DDT “JUDGEMENT 2019 ~DDT RAISING AN ARMY 22ND ANNIVERSARY~” Preview

DDT “JUDGEMENT 2019 ~DDT RAISING AN ARMY 22ND ANNIVERSARY~”, 17/02/2019
Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

0. Pro Wrestling BASARA Offer Match: Ryuichi Sekine & Daiki Shimomura Vs Takato Nakano & Masato Kamino
0. Tokyo Joshi Pro Offer Match: Yuna Manase, Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino Vs Natsumi Maki, Hikari Noa & Miu Watanabe
1. Shunma Katsumata Return Match: Shunma Katsumata, Yuki Ueno & Space Monkey Vs Antonio Honda, Jason Kincaid & Naomi Yoshimura
2. Iron Man Heavymetalweight Title – Time Difference Battle Royal: Asuka (c) Vs Super Sasadango Machine Vs Makoto Oishi Vs Keisuke Okuda Vs Saki Akai Vs Kazuki Hirata Vs Tomomitsu Matsunaga Vs Gorgeous Matsuno Vs Hoshitango Vs Gota Ihashi Vs Yuni Vs Yasu Urano Vs El Lindaman Vs Scorpio X2 Vs Yuka Sakazaki Vs Mina Shirakawa Vs Chinsuke Nakamura Vs Maku Donaruto
3. Taiho Koki’s Grandson Yukio Naya Ryogoku Kokugikan First Participation!: Go Shiozaki, Kazusada Higuchi & Yukio Naya Vs Daisuke Sekimoto, Toru Owashi & Yuki Iino
4. Special Single Match: Akito Vs T-Hawk
5. Danshoku Dieno Produce Yuru-chara “Pokotan” Debut Match: Danshoku Dieno, Pokotan & KUDO Vs Keisuke Ishii, Kota Umeda & Mizuki Watase
6. Special Hardcore 6-Person Tag Match: Sanshiro Takagi, Chigusa Nagayo & Ryuji Ito Vs Soma Takao, Mad Paulie & Takumi Iroha
7. KO-D Tag Team Titles – 3 Way Match: Mike Bailey & MAO (c) Vs Yukio Sakaguchi & Masahiro Takanashi Vs CIMA & Seiki Yoshioka
8. DDT Extreme Title – Souken Holdings Presents – Each Other’s Pride Rules: Shinya Aoki (c) Vs HARASHIMA
9. Dramatic Dream Match: Naomichi Marufuji Vs Tetsuya Endo
10. KO-D Openweight Title – RAGE Presents: Daisuke Sasaki (c) Vs Konosuke Takeshita

The first pre-show match will begin at around 12:10pm JST/3:10am GMT. The main show begins at 1:00pm JST/4:00am GMT. For America that means the show begins at 11:00pm EST/8:00pm PST on Saturday.

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Hey there. Back again to see what DDT is up to at Sumo Hall this time? Cool. The time between Ryogoku visits has been short for this one. Usually DDT books the venue every six or seven months. “JUDGEMENT 2019” is taking place only four months after “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2018” so it kind of feels like this weekend has snuck up on me. As I’ve written in a previous blog post I see this period of the entire wrestling scene as the final chapter of this current era. You can thank Kenny and his buddies for some of the reasons why. The landscape is changing, DDT is establishing new relationships around the world and there’s bound to be more surprising twists to come in the future.

But let’s not worry any further about that stuff. Ryogoku is set for a double header weekend from the DDT family. On Saturday the Muscle brand is back from the dead. What it has come back to do exactly I have no idea. Then on Sunday DDT is bringing together a packed card of matches that only they can provide.

