Welcome back to DDT. It’s been a while since we covered the ultimate variety company but with one of their biggest shows of the year upon us, I had to come back. Coming to us from the legendary Kawasaki Stadium, we were going to be treated to a massive card of comedy, hardcore, explosion matches an explosive wrestling as DDT does what DDT does best. Opening with a pre-show explosion bout, we’d see Chris Brookes team up with Jun Kasai against the 37KAMIINA, almost all the titles defended and more leading to the main event for the KO-D Openweight title that would see Konosuke Takeshita attempt to topple Jun Akiyama in singles action. Let’s get into this glorious wrestling clusterf*ck.

Pre-show Eight-person Explosion Match: Atsushi Onita, Maki Itoh, Akito & Sanshiro Takagi defeated Kuro-Chan, Hikari Noa, Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Super Sasadango Machine via Exploding Bat Chair Shot to Kuro-Chan

After an electric tag match featuring some of DDT’s top young talents, we headed into an electric current blast match. Atsushi Onita and Kuro-Chan’s feud seems to be doomed to continue forever and now; new faces were being dragged into the war. On Onita’s side, we had Maki Itoh, Akito and DDT big boss Sanshiro Takagi. On Kuro-Chan’s side, Hikari Noa getting her first taste of deathmatch, Super Sasadango Machine and Tetsuhiro Kuroda. After seeing Kuro-Chan on the new series of DOCUMENTAL it was odd seeing him back in a ring being blown up. As expected, this played out like a series of brawls as Onita and Kuro-Chan focused on each other, Noa and Itoh tried to kill each other, Takagi and Kuroda held down the fort and Akito and Machine were dressed and acting like businessmen. Onita went right for an exploding bat but Machine talked him down… well-tried to as Kuro-Chan begged for his life. He used Noa as a human shield and his team swarmed Onita, allowing Kuro-Chan to blow him up. Takagi tried to make the save but Noa kicked his teeth out and brained him with a chair. She started up another bat and blew Takagi away. Team Onita swarmed Kuroda and Onita put him through a table with a piledriver. Machine broke Akito’s ass with a chair and things got worse for him as Onita accidentally broke a chair on his head. Itoh and Noa took over as Itoh drilled her with the world’s cutest punches. They both went for explosive bats and blasted each other out of the match. Kuro-Chan tried to act tough and challenged Onita to a duel with a chair but Onita just fired up the explosion bat and that fire turned to more begging. Itoh came to Onita’s aid with a low blow and Onita took the win with an exploding bat chair shot. Team Onita had won the battle again and warmed the fans up with vicious action and a whole lot of explosions. As expected this was a whole lot of damn fun.

Ten-man Tag: DISASTER BOX (HARASHIMA & Naomi Yoshimura), Raimu Imai, Yusuke Okada & El Unicorn defeated TAMURA, Yuji Okabayashi, Ilusion, Mizuki Watase & Yuki Iino via Step-up Meteora on Ilusion

Kenta Kobashi opened the show with a speech and we started the main card with a ten-man tag. DISASTER BOX teamed with Raimu Imai of HEAT-UP, Yusuke Okada and El Unicorn against the mixed company forces of TAMURA of HEAT-UP, Yuji Okabayashi of BJW, Mizuki Watase, Yuki Iino and Ilusion. With that much experience and anarchy in the ring, it was bound to get out of hand. Unicorn and Ilusion opened with a Lucha showcase and tagged out so Yoshimura and Iino could put on a powerhouse showcase. Iino once again got too carried away and tried for the Haka Elbow earlier and got dodged. Okada and TAMURA took over the action with a nice mix of striking. TAMURA got reprimanded for using a closed fist. Okada made him pay and brought in Imai to beat up his boss. Imai fought through his bosses’ dirty tricks and lit him up with strikes and a dropkick. TAMURA and Watase double-teamed Imai and Watase ordered Imai to give him his best shot. Watase took Imai out with a dropkick and Imai took Watase out with a Hurricanrana and Backslide Suplex. The veterans took over the fight as HARASHIMA and Okabayashi came out to play. HARASHIMA tried to work around Okabayashi’s power with kicks but his high-flying was caught and he was slammed into the mat. The pair got into a best shot battle with Okabayashi powering though a Gamenguri to knock out HARASHIMA with a lariat. Bodies piled into the ring for a multi-man Suplex so the lightweight Luchadors used them as a platform to fight on. They battled it out and Ilusion dropped Unicorn with a Suplex on top of a Suplex attempt. Ilusion’s team succeeded in the Suplex and the Luchadors became the legal men. They slugged it out and Ilusion scored a near-fall with a Pop-Up Cutter into a underhook facebuster. Ilusion hit a second spinning variant but everyone rushed the ring. Watase and Ilusion took everyone out with dual dives and HARASHIMA rushed to dive onto the remains of the body pile. Not to be outdone, Unicorn followed with a rope-walk Moonsault onto everyone. He popped back in to score a near-fall with a Springboard Dragonrana and ended things with a step-up Meteora. The magical Luchador had taken the win for his team against an evenly-matched foe. This was pure opening match anarchy and you can’t complain at that. There were so many big names in here and all got a moment to shine before letting the Luchadors tell their story.

