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Yukio Naya Outlasts Tetsuya Endo to Become D-Oh GP Winner

6 months ago

Yukio Naya Outlasts Tetsuya Endo to Become D-Oh GP Winner

By: Thom Fain

D-Oh Grand Prix concluded in exciting fashion tonight with Yukio Naya’s hand raised after perhaps his biggest test yet in DDT. The minute Tetsuya Endo walked out the curtain you could tell the superstar meant business. For Endo, it’s his first chance since 2022 to reclaim the top spot in DDT Pro Wrestling.

A bit of a bastard heel in DAMNATION, his slow turn toward the light began after losing to former partner Daisuke Sasaki at DDT Ultimate Party.

“DDT D-Oh Grand Prix 2023, I’ll win the tournament while breaking Yukio Naya’s body and spirit. Come Jan 3rd, keep your eyes on me.” Endo declared on the road to this exciting matchup.

Yukio Naya’s road was long and arduous after suffering a broken ankle at DDT Wrestle Peter Pan last summer.

Naya found himself in another prominent match at Korakuen Hall – the D-Oh Grand Prix Finals, where he had a memorable match against Yuji Hino in a Korakuen record-setting 5+ hour-long event.

Halfway through the bout, Endo was laid out in the middle of the ring and just toyed with by Naya who passed on his chance to put the high-flyer away for good. A barrage of offense, including a beautiful moonsault off the ring apron, seemed to give Endo the upper hand.

But Naya was tougher than a $2 steak, as Jim Ross is wont to saying – the difference in strength being enough to take every bit of offense Endo had tonight, consistently forcing Endo down with variations of power slams and suplexes. Endo took his dish and ate it like a champion, and even after Endo’s extraordinary shooting star press, Naya found a way to break the count.

“I’ll win the DDT D-Oh Grand Prix 2023 and make 2024 my year. January 3rd, please come down to Korakuen Hall and give me your support!” Naya stated for DDT’s Twitter account.

Getting the big man up into a fireman’s carry into an Argentine neckbreaker seemed to put away Naya, but after kneeing Endo in the ribs on a second Shooting Star Press attempt, Naya hit several Kamigoye’s.

Yet neither man would go back down.

A strike exchange ensued before a running knee by Naya was followed by a powerful choke slam, more near falls, more suplexes, and finally the victory.

“First of all, thank you, Endo! Also, I’m so thankful to everyone who accepted me here at DDT! I won the D-Oh Grand Prix 2023 but I have one more dream. Win the KO-D Openweight Championship!”

The grueling tournament painted Naya as the heir apparent to the KO-D Openweight Championship, and Yuki Ueno said Naya had carried the people’s hopes to this day. Yet, he needs to be ready to carry the heaviest burden in DDT Pro if he wants to defeat Ueno and take care of the company. 

“Of course, let’s do it. But, this KO-D Openweight title is the heaviest burden in DDT. I’ve stood at the top for everyone to prove DDT is the best company in the world.”

Kenta Kobashi, the executive chairman of the D-Oh GP2023 tournament made comments to reporters backstage and appeared encouraged by its outcome.

“I thought Endo would win, but Naya fought back hard and took the victory. Seeing Naya in tears, I thought it was a good win. Naya-kun’s chances are high. But it won’t be easy.”

All Photos by Masahiro Kubota for MP

 

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