Written By Alfredo Esparza
All Japan Retro #4: Kenta Kobashi
Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jumbo Tsuruta
Taped 7/15/1989 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Tenryu drops Kobashi with a suplex and then knocks Tsuruta off the apron. Kobashi hits a spin kick on Tenryu and tags in Tsuruta. Tsuruta chops at Tenryu, hits a high knee and then takes a shot at Hansen in the corner. Hansen runs in and everyone gets in the ring and brawls. Hansen drops an elbow on Tsuruta and gets out of the ring. Tsuruta puts Tenryu in an abdominal stretch and then rolls over to the mat for a submission hold and pin attempt. Tsuruta tags in Kobashi who jumps off the ropes with an axhandle. Tenryu tags in Hansen. Kobashi hits Hansen with an elbow and sends him to the outside. They get back in the ring and Hansen puts Kobashi in a front facelock. Crowd chants for Kobashi!
Tenryu and Hansen with a double shoulder tackle take down Kobashi. Hard chop from Tenryu at Kobashi as he stares over at Tsuruta. Tenryu delivers a series of knees. Kobashi tries to fight back. More knees! Tenryu tags in Hansen and he lands an elbow on Kobashi and gets a 2-count. Kobashi hits a flying body press out of a corner at Hansen and heads over at tags Tsuruta. Hansen and Tenryu chop away at Tsuruta in their corner. Tenryu with a lariat at Tsuruta!!! Tenryu goes for another, but Tsuruta ends up kicking Tenryu! Tsuruta stomps on Tenryu, slams him, and then hits a middle-rope knee-drop. Tsuruta only gets a 2-count. Tsuruta hits Tenryu with a lariat but only gets a 2-count! Kobashi gets in and puts Tenryu in a half crab. Hansen knocks Kobashi down. Tenryu with a series of kicks at Kobashi. Hansen comes in and throws kicks at Kobashi. Kobashi gets whipped into the corner and Hansen throws Tenryu at him for a clothesline. Hansen misses an elbow on Kobashi and he tags in Tsuruta. Tsuruta works on Hansen’s left arm. Kobashi keeps working on Hansen’s arm and tries for an armbar submission. Hansen battles him to break out of the hold. Hansen drops a forearm on Kobashi and tags in Tenryu. Kobashi thros a series of chops at Tenryu and then dropkicks him! Tsuruta lands a really nice dropkick at Tenryu but Hansen makes the save.
Jumbo gets Tenryu in a side headlock and starts applying pressure on him. Tenryu drops to the mat. Tsuruta tags in Kobashi and he jumps off the ropes with a body press. He gets a 2-count on Tenryu and quickly puts Tenryu in another headlock. Kobashi switches over to working on Tenryu’s legs. Kobashi lands a legdrop on Tenryu and then chops him into the corner. Tenryu returns the chops! Great stuff! Tenryu starts kicking and kneeing Kobashi and throws him into his corner. Hansen misses a shoulder block into the corner. Kobashi tags in Tsuruta who hits Hansen with a jumping knee. Jumbo gets Hansen in an abdominal stretch. Double-team chops by Kobashi & Tsuruta on Hansen. Kobashi tries to suplex Hansen but can’t really lift him. Kobashi throws some hard chops at Hansen. He tries for a corner dropkick but Hansen raised his leg to block it and then lands an elbow on him. Hansen goes into the wrong corner and Tsuruta tags in. Hansen then goes to his corner and tags in Tenryu. Tenryu throws some hard chops at Jumbo. Tsuruta backdrops Tenryu but Hansen makes the save again. Kobashi gets in to help Jumbo. Jumbo tries for a piledriver on Tenryu, but Hansen charges in with a lariat. Kobashi hits a top rope dropkick at Tenryu. Hansen and Tsuruta go to the outside. Kobashi gets a 2-count on Tenryu with a fisherman’s suplex! Tenryu hits Kobashi with some chops and an enziguiri. Crowd chants for Kobashi. Tenryu powerbombs Kobashi and gets the pin! Great match! Hansen howls in victory! Crowd keeps chanting for Kobashi!
