1.DAMNATION (Paulie,Shimatani,Soma) vs Keigo, Takanashi, Watase ***
2.Hair Arrange Match: Hiroshi, MAO vs Super Sasadango Machine, Owashi **1/4
3.ALL OUT (Takeshita,Shunma,Akito) vs Eruption (Higuchi,Saki,Sakaguchi) ***1/2
4.Right to Challenge Anytime, Anywhere Time Difference Battle Royal: Daisuke, Aoki, Urano, Honda, Dino, Oishi, Endo, Naya 💩💄
5.Daisuke vs Urano NR
6.Marufuji vs Hirata 👓💃
7.KO-D Tag Titles: Nautilus(c) vs Chihiro,Ino ***1/2
8.KO-D Openweight Title: HARASHIMA(c) vs Tanaka ****
This one looks like a good time. So much so that I'm watching the full event.
Before we get to that though, there is a bit of major news. NOAH is now owned by the same company that owns DDT. Instead of selling out to Vince's empire of bullshit, they went for broke and I respect the hell out of them for it. For more details, click here.
Up first, an opener seeing DAMNATION attempting to start rolling a bit more as the year kicks into full gear. High speed sprint here, the right team won, and the show is off to a good start. Hard to complain.
Second is a sponsored contest where the participants had to get their hair done up beforehand. One of the workers is a masked wrestler. He came out with a wig over the mask and looked like a total Chad. Entertaining with comedy leanings and a level of pure sex appeal on display that will make most of yall cream before it ends. For that reason, and that it didn't hit recommendation levels, skip it but know it kept the show moving along decently enough.
Ever see a salon worker in a Balor Club shirt drop a people's elbow?
In the three spot, ALL OUT and the new unit, Eruption did battle. Eruption are promising to make DDT something they can enjoy and will go on a rampage. They're off to a solid start, taking down my favorite DDT group in their unit debut and looked really good in victory. This is the first recommendation of the show, for those keeping track.
Next up, we get the Right to Challenge match. For newbies, winning is like winning the Money in the Bank but you have to defend it constantly until you "cash in". This edition had three prizes on the line with hanging envelopes. The first and second prizes were standard Challenge Anywhere Anytime contracts. The third, though, came with a sweet sword and a title shot at Wrestle Peter Pan. Cool twist.
It's weird how DDT can make something like that work yet IWRG failed with six talented dudes to truly make a cage/ladder match work as anything more than just average. I mean, it at least worked for what it was. They lean into the swerves, ya know...assplay and all...
Following that insanity, which was so crazy I decided to rate it with use of emoji, there was even more insanity. Daisuke, who sold out Endo when he was in need earlier, asked if he could use his right to challenge to challenge for the badass looking sword Urano had won. He did just that and won, meaning that he now faces whomever is KO-D Champion at Wrestle Peter Pan. Aoki has a standard Right to Challenge gauntlet.
The plural of emoji IS emoji, right? I'm not going to check and just say it is.
Only watch that if you really like DDT's brand of comedy and no one is around. Otherwise, just go off of the results I mentioned and leave it at that.
Daisuke promises to win the title and then propose to Candice LeRae.
Following that up, we have a Remember My Name match. Hirata, offended that new DISASTER BOX member and NOAH legend, Marufuji, doesn't remember meeting him, set this up. He tried to ambush the ace, but failed. More craziness here, but at least Hirata's name will be remembered by Naomichi going forward. That's what truly matters, right? You can admittedly skip this one unless you're a diehard Marufuji fan for what was basically an extended comedy squash. I'll use an emoji rating thing again here because I'm in that mood apparently.
Time for the two big title matches and the main reasons I've been looking forward to this show!
The KO-D Tag defense was pretty entertaining stuff. Ino and Chihiro were good together but had issues, even during entrances, which was a minor angle of the contest. The DISASTER BOX reps are seeking to hold the belts, at least, until June. I have no issue with that idea.
Closing things out, we had the top prize on the line. Admittedly, even with the curve balls DDT sends our way, I still didn't think we'd be getting a title change here. I was wrong. The match was well worth seeing and MAO's challenge after was entertaining enough.
In all, DDT put on a good Korakuen show with this one. I'm still not huge on their comedy stuff and will largely still stick to key select matches in the future, but this was fun if nothing else and the big contests came off well. Watch what you want from it, but watch something and sign up for DDT Universe in general while you're at it!
Overall Rating: 700/100%