Welcome to the first day of DDT’s annual super show Wrestling Peter Pan. This year’s show was too big for one night and it was going to be full to the brim with warring factions and warring companies. We’d see NOAH’s Kongoh faction try to defend their company’s honour against the boss of DDT and his team, ALL OUT go to war with Yoshiko, Jun Akiyama, and Mizuki Watase and lastly, we’d see Daisuke Sasaki try to defend his Universal title against two hardcore stars. We’d get all this and a whole lot more as we get into the action!

Nobuhiro Shimitani defeated Seigo Tachibana via Crucifix Bomb

Our first match was set up on the go-home episode last week after Shimitani and Tachibana got into a heated argument over who deserved to get future bookings. As this is a wrestling company, that would be decided in a wrestling match. Things started fast with a slugfest and escalated to Nobu knocking down Tachibana multiple times. Each time Tachibana got back up he would go full-on Goro Majima mode (10 points if you get the reference) and insult Nobu. Tachibana got his own back with some knockdowns, hip tosses, and of course, more taunting. Tachibana levelled some turnbuckle punches but once again wasted time taunting and got face-planted onto the top turnbuckle. Nobu returned the favour and landed an axe handle to the face after more taunting. Tachibana came back with an inverted atomic drop, big boot, and moved into a grounded headlock. Nobu got to the ropes and tried to mount a comeback but was floored by a series of forearms. Tachibana tried to end the match with an Olympic Slam but Nobu kicked out and came back with a Fisherman’s Buster and a Crucifix bomb to win the match. It is unknown whether winning this match will actually gain him more bookings but he got a good showing. However, I think Tachibana was the real star of this match. He was carried away by Danshoku Dieno after Imbayashi tried to fire him.

Hiroshi Yamato & Saori Anou defeated HARUKAZE & Keisuke Ishii via Bridging German Suplex

Next up would be a battle for company pride as the team of HARUKAZE and Keisuke Ishii were representing Ganbare Pro, another company on the Wrestle Universe platform DDT uses. Since Ishii is there current champion, he could score some pride points by beating the team of Hiroshi Yamato and Saori Anou. Before the match had even begun, it was obvious that Anou was not happy to be teaming with Yamato and entering to his theme. She watched as Yamato and Ishii traded technical holds then tagged in to dodge a dropkick from HARUKAZE and drop an axe kick on her head. Anou bullied HARUKAZE, stepping on her face and throwing her around without mercy. Yamato tried to emulate the same level of cruelty by choking HARUKAZE in the corner and distracting the ref. He kept up the quick tags with Anou and both continued to keep her from her partner. HARUKAZE finally managed to escape by trapping Yamato into an over the ropes Fujiwara armbar and tagging out with a head-scissor. Ishii came in hot and ran a train on Yamato with a series of stiff strikes. Anou tried to interfere so he dispatched her with some rope hung kicks then did the same to Yamato. He speared Ishii and tagged out. Anou made her return with a top rope missile dropkick and a Dragonrana on Ishii then found herself eating a pop-up knee strike after some failed double team. Ishii brought in HARUKAZE and they too failed a double team move on a downed Anou. HARUKAZE nearly won with an armbar but Yamato broke the hold. HARUKAZE continued to try and work the arm but ended up eating a kick to the face. Anou reversed another armbar attempt into a Bridging German Suplex and won the match. She seemed to be fighting with a meaner than usual streak here. Maybe she’s still sore after losing to Saki Akai a couple of weeks ago. Either this match was fairly good if a little sloppy.