Double ring Marathon: Toru Owashi defeated Antonio Honda via Flash Pin

So, this is where things get a little odd. How do you top having one match at the exact same time? You have two. There were two rings, two refs and two sets of fighters. In the ring one, Antonio Honda and Toru Owashi. Oh, and all the entrance music was mixed together as the fighters made their way to the ring. Honda attacked early but Owashi countered into a roll-up and took the win with a flash pin. This double-ring extravaganza had ended in not one but two flash pins.

Double ring Marathon: Danshoku Dieno defeated Kazuki Hirata via Flash Pin

So, this is where things get a little odd. How do you top having one match at the exact same time? You have two. There were two rings, two refs and two sets of fighters. In ring two, Danshoku Dieno and Kazuki Hirata. Oh, and all the entrance music was mixed together as the fighters made their way to the ring. Hirata tried to be the centre of attention so Owashi threw him off the stage despite Sandstorm and Hirata’s music mixing too well… Dieno attacked early and succeeded in rolling up a distracted Hirata to take the win. This double-ring extravaganza had ended in not one but two flash pins.

Double ring Marathon: Antonio Honda vs Toru Owashi ends in No Contest

With the double ring spectacle ruined instantly, general manager Imabayashi came out and demanded a rematch. He was furious all this effort had been wasted and ordered the double single match to be restarted in a single ring. It was still Honda vs Owashi but now they’d be in the same territory as Dieno and Hirata. This time it was going to work. We almost got the same result but this time Honda was able to kick out. Honda tried for his dancing jabs but Owashi just booted him into a sleeper. Honda tried to struggle out but found himself met by a roadblock, Dieno’s pin. The ref trying to check on his condition had gotten in the way of it and shunted him aside mid-count. The refs started arguing and had to dodge bodies as Honda tried to force a rope break. They got physical and had to be separated by the wrestlers they were officiating. This match was ruled a no contest. The experiment had failed again.

Double ring Marathon: Kazuki Hirata vs Danshoku Dieno ends in No Contest

With the double ring spectacle ruined instantly, general manager Imabayashi came out and demanded a rematch. He was furious all this effort had been wasted and ordered the double single match to be restarted in a single ring. It was still Dieno vs Hirata but now they’d be in the same territory as Honda and Owashi. This time it was going to work. We almost got the same result but this time Hirata was able to kick out. Hirata nailed Dieno with forearms but Dieno downed him with a flurry of punches. Dieno went for the pin but referee Matsui couldn’t make the count as referee Kiso was in the way. He was shunted aside by Kiso who needed to check on Honda. The refs started arguing and had to dodge bodies as Dieno and Hirata flew at them. They got physical and had to be separated by the wrestlers they were officiating. This match was ruled a no contest. The experiment had failed again.

