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DDT ‘D-OH Grand Prix 2019’ (12.2.18) Spoiler Free Review

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The D-OH Grand Prix is a round-robin tournament held by DDT. Fourteen wrestlers are seperated 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

Sammy Guevara vs Masahiro Takanashi – (30:15) 10 Minutes
I’m not sure how many repeat readers I’m going to get on these so if you are one, bare with me for repeating the same facts. Takanashi is comparable to a combination of Zack Sabre Jr. and Toru Yano. He has an assortment of wacky submissions but is never against taking the cheap win if possible. He’s an endearing fan favorite, everyone rallies behind him when he tries his best. Guevara is known as an egotistical flippy boy. He loves wowing fans with his high-flying abilities and is never afraid to go big. Check this match out if you enjoy the dynamic between submission limb work against crazy high-flying.

Puma King vs Go Shiozaki – (44:30) 11 Minutes
Shiozaki embodies the style of Japanese wrestling western fans with a limited knowledge think it’s all about. Heavy use of chops, suplexes and dropkicks. He comes from that early NOAH era and was trained by the men who mastered that style. Puma King is a wacky luchador who dresses like a cat but has the wrestling chops to be more than the gimmick. Both men are very fundamentally sound which gives them a strong wrestling base level. Check this match out if you enjoy physical matches with strong fundamentals and just the right amount of flash to keep things fun.

Tetsuya Endo vs Mike Bailey – (1:01:20) 15 Minutes
Bailey and Endo mirror each other in many ways. Both are very high energy and love flipping all over the place. Endo has more of a focus on submissions and Bailey with more striking but when push comes to shove, they can hang in the other’s wheelhouse. They’ve challenged for the KO-D Openweight championship before, both coming short to Konosuke Takeshita last year. These two are positioned very similarly in the company and can match skill for skill in the ring. Check this match out if you’re an adrenaline junkie who loves very fast-paced action with flurries of strikes and high-flying.

Kazusada Higuchi vs Akito – (1:45:05) 11 Minutes
Higuchi is DDT’s resident giant, at least while Shuji Ishikawa is away. The ex-Sumo wrestler is heavy on strikes and suplexes and mirrors NOAH’s Go Shiozaki fairly well. He’s still got a lot to work on but he’s a good giant with a lot of charisma. Akito is a limb worker. He picks apart any limb he can get a hold of and dismantles his opponents piece by piece. Check this match out if you’re a fan of David vs Goliath matchups.

MAO vs Daisuke Sasaki – (2:00:05) 15 Minutes
DDT’s rising star of the year, MAO, takes on current KO-D Openweight Champion, Daisuke Sasaki. MAO is one of the most exciting wrestlers to watch on a match to match basis. He’s always high energy and when he’s in control, busts out all of the dives and then some. Sasaki is the champion for a reason; he can mesh well with anyone he’s put in the ring with. Check this match out if you enjoy the fiery up-and-comer against wily veteran dynamic.

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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