DDT Is Coming To America
Date: April 4, 2020
Location: La Boom, New York City, New York
Commentator: Trevin Adams, Pat Hill
This is from DDT (Dramatic Dream Team) Pro, a Japanese promotion which has some comedy elements. It’s part of last year’s Wrestlemania weekend series of shows and the only bits I’ve seen from this promotion are other shows from the same weekend. If nothing else, this show has the Ironman Heavymetalweight Title, which is one of the funniest long running jokes in modern wrestling. Let’s get to it.
I know very little about this promotion or anyone involved so please bare with me if I don’t know a storyline or character point.
Mr. Haku, the English commentator, is in the ring to welcome us to the show, mainly because he is the only English speaker in the promotion. He reads some announcement, mainly about the company’s streaming service and Right To Challenge Anytime Gauntlet, their version of the Money in the Bank briefcase, though there are multiple ones at the same time. However, the briefcase is defended at any given time so it might change hands before the night is over.
There is one more concept to cover though, and that is the Ironman Heavymetalweight Title. This is the ultimate comedy title, with over 1300 reigns and title changes coming in the forms of Rock, Paper Scissors games, dream sequences, in exchange for autographs and more. DDT wrestlers, wrestling legends, schoolchildren, a baseball bat, an invisible man and a ladder among MANY other things have held the title over the years.
Therefore, here is the 1350th champion, Saki Akai, a popular woman, comes out as Haku explains the Delayed Entry Battle Royal for the title, which is coming later on. Also later tonight, there will be a Weapon Rumble in the USA match (not for the title) involving wrestlers supplying weapons, which will be added to the match at timed intervals. We’re ready to start the show….but Makoto Oishi comes in, spits in Akai’s face, and small packages her for the title.
Company owner/founder/president Sanshiro Takagi comes out to do the traditional opening speech: LET’S PARTY!
Opening video, including a card rundown ala New Japan.
Damnation vs. Shuten-doji
That would be Soma Takao/Tetsuya Endo (the latter of whom holds one of the Right To Challenge Gauntlets) vs. Masahiro Takanashi/Yukio Sakaguchi. The former seem to be the heels, or at least the far more serious team. Endo and Sakaguchi start things off with Sakaguchi sitting down on the mat as Endo circles him. They both wind up on the mat for some grappling with neither being able to get anywhere. They get up and it’s a double tag to bring in Takao and Takanashi, the latter of whom gets quite the reception.
Takao grabs him by the hair so Takanashi does the same, even tossing Takao down by said hair. Endo pulls Takanashi down from the floor so Takao can hit a basement dropkick. More hair pulling lets Endo come in for a backbreaker for two. A reverse Rings of Saturn has Takanashi in trouble so Sakaguchi makes a quick save. Takanashi gets stomped down in the corner and Takao dropkicks him down, only to nip up before covering. That’s not the brightest move in the world and Takanashi uses the break to block a slam attempt.
A suplex is enough to make the hot tag to Sakaguchi as everything breaks down. Takao hits a quick top rope double stomp to the back but Sakaguchi pops back up for the slugout. Takao kicks him in the face and it’s back to Endo for a springboard forearm. Takanashi comes back in and strikes it out with Endo, including a grab of the nose to set up a kick to the face.
Endo is right back with a running shooting star for two and Sakaguchi’s running knee his turnbuckle. Another attempt at the running knee takes Endo down to give Takanashi two. Endo rolls him into the reverse Rings of Saturn and adds a guillotine to make Takanashi tap at 9:27.
Rating: C+. You can see some star power in some of these people, with Endo shining as brightly as anyone involved here. Endo and Takao looked like the more serious and dominant team here and it made sense for the two of them to win. Good opener here and you could tell the fans cared about the four people involved.
Ironman Heavymetalweight Title: Delayed Entry Battle Royal
This is an eight person Royal Rumble style match with one minute intervals, pin/submission/over the top eliminations and Makoto Oishi defending. Also note that anyone who eliminates the champion wins the title but the match continues until only one person is left. Kazuki Hirata is in at #1 (he dances a lot) and Saki Akai (who lost the title earlier tonight) is in at #2 as I’m expecting the comedy to be high here.
