Welcome to something a bit different. I love DDT. I’ve made it no secret that I love the crazy as hell hybrid company and with them giving the Extreme title, all be it briefly to Shunma Katsumata, the deathmatch quality had been taken to ridiculous new levels. Here is not one but two of Katsumata’s incredibly short reign reviewed for your reading pleasure as they really do deserve the love attention. First up, we have Katsumata vs MAO from Into the Fight 2021 in a Kid’s Room, Sauna Count deathmatch which breaks the barriers of how fun deathmatches can be, and secondly, we’ll view the ill-fated Chris Brookes vs Katsumata barbed-wire casket match.
First, let’s go into a bit of context. The Extreme Title is DDT’s version of the hardcore title. It isn’t always defended in violent matches but it is nearly always held by interesting champions and has been the subject of many interesting as hell matches from reverse deathmatches to MMA classics. In 2021, the way that belt was defended by its most recent champion, Shunma Katsumata, shows Katsumata is becoming a deathmatch superstar, and also how DDT does their own brand of violence, one of the reasons why I love it. DDT isn’t the first company people think of when it comes to deathmatches but they’ve been home to many deathmatch superstars and are not scared to get a bit bloody. Here are two examples from the past couple of months that highlight Katsumata’s creative genius and the blood-feud that has burned on for many months between Katsumata and Chris Brookes, a story that all started because of Twitter. Let’s get into the violence and explore a bit more, shall we?
Kid’s Bedroom Sauna Count Deathmatch – Shunma Katsumata defeated MAO via Reversal Pin
Up first was Katsumata’s first title defence since winning the belt. He had outlasted a 45-minute ironman match to win the belt and was now going to battle MAO in a match that saw all your childhood toys used for violent means as every two-count added up. So not only did you have to worry about being pinned, you had to worry about being buried under points too and copious amounts of LEGO™ pieces and toy train tracks. They even had a powered train set in the corner! They started off with chain wrestling around a child’s table until MAO fell off it and Katsumata scored his first two-count. The counts continued as the pair rushed some pins and the pair duelled with LEGO™ tubs. Katsumata won and broke his container over MAO’s head, spilling LEGO™ all over the ring. They fought to the top rope and Katsumata sent MAO crashing back down with a double stomp onto the apron. He went for a dive and MAO smashed him through the ropes with a plastic tub full of rubber ducks and threw another tub into the ring. MAO began his assault on Katsumata’s back by dumping him back-first through a plastic chair and stomping LEGO™ into his back. He dropped Katsumata into another pile of plunder and racked up more points with more pins. He couldn’t keep Katsumata down so he buried him under the front of the LEGO™ house and dropped a cinderblock on him. Katsumata was now down ten points and it was only getting worse as he missed a dropkick and crashed into even more plunder. MAO tried to fire up with another tub of LEGO™ but Katsumata dodged and smashed it into him with a springboard dropkick. The tide was turning so Katsumata kept pressing with another dropkick through the ropes and a DDT into the LEGO™. He began making back the points with slams into the LEGO™ and smashed a toy train into MAO’s head then drove him into the trainset with an X-Factor. MAO dodged another dropkick and sent Katsumata back into the LEGO™ before slamming him back down with the Rough Rider.
