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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Thursday, April 27, 2006

 

DDT Dramatic Dream Fantasia #52 & #53

Day Dream Believer 10/23/2005 Part 1
Interesting video to kick off the show recapping how Dansyoku Dino earned his title shot for Sanshiro Takagi’s KO-D Openweight Title. I’m guessing they were mocking NJPW with Riki Sensyu being given booking power just like Riki Choshu in NJPW has. Sensyu throws Takagi into a 5-on-1 gauntlet match where Dino beat Takagi to get his shot.
When that is done, we get a sit down interview backstage with Sensyu. I really wish I understood what it was they were talking about as the live crowd was laughing by the end of it.

Michael Nakazawa Debut Match: Michael Nakazawa VS Shogo “Jet” Takagi
Was Jet really the best choice to debut Nakazawa against? Either way, Nakazawa was rather impressive for what offense he got in. He’s American educated, and I’m guessing he’s played some football since he did a 3-point stance before hitting a big spear. He also did an impressive running face kick and a sweet spinebuster into a jackknife pin for a near fall. I think it’s also good to note that this kid debuted with a “look”, and not the plain black rookie tights.
Considering his really limited moveset, maybe it was the best place to put Jet against a debuting rookie. I seriously still don’t understand how the crowd can pop for his oh so lame Jet punches. Kudos to DDT for booking Nakazawa to kick out of Takagi’s Jumbo Jet full-nelson slam too. Unfortunately they had to end the match with Nakazawa tapping out to the dreaded single-leg crab of rookie doom. But it’s not like Jet has a proper finisher anyway.
Match Rating: *

NEO VS DDT: Haruka Matsuo, Yuki Miyazaki & Kyoko Inoue VS Riki Sensyu, Yugi Nagata (Shoichi Ichimaya) & Yutaka Yogie (Futoshi Miwa)

Now THIS is one of the reasons I love DDT, when they do crazy stuff like having 3 New Japan impersonators take on three of the best from joshi fed NEO in an inter-gender tag match! This was just a ton of fun watching Ichimaya do a pretty good job of impersonating Yuji Nagata with some sloppy kicks, a sweet backdrop-hold, and a butt-ugly Nagata Lock which ended up more like a double-leg cradle pin than a submission. Miwa on the other hand didn’t take much from the Yutaka Yoshie playbook, only throwing backhand strikes. Nothing much to add about Sensyu since he impersonates Choshu 24/7.
It was fun watching what the NEO girls could do with their much bigger male opponents. Miyazaki also happens to be the current Iron Man Heavy Metal champion, but surprisingly didn’t do much in the match other than trade shots with Ichimaya and hit a sweet moonsault on Miwa. Being the smallest member of the NEO team, took most of the punishment and really couldn’t do much to effect her much bigger opponents. She still looked good, and hey, she survived a Riki Sensyu Scorpion Death Lock. Inoue being the biggest and strongest member of her team was of course the most effective, and scored the win with one of her big lariats on Miwa.
Lots of good fun.
Match Rating: **

KO-D Openweight Title: Dansyoku Dino VS Sanshiro Takagi (C)

I may not have noticed this before, but the ring announcer was screaming his head of at the live crowd to keep out of Dino’s way as he made his way to the ring, making for a really hilarious intro as Dino lunged at the crowd.
This was about as good as it gets as far as a serious world title match involving Dino. A lot of back and forth action mixed in with Dino’s unique style of puroresu (The Pipe Cutter groin stunner, hand on groin STO, etc.). You either love it or you hate it, but remember that this is DDT and nothing is ever serious for too long, like when they brawled out to the crowd and Dino grabbed a fan’s purse to whack Takagi with, or they way Dino got crotched on the top rope after Takagi shook the ropes.
I thought it was also fun watching Takagi do a Dansyoku Driver and Dino doing a Sanshiro Stunner. I wouldn’t say the match was all that great, and the comedic bits may have taken away from the seriousness of it being a big title match, but it was still solid and enjoyable.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Day Dream Believer 10/23/2005 Pt.2
The emphasis of this episode is the big tag title match, so we kick off with highlights of the KO-D Tag League and how the winning team earned their shot.
We than cut backstage where this hot chick, Miri Sugehara, walks past the Suicide Boys (MIKAMI & Tanomusaku Toba) and the B52 Specials (Muscle Sakai & Tomohiko Hashimoto) before entering the locker of Yusuke Inokuma and Masa Takanashi. Apparently Miri is their manager, and Takanashi has harnessed the power of the ninja to secure victory tonight. But Riki Sensyu walks in and shrugs it off.

