May 1, 2022
DDT Mega Max Bump 2022 in Yokohama

HO HO HO Merry VENY Christmas to me 

I don’t know who my Secret Santa was and I won’t even hazard a guess but boy am I happy with the surprise I received under the VOW tree.

I am aware of ASUKA mostly from their AEW work but have seen other bits and the occasional match here or there. They always impress and this match in particular I thought they were far and away the star of the show. ASUKA just jumps off the screen the whole duration of the match and MAO while being athletically impressive, was outshone entirely by ASUKA. 

As somebody who does not watch DDT regularly this match unfortunately will not be the one to change my viewing habits. When action was good, it was very good. An effortless MAO split legged moonsault and ASUKA moonsault to the floor being early highlights. However, the comedy aspects and MAO slowing the pace of the match really dragged this down for me. As I said I’m not a regular so the comedy not landing for me shouldn’t be a surprise. I think if these two were to have a straight, serious one on one match it would blow away this particular effort. 

ASUKA would display a viciousness late on with some wicked chops and kicks that was sorely missing from the 1st half of the match. It would not be enough though as ASUKA would succumb to a Michinoku Driver and 450 splash from MAO as he retained his title. 

While I can’t see myself seeking out DDT or even MAO matches in 2023, I will absolutely be looking out for more ASUKA matches. So thank you Secret Santa, while I may not have loved the match I saw enough in ASUKA to ensure that I will be seeing a lot more of them in the future.