AEW Star Chose Tony Khan’s Company Over WWE

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One of AEW’s rising stars has revealed why he decided to join the promotion and not WWE.

After a decade of wrestling in Japan for DDT, Konosuke Takeshita made his AEW debut at the company’s first non-televised live event, The House Always Wins in April 2021. There, he teamed up with Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and Michael Nakazawa in a losing effort against Death Triangle, Matt Sydal, and Mike Sydal.

In 2022, Takeshita began making more regular appearances for the promotion, and that November it was announced that he had officially become All Elite. In the months since, the star has aligned himself with Don Callis as the first member of The Callis Family, and has been part of a lengthy feud with Kenny Omega which has seen him get two victories over The Best Bout Machine.

On November 12th, Konosuke Takeshita will face Chris Jericho at DDT Ultimate Party. Ahead of the event, he has reflected on his decision to join AEW.

Why did Konosuke Takeshita choose AEW?

Speaking on DDT Pro Wrestling’s official website, Takeshita explained that losing the promotion’s top title to Tetsuya Endo in March 2022 was a turning point in his career.

“When I lost the KO-D belt to Tetsuya Endo at Ryogoku Kokugikan last March, I said, ‘This is the second chapter of Konosuke Takeshita’s career.’ At that time, I felt that if I did not jump into a new world, the people watching me would not be able to entrust their dreams and hopes to me.”

“As a champion, I had already gone one or two times around the world, so I felt that the only way to show what I could do was to cross the ocean. That is when I had to choose between WWE and AEW.”

Takeshita ended up choosing AEW because he could see an opportunity “to do what no one else was doing” in the promotion.

“At that time, there were not that many men in the main division of 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.

“If I had taken the plunge one year later, I probably would not have had the chance. It all comes down to timing, and the impetus for me to join AEW came at the end of 2021. When the [COVID-19] Pandemic made it impossible for Japanese professional wrestling to make its voice heard, I thought to myself, ‘This is no good for me to be wrestling, I’ve been doing it for 10 years, I’ve had enough of it.'”

The star credits both AEW and DDT for getting him where he is today, so his match with Jericho is a way to repay the companies.

“I went to the US because I wanted to give it one last try, and I think that may have been my destiny. I would not be where I am today without AEW, which guided me, and DDT, which sent me here, so the best way for me to repay them would be to fight Chris Jericho, which will be realized as a result.”

H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.