DDT made their American debut as a part of WrestleMania weekend – and brought a “true” DDT show to the party to boot!
We’re coming from La Boom in Queens, New York, and much like wXw, DDT brought almost a complete roster to the States, save for a few names who were left behind in Japan for a show amusingly titled, “I Do Not Want To Admit That I Can Not Go To America 2019”.
There’s a nice catch-up at the start of the show as we’re told about the Anytime, Anywhere concept in DDT… before other concepts on the show, such as the Iron Man Heavy Metal title were explained. To a nice pop. The current champion, Saki Akai comes out for… reasons. Trevin Adams and Pat Gill are on commentary, which I’d be annoyed at, but we’re told the only guy in DDT who speaks English is doing the ring announcing. That aside, we’re getting as close to an authentic DDT show as you can get.
DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship: Saki Akai (c) vs. Makoto Oishi
Oishi comes in and rolls up Akai for the win… then scarpers as we have our first 24/7 title change of the night.
Sanshiro Takagi comes out to do the show-opening rallying cry… and my God, this is a hot crowd. I’d be amazed if a good proportion of folks inside La Boom didn’t already have DDT Universe subscriptions.
Shuten Doji (Masahiro Takanashi & Yukio Sakaguchi) vs. DAMNATION (Soma Takao & Tetsuya Endo)
We’re straight in with submissions as Tetsuya Endo was quickly backing into the corner to get free, before Takanashi and Takao indulged in some hair pulling.
Endo trips Takanashi as DAMNATION established themselves as the villains, which started a spell of them keeping Takanashi in and in the wrong corner. Takanashi eventually blocks a slam and gets free as Sakaguchi is back to just ruin Takao with a big boot.
More kicks have Takao stinging, but he’s able to come in with forearms back and forth, then an enziguiri before making a tag out. Sakaguchi kicks Endo in the rear end as commentary reminded us that taking a loss would mean he’d lose his right to a title shot. Takao comes in with a gamengiri on the apron as an Endo running shooting star press got a near-fall… but Sakaguchi rushes in with big knees in the corner as DAMNATION were back in trouble.
Takanashi looked for a Code Red, then a backslide as he almost stole the win – with the famed DDT slow counts having the crowd biting, before Endo caught Takanashi in a butterfly/key lock combo for the win. A sudden finish, but a heck of an entertaining match to start us off. ***
DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship Gauntlet Battle Royal
Saki Akai lost the title in the opener, but she’s still in this delayed battle royal.
Kazuki Hirata and Saki Akai start us off, and we start with Hirata trying to kick Akai low. She responded with some kicks, before an eye rake stopped her… ahead of Akai returning with a mid kick. Kikutaro’s out next… but a doctor’s following him to give him a medical in front of the audience… and when his blood pressure comes in too high, he’s disqualified by the “New York State Athletic Commission”. HOWLING.
Our next was Colt Cabana, who’s held this belt twice before (albeit very briefly), and for some reason he wants a kiss from Akai rather than a wrestle. He gets a slap instead, as Mizuki Watase joined the fray… and he’s straight in with a dropkick to Hirata before stacking everyone up in the corner for a big ol’ Coast to Coast dropkick. Another countdown brings out the new champion Makoto Oishi as Colt Cabana was thrown out… and he instantly starts a Benny Hill chase as he doesn’t want to get pinned. Yakety Sax, sadly, does not play, as another countdown brought in Yuu, who’s all about those snap Judo throws. Well, until Watase caught her with an enziguiri… but she just picks him up and throws him out.
Oishi rolls up Akai for an elimination, before… the Undertaker’s old music plays? It’s Yoshihiko! With Kikutaro at the helm…and Yuu quickly chokeslams Yoshihiko, who is a he. The crowd turned on Yuu for that, and again when she swatted Yoshihiko out of the air before Yoshihiko fought back with headscissors that allowed Oishi to throw her out.