Hirata offers a handshake and then kicks her in the ribs, giving us a “WHO ME?” look. Akai kicks him in the chest and gets two off a high crossbody as Kikutaro is in at #3….or at least he would be if the ringside doctor didn’t say that he needed his blood pressure checked. Apparently Kikutaro’s blood pressure is too high and he can’t compete. That seems legit as there is no reason to do this otherwise.
Kikutaro is eliminated as Akai kicks Hirata in the back for two and Colt Cabana is in at #4 (you had to know he was coming in something like this). Cabana and Akai stare each other down with Cabana making some rather suggestive gyrations. An offer of a kiss earns him a slap to the face as Mizuki Watase, a guy in a suit, is in at #5. Cabana hits the Flying Apple to crush Hirata and Akai in the corner but Watase takes him down in the same corner for Coast to Coast. Hirata gets up and gives Cabana a….flick to the chest (Maybe?) for the elimination as champion Oishi is in at #6.
Oishi gets in and rolls outside, meaning Hirata and Akai follow him for the chase. That earns Hirata a belt shot to the head as Yuu, a popular woman, is in at #7. Some headlock takeovers work for a bit but she can’t take Watase over. Instead she picks him up and throws him over for the elimination. Oishi spits in Akai’s face again and small packages her for the second pin of the night.
And then it’s Yoshihiko, a sex doll who comes out to the Corporate Ministry theme carried by Kikutaro and a holder of the Right To Challenge Gauntlets, plus an eleven time champion (That old story again?) in at #8, giving us a final field of Yoshihiko, Hirata, Oishi and Yuu. It’s a chokeslam from Yuu to Yoshihiko and a dropkick sends Hirata into the corner. Yoshihiko…..headscissors Yuu and Oishi gets the elimination.
A super powerslam gives Oishi two on Yoshihiko as I try to figure out what I’m watching. It’s a reverse DDT into a Sharpshooter on Yoshihiko….who reverses into a half crab to make Oishi tap and win the title. Hirata pops back up and hammers on Yoshihiko, only to get choked and almost very tilt-a-whirl headscissored. Instead Hirata reverses into a chokeslam but it’s another tilt-a-whirl headscissors into a Code Red (just go with it) for two (again, just go with it). Hirata finally reverses into a sunset flip for the pin, the title and the Right To Challenge Gauntlet at 11:35.
Rating: D+. I have no idea what I just watched and I kind of want to see it again. This was the kind of wackiness that I wanted to see from the title and while it is going to get the usual criticisms for being ridiculous (and yes I’ve done it before), it was a fun spectacle. If nothing else, managing to make the doll look almost lifelike more than once, is impressive enough. Complete insanity at times of course, but that’s what you’re going for.
Post match, Hirata chokeslams Yoshihiko to the floor….and gets kicked in the face by Akai. A crucifix bomb makes her champion again, but it does not count for the Gauntlet because it wasn’t a sanctioned match. I think?
Akito/Ethan Page vs. Harashima/Kazusada Higuchi vs. Renegades
The Renegades are Jason Kincaid/Shigehiro Irie (who was a nice hidden gem over the weekend) and they have Watase is in their corner. Page and Akito do angels in the ring before the other teams come out. Page, Higuchi and Irie start things off with the three way test of strength to start until a double shoulder puts Higuchi down. Irie runs Page over but gets run over by Higuchi to give us a three way tag.
Kincaid yells a lot and it’s a circle of forearms. Then they change directions to really mix things up a bit. Akito and Harashima double team Kincaid to send him outside so it’s Page coming in to double team Harashima. He’s right back with a double stomp in the corner (ala Sasha Banks’ knees) but the Renegades break it up. Kincaid goes Coast to Coast on Harashima and Irie adds a slingshot splash.