WINNERS: Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu
Kenta Kobashi vs. Stan Hansen
Taped 7/7/1990 at Skating Center in Omiya, Saitama, Japan
Kobashi throws a chop at Hansen in the corner while they are locking up. Hansen got his payback by throwing a few chops of his own and then tossing Kobashi to the outside. Back in the ring, Hansen takes control of the match with a headlock. Kobashi breaks out and takes Hansen down. Crowd starts chanting Kobashi’s name. Kobashi goes on a quick attack at Hansen but Hansen takes him down with a few knees. Hansen misses a corner shoulder tackle. Kobashi gets back to working on Hansen’s left arm. Hansen catches Kobashi with a suplex, but Kobashi goes back to the attack on Hansen’s left arm. Series of knees are exchange by the two until Hansen takes Kobashi down and starts kicking at him and elbowdrops him for a 2-count. Hansen slams Kobashi to the mat and drops another elbow. He gets a couple of pin attempts. Kobashi is able to grab a hold of Hansen’s left arm and goes back to work on it. Kobashi stomps on Hansen and then kicks him a few times while he’s on the ground. Hansen escapes a powerbomb attempt. Hansen and Kobashi exchange a few kicks and chops. Hansen piledrives Kobashi and gets a 2-count. Hansen jumps off the ropes for an elbow. More kicks and chops exchanged.
Hansen gets a 2-count after a DDT. Another chop from Hansen. Kobashi catches Hansen with a spin kick and then a couple of legdrops out of the corner. Kobashi slams Hansen and climbs to the top rope for a frog splash. He only gets 2 on Hansen! Fans chant Kobashi! Hansen knocks Kobashi down. Hansen hits a lariat on Kobashi and gets the win! Hansen howls at the crowd after his victory! Good match!
WINNER: Stan Hansen
Kenta Kobashi vs. Terry Gordy
Taped 5/21/1993 at Nakajima Sports Center in Sapporo, Hokkaido,Japan
They start the match each getting the other in headscissors and breaking free. Kobashi and Gordy bump into each other with a brief staredown. Kobashi takes Gordy down with a shoulder tackle and then gets Gordy in a rolling cradle. They each try to get the other in a wristlock until Kobashi is able to grab both of Gordy’s arms. Gordy reaches the ropes to escape Kobashi’s grasp. Hard chops exchanged. Gordy gets in a couple of elbows in the corner but Kobashi counters with a series of chops. Gordy fires up and the two stare each other down! Gordy with a kick at Kobashi’s chest and then at his legs. Kobashi tries for an enziguiri but only grazes Gordy’s head.
Kobashi goes with a suplex on Gordy.Gordy steps out of the ring as he seems to be grabbing his waist. More chops by Kobashi, followed by a couple of kicks at Gordy that send him outside the ring. Kobashi throws Gordy into the guardrail and then gets him with a DDT. Kobashi throws another chop and then tosses Gordy back into the ring so he could deliver more chops! Gordy lands an elbow on Kobashi. Kobashi dropkicks Gordy out of the ring and then hits a plancha! Kobashi throws Gordy into the guardrail again. He climbs up on the guardrail to attempt a DDT, but Gordy slams him down to the floor! Gordy rolls Kobashi back into the ring and gets a 2-count. He drops an elbow on him for another 2-count. Gordy charges into Kobashi in the corner with a lariat and gets another 2-count. Another lariat by Gordy for another 2-count! Kobashi misses a shoulder block off the ropes. Gordy hits a short-armed clothesline on Kobashi and gets another 2-count.
