DDT on Samurai TV on 5/3/02
review by Ryan Mancuso

Hello again, I have returned with another review. This time I am doing my first ever review of Dramatic Dream Team, or DDT for short. DDT is one of the smaller promotions around, but they have shown a growth in their fan base over the years. It is the brain child of Sanshiro Takagi. Takagi is a huge fan of the WWE, and patterns himself as Stone Cold Steve Austin. Takagi went on a trip with many Japanese fans to see Wrestlemania 15 in person. Also, Takagi does color commentary for Smackdown in Japan. It is no surprise that the WWE is a big influence on DDT. However, DDT takes WWE's ideas of sports entertainment and turns up the wackiness up a few degrees. One idea of this wackiness was DDT taking the idea of WWE’s Hardcore Title, which they call the Iron Man Heavy Metal Title, with it being defended 24/7. DDT’s list of champions for that title includes a 3 year old child, a ladder, a puppet, stuffed dolls, a monkey and who knows what else. The belt was even won in an MMA fight in the DEEP promotion.

DDT also does a lot of parodies from events happening in other promotions like New Japan and HUSTLE. Wrestlers are not safe from the parodies as well. Issei Fujisawa did a Kensuke Sasaki influenced character. Kensuke Sasaki has actually endorsed the character and wanted Fujisawa to be called Kenshin from now on. Shoichi Ichimiya is famous for dressing up as Keiji Muto, Mitsuharu Misawa and Shinya Hashimoto. DDT has characters that are not direct parodies like Poison Sawada JULIE and MIKAMI. JT's favorite wrestler is Danshoku Dino, but this show was before Dino entered the promotion. Unfortunately, he will stop reading my review right here.

This show was from May 3, 2002. It took place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Before DDT grew enough to where they could do a monthly show at Korakuen, it was very rare that they would do a show at the venue. This was called "Turning Point" and the main event was a double title match between KO-D Openweight Champion Super Uchu Power and Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion Sanshiro Takagi. Before they would have their title match, Takagi would face a few obstacles. There is also an 8-man elimination match with Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO, Shoichi Ichimiya and YOSHIYA facing Kintaro Kanemura, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Chocoball Mukai and Poison Sawada JULIE. The other key bout is a high-flying battle between MIKAMI and Onryo. Enough with the hype and onto the review:

A video highlight aired of the events that led up to this show. After the video, Kintaro Kanemura, Futoshi Miwa and the heel DDT referee Jakai-bo Hebider are hiding and talking very quietly. They are awaiting the arrival of Iron Man Heavy Metal champion Sanshiro Takagi to show up. Takagi has shown up and they attack him. The very fat Futoshi Miwa covers the champion and Hebider makes the 3 count. Now, the main event of this show is a double title match between Super Uchu Power and Futoshi Miwa.

Kanemura, Miwa and Hebider enter the ring to Kodo Fuyuki’s theme music and Miwa with the title belt. Kanemura impersonates Fuyuki's voice at the early part of his speech. Fuyuki was briefly the heel commissioner of DDT, but his cancer that sadly ended his life a year later put a halt to that angle. Sanshiro Takagi gave everyone stunners. Right when Takagi was pinning Miwa for the Iron Man Heavy Metal title, Kanemura breaks up the pin to the jeers of the crowd and the heels run away.

Tomohiko Hashimoto vs. Tanomusaku Toba

Hashimoto is a former judo fighter who has done pro wrestling and MMA. His biggest MMA fight was against Alistar Overeem. Toba is a very small kickboxer, and he does keep the boxing gloves on for his matches. Toba has a lot of agility and likes to attack his opponents in the air. This was a pretty fun match with Toba using his quickness to attack Hashimoto. Very early in the match, he sent Hashimoto to the floor and dove out with a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle. Hashimoto’s judo throws, STO and German suplexes looked really brutal on a guy that is Toba's size. Hashimoto showed that he was not all judo when he used a handspring elbow to the corner. Hashimoto wins the match with a Death Valley Bomb.

Backstage, Kanemura and Hebider tell Miwa that they were going to exit for a bit. They say something like "Don’t screw up while we’re gone." As soon as they leave, Issei Fujisawa enters the room and lariats Miwa down. Fujisawa covers and the referee counts to the 3. Fujisawa is the new Iron Man Heavy Metal champion. Kanemura and Hebider reenter the room to see Miwa down and without the title. They laugh at Miwa's incompetence and smack him for a little bit. The main event is now a double title match between Super Uchu Power and Issei Fujisawa. However, that could quickly change because Fujisawa’s match with Biomonster DNA is now a title match.

