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January 11, 1956 |
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Kuniaki Kobayashi
|Billed height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Billed weight||105 kg (231 lb)|
|Trained by||NJPW Dojo|
|Debut||February 1, 1973|
|Retired||April 21, 2000|
Kuniaki Kobayashi (小林邦昭) is a retired Japanese Junior Heavyweight professional wrestler. He wrestled numerous acclaimed matches against the first two Tiger Masks: Satoru Sayama and Mitsuharu Misawa.
- 1 Career
- 2 Retirement
- 3 In wrestling
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 Luchas de Apuestas record
- 6 Mixed martial arts exhibition record
- 7 References
- 8 External links
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1973–1980)
Kuniaki Kobayashi debuted in New Japan Pro Wrestling in February 1973, against Masanobu Kurisu, at the young age of 17. Kobayashi stayed on the undercard, until he was sent abroad to North America in 1980.
North American Excursion (1980–1982)
Return To NJPW (1982–1984)
Upon returning to New Japan in October 1982, Kobayashi was involved in a feud with Tiger Mask. Because of his anti-heroic actions, he became regarded as the "Tiger Hunter." He also allied with Riki Choshu, Masa Saito, and Killer Khan to form Ishin Gundan. In September 1984, Ishin Gundan left NJPW to form Japan Pro Wrestling.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (1984–1987)
Japan Pro Wrestling had a working agreement with All Japan Pro Wrestling. While there, Kobayashi feuded with Tiger Mask II, and he held the NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship and the World Junior Heavyweight Championship.
Return to NJPW (1987–2000, 2017)
Upon returning to New Japan in 1987, Kobayashi won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in August, before losing the title to Hiroshi Hase in December. In April 1989, he served as the first opponent of Jushin Liger (Keiichi Yamada's first match under the Liger persona). In 1990, he moved up to the heavyweight division. In 1992, he joined Shiro Koshinaka in forming Heisei Ishingun.
Between 1992 and 1993, Kobayashi had two surgeries to combat colorectal cancer. In 1999, he had surgery to combat liver cancer, leaving him with a large scar under his chest. This and the treatments to combat the cancer forced him to bring an end to his in-ring career. In April 2000, Kobayashi wrestled his final match as an active wrestler, losing to Jushin Thunder Liger. He received flowers from Satoru Sayama and a message from Mitsuharu Misawa.
On January 4, 2017, Kobayashi made a special appearance for NJPW, taking part in the New Japan Rumble on the pre-show of Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome. He was eliminated from the match by Tiger Mask.
Upon his retirement, Kobayashi has remained involved in puroresu, currently as caretaker of the NJPW Dojo. He occasionally wrestles in legends matches, including a series of matches in 2011 against Sayama and a team with him in 2013 against Atsushi Onita (who led the AJPW junior heavyweight division in 1983, before Kobayashi showed up). He would also do color commentary for NJPW shows.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
Championships and accomplishments
- Effort Prize (1978)
Luchas de Apuestas record
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|Gran Hamada, Enrique Vera and Kobayashi (hair)||Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
|Mexico City, Mexico||Live event||June 7, 1981|||
|Kobayashi and Saito (hair)||Coloso Colosetti and César Valentino (hair)||Naucalpan, Mexico State||Live event||September 25, 1981|
|Los Misioneros de la Muerte (hair)
(El Signo, El Texano and Negro Navarro)
|Takano, Saito and Kobayashi (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||UWA Live event||June 13, 1982|||
|Akira Nogami (hair)||Kuniaki Kobayashi (hair)||Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan||NJPW Fighting Spirit 1996 - Day 2||February 3, 1996|
Mixed martial arts exhibition record
|Exhibition record breakdown|
|1 match||0 wins||1 loss|
|Loss||0-1||Satoru Sayama||KO (high kick)||Shooto: Vale Tudo Perception||September 26, 1995||1||6:05||Tokyo, Japan|
- "Profile at Puroresu Central". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Johnson, Mike (January 4, 2017). "Omega vs. Okada classic, Tanahashi vs. Naito, lots of title changes & more: complete New Japan Wrestle Kingdom 11 coverage". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- WIA hobby site, rated No.256 of 500 wrestlers Retrieved 31 May 2011
- Centella, Teddy (June 6, 2015). "En un día como hoy… 1981: Promociones Mora llega a la Arena México, Los Misioneros, pelones… Black Shadow se despide de Pantitlán" (in Spanish). SuperLuchas Magazine. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "Enciclopedia de las Mascaras". Signo (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico. September 2007. p. 31. Tomo V.