DAMNATION (Mad Paulie & Soma Takao) defeated Keigo Nakamura & Hideki Okatani via Diving Double Stomp

That was followed up by a young lion proving ground match as Okatani and Nakamura could make a big impression here by defeating one of the biggest heel teams in DDT. However, to be successful, they would have to cope with the scheming ways of Mad Paulie and Soma Takao. Nakamura and Takao started the match with Nakamura’s baldness foiling Takao’s attempts to pull hair. The pair tagged out and Okatani had to deal with the size mismatch of Mad Paulie. After some initial technicality, Paulie started using his size advantage to overpower and beatdown Okatani. DAMNATION worked to keep him cut off from Nakamura and made him suffer with more strikes and submissions. He finally escaped by ducking a lariat and brought Nakamura back into the match. He was fired up and knocked Paulie about with dropkicks bringing the big man down with a springboard missile dropkick. This didn’t last as Paulie caught him into a fisherman Suplex and brought Takao in to continue the beating. Takao hit a double stomp and egged Nakamura into a slugfest. Nakamura won with a pop-up dropkick and tagged out. Okatani rushed the ring and started laying in forearms then took Takao down with a bulldog and Suplex. The young lions ran a train on Takao in the corner and dropped him with stereo dropkicks and a double Suplex on Paulie. They continued to fight but DAMNATION came back and Paulie tossed Nakamura out of the ring after breaking up a pin. Okatani valiantly tried to fight back but a running lariat later heralded the end as Takao took to the top rope and ended the match with a diving foot stomp. The young lions showed a lot of heart but there was no way they were going to beat the villainous team of DAMNATION.

Yuki Mito defeated Pokotan via Beautiful Cross Body

This match was originally supposed to be Pokotan vs Super Sasadango Machine in a mascot battle to decide the ultimate mascot in Niigata. What we got was a skit showing Pokotan being sent to Dango with a letter from Takagi telling him to do as he pleased with him. Dango spied this as free labour and got his PR woman, whom Pokotan found very attractive, to give Pokotan a tour. Instead of a new job, Pokotan stumbled upon a secret he shouldn’t have seen and had to be taken out before he could spill the beans. The PR woman was training under Niigata Joshi Pro Wrestling… a new Joshi company Dango was trying to create. Now Pokotan couldn’t escape and had to take part in NJPW’s (get it?) first match against Yuki Mito.  What proceeded was a no time limit match in an office with Dango as the “impartial” ref shouting advice to his trainee from the sidelines. All the while, she was taught how to express pain when hit, how to oversell, and how to win whilst Pokotan tried to fight through sheer confusion. Mito was on the back burner for most of the match but found a turning point by throwing Pokotan into a pile of boxes and hitting a triple cartwheel back elbow. She then finished the match with the Beautiful Cross Body (Dango’s name) off of a desk. The segment was ended with Dango throwing a warning at DDT and TJPW that njpw were coming to get them. I don’t think I can add anything to this, it was whacky, weird and goofy, perfectly fitting with DDT.

ALL OUT (Akito & Yuki Iino) defeated Jun Akiyama & Mizuki Watase via Spear

After weeks of having his ass handed to him by Jun Akiyama, Mizuki Watase had a chance to team with the man teaching him against the ALL OUT top team. Akito and Iino would be a stiff challenge against the AJPW veteran and the man under his wing. Iino tried and failed to scare Akiyama so Akito and Watase started the match. Akito made easy work of Watase so Akiyama tagged in. Akiyama overpowered Akito and backed him up to bring in Iino, the man he actually wanted to fight. They locked up and Iino knocked down Akiyama. He prematurely went for the haka (again) so Akiyama got to his feet and unimpressed, beat down Iino, hitting a double clothesline with Watase. Watase tried to keep control of Iino but was brought down by a slam and left to Akito. ALL OUT continued to dominate Watase for a large part of the match, Iino breaking him with power and Akito breaking him with submissions, even reversing a slam into a crab. Watase eventually escaped with a dropkick and brought in an angry Akiyama who introduced Akito to a series of running knees and locked on a quick guillotine. Iino saved Akito and was brought into the match after Akito kicked out Akiyama’s knee. Iino ran a tackle train on Akiyama and slammed him into the mat for a second attempt at the Haka. Once again, Akiyama got up and smacked down Iino then double-teamed him with Watase. They tried to do the same to Akito but he low bridged Watase and got Akiyama into an ankle lock. They took out Akiyama then Iino and Watase slugged it out. Watase got the better of the exchange with a German Suplex. Iino then snapped off a Samoan Drop but was elbowed out of the spear into a Guillotine. Iino powered out into a Suplex but Watase instantly re-applied the Guillotine. The pair went back and forth until Watase reversed another spear into a double stomp. Watase tried for another slugfest but Iino reversed it into a Spear for the win. This was Watase’s strongest outing to date but even though he was teaming with his new mentor, he couldn’t beat the more experienced team. It did make for a good showing though. Looks like Iino wants the next swing at Jun Akiyama.

