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YUKI UENO’S FIGHTING SPIRIT: The DDT Universal Champion On Konosuke Takeshita, Cara Noir, And Upcoming Title Defenses

Yuki Ueno, bloody-faced

YUKI UENO’S FIGHTING SPIRIT: The DDT Universal Champion On Konosuke Takeshita, Cara Noir, And Upcoming Title Defenses

Yuki Ueno, bloody-faced

Text & Photos by Issa Marie

“ALL YOU HAVE to do is watch my matches to know exactly who I am.”

So says two-time DDT Pro-Wrestling Universal champion, Yuki Ueno.

The 37KAMIINA standout successfully defended his title against Cara Noir at DDT’s Who’s Gonna TOP? 2022.  That match, which we highly recommend every reader to go out of their way to watch, perfectly embodied Ueno’s fighting spirit.

Headed into a first-time showdown with the former PROGRESS Wrestling champion, Ueno’s attitude was one of enthusiasm. “I am excited to be able to have a match with Cara Noir,” he told PWI. “We have some similarities in our styles, and our physiques, but we come from two different worlds, and that adds a greater level of enjoyment when you wrestle someone who is not familiar to you.”

Yuki Ueno vs. Cara Noir

That is very much not the case for his next title defense against Koju Takeda. This current version of Ueno’s former partner is full of Pheromones!

Yuki Ueno will face “Shiningball” Takeda on October 23 at Korakuen Hall.  (Make sure to subscribe to WRESTLE UNIVERSE, taking advantage of that two-week free trial, to watch what should be an essential battle.)

When asked what made him unique, Ueno turned the question back around to your truly. What did I think made him so unique? I responded: “Your Fighting Spirit!” Surprised by my answer, with the biggest smile, Ueno agreed.

Yuki Ueno

From his debut match against current KO-D champion, Kazusada Higuchi, in 2016, Ueno has captivated the fans with his spirit—his ability to “turn raw emotions into power” (his words).  “Regardless of the size or experience my opponents have, every time I step into the ring, I give it my all,” he said.

And he has done so consistently. Indeed, one need look no further than Ueno’s epic matches against 37KAMIINA ally Konosuke Takeshita or last year’s feud with Daisuke Sasaki. Ueno’s personal favorite bout happens to be the 2021 D-Oh Grand Prix final against Takeshita. “Having the opportunity to wrestle Take, my classmate, in a setting where we both were on equal terms at the time, the A-Block winner going against the B-Block winner was truly special,” he recalled. “I hoped that at the end of Who’s Gonna TOP? 2022, Take and I would stand side-by-side as champions.”

Unfortunately for Ueno, Takeshita was not able to overcome Higuchi in his final DDT match before embarking on another U.S. tour.

There are no immediate plans for the Universal champ to travel abroad. However, if given the opportunity, he wants to defend his title as much as he can. Though he does not have an explicit list of opponents, he would like to take his “Fighting Spirit” to Thailand and England.

Yuki Ueno vs. Daisuke Sasaki



2022年9月25日で行われたDDTプロレスの「Who’s Gonna TOP 2022」後楽園ホール大会でカーラ・ノワール選手に王座防衛に成功しました。あの闘志溢れる上野選手の姿を是非読者の皆様に見て頂きたいものです。



ですが、次の対戦相手はなんと昔DNA時代でよく組んでいたフェロモン溢れるの竹田“シャイニングボール”光珠選手のと!10月23日後楽園ホールで行われる「God Bless DDT 2022」にて防衛戦で激突することになる。




Yuki Ueno vs. Cara Noir


上野選手が個人的に好きな試合は、2021年のD王グランプリ決勝の竹下戦だと言われました。「Aブロックの優勝者がBブロックの優勝者と対戦するという、お互い対等な立場だった設定で同期の竹ちゃんと試合をすることになったのは、本当に特別なことでした。Who’s Gonna TOP? 2022年後楽園大会の最後には、竹と私はチャンピオンとして並んで立つことを望んでいました。」残念ですが、竹下選手と樋口選手のKO-D無差別級王座戦の結果は樋口選手の勝利となって、リング上のチャンピオン並びの姿はまだ先の話になります。


