Dramatic Dream Team
DDT Ryogoku Peter Pan 2017
August 20, 2017
Ryogoku Kokugikan
Tokyo, Japan

Meet our previewers:

  • Brennan Patrick: Co-host of Burning Spirits. VOW contributor. Dream Match: Hideki Suzuki vs. Minoru Suzuki on a 3-inch mat in a Tokyo basement in front of quiet 56 fans. (@bren_patrick)
  • Drew Wardlaw: Co-host of Burning Spirits. Recently made his first pot of chili from scratch. (@_burningspirits)
  • Kevin Hare: Co-host of Burning Spirits. (@stan__hansen)

Dark Match – Street Pro Wrestling Extra Edition! Gota Ihashi Ryogoku 5 Game Series: Gota Ihashi vs. Mad Paulie vs. Gorgeous Matsuno, Dai Suzuki, X & X

Brennan Patrick: Dark Matches usually stay dark for a reason but this could be a lot of depending on who the mystery X’s turn out to be. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Ibushi make a“special guest” appearance for DDT’s biggest show of the year and with the street environment, you know he’s capable of doing whatever he wants. Prediction: X#2

Drew Wardlaw: This will be one of the more accessible comedy matches on the card, with the wild all over brawls being generally more well-received by casual viewers than some of the other DDT comedy matches. Something to mention here is that since Gorgeous Matsuno was exiled from Japan, a replacement wrestler, Matsuno Collection AT, has taken his place. The big thing here is who the two mystery opponents will be. In a recent conversation with Jamie from Dramatic DDT (dramaticddt.wordpress.com) he made a prediction that I am now going to steal. The two mystery opponents will be Jun Kasai, who has a history of competing in these type of matches for DDT, and none other than recent G1 participant Kota Ibushi. Think about it: What’s the most “Kota Ibushi” thing he could do? Go from competing in the biggest wrestling tournament in the world to working a dark match comedy brawl the next week. Prediction: Mad Paulie?

Kevin Hare: I’m hoping this is a streamlined, 10 minute long comedy brawl all over the place. As the others have said, Ibushi would be an incredible guest here. I’d also love to see someone like Minoru Suzuki or Aja Kong (anyone ever notice that Mad Pauly and Aja Kong look alike?). Anyway, this should be solid, harmless fun to open the show. Prediction: Aja Kong

Dark Match: Tomomitsu Matsunaga, Hoshitango, Nobuhiro Shimatani & Masato Kamino vs. Mizuki Watase, Daiki Shimomura, Diego & Rekka

Brennan Patrick: This will be your whatever multi-man tag with the young kids getting to showoff in the dark. Mizuki Watase is one of the DNA guys I’ve been keeping an eye on so we’ll see how he performs in front of the HOT~! Sumo Hall. Prediction: Team Watase

Drew Wardlaw: A very basic and very standard multi-man match here, nothing too noteworthy other than that I wish Diego had a better spot on the card. He’s really been working hard and showing a lot of improvement since joining All Out and I’m excited to see where he goes from here. I’m hoping to see him pick up a big win here in Sumo Hall. Prediction: Team Watase

Kevin Hare: I’m hoping that Diego tries to steal the show here, he’s been really good. Otherwise, There’s not much for me to take away here. Prediction: Team Watase

Iron Man Heavymetalweight Title – Tokyo Joshi Pro Offer Battle Royal
Tetsuya Koda (c) vs. Cherry vs. Miyu Yamashita vs. Syoko Nakajima vs. Yuka Sakazaki vs. Nonoko vs. Rika Tatsumi vs. Azusa Takigawa vs. Yuu vs. Nodoka-oneesan vs. Maho Kurone vs. Marika Kobashi vs. Yuna Manase vs. Mizuki

Brennan Patrick: I hope it’s Yuu. Prediction: Yuu

Drew Wardlaw: A battle royal for the Iron Man Heavymetalweight Title at Peter Pan is nothing new, but what’s unique about this year’s affair is that it is the first time it has been a Joshi- exclusive match. Well, almost joshi-exclusive. Matchmaker for the Tokyo Joshi Pro promotion Tetsuya Koda recently won the title from Cherry and as such, will now be competing in the match. This will be the usual fast-paced wackiness that we have come to expect from these matches, but with the joshi element this adds a nice variety and uniqueness to the show and should be a fun opener. Prediction: It could be anyone, literally.

