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DDT D-King Grand Prix 2018 Night 1 (1.5.18) Results & Review

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Welcome to FightBoothPW’s first offical review of a DDT show!

This is the first annual D-King Grand Prix held by DDT, held live on DDT Universe at Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan with 464 in attendance. The winner of this round robin tournament will receive a shot at the top prize of DDT, KO-D Championship.

I will only be reviewing tournament matches, of which there were six. Here we go.

Yukio Sakaguchi def. Kazusada Higuchi @ 7:51 via Kami no Migi Hiza (Flying Knee Strike)
These two tried to out stiff one another with strikes. Sakaguchi continuously put Higuchi into chokes that were fought out of each time. When he turned to face Sakaguchi after countering a choke, he was met with a knee and took the L.

Tetsuya Endo def. Masahiro Takanashi @ 6:01 via Tetsuya In The Sky With Diamonds (Spanish Fly)
Takanashi knew he stood no chance against Endo. As a result he spent the duration of the match attempting flash pins, ref bumps and low blows. Once Endo was able to counter with a swift Spanish Fly, the was the end.

Akito def. Daisuke Sasaki @ 12:01 via Sharpshooter
Sasaki forced his will onto Akito for the first half of the match until Akito was able to double stomp the knees of Sasaki. Knowing he wasn’t going able to go much longer, Sasaki tried all he could to undercut Akito but his knees were done. Once he was tied up into the Sharpshooter and his wrist was clutched away from grabbed the ropes, Sasaki had no choice but to submit.

Keisuke Ishii def. HARASHIMA @ 12:46 via Double Arm DDT
Quickly, they took this one to the outside. Ishii slammed HARASHIMA into the crowd where the two brawled for the first third of the match. They built up into greater and greater fast-paced spots, kicks, knees and countering each other in an insane pace. To the surprise of the crowd, Ishii was able to defeat DDT’s ace after an absolutely disgusting double arm DDT.

Shuji Ishikawa def. Mike Bailey @ 15:16 via Splash Mountain (Crucifix Power Bomb)
I doubt anyone would argue against calling this the match of the night. Early on Shuji would ragdoll Bailey all across the outside but Bailey’s heart was too strong to let that keep him down. The spot of the match, and maybe the night, was Bailey hitting a second rope springboard Moonsault to the outside. At moments Bailey would get in a quick flurry of kicks that took Shuji by surprise but the bigger man wasn’t going to stay down. Shuji hit a monster lariat, running knee lift and finished with Splash Mountain. You have to see this one to believe it. The heart displayed by Bailey and Shuji’s continuous onslaught lead to an incredibly fun match.

Jiro Kuroshio def. Konosuke Takeshita @ 23:23 via Roll Up
In the surprise of the night, the outsider from Wrestle-1 defeated the KO-D Openweight Champion on the first night of the tournament! Full disclosure, Jiro is my favorite wrestler on the planet. Any excuse for me to bring him up, I’ll use and that’s exactly why I’m doing this review. Their pacing was solid, you could tell that they were going to go long and really set the tone for the closing stretch. Jiro’s act was completely over with this crowd. They would cackle every time he hit his pose, a treat for someone like myself who truly enjoys the guy. Once they heated things up with a few Moonsaults and flash pin attempts, this really got going. Then out of nowhere with one quick roll up, Jiro had won. Complete surprise, out of nowhere loss for Takeshita.

Night 1 had a nice variety of styles throughout. Nothing was overly comedic, everyone made the tournament feel significant like they should have. The last three matches were all a lot of fun in their own special way. We saw surprise wins and quality wrestling from beginning to end. Good way to start off the tournament.

Recommended Matches
Shuji Ishikawa vs Mike Bailey

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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