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Makai Club #1

Dramatic Dream Team (And Friends)

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If you look in the match database section, you'll see that a lot of DDT matches are reviewed by myself (and some others) so I thought I'd just make a thread in the Microscope section to put them all together. :)

Dramatic Dream Team (DDT for short) has a long history considering their relatively short lifespan (23 years is nothing compared to fellow wrestling promotions in Japan such as NJPW and AJPW. Sanshiro Takagi, with the help of fellow independent wrestler Shoichi Ichimiya, began DDT in 1997 with the goal to be unique and bizarre. What is their identity? What does DDT stand for? Well, that’s hard to really explain considering how much variety the promotion offers in their shows. DDT is perhaps most famous for the Campsite matches and street shows that see New Japan star, Kota Ibushi, shooting fireworks and doing backflips off parked cars. But I don't think that defines them. There are plenty of serious matches that are worth watching. Everyone knows Dick Togo vs Antonio Honda from 2011. But there is so much more.  

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DDT Universal Title Match: Yuki Ueno (c) vs. Akito - DDT Audience Tour 2021 In Fukuoka (Evening Show) - 29/05/2021
DDT Universal Champion Yuki Ueno takes on the VP of CyberFight (the company that owns DDT and NOAH) Akito. Akito is someone who is a very good technical wrestler but isn't particularly charismatic enough to be a star or big enough, although that's not really a problem in DDT, but on these smaller house shows in front of 215 people in Fukuoka, he is in a perfect setting to really shine. Ueno has had a couple of strong months as a wrestler. He was mainly a tag team wrestler but due to his partner, Naomi Yoshimura, getting injuries, he got more chances as a singles wrestler and impressed enough to gain the newly created Universal Title against Chris Brookes. It's a secondary title mainly but it's main eventing here. The match worked how Akito likes it. It had a somewhat slow, but not slugging pace, with Akito choosing to pick Ueno’s knee apart. Akito had a cool knack of laying traps for his opponents. For example, he waits in the corner, baiting Ueno to come running in and then attacks the knee when Ueno misses with the dropkick. Just little things like that are something that Akito excels in. Ueno isn't a submission specialist so he's always on the back foot, trying to move the match into a quicker pace which is more his strengths but the knee doesn't allow him to do that effectively, which leads to Akito catching him again and again with submissions, at point, turning a body slam attempt into an ankle lock. Ueno catches him out a few times down, turning a Dragon Screw attempt into jumping knees to the stomach and then planting Akito on his neck with a Michinoku Driver. Most of Ueno’s offence involves mobility but his selling is solid. At times he's really good but like a ton of Junior Heavyweight wrestling, Ueno is prone to do a wicked dive here and there. He hit a beautiful springboard moonsault but landed hard on the knees which he sold with groans of pain. So it was the best of both worlds. The finish of the match was a bit sudden but it was a good ending nonetheless. Ueno blasts Akito in the head with two knees without padding, a pitch perfect dropkick and then a WR (A double Underhook Ranhei) to get the three count. 

Really cool match. Not quite as long winded as you probably might expect from a 28 minute match. Akito has a lot of simple holds and uses them to work Ueno’s leg really well. Ueno is solid from working from beneath and came out looking great. ***1/2

DDT Extreme Title 60 Minute Iron Man Match: Akito (c) vs. Daisuke Sasaki - DDT Saitama Slam! Vol. 1 - 19/04/2015
Daisuke Sasaki had a great strategy going into the match by going for the knee joint of Akito. Sasaki isn’t known for being a technical guy but he is Dick Togo protege so he has it in his locker and he really steps up his work while picking a limb apart in this match. His submissions look tight and he is focused on it for the first quarter of the match. And I liked him trying to get a quick count out victory from it. Akito retaliates with leg work of his own and totally out-does Sasaki at it, which is great storytelling given Akito is an actual technical wrestler unlike Sasaki. Everything from that point on was Sasaki on the defence. It reminded me a bit like the way Bockwinkel vs Martel was worked with Bockwinkle, the heel, was selling and trying to fight from beneath the entire match. It’s not a type of match you see much nowadays but Sasaki’s selling and begging off skills made it work. Sasaki took some really brutal bumps on the turnbuckles more than once in this match. I really liked every fall in the match, whether it was Sasaki’s Hurricanrana, Akito catching Sasaki doing an elbow drop and locking on the Scorpion Armlock or the double count -- everything seemed to flow naturally together within the match. The urgency shown by both guys in the last ten minutes to get something from the match by both guys desperately scrambling for submissions was good. Akito was trying to pull out any creative submission move he could think of, Sasaki trying to defend against that while attempting tons of roll ups. It was a great book end for the match. And we got a little added bonus over time which was also great.

