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DDT ‘D-OH Grand Prix 2019’ (12.14.18) 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 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 of wrestling, 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

Puma King vs HARASHIMA – (44:10) 10 Minutes
The fading, but arguably current, ace of DDT, HARASHIMA, takes on the North American import, Puma King. Judging by the quality of the match, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was HARASHIMA who scouted Puma and got him into the tournament. He looked both comfortable and motivated when mixing it up, accommodated Puma’s wacky lucha style early on in the match. HARASHIMA’s story of struggling to stay relevant has been a big key throughout the tournament. Check this match out if you enjoy well constructed matches that give you a little bit of everything.

Soma Takao vs Konosuke Takeshita – (58:15) 15 Minutes
Both Takao and Takeshita pride themselves on their technique. What separates them is that while Takeshita takes pride in doing things the right way, Takao doesn’t care how he gains the advantage. He turned his back by joining DAMNATION earlier in the year, a similar path that Takeshita’s former partner, Tetsuya Endo, took in 2016. Silky smooth transitions with some underhanded tactics by Takao thrown in there when Takeshita had him visibly outclassed. Check this match out if you enjoy great technique with a strong sense of pride.

Shinya Aoki vs Masahiro Takanashi – (1:27:35) 1 Minute
Two wrestlers on polar opposite sides of the spectrum. Aoki is an MMA star who has been tearing through the B Block and here he meets up with the wacky Takanashi, who is always looking for the quick and easy way out. Takanashi pulled out all the stops in an attempt to get the upset win. Check this match out if you enjoy goofy and creative fun.

MAO vs Go Shiozaki – (1:32:05) 15 Minutes
DDT’s self-proclaimed craziest wrestler, MAO, faces off with NOAH’s Go Shiozaki. MAO may be crazy, but he’s not crazy enough to allow Shiozaki any free shots. He took it to the monster, finding creative ways to land kicks and use his agility as a way to combat Shiozaki’s brute force. But MAO was only delaying the inevitable. Shiozaki isn’t going to go an entire match without inflicting serious damage to his opponents so it was up to MAO to dig down deep and give Shiozaki his best. Check this match out if you enjoy David versus Goliath stories.

Sammy Guevara vs Mike Bailey – (1:52:05) 20 Minutes
The egotistical Sammy Guevara squares off with the always mild mannered Mike Bailey. Both are a couple of the tournament’s super freak athletes and can fly around while making it look effortless. Since the flying usually favors Guevara, he had to up his mind games in order to throw Bailey off his mark. This brought out an insane side of Bailey we never see. Check this match out if you enjoy super athletic high flying matches.

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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