DDT “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2017 ~PETER PAN EVEN IF YOU BECOME 20 YEARS OLD PETER PAN~” Preview

DDT “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2017 ~PETER PAN EVEN IF YOU BECOME 20 YEARS OLD PETER PAN~”, 20/08/2017
Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

0. King Of Dark Title – Street Pro Wrestling Extra Edition! Gota Ihashi Ryogoku 5 Game Series: Gota Ihashi (c) Vs Mad Paulie, Gorgeous Matsuno, Dai Suzuki, X & X
0. Dark Match: Tomomitsu Matsunaga, Hoshitango, Nobuhiro Shimatani & Masato Kamino Vs Mizuki Watase, Rekka, Diego & Daiki Shimomura
0. Iron Man Heavymetalweight Title – Tokyo Joshi Pro Offer Battle Royal: Tetsuya Koda (c) Vs Miyu Yamashita Vs Syoko Nakajima Vs Yuka Sakazaki Vs Nonoko Vs Rika Tatsumi Vs Azusa Takigawa Vs Yuu Vs Nodoka-oneesan Vs Maho Kurone Vs Marika Kobashi Vs Yuna Manase Vs Mizuki Vs Cherry
1. Yuki Ino Debut Match: Kouki Iwasaki & Yuki Ino Vs Naomi Yoshimura & Yuki Ueno
2. KO-D 10-Man Tag Team Titles: Toru Owashi, Kazuki Hirata, Joey Ryan, Saki Akai & Yoshihiko Vs Makoto Oishi, LiLiCo, Lady Beard, Super Sasadango Machine & Ken Ohka
3. Ikemen Vs Idol! Handsome Humanity Battle: Jiro Kuroshio Vs Shunma Katsumata
4. Special 4 Way Tag Match: Kaz Hayashi & Keisuke Ishii Vs Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto Vs Mike Bailey & MAO Vs Kotaro Suzuki & Soma Takao
5. KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Titles: KUDO, Yukio Sakaguchi & Masahiro Takanashi (c) Vs Dick Togo, Yasu Urano & Antonio Honda
6. DDT 20th Anniversary Weapons Rumble – All Rights Contra Marriage: Sanshiro Takagi Vs Danshoku Dino
7. DDT Extreme Title – Cabellera Contra Cabellera: Daisuke Sasaki (c) Vs Akito
8. KO-D Tag Team Titles – Uchikomi! Presents: Shigehiro Irie & Kazusada Higuchi (c) Vs HARASHIMA & Naomichi Marufuji
9. KO-D Openweight Title – Good Com Asset Presents: Konosuke Takeshita (c) Vs Tetsuya Endo

The main show airs live on DDT UNIVERSE on Sunday 20th August at 3:00pm JST, 7:00am GMT, 2:00am ET and Saturday 11:00pm PT.

I was a guest on the Burning Spirits podcast this week to preview the show. The episode can be heard here.

Now that the 20 year celebrations are mostly done with it’s time to return to Neverland for DDT “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2017”! A lot has happened since Saitama Super Arena. DDT went viral for their portrayal of Donald Trump (even getting featured on @midnight), for having a Battle Royal on a moving train and for booking the Tokyo Dome for an Empty Arena Match. We’ve had the new generation establishing themselves in the main event and even got one to reveal his entire tragic life story because he believed it was all the champion’s fault.

So what’s in store for Sumo Hall this time? The show is headlined by the definitive rivalry of modern DDT, the previous ace teams with the ace of NOAH for tag team glory, hair will be chopped off, the company is put on the line against a wrestler’s romantic life (or lack thereof), two handsome men face off, multiple championships are on the line including a brand new 10-Man Tag Team Title, a new strong lad debuts and there will be some free for all brawls spread around the building.

