Kenta Kobashi Announces Retirement

I mentioned this in the Puroresu thread, but a legend of his caliber deserves his own thread. At today's Noah show at Sumo Hall, Kenta Kobashi announced his retirement. There has been speculation that Noah forced him into retirement, which he denied. He also mentioned that he's like to have one last match, which would most likely be in February 2013, which would also mark his 25th anniversary as a wrestler. Given all his health issues over the last few years this is hardly surprising, but it's always sad to see one of the all time greats have to hang it up. With Misawa gone, Kawada inactive, and Taue retired, Kobashi was the last active wrestler from the famous All Japan "4 Pillars of Heaven", and quite possibly the greatest of them all. His list of accomplishments is staggering:

-3 Time AJPW Triple Crown Champion
-4 time AJPW All Asia Tag Champion
-6 time AJPW Double Cup Tag Champion
-2000 Champion Carnival Champion
-5 time World's Strongest Tag League Champion
-Longest reigning GHC Heavyweight Champion in Noah history (735 days)
-2 time GHC Tag Champion
-23 Meltzer 5-Star Matches
-4 time Observer Wrestler of the Year
-8 Tokyo Sports Match of the Year awards


Truly one of the all time greats. For all the amazing moments and matches over the last 24 years, domo arigato Kobashi-san

In Phone Post

Never really watched any Japanese wrestling ive always stayed with American product even tho ive heard nothing but great things about the product such as new japan. But i woke up this morning an saw this an watched the tribute videos done a lil bit of research an now in hooked. Is there any era or feuds that really stand out? Im just try to get an understanding in this now

An is there anywhere i can to watch it with English captions? Phone Post

Did i little bit of research an reading an this is my new epic moment of wrestling for awhile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo7UsdQrGAM&feature=youtube_gdata_player Phone Post

The forced retirment thing is a tough call. NOAH has lost money in recent years and Kobashi hasn't wrestled a solid year in some time. Obviously him and Misawa were responsible for NOAH going from the begining to one of the top wrestling companies in the world in a few years. Not too many details have come out about it but I'm not sure if they offered him a reduced contract or stock options instead to off set the pay he was getting but it is admirable that he had about six other guys threaten to wlak if he left and a lot of them were top guys. I was waiting to see if NJPW was gonna add him to the Dome show since they were looking to have NOAH in some capacity. I know Muta would've loved for him to finish up in AJPW.

Grizz I owe you more than a few vote ups when I can afford to get my blue back

Who do you think they should have Kobashi wrestle with in his final match?

NOOOOOOOOOOO. this totally bums me out. I admit for selfish reasons though. Good for him though because his body needed this years ago. I was reallyhoping to see in live one day. To the poster above all of his work in the 90s in all Japan is legendary along with his ghc title run for two years in the 2000s. Amazing amazing wrestler who gave it his all. Before misawa died I totally thought kobashi be the one to die in the ring

Stryfe - Grizz I owe you more than a few vote ups when I can afford to get my blue back

Who do you think they should have Kobashi wrestle with in his final match?

You just got one from me bro

I have only seen shitty google translate versions of the speech, but he may not even be able to have a last match due to his neck, so the rumored show on 2/26 would be a memorial show instead. However, if it happens and he can work then for the last match, the ultimate Grizz puro wet dream match of the millennium would be:

Holy Demon Army (Kawada/Taue) vs. Burning (Kobashi/Akiyama)


Taue and Kawada have just short of 3 months to get in shape, make it happen boys!

Lol! I don't mean in shape like any other wrestler, I mean in shape for Taue. I'm sure he'll look more like the reincarnation of Giant Baba than ever, but he should be in the match Phone Post

Thanks, grizz. I would have missed this otherwise.
Kobashi is one of my all-time favorites for sure. The Orange Crush was the most magnificent move I'd ever seen at that point in my life.
I've mentioned it before, but I still (happily) think it's amazing we can watch all his stuff on youtube instead of saving up our money to buy tapes back in the 90s.

No problem. And speaking about how youtube has changed the game for puro fans, here's a few classic matches I watched today. A clipped version of a classic between Kobashi and Kawada from the '93 Champion Carnival, and one of my favorite tags from the early years of Kobashi's career. Kobashi and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi challenge for the All Asia tag titles against champions Doug Furnas and Dan Kroffat. The match took place in Kikuchi's hometown of Sendai and the crowd is red hot for a title change. Amazing atmosphere and a spectacular tag match

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1CyGiX1TtQ<br

This match is a personal favorite. Misawa and Kobashi did this match as a surprise, worried that they could no longer live up to their classics, even though those two facing each other again would've been a guaranteed sell-out. It might not have been their best, but it was amazing. The fans in attendance were shocked at getting that main-event, and many were in tears from seeing those legends defy the odds and just fucking make magic in the ring, one more time. The brutality and emotion are both just beyond belief. You need this, all of this!

Domo arigato, Kobashi-san.

grizz632 - 
Stryfe - Grizz I owe you more than a few vote ups when I can afford to get my blue back

Who do you think they should have Kobashi wrestle with in his final match?

You just got one from me bro

I have only seen shitty google translate versions of the speech, but he may not even be able to have a last match due to his neck, so the rumored show on 2/26 would be a memorial show instead. However, if it happens and he can work then for the last match, the ultimate Grizz puro wet dream match of the millennium would be:

Holy Demon Army (Kawada/Taue) vs. Burning (Kobashi/Akiyama)


Taue and Kawada have just short of 3 months to get in shape, make it happen boys!

That would definitely be the best possible retirement match; there ain't even a close second.

Roy Batty - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1CyGiX1TtQ<br

This match is a personal favorite. Misawa and Kobashi did this match as a surprise, worried that they could no longer live up to their classics, even though those two facing each other again would've been a guaranteed sell-out. It might not have been their best, but it was amazing. The fans in attendance were shocked at getting that main-event, and many were in tears from seeing those legends defy the odds and just fucking make magic in the ring, one more time. The brutality and emotion are both just beyond belief. You need this, all of this!

Domo arigato, Kobashi-san.

I remember that match well, it's one of the best matches in Noah history, and it happened on my birthday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALyg-EhxbgI

This might be the best tag match ever. Kobashi teams with Misawa against the Holy Demon Army.

"I remember that match well, it's one of the best matches in Noah history, and it happened on my birthday"

Heck of a birthday present they gave you! Man, Kobashi's "miracle run" there in '03-04, when he was somehow having great matches, despite having no knees, was just incredible.