Saturday, January 4, 2020
Select Match Reviews: New Year Yen
Matches from DDT New Year Special 01/03:
1.Shunma vs MAO ***1/2
2.Tanaka vs Brookes ***1/2
3.Endo, T-Hawk vs ALL OUT ***1/2
4.KO-D Tag Titles: DAMNATION(c) vs Nautilus ****
Opening up 2020 with some fun in a way that only DDT can provide, these pulls from New Year Special were just what I wanted them to be. I have no doubt that DDT will likely once again be one of my top sources of action this year and, when they handle their minor shows with such pizzaz, it should be no surprise why. Sure, I'll still likely skip most of the comedy attractions and bottom of the card matches, but the rest is hardcore underrated and this roster is top notch!
Anyway, the first pull had perhaps the weakest ref bump I've seen in years, but the lego spots after more than made up for it even if it inevitably felt like a needless bump in the end. The whole thing was pure fun and worth seeing. MAO said Bailey would return when his visa issues are resolved and will try to climb the ranks on his own for now. Shumna said he had to have a minor operation but would return stronger than ever afterward.
During intermission, DISASTER BOX added Marufuji to their ranks! He was requested by HARASHIMA, had to Google who the group even was, but decided he wanted to join. I love the simplicity of that.
If you missed the news, Brookes also announced he was staying much longer on the next tour with DDT because they make him a better wrestler and I couldn't agree more. He started the year with a shot against #1 contender and true legend, Tanaka! It was a variety bag of content wrapped in a small package, but it worked and I am eager to see Tanaka challenge for the title in a few weeks as well as what they do with Brookes this year. Tanaka showing some respect to Brookes after, and vice versa, was cool and the MAO angle after was a nice touch, too.
The semi was a nice surprise. Frequent visitors likely know I'm a huge fan of T-Hawk so seeing him tag with Endo in a match also featuring Takeshita was fucking awesome. Hopefully it sets up even more #STRONGHEARTS usage in DDT in 2020. I want those guys literally everywhere and their last little DDT sprint was entertaining. After, my wish was seemingly granted as a partnership between DAMNATION and #SH was declared. The contest was very good, keeping the trend going. Remember, not everything needs to be a MOTYC, especially on spot shows.
Closing this one out, DISASTER BOX team, Nautilus dethroned DAMNATION for the team belts in a fantastic contest. I wanted another successful defense, but alas that wasn't meant to be. Oh well, maybe T-Hawk and El Lindaman will take them soon and Daisuke can move back up the cards a tad.
Quick note, but coverage of other WK Week shows, including Wrestle Kingdom itself, will likely be posted on Monday evening. In the meanwhile, consider checking out something from this gig!