DDT New Year's Gift Special 2015
a casual review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  January 3rd, 2015
Location:  Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  2,200

Part of me feels bad for reviewing DDT.  I am not their target audience, I don’t understand 57% of the jokes, and most of their matches are just pure gimmick.  But they do occasionally get a laugh out of me and they do have a few really good wrestlers, so I watch it anyway since you never know.  Plus I try not to skip any promotions.  This event has the Michael Nakazawa Army vs. the Danshoku Dino Army in a points-based match series.   Here is the very full card:

- Kota Umeda vs. Shunma Katsumata
- Shuji Ishikawa, Makoto Oishi, and Hoshitango vs. Yasu Urano, Akito, and Gota Ihashi
- Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship: YOSHIHIKO (c), Antonio Honda, and Takao Soma vs. Masa Takanashi, DJ Nira, and Saki Akai
- Sanshiro Takagi and Toru Owashi vs. Super Sasadango Machine and Super Sasadango Machine #2
- KO-D Six Man Tag Team Championship: Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei, and Gorgeous Matsuno vs. Kota Ibushi, Daisuke Sasaki, and Shun Miyatake
- Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series: Konosuke Takeshita vs. Tomomitsu Matsunaga
- Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series: Yukio Sakaguchi vs. Kazuki Hirata
- Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series: KUDO vs. MIKAMI
- Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series: HARASHIMA vs. Tetsuya Endo
- Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series: Michael Nakazawa vs. Shigehiro Irie
- Bonus Track: Michael Nakazawa Army vs. Danshoku Dino Army

Let’s see how this goes.

Kota Umeda vs. Shunma Katsumata
They trade shoulderblocks and armdrags to start things off, as Umeda stays in control until Katsumata plants him with a dropkick. Trio of slams by Katsumata but the cover gets two.  Katsumata applies a single leg crab hold but Umeda gets to the ropes.  Handspring kick to the face by Umeda and he knees Katsumata in the corner.  Swandive missile dropkick by Umeda and he covers Katsumata for two.  Back up they trade elbows but Katsumata catches a kick and hits a powerbomb.  Crab hold by Katsumata and Umeda submits, making Shunma Katsumata your winner.  Basic rookie opener, Umeda does have some pretty moves though.  Really short too.  Score:  3.0

Shuji Ishikawa, Makoto Oishi, and Hoshitango vs. Yasu Urano, Akito, and Gota Ihashi
Oishi and Ihashi start off things.  Ihashi is really fat.  Just saying.  Ihashi tags in Akito before anything happens and he trades moves with Oishi.  Urano is tagged in as Ishikawa is as well, Ishikawa shoulderblocks Urano and tags in Hoshitango.  Hoshitango slams Urano around and tags in Oishi.  Oishi hits a fist drop and tags in Ishikawa.  Urano fights back but Ishikawa hits a back bodydrop for a two count cover.  Hoshitango and Oishi come in the ring and everyone brutalizes Urano.  Akito and Ihashi come in to help but they are cleared out, Hoshitango goes for a suplex but Urano blocks it.  Ishikawa comes in but Urano fights them off and tags in Akito.  Dragon screw by Akito to Hoshitango and he suplexes Ishikawa.  He goes off the ropes but Hoshitango throws him to the mat and tags in Oishi.  Tornado DDT by Oishi to Akito, roll-up by Oishi but it gets two.  German suplex by Akito and he leaves the ring, Oishi tags in Ishikawa and Ishikawa hits a vertical suplex onto Ihashi.  Running knee by Ishikawa but it gets a two count.  Ishikawa clears the ring, kicks by Ihashi but Ishikawa headbutts him and hits Splash Mountain for the three count.  Shuji Ishikawa and company win the match.  I’ll give Ishikawa credit for having hit the Splash Mountain on tons of fun, but Ihashi was never tagged in the match that in theory had tag rules.  And some of these wrestlers aren’t very good.  Nice finish though.  Score:  3.5

