Konosuke Takeshita: Greatness in the Making

In time, we are going to be talking about Konosuke Takeshita in an unreal light. What we see now from the young talent, that’s nothing compared to what he will grow to be. It’s actually pretty scary. The dude is still early in his career, with only a little over a decade of wrestling in DDT Pro Wrestling.

When he first debuted for All Elite Wrestling, however, I didn’t notice him all that much. I didn’t watch much of AEW Dark or Elevation at the time, so I kind of slept on the guy. Only when I came back to it did I facepalm after not seeing it then. Instead, I took notice upon his return in his recent excursion to the United States.

Before that, however, we start from his humble beginnings. Having fallen in love with professional wrestling at twelve years old, a young Takeshita would finally step through the ropes at seventeen at DDT’s show in Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan, in April, 2012. Months later, he would win the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship, which is kind of like what WWE’s Hardcore and 24/7 Championships are to us, where anyone – or anything – could win the title. For example, former title holders have been: a monkey, Vince McMahon’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star, a literal apple, The Invisible Man, the autobiographical book written by the Young Bucks (Killing the Business), and lastly, but most unbelievably, Rey Mysterio Jr. Who?

Regardless of the sloppy seconds (or one-hundred fifty-fifth), putting gold on this young star somehow helped him. Being a star regardless of the outcome would kind of become his thing, as we’ve come to know.

Yet, in the past ten years, he’s gotten to grow with, learn from, and compete with some of the very best in the industry thus far, such as Mike Bailey, ASUKA (aka Veny), Hiroshi Tanahashi, Go Shiozaki, Kota Ibushi, Michael Nakazawa, and El Generico.

Already he’s been in league with some of the greatest, and in the past few years, he’s had incredible bouts with the mohawked Tetsuya Endo that have grown in acclaim, especially in their clashes for the KO-D Openweight Championship (KO-D stands for King of DDT, for those unfamiliar.).

If you had up until this point heard of DDT in a light that paints them as a goofy comedy promotion, you’d be…you’d be right. Yeah, it’s filled with jokes and humor and all sorts of nonsensical things because professional wrestling can be fun and not the strictly dramatic sportsy thing that angry old-timers yell at.

But that isn’t to say that DDT can’t turn up the heat and deliver fantastic matches with fantastic stories, such as Kenny Omega’s rivalry with Kota Ibushi that blossomed into tag team romance. That same passion and effort is shared by wrestlers like Endo and Takeshita. This is evident with the KO-D Openweight matches. 

For Takeshita to expand his horizons for even more great talent, his stock was to rise even higher. Whether on the independent scene in American promotions like Deadlock Pro Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling, and Terminus  or on national broadcasts like All Elite Wrestling, Takeshita was making his incredible showings in the ring a regularity.

To date, Takeshita’s tenure during his Elite return has been very well received. As he collected wins on Dark and Elevation like they were Infinity Stones, the Cinnabon fan would impress worldwide with matches against Jay Lethal, even despite the screwy finish that almost distracted from his greatness. Granted a non-title match against then-champion Adam Page, Takeshita would eat another loss, but people were still in love with him, if not more. In May of 2022, he’d have another classic against Eddie Kingston befitting the tastes of many fans of Japanese professional wrestling, which he also lost. This granted him a match a week later for Jon Moxley’s currently interim AEW World Heavyweight Championship. Guess what? He lost. 

Takeshita had another classic on AEW’s Battle of the Belts III against the ROH World Champion, Claudio Castagnoli. Of course this was a classic. These are among two of the very best in the current professional wrestling landscape, there was no doubt that this was a generational match. This too, was met with yet another loss

More recently, his time as an entrant in Bryan Danielson’s gauntlet on the American Dragon’s quest to overthrow the current world champion, MJF saw him yet again on the losing end.

AEW made an already established star from his home promotion an even bigger star, and what’s awesome is I’m hearing more people interested in giving DDT that chance where others had previously written them off. 

And yet, why does he keep losing? He’s having great matches, and it’s time to start winning them. His fighting spirit keeps him resilient, but I can’t help but salivate over having big accolades handed his way after the work he’s put in. Takeshita is fast, powerful, and has that charisma without words that makes it hard to root against him. 

Konosuke Takeshita did not win any big matches in AEW where it counted, yet he blurred past the lines of communication and spoke to our hearts with his in-ring talent alone. He’s wholesome on Twitter and delivers in the ring every time. I don’t think he even had to go on an excursion to improve. What’s there to improve? He’s already near-perfect, if not already so. I mean, I’ll take it. Give me more Take. 

Now that he’s All Elite, the Cinnabon-loving goober has more chances than ever headed his way, and his heart and passion will help him make the most of it, with unforgettable match after unforgettable match. With a World Title Eliminator Match on the horizon, Takeshita has a perfect golden opportunity to stop someone who plays dirty, cheats, and manipulates, in the form of the polarizing and divisive Long Island native Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Can the power of cinnamon rolls stain the burberry scarf of the champ? Will we be headed for an upset? Only time will tell from here, and after.

Watch him while you can, and keep him in your discussions, for Konosuke Takeshita is going to be the future and the conversation.