back the title. Akiyama wanted to defeat Higuchi, since he lost to him last year, and that is the one loss he has in the promotion, and he won't feel like the rightful champion as long as he has losses out there.
KO-D Openweight Title Match
Jun Akiyama (c) vs. Kazusada Higuchi - 9.5/10
This was awesome. This was super stiff, just two big mean guys going at it. Story was that Akiyama dismantled Higuchi's chopping hand, to the point that in order to put pressure on a chokehold, Higuchi was biting his hand and pulling with his teeth. Eventually, he fought through the pain, and using his limp hand, started using it like a piece of meat to chop Akiyama.
The match had a great old school AJPW suplex exchange, a ton o strike exchanges, some great near submissions at the hands of Akiyama, some great comebacks from Higuchi, and a strong ending sequence that gave Akiyama a strong win, but Higuchi was kept strong, looking like a freight train that just happened to stumble early on.
Coming in, it was obvious that Akiyama wasn't losing his first defense, and while I never really believed that was changing, like some other matches can make you feel, I totally stopped thinking about it because of how invested I got into the match.
Ref. Matsui kept reminding Akiyama that working the fingers is illegal unless you have a hold of at least 3 fingers at the same time. Didn't know this was a rule.
Post-match - With this win, Akiyama finally avenged the only fall he had in the promotion, and since he can now finally wear the belt around his waist, he asked Higuchi to do it.
Afterwards, Akiyama technically called out Danshoku Dieno for the things he was making Oishi do. He told Dieno that his stuff doesn't work on him. Dieno told Akiyama that it was a mistake to call him out with that title around his waist, he has been with DDT since the beginning and has a lot of investment on that title, and seeing it around Akiyama's waist brought up a newly found interest in it. Imabayashi settled it and the match will be at 4.11. Akiyama told Dieno that he'll take him as a serious challenger and come at him with everything. April 11th being built strongly.
Great show through and through, everything that wasn't comedy was really strong, and the comedy itself worked for what it was.