A young boy debut! This match featured the debuting Nobuhiro Simatani, one of DNA’s newest young boys, and Koki Iwasaki in a decent enough opening bout. It’s always hard to gauge how good someone is based solely off of their debut when they’re a rookie but man, this kid was rough. He was reaaaally sloppy, had a hard time with transitions, and was going way too fast. If he had slowed down a bit during some of his spots, he would’ve done so much better. I know that’s a bit harsh but my god.
In terms of structure, this bout had your usual ‘more established guy beats up on a less established guy with the latter getting some offense in before losing’ so nothing very special there, but still a fine opener. I’d say something about Iwasaki but he was just more or less working how he needed to and played the role of the more experienced very straight. Iwasaki picked up the win using a Boston Crab with his knee dug into Simatani’s back.
ANOTHER young boy debut! This match had the same structure as the last one but DAMN was it far more entertaining. Umeda was vicious and Shimomura showed some serious fire here. Not only does he already have a good idea of what he wants to do in the ring but he can actually pull it off, at least most of the time (his moonsaults are extremely meh).
Umeda’s performance here was as the more established guy in the ring was superb, with him giving Shimomura hard slaps, stiff stomps, and some seriously rough kicks. Him being as rough as he was made Shimomura’s little comebacks mean just a bit more than they would and that’s always a hoot. For a debut, this was pretty damn good and if Shimomura refines his in-ring work more, I could see him doing great thing. Umeda put down Shimomura with a twisting fisherman’s buster to win. I’d definitely recommend checking it out considering the 9 to 10 minute match length.
My goodness, this match was tons of fun from top to bottom. I know I said in one of my previous reviews that I can’t help but root for Shunma even when he’s in a heel role, but damn I think that perspective was thrown out of the window with this match. He’s such a twerp. Los Amigos make for one great tag team. They have the chemistry, they have a presence, and they have some sick tag moves (I just need them to have matching tights now and we’ll be set).
The team they were facing in Kazato & Kawamura were no slouches though, even if both of them are serious dorks. Kazato continues to be one of my favorite in DNA. The guy has improved TONS and probably has the best spinning reverse STO in the biz (get fucked Wyatt). His partner in this match, Kawamura, didn’t do a lot in this match outside of pose and get beaten up on by Los Amigos, but he played his role very well. He also came out with this bottle of disinfectant because he’s here “to clean up pro wrestling.” I actually didn’t know what the bottle was full of at first so I figured it was the tears of his haters. This was a pretty short but nonetheless fun match. Kazato got the win for his team with his sick spinning reverse STO.
Our lord OHKA blessed us with his appearance on this DNA show when he teamed with Suzuki against Asahi and Bedscene. Bedscene and Suzuki’s strike exchanges have grown on me and the ones they had here were pretty nice, although you could tell Bedscene wasn’t hitting nearly as hard as he has in the past. Suzuki was kind of rough on some transitions but otherwise looked good getting his ass kicked (that’s what 50% of what this match consists of). Ohka was Ohka (amen) but not in the match nearly as much as you’d think he’d be, and that actually applies to Asahi as well. Both non-DNA guys were there to be there, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone played their role pretty straight here. Bedscene picked up the win for his team with his Northern Lights Suplex on Suzuki.
Here’s what happened post-match from DramaticDDT: “Ken Ohka praised Suzuki for his daring performance despite losing. Ohka told him to hang in there. It was revealed Suzuki wrestled with a cracked meniscus in his left knee. He hasn’t decided to get surgery or to let it heal naturally.”
This was just absolutely physical. Higuchi and Watase went to work in this match and this was definitely Watase’s best singles performance this year so far. Even though he was the smaller guy, he was still taking it to Higuchi when he could. He gave Higuchi stiff forearms, slaps, even a couple backdrops. BACKDROPS. He wasn’t getting all of the offense though. When he wasn’t trying to knock Higuchi’s teeth out with his forearms, Higuchi was destorying HIM. Chops, shoulder tackles, submissions, you name it – Higuchi got his receipts.
He made Watase work for his comeback and it made Watase just look stronger when he eventually got more offense in. But despite Watase’s best efforts, Higuchi put him in a disgusting looking Canadian Backbreaker and cranked on it until he tapped out. Definitely check out this match. It’s worth checking out at least once and it won’t take up too much of your time. Also, here’s a gif of that backbreaker for reference. Sick, right?
Umeda and Iwasaki pulling double duty on this show was a treat. This match however was really not. Between the starting minutes of this match and final stretch, this was a serious drag. Consistent in a couple aspects based on the parties involved, but a drag. This was actually the same criticism I had with the last DNA show’s main event. It was structured well on paper and there were a couple things about that kept me watching, but everything outside of it was a slog.
When it came to the match itself, we saw your obligatory grapplefuck spots, Iwasaki working over the back/midsection of Umeda and the latter selling it great, and awesome finishing stretch. You could tell that the matches they had before this one impacted their performance halfway through but they did a good job pushing through it. Umeda won with the twisting fisherman’s buster that he used to beat Shimomura just a few matches earlier. Once again, consistent match, nice finishing stretch, drag of a match. This match had some duality to it.
Final Thoughts: DNA 14 was a decent show. My suggestions would be Higuchi/Watase, Los Amigos/Kazato & Kawamura, Umeda/Shimomura. And that match with Ohka. Because Ohka.