Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DDT - KING OF DDT 2017 2nd ROUND (6/4/2017)

4. KING OF DDT 2017 2nd ROUND: Akito vs. Masahiro Takanashi

Masahiro ambushes Akito dressed up as a fan, and a bunch of fun ensues, with meticulous counterwork and move applications. Akito using a shoe to anchor himself as Masahiro's tried to hit his finisher was neat.

**3/4

5. KING OF DDT 2017 2nd ROUND: KUDO vs. Tetsuya Endo

These guys were beating the shit out of each other; KUDO has bruises and Endo has a bloodied lip that suited his gimmick well. Endo wins with another Spanish Fly so that'll be the move to look out for in the final portion of the tournament.

***1/4

6. KING OF DDT 2017 2nd ROUND: HARASHIMA vs. Yukio Sakaguchi

Sakaguchi has that rugged bumping style that MMA guys have and it made HARASHIMA's moves look killer, and HARASHIMA winning with a sleeper hold is interesting. Great hard-hitting match.

***1/4

7. KING OF DDT 2017 2nd ROUND: Keisuke Ishii vs. Shigehiro Irie

Two former stablemates going all out with fast pacing and high-impact offense. The raw emotion in the finish was moving stuff.

***3/4

Aoi Kizuki vs. Meiko Tanaka (WAVE, 5/17/2016)

WAVE - Young Oh! Oh! 29 (5/17/2016)

Catch THE WAVE Chrome Yellow Block: Aoi Kizuki vs. Meiko Tanaka

Aoi Kizuki's work on top included biting and bashing Tanaka's face into turnbuckles from top to bottom, and a nice backwork session. She is also having to frequently pull out wedgies which made this 15-minute draw all the more engaging. Tanaka reminds me of a younger Ryo Mizunami. I miss her.

***1/4

Hiroe Nagahama vs. Sareee (WAVE, 5/17/2016)

WAVE - Young OH! OH! Vol. 29 (5/17/2016)

Catch THE WAVE Italian Red Block: Hiroe Nagahama vs. Sareee

This was an explosive battle between joshi youth; lots of raw emotion, hard elbow strikes and dropkicks. Nagahama applies that single leg boston crab that almost beat Ozaki, and the similar struggle here is a nice bit of continuity.

***3/4

Monday, June 26, 2017

Stardom - Galaxy Stars 2017 (6/21/2017)

1. Starlight Kid vs Hetzza

Hilarious match.

2. Queen's Quest (HZK & AZM) vs. Shanna & Gabby Slays

DUD

3. Yoko Bito, Hiromi Mimura & Konami vs. Team Jungle (Kaori Yoneyama & Tora Natsuko) & Rebel 

A fun trios match for Bito's return; dig the new attire. The Bito-Tora finishing sequence was great, they train closely together so they have a good chemistry.

**1/2

4. Goddesses of Stardom Championship: Team Jungle (Hiroyo Matsumoto & Jungle Kyona) (c) vs. Oedo Tai (Kagetsu & Hana Kimura)

This match felt chaotic, and not in a good way. There wasn't a real sense of flow and there was awkwardness at times. I love the decision to put the belts on Kagetsu & Hana-chan, though.

**1/4

5. World of Stardom Championship: Io Shirai (c) vs. Mayu Iwatani

This was a great match, but never reached that next level due to Io's selective selling of the neck. There are moments where she collapses due to her bad neck, followed by moments where she's jumping around, throwing German suplexes without so much as wincing. I thought it made the match less compelling, and Mayu's big moment didn't feel as grand because of it. But, there is a lot to be enjoyed here, like Mayu's tombstone! I hope she adopts it in tribute to Io.

***1/2

Saturday, June 24, 2017

DDT - KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND (6/2/2017)

2. KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND: Daisuke Sasaki vs. Akito

An opener based around mutual limbwork, with Sasaki throwing in some scumbaggery. He hands the DDT Extreme belt to Akito after he's made to tap out, which means this isn't over just yet.

**3/4

3. KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND: Masahiro Takanashi vs. Hirata Collection A.T.

DJ Nira makes a cameo.

*1/2

4. KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND: KUDO vs. Soma Takao

This escalated into a rather heated climax. The Gin and Tonic counter sequence was sweet. I'm not sure if Soma's new angle where he's taking himself seriously is the way to go. No one is buying him as this tough guy. He still feels like an 'incomplete' performer. Give him a khaki suit and have him portray a Battler Ushiromiya gimmick.

**3/4

5. KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND: Tetsuya Endo vs. Mike Bailey

Something about this match wasn't clicking with me, and it didn't help that it goes for 16 minutes. Bailey's offense looked and sounded good, but Endo's performance wasn't engaging me. He needs to work on his character more, he looks way cooler than he actually is.

**1/4

6. ALL OUT (Diego & Konosuke Takeshita) vs. Kouki Iwasaki & MAO

**

7. KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND: Shunma Katsumata vs. Yukio Sakaguchi

Yukio is cold and almost dismissive of Shunma, but Shunma keeps on fighting back with clever counters, and shows a fire towards the finish with open hand slaps. Shunma is one hell of a bumper too, and Yukio beats the shit out of him. Lots of hard smacks in this. Nice chemistry developed between these two.

***1/2

8. KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND: Kazusada Higuchi vs. HARASHIMA

HARASHIMA works underneath here and it's one of the best singles performances I've seen from him in a while. The waist-lock/powerbomb reversal sequence was nuts, and I liked the urgency and pacing of the finish.

***3/4

9. KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND: Danshoku Dino vs. Keisuke Ishii

Ishii does one of those Samoa Joe-Necro Butcher style exploder suplexes and drops Dino flat on his face. Dino is unmoving when Ishii tries to pick him up, so Ishii knees him as he's kneeling over; such an awesome moment. This was match a nice change of pace and the finish was brutal.

***3/4

10. KING OF DDT 2017 1st ROUND: Shigehiro Irie vs. Mad Paulie

No idea why this was the main event... Paulie is such a pathetic monster heel.

**

Shuji Ishikawa vs. Suwama (AJPW, 4/16/2017)

AJPW - Champion Carnival 2017 (4/16/2017)

Champion Carnival 2017 Block B: Shuji Ishikawa vs. Suwama

Suwama is bloodied after taking a stiff headbutt, and it added a lot to his comeback sequence, where he ends up taking a second headbutt! The timing, the explosiveness -- it's an amazing heroic second wind and the crowds explodes for it. This stuff is the height of pro grappling.

****1/4

Mayumi Ozaki vs. Hiroe Nagahama (WAVE, 4/17/2016)

WAVE - HAKATA WAVE~bari-chiro 4~ (4/17/2016)

Catch THE WAVE Italian Red Block: Mayumi Ozaki vs. Hiroe Nagahama

Cute orange chubster Nagahama does a hideous blade job and gushes all over the place. Ozaki targets the wound with her chains and grinds an elbow into it. This is vile shit. Nagahama's frustration when the official can't make the count due to being blinded by Ozaki's mist was awesome. Her best performance yet.

****