Harashima is on the apron so Kincaid gets a running start and spins over the ropes for a rather unique double stomp. Page is back up and powerbombs Kincaid onto Harashima, followed by an Iconoclasm to send Kincaid into Irie. A middle rope elbow gets two on Irie and it’s Higuchi throwing Akito around with ease. Harashima adds a slingshot splash for two but Akito is right back with a Figure Four. The Renegades break that up and get two each with Higuchi making a save of his own.
Back up and Higuchi tries a sunset flip on Irie but can’t get him over. At the same time, Irie grabs a piledriver on Harashima and Kincaid spikes him down onto Higuchi in a pretty unique move. That’s broken up as well and it’s Akito slugging it out with Irie. Harashima gets Pounced hard by Irie and Kincaid adds the top rope X Factor on Page. A reverse hurricanrana plants Akito and it’s a Buzzsaw kick into double running knees to give Harashima the pin at 8:45.
Rating: C+. Fast paced and entertaining match here with the fans behind everyone involved. Page is an underrated talent and someone who is worth seeing almost anywhere he goes. I’ve seen Kincaid before and he has one of the most unique offenses I can remember in a long time. Higuchi is a pretty awesome big guy and Harashima was definitely over with the crowd. You can tell the fans like these guys and that’s a nice thing to have for a show like this.
Sanshiro Takagi vs. Mao
This is the Weapons Rumble In The USA match, meaning they have chosen three weapons each. One new weapon will be introduced every minute and either of them can use it. I think this might have been used on an episode of the Wrestlers (check that series out). Takagi (President of the company) is a Steve Austin inspired wrestler, meaning his music starts with the glass shattering and he does the double arm pose in each corner).
Mao on the other hand has a plastic sword and garbage can lid shield, plus two computer keyboards hanging from his back. They both miss some shots to start and it’s Mao scoring first with a dropkick. It’s time for the first weapon, which is….a wrestler dressed as Hulk Hogan (apparently named Antonio Honda).
This is booed out of the building as the shirt is ripped off. Takagi chops away but Honda Hulks Up and the fans are a little more into him. Honda’s big boot and legdrop give Mao two and it’s time for the second weapon: a bunch of plastic storage bins? Takagi slams Mao through a container for two and it’s time for the third weapon (the clock is all over the place here): garbage cans.
Mao puts it on Takagi’s head and botches a 619 attempt. He hits the second one (mostly) and it’s time for the fourth weapon: a bicycle (complete with Dusty Rhodes impression from commentary). They take turns riding on the bicycle with Takagi throwing it at Mao’s knee. The fifth weapon is a bunch of Legos, because that’s the big new thing in these matches. Starship Pain onto Takagi onto the Legos gets no cover and it’s already time for the sixth weapon: a toilet. Fans: “HOLY S***!”
Takagi DDTs Mao into it and then breaks off the lid, which is kicked into his face. Mao sends him face first into the toilet and the referee takes it away. Mao goes up and is superplexed right back through the containers as we hit the seventh weapon (though I thought there were only six): Chunsuke Nakamura, complete with fake US Title.
Nakamura shakes Takagi’s hand and then hits him low, setting up COME ON. A Michinoku Driver through a container gives Mao two so he puts another container full of Legos on Takagi’s ribs. The 450 only hits container though and Nakamura hits a running knee to the chest. An AA through the trashcan gives Takagi two and a spinning sitout powerbomb through a container finishes Mao at 12:24.
Rating: C+. You know, I actually liked this. They didn’t hide what they were going for and it was the wacky comedy that you kind of expect out of a match like this. I can go for comedy more when they go full steam ahead and that is what they did here. Fun match, and the kind of insanity I wanted to see from a DDT show.
Tokyo Princess of Princess Title: Miyu Yamashita vs. Maki Itoh
Itoh is challenging and grabs a headlock to start. A back elbow takes Miyu down and she gets sent into the buckle over and over. Miyu avoids a falling headbutt though and kicks the heck out of Itoh for two. A snapmare gets the same and we hit the reverse chinlock. That actually needs a rope break for the escape and Itoh hits her own falling headbutt for two.