This was an excellent, gruelling 60 minute match with excellent selling and mat work by both men. The pacing was superb, allowing the match to be great for all 60 minutes, as well as the extra 6 for sudden death. Given the setting was basically a house show, it could’ve easily not worked for VOD watchers but it did. ****1/2

KO-D Openweight Title Match: Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Kenny Omega - DDT Nippon Budokan Peter Pan 2012 ~ DDT 15th Anniversary - 18/08/2012
Golden Lovers Explode!!! The history behind this clearly reaches a lot of fans' hearts. Kenny Omega originally came in for a tour, and had a well received match with Ibushi. Then they began team together and the rest is history. Funnily enough, most of their run in DDT is seemingly spent apart from each other but there is always something special when they do team together. But now, they are against each other once again. In Budokan Hall, for the KO-D Openweight Title. 

I was wondering if the match would hold up or not. Considering both wrestlers have peaked a little higher than this in recent years. However I think it’s improved upon rewatching it because Ibushi’s performance stood out so much more than it did last time. I think Kenny was really good in the match. He took a hell of a lot of bumps - scary ones. And he had some cool sequences as well. But I think the initial work on the arm was kind of standard-ish. It’s mostly thrown away in the long term but it doesn’t really look good in the moment either. Except for a few flat kicks to the shoulder that looked like they hurt. When Ibushi starts getting in more offence and the match begins to escalate and escalate into an all out bomb fest, then the match starts hitting all the greatness that the match is praised for. Kota Ibushi was a god in the match, like I’ve already said. Ibushi carries most of the great moments of the match with beautifully executed aerial moves that have a great blend of grace and recklessness whenever he leaves his feet. His standing corkscrew lands hard on with all the pressure on Omega’s whip. His kicks are the same as well. He kicked Omega in the throat more than once, which was such a dick move. Ibushi goes even wilder when they head further in the crowd and hits a moonsault off the stands - something that got him banned from Budokan for years. From that point forward, the match turned into less of the Kota Ibushi show and more even with Omega hitting more death defying offence as well. His electric chair into a german off the top rope was outright insane. Ibushi powers through however and one ups him with an amazing springboard hurricanrana off the top rope to the outside floor. My favourite moment of the match was Ibushi nailing Omega with punches during a strike exchange, and then no-selling an Omega snap suplex, smiling at him and kicking him in the face. I can imagine the no selling will annoy some, and I don’t blame them, but Ibushi makes it work with his heart and insane drive. And to cap off all the incredible risk taking bumps this match has, Ibushi throws Omega with reckless abandonment, spiking him with a Phoenix-Plex on the top rope and then hitting a Phoenix splash to finally get the three.  It’s a wild match. A total spectacle with one outstanding effort from Ibushi. ****1/2 

Kota Umeda Seven Match Trial Series Match #4: Dick Togo vs. Kota Umeda - DDT Live! Maji Manji #11 - 10/07/2018
Dick Togo! This is a Trial Series match for Kota Umeda, who was previously considered one of DDT's top prospects before he stopped wrestling after taking over his family’s business (and good luck to him). He was one of the few wrestlers in DDT that is totally no nonsense. So Togo is a really good wrestler for him to test himself against. Uemda tries to throw his weight around, kicking Togo really hard in the chest but Togo knocks him back with a punch to the jaw. Then proceeds to slam Umeda on the exposed floor on the outside. Togo is a true ring general in this - using the ring itself to his advantage and going about with all the confidence in the world. Umeda shows some sign of life with a few kicks to the head and back. Umeda is even able to hold off tapping to the Crossface at certain points, which puts Umeda over strongly. The match soon reverted back to the kick/punch exchange - that had some great selling - before doing a few quick reversals against each other before Togo got a firm grip on the Crossface to win the match. 

As far as trial matches go, this was really good. Togo fed Umeda enough to allow Umeda to shine while still keeping the match basic . If you like Dick Togo, this is a cool match to watch to see how he fares with a rough, but promising young wrestler. ***
 

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I agree that the initial arm work in Ibushi-Omega isn't particularly great, but they did find a way to bring it back in the finishing stretch that I really liked.