Kevin Hare: This is an interesting twist on the Iron Man title. It may veer a little bit away from the comedy stuff usually associated with the belt. Or, it will be just as wacky as ever. Still, it will be nice for some new characters to get into the Iron Man (woman?) title. Prediction: The Pork Bun comes back and regains his rightful crown

Yuki Ino Debut Match
Kouki Iwasaki & Yuki Ino vs. Naomi Yoshimura & Yuki Ueno

Brennan Patrick: Really looking forward to the debut of hoss daddy Yuki Ino against bad beef Yoshimura and those two throwing ham hocks and playing human bumper cars. Ino’s got a rugby background so you know he’s tough enough so it’ll be interesting to see how well his pro-wrestling skills are progressing. I like Iwasaki but I’d like to see him in more singles matches and Yuki Ueno had a great, under-the-radar match with Shunma Katsumata at DNA 34 last month. Prediction: Naomi Yoshimura & Yuki Ueno

Drew Wardlaw: This is one of my most anticipated matches of the show due to the debuting rookie: 5’11” 265lb BEAST Yuki Ino. Ino is a 22 year old former rugby player who recently deadlifted 440lbs on a Beer Garden show. I don’t know where DDT keeps finding these monsters but I’m certainly not complaining. DDT has a good history of debuting rookies at Peter Pan, most notably Konosuke Takeshita in 2012, and generally if they choose to debut a wrestler at the big show then they have big plans for them. Seeing Ino going up against fellow beef boy Yoshimura should be a blast, and Ueno and Iwasaki in the mix certainly doesn’t hurt. Prediction: Ino & Iwasaki

Kevin Hare: Yoshimora has been featured prominently recently, feuding with Konosuke Takeshita and unsuccessfully cashing in the right to challenge armband. He’s slid back down the card, but he’s set up to be a major player for years to come. The Yoshimura vs. Ino interactions should be the major focus of this match. I think that Yoshimora will bounce back after being embarassed by the no good Takeshita. Prediction: Naomi Yoshimura & Yuki Ueno

Ikemen Vs Idol! Handsome Humanity Battle
Jiro Kuroshio vs. Shunma Katsumata

Brennan Patrick: I’m not quite as into Jiro Kuroshio as others but I get the appeal and there is something to be said about the way he flows through a match, awkward but seamless. Plus, you know, the whole jacket thing. Shunma Katsumata looks like his mom still drops him off at shows in her minivan but he’s pretty much your copy-and-past high flyer. But he can turn up the aggression and like I mentioned earlier, he had a stand-out match against Yuki Ueno that got lost in the G1 shuffle. This should be something fun to get the crowd jazzed up. Prediction: Jiro Kuroshio

Drew Wardlaw: Another strongly anticipated match for me (I might say this several more times) between one of DDT’s resident idols and Ikemen himself, golden boy Jiro. At last year’s AJPW Sumo Hall show, Jiro was one of the most popular acts on the entire card, with his trademark colorful jackets, exuberant charisma, and unique in-ring style. Katsumata has shown in the past that he can be an incredibly effective heel, often dispatching younger members of the DNA roster with surprising viciousness. I’m really hoping we get that here, and if we do, this could really be a sleeper match on the show. Expect lots of fast-paced, high-flying action and jacket antics to please the crowd. Prediction: Jiro Kuroshio

Kevin Hare: Jiro (and his jacket) is the perfect fit in DDT. He’s super charismatic, can be pretty funny, but also wrestles a fairly fast-paced style when he wants to. I’m hoping this is fast paced and not based on comedy TOO much. Should be a nice little undercard sprint. Prediction: Jiro Kuroshio

KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Titles
KUDO, Yukio Sakaguchi & Masahiro Takanashi (c) vs. Dick Togo, Yasu Urano & Antonio Honda

Brennan Patrick: I’m actually really looking forward to this because A) Dick Togo rules and 2) I love sleaze shooter Yukio Sakaguchi. But I’m expecting everyone to hustle their booties out there and put together a fast-paced six-man with a dose of comedy. KUDO’s had a good year so far and it’ll be a lot of fun watching Honda sell some stiff kicks. The end result could go either way but I’d love to see Team Dick pick up the win here. Prediction: Dick Togo, Yasu Urano & Antonio Honda

Drew Wardlaw: The Shuten Doji team of KUDO, Sakaguchi & Takanashi have had a quiet, but solid year so far, and I expect them to be game opponents for Togo, Honda, and the returning Urano. Urano of course declared his free agency this past spring and has not made too much of an impact on the indie scene thus far, so it’ll be interesting to see how he works here. The real upside here is Dick Togo, and seeing him go back and forth with the doji boys will be awesome of course. I really enjoy seeing Sakaguchi play the straight man in comedy settings, so him and Honda will be tons of fun. Overall, this should be a good, inoffensive time. Prediction: KUDO, Yukio Sakaguchi, & Masahiro Takanashi

