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    Monday, March 28, 2022

    Cafe Puro: Fantasy Booking DDT and AEW

    DDT Pro-Wrestling recently held its 25th anniversary shows last March 19-20 at Ryogoku Sumo Hall with two shows: TJPW Grand Princess on the 19th and Judgment on the 20th. 

    The weekend saw several significant title changes, including TJPW original and "Big Kaiju" Shoko Nakajima defeating fellow original Miyu Yamashita to claim her second Princess of Princess Championship. Tetsuya Endo defeated Konosuke Takeshita for the KO-D Openweight Championship, and many more titles changed hands along with a humongous announcement for fans of North American wrestling.

    That's right! DDT Pro-Wrestling just announced a formal working relationship with AEW. This means there will be talent exchanges similar to what NJPW had with Ring of Honor, as well as what IMPACT! Wrestling does with NJPW at the moment. DDT and AEW can now have talent exchanges where one DDT talent can go to AEW and vice-versa.

    *Sidenote: TJPW is also part of the working relationship because it's a sister promotion to DDT. 

    That gave us folks at Smark Henry the idea of fantasy booking matches between the two companies.

    Here are five matches we want to book between DDT and AEW:

    1. Jun Akiyama vs. Eddie Kingston

    Eddie Kingston is a devoted fan of puroresu and one of his wrestling heroes is Jun Akiyama. For the uninitiated, Jun Akiyama is considered by many fans as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Akiyama is so beloved that fans have been debating for years about whether or not he should be considered one of All Japan Pro Wrestling's Four Pillars of Heaven, which already includes Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, Akira Taue, and Toshiaki Kawada. Eddie Kingston himself is a huge fan of the Pillars, but is also an admirer of Akiyama. 

    Sadly, Kawada is no longer as active as he was before. Kobashi and Taue are retired, and Misawa has already passed away. The only wrestler Kingston could plausibly face is Jun Akiyama. Regardless. Jun Akiyama can still hang with the young guns of DDT, even at age 52. If Minoru Suzuki can do it, then who's to say Akiyama can't?

    Kingston being an admirer of Akiyama would be a wonderful match to see. The story is simple: the fan wants to face one of his idols, and as the saying goes, "never meet your heroes." Maybe a match between the two would show that it might be okay to meet them after all.

    2. Thunder Rosa vs. Maki Itoh

    Talk about unfinished business! On January 4, 2020, Maki Itoh successfully defended her International Princess belt against Hikari Noa. But knowing Itoh's character of being the ultimate underdog, the title reign would not last long.  

    Thunder Rosa challenged Maki Itoh for the belt at the January 5 TJPW show, where the overconfident Itoh accepted Rosa's challenge and subsequently lost the belt.


    Sadly, Thunder Rosa's reign as International Princess Champion was cut short due to the pandemic. She relinquished the belt, and a tournament was held to name a new winner.

    As we write this in 2022, Maki Itoh is the current International Princess Champion, while Thunder Rosa is the reigning AEW Women's World Champion. 

    Why don't we have a rematch between the two in a Champion vs. Champion non-title contest? It would be great to see if Maki Itoh can showcase her improvement against one of the best women's wrestlers in the world.

    3. Sammy Guevara vs. Andreza Giant Panda

    Let's suspend our disbelief for this entry. Andreza Giant Panda wreaks havoc on DDT once in a while as a special guest. Sammy Guevara chose violence when he maimed a baby panda and used it as a headpiece during one of his entrances. Andreza will inevitably be coming for his head, right?

    For context, DDT Pro-Wrestling has a mix of serious wrestling in talents such as Tetsuya Endo, Konosuke Takeshita, Jun Akiyama and more. They also have comedic matches with wrestlers such as the Pheromones stable, company president Sanshiro Takagi, blow-up doll Yoshihiko and, most notably, Andreza Giant Panda.

    We would love to see Andreza Giant Panda seek revenge on his fallen comrade and bring glory to pandakind.

    4. Dark Order vs. Yoshihiko

    As we continue the trend of comedic matches, we recommend a match between the baddest MFer that DDT has against one of the funniest stables in AEW. 

    Being The Elite has shown how hilarious the Dark Order can be, and I believe they can take their comedic chops to another level with the great Yoshihiko.

    Let your suspension of disbelief work its magic again. Kota Ibushi once made this blowup doll look like a 5-Star specialist, so I'm sure a whole stable of wrestlers can make this match fun to watch. That alone is why Dark Order vs. Yoshihiko is one of our dream matches between AEW and DDT. 

    5. Malakai Black vs. Miyu Yamashita

    Malakai Black has one of the deadliest kicks in AEW and has trained in various martial arts to become the man he is today. Miyu Yamashita is known as the Pink Striker. She is the ace of TJPW, and is one of its longest-tenured wrestlers alongside Shoko Nakajima. 
    Both wrestlers share the same finisher and have already openly admired each other's moves before like they did in this wholesome Twitter exchange last year.

    What better way to promote the partnership with a match that features two of the best strikers in professional wrestling today? I mean it. Watch Miyu Yamashita's kicks and compare them to Malakai Black's, and you may be surprised to see that the "Pink Striker" might actually have the superior kick!

    Which wrestlers do you want to see face each other in this new partnership? Share your thoughts below!

    Steven Tan (@steviesaidyup) works for an e-commerce company by day and operates The Geeky Juans podcast and blog by night. He's a fan of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team, comic books, and the Moomin franchise. You can find more of his geeky thoughts on Twitter.
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    Item Reviewed: Cafe Puro: Fantasy Booking DDT and AEW Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Steven Maxwell Tan
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