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DDT 20th Anniversary Special Single Match That Producer Danshoku Wants To Show Everyone Match: HARASHIMA vs. KUDO - DDT Who's Gonna Top? DDT Dramatic General Election 2017 ~ Last Request Special! - 24/09/2017
This match was made as this is a special show for DDT usually (looking at the previous shows there is always a big match or two) and with these two being long-time DDT mainstays, it makes sense to put these two against each other once more. This pairing is almost always magic, and it continues to deliver on that here. It's not as good as the 2015 DDT Audience as it's lacking the compelling story of HARASHIMA bullying KUDO and they opt for a more standard style of match with loads of striking and basically their greatest hits but it's a really good version of that. The match starts off on the mat initially, but soon the first strike is thrown and it goes from there. One thing that I liked about the match was how the strike exchanges changed as the match progressed. At first, it was your typical no-sell kind but once the pace got more urgent, there was more heart and strategy applied to them. KUDO hit HARASHIMA with a wicked slap to the jaw, then ducked the returned strikes and hit spinning heel kick. The match had plenty of terrific reversal sequences as well which added a lot of drama as the match was coming to a close. Like KUDO using his own double knees to counter HARASHIMA’s Somato attempt. The final part of the match was just awesome too. HARASHIMA looked to end with a top rope move but KUDO cut him off and chopped and kicked HARASHIMA until he was dangling off the corner post and then hit a double knee drop on the apron. Then once they got back in the ring, HARASHIMA desperately tried to keep KUDO away by sweeping the leg after KUDO tried to hit a spin kick but KUDO was too much for him. And KUDO finally got the win with the knee drop. Terrific ending. ****


KO-D Openweight Title Match: KUDO (c) vs. Yukio Sakaguchi - DDT Ryogoku Peter Pan 2015 ~From DDT With Love~ 23/08/2015
This is a very much a simple match filed with mat work and hard strikes. Sakaguchi does tons of good stuff on the mat. While he had KUDO in a crossface, he’d twist the head to the side, adding a little more torque. Sakaguchi had some great body shots as well. When KUDO locked in a figure four, he’d throw a palm strike to try and ease the grip. There was some great synergy between the two, so everything came off slick as hell. KUDO hit a flurry of strikes to the chest before Sakauchi turned it into an armbreaker in a smooth motion. KUDO had some brutal strikes that gave a thudding sound. Some of his strikes were cringe-inducing. They had a great strike exchange as well. Every strike felt like a big blow, and they sold the anguish drive to continue really well with their body language and facial expressions. The final stretch was pretty standard tbh but it was a good finish to the match. A real hard fought match. ****

And yes, Yukio Sakaguchi is releted to Seiji Sakaguchi. He's his son. 


Tag Team Gauntlet Match: Poison Sawada JULIE & Rion Mizuki vs. Soma Takao & Yukio Sakaguchi vs. Keisuke Ishii & Shigehiro Irie vs. Hikaru Sato & Michael Nakazawa vs. Hiroo Tsumaki & Isami Kodaka - DDT Nippon Budokan Peter Pan 2012 ~ DDT 15th Anniversary - 18/08/2012
One thing DDT loves is their gauntlet matches. Falls & submissions eliminate the team, then outcomes the next team. Last team left wins. Simple rules for an unsimple promotion. The opening match between Ishii/Irie & Kodaka/Tsumaki was cool. Tsumaki had some neat kicks while Ishii and Irie focused on suplexes. Rion Mizuki and Poison Sawda JULIE (former KO-D Champion) looked funky in their Power Ranger outfits. They don’t last long but Mizuki doing a power punch popped me. And of course, Sato and Nakazawa upstage them with their attires. A nurse's uniform for Nakazawa and a ladies swimming costume for Sato. There is some decent comedy mixed in with the wrestling. Sato keeps it serious generally but he shares baby oil with Nakazawa and then spits it in Ishii’s face. The finishing combo with Sato’s ankle lock and a mandible claw with a pair of undies is exactly what I needed from this pairing. Things get serious when Sakaguchi, along with the original “All Red Everything” Soma Takao, show up. Sakaguchi and Sato have some awesome exchanges on the mat. Sato traps Sakaguchi in a Guillotine which Sakaguchi escapes and then attempts a wild downward stomp. The match takes a downpoint when Takao and Nakazawa come in but then we get more Sakaguchi and Sato nailing each other with some great, stiff strikes, although there is an awkward irish whip into an armbar transition in there. Takao does a funny Boma-Ye impression and hits a neat leg drop to end the match and win. The match was a fun opening bout. Some neat match-ups with nothing dwelling too long. Everyone got some spots in and that was that. ***1/4

