Konami Takemoto (竹本 小波 Takemoto Konami, born July 15, 1996), simply known as Konami Takemoto is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to World Wonder Ring Stardom, where she is a former two-time Artist of Stardom Champion and Goddess of Stardom Champion.
Takemoto was trained by Kana, whom WWE fans may know better as Asuka, and Minoru Tanaka making her debut in February 2015. Konami spent her early career competing for independent promotions such as Pro Wrestling Wave, REINA and JWP, eventually signing to REINA. After leaving the promotion in July 2016, she went on a short hiatus before returning to pro wrestling in November and debuting for World Wonder Ring Stardom in December 2016, going on to become a regular in the promotion before signing full time in May 2018.
Konami first developed an interest in pro wrestling through her brother, who was an avid fan himself and would regularly watch it on television. Eventually, she and her brother attended a local show where she met Kana and expressed interest in becoming a wrestler. Kana told her to apply for training after she had at least graduated junior high school and gave her her contact details. While she attended high school, she trained under former MMA fighter Megumi Fujii at a local martial arts gym. After graduating from high school in 2014, she moved to Tokyo and began training under Kana and Minoru Tanaka. Konami Takemoto debuted for Kanapromania in early 2015, initially competing as a member of Kana’s agency.
After Kana announced she would be leaving for WWE in late 2015, Konami was forced to leave the agency and soon after signed with REINA Joshi Puroresu. She also started competing for Pro Wrestling Wave and JWP, unsuccessfully challenging Rydeen Hagane for the JWP Junior Championship and the Princess of Pro-Wrestling Championship on July 17, 2016.
In July, Konami Takemoto announced her intention to resign from REINA, and on July 21, she co-promoted a final show with REINA, teaming with Yuko Miyamoto in a fluorescent light tubes deathmatch the main event, losing to Jun Kasai and Kagetsu. After quitting REINA, Konami made appearances for World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana and Wave, before announcing she would be taking an indefinite leave from pro wrestling after August 14 to treat and recover from internal diseases, but vowed to return. In her farewell match, she teamed with her trainer Minoru Tanaka in a loss to Cat Power and Onryo. While recovering from treatment, she announced she had signed with agency GPS and would return at their produced show on November 5. In her return match, she lost to Kairi Hojo.
Konami Takemoto debuted for World Wonder Ring Stardom on December 22, 2016, defeating Hiromi Mimura, and confirmed she would be competing for the promotion regularly. She was pushed as a strong contender despite being a newcomer, wrestling in competitive matches against established wrestlers like Toni Storm, Io Shirai and Yoko Bito. She began a feud with Kairi Hojo and unsuccessfully challenged for the Wonder of Stardom Championship on March 26, 2017. After losing to Hojo, the two formed an alliance and teamed with Hiromi Mimura to win the Artist of Stardom Championship on May 6, 2017, giving Konami her first-ever championship. They lost the titles less than a month later to Queen’s Quest.
Konami entered her first 5★Star Grand Prix in August but struggled greatly, losing all but one of her matches, defeating Mandy Leon on the final day. At the annual unit draft on April 15, 2018, Konami was picked by Io Shirai to be drafted into her Queen’s Quest stable. On May 20, she officially announced that she had joined the Stardom roster full time. As a member of Queen’s Quest, she received a shot at the Goddesses of Stardom Championship, teaming with Momo Watanabe in a loss to Mayu Iwatani and Saki Kashima. She entered the 5★Star Grand Prix once again and to greater success, finishing with 6 points but failing to make the final. On September 30, she unsuccessfully challenged Nicole Savoy for the Shimmer Championship.
After 364 days in Queen’s Quest, Konami was drafted to the Tokyo Cyber Squad on April 14, 2019. Konami Takemoto joined the Tokyo Cyber Squad in April 2019, and took part in the 2019 Cinderella Tournament, making it to the final where she lost to Arisa Hoshiki. On May 16, Konami, Hana Kimura and Jungle Kyona defeated Iwatani, Tam Nakano and Kashima to win the Artist of Stardom Championship. Their reign lasted until June 23, losing them back to Iwatani, Nakano and Kashima. On July 15, Konami teamed with Kyona to defeat Utami Hayashishita and Watanabe to win the Goddess of Stardom Championship.
On September 30, 2020, Jungle Kyona challenged Natsuko Tora to a no disqualification match where the loser would have to disband their stable as result. Then, during that match on October 3, Konami betrayed Jungle Kyona allowing Oedo Tai to pick up the win. She then subsequently joined them, effectively turning heel. On December 26, Konami Takemoto alongside Bea Priestley defeated Hayashishita and Saya Kamitani to win the Goddesses of Stardom Championship. They lost the title on February 14, 2021, after losing to Donna del Mondo (Himeka and Maika). Since this happened, Konami has done her duty in helping to build Oedo Tai into a powerhouse unit in Stardom. She was instrumental in adding two new members in Fukigen Death and Starlight Kid. Since Natsuko Tora has been sidelined with injury, Konami has stepped up to lead this band of misfits and vagabonds and has done an admirable job of it. The future is bright for Konami and I for one cannot wait to see what she does going forward. As of this writing, Konami has six points in the 2021 Stardom 5★STAR Grand Prix.
