Kenta Kobashi of Japanese wrestling may be retired, but his career—all 25 years of it—gave him a lot of memories to relive. From the All-Japan Pro Wrestling stage to Pro Wrestling Noah, Kenta has logged in a few memorable matches.
Here are a few scenes worth re-watching from the consummate athlete—he also was an accomplished student of the sport of rugby, judo, and body-building.
(Tag Team) Kenta and Go Shiosaki v Kensuke Sasaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima
It is said that in the AJPW, tag team matches are no-sooner thrown around than they are seriously competed in. Props are given to this match because it featured a rookie and a veteran teaming up. Surely, Kobashi and Sasaki taught their young charges valuable things.
(Solo) Kenta v Stan Hansen
It was 1993 and the matches ran the gamut of young up-and-comers against veterans long in the game. Kenta faced off against Stan Hansen and the latter proved why he was in the game for too long. Leaving it all on the mat, Kobashi proved he had what it took to stay in the game.
(Solo) Kenta v Mitsuharu Misawa
Kenta and Misawa should arguably have had this match way before their 2003 meeting. They were slowing down when they met and fans think they should’ve met even when they were in the AJPW. However, this still had all the drama of a competition between men fighting during their prime.
(Solo) Kenta v “Dr. Death” Steve Williams
Kenta was a young and spry newcomer during 1993 and featured in many exciting matches when he showed potential. He showed this spark against Steve Williams. Kobashi managed to overcome despite Williams having him in some of the most terrifying suplexes ever seen in wrestling entertainment history.
(Solo) Kenta v Jun Akiyama
Kobashi faced off against Jun Akiyama in 2004, about a year added from his match with Misawa. It happened during his memorable GHC title defense run. Kenta also delivered one of the most memorable finishers of his career in it.
There you have it, the best matches from Kenta’s career. There will always be a few others that remain higher than these, but if we’re talking about Kenta Kobashi, surely there’s quite a few more than just five.