by Lloyd Barrett https://twitter.com/91LFB
On March 28th DDT presented the Judgement 2021 event, which also marked the 24th anniversary of the promotion. The card was headlined by a KO-D Openweight Championship clash, which saw Kazusada Higuchi challenge Jun Akiyama. Other featured bouts on the card included HARASHIMA taking on Yukio Sakaguchi in a 24th anniversary special singles match, whilst DAMNATION and The 37Kamiina locked horns in the semi main event.
Toi Kojima & Chris Brookes vs Yuki Iino & Yusuke Okada
The show got underway with a fantastic tag contest between two pairings with lots of future potential. Brookes has taken rookie Toi Kojima under his wing and it was fun to see the two team in such a competitive environment. I believe there is lots Kojima can learn from Brookes and I would be eager to see them team more frequently in the future. I was caught off guard by the chemistry between Iino and Okada, and thought they would make a fantastic long term tag team. After a really enjoyable back and forth bout, the team of Iino and Okada were able to pick up the victory, when Okada submitted Kojima with a Crab Hold.
Winners: Iino & Okada
Soma Takao vs Hideki Okatani
Hideki Okatani is a young competitor whose stock has been on the rise for most of the last 12 months, especially since sitting under the learning tree of Jun Akiyama. This was a big singles test for Okatani, however despite his best efforts he was overwhelmed by Soma Takao who was out to prove a point. Takao brualised Okatani at the ringside area, tossing him into guard rails and slamming him on the Korakuen Hall floor. Despite the onslaught of Takao, Okatani was able to rally and force a near fall with a Northern Lights Suplex. Takao however was able to finally down the rookie with the Gin and Tonic.
Winner: Soma Takao
Toru Owashi, Keigo Nakamura & Akito vs Saki Akai, Makoto Oishi & Danshoku Dieno
Makoto Oishi spent the bulk of the contest trying to stop the shenanigans of Danshoku Dieno in order to keep this a fair and respectable contest. Dieno would look to Saki Akai for backup to enable his misdemeanors however it did not have the same effect for him. Oishi would have his face shoved into Dieno’s exposed rear which set off some bizarre events. Creepy music would begin to play whilst the lights flickered and Oishi fell into a Zombie like trance, he would then begin to strip off and expose his backside. This was enough of a distraction for his teammates to gain the upper hand, and Dieno was able to put Nakamura away with the Gaydo Clutch. After the conclusion of the match the lights once again flickered and Oishi returned to his senses.
Winners: Akai, Oishi & Dieno
KO-D 8 Man Tag Team Championship
Team Thoroughbred (Chikara, Yukio Naya, Nabe Yakan & Sanshiro Takagi) vs Super Sasadango Machine, Antonio Honda, Kazuki Hirata & Shinya Aoki (c)
Takagi’s obsession with capturing the 8 man tag tiles led him to assemble this hand picked team, which he dubbed Team Thoroughbred. This was mostly a comedy based match, however the in ring action was fairly passable. Naya won the match and the titles for his team following a Backdrop on Super Sasadango Machine.
Winners, and new KO-D 8 Man Tag Team Champions: Team Thoroughbred
DDT 24th Anniversary Special Singles Match
Yukio Sakaguchi vs HARASHIMA
Ahead of their KO-D Tag Team Championship bout on April 11th, Sakaguchi and HARASHIMA went head to head in an absolute sprint. The two men went hard at one another with a powerful exchange of strikes in this fast paced contest. Sakaguchi looked like he was closing in on victory when he connected with God’s Right Knee, however HARASHIMA stunned Sakaguchi with a jumping high kick. HARASHIMA composed himself and landed Somato on Sakaguchi for the victory.
An announcement regarding the venue of DDT Wrestle Peter Pan 2021 was made. The show will take place at the Fujitsu Stadium in Kawasaki on August 21st. The stadium is built on the site of the iconic Kawasaki Stadium, which held many legendary FMW events.
DAMNATION (Mad Paulie, Yuji Hino, Daisuke Sasaki & Tetsuya Endo) vs The 37Kamiina (MAO, Shunma Katsumata, Yuki Ueno & Konosuke Takeshita)
This was The 37Kamiina’s first outing as a foursome following the name change and Takeshita and Shunma permanently cutting their ALL OUT ties, and they were able to overcome a DAMNATION shaped obstacle in this really enjoyable semi main event clash. After a highly competitive bout between two of the premier units in the promotion, The 37Kamiina were able to isolate Paulie. Takeshita downed Paulie with a Last Ride, before Shunma hit an assisted splash with the help of MAO and Ueno, however this would only force a near fall. Takeshita would finally seal the match with a big German Suplex on Paulie for the win.
Winners: The 37Kamiina
KO-D Openweight Championship
Kazusada Higuchi vs Jun Akiyama (c)
This main event championship clash was just as advertised. The animosity and ferocity between the two over the past few months spilled over into the title bout as these two rivals went head to head. Higuchi continued to wrestle barefoot, looking to take inspiration from his Sumo roots. After realising the Higuchi’s head was too hard to inflict any serious damage on, Akiyama began to target the arm of Higuchi, looking to neutralize the challenger’s use of his patented Brain Claw. Despite the best efforts of the champion, Higuchi was still able to lock in the Brain Claw that had dispatched Akiyama with ease in their previous meeting. The champion however was able to fight off Higuchi with a series of big knee strikes. With the challenger weakened, Akiyama connected a Wrist Clutch Exploder Suplex, however this would only keep Higuchi down for a two count. Akiyama was able to use his experience to think fast on his feet and would connect with a huge running knee strike to the back of his challenger’s head, effectively knocking him out, and this would prove to be enough to retain his championship. Following the contest Higuchi would put the championship around the waist of Akiyama as a sign of respect. Akiyama would then shockingly call out Danshoku Dieno to challenge him for the KO-D Openweight Championship. Dieno came out to the ring to accept the challenge, and a championship contest between the two was set for April 11th, at April Fool.
Winner, and still KO-D Openweight Champion: Jun Akiyama