Kevin Hare: I’m glad that Dick Togo is able to fit in the show somewhere. I think his interactions with both KUDO and Sakaguchi should be really interesting. The more grounded style of Togo and Sakaguchi should fit in well with the hard hitting kicks and comedy stuff the others bring. This match really could go either way, but I think that the titles stay with KUDO and friends, since I’m not sure where else they fit in DDT right now. Prediction: KUDO, Yukio Sakaguchi, & Masahiro Takanashi

Special 4 Way Tag Match
Kaz Hayashi & Keisuke Ishii vs. Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto vs. Mike Bailey & MAO vs. Kotaro Suzuki & Soma Takao

Brennan Patrick: Wowzers, this could very well be a chaotic mess, which is 87% of the charm for multi-tag team matches like this anyways. Bodies flying onto other bodies, Isami Kodaka and Mike Bailey probably (likely) doing something stupid, and Kaz Hayashi and Keisuke Ishii slipping away with the win after…DOUBLE FINAL CUTS! This is a crapshoot as far as who comes away winning but I’d love to see the team of Hayashi and Ishii challenge the winners of the KO-D
Openweight Tag Titles match. Prediction: Kaz Hayashi & Keisuke Ishii

Drew Wardlaw: Another match where I wish a few wrestlers involved had better spots on the card. Keisuke Ishii has had a great year so far, including a very good run with the AJPW junior heavyweight title, a strong showing in the King of DDT tournament, and a great KO-D title challenge against Takeshita last month at Korakuen. Seeing him in a multi-man tag match here is a little disappointing, as I was expecting his reunion with former trainer Kaz Hayashi to lead to something greater on the show. Another stand out here is Soma Takao, who seems to be drifting aimlessly, much like he was after losing the AJPW junior heavyweight title to Ishii in late 2016. He joined Smile Squash and partnered with HARASHIMA in order to learn from him and eventually face him in a singles match, which at this point has not happened. He really feels like the odd man out here, teaming with freelancer and veteran Kotaro Suzuki. Elsewhere, you have Mike Bailey looking to rebound after a failed KO-D Title shot by teaming with MAO, and Yankee Two Kenju maybe seeking to re-establish themselves in DDT. Overall, this is a match with surprising depth and high stakes, with the winners most likely challenging for the KO-D Tag Team titles. I’m expecting this to be an all out sprint with tons of insane action. This could be really awesome and a good match to wake up the crowd. Prediction: Keisuke Ishii & Kaz Hayashi

Kevin Hare: I’m REALLY excited for this match. It has the potential to be an all-out sprint showstealer. Ishii has had a really great, underrated year, Bailey has shown a more dickish, heelish, annoying side recently, and Kodaka and Miyamoto are one of the best tag teams in Japan. I’m expecting a balls-to-the-wall spotfest and am completely ready for it. My guy says Ishii and Hayashi are winning, but I don’t care, I have to pull for my friends Yankee Two Kenju. Prediction: Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto

KO-D Ten Man Tag Team Title Match
Toru Owashi, Kazuki Hirata, Joey Ryan, Saki Akai & Yoshihiko Vs Makoto Oishi, LiLiCo, Lady Beard, Super Sasadango Machine & Ken Ohka

Brennan Patrick: Does the world really need a ten man tag team title? Uh, DDT seems to think so. Why not, right? Throw ten randos into a match and you get what looks like a comedy shitshow. If you’re into it, you’re into it (I’m not into it).. Prediction: Who cares?

Drew Wardlaw: Pure DDT overkill, and I love it! This match is to crown the first ever Ten Man Tag Team champions (!!!!!) and the belts are each a different color. The teams are made up of various DDT personalities from the past and present. It’s still unsure what exactly DDT plans to do with these belts, but it would be very funny if they were just defended and then forgotten about on a whim. When the casual fan thinks of DDT, this is probably what they think of: blow up dolls, powerpoint presentations, celebrities, Joey Ryan’s bathing suit area, etc. Special mention goes to Kazuki Hirata, who has returned from exile and now has recorded his own version of his theme song “Tokyo Go” to avoid copyright laws on DDT Universe. Obviously I can’t wait for this match as it will be complete insanity and utter confusion. Prediction: Makoto Oishi, LiLiCo, Lady Beard, Super Sasadango Machine, & Ken Ohka

Kevin Hare: This is going to be very wacky. There’s tons of past and present DDT comedy stalwarts here. I’m not exactly looking forward to it, but I am curious to see how much the 10-man titles will actually be featured going forward. Prediction: Makoto Oishi, LiLiCo, Lady Beard, Super Sasadango Machine & Ken Ohka

DDT 20th Anniversary Weapon Rumble – All Rights Contra Marriage
Sanshiro Takagi vs. Danshoku Dino

Brennan Patrick: I’m not a Dino fan. At all, really. I tolerated him in the Shuji Ishikawa match last year but normally, his quasi-pro-rape humor doesn’t tickle my funny bone. That being said, Takagi is hilarious in these stipulation matches and with the whole stip being a “Weapon Rumble”, anything and anyone can show up over the course of the match. A token Poison Sawada JULIE appearance? Perhaps. Minoru Suzuki as Dino’s WMD? Fingers crossed. Takagi wins, Dino’s gotta settle down! Prediction: Sanshiro Takagi

Drew Wardlaw: The stakes couldn’t be higher in this match: If Sanshiro Takagi loses, he has to give up control of DDT to Danshoku Dino, and if Dino loses, well, he has to settle down and get married to please his parents. The possibilities are hilarious either way, which makes choosing a favorite tough. As for the match itself, new weapons will be introduced into the match periodically and can be traditional weapons like bats or trashcans, or more unique weapons, like entire rosters of wrestlers, beautiful women (or men) to distract the competitors, or even old rivals looking to cost their foe the match. Perhaps we’ll see Bob Sapp get his revenge on Dino! Prediction: Danshoku Dino

Kevin Hare: My biggest fear for this match is that it will go way too long. Otherwise, this could be incredibly funny or incredibly awful. I’m not a huge fan of Dino, but I think that Takagi has had a really great, funny year, most notably his empty arena match against Minoru Suzuki and his 3-1 handicap match at the King of DDT Final show. I’m just hoping for complete wackiness that isn’t too bogged down by Dino’s specific sense of humor. But, I am expecting him to be in charge of DDT, at least for a little while. Prediction: Danshoku Dino

DDT Extreme Title – Cabellera Contra Cabellera
Daisuke Sasaki (c) vs. Akito

Brennan Patrick: Ooh boy, now we’re talking. This is my most anticipated match of the night because Daisuke Sasaki and Akito are two my favorite guys in DDT. Sasaki is criminally underrated as a wrestler because people can’t seem to get by the shitty hair and disrespectful teen vibe. But that’s part of what makes Sasaki so great, because he can back up the greasiness with sound matwork and flawless transitions. Akito’s no stranger to working a leg and he manages to outdo himself with all the ways in which he can work said leg. I fully expect this to be a little be of everything: submissions, comedy, lucha-esque brawling, and Sasaki freaking out when the shitty hair goes bye-bye. Prediction: Akito

Drew Wardlaw: Around the Burning Spirits office, we call this one the Brennan Patrick Special. Two guys who are watertight in execution and know how to tell incredibly effective & engaging stories in the ring. This feud has been building for a couple months now with Akito getting victories over Sasaki in matches throughout the summer, including eliminating him from the King of DDT tournament. The stipulation is actually incredibly smart from a booking perspective, where you have the match potentially being worked on a “smaller” scale, with lots of limb work and old school mat wrestling, but you can still have the big match spectacle of someone’s head being shaved post-match. As much as I’ve enjoyed Sasaki’s title reign (and hair) the thought of him stooging and begging during a haircut is just too good to pass up. Prediction: Akito

Kevin Hare: I’ve really liked Daisuke Sasaki’s title reign. I think he’s done a really good job of having different, unique matches with all different types of opponents. This has the potential to be the crown jewel of his run. I really have no idea how they are going to play this one, and that is really exciting. They could do a sort of submission special, they could do an old-school lucha brawl, they could do a DDT comedy version of a lucha brawl… the possibilities are endless. A hair vs. hair match is a genius way to give this match huge stakes but also not nail down these guys to a specific formula. I think this is about bringing Akito up to the next level. Farewell the hair of Daisuke Sasaki, we hardly knew you. Prediction: Akito

KO-D Tag Team Titles – Uchikomi! Presents
Shigehiro Irie & Kazusada Higuchi (c) vs. HARASHIMA & Naomichi Marufuji

Brennan Patrick: Aging ace and certified chopmaster Naomichi Marufuji has been a joy to watch since his G1 stint last year, and I, for one, cannot wait to hear the loud whaps exchanged between he and Kazusada Higuchi. I’ve really enjoyed Irie and Higuchi’s time with the belts. They work really well together as a unit and Irie’s ongoing feud with HARASHIMA has been one of the better storylines running in DDT. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Irie’s losing streak against HARASHIMA to continue with a loss here, possibly setting up a big singles match between the two later in the year. Plus, DDT tends to give the tag titles to guest wrestlers so…we could be getting a potentially awesome HARASHIMA/Marufuji vs. Ishii/Hayashi match before the end of the year. Prediction: HARASHIMA & Naomichi Marufuji