NOAH vs DDT: Kongoh (Haoh, Kenoh & Masa Kitamiya) defeated Sanshiro Takagi, Kazusada Higuchi & Tomomitsu Matsunaga via Roll-Up

Last week, we saw Kenoh and the Kongo faction of Pro Wrestling NOAH invade DDT as a sign of war against Sanshiro Takagi and his blatant disrespect of NOAH. He would have two of his strongest allies, Hao and Masa Kitamiya, to take on Takagi, Eruption’s Kazusada Higuchi and Tomomitsu Matsunaga, both men with ties to NOAH. Kenoh and Takagi started with a long intense staredown. Just as they were about to lock up both men tagged out to Haoh and Matsunaga. After failing to lock up with Matsunaga, Haoh tagged in Kitamiya, Matsunaga tagged in Higuchi and the big men instantly collided. Both traded strikes before Highuchi slammed Kitamiya into the mat and Kitamiya hit back with a shoulder block. They reached a standoff so Takagi tagged back in and demanded Kenoh fight him. Takagi threw a bunch of chops and slammed Kenoh but Kenoh no-sold it all. Since that wasn’t working, Takagi was handed a plastic tub that Kenoh smashed and threw at Takagi’s teammates. Kongoh rushed the ring, knocked everyone down, and took the fight outside. Kenoh finally started fighting by smashing Takagi into the ringside scenery as his boys took care of Higuchi and Matsunaga. Takagi tried to fight back but Kenoh continued to no-sell and kicked him back down. Back in the ring, everyone took turns stomping on Takagi and the Kongoh trio continued to keep Takagi from his teammates. Every frustration NOAH had with DDT was taken out on Takagi as Higuchi and Matsunaga could only watch on. Kenoh continued to trash talk Takagi and no sell his offence but made the mistake of tagging in Haoh. He allowed Takagi to escape and tag in a very angry Higuchi. He destroyed Haoh and set him up outside for a literal bicycle lariat from Takagi. They tried to do the same to Kenoh but the rest of Kongoh interfered. Higuchi and Kitamiya started fighting in the ring again going back and forth with strikes until Kitamiya was able to Suplex Higuchi. He ran into a running power slam that allowed Takagi to tag in and break multiple plastic tubs over Kitamiya’s head. Unfortunately, his momentum was shattered seconds later as he was caught into a Samoan drop. Kitamiya crawled to Kenoh and made the tag for what looked to be the last time. He drilled Takagi with a duo of PK’s and avoided Takagi’s comeback with a Pele kick. Takagi kicked out of a final PK so Kenoh went top rope. Takagi came to life and brought him back down with a superplex. Kenoh and Takagi crawled to their corners and tagged in Matsunaga and Haoh. They traded with Higuchi trying to interfere and accidentally hitting his own partner. Matsunaga reversed a crossbody and set Haoh up with a lariat for a chokeslam from Higuchi and an AA through a plastic tub by Takagi. The whole of Kongoh rushed the ring and destroyed Matsunaga with a combo of finishers. Higuchi made the save. Haoh was nearly dropped by a Saito Suplex but was able to counter it into a roll-up and won the match for NOAH. Both companies made piece after the match, with Takagi letting NOAH do things their way as long as they get to the top. This was an amazing dramatically six-man tag with some good old DDT ridiculousness thrown in for good measure. The war may be over but Kenoh still does not seem too happy with the result. If they want to fight again, I’d love to see it.