?. Maybe A Dark Match: Kendo Kashin Vs Mitsuo Momota or Chikara

We’re going to start off with something weird that has been developing over the last week but has been simmering in the background for months. Kendo Kashin is an ideas guy and he never lets something like common sense or reality limit his plans. For his appearances in DNA and Ganbare☆Wrestling during the year, Kashin often threw out challenges for a 5 Vs 5 Elimination match to be held on this event’s pre-show with Kashin’s team representing IGF NEW. Nobody took the challenges seriously. Then this past week at the Ganbare☆Climax, Kashin got into confrontations with Mitsuo Momota. The tension between them raised so high that Kashin is now claiming he got permission from DDT to fight Momota inside Sumo Hall on the morning of “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2017”, at 6:30am to be precise. DDT denies this and also revealed that they do not get access to the building until 7:00am. But DDT is interested in doing some sort of dark match featuring Kashin and Momota. They are, as of this writing, negotiating with both wrestlers to organise a match to take place outside the venue at 6:30am. Momota thinks it is a difficult task for him to commit to but his son Chikara has offered to take his spot. Kashin has also demanded Bomber Saito to be the referee. Momota is against that idea because he knows Kashin and Saito went to the same high school together so there is no guarantee Saito will be neutral. If this match goes ahead does this mean the bout will be a Dawn Match instead of a Dark Match?

0. King Of Dark Title – Street Pro Wrestling Extra Edition! Gota Ihashi Ryogoku 5 Game Series: Gota Ihashi Vs Mad Paulie, Gorgeous Matsuno, Dai Suzuki, X & X

Whenever DDT runs in Sumo Hall they can’t help but take the action out of the ring and even out of the building. Gota Ihashi is still cursed to fight for DDT only on the pre-shows because of his status as the King Of Dark Champion. At least DDT is giving him a bunch of opportunities to get rid of it. The rules for his upcoming challenge have not been explained yet but it looks to be a 5 match Gauntlet series, all of them being Falls Count Anywhwere. Mad Paulie, Gorgeous Matsuno and Dai Suzuki are the only opponents revealed so far but the remaining two entries have been kept secret. I have predictions for who they will be. Maybe one of them can be Jun Kasai because he has a habit of showing up for these kind of matches whenever DDT produces them, either as a participant or by getting in the way while working another job. And what if the other was Kota Ibushi? The DDT Falls Count Anywhere matches are right up his alley. Also Ibushi’s first wrestling match after the G1 Climax being a Falls Count Anywhere dark match for DDT in Sumo Hall is the most Kota Ibushi decision he could ever make. I mean yeah, the drama surrounding his relationship with Kenny Omega is captivating and all but you know his desire to Moonsault off of the Ryogoku balcony again is too strong to resist.

Now watch me be wrong and the two mystery wrestlers turn out to be Kendo Kashin and Mitsuo Momota making another appearance.

0. Dark Match: Tomomitsu Matsunaga, Hoshitango, Nobuhiro Shimatani & Masato Kamino Vs Mizuki Watase, Rekka, Diego & Daiki Shimomura

Not much to go on for this mixture of veteran lowcard and DNA wrestlers. Masato Kamino is the freshest face in the match after only debuting on 5th August. He’s trying to grab attention immediately by wearing a lavish entrance jacket that is allegedly worth 100,000 yen. Tomomitsu Matsunaga reclaimed his Sumo King throne during Beer Garden week. Nobuhiro Shimatani has been the butt of many jokes throughout the year. It remains to be seen if this is just rookie hazing or if this will be his role in DDT from now on. Hoshitango has had a quiet year, sticking to appearances for the more significant shows on the calendar. On the other side Mizuki Watase, Rekka, Diego & Daiki Shimomura have all been hard at work in building up DNA. Diego has the highest profile of all four by being a part of the ALL OUT stable. Watase has shown that when you remove him from last year’s romantic soap opera he has solidly improved in the ring. Rekka sadly missed an opportunity to grab the spotlight when his DDT show in Taiwan had to be cancelled. Shimomura has been able to climb a small step above his generational counterpart Shimatani.