Iron Man Heavy Metal Title: Issei Fujisawa © vs. Biomonster DNA

Fujisawa is a parody of Kensuke Sasaki. Biomonster DNA was a creature from FMW that resulted from a sex change gone wrong. That’s all I will say about that. This was a clipped match. It didn’t look too good, but it was campy enough to have some entertainment value. Biomonster DNA wins the title when he plants Fujisawa with a chokeslam. It is now Super Uchu Power vs. Biomonster DNA as the main event in a double title match.

Biomonster DNA is walking around backstage and proud of his title victory. He is about to open a door, but someone from the other side opened a door and knocked him out. It was DDT manager Miyuki Maeda. Maeda covers the KO'ed Biomonster and the referee counts to 3. Miyuki Maeda is the new Iron Man Heavy Metal champion. She leaves up the stairs. Kanemura and Hebider see a knocked out Biomonster. They wonder where the new Iron Man Heavy Metal champion is. They go down the stairs and increase the distance between them and the new champion. Seeing someone in a ridiculous monster costume like Biomonster DNA getting knocked by a woman opening a door made for one hilarious segment. I can't give that segment justice. The main event of the show is now a double title match between Super Uchu Power and Miyuki Maeda.

Hebikage, Fushicho Karasu & Toguro Habukage vs. HERO!, Sun Paul & Ken Ohka

This was also clipped, but it looked good. Habukage and HERO! looked the best in this match. HERO!’s was impressive with his high-flying, and Habukage’s moves looked real crisp. I thought both men showed good chemistry when they were in the ring together. Everyone else looked pretty solid as well. Habukage gets the win for DDT’s top heel stable, Jakai Tensho, when he uses a Japanese Leg Roll Clutch on HERO!

Backstage, Kanemura and Hebider find Miyuki Maeda. Hebider nailed Maeda with a Singapore cane and covered her. The referee counted to 3, and Hebider is the new Iron Man Heavy Metal champion. After Hebider knocked out Maeda, they decided to have a little fun with her. It is now Super Uchu Power vs. Jakai-bo Hebider in a double title match as the main event. A video package aired of events that led to the MIKAMI vs. Onryo match.

MIKAMI vs. Onryo

Onryo is a vengeful ghost who came back from the dead to wrestle. The best way I could describe MIKAMI is that he is the Japanese Jeff Hardy. His look is a bit like Jeff’s, along with use of the swanton bomb and a ladder. However, he has the decency to not wear body paint, dance like he is high on something, sing incoherently and who knows what else the "Charismatic Enema" (TM Ryan Mancuso, not Steve Cook) does to get a pop. This was a pretty fun match with both men not afraid to throw caution to the wind from diving to the floor or off a ladder. MIKAMI was wrestling the match with a broken wrist, but managed to wrestle like he was injury free. As a result form the injury, Onryo had to do most of the moves that required the lifting up of his opponent. Here is my play-by-play:

Before MIKAMI enters the ring, Onryo dropkicks him off the apron. Onryo dives out of the ring with a plancha onto MIKAMI. MIKAMI quickly recovers and slams Onryo’s head on the apron. He climbs the top turnbuckle and dives out with a diving cross body press onto the vengeful ghost. Both men get back in the ring. MIKAMI takes his ring jacket off and chokes Onryo with it. He releases the choke and snapmares him down. He follows up with a quick elbowdrop. MIKAMI does another snapmare and uses a senton on Onryo. MIKAMI covers, but Onryo kicks out at 1.

MIKAMI locks in a side headlock, but Onryo reverses it into a side headlock of his own. Onryo is pushed off the ropes and knocks MIKAMI down with a shoulderblock. Both men go for a dropkick at the same time, but neither connects and they have a stand off with the polite applause of the crowd. Onryo kicks MIKAMI in the midsection and uses an arm wringer on him. Onryo drops the leg onto MIKAMI's arm and puts him in an armbar. Onryo lets go and whips MIKAMI off the ropes. He connects with a spinning elbowsmash. Onryo dropkicks MIKAMI to the floor and dives out with an insane springboard somersault plancha.

Onryo tries to whip MIKAMI into the crowd. It was MIKAMI who reversed it and Onryo crashes into the first few rows. MIKAMI sets up some chairs on the hard concrete floor. MIKAMI slams Onryo head into the ring post and snapmares him onto the chairs. MIKAMI climbs up one of the small stages at Korakuen. He dives off the stage and connects with a Swanton Bomb on the prone Onryo. MIKAMI returns to the ring and sets up his ladder in the corner. Onryo returns inside the ring. MIKAMI goes to whip Onryo into the ladder, but Onryo stops his momentum. Both men are fighting to throw the other one into the ladder. It looked like Onryo had succeeded, but MIKAMI used a baseball slide on the ladder and it crashed onto Onryo.