Antonio Honda, Takao Soma, and YOSHIHIKO (c) vs. Masa Takanashi, DJ Nira, and Saki Akai
This match is for the Iron Man Heavy Metal Championship.  That is a singles title so why it is in a six man tag match, I am not sure, but whomever pins YOSHIHIKO wins the championship.    Soma and Takanashi start off, Soma gets the better of it and tags in YOSHIHIKO.  I am going to pretend with the play by play that YOSHIHIKO isn’t a doll.  Takanashi slams YOSHIHIKO and tags in Nira.  Nira throws YOSHIHIKO out of the ring and tags in Akai, Takanashi covers YOSHIHIKO but it is broken up.  Takanashi sets up YOSHIHIKO in the corner but Soma helps YOSHIHIKO kick Takanashi and YOSHIHIKO hits a crossbody.  Takanashi tags in Honda, Akai runs in the ring but Honda won’t hit her.  Kicks by Akai, Irish whip, reversed, and Honda hits a Thesz Press.  Nira gets in the ring, Honda kicks him and dances around but Nira wraps his wrists in toilet paper and kicks him in the leg.  Akai comes in with Soma and Soma tags in YOSHIHIKO.  Kick by YOSHIHIKO and a cover, but Takanashi breaks it up.  YOSHIHIKO dives off the top turnbuckle but Akai moves.  Akai goes up top and hits a diving crossbody on YOSHIHIKO, but it gets two.  Akai goes for a powerbomb but YOSHIHIKO reverses it into a hurricanrana, but Akai rolls through and picks up the three count!  Your winner and new champion:  Saki Akai!  BUT WAIT!  Aja Kong appears out of nowhere, destroys everyone, and hits a brainbuster on Akai.  Cover, and she picks up the three count!  Aja Kong is your new champion.  As for the match, YOSHIHIKO makes me laugh.  There, I said it, I am entertained by a blowup doll that participates in wrestling matches.  And seeing Kong was cool.  Score:  6.0

Sanshiro Takagi and Toru Owashi vs. Super Sasadango Machine and Super Sasadango Machine #2
Owashi and Machine #2 start things off.  Owashi takes off Machine #2’s boxing gloves but Machine #2 kicks Owashi in the chest.  Takagi and Sasadango Machine are tagged in and Takagi chops Sasadango Machine in the throat.  Sasadango Machine is attacked in the corner but Owashi goes for Sasadango Machine’s mask.  Owashi tags in Takagi, and Takagi twists Sasadango Machine’s straps around his neck so that it chokes him.  Owashi comes back in and clubs Sasadango Machine, but Sasadango Machine eventually hits a dropkick and tags in Machine #2.  Diving doublechops by Machine #2 and he clears the ring.  Takagi rams Machine #2 into the turnbuckles and suplexes him back into the ring.  Sasadango Machine gets in the ring and rips at Takagi’s nose hair.  Takagi low blows Machine #2, Takagi takes off Machine #2’s mask, but Sasadango Machine takes off his mask and puts it onto Machine #2.  Sasadango Machine hits a lariat on Owashi and Takagi and hits an elevated DDT on Takagi, but Takagi kicks out.  La Magistral by Takagi and he gets a three count.  Your winners are Takagi and Owashi.  Machine #2 is Bernard Ackah, for those that care.  This wasn’t a good match by any stretch of the imagination, although the mask swap spot was cute.  Score:  3.0

