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DDT ‘D-OH Grand Prix 2019’ (12.15.18) 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

Akito vs MAO – (32:10) 9 Minutes
MAO is DDT’s next big star. He’s super athletic and equally as crazy. Akito is a focused limb worker who picks apart the body to a relentless level. Check this match out if you enjoy grounded limb work trying to overtake youthful joy.

Soma Takao vs Mike Bailey – (1:04:35) 13 Minutes
As MAO’s tag team partner, Mike Bailey is one of very few people in DDT who can rival his craziness. Both guys have had an insane amount of jaw-dropping moments this year. Takao plays the standard bastard heel very well. Everyone knows he’s capable, he shows glimpses, but always resorts to the underhanded tactics. Check this match out if you enjoy a strong heel versus face dynamic.

Tetsuya Endo vs Shinya Aoki – (1:20:35) 8 Minutes
Most of Aoki’s opponents chose to avoid grappling with him. Takeshita was one of very few that took it to the MMA star, deciding to play into Aoki’s strengths. Endo wanted to prove he could do the same as his rival so this was another opportunity for Aoki is showcase a little more versatility. Check this match out if you enjoy grappling and wacky submissions.

Sammy Guevara vs Konosuke Takeshita – (1:34:20) 12 Minutes
Two super athletes with egos to match. Both have very high-powered offenses and can go at insane speeds. The flying and agility advantage goes to Guevara while the strength and technique favors Takeshita. They both have the drive every show to put on the best match of the night and when put in the ring together, they didn’t disappoint. Check this match out if you enjoy two super athletes trying to flex their skills on one another.

Kazusada Higuchi vs Daisuke Sasaki – (2:05:20) 17 Minutes
This was David versus Goliath from the perspective of Goliath. Higuchi is DDT’s monster and as such, his opponents are always tasked with finding away to overcome his power. Sasaki is the leader of DAMNATION and although his technique is rock solid, he’s never afraid to take shortcuts when they’re needed. Even though Sasaki is the smaller man, it’s Higuchi who gained sympathy due to Sasaki’s relentlessness to do whatever it took to keep him down. Check this match out if you enjoy seeing wrestling tropes played from the reverse angle.

HARASHIMA vs Go Shiozaki – (2:32:00) 23 Minutes
Not only was this the battle for the A Block, this was about pride. HARASHIMA is an ace on the slide. He’s been moving down the card for the last couple of years while Takeshita has taken over his role on top. He started this tournament slow but began stringing together enough wins to where he was still alive on the final day. His opponent on the final day? NOAH’s Go Shiozaki. The sliding ace had to prove he could defend against the invader. Check this match out if you enjoy prideful fights with a lot more than a tournament finals on the line.

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

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