Chris Brookes reflects on feeling pressure of headlining DDT Wrestle Peter Pan, initially feeling he shouldn’t be in that spot

Photo Courtesy: DDT Pro-Wrestling

Wrestle Peter Pan concluded with Brookes as champion. 

It has been a month-and-a-half since Chris Brookes headlined DDT Pro-Wrestling’s Wrestle Peter Pan against Yuji Hino and captured the KO-D Openweight Championship. Brookes has had one defense of the title thus far and it was against Shigehiro Irie on September 9th. 

Ahead of that title bout, Brooks was invited onto the Dramatic Dream Dragons podcast. He looked back on headlining Wrestle Peter Pan and what it meant to him to have DDT’s trust in that spot. 

Brookes said if the fan turnout was not good, it would have been difficult to not take some of the blame. He added that initially, he felt he was not ready for that show-closing position at Ryōgoku Sumo Hall. 

It’s definitely something that I’m very conscious and aware of (having reach with international fans). I felt, just for example, with the Ryogoku show (DDT Wrestle Peter Pan), being in the main event there with (Yuji) Hino, I felt an immense pressure. If people don’t turn up to that show, I would have felt like regardless of how the match went, I was a failure because if you’re at the top of that card and then no one comes, you’re gonna find it hard to not feel some kind of blame in that sense. In the contrast of the point of how it’s always been kind of about creativity and having fun, it was not so much that I didn’t wanna be in those positions and do those things. It’s just I didn’t ever think that I would be the person that would be in those positions doing those things. When I started wrestling, you’ll often meet people and they’ll do interviews early on in wrestling or whatever and it’s like, ‘What’s your goal? What’s your dream?’ And they’re like, ‘Well of course my goal is one day that I’m gonna go and I’m gonna main event WrestleMania.’ It’s nice for people to have those goals. But for me, that just wasn’t ever the kind of wrestler I saw myself being able to be or even necessarily wanting to be even when I used to watch wrestling as a kid. The people who I always gravitate towards are more like the WCW cruiserweights and stuff and even at the beginning of starting wrestling, I think what I enjoyed most about when I’d watch Big Japan would be when I’d watch the men’s club 10-man tags and things with Shinobu (Sugawara) and stuff like that and I was like, ‘Oh! If I can just do that one day and just be like the guy who’s in the opening for an eight-man tag, that’d be cool.’ That was kind of the self-glass ceiling that I set and then it’s definitely been a big boost of confidence but a lot of pressure. DDT just deciding that I was the person to be in that position because I didn’t feel like I should be. But, as you said, even in the short kind of amount of time that that’s been the case, it seems to, at least for now, have been positive for DDT. I think Ryogoku ended on a really positive note and I think it’s kind of carried forward a different energy since Ryogoku where like, I don’t know, even just the main events and the semifinals of Korakuen shows seems like in a different taste than they were in the first half of the year.

The topic of AEW returning to London, England in August 2024 for All In was discussed along with the idea of DDT running an event in London that same week.

Brookes shared that CyberFight President Sanshiro Takagi has expressed interest in running a DDT show in Europe and Brookes has tried to sway him more in the direction of partnering with an overseas promotion such as wXw Germany.

I’d like to think so (there’s interest in DDT running London in 2024 during All In week) but I think if you wanted to do it authentically, it would be such an expensive venture. I remember years ago when Dragongate would do the U.K. shows, Dragongate U.K. and NOAH even did European Navigation and stuff like that. I just remember thinking even at that time, it must be such an expensive venture because DDT has a roster now of 30-something guys in that range I’d say and then even in the instance of the America thing this year for WrestleMania weekend, there was the DDT show but there was kind of still a lot of outside influence or GCW influence.

Like the DDT 2019 show, that was just fully a DDT show and of course, I’d welcome the idea of doing something like that in the U.K. but, as someone that is conscious and aware of how much just a single return flight cost from Tokyo to London, the logistics of it are just very difficult. I think (Sanshiro) Takagi has previously mentioned he wanted to do more stuff in Europe and I’ve kind of tried to push him and sway him into directions of connections I have with wXw (Germany) and things like that so, I’d like to see something like that happen but I don’t know how viable it is. 

He’s very on the pulse of stuff going on worldwide, especially because of the, sort of, connection that there is now with AEW and things like that so, I can’t comment on anything, I haven’t heard anything but I’d say since All In in Wembley has been announced that it’ll be happening again next year, I’m sure it’s something he’s aware of and he’s expressed at least interest in me previously that he’s interested in trying to do something in Europe so… 

Coming out of his successful title defense against Shigehiro Irie, Chris Brookes nominated Saki Akai as the next challenger. Akai is set to retire in November

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Dramatic Dream Dragons with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8246 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.