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Daily Watchlist (10.29.19)

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The Daily Watchlist is where I highlight the matches I watch on a daily basis. Sometimes the matches will be current and other times they’ll be classics. Today I watched eight matches, four from DDT and four from NJPW.

DDT 10/27
Nobuhiro Shimatani vs Keigo Nakamura

This was a dark match where the rookie Nakamura was able to showcase. He had nice snap on his dropkicks, showed he’s capable of grappling exchanges and hit a good a springboard moonsault. Nakamura passed the eye test.

Hiroshi Yamato & Shuichiro Katsumura vs Mizuki Watase & Yukio Sakaguchi
The pairing looks good on paper. Put two shooters on each other in Katsumura and Sakaguchi and let them do their thing. Katsumura had a great technical match against Shota back in February at Ganbare and Sakaguchi is no joke but the two couldn’t find much chemistry on this meeting. Luckily it looks to be continuing because I do think something is there. Sadly, Watase is going to way of heavyweight Atsushi Kotoge by trying to garner reactions through headbutts.

Akito vs Daiki Shimomura vs Daisuke Sasaki vs FUMA
Hardcore match between BASARA and DDT’s best. Shimomura gets his head split open early by a trash can, completely bloodstaining his hair. Nothing was done at a high level, the match was rather tame considering the names in the match. Sasaki took a superplex off a ladder onto chairs and Shimomura was speared through the ropes which sent him crashing through a table on the floor. Shunma Katsumata confronted FUMA after the match which would be wild as a singles.

Jiro Kuroshio vs Tetsuya Endo – Recommended
Endo broke Kuroshio’s heart by stealing his thunder on his entrance, bringing out Kuroshio’s evil side. Karma got the best of Endo when he slipped off the top rope as he attempted a springboard. Evil Jiro was relentless throughout the match. He stayed on Endo’s arm and Endo did a great job of selling the effects. The springboard story came back into play by having Kuroshio block the second with a dropkick and Endo faking the third to have Kuroshio come up empty with a second dropkick. The pace was great, they reversed Kuroshio’s role and it worked just as good if not better than his regular shtick. I wish the guy wasn’t leaving, he’s a great fit for DDT.

NJPW 10/28
El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura – Recommended

Uemura set the tone of the match by attacking Suzuki-Gun before the bell. The match was off from there, never losing its pace. Both Desperado and Kanemaru sold big for the young lion and his aggression setting off Desperado to the point that he unmasked Tiger Mask made sense which in turn brought Tiger to another level. Nearly everything about the match rules. There’s not a single down moment until the whiskey distraction spot that’s completely unnecessary. At the end of the match there’s a great moment where Tiger tells Uemura to keep his chin up. Beautiful moment to cap everything off.

El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs TJP & Clark Connors
The match starts fast and has a great hot tag from TJP, filled with a flurry of aerial maneuvers. Soon after it begins to slow down with uninteresting moves and bad comedy from Bullet Club before breaking down even further with a flat finish. The first half of the match rides off the high of the last match but ultimately they lose the steam in the closing stretch.

Roppongi 3K vs Volador Jr. & Titan
Right off the jump this felt artificial. Roppongi 3K started by grinding down on Titan because they want that hot Titan comeback that’s been stealing the tournament. The problem is, 3K aren’t a team who dominates and cuts the ring in half so this was out of character and jarring to watch. Volador Jr. and Titan had some hot sequences but the match felt so out of context to who 3K are that it was impossible to invest in.

Birds of Prey vs Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi – Recommended
For how slow the first half was, I expected this match to go long. Instead, it had a relatively short runtime with a finishing sequence that felt like it came out of nowhere. The first ten minutes was riddled with comedy and Ospreay being a comical heel on Romero. The highlight of the match were the exchanges between Taguchi and Eagles as they traded smooth counters back and forth. Romero’s comebacks on Ospreay were well done and the Birds of Prey double teams were great as always. I wish they had taken less time for the comedy because it began to drag but the last ten minutes were really strong exchanges by all parties.

Recommended Matches
Jiro Kuroshio vs Tetsuya Endo
El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura
Birds of Prey vs Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi

Along with providing show reviews from across Japan, Robert McCauley is also an editor for FightboothPW.

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