Six-man Tag: Antonio Honda, Toru Owashi & Daisuke Kiso defeated Danshoku Dieno, Kazuki Hirata & Yukinori Matsui via Small Package

General Manager Imabayashi was back out again and this time he was scolding the referees. This experiment was going to work goddamn it. Now, it was no longer two matches at the same time but a six-man tag where each match and their ref were teaming up. That meant Honda, Owashi and Kiso were battling Dieno, Hirata and Matsui. There would be a real winner this time as Imabayashi was going to referee it himself. Honda and Owashi cleared the ring to start so Kiso could join them for a dancing jab spree into the Bionic Elbow on Hirata. That got two so Kiso tried to light up Hirata with forearms but Matsui dragged him down. Kiso took a kicking and Dieno cock shot him before Matsui chopped his soul out. They trapped him in a triple-team posing submission but Honda and Owashi made the save. Matsui took out Honda and Owashi with a double clothesline and brought in his teammates for Dieno’s lip lock on Kiso. Matsui could have got the win there but he stopped the count to deliver more punishment. He wanted to hit a Brainbuster but Kiso rolled through into a Small Package and took the win. After 5 matches, we finally had a definitive winner. This whole series was a riot to watch as the matches continued to devolve into this wrestler and ref warfare.

Chris Brookes & Jun Kasai defeated 37KAMIINA (MAO & Shunma Katsumata) via Praying Mantis Bomb/Butterfly Piledriver combo

It was time for a special singles match as the 37KAMIINA hardcore division of MAO and Shunma Katsumata were about to take on Chris Brookes and a deathmatch legend in a special hardcore tag bout. That’s right, Jun Kasai was back in DDT and he was wrestling MAO and Katsumata in a match full of LEGO™ and plastic tubs alongside Chris Brookes in Kawasaki Stadium… yeah, this screams of dream match for me. MAO and Brookes cleared the ring of the other’s partner and duelled with a sickle and plastic tub. The two battled with and around their chosen implements until Brookes’ sickle got stuck in the tub. They squared up but Kasai and Katsumata decked both from behind and threw them out. They slugged it out and Katsumata tried to use his party poppers on Kasia, earning nothing but a puzzled stare from him. Kasai fired one of in his mouth and slammed him onto a LEGO™ house. The fight broke to the outside and chair platforms and tables were set up as Kasai slammed MAO on more LEGO™. Brookes piled both on a table and Kasai crushed all with a massive splash. Brookes threw Katsumata in and slammed him onto another LEGO™ contraption for a two-count. Katsumata avoided being brained by a chair and dropkicked it into Brookes, stunning him so Katsumata could break the LEGO™ bat on his chest. MAO took over and nailed Brookes with rapid knees and a split-legged plastic tub Moonsault. He jumped out to nail Kasai with a tub and cut Brookes off mid dive with another to the head. Kasai was thrown into the ring and Katsumata pelted him with LEGO™ containers and a giant tower of DUPLO™. 37KAMIINA covered the whole ring in LEGO™ and Katsumata fought barefoot in it the mad bastard.

Kasai suckered him in for a low blow and Katsumata dropkicked him into the LEGO™. Katsumata missed his Moonsault but dodged Kasai’s lariat and tried for a series of roll-ups amongst the sea of blocks, MAO piling on to stun Kasai with a party popper. Brookes came to the rescue with a ladder and avoided Katsumata’s attempt at the Funk spot. He smashed the ladder into Katsumata’s face with a chair and gored him into it again with a Tropical Yahho. MAO took out Brookes so Kasai skewered him. The skewers got passed around and Brookes skewered Katsumata. 37KAMIINA did the same to Brookes and Kasai then tried for dual 450s. Both missed so Kasai dropped in with the Pearl Harbour Splash. Katsumata made the save so Brookes broke him and a chair platform with a DVD. Kasai powered MAO up with chairs to the head and ate a block Powerbomb. MAO set up the ladder and Brookes brought him crashing down with a Butterfly Suplex so Kasai could shotgun dropkick him into plastic tubs. Kasai cut Katsumata out of the air with a knife and the pair finished the job with a Praying Mantis Bomb/Butterfly Piledriver combo. Brookes and Kasai had not only worked together well as a team, but they’d also cut down two of the KAMIINA’s best. Brookes always seems to get the better of Katsumata but hey, Katsumata just got to fight Kasai that’s pretty damn cool.