Gordy goes for a sleeperhold on Kobashi. Fans start chanting “Kobashi! Kobashi! Kobashi!!!” Kobashi reaches the ropes. Gordy legdrops Kobashi. Gordy hits a dropkick for a 2-count as Kobashi reaches the ropes with his foot. Gordy whips Kobashi into the corner but Kobashi kicks him. Follows with a dropkick and catches Gordy with a lariat. Kobashi chops Gordy in the corner! He goes for a high knee but Gordy catches him. Gordy bounces off the ropes and drops Kobashi head first to the mat. He backdrops Kobashi! Gordy backdrops Kobashi again and gets a 2-count! Gordy attempts a powerbomb but Kobashi breaks free. Kobashi catches Gordy in a sleeperhold. Gordy charges into the corner. Kobashi goes for another jumping knee. Kobashi gets a 2-count on Gordy after a German suplex! Kobashi slams Gordy and legdrops him. Kobashi goes to the top rope and jumps onto Gordy with a moonsault! 2-count! Kobashi tries for another, but Gordy grabs at his foot. Kobashi legdrops Gordy a few times. Kobashi climbs up the ropes but Gordy catches and backdrops Kobashi! Crowd cheering for Kobashi! More chops from Kobashi. Gordy gets Kobashi with a lariat. Gordy attemps a powerbomb, but Kobashi uses his weight to land on Gordy and get a 2-count. Kobashi sling shots Gordy into the top rope and hits a lariat at him for a 2-count. Kobashi slams Gordy, climbs to the top rope and hits a moonsault for the win! Great match!
WINNER: Kenta Kobashi
Kenta Kobashi vs. Akira Taue © for the Triple Crown Title
Taped 7/24/1996 at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan
They exchange chops to start the match. Kobashi dropkicks Taue. Taue and Kobashi then kick each other. Taue’s able to dropkick Kobashi. Taue slams Kobashi into the corner. Taue goes for a German suplex on Kobashi which sends Kobashi to the outside. Taue goes for a tope suicida at Kobashi! Taue rolls Kobashi back into the ring but only gets a 2-count. Taue goes for an atomic drop and then an atomic slam to get another 2-count on Kobashi. Taue gets Kobashi in a backbreaker. Taue gets Kobashi in a scorpion deathlock. Kobashi raises up and reaches the ropes! Taue chops at Kobashi’s head on the ring apron and tries for a chokeslam. Kobashi chops and then kicks Taue off the ring apron.
Kobashi goes for a plancha, but Taue moves and catches him in a chokeslam. Taue sends Kobashi back into the ring. Taue gets another 2-count. Taue goes for a clothesline. He tries for a chokeslam but Kobashi blocks him. Kobashi gets a 2-count on Taue with a German suplex. Kobashi clamps on a sleeperhold on Taue. Taue breaks it but Kobashi shoulder tackles him and goes back to the sleeper. Taue breaks the sleeper by reaching the ropes. Kobashi legdrops Taue. Kobashi throws some chops at Taue and then powerbombs him! He goes back the sleeper but then switches it up to a neckbreaker and gets a 2-count. Taue and Kobashi exchange chops. Taue with a high kick followed by a clothesline to send Kobashi down. Taue hits a dropkick at Kobashi. Taue gets Kobashi in a powerbomb. Kobashi blocks another powerbomb attempt. Jumping high kick at Kobashi sends him down. Taue bodyslams Kobashi and climbs up the ropes and elbowdrops Kobashi. He only gets a 1-count as Kobashi places his leg on the bottom rope. Taue places Kobashi on the top turnbuckle and then backdrops him off the ropes. Taue gets another 2-count. Taue goes for a chokeslam. Kobashi fights him off and tries to reach the ropes. Kobashi kicks off the ropes and chokeslams Kobashi! He only gets a 2-count! Taue steps on the outside of the ring and tries for another chokelsam. Kobashi fights him off again. Taue tosses Kobashi into the corner post and places him on the top turnbuckle. Taue tries to chokeslam him, but Kobashi chops him off and then jumps off the top turnbuckle with a legdrop onto Taue.
Kobashi rolls Taue back into the ring and goes for a pin. Taue kicks out! Kobashi gets Taue in a chokeslam! Kobashi slams Taue and rushes to the top rope, but Taue rolls away. Taue catches Kobashi with a chokeslam but Kobashi jumps back up and hits a lariat at Taue!!! Taue punches Kobashi. Taue charges at Kobashi with a jumping high kick! Taue only gets a 2-count with a powerbomb! Chop from Kobashi followed by an enziguiri from Taue. Taue gets another 2-count because Kobashi’s close enough to the ropes to put his foot on the bottom rope. Taue slams Kobashi into the corner and places him again on the top rope. He wants to chokeslam him off the ropes, but Kobashi chops at Taue and then gets him with a swinging tornado DDT. Kobashi headbutts Taue and then gets him with a German Suplex for a 2-count! Kobashi slams Taue and then legdrops him. Kobashi climbs up to the top rope and hits a moonsault on Taue. Taue kicks out at TWO!!!! Kobashi powerbombs Taue and again Taue kicks out!!! Taue gets a high kick at Kobashi, but Kobashi gets right back up and clotheslines Taue. Kobashi with another legdrop at Taue. He climbs up the ropes and goes for another legdrop! Kobashi goes for the pin and wins the title! Great Match!!! Akiyama carries Kobashi on his shoulders. Kobashi gets awarded the triple crown titles and the giant trophy! He also does a post-match interview.
