Yuki Ueno vs. Yusuke Okada (DDT Day Dream Believer 2021 3/14/2021)

Match Reviews

Featured image by @NAPP0Nx_x_x

There’s no two ways about it. I love this match. The viewing experience I had watching this match as it streamed live today was probably one of the best and most exhilarating ones I’ve had all year. So strong was the impression that this match left on that I had to make sure to watch it again before setting my thoughts to paper just to check if there was anything substantiating those feelings.

God bless us, there really is. This match is excellent. There’s something just so rich and refreshing about it. My main takeaway from it from both of my viewings is the powerful sense of ambition here. There’s a lot in wrestling these days that one might term “ambitious.” Problems arise when that ambition isn’t backed up by any kind of substance beneath it. In those cases, ambition turns merely into overindulgence. That simply isn’t the case here.

There’s such a vibrant energy to this match. One of youthful hunger that really pushes these two forward. I’ve talked on this blog before about how Ueno’s quickly becoming one of the must-see talents in Japan and the world today. A lot of his rise has been as a babyface on the rise in DDT. The two matches he’s had with Okada, however, see him much more in control. He’s very much the man on top that Okada’s striving to topple. In this series, Ueno shows hints of the kind of diversity you truly want in a top pro wrestler. He’s easy to root for but in these matches, he also plays a real convincing defending champion.

Okada is no slouch in this either. He really ups the intensity in this match from what he showed in their first meeting in January. While he’s still not quite as expressive as Ueno, there’s a real meat and potatoes quality to the guy that shines through. The strike exchanges in this were far better than they were in their first match and Okada busted out some real great offense in the finishing stretch that had me biting on a potential title change. Also, the guy again took multiple gnarly bumps to the floor and that’s just something I have to respect.

This isn’t a perfect match. Early on with their big back and forth sequences, there’s a little roughness that’s less than ideal. But when they supplement that with the kind of force and impact that they put behind what are typically very rudimentary bumps, it’s easy to forgive. The armdrags in this match are vicious, and that’s not something I usually associate with armdrags. It’s the little extra oomph they put behind these smaller spots that really come together to make this a special match.

Few matches in wrestling this year come across half as confident and clear as this did. It felt every bit the kind of mission statement that you might expect from two young guys like Ueno and Okada. It’s them stamping their imprint on the industry with the force of a hurricanrana bump of the apron to the floor. What a delight it is to see this two aim for the stars and get closer with each passing day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *