Since the launch of All Elite Wrestling in 2019, there has been a war between WWE and AEW over talent, as each promotion has something to offer wrestlers that may sway someone to sign with one company over another.
Konosuke Takeshita, the former 5-time KO-D Openweight Champion, signed with AEW last November after several impressive outings on AEW programming, mostly Dark and Dark Elevation.
Takeshita is still signed to DDT in Japan, but he is now a full-fledged AEW roster member. He has aligned himself with Don Callis since joining AEW.
Takeshita discussed his decision to sign with AEW over WWE with DDT Pro-Wrestling‘s official website. When he lost to Tetsuya Endo at Ryogoku Kokugikan last March, he said it marked the beginning of a new chapter for him, and he wanted to show what he could do in the United States.
“So the choice was WWE or AEW. At that time, there were not that many main male wrestlers in AEW, and moreover, there were no Japanese who wore the singles belt, except for women. I wanted to do something that no one else was doing. At that point, I wasn’t sure if AEW would become as huge as it is now, but it was still a choice I made. Then, over the next year or so, the number of wrestlers steadily increased, and I don’t think I would have had a chance if I had waited another year. It was all a matter of timing…”
Takeshita will wrestle Chris Jericho at Ultimate Party 2023 on November 12.