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Ho Ho Lun’s Mission To Show The Beauty Of Wrestling Across Asia

Ho Hu Lun at Dragon Gate

Ho Ho Lun’s Mission To Show The Beauty Of Wrestling Across Asia

Ho Hu Lun at Dragon Gate

Text & Photos by Issa Marie

HONG KONG NATIVE Ho Ho Lun began wrestling in 2009 … as a hobby! It wasn’t until a visit to the UK, two years later, that he made the decision to make it a career. Unlike most prospective wrestlers, who set their sights on being world champions, Lun knew that his niche was not the wrestling itself, but the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a great show.

As the first non-Japanese Asian-born wrestler to compete around the world, Ho Ho Lun wanted to create opportunities for others like him. “Japan dominates the wrestling market in Asia; However, pro wrestling in Japan was difficult to access due to language barriers,” Lun told PWI.  “And you know as well as I do that not all the streaming services are easy to navigate, as the English option is something that has [only recently] been available. So, I thought, why not bring Japanese talent for a tour in Asia to allow the fans to experience it firsthand?  I watched Dragon Gate growing up, and I would order the DVDs from the U.S. My DVDs would be of wrestling in Japan, purchased in the U.S., and traveled across the world, just so I could watch.”

Ho Hu Lun at Dragon Gate

While at NXT, Lun took a chance that not many would by choosing to leave the company after receiving an offer to produce shows in Macao. This, along with his current work in Dragon Gate, further solidified his true purpose in the world of pro wrestling.

“I wanted to bring the best live wrestling, world-class wrestling, to Asia, working with the next generation of talent,” he said. “I love wrestling, but my heart and soul are in the foundation of building a great show and enhancing the undiscovered talent of Asia.”

Lun has worked to expand the wrestling markets in China, Malaysia, and, as a consultant, in the Philippines. During Dragon Gate’s Hong Kong tour in 2018, he made the decision to take his talent and vision to Japan, joining the company as a wrestler and one-half of the English commentary team.

Despite his trailblazing efforts, Lun’s approach is a familiar one to many promoters. He said: “My philosophy, to expand and garner a greater interest in pro wrestling, is to pair up a well-known wrestler and an up-and-coming talent.”

Indeed, this is the advice he gives to all the wrestlers and promotions he encounters in his travels.  This answer piqued my interest, as I had seen that business model in Singapore at SPW’s Klash of Kings. I wondered: If Ho Ho Lun could establish his own promotion anywhere in the world, where would he do it, and whom would he bring to wrestle?  “Singapore,” Lun immediately answered.  “Singapore has the most supportive fans, language is not a barrier, and they have some amazing talented wrestlers. Thailand interests me as a future project. And, as to who I would bring? Jacky Funky Kamei and, of course, the Kung Fu Masters.”

In addition to wrestling and providing English commentary, Ho Ho Lun also manages Dragon Gate’s talent bookings in the U.S.  If you are interested in having Dragon Gate wrestlers take part in your show, feel free to email him at or DM via Twitter @hoholun719.

Ho Hu Lun at Dragon Gate



Ho Hu Lun at Dragon Gate




Ho Hu Lun at Dragon Gate



それこそが、旅先で出会ったプロモーターやレスラーにこのようなアドバイスをしている。私もシンガポールで開催されたSPWの「Klash of Kings」でまったく同じビジネスモデルを見たことがあるからだ。そしてこう思った:もしルン選手は世界のどこかでも自分の団体を立ち上げるとしたらどこでやるのか?どんな選手を呼んでくれるのか?



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YAMATO executes a lateral press


YAMATO connects with a corner dropkick

Text & Photos by Issa Marie

DRAGON GATE’S ACE, the record-setting five-time former Open the Dream Gate champion, and certified food coordinator, YAMATO will be making his GCW, AAW, Garden State ProWrestling, and Prestige Wrestling debuts, as the“Gates” have now been opened.