The chinlock, with a middle finger, goes on but Miyu fights up for a hard clothesline. Itoh Hulks Up out of the corner and they slug it out with the champ getting the better of things. Itoh is back with a Boston crab, sending Miyu to the ropes this time. A quick DDT plants Miyu but she avoids a splash. Miyu kicks her in the head and hits a Shining Wizard to retain at 7:01.
Rating: C+. This was fun enough despite the lack of time. They got in and did their thing with some good action and intensity, though it was a lot of “I do a move and then you do a move.”. Still though, it was a nice joshi match and it makes sense to put it on here to add some flavor.
Post match, Itoh flips her off again just because.
Joey Ryan/Royce Isaacs vs. Antonio Honda/Danshoku Dino
Yeah it’s Joey Ryan, but I’ll give them points for having him come out to the Pina Colada song because it really couldn’t be a better fit. During the entrances, Dino (who apparently came up with Ryan’s special suplex and has a magic….well the opposite side of Ryan’s) goes around kissing random fans. Hold on though as Ryan has to do his lollipop distribution and the baby oil deal.
Joey and Dino start things off with Joey offering to have him touch it. They slug it out instead with Dino giving it a quick touch, setting up a standoff. Honda and Isaacs come in and Honda hurts his knee almost immediately. It’s so bad that he decides to retire….but first he wants to tell a fairy tale? He wants to make the world happy so he tells a story about a fox, which he makes with his hand. The fox went to the Empire State Building but then realized it was the Empire State Big D*** and pokes Isaacs in the eye.
Dino comes back in for some pelvic thrusting and grabs a claw inside Isaacs’ trunks. Mounted thrusting ensues and the fans declare this wrestling. As I think Jim Cornette would disagree, commentary says “Don’t tell Jim Cornette that.” Honda comes in for some near falls and it’s back to Dino, who lowers the trunks to reveal….well very little clothing actually. He does some squats over Isaacs’ face but Ryan comes in to knock him down onto Isaac.
That earns him a belly to belly suplex and it’s back to Ryan. Dino injures his knee on an atomic drop attempt and is then forced to touch it. Honda makes the save and is forced to touch it as well, with Dino making the save. Dino drops his trunks again and uses it to flip Joey for a change (just go with it). With Dino on top, Honda pulls down Dino’s remaining gear (Fans: “WE WANT A**!”) to reveal even less and Joey goes face first.
Isaacs comes back in for a Jackhammer but Dino gives him some rapid fire low blows. Honda pokes Isaacs in the eyes to send him into Dino’s….yeah you get the idea here. With Dino sitting on top, Honda makes the foxes with his hands and sticks them into Dino to charge them up, only to have Joey make him poke himself in the eye. Joey makes Honda touch it so Dino tries to flip Joey again, only to have Joey flip him from behind. The lollipop goes inside Dino and then into Honda’s mouth. Sweet Tooth Music is good for the pin at 13:22.
Rating: UN. For um, no. This is the kind of thing that you hear about from wacky wrestling and while I won’t say it’s absurd or stupid or not wrestling or whatever, it’s absolutely not for me and nothing I ever need to see again. You know what you’re getting when you get into this show but egads this was a rough one. Just not my thing and it never will be.
KOD Openweight Title: Konosuke Takeshita vs. Daisuke Sasaki
Sasaki is part of Damnation (at ringside with him), Takeshita is defending and this is the company’s top title. Sasaki takes him into the ropes and slaps him a few times for some mind games. They go to the mat with Sasaki grabbing a headlock and then leg lariats him down. A time out request earns Sasaki a right hand but his friends offer a distraction so Sasaki can get in a shot to the knee on the floor.
