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DDT ‘D-OH Grand Prix 2019’ (11.30.18) Spoiler Free Review

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The D-OH Grand Prix is a round-robin tournament held by DDT. Fourteen wrestlers are separated into two blocks and the winners meet to determine who will challenge for the top prize in DDT, the KO-D Openweight Championship.

There has been a growing interest in DDT over the last year so my goal is to explain what to expect from these shows. DDT has a stigma against it, being known soley as the comedy promotion. Those who hate the comedy style oversell how much of that there is in the company. Tournaments like these allow the wrestlers to showcase more traditional wrestling skills that may be appealing to new fans curious about the promotion.

No results will be given in these articles. Instead, I’ll be highlighting what each match brought to the table, how long it went, and the timecode of the match if you’re interested.

You can watch these shows either live or OnDemand from DDT Universe. There will be nine shows in total and with such a diverse cast, I highly encourage you to check it out.

A Block
Daisuke Sasaki, HARASHIMA, Go Shiozaki, Akito, Kazusada Higuchi, MAO, Puma King

B Block
Konosuke Takeshita, Tetsuya Endo, Masahiro Takanashi, Mike Bailey, Shinya Aoki, Soma Takao, Sammy Guevara

Masahiro Takanashi vs Soma Takao – (37:50) 9 Minutes
A good comp for Takanashi is Zack Sabre Jr. meets Toru Yano. The bulk of his offense revolves around wacky body contortions in hopes they lead him to a flash pin. He’s a fan favorite, recently winning the DDT General Election which granted him a shot at the company’s top title, the KO-D Openweight Championship. Takao is completely unpredictable. He turned heel earlier this year by joining DAMNATION. Sometimes he’ll mist, sometimes he’ll fight clean and other times he’ll use his DAMNATION mates for help. Check this out if you enjoy fast paced matches with wacky hijinx.

Daisuke Sasaki vs Puma King – (50:30) 14 Minutes
The current KO-D Openweight Champion and leader of DAMNATION, Daisuke Sasaki. The man is known as ‘Charisma’ but Puma King is a completely different animal. Puma has become a world traveler since leaving CMLL earlier this year. He’s competed in all of the top U.S. indies and now finds himself in DDT. This was a charismatic lucha libre showcase. Sasaki showed he can hang with Puma’s pace but he was unable to match his charisma. Puma had the crowd eating out of the palms of his hands. Check this out if you enjoy a good mix of comedy and lucha libre.

Sammy Guevara vs Shinya Aoki – (1:10:15) 4 Minutes
A clash between two wrestlers who couldn’t be more different. Current DDT Extreme Champion, Shinya Aoki, is an MMA star and a BJJ black belt. Sammy Guevara, on the other hand, has made his name by flipping all over the place. Neither man has experience in the other’s wheelhouse so they did their best to stay inside their comfort zone. Check this out if you enjoy ego flexing.

Konosuke Takeshita vs Mike Bailey – (2:07:05) 17 Minutes
Takeshita and Bailey are former KO-D Tag Cheam Champions and have clashed over the KO-D Openweight Championship just last year. Takeshita is considered to be the next ace of DDT and Bailey is in the conversation for best foreign wrestler in Japan. Those who enjoy traditional, non-comedy bangers will love this match. Bailey is known for mixing high flying with strikes while Takeshita is a master of technique and power. Both Bailey and Takeshita are two of the best pure pro wrestlers on the planet right now and this was a great match to showcase just how good they are so definitely check this one out.

Go Shiozaki vs Kazusada Higuchi – (2:27:45) 16 Minutes
A rematch from NOAH’s Global League earlier this month, this time Shiozaki invades Higuchi’s turf. There’s no finesse with these two. They mirror each other well and it’s all chops and head drops. Absolutely brutal war. Shiozaki embodies and showcased exactly what it means to be a NOAH wrestler. Check this out if you enjoy the classic era NOAH matches.

HARASHIMA vs MAO – (2:49:00) 16 Minutes
The classic veteran versus up-and-comer matchup. HARASHIMA is the most successful KO-D Openweight Champion of all time and he faces off against the new hotness, known as MAO. HARASHIMA is seen as the fading ace while guys like MAO are the new generation. MAO is a very explosive and innovative wrestler, a lot like a younger HARASHIMA, so there was a great dynamic between the two. Check this out if you enjoy those types of battles.

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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