In the year 2000, Poison Sawada Black created the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship, a belt that much like the WWF Hardcore Championship, is defended 24/7, except with looser rules on who (and what) is eligible to compete for it. Within just a few minutes of unveiling the title and declaring himself as the inaugural champion, Sawada had already lost it, and thus, the insanity began.
In the last nineteen years, DDT’s most notable championship has gifted us with some truly ridiculous moments. From inanimate objects to animals to several people at once, no other title has a list of champions that can come close to contending with this, so let’s delve into a sea of many weird and wonderful shenanigans from the prize’s history as we look at some of the more memorable champions and the ways in which they came to hold the hottest potato in pro wrestling. These are the Top 20 Weirdest DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship Moments.
Before we start, I highly recommend checking out DDT’s streaming service, DDT Universe. It has full shows, documentaries, archive footage, and content from other promotions, all for a cheap price, and you get a 30 day free trial.
20. Blow-Up Champs
When you think of DDT Pro Wrestling, you probably think of sex dolls (this is why non-wrestling fans judge us so much). Yoshihiko and Akihiro, the brother and sister inflatable duo of DDT, have faced some of the best wrestlers in the world, most notably an impressive encounter with Kota Ibushi, and they are also both former Ironman Heavymetalweight Champions.
Now, by DDT’s standards, this is probably a little bit tame, especially given how well-known the clips of these two long-serving latex roster members have become, but still, it’s two fucking sex dolls holding a championship belt. Oh well, it’s only going to get weirder from here.
19. Jack the Jobber
In 2016 and 2017, famous dick wrestler Joey Ryan took the Ironman title on a bit of a world tour, constantly losing and winning back the belt in hilarious fashion. During WrestleMania weekend at a WCPW show, in the midst of a hardcore match against now NXT UK talent Primate, YouTube personality Jack the Jobber ran out and pinned Joey to become the new champion, before quickly scuttling to the back clutching at the title.
Unimpressed, Joey went looking for Mr Jobber, before dragging him back to the ring and demanding he lay down in the ring for him. But sadly, that title reign lasted a matter of seconds as an interupting Joe Hendry (LOCAL HERO) beat Joey for the gold. But as a ‘real’ pro wrestler, Joe did not think much of the belt, and as such, dropped it in to a trash can… which meant he technically forfeited to the trash receptical, making it the champion.
In pursuit of title glory, Jack the Jobber found the title holding trash backstage, pinned it, and became a two-time champion in the same night, before immediately bumping into Joey and laying down once again. Just knowing that a former WhatCulture, now Cultaholic, team member has held the same championship as Rey Mysterio, Scott Hall and Asuka is very, very strange.
18. Getting Your Money’s Worth
Being a pro wrestler, Joey Ryan couldn’t help himself and had to give a speech thanking the audience and telling them how special they were to him after winning the Ironman belt, yet it was this cheap pop that caused him to immediately lose it again.
As he cheaply admitted that the belt was more theirs than it was his in attempt to pop the crowd, referee Rick Knox declared that as a forfeit, and thus, the whole crowd at Beyond Wrestling that night became co-holders of the championship…
…Being a pro wrestling crowd, they couldn’t help but immediately bust out into a chant with accompanying claps, with some of the co-holders deciding to slam their hands on the ring, which in Joey Ryan’s eyes was a tapout, and thus, the belt changed hands once again. Don’t you just adore pro wrestling?
17. That’s One Way to Pay for a Fare
Literally just a random taxi driver winning the title. They didn’t even bother getting his name before he was pinned on top of the back end of his car.
16. A Tip: Don’t Invite a DDT Referee Into Your Home
Joey Ryan and Laura James’ cat has held the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship more times than I ever will, and I for one wouldn’t give it up for a dumb cat treat like Bunny did.
15. Public Transport
When Chilean wrestler Guanchulo, then holder of the championship, was innocently getting on a bus in Japan, he managed to get himself trapped in the vehicle’s doors. Seeing no other way of escaping, Guanchulo tapped out and was thus submitted by the bus, making it the champion. Opportunistic pro wrestler Nobuhiro Shimatani then won the belt after being told to stop twisting the windshield wipers by the bus driver, resulting in a submission, but then managed to lose it to the driver himself.
Imagine going into work and explaining that this was the reason why your bus made you late in that day.
When a simple ladder fell onto Yoshihiro Sakai during a match in 2003, it became the first inanimate object to become the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion. Once you start introducing DIY items as title holders, that opens up an extra level of ridiculous. The ladder went on to become a three-time champion, just in case you were wondering, and so, for its innovations in the field of inanimate pro wrestling accomplishments, the ladder was honoured with a retirement ceremony in 2018, pictured above.
13. School Girls
At a Tokyo show in 2007, three school children, Airi Ueda, Shiori Takahashi, and Minami Tanabe, became the first ever co-holders of the belt when they all pinned Shouichi Ichimiya simultaneously. I think if more schools offered the opportunity to win a pro wrestling championship with a knuckle duster on the front then attendance figures would definitely be up.
12. A Future Star
Airi, Shiori and Minami are not the only school girls to have held this belt though, as two years earlier, eight year old Hana Kimura climbed into the ring to pin Tanny Mouse to pick up the title, only to then be pinned by her own mother, veteran joshi wrestler Kyoko Kimura.
What’s strange about this eight year old’s reign is that it didn’t mark the end of her wrestling career. As she grew up, she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps, and in 2017, Hana Kimura made her debut as a professional wrestler (well, sort of). Hana has the strange distinction of winning her first ever belt twelve years before her career even started.
