KO-D Openweight Title / KO-D Interim Openweight Title Unification Match
Dick Togo vs. Antonio Honda
January 30, 2011

When I first saw what my Secret Santa gift was, my first thought was that it was probably a comedy match, and when you look at the wrestlers involved, would you blame me for thinking that? Antonio Honda vs. Dick Togo on a DDT show in Korakuen Hall? I’m sure it’s a barrel of laughs! However, when I actually watched the match, it ended up being much different from what I was expecting. In terms of what was on the line, Honda and Togo were battling to unify the KO-D Openweight Title and the KO-D Interim Openweight Title, with Togo holding the former and Honda holding the latter. So right out of the gate, there’s an element to this match that has connections to what we’ve seen in AEW in 2022, with the various interim title reigns we’ve seen throughout the year. I’m guessing whoever gifted me this match must’ve seen me asking in the VOW Slack whether or not other wrestling promotions have used interim titles before. AEW and RevPro have done it, and now I know that DDT has done it! I’m not entirely sure what the circumstances behind the interim title in this case were, but the bottom line was that there would be a Unified KO-D Openweight Champion.

As I mentioned earlier, I went into this expecting a more lighthearted affair, but it was far from that. This was a 100% serious match from start to finish, with both Honda and Togo giving it everything they had. After the initial opening exchange, Honda would spend the next few minutes working over the left arm of Togo. This arm work would pay off a little later, as it prevented Togo’s initial attempt at hitting the Pedigree. A short time later, the two would spill out to the floor, and this sequence culminated with Honda hitting a running dive to the floor. While Honda would connect with Togo, he didn’t get all of it, and came up busted wide open. This set up an exciting closing stretch, with both men trading lariats, uppercuts, punches, and submission holds. Honda survived Togo’s crossface attempts, and managed to connect with a Dragon Suplex and a Diving Fist Drop, but it wasn’t enough. Togo would eventually hit the Pedigree and a BIG Senton off the top rope to score the victory.

I was super impressed to see these two men in such an intense match, with great back-and-forth action, blood, and everything in between. It took a few minutes for the bout to get going (that’s not to say the technical stuff early on wasn’t interesting), but once it did, it was really cooking. One of the coolest moments in the match for me was actually near the end, when Honda and Togo were trading shots back and forth. The way that they were selling those shots was pretty cool, as they came off like two punch-drunk fighters that were totally exhausted. It was awesome to see both Honda and Togo in a main event environment with a title on the line, and it’s given me a better appreciation of Honda in particular (I already knew about how good Togo was during his career, so seeing this performance from him wasn’t a total surprise). I would go ****1/4 on it. As for who gifted it to me, it’s probably someone who has extensive knowledge of DDT, or someone who wanted me to see both Antonio Honda and Dick Togo in a match where they were outside of the roles that they’ve been in over the course of the last several years. If I had to go with a top three in terms of guesses, I’d go with Griffin, Neil, or Paul. Now watch my guesses be completely wrong. Regardless of who gave it to me, thanks for the gift, and Merry Christmas!