WINNER: Kenta Kobashi
Kenta Kobashi © vs. Yoshihiro Takayama for the Triple Crown Title
Taped 5/26/00 at Niigata City Gymnasium in Niigata, Japan
Taue kicks Kobashi as the referee is checking his gear! Great start to the match. Bell rings and Takayama kicks Kobashi again and goes for a quick pin. Takayama keeps stomping on Kobashi. Crowd chants for Kobashi. Takayama kicks Kobashi again but Kobashi gets right up and chops him. They brawl on the outside with Kobashi chopping Takayama over the guardrail. Takayama kicks Kobashi. Kobashi chops him back down! Kobashi DDTs Takayama. Kobashi keeps attacking Takayama outside the ring and then tosses him back in. Kobashi suplexes Takayama and gets a 2-count. Kobashi chops Takayama’s head a few times! Kobashi gets Takayama in a sleeperhold but Takayama reaches the ropes. Kobashi gets in a couple of knees on Takayama and then takes him down with a submission hold. Kobashi goes for a front facelock. Takayama breaks out and starts using the ropes to choke Kobashi. Takayama goes with some hard kicks at Kobashi.
Kobashi starts firing up as Takayama continues to kick him. Kobashi throws a series of chops at Takayama. Takao Omori climbs up on the apron to complain about the chops. Kobashi keeps choping Takayama while the referee tells him to get off the ring apron. Kobashi goes over and chops Omori off the apron. Takayama takes advantage of the distraction to knee Kobashi in the midsection. Takayama gets in a knee at Kobashi’s head in the corner. Takayama starts attacking Kobashi’s right arm. Takayama goes for a Fujiwara armbar on Kobashi! Kobashi struggles to reach the ropes. Takayama slams Kobashi’s right arm into the ring post and kicks at the arm as well. They exchange chops but Takayama goes back to working Kobashi’s right arm. Kobashi tries to chop his way out of Takayama’s grasp but can’t. Takayama throws a couple of chops at Kobashi and goes back to using an armbar on him. Takayama continues to go after Kobashi’s arm. Kobashi gets in a few chops before Takayama gets him with an elbow and a knee. Kobashi hits a lariat at Takayama. Takayama continues to attack Kobashi’s rightarm. Takayama climbs to the top rope but Kobashi gets him with a superplex! Spin-kick and legdrop by Kobashi, followed by a DDT for a 2-count on Takayama.
Kobashi attempts a German Suplex, but Takayama reverses. Takayama with a high kick and knee. Kobashi with a lariat takes down Takayama. Kobashi charges at Takayama but Takayama knees him. Takayama gets a 2-count with a German suplex. Running knee by Takayama! Kobashi and Takayama exchange punches at each other until Kobashi throws a flurry of them at Takayama that send him down! Takayama gets in a kick and then gets Kobashi in another German suplex. Takayama goes for another but Kobashi breaks free and then hits a lariat at Takayama to get the pin and the win! Really good match! Kobashi celebrates and does the post-match interview.
WINNER: Kenta Kobashi
SHOW THOUGHTS: Well when every match has Kenta Kobashi in it, pretty good odds every match is going to be great and this certainly was a show that had some pretty great matches on it. I thought they did a great job of selecting matches that showcased Kobashi from early in his career all the way thru his final few months as part of All Japan Pro Wrestling. Japanese crowds have the reputation of being quiet but watching all these matches, crowd was very vocal cheering on Kobashi. Not sure I could pick out what match I enjoyed the most, but if you are gonna force me to pick, I really enjoyed his title win over Akira Taue the most. If you preferred one of the other matches as your favorite, that’s fine since you’re picking among all good matches.