 

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DDT DDT New Year! 2010 - 03/01/2010
In Tokyo, Japan (Korakuen Hall) - Drew 1, 266 Fans

13 Man New Year Kakushigei Battle Royal: Kikutaro vs. Munenori Sawa vs. Kazuhiko Ogasawara vs. Tanomusaku Toba vs. Tomomitsu Matsunaga vs. Yukihiro Abe vs. Poison Sawada JULIE vs. Rion Mizuki vs. Tomokazu Taniguchi vs. Soma Takao vs. Keisuke Ishii vs. Gota Ihashi vs. Hiroki
A fun battle royal to start the new decade for DDT. As most Battle Royals in DDT are, this is more like a Royal Rumble with entrances after a time period. There is one twist though, as there usually is in DDT, each wrestler heads to the stage set up and performs a talent before heading to the ring. Young wrestlers Keisuke Ishii, a favourite of mine, and Tomomitsu Matsunaga perform a comedy segment as the first two wrestlers in the ring. I don't speak Japanese but I didn't need to in order to laugh as their outfits are ridiculous. Plus the commentary team struggles to stifle laughter was amusing. Laughter is infectious after all. Tanomusku Toba performs on a trumpet poorly and Kazuhiko Ogasawara, of Zero-1 fame, failed to break a bat in half on first attempt. All while Michael Nakazawa stood behind them, still as a statue, caked in mud that would be used in a street performance. I can talk about the skits all day. I loved them all. Battle Royals are something that DDT excels at. Any major show that has them benefits unlike most promotions. The match is irrelevant honestly. The camera is hardly on the ring for 24 minutes this match went on for. And when the action finally gets caught on camera, in almost parody-like fashion, the eliminations come lightning quick while everyone kneels down to watch two wrestlers face each other. Eventually Poison Sawada JULIE wins after the other wrestlers pin each other while tangled together. Surreal finish. I had a blast watching it. The match was secondary. ***

Baba (Hikaru Sato), Cinderella (Danshoku Dino) & King Pokoda (Masa Takanashi) vs. Duke Togo (Francesco Togo), Momotaro (Sasaki and Gabbana) & Supervisor (Antonio Honda)
Keeping with the light theme of the show, we have the big names such as Danshoku Dino, Antonio Honda, Dick Togo (who is under the Francesco name currently as he's a member of the Italian Four Horseman) and Hikaru Sato all under gag names. Some references I get such as Dino being Cinderella because he's a huge kisser and Duke Togo as a play on Dick Togo. Sasaki and Gabbana is more commonly known as Daisuke Sasaki, so I'll just call him that. There was a little play before the match officially began. Antonio Honda would explain what was happening while the wrestlers in the ring would act out what Honda was describing silently. Either it was fight scenes or, um, sexual jokes. Yeah. This match is not work friendly. The match is slightly more serious. There was some crowd brawling and strike exchanges between Sato and Honda but it still has a few gag jokes such as Togo breaking up a pin attempt with a Gun, Mafia style and Dino coming back out wearing a cinderella dress. Dino is the deciding factor in his team winning after a kiss and a Danshoku Driver on Sasaki for the three count. Soon Tokyo Gurentai come out and challenge the UWA World Trio champions (Dino, Sato and Takanashi) to a title match which will be set for the 24th Shin-Kiba event. Let's move on. 

Hoshitango vs. Ken Ohka
Ken Ohka is more known for his loveable loser gimmick as well as running Ganbare Pro - a DDT subsidiary. But here he has blonde hair and it seemed to be the focus of a documentary. Ohka meets fans, goes to a strip club with Yasu Urano and pays for extra. All while a farting noise is recurring throughout the video. Not the most clever of humor, I must admit. Somehow this leads to a 2 minute match with Hoshitango. And it's bizarre. Hoshitango hits a neat shoulder block and a corner splash but Ohka gains the advantage with a kick to the back of the head and hits an elbow drop off the top rope while the lights dim into darkness. Ohka presumably wins. 