(c) Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei, and Gorgeous Matsuno vs. Kota Ibushi, Daisuke Sasaki, and Shun Miyatake
This match is for the KO-D Six Man Tag Team Championship.  They all brawl to start the match, the Brahmans try to dump water on their opponents but the buckets are taken from them.  They brawl outside the ring again, fighting up into the crowd and down the aisle.  Miyatake chops Kei up the aisle, Ibushi grabs his arm and walks down all the chairs to ringside, until Kei trips him and Ibushi crotches the guardrail.  Miyatake and Matsuno are trading elbows elsewhere while Shu and Ibushi get into the ring.  Kei and Miyatake get onto carts and are rammed into each other, which doesn’t go well for either one of them.  Kei hits Miyatake with a stop sign, Kei gets a pig head and hits Miyatake with it.  Bowling ball to Miyatake, cover by Kei but it gets a two count.  Miyatake eventually tags in Ibushi but Shu attacks him from the apron.  Double Pele Kick by Ibushi, cover by Sasaki but it gets two.  Sasaki and Ibushi get the luggage and bowling ball, and Ibushi does a moonsault while holding the bowling ball onto Shu.  Cover but Kei breaks it up.  Matsuno stays in the ring and kicks Ibushi, Ibushi goes for a slow motion powerbomb but Matsuno reverses it with a hurricanrana.  Ibushi and Sasaki get some black goo and try to spit it at Shu and Kei initially block it until Miyatake helps out, leading to Shu and Kei getting sprayed.  Miyatake starts making… something with powder and water, black liquid is added and the jar is shaken up.  Miyatake drinks some and powers up, Matsuno hits him but Miyatake absorbs the blows.  Shoulder tackle by Miyatake, Ibushi and Sasaki try to spit black liquid at Matsuno but Matsuno ducks and they hit Miyatake by accident.  Schoolboy by Matsuno to Miyatake and he gets the three count!  The Brahmans and Gorgeous Matsuno retain the championships.  This was goofy fun like you’d expect, the brawling was just way too slow.   Some funny spots but it had too much mindless brawling before they got to the point.  Score:  4.0

Konosuke Takeshita vs. Tomomitsu Matsunaga
This match is part of the Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series.  Standard trading holds to start things off until Takeshita connects with a jumping kick, Takeshita goes for a pescado but Matsunaga moves and slams Takeshita onto the floor. They battle on the apron and Matsunaga hits a backdrop suplex.  Double stomp off the apron by Matsunaga to Takeshita’s back, as this match is far more brutal than I was expecting from a silly DDT match series.  Back in, Matsunaga applies a crab hold but Takeshita fights back.  Single arm suplex by Takeshita but he hurts his own back.  Matsunaga slams Takeshita onto his knee, small packages by Matsunaga but he gets two.  Roaring lariat by Takeshita and he hits a German suplex hold for the three count.  Konosuke Takeshita wins!  For a short match they packed a lot into it, some really nice spots here and some looked quite painful.  A solid short encounter.  Score:  6.0

Yukio Sakaguchi vs. Kazuki Hirata
This match is part of the Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series.  Sakaguchi interrupts Hirata’s dancing, he gets mad and hits Sakaguchi.  They trade strikes, which Sakaguchi obviously gets the better of as Hirata eventually tumbles out of the ring.  Jumping kick by Sakaguchi off the apron, they return to the ring and Sakaguchi kicks Hirata to the mat again.  Knee by Sakaguchi but Hirata snaps off a vertical suplex.  Face crusher by Hirata but Sakaguchi punches him in the stomach.  Running chop by Hirata but Sakaguchi kicks Hirata in the corner before hitting a jumping knee.  Sakaguchi straddles Hirata in the corner and knees him in the stomach.  Sleeper by Sakaguchi, he releases Hirata and hits a PK to pick up the three count.  Yukio Sakaguchi wins the match.  This was a lopsided affair, to put it mildly, Sakaguchi was never in any danger here.  Liked the apron jumping kick, livened things up a little bit, but still really short and no suspense.  Score:  3.5

This match is part of the Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series.  MIKAMI hits a swandive missile dropkick before the match starts and then hits a pescado.  MIKAMI gets a ladder and slides it and KUDO back in the ring.  MIKAMI puts the ladder on KUDO and hits a swandive dropkick, sending the ladder into MIKAMI.  MIKAMI puts the ladder on KUDO and hits a senton off the top turnbuckle.  KUDO kicks MIKAMI back but MIKAMI hits a backflip off the ladder for two.  They trade strikes until KUDO throws MIKAMI into the ladder.  Lariat by KUDO and he hits a diving knee strike to a standing MIKAMI.  MIKAMI kicks KUDO in the face, knee by KUDO and he hits a swandive double kneedrop for a two count.  Tiger Feint Kick by MIKAMI and he hits the 450 Splash.  MIKAMI sets up a ladder and climbs up it, but KUDO does too.  MIKAMI knocks KUDO off the ladder but KUDO avoids the senton from the top of the ladder.  KUDO kicks the ladder into MIKAMI’s back, high kick by KUDO and he hits a diving double kneedrop for the three count.  KUDO is victorious.  For a match less than five minutes long they fit a whole lot into it.  Big spots from the ladder and MIKAMI can still go.  Fun for what it was, just not long enough.  Score:  6.5