0. Pro Wrestling BASARA Offer Match: Ryuichi Sekine & Daiki Shimomura Vs Takato Nakano & Masato Kamino

One of the big movements happening in BASARA lately is several wrestlers banding together to form the Sento Minzoku unit. Formed by Isami Kodaka and taking inspiration from Dragon Ball Z, each member has grown a monkey’s tail to represent their power. Ryuichi Sekine & Daiki Shimomura are the two guys from BASARA’s main roster to join Kodaka and Minoru Fujita in the group. Facing them are the two freshest faces on the BASARA roster Takato Nakano & Masato Kamino. Nakano has mostly been improving his skills while staying out of trouble. Kamino joined BASARA in December after DNA closed down. Injuries kept him out of action for almost the entirety of DNA’s run so his jump to BASARA so his career has more or less started all over again.

0. Tokyo Joshi Pro Offer Match: Yuna Manase, Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino Vs Natsumi Maki, Hikari Noa & Miu Watanabe

Some new girls from Tokyo Joshi Pro get to wrestle in Sumo Hall for the first time. Yuna Manase, Nodoka Tenma and Natsumi Maki have wrestled there before. Manase and Tenma were there for a Battle Royal during “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2017”. Maki wrestled there for All Japan’s 45th Anniversary show only one week later. Yuki Aino, Hikari Noa and Miu Watanabe however are all wrestling their first Ryogoku match.

Manase has quietly been one of the more protected wrestlers in Tokyo Joshi, regularly winning her matches with the Neck Screw Hold. Nodoka Tenma is weeks away from challenging for the TOKYO Princess Title and has a recent pinfall win over the champion Miyu Yamashita. Aino is there supporting her sister as always. Over on the other side Noa and Watanabe have shown the most progression out of the Up Up Girls (Pro Wrestling) unit. Their recent name and costume changes have allowed them to express their personalities more. Watanabe has added a Laser Beam baseball swing into her chops while Noa has become more enthusiastic in the ring. She took the most out of the opportunity to train with Shinjiro Otani when the Up Up Girls visited the ZERO1 dojo in December. Noa also happens to be wrestling the day before her 21st birthday. Last but certainly not least there is Maki. Her arrival in Tokyo Joshi was surrounded in controversy thanks to a burned bridge with Yumiko Hotta and Actwres girl’Z. But once she started wrestling it became clear that she has moved on. Maki has yet to be pinned or submitted in Tokyo Joshi and she currently finds herself in a feud with Maki Ito over who is cuter. The match hasn’t happened yet but if Hotta is still pissed off with Maki she might spoil the result of that too.

1. Shunma Katsumata Return Match: Shunma Katsumata, Yuki Ueno & Space Monkey Vs Antonio Honda, Jason Kincaid & Naomi Yoshimura

A right orbital and cheek bone fracture has kept Shunma Katsumata out of action for almost three months. When he went under surgery in December his goal was to come back in February and here he is. While he was gone ALL OUT went out of this world to find a new member. They found one with Space Monkey who has been winning everyone in DDT over with his antics, bananas and all. Yuki Ueno has been stepping his game up as a member of DISASTER BOX. He’s also been scouting one of his opponents here in the hopes of forming a new tag team. Antonio Honda & Jason Kincaid are already teaming together as Gon Gift so that leaves Naomi Yoshimura. When he unexpectedly returned to DDT in December he was aiming straight for the top and gunning after the championship. In a scary moment right near the end of 2018, Yoshimura took a Pedigree wrong and was left needing medical attention inside the ring. He ended up getting a cervical sprain and made a full recovery, returning to the ring two months later. With his chance at the main event now far away from his reach he is beginning the climb all over again. Maybe Ueno’s idea for them to team up will get him back on track. Or how about Power Bombing him instead? Yoshimura usually likes to do that given their history together.