The crowd want Yoshihiko to win, but he’s spiked with a Michinoku driver off the top rope for a near-fall, before Yoshihiko countered a Sharpshooter into a heel hook and a single leg crab for the submission! Yoshihiko wins the title… but not the match, as Hirata’s still live! He blocks Yoshihiko’s tiltawhirl headscissors and just plants him into the mat with a uranage before a pumphandle slam’s countered into more headscissors and a ‘rana for a near-fall, only for Hirata to come back with a sunset flip for the win… and the belt.
All you need to know about DDT is in this match: the crowd going nuts for a blow-up doll and buying all of its offence. ***¼
Post-match, Saki Akai jumped Hirata…
DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship: Kazuki Hirata (c) vs. Saki Akai
A kick and a crucifix led to a new champion, as Saki Akai regained the title she’d lost a little over half an hour earlier. So Hirata wins an Anytime Anywhere Gauntlet, which may be the more valuable of the two prizes.
Akito & Ethan Page vs. RENEGADES (Jason Kincaid & Shigehiro Irie) vs. HARASHIMA & Kazusada Higuchi
Ethan Page was back in DDT, as was Shigehiro Irie, reforming RENEGADES for the first time since he left DDT last year.
The rules of a three-way tag here is that one person from each team is in the ring at the same time. Irie’s been touring throughout the United States, as well as the US according to Trevin, and no, that’s not a typo on my end! Irie charges through Page’s leapfrog attempt, only for Higuchi to return the favour as the three big lads tried to find an edge. We all swap around, as Akito ate a load of kicks, before he Dragon screwed his way back to life. A double double stomp in the corner led to the ring filling up as poor HARASHIMA was taking a pasting.
Ethan Page makes it worse as he powerbombs Kincaid onto HARASHIMA on the apron, before he used an Iconoclasm to throw Kincaid into Irie… who then ate a top rope elbow for a near-fall. A knee breaker from Akito led to HARASHIMA getting caught in a Figure Four… which Kincaid broke up with a double stomp before Irie flew with a big splash to HARASHIMA for a two-count. Kincaid followed that up with a flip stunner to Higuchi, before Irie delivered a spike piledriver to HARASHIMA onto Higuchi for another near-fall.
Akito manages to come back with an Exploder to Irie as a big ol’ Parade of Moves broke out… including a monster of a pounce from Irie and a DDT from Page. We keep going as HARASHIAM finally lands some running double knees to Akito in the corner… and that’s enough! Wonderfully chaotic, without ever feeling fraught or spotty. If all of DDT was like this, I’d be all in. ****
Weapon Rumble: Sanshiro Takagi vs. MAO
The gimmick here is that a new weapon’s added to the match at timed intervals… except MAO’s out with some plunder in the form of a bin lid and some keyboards?!
MAO’s all about the dropkicks early as our first weapon comes out… a Hulk Hogan impersonator? La Boom BOO that poor dope out of the arena, as MAO’s first choice is quickly chopped to pieces as “Hulk” Antonio Honda eventually hulked up. This is ridiculous and I can’t stop smiling. MAO gets a two-count from a Honda legdrop as Takagi’s first weapon appears – PLASTIC STORAGE BOXES. I already shudder… MAO tries to suplex him through one, but Takagi explodes one with a slam for a near-fall as MAO’s next weapon is brought out: BINS! Except Takagi commandeers the bins and ends up having one put over him for a superkick.
MAO slips as he caught the ropes for a 619… but the crowd laughs it off as he pulls it off at the second attempt. Next out: A BICYCLE. Yes, they do the Dusty Rhodes call, as MAO pedals around the ring, and gets kicked off of it as Takagi just throws it into MAO’s crotch. Lego boxes are out next, as MAO sprinkles them onto Takagi ahead of a corkscrew split-legged moonsault. THEY BRING OUT A TOILET NEXT.
Yep. The crowd crack up commentary with “holy shit” chants as MAO tries to put Takagi’s head in it… but instead Takagi spike DDTs him into the bowl. Yep. That happened. The toilet seat’s ripped off and used as a weapon, before MAO puts Takagi’s head in the bowl ahead of a kick to the arse.