0. Iron Man Heavymetalweight Title – Tokyo Joshi Pro Offer Battle Royal: Tetsuya Koda (c) Vs Miyu Yamashita Vs Syoko Nakajima Vs Yuka Sakazaki Vs Nonoko Vs Rika Tatsumi Vs Azusa Takigawa Vs Yuu Vs Nodoka-oneesan Vs Maho Kurone Vs Marika Kobashi Vs Yuna Manase Vs Mizuki Vs Cherry

The Iron Man Heavymetalweight Title found its way to Tokyo Joshi Pro when the zombie girl Maho Kurone ended Joey Ryan’s international title reigns. Since then the belt did its thing and made its way through the roster until Cherry surprisingly got involved and won the title. Until now Cherry has had little to nothing to do with Tokyo Joshi, at least publicly as far as I know. But her determination to be the Iron Man Champion led her to show up and win the belt. So when it looked like Cherry would be the defending champion going into this Battle Royal she lost the belt to the brand’s general manager Tetsuya Koda at a fan club event. Koda claims that he wanted to guarantee the title would be staying in Tokyo Joshi and he would have passed the belt over to one of the girls. However he thinks all of them are equally cute so he couldn’t decide who deserves it most. His solution is to keep the belt for himself! It later turns out that Koda is going to a handshaking event starring singer Maria Makino later this month and he wants to impress her with a nice, shiny championship belt wrapped around him. Unfortunately for Koda, him being the champion means that he now qualifies as an active wrestler and he must enter the Battle Royal to defend the title! Further more, the joshi are pissed that he looked past all of them for a hopeless attempt at impressing some singer.

1. Yuki Ino Debut Match: Kouki Iwasaki & Yuki Ino Vs Naomi Yoshimura & Yuki Ueno

Yuki Ino is the latest in the growing line of DDT rookies to debut on the big stage. The 22 year old university rugby player had several opportunities from other sports on offer but he chose instead to go with pro wrestling. He is pretty strong with reports that he can bench press 205kg, dead lift 300kg and leg press 560kg. He bragged about smashing past the opposition on the rugby pitch and he will do the same in the ring. The kind of attitude might not mesh with another big ego standing on the other side, like say Naomi Yoshimura. The young brute is throwing bodies aside so he can claim to be the new ace of DNA. Now that somebody else of his size has entered the fray things will get interesting indeed.

2. KO-D 10-Man Tag Team Titles: Toru Owashi, Kazuki Hirata, Joey Ryan, Saki Akai & Yoshihiko Vs Makoto Oishi, LiLiCo, Lady Beard, Super Sasadango Machine & Ken Ohka

I have one word for this: Overkill. You noticed how many wrestling promotions have established 6-Man Tag Team Titles recently? New Japan, DDT, Big Japan, Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground have all established such championships in the last couple of years. Dragon Gate has always had them so they can get away with it. Then the zombie corpse of FMW decided to come up with an 8-Man Tag Team Championship last year that has since vanished because, well, what do you expect from Atsushi Onita (Not a singles match that’s for sure)? Well, DDT decided to up the ante once more and create the KO-D 10-Man Tag Team Titles! This probably came about after watching too much Super Sentai because the title belts follow a similar colour scheme. Red, blue, yellow, green and pink belts are on the line for the winners. And what a line-up of insanity DDT has decided to bring in for the two teams!

Toru Owashi is the captain of the side featuring Kazuki Hirata, Joey Ryan, Saki Akai & Yoshihiko. Hirata has spent the year in muted limbo because his entrance song could not be used on DDT UNIVERSE. He was also deported from Japan and replaced by his Italian cousin Hirata Collection A.T. The cousin’s entrance song was also muted so he was no improvement. When Hirata returned he was told to record his own version of “TOKYO GO!”. Lo and behold he pulled it off! Joey Ryan is coming off of a heated feud with Daisuke Sasaki over pictures of his wife Laura James. Saki Akai’s been making allies with foreigners, learning English to team with them and serving beer inside an empty Tokyo Dome. She also has the right to be DDT general manager for a day. Yoshihiko has just been laying around doing its own thing.

The other team is being led by Makoto Oishi and mostly have a flair for live performances. LiLiCo returns to DDT after her romantic life within the company last year went haywire. Lady Beard hasn’t wrestled in DDT much this year but is always ready to sing his heart out. Super Sasadango Machine will undoubtedly have a PowerPoint presentation ready. Ken Ohka is coming in fresh off of winning the Ganbare☆Climax in his home promotion Ganbare☆Wrestling. There are so many questions to ask. Who will win? Will either team get along? Does Ken Ohka still have his “FUCK” hat? Can the belts combine to form a Megazord? Will this championship have a longer shelf life than the WWE UK Title? Who knows?

