Akito vs. ASUKA
July 15, 2019
DDT Wrestle Peter Pan 2019

Reviewed by Brady Trappett (VOW Author Page / @BradyHasTakes

Gifted by Ewan C (VOW Author Page)

It’s my first year participating in VOW Secret Santa, and what’s that under the tree?

Why it’s a One Light Tube IPPON Deathmatch. What are the rules for a One Light Tube IPPON Deathmatch? It’s quite simple, really.

  • Regular pinfall and submission rules apply
  • There is one light tube in the ring and if it breaks, whoever broke it loses the match
  • If only one wrestler touched the light tube when it broke, the person who touched it will lose.
  • If both wrestlers touched the light tube when it broke, the attacker loses
  • If the tube is on the mat and one of the wrestlers is thrown onto it, the wrestler who was thrown loses

This match is obviously built around the light tube, but it’s different from other light tube deathmatches. In a lot of deathmatches, whether it’s a light tube, barbed wire, or other weapons, the tension in the match peaks with the first use of the weapon. Once you’ve burned the initial bump, it’s a game of escalating the violence and hoping you can maintain the tension. This match, however, ends at the peak when the light tube breaks. They tease the break in the first spot of the match and almost every spot in the match involves the light tube. What really impressed me was how they weaved in pinfall attempts. There was so much focus on the light tube that as a viewer you get tunnel vision, and they sprinkled in just enough nearfalls to remind the viewer that the light tube doesn’t have to be the finish. They teased a light tube break in almost every way possible in this match. They chain wrestled around it, they played hot potato with it, they held it high above their bodies when they took a bump to try and keep it off the ground. After ten minutes of being as cautious as possible with the light tube, the match comes to an end when Akito uses the light tube as a shield for an ASUKA head kick. He takes the kick, and the tube with it, but he also takes the win.

I have no idea who gifted me this match, but I’m glad they did. I can’t do this match justice through writing, you need to seek it out. In recent history, there has been a lot of talk about how wrestling needs to be a variety show or how there need to be different flavors of ice cream. This match is a reminder that comedy can belong in wrestling, but it has to be good. And this was great.