Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) has a reputation for causing some of the weirdest and most comedic moments in wrestling. And while that reputation isn’t entirely unfounded there is a brand within DDT that takes this reputation and runs with it. That company is the brand known as MUSCLE or as it’s now known: Hiragana Muscle.
MUSCLE in its prior form only had a few shows, about 34 in total. But in that time managed to produce memorable moments such as Minoru Suzuki vs Mecha Mummy, as well as memorable characters such as Andreza Giant Panda. Such things would be tied to the DDT brand in a sense giving DDT its current-day reputation.
The show is headed and named after Muscle Sakai, and as it seemed to have followed it was the most active during his career. After his retirement in 2010, only three other shows would take place under the MUSCLE banner with the last one being in February of 2019 with the next one planned for 2030. However soon after it would rebrand and debut again in the 2020s as Hiragana Muscle.
The name Hiragana Muscle comes from the fact that the original MUSCLE was written in katakana. And the show with a new tagline was brought back in full swing in 2020 not only due to DDT’s shift in attitude, but also due to the fact that there was a new generation of wrestlers since the final muscle show.
Since then Hiragana Muscle has held three shows with the most recent being in September. Almost all of them presenting a surreal showing. For example, the first two showings contained matches that had the ring covered in a blue sheet. And on the third show, it only had two matches with the majority of the show being taken up by a musical that was written about Muscle Sakai.
If there is something to be said about it, both incarnations of MUSCLE have a higher barrier to entry than regular DDT. There’s a lot of promos and comedy that is heavily reliant on knowing what’s going on. But once past that barrier, Hiragana Muscle contains some of the most unique and consistently funny perspectives on wrestling.
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