3. Ikemen Vs Idol! Handsome Humanity Battle: Jiro Kuroshio Vs Shunma Katsumata

We have two charmers here. The kind of people who light up any room they enter. Even though Shunma Katsumata got his start in DDT he first trained to wrestle in the dojo ran by the SMASH promotion. He never got to debut for them and he left before the company fell apart. Juro Kuroshio was also in that dojo and he did get his debut match. From their the two youngsters split apart. Kuroshio stayed with SMASH as it transformed into Wrestling New Classic, then when that went bust he jumped to WRESTLE-1 and became the lovable Ikemen he is today. Katsumata went to DDT where he was among the first generation of DNA wrestlers for the brand’s launch. He then became a pop idol as part of NωA. Now fate has brought them back together in a battle of handsome men. Kuroshio’s jacket Vs Katsumata’s singing. It’s possible Kuroshio’s entrance could last longer than the match. He likes to milk the chants by running through the audience and Sumo Hall is a big building.

4. Special 4 Way Tag Match: Kaz Hayashi & Keisuke Ishii Vs Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto Vs Mike Bailey & MAO Vs Kotaro Suzuki & Soma Takao

Four teams are thrown together, maybe we’ll get some No. 1 Contenders out of it. Keisuke Ishii removed a ghost from his past by going back to the All Japan Dojo he left many years ago to train with Kaz Hayashi. He was taught how to properly use Hayashi’s finisher the Final Cut but he has yet to use it in DDT. Isami Kodaka has been busy running Pro Wrestling BASARA but he is stopping by with his usual Yankii Ni Cho Kenji partner Yuko Miyamoto. Miyamoto is here as part of Smile Squash for the upcoming Dramatic General Election so he’ll be looking for fan votes. Mike Bailey became cocky when he won a Right To Challenge Contract but has been a bit aimless when his cash in left him empty handed. He teamed with MAO once in July and are teaming again here. Kotaro Suzuki & Soma Takao seems to be a random pairing. Takao is still undefeated at “PETER PAN” with an 8-0 record. But given the number of teams in this match it is the biggest threat yet to his streak. Like I said earlier, I expect the winners will be chasing after a tag team championship afterwards.

5. KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Titles: KUDO, Yukio Sakaguchi & Masahiro Takanashi (c) Vs Dick Togo, Yasu Urano & Antonio Honda

Maybe I shouldn’t have trashed the idea of trios championships earlier. Then I look at the title history and see that Shuten-dōji became 6 time champions in the space of 3 years. If it wasn’t for the Iron Man Title, this right here would be the hot potato of DDT. Still, a championship is worth fighting for (King Of Dark excluded) and the challenging team are no slouches. Dick Togo is back for a special appearance with two of his guys. Yasu Urano is no longer affiliated with DDT but still shows up for shows like these. Antonio Honda is here to talk about Gon, The Little Fox. What is Gon’s story anyway? Maybe I can fill out the rest of this preview with the tale and hope that nobody would notice.



You know what, I just looked it up and it’s best that I don’t tell it. Poor Gon, he only wanted to help…

6. DDT 20th Anniversary Weapons Rumble – All Rights Contra Marriage: Sanshiro Takagi Vs Danshoku Dino

Something drastic needed to be done for this special celebration of DDT’s 20 years of existence. Two of DDT’s most important figures will clash and the stakes are as high as they could be for both of them. Sanshiro Takagi has done it all. He created DDT and over two decades built it up to where they now run buildings the size of Sumo Hall on an annual basis. He even got to headline the Tokyo Dome this year… in an empty arena match. Anyway despite his hard work paying off, somebody out there thinks a better job can be done. Danshoku Dino believes Takagi has taken DDT as far as he can and it’s time for a new leader to take over. Dino should be that leader. So his stipulation is simple. If Dino beats Takagi, Dino takes over DDT! In order for this to go ahead, Takagi had to think of something for Dino to do if he lost. Inspiration struck when Takagi had a private conversation with Dino’s mother. Dino turned 40 years old this year he is still single. His mother is worried that he will live the rest of his life alone because there are not that many gay wrestlers available for him to date. A lightbulb went off inside Takagi’s head and he promised to help her. If Takagi beats Dino then Dino must go and get married!