3-Way Tag Match: Yusuke Inokuma & Masa Takanashi VS the Suicide Boys (MIKAMI & Tanomusaku Toba) VS the B52 Specials (Muscle Sakai & Tomohiko Hashimoto)
Hashimoto was a monster here, giving both Suicide Boys a double-German suplex and mostly dominating on his own while Sakai sat out most of it. It was funny seeing Sakai work the match while still wearing his leopard skin coat throughout the match. He worked well with Hashimoto as the two are pretty big guys.
Takanashi & Inokuma were the underdog team here, and they needed help from their manager Miri at times but got in a fair amount of offense on their own too, with the announcers playing up Takanashi’s power of the ninja which really didn’t work out to much.
It was great watching the Suicide Boys in action as a team again. Even though it is still hard to get used to watching Toba and his boxing gloves, and he did look rather sloppy with his punches at times. MIKAMI of course was all business, and while he didn’t do much in the match, he scored the win with a big 720’ senton he calls the Deep “M” Impact, and it was put over as a cross between his swanton bomb and 450' splash finishers.
The only flaw to this match I guess was that it was just too short, at just under seven minutes. I guess they just wanted to save more time for the big main events of the show.
Match Rating: **

Video montage of the Italian Four Horsemen: Francis Togo, Mori Bernard, Don Maestro and Antonio Honda, and I was kind of shocked that they were pushing their special “Italian White Powder” here, actually showing Honda and Togo shooting up backstage snorting lines of the stuff, as well as using it as a power up in matches. They even manage to get one of their opponents addicted to the stuff. Imagine the uproar if WWE did something like this in the US?
We then go to the locker room where we see the Italian Four Horsemen trying to sell the stuff to Gorgeous Matsuno and a few guys I don’t recognize. Honda pushes the product as a miracle cure of sorts, with Don Maestro faking a bad leg and being miraculously cured after Honda rubs some powder on it! Honda hypes his group some more before we go back to the ring.

The Italian Four Horsemen are in the ring and the shoot up on their product before hyping it some more. Gorgeous Matsuno than comes out to take the Don Maestro Sleeper Challenge. For those of you who don’t know, Don Maestro’s sleeper has been hyped as a deadly finisher like the Masterlock, only when he clamps it on, his opponents always almost instantly become dead weight! Will the Gorgeous one be able to break the hold? Nope! It gets clamped on and he’s out like a light! Honda starts berating Matsuno and the Italians put the boots to him before Poison Sawada leads the charge out to break it up and kick off the next match.

Francis Togo, Mori Bernard, Don Maestro & Antonio Honda VS Poison Sawada, Seiya Morohashi, Jun Inomata & Gorgeous Matsuno
I liked the spot where all 4 Italians had submission holds locked simultaneously on Inomata, and when the referee made the 5 count, they’d all yell “FOUR!” while holding up the Four Horsemen hand sign!
This was mostly your average eight man tag, with the only truly notable bit at the end when they more or less bribed Inomata with their Italian Powder, which he is addicted to, and it ultimately cost them the match. Inomata even sold out his best from Poison Sawada just to get a fix as the Italians treated him like a dog after the match.
Match Rating: **

KO-D Tag Titles: Kota Iifushi & Daichi Kakimoto VS Darkside HERO! & Touru Owashi (C)

Dang! Iifushi & Kakimoto really earned this one! The underdog team took a beating throughout the match, including interference from Shogo “Jet” Takagi at ringside, but worked on all cylinders when they finally had the advantage. Kakimoto was actually able to T-bone big Owashi and even dead-lifted the big man up for a Dead-End German before HERO! made the save. Iifushi was also on fire as he took the brunt of the punishment for his team, but was able to kick out of some serious finishers like Owashi’s running chokeslam and diving body press! He also hit this simply amazing hands free springboard sky-twisting 450’ splash!
Owashi and HERO! of course played up their ever cheating heel roles to a tee, and Owashi even got into an argument with a fan that wouldn’t let him use her sign to whack Kota with. He would taunt her throughout the match also while beating down her favorite pretty boy.
A really solid match overall, though some would complain that the underdog team’s rise and subsequent no-selling of the big moves to take the tag titles was a little rushed, it was still an enjoyable match.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Overall: A really good show overall, with probably my only complaint being that the 3-way tag match was too short. And I could probably do without the Italian Four Horsemen’s pushing of substance abuse, but definitely recommended to check this one out.

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