DDT "Sweet Dreams!" 2014
review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 26th, 2014
It is time for another DDT review! These reviews show my dedication to the quest to review all events, as comedy promotions are the hardest ones to review. DDT has some skilled wrestlers for sure, but some of the comedy I admittedly don't really get. But this is a big event as there are three titles up for grabs and their big titles tend to be more 'normal' matches so I am sure they will be entertaining. Here is the full card:
- Antonio Honda and Daisuke Sasaki vs. Keisuke Ishii and Takao Soma
Second DDT event of 2014 to make TV, let's see how they do.
Antonio Honda and Daisuke Sasaki vs. Keisuke Ishii and Takao Soma
Match Thoughts: We only caught the second half of the match, but I guess if you have to join a match in the middle it may as well be at the hot tag. What we saw was good, although a little goofy at times. Cutting out the opening work probably made the match seem better since it was fast paced, but what we saw was certainly fine. Score: 5.0
Masa Takanashi, DJ Nira, Gota Ihashi, Guanchulo, Kazuki Hirata, Hoshitango, Takeshita, Michael Nakazawa, MIKAMI, Matsunaga, and Yasu Urano
Hoshitango fights off all comers, clearing the ring, until Urano gets back in and raises Hoshitango’s hand. Only to then rake him in the eyes. Irish whip by Urano to the corner, reversed, but Urano avoids the Body Avalanche and rolls up Hoshitango for the three count. Urano is the new Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion. Urano bails out of the ring and runs away from everyone, going up into the stands. Takanashi chases him down but Urano spits water in his face as they make their way back towards ringside. Urano is still holding the belt as he continues running from Takanashi, but Takanashi grabs him and slides Urano back in the ring. Enzigieri by Urano to Takanashi and he puts him in the Octopus Hold. Nira comes into the ring and pushes Urano; he gets a microphone and gives one to Urano before kicking Urano in the leg. They jaw a bit, headbutt by Nira to Urano and Takanashi rolls up Urano for the three count. Takanashi is now the new Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion. Takanashi bails out of the ring and fights off everyone, hitting various wrestlers with the title belt. He rolls back in the ring but he sees Urano and bails again, but he is attacked on the outside. He rolls back in as everyone tries to cover him at the same time, but the 10 minute time limit has expired. Your (final) champion: Masa Takanashi
Match Thoughts: Way too many wrestlers to really be a good match, these types of matches can be fun but with nine wrestlers it was just too much. Most of them disappeared for the majority of the match, and aside from a few of the goofier spots getting a chuckle there wasn’t really much of a point to this one. Luckily half of it was cut as it picked up at the five minute mark before the first submission victory, I have no idea what the first five minutes were like. For which I am thankful. Score: 3.5
Makoto Oishi and Saki Akai vs. Toru Owashi and Yoshiko
Oishi elbows Owashi out of the ring and stomps on Yoshiko, Oishi picks up Yoshiko and shoves her in the corner. Irish whip by Oishi, reversed, and Owashi comes in the ring to hit a lariat. Double Irish whip to Oishi and they hit a double shoulderblock. Yoshiko and Owashi then both go off the ropes and hit a double body press, cover, but Akai breaks it up. They throw Akai out of the ring and go for a double chokeslam on Oishi, but he gets out of it. Yoshiko accidentally lariats Owashi, and Oishi drops Yoshiko with a Stunner. Oishi tags in Akai, Akai goes up top and jumps off but Owashi catches her by the neck. Owashi goes for a chokeslam but Akai hits a hurricanrana. Yoshiko attacks Akai from behind and stomps her to the mat, she picks up Akai and puts her on her shoulders, but Akai gets free. Chop by Akai in the corner, Irish whip, and Akai hits a big boot onto Yoshiko. Akai goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving crossbody, cover, but it gets a two count. Akai waits for Yoshiko to get up and kicks her, she goes off the ropes and hits another big boot but Yoshiko doesn’t go down. She goes off the ropes again and Yoshiko hits a lariat, cover, but Oishi breaks it up. Owashi throws Oishi out of the ring while Yoshiko headbutts Akai, cover, but Akai barely gets a shoulder up. Yoshiko goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving senton, cover, and she picks up the three count. Your winners: Toru Owashi and Yoshiko