DDT Universal Title Hardcore 3-way: Daisuke Sasaki defeated Isami Kodaka & Shunma Katsumata via LEGO Nutcracker Dragonrana Combo

After Chris Brookes failed to reclaim the Universal Title, Daisuke Sasaki decreed that Shunma Katsumata would be the next challenger citing him as the future of hardcore in DDT. Since the word hardcore was mentioned, Isami Kodaka appeared to also get himself into the match. Sasaki then made the mistake of ridiculing Katsumata last week and received a beatdown from the super-hardcore Joker Katsumata. Would that evil alter ego be able to dethrone Sasaki and score a victory over one of Japan’s top hardcore stars? The match started with both Kodaka and Sasaki throwing out Katsumata and going after each other with kendo sticks. Kodaka got a caning and Katsumata came back into the match with a dropkick into a chair into the face of Sasaki. Everyone bailed to the outside with Kodaka hitting Katsumata with a kendo stick and then filling the ring with plunder. Katsumata aiding in this then smashed Kodaka in the back with a chair. They both got back in the ring and set up some chairs for a bar fight with metal bins. Both men laughed at the absurdity of this as they whacked each other in the head continuously. Sasaki then stormed the ring and took out Kodaka with a trashcan and set his sights on pummelling Katsumata, DDTing him into the trashcan and backdropping him onto an open chair. Kodaka broke up the pin and slammed Katsumata through a plastic tub. More metal bins were thrown as Kodaka ran Katsumata into a ladder and Sasaki had to break up another pin. Katsumata scored some payback by knocking both guys down with a double dropkick and diving onto the duo outside. He choked Kodaka with a chair and then dragged him up to the seating area where the two slugged it out. Kodaka fell and Sasaki struck Katsumata with a chair. He shook this off and struck back at Sasaki but was launched into Kodaka. Sasaki dragged Kodaka to the stage and covered it with chairs, slamming Kodaka into it face first for good measure. Sasaki worked at building a chair contraption and slammed Kodaka onto it once he was done. He set a ladder up next to it, intending to jump onto Kodaka but Kodaka bailed and Katsumata pushed him off the ladder and into the chair contraption.

The action returned to the ring where Kodaka was setting up another ladder. Katsumata cut him off and tried to slam him onto some chairs but was overpowered and slammed himself. Kodaka tried to jump onto Katsumata off the top of the ladder but Katsumata joined him up there and superplexed him into the chairs for two. He went top rope but was cut off by Sasaki who launched a chair into his back and slammed him on top of Kodaka. He then set Katsumata up in the ropes, put a ladder around his neck, and dropkicked the ladder, KO’ing Katsumata. Kodaka broke up the pin with a double knee drop and launched Katsumata into another chair. He did the same with a ladder and set up a bin which he then dropped Katsumata on with a brainbuster. Everyone slugged it out and after dispatching off everyone else, Kodaka set up a table on the outside. Kodaka dragged Katsumata to it but couldn’t power him into a Suplex so Sasaki speared Katsumata through it instead. Sasaki then hit Kodaka in the head with a chair and DDT’ed him onto it. He buried Kodaka in plunder and tried to jump onto Kodaka but crashed and burned. Kodaka did the same but connected with a chair powered double knees. Sasaki kicked out, locked in a crossface but had to break it to escape being rolled-up. The pair went top rope but were intercepted by Katsumata who attacked both with a steel bin. He climbed in behind Kodaka and brought him to the mat with a top rope cutter. Sasaki locked in the crossface on Katsumata but it was broken up by the LEGO® bat. Katsumata created a LEGO® pile and hit Sasaki with a Pedigree onto it. Katsumata buried Sasaki in plunder and hit a moon stomp but Kodaka saved the match again. Katsumata took out Kodaka with the LEGO® bat but was launched into a ladder by Sasaki and hit with a LEGO® bat nutcracker into a Dragonrana for the win. This will not be for everyone but I loved this. It was not Kodaka’s normal level of brutality but he seemed to have fun here and once again Katsumata got a massive run of hardcore antics. The win is very DAMNATION and Sasaki named his next challenger as Masahiro Takanashi, who is out for a year after promising Kodaka a single match in the future. The lazy git. Anyway, this was an excellent, if slightly long and contrived match.

