Announced on the high-profile Judgement: 25th Anniversary show at the world-famous Ryogoku Sumo Hall, DDT Pro-Wrestling (and Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling) talent will be sent to work in All Elite Wrestling. This groundbreaking talent exchange opens many opportunities and dream match-ups. The shining stars of DDT have the possibility of impressing AEW’s energetic audience, with it being an opportunity that mustn’t be missed. I really could go on forever, with a list of AEW vs DDT dream matches as long as the day, but I’ve whittled it down to a stellar 5.
AEW vs DDT Dream Matches
Eddie Kingston (AEW) vs Jun Akiyama (DDT)
First is perhaps the most exciting of the possibilities – Eddie Kingston finally getting his dream match against an undeniable puroresu legend, and the unofficial “fifth pillar” of the famed ‘90s All Japan era, Jun Akiyama.
It’s well known that Kingston is a big fan of Japanese wrestling, notably the 1990s period of domination by All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Four Pillars. Akiyama was the main figure outside of the famed quartet of Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, Akira Taue, and Toshiaki Kawada. Akiyama still wrestles prominently even decades on, currently for DDT.
The pair would have a great match, which would be a must-see for any fans of the King’s Road style. Akiyama and Kingston are fantastic practitioners of the style. The AEW-DDT partnership is the best opportunity we’ll get to see this match, so Kingston’s dreams might come true.
Keith Lee (AEW) vs Naomi Yoshimura (DDT)
Simply, this would be a HOSS fight. One of AEW’s best big men versus one of DDT’s best big men – what could be better?
While Jun Akiyama (and a few other DDT names later in my list) will likely be known by some corners of the AEW audience, Naomi Yoshimura wouldn’t. He is one of the most impressive rising stars in Japanese wrestling. Yoshimura is the definition of a unit. He is an exciting powerhouse, with a striking look and massive potential. Keith Lee has had a longer career, yet there are similarities in the bruising power he and Yoshimura possess.
There might be many candidates for AEW big men to take on Yoshimura (Wardlow, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Miro spring to mind), but Keith Lee is the most exciting in my opinion. He is a super-energetic, huge personality, who would clash very interestingly with the cool aura of young, Naomi Yoshimura.
Darby Allin (AEW) vs Yuji Hino (DDT)
Next on my wishcasting mission is a 101 wrestling match. David vs Goliath. Underdog vs Beast.
This dynamic wouldn’t be suited better to anyone than Darby Allin and Yuji Hino. Few are better at playing the spirited underdog, continuing to keep fighting in the face of brutal punishment than Allin. Also, few are more convincing and brutalizing monsters than Yuji Hino. This match doesn’t take much selling – it’s a simple pro wrestling story with the much smaller underdog fighting from underneath against an impressive big man.
Allin is masterful at getting the crowd on his size. His move-set, character and look do much of the heavy lifting, but it’s impossible not to get swept up in his organic underdog fire. Yuji Hino is a personal favorite of mine, and watching him beat up his opponents is always great fun. The possibility of him wrestling a match against Darby Allin creates excitement.
Bryan Danielson (AEW) vs HARASHIMA (DDT)
From a David vs Goliath face-off, my dream match list turns to what would be a technical masterclass. For my money, Bryan Danielson is the best technical wrestler in the world, perhaps of all time. Simultaneously, HARASHIMA is the best technician in the DDT ranks. A match between the two would be a wonder. Give two of the great technical wrestling minds a canvas to wrestle on and viewers are due a spellbinding encounter. HARASHIMA doesn’t get the spotlight he deserves, for a consistent career of great, technical outings, but a showcase spot against Danielson would give him exactly that.
Kenny Omega (AEW) vs Konosuke Takeshita (DDT)
Finally, the most obvious pick, and one that would be on everyone’s list. The current Ace of DDT, Konosuke Takeshita, against the company’s former frontline star, Kenny Omega.
This is top of most people’s lists (including mine), and it’s hard to argue against it. These two would create pure magic in a wrestling ring together. Omega may have moved on since his days starring in DDT, but you don’t forget your roots. The ‘Best Bout Machine’ is a very different prospect to the young Canadian that lit up DDT, in weird and wacky, yet brilliant, matches.
DDT has in itself shifted considering from the days of Omega, as while the undercurrent of wrestling’s realm of the weird and wonderful (I’m thinking Yoshihiko, a giant panda and an otter mascot for reference), the main event scene is dominated by world class professionals. Takeshita is chief amongst these.
There are few who can match the pinpoint accuracy, energetic pace and thunderous impact of Takeshita’s move set. In 2021, he was on my Wrestlers of the Year list, and in 2022 who could even more impress stateside. Takeshita’s short run in AEW last year gave fans only a sprinkle of the potential he has in the USA. If given the opportunity Takeshita could spark the imagination of the AEW fandom.
AEW vs DDT Dream Matches – A Partnership With Great Promise
My points about Takeshita are true of much of DDT’s stellar roster: a varying mix of styles, personas and wrestling. This is the perfect partner for the ever-growing AEW. The working partnership has the potential to be hugely beneficial for both sides. For DDT, it brings fresh, excited eyes to their product. For AEW, it gives them the opportunity to use a host of superb wrestlers.
The groundwork has been laid for a hugely impactful relationship. It’s a horizon expanding partnership between North America’s hottest promotion and Japan’s most unique wrestling facet. The possibilities, and dream matches, are almost endless.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. As well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TBS and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. AEW Rampage airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday night.