11. Yatchan the Monkey
Christmas Day 2004, the first animal champion is crowned in DDT: Yatchan the Monkey. Yatchan held the belt for an impressive two months, in which time he actually managed to successfully defend the belt in a boxing match. You can see clips from this in a documentary on DDT’s streaming service, along with other weird moments from the belt’s long history, and if that doesn’t make you want to subscribe immediately I have no idea what will.
10. Arnold Skeskejanaker
Arnold Skeskejanaker is one of the longest-reigning champions in the long lineage of the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship. Holding the belt for an astounding 222 days, few can even come close to the dominating performance Arnold put on as champion, alluding defeat at almost every opportunity… I mean it kind of helps that he’s invisible though.
Yes, an invisible man named Arnold held this belt for longer than 99% of other champions. And it wasn’t because nobody could see him, it’s because he is one of the most overpowering forces in the company, laying waste to everyone whenever he enters a multi-man match. Arnold went on to hold the belt a total of four times, and isn’t even the only invisible person to have held it, and no, John Cena did not have a run with the belt as well.
9. Edible Champs
Here are food and drink related items that have held this championship belt: a pair of disposable chopsticks, a glass of beer, a plate, some rice, a curry, and some pork cutlet. Once again, just a reminder that this is a belt that has been held by Kota Ibushi, Asuka, Scott Hall and Rey Mysterio… and a fucking piece of pork.
8. The Art of Wrestling
For completely out of the box ideas, I have to take my hat off for this one.
A piece of art entitled Komyo, a calligraphy piece by Japanese actor and singer Akihiro Miwa, managed to become the title holder during a 10-man battle royal, and held the belt for a total of 56 days. But how can a painting defend a championship for so long? Well, as the work of art is so highly valued, it is protected by a team of bodyguards at all times, thus whenever it was involved in a title defence inside a ring, wrestlers would have to get past security for long enough to cover the piece for three seconds in order to win within the time limit.
As batshit crazy as that entire situation I’ve just described is, I cannot deny the creative genius that has gone into that utter insanity.
7. Champion Woofer
This is Cocolo. She was a very good girl and best friends with pro wrestler Megumi Grace Asano. Cocolo’s most famous moment was when she pinned a ladder to win a pro wrestling championship, making her the cutest champion of all time. But still, a dog pinned a ladder to win a belt. Adorable, yet completely mad.
6. A Record Breaking Night
At the time of writing, there has been over 1300 reigns in this title’s nineteen year history, and amazingly, 303 of those took place within a single night. This record was set by rivals Shinobu and Yuko Miyamoto all the way back in 2006, and not long after, they traded the belt back-and-forth a further sixty times in one night, all of which were contested under Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Thanks to these extreme cases of hot potato-ing, Shinobu and Miyamoto have the two highest number of combined reigns, at 216 and 215 respectfully.
5. The Youngest Champ
A three year old called Shimon Nagao was picked out of the audience during a DDT show and won the DDT Ironman Heavyweight Championship, making him the youngest human champion in company history.
4. Vince McMahon’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Vince McMahon is a former WWF and ECW Champion (you’re welcome for reminding you of do-rag Vince), and a Royal Rumble winner. In fact, he’s so draped in gold, even his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a former champion after beating Joey Ryan for the Ironman belt.
I cannot imagine the amount of fun Ryan and co. had with this belt.
3. Now That’s What I Call a Dream Match
Here we have the first championship exchange that occurred outside the realm of reality. As if winning a match by suplexing somebody by the testicles isn’t odd enough, it came at the crocheted hands of knitted Candice LeRae inside one of Joey Ryan’s dreams, and we all know that all title exchanges that take place in the dream world transfer into the real world and are totally valid… right?…
2. The Champion of Championships
To mark the 1000th reign of the Ironman Heavyweight Championship, the belt itself actually managed to become the champion after landing on the chest of the title holder at the time during a match. I think no other reign defines this title quite like this one. When you know a belt is capable of winning itself, that tells you pretty much everything you need to know about it.
And you know what the weirdest and most surprising thing about this particular reign is? The fact they actually bothered to keep track of how many reigns there have been, and were capable of keeping up with all of that insanity.
Some Notably Weird Champions
Kitty-Chan (Hello Kitty doll)
A guy called Mike sat in the front row of a show
TV Tokyo camera crane
A Printed Email called RN: Konyamoanokodenuitarou
Nao Saejima (Porn star)
Chiririn (a chicken doll)
Big Japan Pro Wrestling Truck
A desk at Shin-Kiba
Ringside mat at Ice Ribbon dojo
Gota Ihashi’s underwear
- Masa Takanashi
So why is this ranked first over all of the other craziness we’ve seen in this list? What’s so weird about Masa Takanashi? He’s an actual person, he didn’t win in a dream, he’s a competent pro wrestler, he won the belt inside a wrestling ring during a match, what on earth could be strange about all of that? Well, it’s the fact he was actually a successful champion.
This prize is defined by wackiness. It’s an anti-championship, a satire of the importance we place on belts in a pre-determined industry that openly celebrates being the hottest metaphorical potato in the business. We’ve seen it held by animals, won by food, competed for in the dream world, traded hundreds of times in one night, so what could be the weirdest reign for this title to be a part of? A good one.
Masa Takanashi held the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship for an astounding 333 days, the longest in title history. To hold this belt for more than a day is an achievement, to hold it for a length that would be considered impressive by any normal belt’s standards is more insane than any monkey holding it could be.
By somewhat normalising the belt for almost a year, and then re-entering it into the barking mad realm of unpredictability, that was the weirdest thing they could do with it.
After nineteen years, the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship continues to carry on its legacy of ridiculousness, and I for one hope it doesn’t stop any time soon.
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