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Found 47 results

  1. Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi, Saki Akai & Yukio Sakaguchi) vs. THE HALFEE (Katsuzaki Shunosuke, Moehiko Harumisawa & Washi Sakurai) - DDT Ganbare Pro Hermit Purple 2020 21/03/2020 This looked really good on paper. Eruption have been super solid since their formation in January of 2020. And their opponents mirror them in terms of styles, individually anyway. Sakaguchi and Shunosuke/Shuichiro Katsumura have the MMA influence, Harumisawa/Moeka Haruhi are the slender women of their team and Sakurai/Shuhei Washida are the burly big men of the respective groups. Something they were eager to explore in the opening exchanges. The GanPro team THE HALFEE were on the defensive for most of the match with Eruption asserting their dominance with some systematic tag work. The crowd rallied behind the regulars who responded with quick stretches of offence and some of that underdog flair. They utilized the styles match ups really nicely, as well as blending the pairings together. Sakurai, who was the young guy of the team, impressed me a ton. He and Higuchi were probably the best together out of the lot. His selling was really good, and while his offence was naturally basic, being only two years in, he used it really well. The match went at a super fast pace, making the whole match feel exciting and thrilling to watch. Great use of time and wrestlers involved. ***3/4
  2. Hardcore Tag Team Match: Ryuji Ito & Shuji Ishikawa vs. HARASHIMA & Togi Makabe Holy shit. HARASHIMA blonde. I don’t like it. He looks like a scummy dude from Freedoms. I guess that makes sense in the match though. The match is a pretty action packed brawl. They waste no time using the chairs and assorted weapons around the ring. HARASHIMA gets bloody fast and the deathmatch duo takes advantage - I know I said I don’t like the hair but a bloody face plus the hair is always a great look. Ito smashing a chair into the forehead was a total dick move, and he doesn’t redeem himself with those chair shots to the back either. Makabe puts in a shift as well. He is known for not always being up to his best but he knows he is in Budokan and he wrestles like it. He lays in the forearms when against Ishikawa, who replies with headbutts. HARASHIMA was a superb underdog, taking the brunt of the offence then working for the comeback. His selling of the weapon shots was great. He levels Ito and Ishikawa with weapon shots of his own. His offence was full of aggression and poise. Damn, he was good in this match. This was such a good match. ***3/4
  3. Another wonderful slice of DDT pro wrestling with touches of BattlARTSian greatness. This wasn't quasi-shootstyle like the tag from the night before, altough it's still quite the stiff-fest. No idea what went into Takagi here, because he has an unusually mean edge and decides to work a rough no nonsense style, even approximating a poor mans Otsuka in his sections against Toba. Speaking of Toba, I think he is a guy mostly everyone with a little japan wrestling knowledge knows as the fun boxing guy from DDT, but is it crazy to say he might actually be an underappreciated indy great? All the involving him where once again manly as fuck and he mixed in some cool unique spots aswell as taking punishment and setting himself up as a foil to make Sasaki & Takagi look badass. Loved his crazy flying apron kick. Mikami was the weak link but still pretty good. He threw some poor punches which especially stick out in a match with Toba in it, but he also had some insane bumps and dives and hit some 2000 sleaze indy level brutal looking high spots, such as a rib crunching twisting senton. All the reckless looking headdrops – which basically saw Takagi muscling Mikami up and driving him headfirst into the mat were pretty nasty too. Sasaki once again handles himself in this kind of stiff main event. Brilliant finish. Crazy to see the DDT crew at one point did a stiff heavyweight potatoefest as good as anyone else.
  4. Kings Road/WWE main event parody match better than a lot of serious attempts at such things. Neat opening exchange, and you realize these guys are good at filling time and getting their match over, Dino actually is better at things like working a sleeper hold or emoting during a strike exchange than most wrestlers, even aside from all the effective butt comedy. HARASHIMA really laces him up with kicks in a way not many comedy workers would be content taking them, and there is really amusing "distraction" spot that works better than most outside distraction spots because it's self aware. Funny to think that this main event drew more people to Korakuen Hall than NOAH does these days and was probably better than any NOAH main event in like half a dozen years too.
  5. I assume in 2008 when BattlARTS was running wild people didn't care much for HARD HIT, but I find it neat to go back and check out these indy shootstyle matches. This was a quite good undercard match and wouldn't have looked out of place on one of the smaller U-Style shows. I've never seen Ishikura before, but apparently he's an MMA fighter who's been around since the 90s. Baby Irie is capable and this was a fun power vs. skill matchup. Ishikura seemed the superior shooter so Irie had to try and push him out through sheer pudginess.
