As the resident Dramatic Dream Team reviewer for the site, I’m always happy when shows drop. This, not even a week after the excellent Judgement anniversary show, has fallout from aforementioned event as well as three title defenses! World’s Cutest Tag Team, coming off of their win in a three-way tag, challenge newly crowned KO-D Tag Champs Daisuke Sasaki and Shuji Ishikawa. Also, in the main event, former KO-D Openweight Champion Ken Ohka looks to recapture that thunder-in-a-bottle glory he once had against the best ace in wrestling, HARASHIMA. Also a KO-D 6-Man Championship defense is on the cards with Team DNA vs. Shuten-doji, and a Right to Challenge Anywhere, Anytime “Additional” Battle Royal! Without further ado, let’s get into the show.
This was clipped as expected. We saw maybe a minute or two of the match then KENSO ran-in. This was used as an angle to create a new match. KENSO ran in because he wanted to prove to Takagi that he wants to be in DDT full time, but Takagi basically brought out another chess piece. He revealed he’s been in association with New Taiwan Pro Wrestling, and brought out Rekka, who’s a member of said company’s roster. He asked if he wanted to join DDT/DNA, and KENSO implied he wanted to join more, so a match was setup between the two for 4/2, which has already happened. DDT holds its first show in Taiwan in November, and the kayfabe gimmick is that Rekka has to become a ‘star’ by then, or at least hopefully he does. I’m fine with this booking path. He looks like he has a bright future, and can be polished into a star. That can be said about a lot of DDT roster members who so happen to be young though.
This match is quite the hoot on paper. Sucks it was apart of the undercard clippings. A 60 second clip of a 10 minute match. Super Sasadango kicked out of a piledriver as well as an Axe Bomber. Irie got the win with his monster splash. Irie is such a talented wrestler. Put him in the undercard, put him with comedy guys, put him in main events; he’s great and he always delivers whatever is asked of him.
It was announced that Super Sasadango Machine would defend his DDT Extreme Championship against Shigehiro Irie on 4/3 in Shizouka. Same date I’m reviewing this. It’s the co-main event on the show with a special 4 vs. 4 Falls Count Anywhere main event, which should be insanity.
I can’t believe this match was booked in the first place. Hoshitango and Guanchulo is like a great grandpa and grandson teaming, and one is Indian whilst one is Mexican. Fun from the few minutes shown. Guanchulo and Hoshitango worked so much better together than expected, and Hoshitango is better off in these type of matches than in matches in All Japan with people as old or older than him. It benefits everyone. Some nice near falls like a Guanchulo roll-up. Takeshita pinned Guanchulo with a Texas Cloverhold.
This was the first point in the show where Ken Ohka surprisingly came out and invited HARASHIMA out to begin their KO-D Openweight Championship match. Ohka’s over, brothers.
This wasn’t the most entertaining match, which is surprising seeing the participants and the match on paper, but it continued to play an effective role. It showed that Team DNA could hang with the ‘main roster’ and they aren’t anything to joke around with, but were literally beaten down for 90% of the match and just managed to sneak out with a win at the end of it all. It went from Shunma being beat down for a long time, which made for a little bit of entertainment, for quite the bore (STILL effective though) on Iwasaki, and Highuchi came in and out with tags at times. The match lit up for a short period of time when himself and Sakaguchi went at it. I would love to see a singles match between them in the near future. Nothing much else of note happened, but the finish was good. Umeda and Sakaguchi kicked themselves in the faces after Iwasaki ducked, and Shunma ended up catching Umeda in the Nebula Storm for the victory.
This was a fantastic match. I don’t care if it’s labelled as comedy, it was a fantastic match because it was! Comedy matches shouldn’t be dragged down just because they’re of genre. This got the job done and then some. First off, it was a solid in-ring affair, but with added shenanigans this made me chuckle a bit. Saki Akai won the first remaining Right to Challenge contract after eliminating poor cute man Makato Oishi who can’t catch a break. Keisuke Ishii tapped out to Danshoku Dino because he was being smothered in kisses. This is not a lie. We had SINGING BANTER with Fukuda and Urano, which ended with Urano screaming in Fukuda’s ear, only for Fukuda to eliminate him and sing “We Are the Champions” by Queen. A funny high pitched reaction came after those lyrics because he was thrown out by Akito. Hirata hit his pumphandle sit out slam on Akito but Honda rolled-up Hirata for the last contract, with his glasses on and routine already done for insult to injury. All three won legit contracts whilst Hirata is still stuck with Aja Kong (not a bad thing)! After the match we got more Ken Ohka and HARASHIMA limbo with it coming closer to happening, but HARASHIMA stepping down from the apron after Ohka said, and I quote, 100% truth in Japanese “it was just banter, see you after the KO-D Tag Championship match, mate.”