Match Thoughts: This match was definitely rough around the edges. Akai has not been wrestling for long and she is incredibly…. awkward. About half of the things she did in this match just didn’t flow well at all and she was a sharp contrast to Yoshiko who is very solid. The Owashi and Akai parts in particular were off as you could tell Owashi didn’t actually want to hurt her (Yoshiko and Oishi didn’t have that issue since Yoshiko is bigger anyway). Besides Yoshiko no one really came out of this looking particularly good, just a mess in general. Score: 3.0
Danshoku Dino vs. KUDO
Match Thoughts: I wonder if KUDO in his life has been kissed more by Dino than anyone else, you’d think it would hurt the effect of the move after the hundredth time. Dino matches are kinda fascinating as you know what is going to happen and he has been doing this gimmick for a decade. and yet here he is still doing it. KUDO is a quality wrestler and when he was on offense the match was fun, his kicks are so on point. With Dino you know what you are getting but at least he was paired up against a skilled wrestler so it was still a decent match to watch. Score: 5.5
Sanshiro Takagi and Hikaru Sato vs. Yukio Sakaguchi and Akito
Jumping back elbow by Takagi on Sakaguchi in the corner and he hits a reverse splash for a two count cover. Takagi picks up Sakaguchi but Sakaguchi lands on his feet after a suplex attempt and applies a sleeper hold. Takagi drives Sakaguchi into the corner to break it up, Irish whip, reversed, and Sakaguchi hits a jumping knee in the corner. Sakaguchi gets on the ropes but Takagi delivers a dropkick, he then picks up Sakaguchi while he is on the apron and suplexes him back into the ring. Takagi tags in Sato, and Sato kicks Sakaguchi in the chest. Running kick to the chest in the corner by Sato and he hits an over the shoulder suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Sato quickly applies a cross armbreaker but Sakaguchi is in the ropes and forces a break. Kicks to the chest by Sato, he goes off the ropes but Sakaguchi catches him with a dropkick. Sakaguchi tags in Akito, Akito picks up Sato and hits a gutwrench suplex. Irish whip by Akito to the corner, reversed, Akito flips himself out to the apron and hits a dragon screw leg whip on Sato through the ropes. Springboard splash by Akito and he twists on Sato’s leg. Akito yanks on Sato’s leg and charges in, Sato goes for a backdrop suplex but Akito lands on his feet. Sato applies an ankle hold but Akito reverses it into an ankle hold of his own. Sato quickly reverses it back but Sakaguchi runs in and breaks it up. Akito twists on Sato’s ankle as he re-applies the ankle hold, but Sato gets to the ropes to force a break. Akito picks up Sato but Sato slips away and hits a side leg sweep. Backdrop suplex by Sato, cover, but Sakaguchi breaks it up. Sakaguchi picks up Sato but Sato kicks him and they trade kicks. Sato gets the better of it, he then kicks Akito in the chest but Akito dropkicks him in the knee. Akito goes off the ropes but Sato delivers a trio of kicks. Sato picks up Akito and hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Cover, but Akito barely kicks out. Sato quickly applies the cross armbreaker, and Akito has no choice but to submit. Your winners: Sanshiro Takagi and Hikaru Sato
Match Thoughts: This was Sato’s “farewell” match as he was leaving the promotion to become a Freelancer. A solid match, mostly a mat-based/striking affair with occasional flair from Akito. I liked the leg work on Sato but wasn’t a fan of the dueling ankle holds towards the end…. nothing had been done to Akito’s leg so it didn’t fit into the match. The cross armbreaker has been built up enough that we know it can end a match at any time, but generally ankle holds are not that type of submission. Anyway, perfectly fine but nothing that really took it to that next level. Score: 6.0
(c) Isami Kodaka and Miyamoto vs. Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega vs. Takeshita and Endo
