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31 Days of Wrestling (12/26/16): The DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship US Tour

Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. It's that time of year again when we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match a day for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling this calendar year produced for us.

Today, we look at the wildest championship activity of the year.


To say the least, professional wrestling in 2016 is a seriously crazy year. Amazing, but crazy, with so many things happening that were thought to be impossible even a year ago. But in a way, nothing symbolizes the craziness that is 2016 more than the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship Tour of the United States.


We previously covered the entire tour in a previous issue of Cafe Puro, which has all the happenings and highlights during its run. And now that we are at the end of the year, we can now confidently say that ithe title tour is the best way to describe what 2016 has been in general.


Looking back, there were many things in the world of professional wrestling that took we never thought would ever happen, and in turn, so many unexpected interactions. Who would have thought that we would ever see guys like Johnny Gargano, Zack Sabre, Jr., The Young Bucks, Marty Scurll, Rey Mysterio, and Chris Hero (along a plethora of others), known for dishing out top-notch matches, get involved in the craziness of today's equivalent of the WWF Hardcore Championship?

All these guys representing various wrestling promotions like WWE, NJPW, ROH, EVOLVE, RevPro, and Lucha Underground interacting with one another is quite a sight to behold, furthering the imaginations of wrestling fans all over the world with "what if" scenarios. And in a year when AJ Styles finally debuted in WWE, it was a sign that for the first time in forever, truly, anything can happen.  And if someone like James Ellsworth, the last guy you'd think would ever get a WWE contract, can make it big, who knows?


This also puts a spotlight on the fact that in a time when the entire wrestling scene is practically canon (i.e. WWE recognizing the efforts of wrestlers all over the world), all the promotions are getting recognition to a broader audience. DDT, the home of the Ironman Championship, got some free press from this. And lest we forget, DDT is not just an awesome comedy promotion, but it's also a promotion that is known for quality wrestling, as evidenced by Kota Ibushi (who also loves tigers, apparently). In the process of the tour, the aforementioned promotions above got some free exposure, from the bigger promotions to smaller indy promotions. And for both wrestlers and fans, we are the real winners of such an engaging interpromotional expedition.



And in a world full of five-star matches, the standard of wrestling changing, and the prevalence of social media, what Joey Ryan started in the US is a kind reminder to each and every wrestling fan that for how serious pro wrestling can be, pro wrestling is also all about having fun. 2016 has shown that there is something for everyone. There is something for the competitive purists in the same way that there is something for those who want to laugh and enjoy, and for how crazy 2016 has been, what we really need right now is a nice dose of comedy, one that was provided in spades during the run. Oh, and the good kind of comedy, not the terrible kind of hit-and-miss that RAW provides.

While we definitely cannot wait for 2017 to come in, here's to hoping that the awesome wrestling sense of humor will continue on as well.


*****

31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2016.

Read our previous entries:

#9: American Alpha vs. The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championships, NXT TakeOver: Dallas

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