It’s half-time during England’s World Cup quarter-final… so are we picking a random tag team match from a promotion we hardly review? Read on and see. Spoiler: comedy!

DDT Universe is one of those VOD subscriptions we have but rarely ever use. For shame. They’ve recently started airing a weekly, live TV show from Tokyo’s Shinkiba 1st Ring… unfortunately, the show, called Maji Manji, translates poorly into English: Serious Swastika. I’m not going to touch on the cultural differences, but needless to say that name could probably pass for a political party and not be seen as satirical these days.

So… the match. It’s the opener from the 10th episode of Maji Manji, which aired this past Tuesday (July 3rd). It’s a “World Cup Rules” tag match match, putting the pairing of Keisuke Ishii and Kota Umeda against Danshoku Dino and Makoto Oishi. If you’ve never seen Danshoku Dino before, prepare to see him kissing a lot of people, both in the crowd and in the ring.

World Cup Rules: Keisuke Ishii & Kota Umeda vs. Danshoku Dino & Makoto Oishi
The referee’s wearing a headset, which may tip you off…

We start with Ishii and Dino, with the latter already looking for a liplock… then a rear end bump, before they squared off. Unamused, Ishii tags out to Umeda, while Oishi comes in… who tries to stuff a takedown attempt as he reversed things to trap Umeda in an ankle lock for a brief moment, as they end in the ropes. Oishi grabs a headlock and clings onto it for grim death, as he takes him into the corner so Dino can come in and, erm, try and dry hump him into submission.

There’s a rope break and a knee drop as Dino takes control, as he and Oishi exchange tags to keep Umeda isolated. Eventually Kota tries to fight back with some forearms, before he goes for a German suplex… Dino distracts the referee though, allowing Oishi to hit a mule kick and roll up Umeda for the win!

Except that’s not it, as the referee gets a message in his headset as Ishii’s protesting… we’re going to VAR! The referee wanders onto the stage to see the footage as the crowd actually chants VAR… and he sees the replay of the incident and waves off the pin, or “goal” as they called it here. Oishi protests, but he gets a yellow card, before the referee snapmares him.

Why? Because there’s a penalty kick! I am genuinely crying tears of laughter at this… Umeda scores the PK, but Dino breaks up the pin.

Umeda tries to follow up with a big splash, only to come up short as Dino tagged in, pulled down his trunks and did the old Bastion Booger sit-down splash, dumping his rear into Umeda’s face for a near-fall.

From there, we’ve got more dry humping before Umeda avoided falling into Dino’s trunks, as he tags Ishii back in. ALL THE CHOPS! A dropkick puts away Dino for almost-the-pin… and then there’s a distraction as Dino made a comeback, with Oishi this time taking away the referee as Dino hits the mule kick and a Gedo clutch for the pin. He’s even grabbing the ropes here, and this time it’s Umeda who goes for the referee.

Yes, we’ve more VAR! Again, Dino’s caught in the act, with the low blow and the rope grab causing the goal to be ruled out, before Dino gets a yellow card. The ref tries to snapmare him for the PK, but Dino avoids the PK and rolls up Ishii for a near-fall! Ishii’s right back with a uranage Go To Sleep and a knee drop, before a tag brings in Umeda… but the referee blows the whistle for a free kick. Eh?

Dino takes the free kick, but he was off his line… Umeda takes it the second time and almost wins, before a groin-clutch Exploder from Dino takes Umeda back to the mat. Oishi returns with a clothesline, but he’s leathered with kicks before getting dragged into an Octopus hold, which gets broken as Ishii shoved Dino into the ref… who then fell into the pair. There’s more shenanigans as Dino tries to kiss Umeda, only to get his own partner, leaving Oishi stunned as a head kick and a camel clutch forced the tap-out!

Or did it? Dino’s claiming handball… so we’re back to the VAR… but there’s nothing there, so the goal stands, and your winners are Ishii and Umeda… with Dino getting sent off for protesting too much! As a match, this was pretty basic, but the World Cup rules made this more memorable than it would otherwise have been. Comedy done right! **¾