Ibushi and Kodaka trade punches, Ibushi gets Kodaka into the corner and knees him down to a seated position. Ibushi tags in Omega and Omega hits a jumping elbow on Kodaka in the corner. Omega then throws Endo into that corner and he hits a jumping elbow strike on him as well. Kodaka rolls up Omega for a two count, Endo then rolls up Kodaka and gets a two count as well. Endo elbows Kodaka but Kodaka punches him to the mat. Omega hits Kodaka from behind and then elbows Endo in the back of the head. Another elbow by Omega to Endo, snapmare and he hits more elbows. Takeshita finally breaks it up but Omega keeps punching Endo. Then he starts punching Takeshita until Takeshita switches positions with him and they trade shots. Meanwhile Kodaka is punching Endo, leaving Omega and Kodaka as the only two standing. Kodaka and Omega trade shots, Omega charges Kodaka but Kodaka kicks Omega as he charges in. Kodaka goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody onto Endo, Omega grabs Kodaka but Kodaka hits a vertical suplex. Kodaka tags in Miyamoto, Miyamoto goes up to the top turnbuckle and does for a chop to both Endo and Omega, but they block it. Miyamoto chops them both anyway, Irish whip by Omega to Miyamoto, reversed, and Miyamoto hits an overhead suplex. Miyamoto applies an Octopus Hold to Endo while Kodaka applies a Scorpion Deathlock to Takeshita, but Ibushi breaks them both up. Miyamoto throws Ibushi into the corner, double Irish whip with Kodaka and they both hit running strikes. Dropkick by Miyamoto to Ibushi, he picks up Omega and puts him on his shoulder but Omega slides off and hits the Flash Man’s Time Stopper. Ibushi is up, double Irish whip to Miyamoto, kick by Ibushi and Omega hits a face crusher. Irish whip by Ibushi and Omega to Takeshita but Takeshita slams on the breaks. Takeshita charges Omega but Omega hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker while Ibushi hits a swandive doublestomp. Omega and Ibushi are alone in the ring and they both do moonsaults out of the ring onto their opponents.
Omega and Ibushi bring Endo back in the ring with them, kick combination by Ibushi, EX Hadouken by Omega and Ibushi goes for a German suplex, but Endo rolls him up. Ibushi hits the move anyway, but Kodaka breaks up the pin attempt. Omega picks up Kodaka and tries to throw him out of the ring but Kodaka does a Tiger Feint Kick and then sails out of the ring with a tope suicida. Miyamoto comes in the ring, he charges Omega but Omega catches him when he goes for a handspring elbow. Endo jumps in the ring and he hits a reverse DDT on Miyamoto while he hits one on Omega, Endo covers both of them but it gets a two count. Kodaka is in the ring with Omega and Endo now, Kodaka picks up Endo and hits an elbow but Endo elbows him back. They trade elbows for a bit, with Endo winning the battle with a roaring elbow. Endo picks up Omega and slams him in front of the corner, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a moonsault. Cover, but it gets a two count. Miyamoto then hits a moonsault onto Omega but Takeshita runs in the ring and hits a release German suplex onto Miyamoto. German suplex hold by Takeshita onto Omega while Endo holds his legs down with a jackknife hold, but Ibushi breaks it up. Ibushi picks up Takeshita and kicks him but Takeshita hits a lariat. Takeshita punches Kodaka and goes for a cutter but Kodaka pushes him off and hits a superkick. Irish whip by Endo to Kodaka, reversed, and Endo hits a headscissors before kicking Kodaka out of the ring. Endo grabs Omega and puts him on his shoulders, but Omega gets away and hits a backdrop suplex. Omega waits for Endo to get up and hits a jumping knee in the corner, he picks up Endo and with Ibushi on the apron they drill Endo with the Union Driver. Cover by Omega and he picks up the three count. Your winners and new champions: Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega
Match Thoughts: I’ll be honest, even though the match had its crazy moments I was expecting it to be a lot crazier when I saw who was in it and that it was a title match. I also thought it was funny the first half of the match they pretended there were tag rules and then totally ignored them as the last five minutes Omega and Ibushi never left the ring. Anyway I enjoyed the bulk of this match. The beginning chop/punch/elbow battle went on for too long, I was getting a bit restless for them to get moving, but once they got moving it stayed that way until the end. I am always impressed how fluid these matches are, how they are all always on the same page is beyond me. While there wasn’t really a ‘structure’ psychology-wise, a match like this can’t really have one as it is supposed to just be chaotic until someone gets the pin. Overall it was fun, but not as much fun as I was hoping it would be. Score: 6.5