HARASHIMA vs. Tetsuya Endo
This match is part of the Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series.  Endo immediately dropkicks HARASHIMA to start the match and dropkicks him again.  HARASHIMA gains the advantage with a knee to the gut followed by a kick to the back of the head.  HARASHIMA doublestomps Endo repeatedly and applies a chinlock and pulls back on Endo’s back until Endo gets in the ropes.  Endo fights back with a vertical suplex and kicks HARASHIMA.  Endo kicks HARASHIMA off the apron and he hits a corkscrew Asai Moonsault.  These guys really are going all out in these short little matches.  Swandive lariat by Endo but it gets two.  HARASHIMA gets back into it with a swandive doublestomp.  Endo wiggles away and hits a standing shooting star press for two.  They trade elbows, kicks by HARASHIMA but Endo kicks him back.  Torture Rack Bomb by Endo but it gets two.  HARASHIMA moves when Endo goes for a diving move, Endo avoids HARASHIMA’s first charge but HARASHIMA kicks Endo in the head and hits the Somato for three.  Another really good but short match, all these series matches have been serious and entertaining, just wish they weren’t all around five minutes.  Score:  7.0

Michael Nakazawa vs. Shigehiro Irie
This match is part of the Dino Army vs. Michael Army 5 Singles Match Series.  Lots of elbows by Irie to start things off, Nakazawa drives Irie back but Irie hits a vertical suplex.  Nakazawa avoids the leg drop by rolling out of the ring, Irie goes out after him and Nakazawa tapes up Irie’s face.  Nakazawa tapes Irie to the post but Irie breaks free and gets back in, and Nakazawa hits a diving shoulderblock off the top for a two count.  Piledriver by Irie, quick body press but it gets two.  Body avalanche by Irie but Nakazawa chops Irie in the chest.  Nakazawa takes off his underwear and uses it as a claw hold, getting a two.  Nakazawa then applies a sleeper with his underwear as an aide but Irie rolls into the ropes.  Elbow by Nakazawa but Irie hits a swinging side slam for two.  Diving body press by Irie, but Nakazawa kicks out.  They trade elbows and then headbutts, lariat by Irie but he only gets two.  Hadoken to the chest by Nakazawa, Irie grabs Nakazawa but the bell rings, as time has expired.  Match is a Draw!  Nakazawa is a bit goofy but Irie is solid.  A step down from the last few matches even though it got more time, but still had its entertaining moments.  Score:  5.5

Michael Nakazawa Army vs. Danshoku Dino Army
Even in my full play by play days, I didn’t try to do it for this match as there were 34 wrestlers in an eight minute match.  Suffice to say there was carnage everywhere, wrestlers were fighting both in the ring and out of the ring.  Let’s fast forward to the last few minutes, as Nakazawa is being attacked by literally everyone in the corner. Nakazawa is punched down is javelined into the corner.  Honda comes in the ring, he covers Nakazawa but Nakazawa quickly kicks out.  Honda punches Nakazawa as by now all the wrestlers are just watching at ringside.  Nakazawa takes off his underwear but Honda punches it back into his face and hits a lariat.  Honda goes up to the top turnbuckle but Nakazawa gets his foot up when he jumps off.  Nakazawa wraps his underwear around his hand and he nails the Ultimate Venom Maker for the three count.  Your winner of the series is the Michael Nakazawa Army! If you like random action everywhere this may be for you, and it was a fitting end to the series.  But as a match, not a lot to it, not enough time for a match of this magnitude.  Score:  3.5

Final Thoughts:

I wish things were reversed.  The silly matches got all the time, and the matches with really solid wrestlers got around five minutes each.  The comedy matches did get a chuckle out of me from time to time, but the laughs to match time ratio was not ideal.  The match series did redeem things a bit for me as across that 30 minutes of action there was some really good stuff, so it was not a total loss, but still not the type of event I could personally really recommend.

Grade: C-

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review completed on 1/14/15