Recently, I had the pleasure and privilege to discuss the upcoming tour with YAMATO, who acknowledged that Dragon Gate’s visibility has waned a bit in the States.

“It has been seven or eight years since I last represented [Dragon Gate] in the U.S., back when Dragon Gate U.S.A. had a strong grasp of the fan base and was recognized as a staple of pro wrestling.  Due to the years of absence, I am aware that most people are not as familiar with DG, and some only remember DG U.S.A.  Therefore, I am the best advocate to remind the fans what Dragon Gate is all about.”


During the days of DG U.S.A., YAMATO was part of the younger generation of wrestlers. In October 2022, he will be returning as an established veteran, personifying the professional progression one can experience wrestling for the company.

Rest assured: The issues between his unit, HIGH END, and GOLD CLASS will not be distractions during his time away from Japan. “Going overseas, I have to think big, so I am leaving all the baggage and issues at home,” said YAMATO. “Dragon Kid and Kagetora can handle whatever there may be left to resolve.  I am focused on what I want to accomplish in the U.S.”

And what exactly does that mean? “If YAMATO is in it, YAMATO is winning it,” he said. That includes his upcoming participation in AAW’s Jim Lynam Memorial Tournament, October 14 and 15; and his Prestige Wrestling heavyweight title bout against Alex Shelley on October 30.

YAMATO’s confidence is well-earned. But will it continue in his eventual return to Japan? “That is tough to answer right now,” said YAMATO, even after the current Open the Dream Gate champion, Yuki Yoshioka, let the world know he has his sights set on the “Almighty.” “My aim is to increase the spectrum of DG fans [in the U.S.] and show them what Dragon Gate is all about. However, as a five-time Open the Dream Gate champion, I have the right to challenge on prestige alone. If all goes well in the U.S., and I return motivated and inspired, I will go after the goals I have yet to accomplish.”  During YAMATO’s Homecoming Show in Iwate, the Open the Dream Gate Championship Match was decided for Gate of Destiny–YAMATO vs Yuki Yoshioka.

For the fans that may remember him—and for those that do not know him—the “Ace” has some words. “I am confident that I can make a huge impact, and I will show you what YAMATO and Dragon Gate are all about,” he said.

YAMATO executes a lateral press

Whether he is embracing his darkest desires or full of emotion admitting he has not always behaved as he should, YAMATO has proven time and time again why “He Is Justice,” and that being “Omniscient & Omnipotent” comes with his territory.

Above all, everything he does in and out of the ring is for the rectitude, for the respect, for benevolence, for the courage, for the loyalty, for the honesty, and at the end of the show, every single fan will be standing there with their YAMATO Spirit!

YAMATO’s U.S. Schedule (as of September):


October 8 vs. Tony Deppen

October 9 vs. Mike Bailey

October 22 vs. Jonathan Gresham

October 23 vs. Blake Christian

October 29 TBD


October 14 vs. Zachary Wentz

October 15 TBD

Prestige Wrestling

October 30 vs. Alex Shelley


YAMATO vs Minoura Kota, Dangerous Gate 2021

YAMATO vs KAI No Ropes Match 

Tag Team Cagematch (YAMATO & KAI vs SB KENTo & Dragon Kid)

YAMATO vs Shun Skywalker, SPEED STAR final

YAMATO’s YouTube Channel


オープン・ザ・ドリームゲート王座最多戴冠回数5回を持ち、フードコーディネーター3級の資格を持ち、そして何よりDRAGONGATEの”エース”であるYAMATO選手はGCW、AAW、Garden State Pro WrestlingとPrestige Wrestlingへの「ゲート」が開かれた!


