As soon as “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2016” is over and done with DDT will move onto the annual DDT Dramatic General Election. This is the 7th year the competition is happening in some form, originally called the DDT48 General Election when it first took place in 2010. 41 wrestlers from DDT plus a few guests will spend all of September campaigning for votes from fans to earn a spot on the 23rd October Korakuen Hall show. Everyone who finished in the Top 20 will qualify for the main show while those who finish between #21 to #24 will be put in the dark match. The prize for 2nd Place is 300,000 yen plus a KO-D Openweight Title shot on the October show. The grand prize for the election winner is 1,000,000 yen and a main event KO-D Title match at Osaka Edion Arena #1 in December. If the KO-D Champion finishes in either first or second place then he will get to choose his challenger for that title match.
This year the field is only open to the DDT, DNA and BOYZ brands. Last year’s winner Isami Kodaka and his BASARA brand have declined to participate this year. Although they are part of the DDT Family, they now treat DDT as rivals and want to distance themselves to focus on their own projects. Tokyo Joshi Pro is also not involved but no reason has been given for their exclusion. Sadly the limited field also means Hiroshi Tanahashi is not following up on his promise last year to enter the competition. Don’t know if a deal fell through or if it was just a joke I took seriously.
The full list of candidates are as follows:
HARASHIMA, Danshoku Dino, Cherry, Masahiro Takanashi, Keisuke Ishii, Daisuke Sasaki, Makoto Oishi, Saki Akai, Soma Takao, Akito, Super Sasadango Machine, Antonio Honda, Yukio Sakaguchi, Kazuki Hirata, Yasu Urano, Shunma Katsumata, Tetsuya Endo, Konosuke Takeshita, Kota Umeda, Toru Owashi, Kazusada Higuchi, KUDO, Mad Paulie, Hoshitango, Gorgeous Matsuno, Gota Ihashi, Kouki Iwasaki, MAO, Mizuki Watase, Guanchulo, Rekka, Rainbow Kawamura, Daiki Shimomura, Nobuhiro Shimatani, Lady Beard, Yoshihiko, KENSO, KAI, Yuko Miyamoto, Chikara and Ken Ohka.
There is also a unit election with 9 groups competing against each other, the winners will get to book their own event later this year. The units are:
1. Smile Squash: HARASHIMA, Yasu Urano, Akito & Yuko Miyamoto
2. Shuten-dōji: KUDO, Yukio Sakaguchi, Masahiro Takanashi & Kota Umeda
3. Happy Motels: Konosuke Takeshita, Antonio Honda & Trans-Am ★ Hiroshi
4. T2Hide: Sanshiro Takagi, Toru Owashi, Kazuki Hirata, Chikara, Soma Takao, Kazusada Higuchi, Guanchulo, Rekka, Mizuki Watase, Daiki Shimomura & Nobuhiro Shimatani
5. DAMNATION: Daisuke Sasaki, Shuji Ishikawa, Tetsuya Endo & Mad Paulie
6. NωA: Makoto Oishi, Shunma Katsumata & MAO
7. Fantastic Memories: Danshoku Dino & Keisuke Ishii
8. Pigging 2016: Tomomitsu Matsunaga, Gota Ihashi & Kouki Iwasaki
9. Bad Comi: Ken Ohka & KAI
Voting begins at “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2016” on 28th August and ends on the 25th September Korakuen Hall show. The results will be announced in Shinjuku on 29th September. Fans will receive one voting ballot per show ticket as well as one ballot for every 3,000 yen spent at the merchandise tables and online store.