It took me a week, but I finished translating the recap for DDT’s last big show of the year, Never Mind 2021 in Yoyogi on December 25, in time for their next show! Lots going on in this one. I’ll skip to the stuff that especially stood out to me.
One of the things that confused me a bit was this line from Daisuke Sasaki after he defeated Masahiro Takanashi. He said: “高梨、テメエに勝つためなら、足の1本くらいくれてやる。” I translated it as basically: “Takanashi, I’d give up one of my legs if I had to in order to beat you.” As a sentence, it makes sense to me, but it seemed a bit odd for his character, so I wasn’t quite sure that I’d read it correctly.
(Sidenote: One of the last things Mr. Haku translated for us was Emi Sakura’s video message of support for Masa before the match. This didn’t make it into the official recap, but she essentially said that the Universal title could open the door to an AEW appearance, and I thought that was cool! The Universal title would be a great one to take overseas.)
I liked this line from Minoru Fujita, Sasaki’s next challenger: “ただ、地獄の近所まで行って引き返してきたので、生命力は強いと思いますので、タイトルマッチでその辺を見せられればいい。” I just really liked “I went to the neighborhood of hell and returned”. I’m pretty sure he’s referring to the fact that he just spent the past couple months in the ICU. I’m glad he’s doing better now, and I hope he stays in good health.
Tetsuya Endo and Jun Akiyama’s new/old unit, Burning, wrestled their first match as a full faction. There was a very sweet moment during their entrance when Jun Akiyama took his old entrance robe from the earlier incarnation of the faction and put it on Endo.
DDT actually uploaded this one to youtube! Here it is. It has Japanese commentary! It’s a fun tag match that mostly exists to establish the new faction, and it even includes their entrance for once (though it looks like The37KAMIINA got theirs cut, haha, I’m guessing because they use copyrighted music).
I absolutely loved this line from Jun Akiyama: “遠藤哲哉が立ち上げたBURNING、これからまた違う歴史を紡いでいく。” The word 紡ぐ was a new one for me, but the word’s primary meaning appears to be spinning yarn. As a fiber artist, I love learning this! It looks like it’s a level 59 WK word, so it’ll be quite a while yet before it shows up in my reviews, haha!
I loved that line because I thought it was quite beautiful, honestly. I think it’s more beautiful in Japanese, but I translated it as basically: “Tetsuya Endo launched this version of BURNING, and from now on, we are once again weaving a different history.” Wrestling is constantly, well, repeating the past, and wrestlers are always bringing back old gear, old factions, and old moves. I believe this is the fourth incarnation of Burning, so it’s already been brought back on multiple occasions and has looked different every time. Yet, all of those older versions of it get woven into the same fabric that is the faction’s identity, even as the actual makeup of it looks different and shifts and changes over time.
Of course, the match I enjoyed the most was the one I was most looking forward to: Minoru Suzuki’s return to DDT, teaming with Chris Brookes and Maki Itoh. I talked about the match itself in my study log, but I only just now got around to reading (part of) the backstage comments, haha, and they’re pretty funny!
Basically, Suzuki was annoyed at Brookes and Itoh because their team essentially only won because of him, and Itoh got mad and told him to acknowledge how much effort she put into the match, because she endured a lot of offense from the opposing team, and Suzuki said that if she wants acknowledgement of her effort, she’ll have to spend 10,000 more yen in Piledriver.
In another part of the comments, Itoh remarks that the Itoh Respect Army won, and she promises to do her best the next time they team up. Suzuki says that Suzuki-gun is the best (“鈴木軍、イチバーン！”) and Itoh responds that the Itoh Respect Army is better ( “伊藤リスペクト軍団が一番だ！”). The transcription leaves it inconclusive whether or not they actually became friends, haha, though apparently in the full version of the comment, Itoh gets angry at him for refusing to wear her merch, and says he’s fired from the Itoh Respect Army.
There was one match with a Super Sasadango Machine trademark powerpoint presentation. I was excited for this because 1) powerpoints in a wrestling show are really funny, and 2) text onscreen means I have a better chance of understanding what’s going on. I tried my best to follow along, but I missed the core premise of the powerpoint (which Mr. Haku helpfully summed up), which is that the entire purpose of the match was apparently because Shinya Aoki wanted to confess his love for Yumiko Hotta, whom he and Sasadango were teaming with against DDT’s most NSFW faction, the Pheromones. On paper, this was a match for the Pheromones’ 6-man tag team championship belts, but Aoki and Sasadango did not care at all about the titles.
The match is, well, a Pheromones match, so there was a lot of 尻 (while translating the match description, occasionally I would ask myself “is this a double entendre?” and I’d assume “probably yes”). Oh, one thing I did figure out while doing these translations is that 式 is the word used for “style” in terms like Gotch-style piledriver! That’s good to know. I could not figure out フェロトッツォ, though. It’s presumably the name for the European clutch (合体式のヨーロピアンクラッチ) that Dieno and Yuki Iino beat Sasadango with. I’m guessing that it’s a Pheromones (フェロモンズ) pun on something, but I can’t figure out the second half of the word.
I did manage to catch after the match that Hotta agreed to be in a tag team with Aoki, if not a relationship. I assumed this meant she wasn’t interested in a romantic relationship with him, haha, but then when I translated the recap, I realized that the joke was actually that despite saying they were just a tag team, they were already pretty much acting like a couple.
I didn’t watch the NOAH show that happened a couple nights later, but I did see this hilariously surreal clip from the show featuring Kendo Kashin (one of the very few comedy wrestlers in an otherwise very serious promotion) after his match, with Jingle Bell Rock playing in the background, and sure enough, there’s Aoki and Hotta in the audience, sitting together and watching the show.