Konosuke Takeshita

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Konosuke Takeshita
Takeshita in July 2019
Born (1995-05-29) May 29, 1995 (age 29)[1][2]
Osaka, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Konosuke Takeshita
The Nishinaritaker[3]
Takeshita=Pehlwan[4]
Billed height187 cm (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Billed weight105 kg (231 lb)[1]
Billed fromOsaka, Japan
Trained byDDT Pro-Wrestling[5]
Atsushi Maruyama
Yasu Urano
DebutAugust 18, 2012[1]

Konosuke Takeshita (竹下幸之介, Takeshita Kōnosuke, born May 29, 1995)[1] (stylized in all caps) is a Japanese professional wrestler. He is currently signed to both the Japanese promotion DDT Pro-Wrestling (DDT), and the American promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW) where he is a member of the Don Callis Family.

He was named the Rookie of the Year by Tokyo Sports in 2013 and is a five-time and the youngest KO-D Openweight Champion in history, having won the title on his 21st birthday. In DDT, he is also a four-time KO-D Tag Team Champion, five-time KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Champion, four-time Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion, one-time winner of the Ultimate Tag League (2021), two-time winner of the King of DDT Tournament (2019 and 2021), and record two-time winner of the D-Oh Grand Prix (2019 and 2021 II). He signed with AEW in November 2022 and is currently managed by Don Callis.

Professional wrestling career

[edit]

DDT Pro-Wrestling (2011–present)

[edit]

Early years (2011–2017)

[edit]

Takeshita, with a sports background in track and field, began training for a career in professional wrestling in 2011 with the DDT Pro-Wrestling promotion.[5] Takeshita had been a professional wrestling fan since childhood and as a 12-year old had attended a DDT show, where he was kissed by wrestler Danshoku Dino.[6][7] On April 1, 2012, DDT announced that Takeshita would be debuting for the promotion on August 18 in Tokyo's Nippon Budokan.[5] Prior to his debut match, Takeshita took part in exhibition matches.[8] During one of these matches on August 4, Takeshita scored an upset win over Hiroshi Fukuda, winning the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship in the process.[9] The title had a 24/7 rule, where it could be won anytime and anywhere.[10] As Takeshita was being congratulated by DDT general manager Amon Tsurumi for winning his first match before his debut, Fukuda hit him with a low blow and then pinned him to regain the title.[9]

On August 18, 2012, Takeshita was defeated by El Generico in his official debut match.[1][11] On November 25, Takeshita pinned Poison Sawada Julie in his retirement match, a six-man tag team match.[12] At the end of 2013, Tokyo Sports named Takeshita Japanese professional wrestling's Rookie of the Year, with him becoming the first wrestler still in high school to win the award.[13] He also finished second in Wrestling Observer Newsletter's award category for Rookie of the Year, losing to Yohei Komatsu by four votes (906–902).[14]

Takeshita in November 2014

On January 26, 2014, Takeshita received his first-ever shot at one of the King of DDT (KO-D) titles, when he and Tetsuya Endo challenged for the KO-D Tag Team Championship in a three-way match, which was won by the Golden☆Lovers (Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi) and also included Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto.[15][16] On May 6, Takeshita came together with Antonio Honda to form the "Happy Motel" stable.[1] The two were eventually joined by Tetsuya Endo, with whom they went on to win the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship by defeating Shuten-dōji (Kudo, Masa Takanashi and Yukio Sakaguchi) on July 13.[1] They lost the title back to Shuten-dōji seven days later.[17]

On August 17, Takeshita took part in a high-profile interpromotional match, when he was defeated by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) representative Hiroshi Tanahashi at DDT's annual Ryōgoku Kokugikan event.[18][19] On September 28, Takeshita and Endo defeated Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi to win the KO-D Tag Team Championship for the first time.[1][20] Afterwards, Omega dubbed Takeshita the "Future of DDT".[1] Takeshita and Endo went on to lose the title to Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi on February 15, 2015.[1][21] The following June, Takeshita made it to the finals of the 2015 King of DDT tournament, but was defeated there by Yukio Sakaguchi.[1][22] On December 23, Takeshita and Endo defeated Shigehiro Irie and Yuji Okabayashi in the finals of a tournament to regain the vacant KO-D Tag Team Championship.[1][23]