2. Iron Man Heavymetalweight Title – Time Difference Battle Royal: Asuka (c) Vs Super Sasadango Machine Vs Makoto Oishi Vs Keisuke Okuda Vs Saki Akai Vs Kazuki Hirata Vs Tomomitsu Matsunaga Vs Gorgeous Matsuno Vs Hoshitango Vs Gota Ihashi Vs Yuni Vs Yasu Urano Vs El Lindaman Vs Scorpio X2 Vs Yuka Sakazaki Vs Mina Shirakawa Vs Chinsuke Nakamura Vs Maku Donaruto

DDT has spent the last few months searching for fresh blood and obscure talent from across Japan to diversify their roster. Heading the pack is Asuka. No not the one who hasn’t been booked on TV since the Royal Rumble despite being a champion and tapping out the current big star of the company. I mean the one that’s been blazing through the puroresu scene over the last twelve months as “Japan’s First Genderless Wrestler”. When Asuka left WAVE to go freelance, DDT jumped at the chance to bring her back and promote her as a next generation star. Since then Asuka has won the Iron Man Heavymetalweight Title and became so attached to it she now calls it her boyfriend. So far the relationship has worked out better than the last one she had in DDT, even though it’s made her a target for jealous eyes down in Roppongi.

(Sidenote: Most English speaking fans write down ASUKA in all caps to differentiate her from the other Asuka. Out of preference I only do this when the wrestler also spells their name in all caps. Asuka’s name in Japanese is written as 朱崇花 so that’s why I prefer writing it in the lower case).

There is a full field of different faces out to take the title from Asuka. Saki Akai has a new finishing move inspired from her current role in the Fate/Grand Order stage play. The move is called Quetzalcoatl and it is a Twisting Crucifix Bomb similar to Kaji Tomato’s Red Eye finisher. Keisuke Okuda has been settling into DDT by fighting at an outdoor sauna and hate-teaming with Makoto Oishi. Who knows what Super Sasadango Machine will be up to the day after his latest Muscle show takes place. OWE is represented by both El Lindaman and Scorpio X2. Tokyo Joshi are sending in Yuka Sakazaki and Mina Shirakawa. Sakazaki in particular will have a lot of eyes on her after it was announced she will be appearing at All Elite Wrestling soon. Chinsuke Nakamura will no doubt be all up to date on whatever his inspiration is currently doing. And then there’s the rest of the usual low card DDT roster. That’s it. Nobody else. I’m not missing anybody…

… Sigh… Okay there’s one more. You know who I’m talking about. Behold the Twitch chat come to life, the one creation that makes Arby “The Meathead” McDonald look pure and wholesome, he’s ruined seven Valentine’s Days but saved two, it’s Maku Donaruto! This walking cease and desist waiting to happen was found in UDON Pro Wrestling and made an impression on DDT management. However his lewd wrestling style and obscene personality is making DDT a little unsure how often they want to continue booking him after Sumo Hall. A lot? A little? A seven match series with Kazuki Hirata? Here’s his biggest chance to leave an impression on everyone.

3. Taiho Koki’s Grandson Yukio Naya Ryogoku Kokugikan First Participation!: Go Shiozaki, Kazusada Higuchi & Yukio Naya Vs Daisuke Sekimoto, Toru Owashi & Yuki Iino

Let’s move on to some history, some legacy that is attached to Sumo Hall. Yukio Naya is only around a year into his wrestling career. He is getting attention because his late grandfather was a legendary sumo wrestler named Taiho Koki. Naya’s grandfather was one of the youngest wrestlers to become a yokozuna and he also earned many accomplishments throughout his distinguished career. Naya has said he is proud to wrestle in the same building where his grandfather achieved much of his success. Teaming with him is DDT’s sumo turned pro Kazusada Higuchi as well as D-Ou Grand Prix finalist Go Shiozaki. Facing them are a trio of big beefy boys! Daisuke Sekimoto, Toru Owashi and Yuki Iino are the opposition in a match that I bet will have many, many chops. And probably a Haka dance from Iino too.

4. Special Single Match: Akito Vs T-Hawk

The #STRONGHEARTS love to cause some commotion wherever they go but what do they do when somebody successfully stands up to them? During their feud with ALL OUT, they were able to get pinfall wins over every member except one. The one guy they haven’t been able to beat is Akito. In order to right this wrong T-Hawk is set to face Akito one on one. As the current WRESTLE-1 Champion, T-Hawk feels on top of the world. It would be nice to see Akito pull him down. Akito is confident wrestling on his own and is convinced that T-Hawk hasn’t watched any of his singles matches. Akito has a reason of his own to win other than keeping #STRONGHEARTS at bay again. He is looking into the idea of wrestling in other companies on behalf of DDT. A win over the WRESTLE-1 Champion can open some doors for him.