Elimination Eight Man Tag Team Match: Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, KUDO & Yasu Urano vs. Futoshi Miwa, MIKAMI, Mitsuya Nagai & Sanshiro Takagi
Okay, how the fuck do I explain this? I can't really. They are all dressed up like stereotypes of the nuclear family. Futoshi Miwa is the family cat, Sanshiro Takagi is dressed as the Mum, Mitsuya Nagai is dressed like an old man. The rest are children. It's quite bizarre. The match isn't really a match. Like most things tonight, it's a skit involving wrestling. Eventually the last two men are Omega and Takagi with Omega beating Takagi. 

30 Man Tag Team Match: Antonio Honda, Chon Shiryu, Francesco Togo, Futoshi Miwa, Gota Ihashi, Hoshitango, MIKAMI, Mitsuya Nagai, Poison Sawada JULIE, Rion Mizuki, Sanshiro Takagi, Sasaki and Gabbana, Soma Takao, Tanomusaku Toba & Tomokazu Taniguchi vs. Danshoku Dino, Hikaru Sato, Keisuke Ishii, Kenny Omega, Ken Ohka, Kikutaro, Kota Ibushi, KUDO, Masa Takanashi, Michael Nakazawa, Munenori Sawa, Tomomitsu Matsunaga, Touru Owashi, Yasu Urano & Yukihiro Abe
The culmination of all the gimmicks tonight. Everyone is involved, even Nakazawa who has been still as a statue all show. It's hard to really describe something like this. So much is happening all over Korakuen Hall. Sawa and Owashi are teaming together to take on Futoshi Miwa. There is a headscisssors spot involving everyone in the stairs (no joke). The funny thing about that spot was when Kikutaro turned Sasaki around for the Boston Crab, causing everyone else to turn to their stomachs as well. Eventually a win was made among the chaos with Nakazawa scoring the roll up win on someone who I don't recognise. Wild match. 

Happy New Years, I guess. 
 

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The King of DDT Tournament is a 16 man single Elimination tournament that takes place once a year. Unlike most promotions, this is the more important tournament in the DDT Callender than the D-Ou which is a Round Robin tournament. When it gets down to the final two, there is a random draw to determine the Semi Final matches. 


King Of DDT 2021 – 1st Round - 10/06/2021

King Of DDT 2021 – Round 1A Match: HARASHIMA Vs Makoto Oishi
Makoto Oishi looks like one of your average d-list Indie Junior Heavyweights but he's sneakily good in these smaller settings. He showed that here as well. There was one point in the match where he grapevine HARASHIMA’s leg while he was stuck in the Scorpion Hold position and made it extremely difficult for HARASHIMA to lock on the hold. Oishi is also pretty much the modern day Finlay as well. Before anyone gets excited, I mean his contributions to making Tokyo Joshi Pro’s idol wrestlers, who could barely run the ropes at the start into competent wrestlers with a loyal fanbase. The match continued to be worked around the leg, with both HARASHIMA and Oishi finding different ways to roll into submission holds and other pinning predicaments. HARASHIMA won out in the end but it was a solid showcase for Oishi’s strengths above just giving HARASHIMA a small win into the second round. ***

King Of DDT 2021 – Round 1B Match: Yuji Hino Vs Yukio Sakaguchi
I've found Yuji Hino’s run in DDT to be quite boring. Hino is a pudgy man with a big powerbomb and in a promotion with loads of Juniors, it makes sense that he plays the immovable big man but it's played out in a one note way as Hino’s charisma is totally downplayed in that role. But this is different as Sakaguchi is a bit more powerful than, let's say, Yuki Ueno, and has legit fighting skills that can cause Hino trouble, so Hino reverted back to his usual work. Hino messes with Sakaguchi, mocking his fighting stance and slapping the side of his leg but Sakaguchi wasn't having that and decided that choking and kneeing Hino in the face was the way to go. Sakaguchi has the Double Wrist Lock on several times but Hino shrugs him off with ease, showing his strength. We get a strike exchange, this time it being: Kicks vs Chops. And it's alright. Both sell each strike appropriately and they move on to the closing where they go back and forth before Hino wins with the Fucking Bomb. Solid match. ***