DRAGONGATE USAがファンをしっかり掴んで認知されていた頃には私が最後にアメリカでDRAGONGATE日本代表として7、8年が経ちました。 そのため、大抵の人がDRAGONGATEになじみがなくなったかDRAGONGATE USAしか覚えていないことも承知しています。”DRAGONGATEとは何か “をファンに思い出してもらうためには、私が一番相応しい方です。

DRAGONGATE USA時代にYAMATO選手は若手世代だったが2022年10月頃は経験値やキャリアを積んで立派なベテランとして再びアメリカに戻っることにします。

ご安心を。専属するユニットHIGH ENDとGOLD CLASSとの対抗戦は日本に離れてもあまり気にするはないだろう。「海外に行くからには大きく考えなければならないので、日本の問題はアメリカに持ってこない。ドラゴン•キッド選手やKagetora選手がいれば何とかなるさ。北米で成し遂げたいことに集中しています。」

それは具体的に何でしょうか? 10月14日から15日に掛けてAAWプロレスの“ジム・ライナムメモリアルトーナメント”や10月30日のアレックス・シェリー選手とのPrestige Wrestlingヘビー級王座戦についてこう言った:「YAMATOが参戦したらYAMATOが勝つだろう」。
















Prestige Wrestling



YAMATO VS 箕浦康太・デンジャラス・ゲート2021

YAMATO VS KAI 遺恨決着‼ノーロープ&ランバージャックマッチ

マスカラ・コントラ・カベジェラ 金網サバイバル・タッグマッチ

YAMATO/KAI vs ドラゴン・キッド/SB KENTo

SPEED STAR FINALオープン・ザ・ドリームゲート選手権試合


YAMATO選手の YouTubeチャンネル:「多趣味のススメ」

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CFF22 Special Interview DDT

CyberFight Festival '22 Official Poster

CFF22 Special Interview DDT

Dramatic Dream Team’s Yuki Ueno and Naomi Yoshimura are leading the charge in the battle for DDT supremacy at CyberFight Festival. This DDT Pro eight-person match will feature some of the biggest names and most wildly popular wrestlers on the company’s roster. With a mixture of power, speed, high-flying acumen, and great senses of humor, could this match be the sleeper hit of the entire event?

Yoshimura teams with HARASHIMA, Masahiro Takanashi, and Chris Brookes, while Ueno tags with MAO, ASUKA, and Shunma Katsumata. With a representative from each side present, get ready to learn more about DDT as the only thing they both agree on — is how much many people are underestimating DDT.

Karen Peterson: Many PWI readers are still learning about DDT. Please start with a short self-introduction.

Yuki Ueno: I’m Yuki Ueno. I’m in a faction named The 37 KAMIINA alongside Konosuke Takeshita [currently on an international excursion in AEW], Shunma Katsumata, MAO, and Toui Kojima. We’re the hottest, trendiest, and most fun group in all of Japan! DDT is the best wrestling company in the world, because it’s a treasure chest of powerful and entertaining wrestling!

Naomi Yoshimura: My name is Naomi Yoshimura. I belong to the DISASTER BOX faction, and I work in DDT Pro-Wrestling.

Peterson: What does CyberFight Festival mean to you? What are your feelings about this big annual show with all your sibling promotions?

Ueno: This is a solid opportunity to show people the heart of DDT. Many say that [DDT] is child’s play and a goofy circus, but I think that is due to a lack of knowledge of the [depth and ability of those] of our company. It isn’t about comparing DDT to other promotions, but about the individuality of DDT. The challenge about every promotion coming together in an event like this is finding balance—because there are clashes of pride. The key aspect is making the climb and elevating the entire company together, not tearing one another down. This once-a-year event really lights the fire under all of us in CyberFight.

Yoshimura: CyberFight Festival is our once-a-year celebration where all four companies—DDT, Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling, Ganbare ☆ Pro-Wrestling, [and NOAH]—come together as one. Honestly, I cannot wait! Personally, I think DDT is the most interesting of the four. When it comes to levels of entertainment, strength, fun, and awe, DDT is consistently at the top in all of these categories. I want to show that to our audience!

Peterson: What are you most looking forward to with your match at CFF ’22? Which match (that isn’t your own) are you most excited to watch?

