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DDT Nevermind 2022 Review – 12.29.2022

1 year ago

DDT Nevermind 2022 Review – 12.29.2022

DDT Nevermind 2022 Review – 12.29.2022

By Jamie Johnson

DDT Pro Wrestling closed out the year with a momentous show at Tokyo Dome City Hall. Three championships were on the line, including the KO-D Openweight Championship, in a much-anticipated match between Kazusada Higuchi and Yuki Ueno.

The main event wasn’t the sole attraction on the show, as Konosuke Takeshita returned to his home promotion, teaming with rising-star Yukio Naya against Daisuke Sekimoto and GCW’s Ricky Shane Page.

Also, Cara Noir starred in a sparkling International Four-Way against Chris Brookes, MAO and Daisuke Sasaki, Jun Akiyama defended his DDT Extreme Championship and a Tetsuya Endo led trio challenged for DDT’s trios titles.

Despite a lengthy undercard, it was the main event that stood head and shoulders above the rest. In a classic battle of speed vs. strength, D-Oh Grand Prix winner and DDT Universal Champion, Yuki Ueno, battled the monstrous KO-D Openweight Champion, Kazusada Higuchi.

It was a fight for the throne of DDT, as the promotion’s king, Higuchi, looked to end 2022 as champion. Meanwhile, Ueno saw his destiny as being DDT’s double champion, holidng both the Unviersal and KO-D Openweight Championships.

The match itself was an evenly-fought one, as they traded blows for large portions of the match. Their chemistry and familiarity with each other was clear for all to see. The top rope got as much use as the mat, in a main event that surprisingly saw both men dive from the heights. Ueno amazed with a front-flip reversal of a top-rope chokeslam, in a move that is certainly ‘GIFable’. 

Higuchi was forced to invoke the signature offence of his injured partner, Noami Yoshimura, in a show of strength and will against the flashier Ueno.

However, it was a match with a pace more akin to a gentle stream than it was to a violent tide, as it struggled to gather steam before the final few minutes in a cold, ‘clap-crowd’ arena.

Impressively, the match picked up with an enthralling closing stretch. It was like seeing two warriors try to stay alive even when they were battered and bruised.

Higuchi wrestled at his physical and imposing best, screaming high into the heavens before hitting the conclusive Brain Claw Slam. The champion’s visceral scream told the story of the match – he had to dig deep to overcome the athleticism of his challenger.

After a battle for the kingdom of DDT, Higuchi remained the mighty King. Yuki Ueno might well be the heir to the throne, but Higuchi will not relinquish his grip of DDT’s soul just yet.

Higuchi will carry his title into 2023, but he will have no shortage of challengers looking to take his moniker. Following the match, Yuji Hino stood forward as the next KO-D Openweight challenger, setting January 29th 2023 as the date for their match. 

2022 has been a landmark year for DDT, one of change and transition. Konosuke Takeshita was once the Ace of DDT, he is now an infrequent visitor. Instead, it’s Kazusada Higuchi who flies the flag for DDT Pro Wrestling, a flag he flies loud and proud.

Elsewhere on the card, the Eruption trio of Tetsuya Endo, Kotaro Suzuki and Yusuke Okada claimed the KO-D 6-man Tag Team Champions. Jun Akiyama successfully defended his Extreme Championship in a bafflingly odd match against Super Sasadango Machine, where they fought with figurines of themselves before eventually engaging in a proper wrestling match.

MAO won the semi-main event, pinning Chris Brookes, in an energetic, non-stop match that highlighted Cara Noir. Also, Chihiro Hashimoto and Shinya Aoki had the pick of the undercard matches, duelling in a grappling intensive battle.

Full Show Results:

  • Sanshiro Takagi def. Takeshi Masada
  • Yukio Sakaguchi and HARASHIMA def. Yuji Hino and Yuki Ishida
  • Pheromones (Danshoku Dieno, Yuki Iino, Yumehito Imanari and Koju Takeda) def. Akito, Shunma Katsumata, Shinichiro Kawamatsu and Osamu Nishimura
  • Chihiro Hashimoto def. Shinya Aoki
  • Yuki Arai and Saki Akai def. Saori Anou and Riko Kawahata
  • Tetsuya Endo, Kotaro Suzuki and Yusuke Okada def. Kazuki Hirata, Toru Owashi and Naruki Doi to win the KO-D 6-man Tag Team Championship
  • Jun Akiyama def. Super Sasadango Machine to retain the DDT Extreme Championship
  • Konosuke Takeshita and Yukio Naya def. Daisuke Sekimoto and Ricky Shane Page
  • MAO def. Chris Brookes, Daisuke Sasaki and Cara Noir (in a 4-way)
  • Kazusada Higuchi def. Yuki Ueno to retain the KO-D Openweight Championship

Rapid-Fire Takeaways:

  • Sanshiro Takagi announced the D-Generations Cup for young wrestlers in DDT, sounding a bit like the NJPW Young Lions Cup.
  • These Pheromones matches are always too long – this 8-man tag seemed never ending.
  • Chihiro Hashimoto and Shinya Aoki put on a picturesque display of grappling and submission-style wrestling.
  • The Eruption trio led by Tetsuya Endo captured the 6-man Tag Team titles, before being challenged by the Pheromones.
  • Jun Akiyama retained his DDT Extreme Championship in a match that can be best described as odd. 
  • The tag match involving Konosuke Takeshita was very physical and bruising. The best match on the undercard.
  • Cara Noir shone in the international four-way, before MAO eventually pinned Chris Brookes in a flashy match.
  • Kazusada Higuchi remained the King of DDT, defeating Yuki Ueno in a battling main event.
  • Yuji Hino will challenge Higuchi for the KO-D Openweight Championship on January 29th 2023.