  6. Not a forgotten or super obscure match, but I still found myself stunned by how good this was. I imagine if Kota booked more shootstyle shows and did this kind of match more often we'd all be Kota fans. That aside, I thought this was Satos best performance ever. He was pushing hard and capable of carrying a servicable Kota to some very good mat exchanges. The best thing about this was the unique twist they did on the wrestler vs. shooter formula by having Kota rely on pinfalls and Sato outclassing him and giving up no points. It easily could've ended up looking like a goofy spectacle but thanks to both guys throwing some hideous suplexes and not pussying around with their strikes it ended up being a really fun fight. I also loved how Sato early on answered Ibushi attempting some ground striking by quickly shutting him down with a massive palm strike. Defenitely needed more of that streak in the rest of his career.
  7. DDT Extreme Title Best Two Out Of Three Falls Hardcore Match: Daisuke Sasaki (c) vs Yuko Miyamoto First Fall: Great starting out point with Yuko Miyamoto dominating proccedings, making great use of the ladder at the start to gain the advantage, using it to attack the fingers, in which he'd then rip on them afterwards and backdropping Sasaki on his hip. Sasaki used the chairs to get some of the momentum back and hit some of his big moves and get the La Mistica Cross Facelock for the win Second Fall: Miyamoto went right back to the ladders to again get the advantage and hit some of that sick offence like his moonsault knees into the stomach. Sasaki tries some counters that helped him the last fall but he missed the elbow and Miyamoto kept hitting flash pins until he gets the win. Great short fall. Third Fall: I admired Daisuke Sasaki being willing to go all in on the brain truma and all the bumps he takes in this last fall. Miyamoto nailed Sasaki with a chair shot, he slammed his head into he stiff tables multiple times and takes a brutal Fire Thunder Driver through the same table. Sasaki stuck it out though and kept in it. Sasaki was "cheating" (choking is cheating in this context) the entire match but he channeled some great babyface charm with his selling and willingness to absorb as much as he does and keep on ticking. Miyamoto was great as well, alongside Sasaki. He puts his all into every big move and has great timing when cutting off Sasaki's hope spots. Great final peice to an overal great match. Over three falls, all different from each other, with great esclation from smart weapon use at the start into high level big bumps and offence for the final fall. Sasaki blanded his cheating antics with great babyface drive - he had great techinique, great selling and great hopespots. Miyamoto was very good as well. He didn't put a foot wrong in any regard. There was a few things that could've been devloped more like the finger work that lasts maybe 3 minutes, however, it wasn't needed a whole lot. Great outing. ****1/4
  8. This is for the Interim KO-D Openweight Title after Dick Togo was unable to defend the official title or something. I dug this a ton. Honda especially has developed into one of my favourite wrestlers, even without the Togo match and he brings a ton to this match with his babyface performance and driving determination. His punches were awesome. There was a real scrappyness to them. Some missed, some caught him but it was all intentional in Honda's style of punching. I've never seen GENTARO before but I've heard good things. He was pretty smooth. His offence felt very Dick Togo-ish almost lol. I liked it but there was a lack of something big. No real spark to his offence despite everything looking good and being perfectly functional. That's maybe the only thing that hurts this matches quality. Awesome post match scenes though. Just shame Honda's win was for the Interim title and not the proper. ****
  9. HARASHIMA defends the KO-D Openweight Title Another MOTYC from DDT Sweet Dreams 2014. This is just slightly lesser than their Peter Pan match because the match has a more forgettable start but I think the finishing stretch is in some ways superior. HARASHIMA being busted open by an Irie headbutt then Irie pounding the daylights out of HARASHIMA before HARASHIMA found an escape by kicking Irie in the face was a great end to the match. The first few minutes are unmemorable but the rest of the match is more than adequate. ****1/4
  10. Talk about it here. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1c95nm_yankee-nichokenju-isami-kodaka-yuko-miyamoto-c-vs-golden-lovers-kota-ibushi-kenny-omega-vs-tetsuya_sport?search_algo=1
  11. Neat match that was really made by the surprisingly good selling. Irie has some good power spots, and him punching through HARASHIMA's guard and annihilating him with THE POUNCE sounds great in a vacuum but the way HARASHIMA just throws himself with crazy bumps really adds to them. They do some crowd brawling early on but they throw good strikes and it is more them slamming each other into the barricade and the apron then one wrestler "dragging" the other halfway across the arena to get him back into the ring which looks more like they're holding hands than actual dragging. HARASHIMA responds to Irie's power offence wih vicious knee strikes and stomps. Finishing stretch is a little too nearfall heavy but it was very exciting and fun. HARASHIMA slipping through Irie's attempted Fire Thunder Driver was an amazing spot and they executed "will he or will he not fall down" selling about as good as they could've.
