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DDT Wrestle Peter Pan 2022 Review

2 years ago

DDT Wrestle Peter Pan 2022 Review

DDT Wrestle Peter Pan 2022 Review

By Jamie Johnson

It was a battle to discover who truly had the keys to the DDT kingdom that headlined Wrestle Peter Pan. Concluding a show filled with memorable moments, cheering fans and exciting matches, the reigning KO-D Openweight Champion, Kazusada Higuchi, riding a tidal wave of momentum, crashed into the man who was never defeated for DDT’s most coveted prize, Tetsuya Endo.

The legendary Kenta Kobashi held aloft the gold before the streamers flew from the crowd and descended onto Higuchi and Endo. Then, we saw a performance by Higuchi that was fitting of the legendary Kobashi himself, with the most stunning and visceral lariats, chops and strikes you could ever wish to see. 

This match was continuously intense and physical, as if Tetsuya Endo had stepped into the ring with a monster that he was always destined to struggle against. The chop exchanges in the middle of the match were stunning – Higuchi’s chops sounded like the cracking of a whip across the chest of the former champion.

An especially crunching strike seemingly knocked Endo out, as the referee began to count him out. I’m surely not the only one who had flashbacks to his dramatic knock-out at the hands of Katsuhiko Nakajima during the CyberFight Festival. Though, Higuchi forced the referee to stop his count as it ascended towards a likely 10, so that he could order Endo to get back up and fight him.

Endo looked to have won it after a spinning splash off the top rope, only for the monstrous Higuchi to kick out and squeeze a Brain Claw onto Endo in one swift motion.

The reigning KO-D Openweight Champion delivered a mighty tiger suplex off the top rope to sap the life out of Endo t00. Just like every mile takes gas out of your car, every painful blow that Endo suffered notched up more mileage on his clock until he had no gas left to fight on.

It was an attritional match, where you could see the toll that every shot inflicted on Endo was causing. The crowd beckoned Endo to his feet with desperate cries of “Endo” coming from all corners of Tokyo’s Ota Ward Gymnasium. However, the crowd’s calls went unanswered, as Tetsuya Endo was finally defeated by a crushing Brain Claw. 

Endo fought as if his life depended on it. He showed that famous puroresu fighting spirit and tried to fight back with all his will against the imperial Higuchi. It looked like he might succeed, but it proved too much for Endo to return from his concussion and face DDT’s new King, as the Double Champion strode to a career-highlighting victory.

Tetsuya Endo might not have been defeated for his KO-D Openweight Championship originally, but he has been well and truly defeated now. There is no doubt who the King of DDT is.

Kazusada Higuchi has the keys to the kingdom.

As always with DDT’s big shows, this had a bricolage feel. The undercard was filled with tag team matches, some hard-hitting, some comedic and some a sign of DDT’s bright future.

The first match of the night that created headlines was the mixed tag team match, as Chris Brookes and ASUKA were defeated by Jun Akiyama and Saki Akai. This was a fantastic match, with amazing exchanges between all, especially the legendary Jun Akiyama and fiery, Harley Quinn cosplaying, ASUKA. Akai and ASUKA showed palpable chemistry in the match’s spectacular closing stretch, as they battled for supremacy.

It was also a night full of surprises, with Yuki Ueno beginning his second DDT Universal Championship reign and Cara Noir being announced as his first challenger (on September 25th). Also, Joey Janela had a crazy hardcore match with Shunma Katsumata, that included an array of great spots from barbed wire boards, tables and thumbtacks to dangerous dives, handcuffs and DDT’s famed magical bike. 

As their biggest show of the year, this had everything you come to expect from the variety show that is DDT. Some great matches, some comedy, some youth, plenty of excitement and a light-hearted, exciting atmosphere.

Full Show Results:

  • Yusuke Okada, Yuya Koroku and Ilusion def. Toi Kojima, Yuki Ishida and Takeshi Masada
  • Pheromones (Danshoku Dieno, Yuki IIno and Koju Takeda) def. Yuji Hino, Yuki Naya and Super Sasadango Machine and Kazuki Hirata, Antonio Honda and Toru Owashi
  • HARASHIMA, Yukio Sakaguchi and Hideki Okatani def. Noami Yoshimura, Kota Umeda and Keisuke Okuda
  • Osamu Nishimura, Akito and Makoto Oishi def. Shinichiro Awamatsu, Sanshiro Takagi and Soma Takao
  • Jun Akiyama and Saki Akai def. Chris Brookes and ASUKA
  • Joey Janela (c) def. Shunma Katsumata to retain the DDT Extreme Championship
  • Yuki Ueno def. Masahiro Takanashi (c) to win the DDT Universal Championship
  • Konosuke Takeshita, MAO and Yasu Urano def. Daisuke Sasaki, Kanon and Dick Togo
  • Kazusada Higuchi (c) def. Tetsuya Endo to retain the KO-D Openweight Championship

Rapid Fire Takeaways:

  • The return of streamers was a welcome surprise. Yusuke Okada could barely stand in the middle of the ring as a sea of colours filled it for the first entrances of the night. 
  • The opener was a good showing of DDT’s youth. Yuya Koroku was especially impressive, winning with a good looking arm bar after a fast-paced affair. 
  • The crowd being able to cheer again is such a joy! They came alive for the second match, which was typical DDT comedy in an atypical configuration and a real “get everyone on the card” type of match. This match proved that the only thing better than one Yuji Hino is two Yuji Hinos!
  • Eruption against Noami Yoshimura and co. was the first really physical match of the night. Sakaguchi had a thunderous exchange of kicks with Umeda, highlighting the hard-hitting feel. Note, HARASHIMA pinned one half of the KO-D Tag Team Champions here.
  • In a surprising announcement, wrestling’s ‘Black Swan’ Cara Noir will be making his debut in DDT on September 19th and 25th (at the latter he will challenge for the DDT Universal Championship).
  • The mixed tag match was fantastic – a special combination of wrestlers and a superb closing stretch from Akai and ASUKA.
  • Another announcement, as we find out that the DDT D-Ou Grand Prix takes place in November and December this year, with 12 wrestlers split between 2 blocks.
  • The DDT Universal Championship match was enjoyably frantic, exciting and energetic, igniting the Ota Ward crowd with Yuki Ueno’s win.
  • The semi-main event trios match was a celebration of DDT’s 25 year history, with Dick Togo returning opposite a back from excursion Konosuke Takeshita. This was fun and a fitting nod to the company’s history.
  • The show concluded with Higuchi’s celebratory post-match promo and Takeshita being confirmed as his next challenger (on September 25th) after Higuchi laid out the challenge. Perfect!