Isami Kodaka (c) vs Masa Takanashi
KO-D Openweight Championship
Taped 01/31/2016, aired 02/13/2016
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 01/07/2017) Awesome promo package for this match, per usual with DDT. Likewise, there are great streamers for both these men in their entrances. I’ve not seen a ton of stuff from Takanashi, but I heard this was real good, so I’ll give it a look. They start off with some grappling and reversals, and Kodaka has trouble with the spirited young challenger at first before he tees off with a few kicks to his leg. Takanashi is real over the top with his selling, but the crowd is into it as he endures all sorts of legwork from the champ. He turns things around with a pretty snug DDT and some clever use of a headlock, continuing the theme with a pair of STF variations and a guillotine. Kodaka muscles his way free of the guillotine, hitting a suplex to even things up and a roundhouse kick for two before climbing the ropes. Takanashi shoves him off to the apron, looking for a crazy sunset flip powerbomb to the floor, but Kodaka tosses him to the floor. When Takahashi struggles to his feet, his Shuten Doji partner KUDO slaps him to fire him up, as they all did to prepare him for this match. Back in the ring, he endures a series of strikes from Kodaka before going for a backdrop driver that Kodaka scrambles to avoid before eating it in the end. A pair of fairly gross superkicks from either man leads to a ranhei of sorts from Takanashi for a nearfall. Kodaka unloads a series of nearfalls with his usual offense before trapping Takanashi in an ankle lock that the crowd buys into, and Takanashi escapes with a pin attempt that sends them into a series of wacky pin attempts back and forth. Avoiding Kodaka’s superkick, Takanashi hits a shining wizard and goes for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Kodaka reverses it into a gin n’ tonic before locking in a kneebar, transitioning into an ankle lock for what I bought as the finish, but the challenger gets to the ropes. Sitting Takanashi up on the top rope, Kodaka looks for a superplex but Takanashi fights it, hyping the crowd up and hitting a sunset flip powerbomb. A double knee drop off the top and regular sunset flip powerbomb earn him a big nearfall that the crowd loves. Kodaka scrambles for a kneebar that Takanashi turns into a pin attempt in a nice spot, but Kodaka stuffs him with a kick to the face and a pair of knee drops off the top for another big nearfall that I definitely took to be the finish. Eating a few roundhouse kicks, Takanashi traps the champ in one last rollup before being floored with a knee lift, and Kodaka tops it off with a few superkicks for the win. Fun stuff here, another pleasing little spotfest match with a surprising amount of solid technical work and lots of crowd support.