MAO then buries Takagi under three plastic boxes, but of course Takagi got free and instead superplexed MAO into the boxes. More weapons… and it’s CHINSUKE NAKAMURA! I swear some thought it was the real deal… and I dig how he’s gotten a version of John Cena’s old spinner US title belt. Even though the real Nakamura lost that belt ages ago. A low blow rocks Takagi as Chinsuke lived up to the real deal’s gimmick from last year, while MAO empties Legos into a plastic bin… then Michinoku drivers Takagi through another. The Lego box gets placed on top of Takagi though, then hits a 450 splash… but Takagi gets the knees up as the box and Legos exploded!
A diving knee from Nakamura adds insult to injury as MAO ends up taking a death valley driver into a pin for a near-fall, before a spinning powerbomb blew up more of those boxes for the win. Simply amazing. Some of the weapons were comedy, but it worked – and this was a million miles from your average plunder match. ***¾
Tokyo Joshi Pro Princes of Princess Championship: Maki Ito vs. Miyu Yamashita (c)
Ito’s the wrestler that Excalibur confused for Yuu on the Joey Ryan show elsewhere in the weekend… and she started out pretty hot with some mounted punches to Yamashita in the corner.
Yamashita makes a comeback, stretching Ito with a camel clutch, but the challenger’s able to respond with a slam as Yamashita came off the ropes, before a Kokeshi connected for a two-count.
Yamashita responded with a clothesline for a near-fall as Ito fired up with forearms and headbutts, including a pop-up headbutt to the jaw. A Lion Tamer has Yamashita in trouble, but a rope break gets the champion free as she took Ito into the corner for a running knee. Ito tries her luck with a sunset flip, then with a DDT, before she missed a Flying Big Head. From there, Yamashita’s back in with a rabbit knee to the head, and that’s all. Given I’d gone into this with minimal knowledge of either woman, this was quite good – Ito’s got something that’ll make her a star one day, but there’s a lot of work to do. ***¼
After the match, Ito flips off the champion. Fair enough!
Joey Ryan & Royce Isaacs vs. Antonio Honda & Danshoku Dino
You can probably guess what direction this is headed in, and all I’ll say is “comedy”.
Danshoku Dino gets his usual entrance, forcing himself on fans on the stage. Like, what the hell did you expect with him?! At least the ring announcer tells the crowd to raise they hand to consent… You know what Joey Ryan’s after… and our first injury comes when Royce Isaacs took out Antonio Honda’s knee. It’s injured again, so he retires… but before the ref can throw the match out, he’s got a story. The crowd love this, as it led to them being able to chant “big dick” after he poked Isaacs in the eye as Honda revealed his deception. AWESOME.
Dino’s in for some, erm, rear work, which gets chants of “this is wrestling”, and I’m beside myself. We get the usual comedy spots, with Dino’s bare arsed squatting leading to him sitting on Isaacs’ face for a near-fall. Joey Ryan’s in and hulks up after he took a headbutt to the crotch as he was in search of a dick flip to Dino… but instead Dino backs into him and we get an… anal flip?
We get shrieks as Dino peeled off another thong, to the chants of “we want ass”… Joey Ryan got it, but it’s not enough as Dino then came back with a series of blows to Isaacs’ crotch. Isaacs ends up taking Dino’s backside, before Honda, for some reason, went full boat as he gave himself stinky fingers. Fingers he’d try to force on Joey Ryan, who in turn directs them back on himself. Honda takes a dick flip, before Ryan countered a Dino butt flip, as Honda ends up taking a superkick with Joey Ryan getting the win. It was what it was – if you’re into this stuff, you’ll like it, if not, you’ll be reaching for the fast-forward. *¾
KO-D Openweight Championship: Daisuke Sasaki vs. Konosuke Takeshita (c)
Sasaki’s going for the belt he lost back in February, but he was on the defensive early… at least until the rest of DAMNATION began to help from the outside as Takeshita’s thrown into the guard rails.
That early assault on the knee gave Sasaki a bull’s eye to work on, but Takeshita’s able to respond with an overhead belly-to-belly as he tried to stay in the match, in spite of the assault. There’s a DDT too, before Takeshita misses a running boot and almost took the fall as Sasaki rolled him up while having his feet on the ropes. Sasaki followed that up by teasing a superplex to the floor, but the champion counters out by teasing a German suplex to the apron… only for Sasaki to pull himself into the ring for relative respite… which ended when they headed into the crowd, where Sasaki delivers a Russian legsweep from the front row taking both men deeper into the crowd. From there, Sasaki heads up and leaps from the middle rope into the crowd with a diving elbow.