So those are the stakes. One man’s wrestling empire against another man’s bachelorhood. Such an important match needs important rules so DDT is bringing back the Weapon Rumble. Takagi is a veteran of the match facing The Great Sasuke in 2009, Minoru Suzuki in 2012 and Michael Nakazawa in 2014. Every few minutes a weapon is introduced to the match. What it is could be anything. Bicycles, a castle of chairs, boiling hot stew, giant mechanical fists and most importantly of all, famous wrestlers from outside of DDT could appear. Expect a couple of unpredictable cameos in this match.

DDT are already coming up with ideas if Dino loses and has to get married. Top of the pile is “Danshoku Terrace House”, a reality show where Dino is forced to live in a house with a bunch of other people from all around the world until he picks a partner. Another idea is “Danshoku Bachelor” where 25 men and women compete for Dino’s affections. Both DDT UNIVERSE and Samurai TV! are interested in getting the rights to the show.

7. DDT Extreme Title – Cabellera Contra Cabellera: Daisuke Sasaki (c) Vs Akito

Somebody’s going to get a haircut. Daisuke Sasaki has been a scrappy DDT Extreme Champion ever since he won it from Jun Kasai inside Saitama Super Arena. He fought Dick Togo to a 30 minute draw in an Ultimate Submission Match, beat Antonio Honda in a No DQ Match and had two defences against Joey Ryan, one being a Last Man Standing draw and the second being a Ladder Match which Sasaki won. His record as champion hasn’t been 100% but he’ll admit when he’s beaten. Akito has beaten him plenty this year including a singles win during the King Of DDT. Everytime Sasaki lost to Akito he would hand over the DDT Extreme Title to him and walk out of the ring. Akito would be happy to accept the championship if it was an authorised title transfer but a ring attendant would always take the belt away and give it back to Sasaki. It led to a brief period where Akito couldn’t figure out how the concept of championships in wrestling worked.

When the time came for Sasaki to nominate his challenger at Sumo Hall, his usual request for Candice LeRae was declined. Again. Akito came out to challenge him. Sasaki would accept but only if it was Cabellera Contra Cabellera. Hair Vs Hair! Akito agreed because he is willing to sacrifice anything to become a champion again. Sasaki is fine with that. He claims he doesn’t care about his own hair so he’s willing to risk it too. It led to a weird situation during last week’s press conference where both Sasaki and Akito tried to cut off their own hair to prove how much or little it meant to them. Amon Tsurumi had to stop both of them from ruining the stipulation.

The match itself will have No Disqualifications and can only end by either submission, knockout or TKO. Sasaki has more experience in Hardcore Matches but Akito realises he can now use objects to cause even more limb damage for his submission holds.

8. KO-D Tag Team Titles – Uchikomi! Presents: Shigehiro Irie & Kazusada Higuchi (c) Vs HARASHIMA & Naomichi Marufuji

Shigehiro Irie & Kazusada Higuchi will be the first to tell you they are not pretty boy ikemen wrestlers. They are bastards, guys, lads, YaroZ. The two have found success in the tag division since teaming together to represent the unconventional YaroZ sub-brand. Now as the KO-D Tag Team Champions they are challenged by the most powerful ikemen alliance of all. When Naomichi Marufuji was announced to wrestle on this show back in March I knew that he would be doing something with HARASHIMA. I though it was the perfect fit for him as an opponent. But they thought of a different idea and are instead teaming together. When HARASHIMA lost all of his remaining chances to headline Sumo Hall this year he told the wrestling media it was time for him to do something selfish. In previous years he did what was best for DDT but this year he wanted to do something for himself. Turns out it was to join forces with Marufuji and go after the Tag Titles. Plus there looks to be a business relationship being formed between DDT and NOAH. I mean DDT sent two thirds of NωA over for the NOAH Jr. Tag League. That’s kind of like giving your crush a mixtape.