Ueno: This match is a collection of wrestlers who work exceptionally hard and compete against one another on a regular basis. Everyone is very familiar with each other’s moves, and we’re prepared to take everyone to another level with our performance in this huge match. As our match is solely DDT wrestlers, we can truly highlight the very best of DDT and prove who is the cream of the crop in our company. I can guarantee you’re going to want to keep your eyes on everyone in this match because everyone wants to win. The other match I am looking forward to is (Toui) Kojima’s because he’s the last member of 37KAMIINA*. I have high expectations for Kojima, especially after the way he showed his resolve at the press conference. I believe that with a strong frame of mind, one bolsters their physical performance, so I want him to keep that in mind during their fight. I want to see [Kojima and Koroku] show the world what they are made of!”

[*Kojima teams with Yuya Koroku against NOAH’s Okada & Fujimura]

Yoshimura: Both HARASHIMA and Takanashi are veteran wrestlers in DDT. And, paired with Chris (Brookes) and myself, we’re four guys who joined DDT with great respect for the company. We’re teaming up to face The 37 KAMIINA’s Ueno, (Shunma) Katsumata, and MAO—three guys who represent present-day DDT—plus VENY (ASUKA), who is active all over the world. I believe our match at CyberFight Festival is the best way to truly experience what DDT has to offer. We will showcase the wide range of wrestling in DDT. It will be bright, fun, fierce, and hard-hitting, too! The three matches [on my radar] are Kenoh vs. Daisuke Sasaki, DDT (Endo, Akiyama, & Higuchi) versus NOAH (Nakajima, Kotoge, & Inamura), and Okada & Fujimura (NOAH) versus Kojima & Koroku (DDT).

Peterson: After CFF, what are your goals for the rest of the summer?”

Ueno: I want to win the KO-D (King Of DDT) Tournament and become the strongest in all of DDT. After which, I’d like to challenge for the KO-D openweight championship. I think the greatest obstacle, though, is my physical strength. Winning such a challenging tournament would be a great way to prove to everyone how much I’ve grown.”

Yoshimura: After CyberFight Festival concludes, the next big thing is the start of The King of DDT. I’ve had some success as a tag team wrestler, but I have yet to break through as a singles wrestler. So, this year, I’m going to do my best to win. We also have Wrestle Peter Pan on August 20, which is one of our biggest events, so I want to focus my attention there, too.

Peterson: Do you have any interest in wrestling abroad? Where would you like to go? Who would you like to have as an opponent in the future?

Ueno: Honestly, I don’t have a strong desire. I developed as a wrestler in DDT, and I want to become the top, so that is where my focus is currently. I am willing to do whatever it takes to make DDT a household name and throw all my energy into making this a reality. One day, I would like to face HUB [veteran Japanese freelancer]. He’s the wrestler I’ve aspired to be most like. I find him to be the ultimate in strength and coolness factor!

Yoshimura: I’ve had matches in L.A., Ohio, Chile, Canada, and South Korea. There’s a creative and interesting approach to wrestling abroad. I would love to revisit matches with previous opponents, and also invite them to come and wrestle in Japan. If I am looking at domestic opponents, the one who stands out in my mind is my mentor, Zeus [formerly of All Japan, now president of Osaka Pro Wrestling].

Do you have any special messages you’d like to send to the international fans?

Ueno: DDT’s greatest power is our strength and ability to truly have fun! I hope more people will take notice of DDT and me! I hope you’ll support us, too!

Yoshimura: I want to showcase all the fun we have in DDT—not just within Japan, but I want it to reach everyone all over the world. We have so many wonderful wrestlers in DDT. Just give us one try and find out for yourself!

A full event CyberFight Festival 2022 report will be available at POST Wrestling after the show concludes, and a feature in the November 2022 Issue of PWI will be available in August.

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CFF22 Special Interview with Go Shiozaki

CyberFight Festival '22 Official Poster

CFF22 Special Interview with Go Shiozaki

Ahead of CyberFight Festival 2022, several wrestlers from the CyberFight promotions are inviting everyone reading PWI to watch this special showcase event! After an outstanding run throughout 2020 and into early-2021 as GHC champion, Go Shiozaki would miss the inaugural CyberFight Festival as he required surgery. On November 28, 2021, he announced his return after the dual GHC heavyweight and GHC National championship match, which KONGO’s Katsuhiko Nakajima and KENOH wrestled to a sixty-minute time limit draw.