5. Danshoku Dieno Produce Yuru-chara “Pokotan” Debut Match: Danshoku Dieno, Pokotan & KUDO Vs Keisuke Ishii, Kota Umeda & Mizuki Watase

You know what’s big these days? Mascots. Put somebody in a big wacky costume, make them do stupid shit, put it online and watch those social media numbers shoot up. Most likely inspired by the popularity of such characters like Chiitan, Nyango Star and you can also include Andreza Giant Panda in that list, Danshoku Dieno now wants a piece of the pie. So he has created his own mascot and went through several names before picking something suitable for everyone. Or at least I assume it’s suitable. It’s probably not but whatever. Anyway the mascot is called Pokotan and it looks like a seal. Dieno himself was planning to be under the costume during the build up to the show. Unfortunately the costume has not been finished as of a week ago. Dieno only has the head ready and he is very upset over it. Will Pokotan be complete in time for his grand reveal?

6. Special Hardcore 6-Person Tag Match: Sanshiro Takagi, Chigusa Nagayo & Ryuji Ito Vs Soma Takao, Mad Paulie & Takumi Iroha
Around 14 years ago Sanshiro Takagi, Chigusa Nagayo & Ryuji Ito teamed up for a 1,000m Barbed Wire And 100 Fluorescent Lighttube Death Match in Differ Ariake. They’re back together again to fight DAMNATION! Nagayo’s involvement in the show was already announced when the story of her saving a woman from an assault made the news in November so yay good publicity! What’s even more interesting is Nagayo’s protege Takumi Iroha is against her on the DAMNATION side. Since she is the Ikemen Joshi she might be there to take up the handsome looking role in the trio. Then again Mad Paulie is still on the team so that’s probably not the reason. Iroha is thrilled to face her mentor but is a little nervous that it’s in a Hardcore Match.

On a more serious note, Soma Takao is going into this match holding a grudge. For weeks leading into the show, Takagi has been poking Takao and questioning the current state of his career. Years ago Takao had the potential to become one of DDT’s best and yet he has never really attempted to take the torch. Maybe he’s gotten too comfortable being the mid-level guy in DAMNATION. Takagi wants to light a fire under Takao and see if he has any real ambition. Takao acts like he is angry at the world and everything around it. Now is his time to prove it.

7. KO-D Tag Team Titles – 3 Way Match: Mike Bailey & MAO (c) Vs Yukio Sakaguchi & Masahiro Takanashi Vs CIMA & Seiki Yoshioka

#STRONGHEARTS have a reason for sticking around in DDT despite losing their feud to ALL OUT. After they lost the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Titles, CIMA and his crew admitted defeat and wanted to head home to the OWE headquarters in Shanghai. OWE told them not to come back until they get revenge on DDT. The best way to do that is to win one of the DDT championships again. This time CIMA is setting his sights on the KO-D Tag Team Titles and he is bringing along one of his newer partners Seiki Yoshioka to get them.

They aren’t the only ones who want the belts. Shuten-dōji challenged for the belts before #STRONGHEARTS did. The solution was to give both of them a shot in a 3 Way Match. Yukio Sakaguchi doesn’t care as long as he fights somebody strong (and El Lindaman provoking him with spitting and insults only resulted in Sakaguchi kicking him half to death). Masahiro Takanashi is interested though since he’s been able to cross paths with CIMA again. The two are linked through the Toryumon system but split off into two completely different paths. Takanashi wants to show CIMA that his unpolished way of wrestling is just as effective as CIMA’s state of the art abilities.