  12. Interesting story behind this match. As of a few hours before, this was supposed to be Sakaguchi vs Kota Ibushi for the KO-D Openweight Title but Ibushi was out with High Fever so HARASHIMA took his place instead due to his high ranking in the DDT Election that year (3rd place). Yukio Sakaguchi, who is the son of former NJPW President Seiji Sakaguchi, is the defending champion of the KO-D Openweight Title and has already beaten KUDO (Peter Pan) and Daisuke Sasaki (DDT Who’s Gonna Top). Sakaguchi was rather new to wrestling at the time, well compared to HARASHIMA anyway, with him being three years into his career in wrestling and was 42 years old at the time so there was a lot against him but he took to wrestling like a glove and was on a high and he wasn’t ready to let that slip. This was an excellent match considering they weren’t opponents only a few hours before. A match built around grappling and stiff striking which meant Sakaguchi’s MMA career came into play here. Sakaguchi controlled the majority of the match but HARASHIMA put up a fight hitting some nasty kicks. One thing HARASHIMA brought into play here was his excellent facial expressions. They were on point and add a tone to the match. A highly unique match, especially in DDT and a great one at that. ****1/2
  13. Fun CAPTURE-esque spectacle. All the strikes were just brutal and the shootstyle floor brawling a suitably crazy moment. I wasn't sure how Toba would work in this kind of main event singles match but the whole thing comes out fine. He certainly knows how to throw that spinning backfist as an exclamation point. Sasaki muscling Toba around to drop him on his head was suitably gritty. Stiff as fuck brawl, DDT should go back to this stuff.
  14. DAISAKU is a kickboxer dude who has worked CAPTURE, so can handle himself against a stiff monster. Doesn't matter though cause S.U. Power just crushes him. Daisaku puts on a good fight but is put to sleep in about 3 minutes. Very brief but very painful looking. Amazing promo after the match and Super Uchu Power struts away as the theme from Terminator 2 blasts from the speakers. All hail the Super Cosmic Force!
  15. Here's your 2000 indy MOTY. No kidding, this was just awesome and shockingly better put together than you'd expect. Really makes me wish there was more footage of the DDT crew doing BattlARTS style matches. I liked the opening matwork between Sasaki and Rider a lot. It felt very raw and unrehearsed, but they still whip out some cool transitions. Watching Sasaki here made me extra sour he spent the rest of his career as a go-through-the-motions bleeder because his stuff was inspired and he hit everything with a lot of snap. He looked like a rich mans Yuji Nagata here, a slick pro style wrestler who can hang doing stiff shootstyle. Ishii was in CAPTURE mode here - basically trying to crush his opponents with every single move he did. He opens this with one of the nastiest lariats I've ever seen against skinny thaiboxer Toba and basically doesn't let up after that. Even his basic "throw guy into corner to set up a tag" looked really violent. Toba is the DDT guy who works as basically a boxer which works very well in this kind of sleaze shootstyle match. He does exactly what you want, by punching guys in the face hard a lot and getting ragdolled around. I was also really impressed with Super Rider here - he made some brief Sasaki legwork that could easily have been filler compelling by selling vulnerability. He would then shoot for takedowns and submissions to protect himself, and also maul opponents on the ground. I also loved his Volk Han like ragdoll throw on poor Toba. The Ishii/Sasaki pro style section was probably the weakest point in the match but still had enough neck compression and potatoe shots to keep you entertained, with Sasaki doing some cool things that he would later drop - presumably because his athleticism declined. I liked how Ishii, when reversing a basic suplex, immediately went for the kill by dropping Sasaki on his head. The finish is between Super Rider and Takashi Sasaki, which is a match up only the most hardcore tape nerds (i.e. me) would anticipate and it totally delivers with Rider whipping out some genuinely awesome reversals. So there you have it, great ultra stiff quasi-shootstyle action that was actually well put together while retaining some of that sleazy underbelly of pro wrestling rawness. Maybe a low end nomination when it comes to all-timer discussion, but golly I loved checking this out. The whole thing is on the DDT Universe streaming service.