Back in and the knee is in trouble, with some stomps and an Indian Deathlock making it worse. A rope is grabbed and it’s an overhead belly to belly to send Sasaki flying. The knee won’t let Takeshita follow up so it’s a delayed DDT to plant Sasaki again. One heck of a Blue Thunder Bomb gives the champ two but Takeshita misses a running boot in the corner. Sasaki drapes him over the top for a running dropkick to put Takeshita in trouble again. Takeshita catches him with a big boot on top but can’t hit a German suplex to the floor.
They head outside with Sasaki sending him into the crowd and hitting a Russian legsweep into the chairs. A heck of a flying elbow onto the chairs crushes Takeshita again and it’s a crossface to make it worse back inside. That’s broken up as well and they forearm it out until Takeshita stomps on the fingers. Takeshita accidentally boots the referee in the corner so Sasaki gets in a low blow.
That’s good for a pretty quick two as that’s a resilient referee. Takeshita rolls outside, where he manages to catch a suicide dive and suplex Sasaki onto the apron. Now the running boot connects with Sasaki in the corner but he’s right back with a Pedigree to cut the champ off again. A scary release German suplex sends Sasaki flying (and nearly landing on his head), followed by a lariat to give Takeshita two.
They botch a Code Red attempt (making it look more like a reverse hurricanrana) to give Sasaki two and the crossface goes on again. That’s broken up as well and a kneeling tombstone gives Takeshita two more. The fans are split as Takeshita knees him hard and hits a springboard Swanton to a sitting Sasaki. Takeshita loads up a German suplex but Sasaki grabs the referee to hit a pair of low blows. A running hurricanrana gives Sasaki the pin and the title at 19:02.
Rating: B. Now this was more like it with a very good back and forth match. They were going back and forth here for a long time with Sasaki cheating over and over until Takeshita just couldn’t overcome the odds any longer. This was easily the best thing on the show so far and shows the athleticism and skill that the company can offer after some of the insanity earlier in the night.
The fans chant PLEASE COME BACK but Sasaki has something to say. He says this is his championship but here’s Tetsuya Endo with his Gauntlet….and it’s on.
KOD Openweight Title: Tetsuya Endo vs. Daisuke Sasaki
Sasaki is defending and is chopped down while the introductions are being made. Endo suplexes him into the corner and hits a Spanish Fly for two. The champ rolls to the floor and teases a countout but Endo isn’t having any of that. Back in and Endo misses a springboard 450, allowing Sasaki to grab a rollup for two. They slug it out on the apron with Endo trying a torture rack but getting reversed into a quickly broken crossface. Back in and Endo hits a spinning torture rack slam for two more. Endo’s shooting star is good for the pin and the title at 4:03.
Rating: C. There’s only so much you can get out of this but they did their thing well enough while it lasted. Endo stealing the title was a cool moment to end the show but it’s weird seeing what seems to be a heel (albeit a popular heel) cash in on another heel. Both guys looked good here though and you believed Sasaki could pull it off.
Post match the announcers sign off but Endo grabs the mic to apologize to Sasaki. Endo addresses the crowd but says he can only speak Japanese. I don’t understand what he says, but he seems to put over DDT and New York. Endo praises Sasaki and the rest of his teammates before saying remember us.
That’s…not the end of the show as here are Saki Akai and Makoto Oishi with the latter spitting in her face and grabbing a rollup to win the Heavymetalweight Title (third time tonight). Kazuki Hirata comes in for a low blow to become champion. Now it’s Maki Itoh coming in for a small package for the title. Danshoku Dino comes in to kiss the men and headbutt Itoh, setting up a piledriver (with Itoh’s head down his trunks) for the pin and title. Dino puts over the company and kisses fans in the crowd to finally end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This show is not going to be for everyone (and a lot of it wasn’t for me) but it was never boring and was rather energized throughout. What mattered here was how different things felt, which is the point of Wrestlemania weekend. It offered a bunch of different styles of wrestling that you don’t often see and that’s what you got here. It’s not something I’m going to want to watch again, but if you’re into something a little less serious with some good action in there, give this one a shot.
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