MIKAMI picks Onryo up and slams him on the mat. MIKAMI climbs the top turnbuckle and connects with the 450 splash. MIKAMI covers, but Onryo blocks the referee from counting by grabbing her wrist. MIKAMI wonders what is going on and Onryo recovers to try an attack. However, MIKAMI quickly counters with a backslide for a 2 count. Onryo manages to position himself to use a double underhook powerbomb for a nearfall. Onryo whips MIKAMI into the corner and charges in with a forearm. He puts MIKAMI on the turnbuckles and takes him down with a top-rope hurricanrana.

Both men are up a few seconds later and MIKAMI is dropkicked in the knee. Onryo uses the Onryo Clutch, but only gets a 2 count when MIKAMI grabs the referee by her wrist. While MIKAMI is talking to the referee, Onryo rolls up MIKAMI in a schoolboy for another 2 count. MIKAMI is whipped into the corner and put back on the turnbuckles. Onryo goes for a superplex, but MIKAMI slips from under Onryo’s legs. He takes Onryo off the turnbuckles with a power bomb and covers. However, Onryo escapes at 2. MIKAMI sets Onryo on the ropes and goes to the other side of the ring to climb the top turnbuckle. He jumps off and uses the Van Terminator with both feet to Onryo’s groin. MIKAMI climbs the top turnbuckle again and connects with the Swanton Bomb. MIKAMI covers, but Onryo emphatically kicks out at 2.

MIKAMI gets his ladder and sets it up. MIKAMI climbs up the ladder with plans to jump off and attack Onryo. However, Onryo gets up and climbs the other side. Onryo tries to suplex him off the ladder, but MIKAMI is blocking. Onryo throws powder into MIKAMI’s eyes and connects with a suplex off the ladder that sends MIKAMI crashing hard on the mat. Onryo covers, but MIKAMI kicks out at 2 with the loud approval of the crowd. Both men get some close nearfalls with Onryo using powerbomb with a jackknife cradle and a few seconds later with MIKAMI using a schoolboy.

Onryo picks up MIKAMI and drills him with a tombstone piledriver. Onryo climbs the ladder and wants to jump off to attack MIKAMI. However, MIKAMI kicks the ladder and Onryo crashes hard on the mat. MIKAMI recovers and climb the ladder. MIKAMI jumps off the ladder and connects with an insane Swanton Bomb from there. MIKAMI covers 1! 2! 3! MIKAMI wins this big showdown. After the match, Onryo grabs the microphone. It looks like he is going to say something, but Onryo is a ghost. Ghosts don’t talk. He hands the microphone to MIKAMI and raises his hand in good sportsmanship. The fans give both men their applause for putting on a good match.

Backstage, Kanemura and Hebider have a rock-paper-scissors contest to determine who gets to have fun with the unconscious Maeda. Kanemura wins the contest and they go to the bathroom. Right when Kanemura was about to have his fun, Maeda wake up and kicks Kanemura in the groin. She threw him into a bathroom stall. The other bathroom stall opens up and it was Sanshiro Takagi in there. He attacks Hebider with a roll of toilet paper. Sanshiro covers and the referee counts to three for another title switch. Sanshiro and Maeda leave the scene. The main event is now back to square one with a double title match between Super Uchu Power and Sanshiro Takagi.

Royal Rumble Elimination Match: Takashi Sasaki, Shoichi Ichimiya, GENTARO & YOSHIYA vs. Kintaro Kanemura, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Poison Sawada JULIE & Chocoball Mukai

This was a Royal Rumble style elimination match in that wrestlers would enter at 1 minute intervals. Eliminations were by pinfall, submission, KO or over the top rope. I thought this was a really good elimination match. There was plenty of action with Takashi Sasaki as the best wrestler in this match. Kuroda, Kanemura and GENTARO looked really good as well. The rest of the wrestlers in this match were not as good as them, but they contributed to their fair share of the match. Sawada and Ichimiya are always entertaining to watch due to their personality and charisma. Mukai is a solid midcarder and YOSHIYA did not drag the match down.

The match started out as Kuroda vs. Sasaki. The crowd was really hot during their exchange with them cheering Takashi and booing the ex-FMW star. It seemed that Takashi had Kuroda nearly eliminated over the top rope, but the one minute interval expired and it was Chocoball Mukai who entered next. This resulted in Takashi being in a 2-on-1 disadvantage. The next man to enter was YOSHIYA, and the sides are even. Kuroda and Mukai had the advantage right before the interval ended, and it increased when Poison Sawada JULIE entered the match next. GENTARO entered next to even the sides.