  16. Never been a big KUDO fan. He doesn’t have the charisma of HARASHIMA but I do think that he is still a good wrestler because of his intensity and good offence, and he very much delivered here. Some of his comebacks were extremely well timed and thus allowed all the babyface heat he gained in the match to shine through most effectively. The fire he showed in his offence was so awesome. HARASHIMA was fantastic in this. And whilst KUDO did great fighting from beneath, HARASHIMA stood out with his outstanding heel work. Closed fists for some of the strike exchanges, smiling in such a dickish manner whilst brutalising KUDO’s ribs, being an absolute bully. The peaked at the absolute right time with no over dramatic near falls, keeping it to a minimum. There was tons of struggle in the match, allowing the tension of a switches of momentum to happen. The crowd bought into what the story was telling. Great match held up by two fantastic performances. ****1/2
  17. Excellent match. CIMA is a great heel, aggressively attacking the leg of Takeshita with his smug facial expression. He dominated the entire match with Takeshita being helpless because of the injured leg. Takeshita selling was a spotty in the middle parts of the match but generally good and they incorporated it at the end which is good to see. Shocked at the result but great match. ****1/4
  18. Takeshita has really grown from beautiful wrestling prodigy into a bully role seamlessly, and he decides early on to try and destroy Endo's brain. His STF is really great too. Tetsuya works pretty much pure babyface, which, though he's historically great at being a dick, is obviously a great use of his athleticism. If I had to criticize, there's a point this gets to where Endo is selling his brain damage so well, that returning to kind of a traditional big move-trading structure for the last part of the match seems a little wasteful, but that's just nitpicking. This is well worth everyone's time. ****1/4 That's three Takeshita matches I have at 4 plus stars in 5 days. DDT rules.
  19. First time posting here so why not about a match with all-time fav Dick Togo. I finally signed up for DDT and am running through some fun-looking stuff for this year, and I hadn't heard all that much about this match, which was handily my second favorite on the card. Oyama is an MMA guy in his first, as far as I can tell, wrestling match, and he's the story here. I thought he was quite impressive, more so even in his head/neck selling than his grappling. Togo is his usual masterful self and KUDO is a fine change of pace for Oyama. There's a Takayama/Oyama rapid punch exchange at the end because of course there is, and maybe Oyama's worked punches aren't great at this point, but this is still overall a terrifically fun match. ****
  20. Cool, somewhat experimental junior style big match. This was Mikami as a slick junior before he started the Ladder thing, here he was just as prone to bust out slick armbar transitions aswell as fast springboard huracanranas. I really liked how they started out simple working headlocks and hammerlocks and slowly morphed into more tricked out stuff. Mikami looks damn good, technically sound and unpredictable on the mat, while pre-deathmatch kickpadded Sasaki is a perfectly good second rate Ikeda spin kicking him in the throat. The match turns into a style mix where they land stiff kicks and work flash armbars building towards AJPW style headdrops and Mikamis big flying moves. It's pretty much the ideal indy style match as they take from various styles and produce something that feels sound and fresh. The finishing run is great as they just kill eachother. Not only do they bust out the big moves, but there's also some thudding strike exchanges. When a springboard dropkick and lariat feel just as deadly as the big Emerald Frosion style finisher the execution is on point. Really cool to check this out, I would really like this type of indy wrestling to make a comeback.
  21. Some quick background on the parties involved: Sanshiro Takagi is the original ace and founder of DDT. He's a huge fan of WWE and of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and thus his "Stone Cold" Sanshiro Takagi character with the matching black boots and black trunks, plus the shattering glass and Stone Cold like vest. Poison Sawada JULIE is a former New Japan and Malenko dojo trainee and he is also the founder of Union Pro-Wrestling. Before DDT he was mostly an indy guy who fought Mummies in various smaller organizations. He is the founder of one of DDT's biggest historical factions, Jakai Tensho. His character revolves around him getting bitten by a snake and have supernatural snake powers to control opponents. This maybe where the Osirian Portal from CHIKARA got a lot of inspiration for their character from. Super Uchu Power is Koichiro Kimura is another guy who's been around forever and has a background in some martial arts and he even fought Rickson Gracie at Vale Tudo Japan 1995 and he also got a chance to compete in RINGS and in various Japanese indy organizations such as W*ING, FMW, etc. Tomohiko Hashimoto is judoka who was trained by Kimura (Super Uchu Power) and was another pro-wrestler who also ventured into MMA. Hashimoto spent many years working Japanese indies and was highly influenced by Big Van Vader. He was even a member of Team Vader in Japan. If you're a fan of the Japanese indies, than you'll get a kick out of this as its fun in its setting and context, but far from being an all-time classic or anything. Hashimoto and Uchu are two of the more underrated Japanese indy guys, however Hashimoto was still somewhat green here. Uchu was great before he got eliminated as he was destroying everything and everyone in sight. Unfortunately, Uchu went out second, but in its storyline context, it made sense as the feud was between Takagi who was the babyface ace of the promotion and Sawada who was the top heel. The second half of the match featuring mostly Takagi and Sawada I thought was nothing special. Takagi having to bust all of his top notch offense to dispatch Sawada can be seen as overkill, but it made sense as it was the end of an ongoing rivalry at their biggest show.
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