The scenario leaves the champions looking like a third wheel. But maybe that gives The Moonlight Express the advantage. MAO & Mike Bailey are currently ruling the tag team divisions in DDT and K-DOJO, holding both the KO-D Tag Titles and STRONGEST-K TAG Titles. MAO is as comfortable as ever in chaotic situations and Bailey always looks happy to go along for the ride, the crazier the better. MAO also feels the need to beat Shuten-dōji because they have beaten him so many times back when he was a part of NωA. He wants to move on from that part of his life but can’t if Shuten-dōji beats him again. The 3 Way stipulation being used is only one fall so a title change can happen without the Express being directly involved.

8. DDT Extreme Title – Souken Holdings Presents – Each Other’s Pride Rules: Shinya Aoki (c) Vs HARASHIMA

The rematch for the DDT Extreme Title sees HARASHIMA trying to win the belt back from Shinya Aoki. During his brief time in DDT, Aoki has defended the title in a Boxing Glove match and also got challenged into a fight at an outdoor sauna. This is what bad financial decisions can do to some people. But at least Aoki still has his pride. HARASHIMA has pride too so the two of them agreed to let their prides bring the best out of both of them. So that’s it. Nothing complicated, just a battle to see who is the best. Unless DDT decides to pipe in the Pride FC music during the match as a joke there isn’t much else that needs explaining. Well there is that one thing where HARASHIMA isn’t entirely sure what the exact ruleset for the match is. Aoki just keeps talking about pride and he hasn’t been the best at understanding the general pro wrestling rules. Is there even a three count?

9. Dramatic Dream Match: Naomichi Marufuji Vs Tetsuya Endo

Here we go! DDT usually has a dream match saved for Sumo Hall and they picked a good one this time round. Naomichi Marufuji returns to DDT and Tetsuya Endo is there waiting for him. You’d think Endo would see this as an opportunity to make a huge statement to the wrestling world but he’s a little distracted by his diet. No matter where he is or what he is doing Endo has been eating his handmade meals and drinking his protein shakes on a very strict timetable. This has interrupted several press conferences that were meant to promote this match. Marufuji doesn’t mind. There’s no bad blood between the two and Marufuji is looking forward to discovering Endo’s current potential. The match is also happening so soon after Marufuji’s return from injury so he gets to figure out what his own condition is like. We should get a nice, clean and competitive match out of this right. I mean it’s Marufuji in a DDT dream match. Nothing has ever gone wrong in a situation like that before. Right, Kenny?

10. KO-D Openweight Title – RAGE Presents: Daisuke Sasaki (c) Vs Konosuke Takeshita

After vanquishing Dieno at “RYOGOKU PETER PAN 2018” in October, Daisuke Sasaki is headlining Sumo Hall for the second time in a row. This time he is going in as the KO-D Openweight Champion rather than the challenger. That role goes to Konosuke Takeshita for winning the 2019 D-Ou Grand Prix. In the build up to the match something strange happened. Sasaki started acting friendly, wrestled clean and prohibited the other DAMNATION wrestlers from cheating. He even shook his opponent’s hand after matches. Takeshita wasn’t convinced by this new attitude at first but Sasaki behaved for long enough that Takeshita eventually bought into it. Of course it was at this point when Sasaki could not resist temptation any longer and went back to his usual dirty tactics.

That’s not all. While they wrestled their matches, some of the other DAMNATION members went to the restaurant owned by Takeshita’s mother Keiko. She was happy to serve them until they dined and dashed! That right there was the boiling point that turns Sasaki Vs Takeshita into a blood feud. Over the last few days Sasaki and Takeshita have gotten into fights wherever they find each other. Sasaki attacked Takeshita outside Sumo Hall during an interview and with a Hurricanrana threw Takeshita down a stairway. Takeshita got revenge on another night when he attacked Sasaki at a bar and gave him a Brainbuster onto a sofa. Things escalated even further when Sasaki vandalised Takeshita’s car with anime decals and then gave Takeshita a Pedigree onto the car roof! The match hasn’t even happened yet and both men are already trying to end each other’s careers before they even get to Sunday! Sasaki has said that he will not allow Takeshita win the KO-D title, otherwise DDT will be sent to the dark ages.

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