Drew Wardlaw: Listen, I don’t care about any backstory with Irie and HARASHIMA, as good as that may be. All I care about is seeing Maru Ding Dang Fuji and Kazusada Higuchi chop the sweet feathery christ out of each other. I want bloody chests and I’m going to be “sorely” disappointed if I don’t get that. To quote YDI, I’m out for blood. Prediction: HARASHIMA & Naomichi Marufuji

Kevin Hare: I was completely pumped and surprised when HARASHIMA announced that his partner was Marufuji. This match really has potential to be the best match on this show. Ace tag team partners is a formula that rarely ever lets down. Combine that with two young, hungry hard hitting guys, and this could really be special. I think that Irie is FINALLY going to get his big pinfall over HARASHIMA on the biggest show of the year. Prediction: Shigehiro Irie & Kazusada Higuchi

KO-D Openweight Title – Good Com Asset Presents
Konosuke Takeshita (c) vs. Tetsuya Endo

Brennan Patrick: Sumo Hall in 2017 tends to be a place where champions I don’t want to lose are almost expected to lose. First, it was Hideki Suzuki against Ryuichi Kawakami in Big Japan, which Suzuki thankfully won, and later, it’s Shuji Ishikawa vs. Kento Miyahara in AJPW. Konosuke Takeshita is my favorite DDT guy and since his awesome reign last year, he’s only continued to improve as the assumed “Ace of DDT”. Between his selling, the way he carries himself in and out of the ring, and his explosive and diverse arsenal, Takeshita is an easy dark horse “Wrestler of the Year” candidate. Tetsuya Naito, on the other hand, has been…well, forgettable? I mean, his best match of the year was the King of DDT Final against HARASHIMA but other than that, I haven’t been impressed with Endo.. His character in DAMNATION is sort of the disinterested 1980’s Japanese goth frontman but it also carries over into his in-ring work, which doesn’t connect well with me. He and Takeshita are more than capable of having an awesome match, as evidenced last year in July, but I wasn’t a fan of this year’s 60-minute draw and I’m hoping they really turn up the heat for this one and wrap it up under 30 minutes. Hey, it worked for Suzuki so I’m sticking with Takeshita to win. Prediction: Konosuke Takeshita

Drew Wardlaw: A main event with background and depth as only DDT can pull off. There are layers upon layers of storylines interwoven into this match which have set the stage for what could be a classic KO-D Title match. Endo is Takeshita’s former friend and tag partner, who was always in his shadow, never quite able to break out on his own. This led him to turning on his friend and joining the DAMNATION stable where he has become somewhat of an anti-hero, and arguably more popular than Takeshita, who is still struggling to find his popularity and voice as the newly crowned Ace of DDT at the age of 22. Endo, 26, likes to play the apathetic cool guy, despite other wrestlers telling him that they know he isn’t really like that and that he actually cares deeply about pro wrestling. He showed brief flashes of fire in his King of DDT matches, which he won in order to get this title shot. Over the past few months, both competitors have been working hard to establish their finishing maneuvers: Takeshita with the straight jacket German suplex, the new Surprise Rose, and most recently, he was finally able to hit a Brainbustaaaahhhh, a tribute to El Generico. Endo has been very dominant with his Tetsuya in the Sky (or Tetsuya in the Sky with Diamonds if it’s done off the top rope), his version of the Spanish Fly. He notably defeated Shunma Katsumata in under 3 minutes with the move, proving how deadly it can be. Takeshita’s title reign has been excellent, with 6 successful defenses of varying length and style. The most noteworthy of those matches was a 60 minute draw against Endo in April, showing the two men are evenly matched. Will Takeshita defeat his first serious rival, continuing to establish himself as the wrestler to take the promotion into the future, or will Endo prove once and for all that he is able to surpass his former friend and potentially change the course of DDT? Prediction: Tetsuya Endo

Kevin Hare: Takeshita has proven himself to be one of the best wrestlers in the world, which is absolutely sickening (in the best way possible) considering he is only 22 years old. This match has been built for years, as Takeshita and Endo have always been associated with one another, much likes teams like Doi & Yoshino and Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi. They absolutely will be aware of the stakes here and will do whatever they can to have an absolute classic. This match has a MOTYC+ ceiling and should really deliver. As much as it saddens me to see Takeshita’s reign end, Endo will finally solidify himself as being on the same ground as Takeshita. Really can’t wait for this one. Prediction:Tetsuya Endo