KO-D Six-Man titles: DAMNATION (Tetsuya Endo, Soma Takao & Yuji Hino) defeated Eruption (Yukio Sakaguchi, Saki Akai & Kazusada Higuchi) via Fuckin’ Bomb on Akai

After the clean-up, we returned to some faction warfare. Eruption was gunning for DAMNATION’s titles and Saki Akai was looking to prove herself against the dark side’s bruisers, especially Yuji Hino. With monsters on all sides, this match could get nasty. Hino wasn’t playing so Sakaguchi kicked down Takao. Higuchi kept up the beating and brought in Akai to do the same. She was too distracted by Hino and ate a Backstabber. Endo tagged in and began what would be DAMNATION’s methodical beatdown of Akai. Hino finally gave her the shot she wanted but it wasn’t having any effect. Akai kicked the jaw off Endo after a tornado head-scissor and made the tag to Sakaguchi. He demanded Takao and pummelled Endo into obeying. They had a strong style slugfest and Takao took out Sakaguchi with a running attack before bringing Endo back in. DAMNATION tried to swarm but Sakaguchi swatted them away and kicked the soul out of Endo. He tagged and Higuchi tried to come in with an elbow drop but missed, eating a Pele kick as punishment. Hino tagged in and we got a battle of the beef. The pair traded slams and chops as Higuchi brought in Akai for a kick combo. Hino once again brick-walled Akai but got stunned by a high kick. Akai flew but Hino caught her and mockingly put her down. Akai lit him up with slaps and kicks, finally knocking the monster down. He was pissed and brutally chopped her down. DAMNATION cleared the ring and Endo dived onto the lurkers with an Endo in the Sky. It was just Akai and Hino in the ring and the same pattern continued as Akai tried to stand up to Hino, refusing to die despite the strikes. She gave him a free strike and he chopped her down again. He kept attacking but she wouldn’t stay down and fought up one final time. Hino finally ended things with the Fuckin’ Bomb and DAMNATION kept their titles another day. Akai showed all the heart in the world here and Hino seemed grudgingly impressed. Even in defeat, we saw something new from her today. This was less a match and more a story. Which was a nice change of pace.

DDT Universal Title: Daisuke Sasaki (w/Mad Paulie) defeated Yuki Ueno via Crippler Crossface


DAMNATION looked to continue its winning streak next as Daisuke Sasaki looked to retrieve on of his former titles. He was after the Universal Title and the only thing standing in his way was one of DDT’s best wrestlers, Yuki Ueno. No pressure then eh? Sasaki started in the ropes and angered Ueno with a slapping break. Sasaki continued to control the pace and slowly beat down the champ, throwing him outside for Paulie to feast on. Ueno knocked his knee on the landing and Sasaki went right to the Crossface when he was thrown back in. Sasaki continued to decimate by standing on Ueno’s head and scored a near-fall with a Hangman’s Neckbreaker. Ueno chopped back and tripped Sasaki out of a Suplex and into a knee drop. Sasaki went back to the eyes but Ueno shook it off and sent him into Paulie. Ueno went to the top but Paulie pushed him off and distracted the ref so Sasaki could break his face with the belt. The 37KAMIINA tended to Ueno and he got back into the fight with a face pissing blood. In that time, DAMNATION had loosened a buckle pad and were ready to abuse the wound. Ueno tried to fight back but the blood loss was hampering him. This was made even worse as Sasaki catapulted him into an exposed buckle. Ueno found new life and tried to charge but Sasaki dropped him again with a DDT. The pair fought on the top rope and Sasaki superplexed the pair into a body pile. Ueno was sat down and Paulie held him in place so Sasaki could hit him with a diving elbow across the timekeeper’s table. He drilled Ueno with a Pedigree and Superkick but only got two as Ueno had fire yet. Sasaki locked on the Crossface again but Ueno made the ropes. Ueno booted Sasaki out of the air and crushed him into the mat by the face. He folded up Sasaki with half-and-halfs, then drove him into the exposed buckle to avoid another Crossface. Ueno went up and landed a frog splash but Paulie dragged the ref out. Ueno dropkicked Paulie away and hit Sasaki with a Dragon Suplex onto the apron. He hit the pair with a Moonsault and dropped Sasaki on the buckle again with a DDT. Ueno missed the BME and accidentally took out the ref, giving Sasaki the chance to hit him in the balls. He couldn’t follow up as Ueno belted him with a dropkick and twisting bomb. He landed the BME but Sasaki kicked out. Sasaki avoided further death and took the win with La Mistica into the Crossface. Ueno had tapped and DAMNATION controlled that belt once more. This was quite epic. Sasaki had to use every trick in the book to extinguish Ueno’s fire and walk away champion. Who knew Ueno could bleed so well?

