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[2018-11-30-DDT-D-King Grand Prix 2019] HARASHIMA vs MAO


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This follows the template of their very good May 2017 house show match, where HARASHIMA tries to keep MAO grounded and tied up. Except, now MAO is much better and HARASHIMA is perhaps more vulnerable due to the passing of time. The tied up part is quite literal at some points. HARASHIMA does an abdominal stretch while trapping MAO's opposite leg. It looked sort of precarious and he didn't hold it for long but it also looked gnarly. Half of the reviews for DDT matches I've done here are just me raving about HARA's grappling so I won't do that this time. What I really liked about this match is that unlike their previous bout, HARASHIMA can't keep MAO tied up for long. So MAO gets more offense, and he mostly hurts HARASHIMA with kicks and strikes. He may be more notable for his crazy plunder matches (which are also very good) but he's a very good wrestler in conventional setting. Eventually, HARASHIMA starts to overwhelm MAO. He sets up the somato but is unable to hit it. MAO counters with a bunch of roll ups, which felt like a great desperate move. And his win comes as suddenly as that. It's a really rewarding watch, towards the end of a DDT binge, at least. I'd love for these two to get a big show match, they have great chemistry.

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