In the main event of CyberFight Festival 2022, Shiozaki will defend NOAH’s GHC heavyweight title against New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Satoshi Kojima. Shiozaki and Kojima will square off in a battle of chops and lariats, as GHC champion Shiozaki tries to smash the breaks on Kojima’s aspirations to complete the triumvirate of top Japanese titles (IWGP, AJPW Triple Crown, and GHC heavyweight titles). With an exceptionally tight schedule, Mr. Shiozaki kindly provided a short interview about his upcoming match against Kojima and his responsibilities as he leads the charge for NOAH at CyberFight Festival 2022.

Karen Peterson: Unfortunately, due to injury, last year you were unable to participate in CyberFight Festival. What does it mean to main event such a large company showcase as GHC champion?

Go Shiozaki: I am honored to participate in this year’s CyberFight Festival as GHC heavyweight champion and honored to be in the main event as champion. I feel great, and I feel responsible at the same time. I am absolutely the 38th GHC heavyweight champion, and I believe this is a great opportunity for me to show that “I AM NOAH” to the world.

Peterson: What has been your biggest challenge since returning to NOAH at the Nippon Budokan on January 1 at NOAH’s The New Year 2022?

Shiozaki: Until I won this GHC heavyweight championship back, I had numerous challenges since I returned on January 1. But I can tell you that I never thought of giving up. I believed in myself and kept looking forward to recapturing this championship, and I did that on April 30.

Peterson: In the lead-up to this match, you’ve faced New Japan’s Satoshi Kojima in multiple tag matches, something which has really brought NJPW fans’ attention to NOAH. Did you ever expect to defend against someone like Kojima, who is looking to close to the loop on Japan’s “Big Three” championships, having previously held NJPW’s IWGP heavyweight championship and AJPW’s Triple Crown championship?

Shiozaki: While I am with Pro Wrestling NOAH, I didn’t expect to defend this title against New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Satoshi Kojima. But, when he appeared as “X” [surprise participant] at our Ryogoku event, I understood that a wrestler like Kojima—who has experience of being a champion—would pay attention to the GHC heavyweight championship, as this is a prestigious and valuable championship. He has held [both the] IWGP heavyweight championship and Triple Crown championship, however, I have no intention of giving him an opportunity to have this GHC heavyweight championship.

Peterson: What are your goals as GHC champion in 2022? Do you have any interest in defending the GHC championship abroad?

Shiozaki: “My goal is to put more value on this GHC heavyweight championship as the champion. I need to focus on the immediate goal, which is defending this championship against the upcoming challenger, Satoshi Kojima. And, of course, I have an interest in defending this championship around the world in the future, to make it more valuable.

Peterson: With CyberFight Festival being the biggest event of the year, and it being broadcast around the world, do you have a special message for the international fans?

Shiozaki: I hope more people know about NOAH, its competition, and the competition over the GHC heavyweight championship. I understand it is still difficult for our international fans to come to Japan and watch our live event. However, I hope all of you join our event through WRESTLE UNIVERSE and watch what is going on right now. Pro Wrestling NOAH and I will keep moving forward.

Bonus Round!

Peterson: Lately, you’ve posted lots of K-pop-related content on social media! What are your top three favorite BTS songs? Do you like any other K-pop bands?

Shiozaki: My top three favorites BTS songs are “Permission to Dance,” “NO MORE DREAM,” and “Outro: WINGS.” So far, my favorite K-pop band is just BTS.

Time to add these Mr. I AM NOAH x BTS track recommendations to your Arm Day Workout Playlists, Everyone!! – K.P.

A full event CyberFight Festival 2022 report will be available at POST Wrestling after the show concludes, and a feature in the November 2022 Issue of PWI will be available in August.

