Preview: DDT Judgement 2022 (3/20/22)

DDT Judgement 2022

The 25th anniversary show of DDT has arrived. With such a show come faces of the old, faces of the present, and faces of the future; as in the Ryōgoku Sumo Hall, DDT once again holds this annual event. It will be an eleven match spectacular just one day removed from their sister company’s showing. The card for DDT Judgement 2022 is as follows.

Dark Match Preambles

The first match is a showing of the DDTeeen line up along side some of the rookie talents that DDT has picked up recently. Expect this to be a showcase match rather than anything too story driven. Though from Ilusion‘s showing at Wrestle Peter Pan, he is rather impressive. Of note is that El Unicorn was supposed to be in this match but fell ill and is therefore going to be replaced.

Second match is a Tag Team Battle Royal. Nothing crazy is on the line here; it will be some fun to get everyone possible and available on the card. Most notable is the return of Andreza Giant Panda, who is teaming with Super Sasadango Machine. Andreza did catch the wrestling world by storm with how strange they were and that should be the same here.

Match One: KO-D 10-Man Tag Titles: Toru Owashi, Antonio Honda, Kazuki Hirata, Yoshihiko (c) vs Poison Sawada JULIE, Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO, MIKAMI, Tanomusaku Toba w/ Naomi Susan

The first match on the main card, this one features some old names and the building blocks of DDT challenging for the 10-Man Tag titles, having been altered from the temporary Eight Man moniker. But in the interest of fairness, the final Eight-Man champions must defend it as an Eight Man unit.  The current holders of this title are DDT mainstays, some tied to the company. Some having brought the company to new eyes. They face a major challenge when they go up against these legends. It will be interesting to see a dash of the old DDT flavor return as well.

Match Two: LiLiCo Retirement Match: LiLiCo, Ryohei Odai, Akito w/ Junretsu vs Pheromones (Danshoku Dino, Yuki Iino, Yumihito Imanari)

LiLiCo is a celebrity in Japan, she’s mainly an actress. She started wrestling for DDT in 2015 and had about 14 matches total. With some good success, holding the extreme and first ever 10 man titles. In 2020 she fractured her patella and therefore is forced to retire. She will be teaming with her spouse Ryohei Odai, who is another actor and the Vice President of CyberFight, Akito. Against the ever controversial Pheromones. This is a wild send off to a member of DDT’s past.

Match Three: Isami Kodaka and Yukio Sakaguchi vs 37Kamina (Shunma Katsumata and Yuki Iino)

Isami Kodaka comes in and out of DDT sometimes, due to his promotion, BASARA, being on good terms with them. He was allowed to choose his partner when for his Judgement 2022 showing against the 37kamina and he picked Eruption‘s Yukio Sakaguchi. This will make for quite the styles clash between the four of them.

Match Four: Saki Akai vs Maya Yukihi

Since Maya first appeared in DDT, she set a target straight on Saki Akai. The reason being they both had goals to get to DDT, but only Akai was chosen. Now while Yukihi was able to create quite the career for herself in Ice Ribbon and Oz Academy, coming to DDT, she felt the chip on her shoulder return and the more these two met the deeper the grudge has become.

Match Five: Jun Akiyama 30th Anniversary Match: Burning Wild (Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori) vs Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi and Hideki Okatani)

It appears DDT isn’t the only anniversary being celebrated here, as head coach Jun Akiyama is celebrating his 30th year in the wrestling world at DDT Judgement 2022. This year, he is reaching into his All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) roots and pulling Burning Wild to take on two talents that seem on their way to big things. This could be the start, but they would first have to spoil a 30th anniversary and take down a top tag team along the way. Quite the mountain to climb for Eruption.

Match Six: “I’m Sorry” Match: Michael Nakazawa vs Sanshiro Takagi

Michael Nakazawa surprised everyone when it was revealed that he was the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) star coming to DDT for DDT Judgement 2022. That being said, it was also equally as surprising when he started showing a mean streak – causing a falls count anywhere match to be put in place. Nakazawa won and then revealed he was tired of Sanshiro Takagi embarrassing him; challenging him to a match in which the only way for it to end is for one person to say over the microphone “I’m Sorry”. With these two elements, this match can only get wild.

Match Seven: KO-D Tag Team Titles: HARASHIMA and Naomi Yoshimura (c) vs Calamari Drunken Kings (Chris Brookes and Masahiro Takanashi)

The Ultimate Tag League resulted in HARASHIMA and Yoshimura winning the tag gold. But it cannot be ignored that there was a major asterisk on that. In between Sickness and injury many teams had to forfeit. None were more affected by this than CDK, who beat HARASHIMA and Yoshimura on their meeting but had to forfeit half of their matches. But it was that one win that earned them this shot. CDK are motivated and ready to win these titles, given a second chance and on a major stage.

Match Eight: DDT Universal Title  Hardcore: Daisuke Sasaki (c) vs Jun Kasai vs MAO

Daisuke Sasaki is many things. He’s sneaky, cunning, and a cheater. But never let it be said that he doesn’t possess a certain degree of skill in hardcore matches. He willingly agreed to this match, with Jun Kasai wanting to avenge a loss from Saitama Super Arena and MAO having been promised the next shot. Out of all the DDT comedy, out of all the wrestling, this could be the hardest hitting match on the card. These three elements will elevate their styles in a hardcore setting. It is a very exciting prospect.

Match Nine: KO-D Openweight Title: Konosuke Takeshita (c) vs Tetsuya Endo

The main event of DDT Judgement 2022 is the clash of the two stars of DDT. It has happened many a time before and it will happen many times after. Built up from the Happy Motels stable, we’ve seen them clash in various situations over the years. This is the first time, however, that we have seen them clash as two leaders of stables. Takeshita leading the 37Kamina and Endo leading BURNING. Will Endo be able to beat Takeshita or will Takeshita continue to hold onto the title? Tune into DDT Judgement 2022 to find out.

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