MUSCLE “MUSCLE 1”, 27/01/2020
Shin-Kiba 1st RING
361 Fans – Super No Vacancy

1. Team L Vs Team S ~ Hell In A Blue Sheet Death Match: Kazusada Higuchi & Yukio Naya defeated Yumehito Imanari & Shota when Higuchi pinned Shota with a Gedo Clutch (4:00)
2. Team M Vs Team M: Akito & Kazuki Hirata defeated Mizuki Watase & Yuki Ueno ended in a Time Limit Draw (4:30).
2a. Team M Vs Team M ~ Finish Designated Theme Match: Mizuki Watase & Yuki Ueno defeated Akito & Kazuki Hirata when Watase pinned Hirata with a Kido Clutch (4:00).
3. Team L Vs Team S ~ Mixed Tag Match Between Professionals And Amateurs: Konosuke Takeshita & South River Minamikawa defeated Shunma Katsumata & Masa Oyoshi when Minamikawa pinned Oyoshi after the Shooting Star Press from Tetsuya Endo (16:13).
4. Cygames Subsidiary Of Parent Company Presents Muscle 1 GP 2020: Mizuki Watase & Yuki Ueno defeated Konosuke Takeshita & South River Minamikawa by Audience Judgement.

It can be said that current day DDT lacks Muscle-like elements. With the rise of a new athletic generation of wrestlers led by Konosuke Takeshita bringing in new fans to DDT, some long time fans have to look somewhere else for the old surreal style and characters DDT was known for. Does a wrestling “genius” like Muscle Sakai still fit in with DDT nowadays? When he retired back in 2010, the final Muscle show was held. A promise was made back then to revive the brand in the year 2030 for the next generation to take over but with the previous generation of Muscle wrestlers now retired and unlikely to be around in 2030 to pass on their Muscle knowledge, it makes the task look impossible.

Which is why when Muscle came brought back for one night in Sumo Hall last year, Sakai felt the need to move the revival ten years forward. The next generation needs to learn the Muscle way now so it can thrive for years to come. Sakai had the means to hold today’s show in Korakuen Hall but instead he chose Shin-Kiba 1st RING. The original brand began in Kitazawa Town Hall and grew all the way up to Sumo Hall. Sakai wants to repeat that kind of achievement. A bunch of DDT wrestlers answered the call for auditions but one had to cancel before the show. They were all athletic, the complete opposite of a Muscle wrestler. That does not mean the wrestlers are incompatible with Muscle. Some wrestlers like Kazusada Higuchi also work on the YaroZ brand which is closer to Muscle’s entertainment style than DDT. Others like Takeshita were at a disadvantage because they are set in their athletic pro wrestling ways. Basically, Sakai wants the big strong wrestlers to do stupid things more often.

The wrestlers were split into three teams based on their heights. Everybody was measured in the ring and some like Yukio Naya had their real height exposed to be shorter than advertised. We got the largest in Team L, the mediums in Team M and the shortest in Team S.

The first match was Hell In A Blue Sheet! A large blue sheet covered over the ring while the wrestlers fought beneath it. Since the audience had no way of seeing what was going on, the commentary team were allowed to enter through the sheet and call play-by-play inside the ring. Higuchi won for Team L by pinning Shota with a Gedo Clutch. The commentary said there was a Low Blow involved so we have to take their word for it.

The second match featured all members of Team M tagging against each other. The match somehow ended in a time limit draw after four minutes much to the chagrin of the wrestlers involved. A rematch took place with a strict four minute time limit. Mizuki Watase pinned Kazuki Hirata right at the deadline. Hirata and Akito somehow drank poison during the match and collapsed afterwards.

The third match was a Mixed Tag Match. However there were no women booked for the show so the mixed teams featured one pro wrestler and a non-wrestler. Takeshita teamed with a comedian named South River Minamikawa while Shunma Katsumata sided with a “financial planner” called Masa Oyoshi. He looked a lot like Choun-Shiryu and had the same amount of martial arts experience too. Takeshita got tied up against the corner post and cried for help. Suddenly that one wrestler who cancelled earlier decided to come over after all. It was Tetsuya Endo! He did the Shooting Star Press onto Oyosho/Shiryu and Minamikawa got the pin.

The main event was the inaugural Muscle 1 Grand Prix 2020. It was a stand up comedy contest between two teams. Watase & Ueno performed under the stage name Protein Tiger. Takeshita & Minamikawa were called Dental & Systema. Watase’s performance was the deciding factor and his team won. Sakai was pleased with how the revival show turned out. The next generation of Muscle Warriors are on track to find their place in the sun where they will shine!

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