Tokyo 2020 Last Man Standing: Konosuke Takeshita defeated Yoshiko via Killing it with Fire

Last but not least was the main event, the big climax to the Yoshiko/ALL OUT war as Konosuke Takeshita invited Yoshiko to end everything in a Last Man Standing match after maiming Yoshiko’s partner, Akihiro. Taking place from a separate location and given the scale of their previous encounters, this was going to get wild. We cut to Takeshita walking into a graveyard following a map Yoshiko has sent him. Yoshiko attacked from behind and the pair grappled on the pavement. Takeshita won the exchange and launched Yoshiko into a tree where they stopped moving. Takeshita struck out at Yoshiko and freed them from the branches. Yoshiko returned the act of kindness by locking up again and struggled around the yard until Takeshita was able to send Yoshiko flying with a German Suplex. Yoshiko came back by DDTing Takeshita onto the concrete. He came to and tried to punch Yoshiko multiple times but the devious doll kept ducking and was knocked back in shock as the doll did a bunch of backflips around the camera view. Takeshita tried to run away as he was taunted with visions of Yoshiko and found the doll hot on his tail. They fell into a dirt clearing and started slugging it out. Just when Takeshita had the advantage Yoshiko dropped him with a dragon screw and transitioned into a Figure-Four. Takeshita tried to fight out of it but Yoshiko no-sold the strikes and ramped up the pressure. He finally broke free from Yoshiko and found his way back to society. Takeshita hid behind a tree and tried to call Iino but we suddenly cut to a predator-vision cam behind Takeshita’s back, he clearly wasn’t alone.

Yoshiko had returned and sent Takeshita running again, though he had left his phone behind. Takeshita made it to an apartment building and ran to the roof. The camera cut to the roof door and yet again Yoshiko was there, stalking their prey. Yoshiko looked around for Takeshita and was blindsided by Takeshita diving from above. He hit some ground pound and locked on a Boston Crab. They scrapped towards the balcony railing as the camera panned above them, showing just how high up they were. They struggled against the railing until Takeshita punched Yoshiko over the railing to the floor below. That wouldn’t be the end though as Yoshiko teleported behind Takeshita, busted up and bloody but alive. They locked Takeshita in a Sleeper Hold. Takeshita struggled against the grip and finally slammed Yoshiko into the floor. Takeshita struggled over to a gasoline canister and tried to douse Yoshiko. The doll fought back and both were covered. Takeshita pulled out a lighter but after a struggle, Yoshiko batted it away. Things got taken one step further as Yoshiko plucked out one of Takeshita’s eyes. Takeshita grabbed his eye back, downed Yoshiko with a Rainmaker, and re-inserted his eye. There was a final slugfest and Yoshiko planted Takeshita with a Dollstroyer before hunting for the lighter. They posed over Takeshita ready to light him up but it turned out Takeshita was playing possum and snatched the lighter. He cocked it like a grenade and threw it at a downed Yoshiko who exploded. Takeshita came to in the aftermath covered in blood but breathing. He stood and watched the sunrise as Iino burst onto the scene late. Takeshita laughed it off and suggested they go to the gym. Horror movie style credits played as the camera panned back to Yoshiko who flickered back to life. The ALL OUT war concluded in very dramatic and violent fashion… or did it?

Well, that was Day One of Wrestling Peter Pan reviewed for your reading pleasure. It was an absolutely mental day of action with a series of explosive matches culminating in the greatest cinematic spectacle to hit wrestling. That main event was the perfect measure of comedy, horror, and direct parody of the WWE style of cinematic wrestling. Now I look forward to Day Two where we’ll see the #STRONGHEARTS go for the KO-D Tag titles, the Hardcore title defence and Tetsuya Endo getting his shot at Masato Tanaka’s KO-D Openweight Title. There’s a lot of fun still to be had. I hope to see you there. As always thank you DDT English Update for your translation work throughout.

All images courtesy of ddtpro.com, DDT Twitter.

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