This past weekend was another glorious free live stream of the other major DDT show than Peter Pan, the anniversary show Judgement. The card reads like a damn fantasy booking for fans of Japanese wrestling–almost everyone was on this thing! While it had the typical problem of a lot of the DDT shows of a lot of the jokes being impenetrable if you don’t speak Japanese, I’ve learned to just let the weirdness wash over me and the wrestling more than made up for it.
Apart from the opener (did not log on early enough to see the pre-show), everything is good. Honestly even the first match wasn’t bad, it’s just that Jason Kincaid is a walking exercise in how not to appeal to me. Not a hunk, weird-ass no psychology botch-heavy style, new age gimmick, incredibly dorky tattoo. Can’t get into it, despite enjoying seeing Space Monkey get booked on big shows.
The Iron Man Heavy Metal Gauntlet was weird on paper and even weirder in reality, but was absolutely wonderful. The right person won, got to show off her incredible new finisher, and then blessed the booth with some extremely good commentary until the break. It was also most people’s first exposure to Maku Donaruto and, holy fuck. Donaruto is basically a psychotic rapist version of Ronald McDonald that works in a strange comedy promotion called Udon Pro and I was actually impressed that DDT would put a gimmick that is so commercially hostile on a major card.
Beef boy battle followed and was predictably excellent. There was a cool trivia attached that one of the wrestlers was Taiho’s grandson making his debut in Ryogoku Sumo Hall. I’ll watch anything with Daisuke Sekimoto anyway. Following this was a match that I was looking forward to between T-Hawk and Akito that simply did not go well. They had little chemistry and the entire end of the match was bizarre and confusing, even for DDT standards. Danshoku Dino’s match accompanied by Pokotan was wonderful, one of the best comedy matches of the year. Watching the other team kick Pokotan’s head in was one of the highlights of the night.
The six-man hardcore really punched above its weight. I fell in love with Takumi Iroha during the SEAdLINNNG tournament and she teamed with DAMNATION in this match against her mentor Chigusa Nagayo, deathmatch legend Ryuji Ito, and Sanshiro Takagi in full mecha paint. The crowd was absolutely batshit for Nagayo. She is obviously somewhat limited in 2019 but women were screaming for her like it was 1992 all over again. The match was exceptionally fun and Iroha got put over huge. I didn’t count but Soma Takao had to have gotten at least 15 containers smashed over his head.
MAO and Mike Bailey defended their tag belts after the break and proved why they are one of the best in the world. This is one of the great sprint matches of the year thus far and a must see. Following this was a surprisingly great defense of the Extreme Title by Shinya Aoki, who it must be reiterated always, has limited puro training.
The semi-main of Naomichi Marifuji versus Tetsuya Endo was honestly a disappointment, and not because of Endo. Marifuji has to change up his style more because his physical condition is obviously declining. He can still do a lot but this match did not play to his strengths and the ending felt like a bit of a botch. Endo looked like a world beater and probably needs to be back in the title picture soon.
Headlining was the KO-D Title match of Konosuke Takeshita and Daisuke Sasaki. Everything leading up to this told me that Takeshita was going over, and arguably Sasaki did not get the run he should have with the belt. As a standalone event though, this is one of the best matches of the year. Insane, brutal spots throughout and incredible drama until the final three count. It was a fitting end to another DDT big show that delivered from beginning to end.
Show Rating: A-
ALL OUT (Shunma Katsumata & Space Monkey) & Yuki Ueno vs. Antonio Honda, Jason Kincaid & Naomi Yoshimura – 0+
DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Title Gauntlet Battle Royal – ASUKA (c) vs. Chinsuke Nakamura vs. El Lindaman vs. Gorgeous Matsuno vs. Gota Ihashi vs. Hoshitango vs. Kazuki Hirata vs. Keisuke Okuda vs. Makoto Oishi vs. Maku Donaruto vs. Mina Shirakawa vs. Saki Akai vs. Scorpio X 2 vs. Super Sasadango Machine vs. Tomomitsu Matsunaga vs. Yasu Urano vs. Yuka Sakazaki vs. Yuni – 1+
Daisuke Sekimoto, Toru Owashi & Yuki Ino vs. Go Shiozaki, Kazusada Higuchi & Yukio Naya – 2
Akito vs. T-Hawk – 1
Danshoku Dino, KUDO & Pokotan vs. Keisuke Ishii, Kota Umeda & Mizuki Watase – 1+
Hardcore Six Man Tag Team Match: Chigusa Nagayo, Ryuji Ito & Sanshiro Takagi vs. DAMNATION (Mad Paulie & Soma Takao) & Takumi Iroha – 2
KO-D Tag Team Title Three Way Match: Moonlight Express (MAO & Mike Bailey) (c) vs. Shuten Doji (Masahiro Takanashi & Yukio Sakaguchi) vs. Strong Hearts (CIMA & Seiki Yoshioka) – 2+
DDT Extreme Title Pride On The Line Match: Shinya Aoki (c) vs. HARASHIMA – 2
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Tetsuya Endo – 1
KO-D Openweight Title Match: Daisuke Sasaki (c) vs. Konosuke Takeshita – 3!!!