Kenta Kobashi is arguably one of the most popular and skilled wrestlers in Japan, and this weekend saw him finally retire from the ring after a 25 year career of putting his body through untold amounts of punishment and even overcoming cancer in 2006! His retirement ceremony drew a huge sellout at the Budokan Arena as fans came from far and wide for his final match, and in honour of this momentous occasion we thought we'd list five of Kobashi's greatest matches for you to check out. If you like your wrestling with athleticism, toughness, drive, grit, heart and a great crowd connection, look no further...
5. & Go Shiosaki vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima - 05/11/05
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGVXSU9QM14 I think the majority of the matches on this list are bullet proof... apart from this one. Are there better/more deserving matches that should be featured? Probably. I could easily put his ROH match with Samoa Joe here, or his GHC title defence against Yoshihiro Takayama, his AJPW marathon match against Toshiaki Kawada or his Tokyo Dome grandstand against Kensuke Sasaki that laid the ground work for this showdown, but this is a personal choice, and it was definitely in my Top 5 matches for 2005. Part of the reason for that was because it not only took me by surprise but it just hits on all cylinders - I was so used to dull throwaway tag matches in NOAH and expected the same here but how wrong I was! This match stands out as the pinnacle of the 'Japanese vet/rookie tag formula' match as it sees Kobashi and Sasaki going toe-to-toe again, dishing out punishment to a firey rookie while taking his best shots, and sympathetically encouraging his young protege when the shoe is on the other foot.
punk, kindasorta journalist, writer of short stories, owner of too many t-shirts, and comic nerd. All of these insults have been used to describe me. 51% PMA 49% FTW
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