Konosuke Takeshita vs. JDX
August 7, 2022
MAW Summer Heat
Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Reviewed by Sean Sedor (VOW Author Page / @SASedor2994)

Gifted by Tyler Forness (VOW Author Page / The Good, The Bad, and The Hungee)

There are many reasons why the Christmas Season is my favorite time of the year. Aside from the various reasons you might expect (spending time with family, getting and decorating the Christmas tree, setting up the trains around the tree, wrapping and receiving gifts, so on and so forth), it also means that it’s time for the annual Voices Of Wrestling Secret Santa! I’ve gotten some pretty fascinating matches over the last several years, the majority of which have been from Japan. While my gift this year features a very notable modern Japanese wrestler, it’s in a place that you might not expect.

After working a few matches for the promotion in Daily’s Place during the pandemic (mostly on Dark: Elevation), Konosuke Takeshita returned to AEW in the Spring of 2022 as part of his excursion, before he ultimately signed with the promotion later that year. However, Takeshita didn’t wrestle exclusively for AEW during this period. In addition to traveling back to Japan to work shows for DDT, Takeshita also wrestled for a number of independent promotions across the United States. Before the year was done, he had wrestled matches in places such as PWG, West Coast Pro, Defy, DPW, and even appeared on the Ric Flair’s Last Match show. Takeshita also had a match for a small independent promotion based out of Minnesota called Midwest All-Star Wrestling (MAW), and that takes me to the Secret Santa gift I received, which was a match that saw him take on a guy called JDX.

First of all, I have to talk about the setting. I’ve always been a huge fan of unique settings for wrestling shows, and while that’s a little harder to see with the bigger promotions (most of the huge arenas look the same on the inside), there are plenty of cool settings across the world of independent wrestling. In the case of MAW’s Summer Heat event, the show is taking place in the parking lot of a brewing company called Fat Pants Brewing Company, which seems to be located in a larger shopping area (the background as seen through the hard cam was basically some other storefronts and a bunch of trees). The wrestlers made their entrances through (presumably) the front doorway for the brewing company, which is definitely unique.

Also worth noting is that this match came at the end of a very busy weekend for Takeshita. After challenging Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH World Title at AEW’s Battle Of The Belts III in Grand Rapids, Michigan (part of a Rampage taping that also saw him wrestle a match on that episode of Rampage as well), he flew down to North Carolina to have a match with Andrew Everett in DPW, and now he’s flown back up to Minnesota to have this match with JDX. Four matches in three days. Quite the weekend to say the least.

As for the match itself, I thought it was pretty good! I had never seen JDX before watching this bout, but he had a very solid outing here against Takeshita (he was also wearing gear that was clearly inspired by the classic blue and yellow Wolverine/X-Men outfits). While there was an opening match handshake, the action was hot right out of the gate as Takeshita charged at JDX. Following the opening exchange, JDX had the early advantage until he ate a leg lariat and a flying clothesline from Takeshita. After a JDX dive to the outside, the pace picked up once again as the two continued to battle it out. A big spinebuster from JDX was followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb from Takeshita. JDX busted out the Green Bay Plunge (Ken Anderson’s old finisher), but Takeshita responded a short time later with a Poison Rana. Some fun action in the second half of this one for sure. Takeshita managed to survive a few Lion’s Tamer attempts and a number of superkicks from JDX, and followed up with a final offensive flurry (which included a German Suplex, a running knee, and a Hammerlock Sit-Out Powerbomb….which is a move he hasn’t really used much in AEW to my knowledge) for the win.

This was by no means a blowaway match, but for what it was, it was pretty enjoyable from start to finish. JDX looked good based on what I saw here, while Takeshita was his usual awesome self. The bout lasted just over seventeen minutes, though it certainly didn’t feel like it (which is a testament to how action-packed it was). A super fun match in a unique environment. For me, I’d say this match was just a shade under notebook level for me. Probably a strong ***3/4.

As for who gifted me this match, as soon as I saw where this match was taking place, I had a pretty good idea of who gave it to me. In fact, I believe the person who gave me this match actually saw this show in person. I’m going with Tyler Forness. I’m not going to even give a second pick as I’m that confident in my first pick, so we’ll see if I end up being right!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year to all!