Kayfabe or not, Konosuke Takeshita's comments point to continuing trend

Konosuke Takeshita is a talented member of the AEW roster and his comments point to a continued issue rising in AEW.
Konosuke Takeshita 9.png
Konosuke Takeshita 9.png /

Professional wrestling is a tough business. It’s painful to watch a beloved performer fall out of love with their trade thanks to things that are outside of their control. Konosuke Takeshita seems to be the next individual in that space after the release of an interview on the DDT website. Takeshita had some strong statements about working in AEW and North America that should not be ignored, especially as he’s yet another uber-talented performer opening up about the struggle to find space on limited television.

“I thought hard work could cover for everything else before getting there. If I showed how good I am I could get more airtime, but there are other aspects that come to play when competing here (in America),” Takeshita said in an interview with DDT Pro Wrestling. “Discrimination is not the word here but unfortunately there’s a lack of space for an Asian person to be on a TV show watched by Americans. No matter how good my condition was nor the amount of matches I was put it, or how many times they said my match was good, it felt like I couldn’t make it in the starting lineup, to put it in Baseball terms.”

That quote and the entire interview caught many in the wrestling community by surprise on Thursday. Takeshita is an exceptional professional wrestler, and he’s one of those talents that could have a great match with a pillowcase if he wanted to. His catalog features several breakout matches, including his match with Will Ospreay earlier this year. Yet, he’s still faced moments where his momentum seemed to come to a crashing halt.

Now, it is important to point out two things in this matter. One, DDT Pro Wrestling is known for posting content in kayfabe, with performers in character to advance an angle or personality. Hours after this interview was released it was announced that Takeshita will face Jon Moxley, the current IWGP World Champion, in a title eliminator match at AEW Double or Nothing. So, there’s a chance that this was done to start a storyline with Takeshita and Moxley.

But there’s a very valid point in Takeshita’s utilization in All Elite Wrestling. He’s had 9 matches on AEW television in 2024. Six of which were singles matches. As someone that AEW was praised for signing, this isn’t enough.

Even more interesting is when his comments are overlaid with Ricky Starks’s recent interview in which he expressed frustration in his lack of use by AEW as well. Tie that to Ethan Page’s sudden release, and again – it is time to have a conversation about AEW’s roster being too much for the promotion’s available TV time. With so many talented performers on the roster, and only five hours of television per week, how can an organization find time for everyone? It’s a challenge that seemingly few are openly talking about, but it’s coming out more frequently.

Konosuke Takeshita is a talented member of the AEW roster. While his statements on Thursday may have been said as a push toward an angle, they still ring true to the growing issue that AEW has with utilizing its stacked roster.