MAO set the micro table up in the corner and sent Katsumata face-first into it. Katsumata bounced off it and grabbed MAO by the waist for another roll-up chain. Both scored more points with a head kick and a powerbomb then MAO set up a table on the outside and argued with the ref that it was a legitimate weapon in the match. They danced around the table and MAO crushed Katsumata through it and the guardrail with a Tope con Hilo. Both guys were dead after that move but MAO still couldn’t keep Katsumata down for three. They had a train track duel sat at the tiny table and the ref once again argued with MAO as he tried to use skewers. They instead fired party poppers into the other’s mouth. Both collapsed and after trading hands, Katsumata hit his shin off the table so MAO DDT’ed him onto it. He laid out Katsumata on the table and put him off it with the moonsault senton. The pair went pinfall crazy as the score went to 32-32. MAO put Katsumata through another tub with a Crucifix Bomb but it only got two. They fought to the top again and MAO scored another two count off a second-rope Michinoku Driver. Katsumata powered-up off of MAO smashing more plastic off his head but MAO put him back on the mat with a swing from Katsumata’s trusty LEGO™ bat. That and the Shouten got a one-count so MAO built a LEGO™ table. Katsumata took control with a Superkick and put MAO through the table with Hasta La Vista. Things got even wilder as Katsumata brought out a barbed-wire hula-hoop and went to the top for the Splash. He missed and MAO tried to roll him up but Katsumata reversed the reversal and score the three with a fold-up pin. Katsumata had won despite taking some of the nastiest bumps in the match. Both guys were bruised to hell from the LEGO™ and other assorted plunder. It really did show anything can hurt if you land on it badly. Brookes came out after the match and attacked Katsumata, setting up our next match…
Barbed-Wired Casket Match – Chris Brookes defeated Shunma Katsumata via Splash Dodge
Second, we have Katsumata’s ill-fated vengeance match against his arch-nemesis, Chris Brookes. The pair have feuded continuously since Katsumata accidentally got Brookes’ Twitter suspended. They’ve since had bitter hardcore bouts but never to this degree, they wanted death and they got a casket. Fitting really. They had barbed-wire boards and other plunder to play with, in an effort to knacker their opponent enough to close them in the casket. The problem for Brookes though, was he was dealing with Super Hardcore Shunma, flanked by super hardcore druids. They danced around the boards and Brookes clipped Katsumata with a step-up enzuigiri. He tried to drag Katsumata to the coffin but got stunned by a party popper and had a wet floor sign broken over his head. Brookes rolled to the outside so Katsumata followed and choked him out with his suspenders before creating a chair contraption. He smashed Brookes with a chair to keep him away and climbed to the top. Brookes met him up there and brought Katsumata crashing through his contraption with a deadly drive. Brookes dropped him on a second chair pile with a ring-hung twisting neckbreaker and continued to assault Katsumata with chairs. He set up a ladder in the corner and threw Katsumata into it before catapulting him into the underside of it. He had come to the ring with a Kusarigama and retrieved it to attack Katsumata with. They battled over it and Brookes settled for choking Katsumata out with it. He struck the casket as he tried to stab Katsumata and Katsumata used the distraction to nail Brookes with a Gamenguiri. He broke the LEGO™ bat across Brookes’ chest and followed him outside with a Tope con Hilo. He set up one of the barbed-wire boards outside and after trading killing blows on the apron, put Brookes through the board with a DVD. The pain continued as Brookes got another back-full of wire in the coffin and had the LEGO-covered casket lid thrown into his face.
He dodged a Moonsault and sent Katsumata into the second barbed-wire board with a shotgun dropkick then reminded everyone of TropiCalamari with a Tropical Yahoo charge into the ladder. Brookes covered the ring in thumbtacks, pissing off the referee in the process, and struck it out with Katsumata since he escaped the Praying Mantis Bomb. Brookes sacrificed his back to drive Katsumata into the tacks with an Implant DDT and gave Katsumata a back-full of tacks with an Awesome Bomb. The druids, Konosuke Takeshita and MAO came to Katsumata’s aid and Katsumata used the distraction to kick Brookes in the balls and superkick tacks out of his mouth. The druids helped him hit a second rope Tornado DDT and left Katsumata to fend for himself as he tried to put Brookes in the casket again. Brookes begged for mercy but Katsumata was “all-out” of mercy and broke a chair over his head. He dragged Brookes through the tacks and hit the hand-held double stomp as Brookes fought him on the top. He positioned Brookes on the casket and prepared for the splash but Brookes opened the casket and Katsumata landed chest first in the barbed-wire. Brookes shut the lid and won the match. He took the time to recover then hammered the final nails into the casket and Katsumata’s Extreme Title reign. Deathmatch Brookes is one of my favourites as he goes all out on the violence. He is a gifted wrestler but, if you give him some plunder, he is going to make his opponents and himself bleed. This was an excellent match to watch and now, I hope that Brookes takes the title to the same limits Katsumata was willing to. God, I do love a good DDT deathmatch.
All images courtesy of DDTpro.com