With Kudo sidelined with an injury and Kota Ibushi announcing his resignation from DDT, Takeshita was poised to take a larger role in the promotion.[23][24] On January 3, 2016, he received his first shot at DDT's top title, the KO-D Openweight Championship, but was defeated by the defending champion, Isami Kodaka.[1] On March 21, Takeshita and Endo lost the KO-D Tag Team Championship to Daisuke Sasaki and Shuji Ishikawa.[1] On May 29, his 21st birthday, Takeshita defeated Daisuke Sasaki to win the KO-D Openweight Championship for the first time.[25][26] With the win, Takeshita became the youngest KO-D Openweight Champion in history,[27] beating the previous record held by Nosawa Rongai by three years and six months.[24] On June 15, Takeshita made his debut for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), teaming with Tetsuya Endo in a tag team match, where they defeated Jun Akiyama and Yuma Aoyagi.[28][29] On July 17, Takeshita successfully defended the KO-D Openweight Championship against his tag team partner Tetsuya Endo. After the match, Endo turned on Takeshita and joined Daisuke Sasaki's Damnation stable.[30][31] After three successful title defenses, Takeshita lost the KO-D Openweight Championship to Shuji Ishikawa on August 28 at DDT's biggest event of the year, Ryōgoku Peter Pan .[32][33] On December 4, Takeshita and Mike Bailey defeated Daisuke Sasaki and Tetsuya Endo to win the KO-D Tag Team Championship.[34] They lost the title to Masakatsu Funaki and Yukio Sakaguchi in their second defense on January 9, 2017.[35]

All Out (2017–2021)

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On January 29, Takeshita defeated Kudo in the finals of a tournament to become the number one contender to the KO-D Openweight Championship.[36][37] At Judgement, Takeshita defeated Harashima to win the KO-D Openweight Championship for the second time.[38][39] The following month, Takeshita and Akito formed a new unit named "All Out".[40] On August 20 at the 2017 Ryōgoku Peter Pan show, Takeshita made his seventh successful defense of the KO-D Openweight Championship against 2017 King of DDT winner Tetsuya Endo.[41][42] On October 22, Takeshita set a new record for most successful defenses of the KO-D Openweight Championship by making his ninth defense against Danshoku Dino.[7] On November 2, Takeshita became a double champion, when he and his All Out stablemates Akito and Diego defeated Damnation (Daisuke Sasaki, Mad Paulie and Shuji Ishikawa) to win the vacant KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[43] On November 28, Takeshita and Yuki Ueno won the cross-promotional 2017 Differ Cup by defeating the Pro Wrestling Noah team of Hitoshi Kumano and Katsuhiko Nakajima in the finals. This marked the first Differ Cup held in 10 years.[44] On December 10, All Out lost the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Shuten-dōji.[45]

In January 2018, Takeshita competed in the first edition of the D-Oh Grand Prix, competing in the A Block. Takeshita finished with 7 points, failing to advance to the finals.[46] On March 25 at Judgement, Takeshita achieved his 11th successful defense of the KO-D Openweight Championship against Shuji Ishikawa.[47] He finally lost the title to Shigehiro Irie the following month at Max Bump, on April 29.[48] On June 26, Takeshita, Akito and Shunma Katsumata defeated Koju Takeda, Kota Umeda and Yuki Ueno to win the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[49] On December 30, Takeshita won the D-Oh Grand Prix 2019 by defeating Go Shiozaki in the finals.[50]

On February 17, 2019, at Judgement, Takeshita defeated Daisuke Sasaki to win his third KO-D Openweight Championship.[51] On April 4 at DDT Is Coming to America, Takeshita lost the title to Daisuke Sasaki. Later on, Tetsuya Endo cashed in his "Right To Challenge Anytime, Anywhere" contract to win the title.[52] On May 19, Takeshita defeated Soma Takao in the finals of the 2019 King of DDT tournament and thus became the number one contender to the KO-D Openweight Championship then held by Endo.[53] On June 24, along with his All Out stablemates Shunma Katsumata and Yuki Iino, he won the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship by defeating Chihiro Hashimoto, Dash Chisako and Meiko Satomura.[54] On July 15, at Wrestle Peter Pan, he won the KO-D Openweight Championship by defeating Tetsuya Endo.[55]

On February 23, 2020, at Into The Fight, Takeshita was defeated by Chris Brookes in a match to crown the inaugural DDT Universal Champion.[56] On March 22, he lost the 6-man title to the team of Tetsuya Endo, T-Hawk and El Lindaman at Judgement.[57] On the first night of Wrestle Peter Pan, on June 6, Takeshita defeated Yoshihiko in a pre-taped cinematic Last Man Standing match parodying the "Boneyard match" between AJ Styles and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 36.[58] In August, Takeshita entered the King of DDT Tournament, defeating Naomi Yoshimura and El Lindaman to advance to the quarter-finals, where he was eliminated by Kazusada Higuchi.[59] Between November and December, Takeshita took part in the D-Oh Grand Prix 2021, where he won his block with a record of four wins and two losses, advancing to the finals.[60] On December 27, Takeshita was defeated in the finals by Jun Akiyama.[61]

In early 2021, Takeshita announced that All Out would disband with their last match taking place on March 12 in a special All Out produced event. Their farewell match was a tag team match that Takeshita and Akito won against Katsumata and Iino.[62]

The37Kamiina (2021–2023)

[edit]

On March 28, in the pre-show of Judgement, Takeshita and Katsumata were announced as entrants in the Ultimate Tag League 2021 where they would represent their new stable The37Kamiina.[63] They won the league by defeating Daisuke Sasaki and Yuji Hino in a tie-breaker match on May 27.[64] On June 26, on the Summer Vacation Tour in Osaka, Takeshita and Katsumata defeated Smile Pissari (Harashima and Yuji Okabayashi) to win the KO-D Tag Team Championship.[65] Takeshita then took part in the 2021 King of DDT Tournament in which he defeated Akito, Mao and Daisuke Sasaki to reach the finals. In the finals on July 4, Takeshita defeated Yuji Hino, thus becoming the fourth two-time winner of the tournament.[66] At Wrestle Peter Pan on August 21, Takeshita defeated Jun Akiyama to capture the KO-D Openweight Championship for the fifth time of his career.[67] Takeshita later departed The37Kamiina after turning heel in AEW in 2023.