Now comes the hard part where I pick five dream matches for the Submission Sniper. This may be the hardest one I’ve done thus far as there are so many dream matches for me when it comes to Konami. One of them actually happened on September 4th, so I won’t be including it today. I also won’t be designating them in any order.
Konami Future Dream Matches:
Miyu Yamashita – Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling
TJPW’s current Princess of Princesses champion starts us off today. Miyu Yamashita is one of the most lethal strikers currently in the Japanese system and she is the undisputed Ace of TJPW. With an upcoming match against the uber-popular Maki Itoh, Miyu Yamashita is quickly running out of credible challengers in TJPW. It would be a huge deal if she managed to make her way to Stardom as there are some amazing matches to be had there. The biggest would have to be against Konami Takemoto. They both have martial arts backgrounds and can launch some vicious kicks. There’s a two-year difference in in-ring experience and there is only one year between them in age. This is perhaps the most intriguing match in Japan for Konami and it’s one that I want to see badly.
Su Yung – Impact
Su Yung is one of the more fun characters in Impact, in my opinion, and she has a style that could give Konami some fits. Why the Undead Bride? Well, she may not have a legendary career or anything but I just think it would be a fun match between two really interesting women’s wrestlers. I’ve been a fan of Su Yung since she was called Sonia in FCW(now NXT for the informed). Su Yung was always very pretty but I can’t say her in-ring stood out in FCW, so it didn’t come as a shock that she was released after being there less than a year. As with most wrestlers that get released from FCW, I just assumed Su Yung would disappear from the wrestling scene altogether. To my surprise, Su Yung continued to wrestle the indies and she now has a unique character that you really have to see to believe. If having a great gimmick in “The Undead Bride” wasn’t enough, Su has improved dramatically in the ring and she is able to wrestle all styles of wrestling. If you haven’t watched her work yet, please do so now.
Hikaru Shida – All Elite Wrestling (AEW)
With her year-long title reign ended by Britt Baker, you can’t deny that Hikaru Shida did an incredible job in carrying the AEW women’s division despite little help from the company itself. In her time she managed to not only become a star, selling merch and popping ratings, but she helped elevate others too, which is something that is easier said than done. Shida carried herself like a champion and in doing so really made that women’s title prestigious and now without the title there’s still no doubt that whatever Shida does will be worth watching. I don’t think anyone who likes Joshi or AEW doesn’t like Shida. While she isn’t the best in the world, her performances are always very solid and she is one of the only five active wrestlers in AEW’s women’s division that I personally think to stand out a lot compared to the others with Riho, Serena Deeb, Tay Conti and Thunder Rosa, and I think she is the best of this group. I would compare her to Toni Storm before NXT, she isn’t the best but if she is in a match you can be sure that the match will be good. I hope that in the near future she’ll have a little run-in Japan as she has lost her AEW Women’s title and has nothing to do in AEW, and do some appearances in OZ Academy or Gatoh Move, maybe even show up in TJPW or Stardom. If she shows up in Stardom, a match against Konami Takemoto is a must.
Deonna Purrazzo – Impact
Okay, so many people may think that Deonna Purrazzo is overrated and doesn’t deserve the run she has had in Impact. I am not one of them. I’ve seen her in Stardom and I’ve watched her when I can, she has improved considerably since her debut. One big reason why I’ve picked here is that despite being in Stardom with Konami, they never had a single’s match together. That needs to change and hopefully, I get to see it before either retire for good. Deonna Purrazzo is one of the best American female wrestlers today. She isn’t the best in the work rate criteria but she is excellent to dominate her opponent with slow action and with a cool attitude. She can take advantage in a match with her smart and sneaky style so she is the perfect Heel and she is pretty well booked in Impact Wrestling. This woman would be a perfect choice for a heel vs heel match against the current Oedo Tai version of Konami.
Asuka – WWE
My last pick is the very woman who trained Konami Takemoto, and someone that hasn’t been in the ring with Konami since 2015. Asuka, FKA Kana, is an absolute legend in her home country of Japan and is a surefire WWE Hall of Famer. She’s had a career that most women in the world wish that they could have. This match is just too intriguing to me and I really wish we could get to see them against each other one last time. It would have the potential to be one of the greatest women’s wrestling matches in history, hell it could be one of the best matches regardless of gender. Asuka has the potential to be one of WWE’s all-time greats, and I have no doubt in my mind she will be treated as such in the future. Her talent in-ring is like no other, great striker and just overall very entertaining in the ring. They also got around her English struggles quite well to the point she barely speaks the language yet she’s still a top star and has great character work when allowed.