While Marufuji’s appearance in the match would be interesting on its own, the other factor in the match is the rivalry between Irie and HARASHIMA. Poor Irie no matter how hard he tries just cannot beat HARASHIMA. Time after time, HARASHIMA has come out on top. It’s almost a certainty at this point. In their last meeting in June, HARASHIMA pinned Irie in under 3 minutes and Irie’s only reaction was to storm out straight back to the locker room. That has to be stuck in the back of Irie’s mind. Higuchi’s record against HARASHIMA is only a little better with a pinfall tag team victory earned back in April. History is in the challengers’ favour too. Whenever a high level DDT wrestler teams with a famous outside they usually win the KO-D Tag Team Titles. Examples include Shiro Koshinaka & Danshoku Dino, Daisuke Sekimoto & Masa Takanashi, MIKAMI & Tatsumi Fujinami and Yoshihiro Takayama & Danshoku Dino. The odds are against the champions but they wouldn’t be YaroZ if it were easy.

9. KO-D Openweight Title – Good Com Asset Presents: Konosuke Takeshita (c) Vs Tetsuya Endo

This is going to be the definitive match of DDT’s current era. So much history to delve into here. Former friends, former tag team champions together, both have been built up for the last 3 years to be the next generation of stars to lead DDT into the future. Konosuke Takeshita has been described as a supernova ever since his debut match in 2012. You can hardly dream of a better road to the top. When you get a significant debut match held inside Budokan Hall you know there are high aspirations for your career. From there you get special one on one matches with Tatsumi Fujinami, Kenny Omega, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, HARASHIMA, Isami Kodaka and Shuji Ishikawa all before he reaches 21 years of age. Then when he does turn 21 he wins the KO-D Openweight Title on his birthday. Like I said, it’s a dream come true. But while Takeshita has been positioned front and centre, his friend turned rival Tetsuya Endo took a different direction in his rise up to the main event spot.

While Endo and Takeshita were on a successful tag team run as the New Generation Combination, they fought each other several times with the KO-D Title as the reason. Whether it was a No. 1 Contender’s Match or a Championship Bout itself, the two were put in enough situations to find out who was better. And more often than not, Takeshita would win. As it currently stands Takeshita and Endo have had 9 single matches against each other in DDT. Takeshita won 6 of them (1 match was stopped when Endo dislocated his elbow), Endo won 2 and their last match was a draw. To make it even more frustrating for Endo, he couldn’t win the KO-D Title after two attempts while Takeshita achieved the goal with the same amount of opportunities. Endo ended up looking like the bridesmaid to Takeshita. So in July 2016 when Endo lost to Takeshita again, this time in a KO-D Title match, he was immediately approached by Daisuke Sasaki to join DAMNATION. When tempted with the promise that he would no longer be seen as a second class wrestler next to Takeshita, it didn’t take Endo long to make his decision and he willingly abandoned his friends to go down a darker path. Since then Endo has built on success while discarding his emotions. Although he’s been accused of faking his new nihilistic attitude to look cool, Endo can back up his actions with the success he’s earned since joining DAMNATION. The latest achievement was winning the 2017 King Of DDT tournament which leads us to the climactic main event at Sumo Hall.

So much has developed between Takeshita and Endo during the last year. Back in April we learned that 60 minutes was not enough to determine a winner between the two. Takeshita had been using the Cross Arm German Suplex for his most dramatic victories but he also developed a new Wrist Clutch Fisherman Buster called the Surprise Rose to put away his more recent challengers. If that’s not enough, Takeshita has one other big match move in his arsenal. He recently used the top turnbuckle Brainbustaaaaahhhhh!!!!! in tribute to his first opponent and inspiration El Generico. Endo meanwhile has turned the Shooting Star Press and Spanish Fly into killer moves. Endo won the King Of DDT with the Shooting Star Press. The grounded version of the Spanish Fly is called Tetsuya In The Sky and it has given him some unexpected quick victories. Then there is his top rope version the Tetsuya In The Sky With Diamonds to look out for. Is it now Endo’s time to shine or will Takeshita continue to shape the future of DDT? We won’t have to wait long to find out!

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