DDT Judgement 2017 ~ DDT 20th Anniversary Show on March 20, 2017
Watch: DDT Universe
Saitama Super Arena – Saitama, Japan
Editor’s note: Izzac didn’t mention the fact that there were incredible videos on display from DDT all night, as per usual. But in this very special case, they made an outstanding video recapping their history (and venues ran) up to this point. It’s a must watch for any puroresu fan, and nearly makes you want to cry, because DDT is an awesome success story.
DDT Iron Man Heavymetalweight Championship Battle RoyalN/R
So this is probably the only match I would recommend you skipping, for one because all the music is muted and there was music every 30 seconds. For two the work was not that great at all but there were some incredible moments in the match. Okay, so MUNEORI SAWA RETURNED AND I CRIED HE DID SOME OF HIS SHOOTY STUFF WHICH MADE ME CRY EVEN MORE THAN I ALREADY WAS. Trans Am Hiroshi made an appearance. POISON SAWADA JULIE came out of retirement and used black magic to eliminate everyone. Gota Ihashi fresh off a couple matches in the UK missed a moonsault then was eliminated. Ken Ohka and Muneori Sawa were eliminated by Guanchulo meaning that the ultimate DDT underdog Guanchulo won the match! On the way to the back Yoshihiko pinned him out of nowhere to end his short run as Iron Man Heavymetalweight Champion.
KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship: Kazusada Higuchi, Kouki Iwasaki (c) & Mizuki Watase vs. Makoto Oishi, Shunma Katsumata & MAO vs. Soma Takao, Akito & Yasu Urano***1/4
This was really damn awesome and I’m glad all these guys were able to be in this match and not somewhat wasted in the battle royal. I still think guys like Akito, Oishi & Higuchi should be higher on the card but I can’t complain because this was so fun. Shunma looks absolutely amazing in his new gear. He’s improved his body a ton as well. There was some very unique 3-way wrestling sequences, I really was amazed at some of the things these fellas were doing. MAO and Shunma did tandem tope con hilo’s but Oishi was caught by Higuchi who gorilla pressed him into the ring from the apron. Takao really impressed me here, more than he has in a while. This was an 8 minute high spot sprint, in the end MAO hit the 450 splash on Yasu Urano to pick up the W and become new champs!
Shigehiro Irie vs. Mike Bailey****
I am shocked at how much these guys fitted in for the time allotted. This went just under 9 minutes and was maybe the best sub ten minute match this year. It is as good as the Riddle vs. Ospreay match from PROGRESS last year. Speedball was bringing new viciousness that I haven’t seen before and Irie was pumped, as this was his return after a mini US Excursion. There was no wasted time in this match, from the get go they started killing one another. Speedball hit the inside out ‘Silver King’ moonsault. Bailey used every kick in the book to try and knock Irie’s head off. Irie hit the beast bomber in under 5 minutes but Mike was able to muster up the strength to kick out. Irie used a crazy running elbow bat like move which just about destroyed poor Speedball’s head. Bailey with the standing Red Arrow. Irie did one of the craziest things I’ve seen, he pounced Bailey from the ring to the floor. HUGE tope con hilo off the ramp onto Irie. In the end Speedball tapped out to the Tazmission. Highly recommend this.
Saki Akai, Meiko Satomura & Syoko Nakajima vs. Aja Kong, Cherry & Miyu Yamashita ***1/2
This was much better than I first anticipated, somehow Meiko makes everything she’s involved in turn to gold. Her and Aja are destined to do this forever. Nakajima faced off with Aja Kong to begin the bout which got a big reaction from the 10,000+ people in attendance. Kong murdered her with a couple of backdrop suplexes. Cherry was full of energy, now that Tokyo Joshi Pro is available on DDT UNIVERSE I have to check out some of her matches. I really enjoy her work. Aja whacked Meiko with her steel box. and Meiko and Aja had a really great sequence. Meiko hit her frog splash then came a DVD on Yamashita to pick up the victory.
Yoshihiro Takayama & Dick Togo vs. KUDO & Shungo Oyama***1/2
Dare I say another great bout, this was very different than every match thus far. You have four guys who could all legitimately kick your ass. If you forgot about that, Takayama and Oyama recreated the Takyama/Frye punch spot. Oyama looked very impressive in his debut, he will fit right into the DDT world. Dick Togo continues to be amazing, another ***1/2 Dick Togo match in 2017. He is facing Mr. Gannosuke on 5/5 at Korakuen for GUTS WORLD. Togo and Oyama started the match grappling, Oyama kept up. Oyama took a chair shot to the head, welcome to pro wrestling brother. PK from Takayama. Kudo and Togo traded strike combos. Oyama used an STO and multiple judo throws. Brain buster from Togo on Oyama. Doomsday Device on Oyama! This man is getting absolutely ruined. Takayama pinned Oyama with the Everest German Suplex Hold. Post-match Takayama and Oyama embraced in what was a great moment.
DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship Anal Explosion Deathmatch: Joey Ryan (c) vs. Danshoku DinoN/R
Look I couldn’t care less about this, I did not pay attention at all. DDT and their production team put so much effort into this match which I do give them credit for. Donald Trump (Super Sasadango Machine) was there and telling everyone how he owns DDT and the referee Matsui is the strongest. It all weirded me out, and I love Dino, but this was WAAAAY TOO MUCH! Dino did take one crazy bump off the top rope to a table on the outside. Dino gets back the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship after pinning Joey with the Danshoku Driver.