(c) HARASHIMA vs. Shigehiro Irie
Leg sweep by HARASHIMA and he hits a slingshot leg drop from inside the ring down to the floor. HARASHIMA rolls Irie back into the ring and hits a missile dropkick from the top turnbuckle. Big boot by HARASHIMA in the corner, he puts Irie on the top turnbuckle and joins him, hitting a superplex. HARASHIMA rolls Irie up but Irie hits a suplex of his own, followed by a snap suplex. Irie and HARASHIMA both go for lariats and Irie hits another vertical suplex. Irie headbutts HARASHIMA as he tries to get up, he picks him up but HARASHIMA pushes him away and kicks Irie in the chest. Irie finally catches one and headbutts HARASHIMA, busting HARASHIMA open. Irie waits for HARASHIMA to get up and hits a lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. Irie goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving body press, cover, but again it gets a two count. Irie picks up HARASHIMA and puts him on his shoulders, but HARASHIMA hits a reverse hurricanrana. Double knee strike by HARASHIMA in the corner, cover, but it gets a two count. HARASHIMA goes up to the top turnbuckle but Irie recovers and elbows him before he can do a move. Irie joins HARASHIMA on the top turnbuckle and goes for a powerbomb but HARASHIMA blocks it. Sunset flip powerbomb by HARASHIMA, cover, but Irie kicks out at two. HARASHIMA charges Irie but Irie hits a spear. Irie is up first, he picks up HARASHIMA and elbows him, but HARASHIMA elbows Irie back. They trade elbows, running elbow by Irie, he goes off the ropes but HARASHIMA catches him with a jumping kick. Another kick by HARASHIMA and a third sends Irie to the mat, cover, but it gets a two count. HARASHIMA goes for another kick but Irie ducks it and gives HARASHIMA a hard elbow, cover, but it gets two. HARASHIMA kicks Irie while he is still lying on the mat and both wrestlers slowly get up. HARASHIMA picks up Irie and hits a series of elbows and headbutts. Hard elbow by HARASHIMA, cover, but it gets a two count. HARASHIMA sits up Irie and goes to run off the ropes, but Irie grabs his leg. Hard kick to the face by HARASHIMA and he hits a second one. HARASHIMA waits for Irie to sit up and nails the Somato, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner and still champion: HARASHIMA
Match Thoughts: This is the first match I have watched this week in any promotion that made the match really feel like a war. It really puts over the title when the wrestlers in the title match go all out to try to win the match, and by the end both wrestlers were beaten and exhausted. HARASHIMA was busted open hardway from a headbutt, but that didn’t stop both him and Irie continuing to throw stiff elbows and kicks for the rest of the match. They wasted a bit of time at the beginning but once they got into the ‘I hit harder than you do’ phase of the match it only got better. Just a great match by the end, I enjoy both of these guys a lot and wish that DDT focused more on how awesome some of their fighters really are. Score: 8.0
Best Match: HARASHIMA vs. Shigehiro Irie. The event was suffering until this match came along. Just a great battle of attrition between two of the better wrestlers in DDT. They may not be as flashy or ‘funny’ but they beat the crap out of each other for our amusement and were no doubt still feeling it the next day. A well contested and heated championship match that showed how important the belt was to both of them.
MVP: HARASHIMA. I wonder if he will be the MVP of every DDT event I review. It is just when I watch the promotion, he is the one that is the most memorable… he has hard strikes and is very concise with just about everything that he does, and he gives his opponents respect by really selling so that when he comes back it means something (although to be fair, I am not sure that Irie’s headbutts require any special ‘selling’ skills). He is just a lot of fun to watch.
Overall: Up to the main event I wasn’t really feeling this event. There were a few solid matches, and the tag team title match was fun, but there wasn’t enough there to recommend anyone watch this show. But the main event was really good, and in a lot of ways the opposite of the rest of the card (hard hitting, lots of passion, etc.) which probably made it seem even better. Between the great main event and a few other fun matches on the card I think there is something here that most people would enjoy, but just skip the first half of the show.
review completed on 4/20/14