One of the great things about Poison Sawada JULIE's gimmick is that he has mind control powers with the help of a snake rattle. When he was in a position of trouble, he used those powers to block a corner charge attack from his opponents. He used those mind control powers to try to get Takashi, YOSHIYA and GENTARO to willingly eliminate themselves over the top rope. However, Showa-Ko and Miyuki Maeda ran in the ring to attack Sawada. As a result, the mind control powers went away and the faces were safe. Kanemura entered next to make it 4-on-3, and took his time getting to the ring by doing the Team No Respect dance in the entrance way.

Shoichi Ichimiya, doing a Keiji Muto and Kokushi parody, entered last and the match is now 4-on-4. Takashi is busted open and rammed head first into a table. Kanemura just works over that cut. The heels worked over Takashi for a bit before he was finally able to escape without elimination. There was a lengthy exchange between Kuroda and GENTARO with some comedy mixed in when Kuroda DDT’s YOSHIYA’s head into GENTARO’s groin. The first elimination came when GENTARO and Kuroda went over the top rope and onto the floor at the same time.

Chocoball Mukai was the next wrestler eliminated when YOSHIYA pinned him after a big boot. YOSHIYA was quickly eliminated when he was running off the ropes and Mukai held his foot. Hebider caned YOSHIYA in the head, and Kanemura rolled up YOSHIYA for the pin. For the next few minutes, it was a tag match with Takashi & Ichimiya facing Kanemura & Sawada. Ichimiya was nearly thrown over the top rope, but landed on the apron. While Ichimiya was on the apron, he tried to suplex both Kanemura & Sawada over the top rope. With the help of Miyuki Maeda, he was able to get Sawada over the top rope and onto the floor for the elimination. However, Sawada got some quick payback when he dragged Ichimiya off the apron and onto the floor for his elimination with some jeers from the crowd.

It was now Takashi Sasaki and Kintaro Kanemura left. Showa-Ko is in the ring and begging Kanemura to not attack Takashi. Kanemura tries to get a kiss from her, but Maeda runs-in to attack Kanemura. Showa-Ko uses a tornado DDT and diving hurricanrana, but gets caught in a Liger Bomb from Kanemura. It gives Takashi enough time to recover and get on the offense. In an act of desperation, Kanemura attacks DDT referee Grace Asano. It allows Hebider to enter the ring and attack Takashi with the Singapore cane. GENTARO ran down to even the odds and take out Hebider. This gave Takashi the opening to face Kanemura one-on-one. Despite being the first man in the match, it was Takashi Sasaki who got the win for his team when he drilled Kanemura with the Northern Lights Bomb and got the pin. After the match, there was a big celebration from the DDT faces.

A highlight package goes back to March 25, 1997 with DDT’s first ever show with Sanshiro Takagi talking to the crowd. It was significant because Super Uchu Power made Takagi submit to a Boston crab in a tag match on that show. Fast forward 5 years later, it shows Takagi’s recent issues with Super Uchu Power, Kintaro Kanemura and all of the other heels. They had made the double title match official on April 11, 2002. The heels did everything to make sure Takagi did not walk into that show as Iron Man Heavy Metal champion. Takagi survived all attacks and managed to have the title, despite losing it a few times here and there, going into his match with Super Uchu Power.

KO-D Openweight Title & Iron Man Heavy Metal Title: Super Uchu Power © vs. Sanshiro Takagi ©

I have to say that the buildup for this match made it feel a lot bigger than the quality of match these two men can have. It was a decent match, but Takagi’s struggle to get to this match and try it win was the bigger story. It was a WWE style main event with Uchu in control of the match, but cannot put the hero away. Just to add more drama to the match, Kintaro Kanemura ran-in to attack Takagi when the referee was down. However, Takagi managed to survive the attack, eliminate Kanemura from the match and defeat Uchu with two consecutive jumping knees to retain the Iron Man Heavy Metal title and win the KO-D Openweight Title.

Final Thoughts: One of the great things about DDT is that they usually put on an entertaining show. In this show, they did a great job at entertaining me. The segments with the Iron Man Heavy Metal Title switches and announcing a new main event after the segment had me laughing hard. The wrestling in DDT isn't too good most of the time. To the wrestlers credit, they stepped it up for a big show like this and made the matches more enjoyable to watch. I would say that MIKAMI vs. Onryo and the elimination match are worth checking out. Overall, I think the show is worth checking out because of the entertainment value put into each segment.

Final Score: 7.0 [Good]

Ryan Mancuso can be reached at ryanm2k4@gmail.com

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