All Elite Wrestling (2021–present)

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Early appearances (2021–2023)

[edit]

During All Elite Wrestling's first-ever non-televised event called "The House Always Wins", Takeshita made his debut for the company in a 10-men tag team match. He teamed alongside members of The Elite, including AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, the former AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks along with Michael Nakazawa. They lost the match against a team that consisted out of Death Triangle (Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) and the brothers Mike and Matt Sydal.[68] Takeshita then made his YouTube debut for AEW on Dark: Elevation the following Monday competing against Danny Limelight. He won this match with a pinfall after using his finishing move.[69]

Takeshita returned to AEW on the April 25, 2022 episode of AEW Dark: Elevation where he defeated Brandon Cutler. On the May 4 episode AEW Dynamite, he was challenged by Jay Lethal to wrestle him on the next episode of AEW Rampage. On the May 6, 2022 episode of Rampage, Lethal would defeat Takeshita following assistance from his manager Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh.[70] On AEW Dynamite on May 18 he was defeated by AEW World Champion "Hangman" Adam Page in a non-title singles match, which was heavily praised by wrestling critics.[71] Takeshita continued to gather wins on Elevation. On the July 6th episode of AEW Rampage, Takeshita lost to Eddie Kingston in a hard-hitting match.[72] Takeshita's impressive matches up to this point earned him an AEW Interim World Championship Eliminator match against then interim champion Jon Moxley on the July 13 special episode of Dynamite titled Fyter Fest, which he lost.[73] At Battle of the Belts III in August, Takeshita fought Claudio Castagnoli for his ROH World Championship, and was defeated.[74] On November 19, it was confirmed that Takeshita had signed with the company, after his match against Eddie Kingston and Ortiz, while keeping his contract with DDT.[75][76]

The Don Callis Family (2023–present)

[edit]

At Double or Nothing on May 28, Takeshita aligned with Don Callis after they attacked Kenny Omega in the final moments of his match against Blackpool Combat Club, forming The Don Callis Family and turning heel in the process.[77] At Blood and Guts, Takeshita, along with PAC and the Blackpool Combat Club were defeated by The Elite at the events' eponymous match. Takeshita would later go on to defeat Omega twice on pay per view in the span of a week - In a six man tag team match at All In and in a singles match at All Out. At WrestleDream on October 1, Takeshita teamed with fellow Don Callis Family members Will Ospreay and Sammy Guevara to defeat Omega, Chris Jericho, and Kota Ibushi. At Worlds End on December 30, Takeshita teamed with fellow Don Callis Family member Powerhouse Hobbs, Ricky Starks, and Big Bill in a losing effort to Jericho, Guevera, Sting, and Darby Allin. At Revolution on March 3, 2024, Takeshita was defeated by Will Ospreay.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2024–present)

[edit]

On June 16 at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's (NJPW) event New Japan Soul, Takeshita was announced as a participant in the upcoming G1 Climax, where he was placed in the B Block.[78]

Personal life

[edit]

In February 2014, Takeshita was admitted into the Nippon Sport Science University.[79] In June 2014, he signed with the Oscar Promotion talent agency.[80] His hobbies include weightlifting and bodybuilding.[24] Takeshita has stated that his goal was to take part in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics as a decathlete.[81]

Championships and accomplishments

[edit]
Takeshita holding the KO-D Openweight Championship belt in May 2016
  • DPW Awards (2 times)[91]
    • Moment of the Year (2022) – Yelling "Let's fucking go" at Fire
    • Match of the Year (2022) – vs. Andrew Everett at Believe The Hype
  • Ranked No. 59 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2022[95]
  • Toshikoshi Puroresu
  • Other accomplishments

References

[edit]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p 竹下幸之介. DDT Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  2. ^ 竹下幸之介. Oscar Promotion (in Japanese). Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  3. ^ 【U・S・A日本公演『Sakabash at the Beach 2016』のまとめ】ヒロシが頂天の優勝賞金50万円を使って約3年ぶりに開催したU・S・Aにユニバースは酔いしれる!/練馬スティング、ジ・ニシナリテイカー、チンスケ・ナカムラまで登場したロイヤルランブルを制したのはノブライアン!. DDT Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). August 3, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
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  6. ^ 20周年目の両国は竹下がV7で飾る ディーノがDDT新プロデューサー就任. Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. August 21, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
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