KO-D Openweight Title: Konosuke Takeshita defeated Jun Akiyama via Deformed Chicken Wing Face-Lock

Last but not least, the main event. Konosuke Takeshita and Jun Akiyama have had a rivalry for the longest time. It would be the ace of the company vs the new Ace who has stood dominant as champion. Could Takeshita reclaim that title and end the night with a 37KAMIINA win? The pair opened with a series of cagey lock-ups as the pair exchanged chain wrestling holds and felt the other out. The forearms came out and Takeshita countered the Exploder into a DDT. Takeshita dropped Akiyama on his head again and worked over his neck with elbows into a facelock. Takeshita stayed angry and shook off kicks to deliver more lethal forearms. He tried for an Apron Dragon but Akiyama kicked him in the knee and crashed him into the Apron with a DDT. Akiyama hammered Takeshita with knee strikes and spiked him with a Piledriver when he re-entered the ring. Akiyama now worked the face and dropped another knee when Takeshita made the ropes. A slugfest broke out and Takeshita collapsed from the blows, earning another stiff kick. Akiyama scored a two-count with a running knee and dragged him to the corner for even more knees. They danced around a Suplex with Takeshita overpowering Akiyama to deliver it. He ran at Akiyama with a flying forearm and bounced off the ropes for a flying clothesline. Akiyama tried to boot free in the corner but Takeshita put him down again with a high dropkick. Akiyama bailed so Takeshita dived onto him and the posse that had surrounded him. He dragged Akiyama back in and ran right into a lariat. Akiyama did the same and fought off a submission attempt to land a jumping knee. Akiyama kneed again but still only got two so he locked on a Guillotine. He blasted Takeshita with another knee to the back of the head but still couldn’t knock him out. Takeshita woke up and peppered Akiyama with forearms and elbows before the pair traded their lethal suplexes as Akiyama hit the Exploder and Takeshita hit the German, over and over again throwing in knees and eventually downing each other with a double clothesline.

They both ran in again with knees with Takeshita winning the exchange and dumping Akiyama with a Blue Thunder Bomb. He sent Akiyama flying with a Bizan but Akiyama still kicked out. Akiyama escaped another submission and pummelled Takeshita again with headbutts into another vicious knee. He kneed Takeshita into more Exploders but still couldn’t keep the Ace down. He locked on the Guillotine again but Takeshita made it to the ropes. Takeshita ate knee after knee but wouldn’t stay down, always finding the energy to kick out or get back up. Even a wrist-clutch Exploder wouldn’t do the job. Takeshita fired up out of another Exploder and blasted Akiyama with another German and a running knee. He dropped his kneepad and unleashed bare skin and bone into Akiyama’s teeth. The barrage kept coming and knocked Akiyama loopy enough for the cross-arm Bizan. Instead of going for the pin, Takeshita held on and submitted him with a Deformed Chicken Wing Face-Lock. Takeshita had bested Akiyama and taken the KO-D Openweight Title, cementing himself again as the true ace of the company.

That ended an incredible show that once again showed off just how creative and varied DDT can be. We had dramatic slug-out stories, dastardly villains and hardcore explosive violence crossed with a double ring comedy disaster. All of this was condensed into a digestible runtime and hopefully, showed a new audience the power of DDT. As one of my favourite companies around, I love to see the massive shows like this hit so many high notes. Takeshita proved to be the main event megastar once again and holds the companies’ top prize again. His next challenger is someone he knows all too well though, one of his closest friends, Chris Brookes. That will certainly be a fight to see. Man, it felt good to write up DDT again. These shows always leave you with a smile on your face.

All images courtesy of DDT, Marc Raimondi 

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