Candice LeRae is to DDT what the most popular girl is to your current/old high school. Everyone either wants to hook up with her, marry her, or beat her up in a wrestling match with someone to hold that said person back. This match kept getting better and better, building slowly. I had no idea it was going to go 18 minutes, nor did it feel like that at all. There was tons of domino effect offense in this match, either one person helping another, the offense triggering something, or various other shenanigans. Daisuke Sasaki is the geek in class who wants to marry the most popular girl. He tried to do cute things like stop his ‘dog’ Shuji from wrecking havoc on Candice, as that was saved for later on in the match. We got tons of near falls and close to finish action like Candice locking in a stretch on Sasaki whilst Joey did a tope on Ishikawa. Joey and Shuji went at it for a bit which was entertaining to say the least. Shuji is great with anybody. A lollipop-in-mouth superkick was kicked out of, and the Ballsplex on candy was also kicked out of. Joey superkicked Candice which led to the Fire Thunder Driver onto candy as well, Shuji left but Daisuke held up Candice for a 2 count. He then asked her to marry him, she declined, and they did the HBK/Flair ‘Mania 24 spot. “I’m sorry, I love you,” Sasaki said, superkicking Candice and delivering the Vietnam Driver II for the win.
After the match, Konosuke Takeshita and Tetsuya Endo made the save for World’s Cutest Tag Team, setting up the tag title rematch at MAX BUMP 2016. Good storytelling.
Every HARASHIMA match is a work of art. This one was short and sweet, and flew by at only 16 minutes. It felt more like a 7-8 minute match. Ken Ohka is a former KO-D Openweight Champ, but it wasn’t a long reign, ending in the same night; and is mostly a comedy bridge-gap guy in the company. Here however, was a blatant pro-Ohka crowd because of the underdog circumstance and location, and the match did a good job pacing itself and building to a ending that the crowd ate up. HARASHIMA uses his space so well, and provided another selling clinic, both in the physical and facial departments. His limbwork was entertaining as per usual, and combine that with his champion mentality and presence; you’ve already got something good going. He sold a basic dropkick like it was lethal – sweeping him off his feet with an already bad leg about to be worked over more. He stomped on Ohka’s mid-section and that in turn still affected his leg. Brilliance. He even sold his face after minor offense to such, no other wrestler puts this type of intricacy into their defense besides maybe Matt Riddle. What bridged the gap transitionally was a midway sequence that saw elbows being traded, again at a smart pace, a kneelift counter and Ohka kicking out of a kick at 1. More kicks. Still out at 2. Ohka ducked the SOmato, he headbutted the hell out of HARASHIMA, then began bleeding! A headbutt to the back and a Dragon Suplex saw a 2.9 kickout. HARASHIMA got on his knees, bridge tripped Ohka, and delivered a Somato for the win. Great finishing stretch with solid build; enhanced with a crowd chanting for Ohka, on the edge of their excitement, with HARASHIMA’s wrestling skills and knowledge coming into play.
After the match Kazusada Higuchi and HARASHIMA had a staredown as Higuchi cashed in his “Right to Challenge” contract for MAX BUMP, which takes place on 4/24. Nearly a year after he cashed in last year’s, and lost to HARASHIMA for the very same title, becoming not undefeated; he will seek retribution.
This show flew by. For only a 2 hour block on Samurai, this maybe even felt like an hour show. We got the usual clips, we got the DNA vs. Shuten-doji underdog bout, we got another hoot of a battle royal. Add a solid Candice and Joey challenge for the KO-D Tag Team belts along with a damn fine main event in HARASHIMA vs. Ohka; and you’ve got a short and sweet (much like the main event) show. I always have fun reviewing DDT, as well as watching, and this was no exception. For all your Dramatic Dream Team coverage, you are already in the right place; Wrestling With Words.