KO-D Tag Team Championship: Masakatsu Funaki & Yukio Sakaguchi (c) vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Tetsuya Endo***3/4
This looks incredible on paper, four of my personal favorites, but I was a little worried how the match would work. Yet it worked perfectly! This was so great and it felt like they could have done so much more. Funaki in DDT, especially with Yukio, is such a blessing. DAMNATION took control early on, Ishikawa used a apron-bomb. The crowd was so fired up for this match which made me happy. Yukio used a bunch of great kicks, the jumping PK is a thing of beauty. Twisting tope con hilo from Tetsuya Endo. Funaki went into UWFI mode and started shooting on Endo, the rolling kappu kick rang Endo’s clock for sure. Yukio had a sleeper on Shuji, and Endo broke it up with a springboard 450. Endo did approximately 49 flips in this bout. Asai moonsault. Shuji kicked out at 1 when Yukio hit the right knee of god. Yukio was shocked so he went to the top rope and landed a right knee of god from the top which was great and shockingly the finish! So happy Team Hot MMA Dads won.
Katsuie Shibata (Daisuke Sekimoto), Kenshin Uesugi (Jun Akiyama) & Nobunaga Oda (Kota Ibushi) (w/ Oichi (Mai Iriya) vs. Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Sanshiro Takagi), Shingen Takeda (Keiji Muto) & Yukimura Sanada (Isami Kodaka)****
This is without a doubt the most crazy match on paper I’ve ever seen in a good way. There’s been some really weird shit booked over the years but this is WEIRD. The best kind of weird. It’s like Takagi was reading my thoughts. Isami Kodaka is my favorite current wrestler, Kota Ibushi is one of my favorites, Daisuke Sekimoto is my 2nd favorite wrestler, Akiyama is one of the greatest ever and Keji Mutoh is in my top 3 of all time. This match was booked for me (and 10,000) in attendance. I don’t know how Takagi pulled off this match but he did and I won’t ask questions because IT WAS AMAZING. Just an incredible match from start to finish, I think Mutoh shocked a lot of people because he did do so much, renewing his rivalry with Akiyama but this time with swords. Within the first sequence Takagi was thrown into a stack of chairs. Ibushi and Mutoh faced off and grappled!!! IBUSHI AND ISAMI WENT AT IT, Ibushi hit the golden triangle moonsault. Akiyama killed Isami with a diving knee off the apron. Isami superkicked Jun. Mutoh and Akiyama went at it with their dad sequences, which I love. Mutoh dropkicked Sekimoto. Isami and Mutoh did tandem shining wizards. Sekimoto gave the double German suplex to Ibushi and Takagi. Mutoh no sold the exploder suplex and hit a shining wizard. Ibushi ended the match with a phoenix splash on Takagi.
DDT Extreme Championship Hardcore Match: Jun Kasai (c) vs. Daisuke Sasaki ***1/2
This was hyped up to me by Trask as an incredible match and I thought it was really great, but nothing world class. They did some absolutely insane things, don’t get me wrong. If you like hardcore matches that don’t involve some of the gross deathmatch stuff then this is perfect for you. It was full of life risking spots. It was like a really great WWE style hardcore match where it’s big spot after big spot. The crowd wasn’t into this as much as I would have hoped for or initially thought. They both worked insanely hard. Pretty awesome to know that Sasaki and Kasai semi-main evented a show with over 10,000 people in the building. Sasaki was in kill mode hitting coasts to coasts and a suplex off the top of the ladder. They both fell onto a fence(?!) from the apron which looked like it hurt. Kasai gave Sasaki a German whilst he had the ladder wrapped around his head. Sasaki hit an elbow off the top off a giant ladder through a table to pick up the W. “The Charisma” is the new champion.
KO-D Openweight Championship: HARASHIMA (c) vs. Konosuke Takeshita****1/4
This is the main event of the biggest show in DDT’s 20 year history, it’s a first time matchup for the KO-D Title. It has the company’s top two wrestlers facing off on the biggest stage. Takeshita is just 21 years old and is headlining a show with 10,000 people. He has had many detractors over his career and I was once one of them, but he has won me over; so much that I think he is honestly the best wrestler on planet earth. I’ve watched every Takeshita match in 2017 and I’m not joking, every match is highly recommended. HARASHIMA is the present and Takeshita is the future, but in this match Takeshita became the present as well as the future. Takeshita brought the performance of his life to the table and it was successful because he won the KO-D Title from HARASHIMA. It was a passing of the Ace torch. HARASHIMA will remain the ace to many of us but Takeshita is going to be DDT’s ace for the next 20 + years. He is going to lead DDT to the new era, becoming the #2 promotion in Japan (eventually). As for the match it was incredible, one of the best built matches this year and even if you don’t like or watch puro, you will love this. Within the first few minutes Takeshita tried to murder HARADAD with a brainbuster on the floor. 42 year old HARASHIMA did everything he could to try and defeat the young superstar. Numerous reverse frankensteiners including one from the top rope. Takeshita used a bunch of moves from people who he has beaten and learnt from. A huge pop occurred when he used Antonio Honda’s elbow attack. HARASHIMA dropped Takeshita on his head with a crazy move I don’t even know what to call. HARASHIMA kicked out of one German suplex hold but could not kick out of the straight jacket German suplex hold. A great moment in the end, so much honest emotion shown by Takeshita. Please go watch this ASAP.
DDT JUDGEMENT ON MARCH 20, 2017
Masterpiece - 9.5/10
This is my current show of the year. Every match delivered in some way, and for the stuff I didn't like I'm sure there were people that loved it. An insane card by DDT, and without a doubt the best DDT show of all time. Thank you all for reading. Please subscribe to DDT UNIVERSE.