Another elbow followed back in the ring for a near-fall, before Takeshita got caught in a crossface, but a rope break led to a second wind for the champion… only for his German suplex attempt to get countered into a wheelbarrow for a near-fall. Sasaki nearly threw Takeshita into the ref, but in the end the ref ate an errant big boot from Takeshita. You know what’s next! Sasaki hits a low bow, but this ref heals quickly as he counted two from the cover, before Takeshita rolled outside… and caught a tope from Sasaki, turning it into a suplex onto the edge of the ring. OW.
That had Takeshita back in front briefly, until Sasaki caught him out of nowhere with a Pedigree. Not to worry, a spinning forearm and a release German flung Sasaki into the air, ahead of a lariat… but the challenger’s able to kick out at two! There’s a nasty Destroyer from Sasaki as he countered out of a powerbomb, but Takeshita’s able to kick out. A La Mistica takes Sasaki into a crossface as Takeshita’s in trouble… but somehow he stands up and countered into a package tombstone for another near-fall. Christ, they’re bringing the big guns here… like a step-up springboard senton into a sitting Sasaki, who then grabbed hold of the ref to avoid a German suplex.
The ref’s used for a save, then thrown into a Takeshita, who’s forced to leapfrog the ref as two low blows and a ‘rana led to a new champion. My word, this was hard hitting, and told a story from the opening sequences where Takeshita was thrown into the railings on the outside, to DAMNATION cheating to win. ****¼
Oh, you thought we were done? Tetsuya Endo heads out with his Anytime, Anywhere Gauntlet… which Sasaki knocked out of his hand. There’s chaos within DAMNATION as Endo’s cashing in!
KO-D Openweight Championship: Daisuke Sasaki (c) vs. Tetsuya Endo
We’ve a 60-minute time limit, but I doubt this is going that long…
It’s all Endo as he chopped, then suplexed Sasaki into the buckles before a standing Spanish Fly led to a near-fall. Endo heads up top, but then has to chase Sasaki as the challenger almost lost after missing a 450 splash. They trade shots on the apron for a spell, with Endo’s attempt at a Burning Hammer getting countered into a rear naked choke in the ropes from the champion. Endo shoves away a La Mistica before he spun out Sasaki in a rack bomb for a near-fall, following that up with a nice shooting star press for the win! Well, Sasaki’s reign lasted barely ten minutes, as Tetsuya Endo leaves New York with the KO-D title for the first time!
We’re still not done… even after commentary signed-off and the farewell speech from the new champion, we had Saki Akai rushing from the back. She was being chased by Makoto Oishi, Maki Ito and Kazuki Hirata, and I think you can see what’s happening here…
DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship: Saki Akai (c) vs. Makoto Oishi
A head kick and a roll-up got Oishi the title back for the second time tonight…
DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship: Makoto Oishi (c) vs. Kazuki Hirata
…except Hirata rolled him up for another title change…
DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship: Kazuki Hirata (c) vs. Maki Ito
…before Maki Ito low blowed and schoolboyed Hirata!
DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship: Maki Ito (c) vs. Danshoku Dino
Oishi tries to attack Ito, only for Danshoku Dino to make the save by kissing everyone. He stops short of kissing Ito, because of course he does, choosing to headbutt her before she fell into his trunks for a piledriver. Your new champion, Danshoku Dino!
He’d then go on to lose the title to Yoshiko the next night at Joey Ryan’s Penis Party. Ah well!
We put over the wXw show in La Boom as an authentic experience, and the same has to be said for DDT. Save for the commentary, which is another matter, this was as close as you’d get to a DDT show without actually heading to Japan – you had your top line roster from DDT and Tokyo Joshi Pro, a crowd that was up for the show, rather than coming out of curiosity… and as a result, you ended up with a really good show that would be one of the best indy cards on ‘Mania weekend. If you’ve any kind of affinity for DDT, get this watched!