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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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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.