King Of DDT 2021 – Round 1C Match: MAO Vs Soma Takao
MAO comes out wearing a Duck Ring around his waist, like you'd wear in a Swimming Pool. Ha. MAO has an interesting history. Apparently he was scouted by the company founder, Sanshiro Takagi, on a video of him doing wrestling moves on his trampoline. We have a backyarder in DDT and he's wild. Raw, but a lot of fun to watch. . Soma Takao is a little more boring in his past though. Soma is an odd wrestler himself though. Awesome entrance song, occasionally has a great performance but 8/10 times he's the most average wrestler. Perfectly mechanical. And the match doesn't fit into the minority. MAO teases hitting an Asai Moonsault before realising that he's in Shinjuku Face and there is no room. The action is quick and smooth but nothing special until Mao hits the crazy brainbuster off the top rope. **1/4

King Of DDT 2021 – Round 1D Match: Akito Vs Konosuke Takeshita
The VP vs The Company Ace! This is the most exciting match in the first round as it's two of the better wrestlers in the promotion but it's also stablemate against stablemate. The match was super good. It allowed Takeshita to show his grappling skill opposed to sticking with the bomb fest formula. Akito had some neat WOS-esc counters out of the wheelbarrow position and some, plus Akito had some neat small details in his submission work, like digging his elbow and fists into the spine of Takeshita while Akito had him locked in a front head-scissors. Takeshita adapted fairly well to the tricky style of Akito, using his strength to deadlift Akito off his pressure points. The finish was sudden with Takeshita quickly finding a weakness of Akito’s (his arm) and began wrenching on it until he won the match. Great finish. ***1/4

King Of DDT 2021 – Round 1E Match: Yuki Ueno Vs Daisuke Sasaki
Coming off Yuki Uneo pinning NOAH’s former GHC Heavyweight Champion, Kaito Kiyomiya, I'm certain that Ueno losing was not the correct choice. Even if Daisuke Sasaki cheated to win. Head scratching booking choice. The match was short with the tide turning constantly. Each move looked like it could get the win for either guy which I suppose is a good thing but the result throws me off. And I say that as a Daisuke Sasaki fan. **

King Of DDT 2021 – Round 1F Match: Shunma Katsumata Vs Jun Akiyama
If you want to see Jun Akiyama beating some deathmatch wannabe punk while wearing his pink beanie, this is for you. Shunma pinballs himself about for Akiyama, while adopting a never stop moving approach in the brief spells he gets on offence. Soon the legos come out but Akiyama is able to move when Shunma attempts a flying splash and rolls him up. Fun match. ***

King Of DDT 2021 – Round 1G Match: Kazusada Higuchi Vs Naomi Yoshimura
This is a bit of a waste of Higuchi. A large part of the match was mostly just chop exchanges. And while they chop hard, any time they actually wrestled, the match was exceptionally better. Higuchi had a great claw hold that looked painful, which is rare and that led to Yoshimura attempting to lift him up in order to hit an exploder only to be forced back down. And that led into a chokeslam (but not a choke as Higuchi is holding the face) for the win. That was the first great finish and only a small hint of what they could do against each other. The tag matches between Eruption and Yoshimura/Ueno are other examples of that as well. **

King Of DDT 2021 – Round 1H Match: Tetsuya Endo Vs Chris Brookes
This was an interesting match. It was mostly built around the Octopus Hold and both attempted to get the wins. Brookes can be inconsistent but he does have moments of quality, like adapting the hold to wrap Endo’s arm in a hammer lock position around the ropes. These two really put in a ton of effort with it being a main event and it resulted in an exciting competitive match with some cool moments, such as the aforementioned Octopus Hold battle and Endo bringing out an updated version of a Canadian Destroyer. Everything's better when you hook the arms. And that led to the Shooting Star Press finish to end the night out strong. ***1/2

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Hoshitango, Tomomitsu Matsunaga and Michael Nakazawa as the Nuru Nuru Brothers and Gorgeous Matsuno were the gimmicks I simply couldn't get when I was following DDT some 15 or so years ago. Muscle Sakai was a comedy wrestler but he at least was funny.

There's some quality stuff from back then you should check out and review if you haven't. Shuji Ishikawa's KO-D title run as Koo, a Hawaiian Kane ripoff in the hWo which was a Hawaiian NWO ripoff, Dick Togo's KO-D title run as the leader of Metal Vampire, HARASHIMA's first title run after his run as HERO!, etc. I'm actually thinking of rewatching some of these are those KO-D title main event matches at Korakuen Hall always delivered.

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I've watched very little of pre-2009 DDT. But I have see the Aloha World Order. Antonio Honda was doing a Ricky Steamboat impression which was hilarious. I will check out what you mentioned. Some are on their service, some isn't so I'll have to rely on my skills at finding matches and links. 

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