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CFF22 Special Interview DDT vs. GanPro

CyberFight Festival '22 Official Poster

CFF22 Special Interview DDT vs. GanPro

Ahead of CyberFight Festival 2022, several wrestlers from CyberFight are inviting everyone reading PWI to watch this special showcase event. As Dramatic Dream Team’s (DDT) Hideki Okatani and Ganbare Pro-Wrestling’s (Gan☆Pro) Yuna Manase prepare to square off in a clash for company pride, they took some time to sit down and answer a few questions!

Okatani and Manase will participate in a six-person tag match. Their match is part of a long-standing rivalry between the companies, and will also feature Yukio Sakaguchi & Saki Akai from DDT and Ken Ohka & Mizuki Watase from Gan☆Pro. The match will be the third opening showcase match on the extensive 14-match card!

Peterson: Many PWI readers are still learning about Gan☆Pro and DDT, please start with a short self-introduction.

Yuna Manase: My name is Yuna Manase and I belong to Ganbare Pro-Wrestling! My favorite wrestling moves are the lariat and the brainbuster. It’s a pleasure to meet everyone!

Hideki Okatani: I’m Hideki Okatani from DDT, and I belong to the unit Eruption. DDT has a wide range of wrestling spanning from comedic to very serious. We also do matches in unique locations [like the Tokyo Dome Baseball Field, local zoos, and waterparks].”

Peterson: What does CyberFight Festival mean to you? What are your feelings about this big annual show with all your sibling promotions?

Manase: If I don’t show everyone the power of Ganbare Pro-Wrestling here, I don’t think there will be another chance. I want to prove to [CyberFight] that we’ll keep fighting, and our fight against wrestling society starts with Eruption!

Okatani: [CFF22] is a great opportunity for us to mix with wrestlers in CF’s other promotions. I’m thrilled to see all the inter-promotional matches and rivalries! This is a prime chance for new fans to discover us, as well.

Peterson: What are you most looking forward to with your match at CFF ’22? Which match (that isn’t your own) are you most excited to watch?

Manase: Previously, Gan☆Pro fought against Eruption two years ago, but that was before I was a member. For us, this is a match we need to win. Not only do I want to defeat Eruption, but so much so that we’re the winners of CyberFight Festival.

Okatani: I really want people to see how deep the competitive bad blood runs between our companies! Aside from our match, the competitive DDT/NOAH six-man match [Tetsuya Endo, Jun Akiyama, & Kazusada Higuchi vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima, Atsushi Kotoge, & Yoshiki Inamura] features wrestlers who truly symbolize each promotion.”

Peterson: After CFF, what are your goals for the rest of the summer?

Manase: I have some unfinished business with Stardom’s Unagi Sayaka. Recently, she dropped by Gan☆Pro unannounced and said a few cheeky things. We have a match at WRESTLE SEKIGAHARA on July 10. I am also the Ice Ribbon International Ribbon tag champion with Totoro Satsuki.

Okatani: I intend on entering and winning the D-Oh Grand Prix*. 

[*The D-Oh Grand Prix is DDT’s annual round-robin tournament. Its winner receives the opportunity to challenge for the KO-D Openweight championship. The current champion is Tetsuya Endo.]

Peterson: Do you have any interest in wrestling abroad? Where would you like to go? Who would you like to have as an opponent in the future?”

Okatani: “I definitely have an interest (in wrestling abroad). I’ll go to literally any promotion in any country in the world that invites me! I have a particular interest in Orange Cassidy.”

[Note: Ms. Manase was not asked this question, as she was provided a different set of questions during her interview.]

Peterson: With CyberFight Festival being the biggest event of the year, and its being broadcast around the world, do you have a special message for the international fans?”

Manase: I live in Japan, and it’s an island country, so I cannot see you very easily! I want to meet everyone and speak together in person. In the meantime, I’ll keep doing my best. I’ll be waiting for you!

Okatani: For those who are unfamiliar with DDT, please consider watching and check us out! I guarantee you’ll become obsessed with DDT!

Keep an eye out for this Saturday’s POST Dream Slam Weekly for an exclusive audio interview with Yuna Manase prior to her match at CyberFight Festival! A full event report will be available at POST Wrestling after the show concludes.