Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

Kenta Kobashi is back from cancer


Resident Evil
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thoughts on Kobashi

 

I don't know where I'm going with this at all but I felt it warrented a thread. Kenta Kobashi is back from cancer. I'm happy for him on two accounts. That he was able to get by the cancer and that he was able to wrestle again. In reality, he shouldn't be wrestling anymore because of injuries but it's obvious this is what makes him happy so I guess in reality he actually should be continuing to wrestle. That's quite a sentence. Everyone tearing up at the announce booth was a strong indication of how much this meant not only to them but to Kobashi as well.

 

Kobashi looked pretty good in the ring. He didn't have much body fat at all and was hosting a muscular physique. Perhaps being away from the ring actually helped in that regard as it would've let some injuries heal. He can still move well enough but you can tell the injuries are still there. The match itself should be checked out (youtube) and was highlighted by a Kobashi moonsault on those poor knees. I also felt it was highlighted by Kobashi's excellent body language and interaction with the crowd. Everyone who watched it found to be an emotional bout.

 

It's been around 8 yrs now since Kobashi was in extremely rough shape and had to have those surgeries. At that time he had an incredible run. Although he is not the same physically as he used to be since the new century, I find I've enjoyed a lot of his matches since than. I am a humongous fan of the match he had against Mike Awesome, thet bout against Marafuji and the Misawa 03 bout which I feel is their best match together besides 1/20/97. Than there that was incredible tag from 11/05 which is arguably the best tag of the decade so far. The heart is still there and to me as a hardcore wrestling fan I feel that Kobashi has had a match resume that is getting pretty untouchable. I've also enjoyed his crowd interaction and body language which is ahead of pretty much anyone. He looks like he belongs in there. This became really evident to me in the Joe match from ROH when I saw Kobashi in a different element.

 

Random thought -- One of my favourites memories from Kobashi is video highlights of him training for the 1/20/97 match. In it, he was on his side and he had someone stand on the side of his head. Kobashi than impressively proceeded to move his neck up and down working the side neck muscle. This is actually the most neglected body part in overall fitness training by a long,long shot.

 

Good luck Kobashi. That fighting spirit never quits. With cancer or wrestling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 104
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

If you know he shouldn't be wrestling anymore, due to the seriousness and extent of his injuries, why are you happy he's back?

 

The harsh reality is that he should retire.

 

Once he was diagnosed with cancer, that should have been it, period. He's a mere shell of his former self, and it's hard to enjoy his matches anymore, coming from a personal perspective. The man is in continious pain, his knees are completely shot, and I'm sure the years of insane bumps haven't been to kind on the rest of his physiology.

 

It's a guilty pleasure, and a selfish motive. People that claim to actually care about these talented performers still desire, and wish for them to perform. They do so even after knowing what they have to do every day to just function somewhat properly (stories about Kobashi taking bottles, entire bottles, of Somas and other types of pain killers).

 

So please, don't sit here and try to paint a pretty picture, it just looks like someone had a seizure while holding a gallon of paint.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't get why Kobashi still has to do moonsaults at this point. I would think most fans are just happy he survived cancer, and would perhaps settle for a less than five star match just to be happy the dude's still alive.

 

It seems like Austin was the only guy in wrestling who had a major injury and then adapted his style to do the most he could with as little strain on injured parts as possible.

 

 

If he was just coming back for one or two matches just to be all "FUCK CANCER" and show the fans he's ok, it would be fine. I just get the feeling he's going to be the Japanese Shawn Michaels and do a full scale schedule until his knees explode in the ring and shower the first 5 rows like they were at a Gallagher concert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you know he shouldn't be wrestling anymore, due to the seriousness and extent of his injuries, why are you happy he's back?

 

The harsh reality is that he should retire.

 

Once he was diagnosed with cancer, that should have been it, period. He's a mere shell of his former self, and it's hard to enjoy his matches anymore, coming from a personal perspective. The man is in continious pain, his knees are completely shot, and I'm sure the years of insane bumps haven't been to kind on the rest of his physiology.

 

It's a guilty pleasure, and a selfish motive. People that claim to actually care about these talented performers still desire, and wish for them to perform. They do so even after knowing what they have to do every day to just function somewhat properly (stories about Kobashi taking bottles, entire bottles, of Somas and other types of pain killers).

 

So please, don't sit here and try to paint a pretty picture, it just looks like someone had a seizure while holding a gallon of paint.

Yeah, after Benoit, I agree with everything here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you know he shouldn't be wrestling anymore, due to the seriousness and extent of his injuries, why are you happy he's back?

 

The harsh reality is that he should retire.

 

Once he was diagnosed with cancer, that should have been it, period. He's a mere shell of his former self, and it's hard to enjoy his matches anymore, coming from a personal perspective. The man is in continious pain, his knees are completely shot, and I'm sure the years of insane bumps haven't been to kind on the rest of his physiology.

 

It's a guilty pleasure, and a selfish motive. People that claim to actually care about these talented performers still desire, and wish for them to perform. They do so even after knowing what they have to do every day to just function somewhat properly (stories about Kobashi taking bottles, entire bottles, of Somas and other types of pain killers).

 

So please, don't sit here and try to paint a pretty picture, it just looks like someone had a seizure while holding a gallon of paint.

Yeah, after Benoit, I agree with everything here.

 

Is Kobashi addicted to painkillers? Is that confirmed? I actually have no idea. I imagine he's at the point where pain can't let him function normally anymore I've been in extreme physical pain before and at the time I never knew if it was possible I would come out of it so I have the greatest sympathy for anyone going through that. However, Kobashi has chosen to keep on wrestling. Not only does he like it, but he obviously loves it and can't get away from it. The pain of any negatives associated it with is obviously not even close to the elation he gets from participating in it. Does that mean he as a person should step away when it would hurt even more to do so? Is it right to deny his happiness? Something to think about.

 

There are a couple points where I'm only partly sure on what smkelly is saying. I think you're saying that if you care about a wrestler than it's hypocritical to keep on cheering for him. A valid point

 

 

But this does bring up several interesting questions

 

Should a wrestler be forced to step out if he is having too many injury problems but are not a safety hazard to their opponents becasue of it?

 

Drug problems?

 

How are we supposed to judge where the cutoff point is?

 

If someone like Kobashi who is undoubtably still one of the best in the world but hurt badly -- do we stop him from wrestling?

 

Are we as fans supposed to turn our backs on wrestlers like Kobashi or Dynamite once they're broken down if we do care about them? Is that supposed to stop them from wrestling and fix themselves somehow? Is that ethical or unethical? Isn't it in bad taste to throw your noses up at someone as a fan after everything they've done? Wouldn't that hurt the wrestler? When should this turning of our backs take place?

 

Should wrestling be banned? Should we even support it? If it is bad enough where it's to the point that numerous wrestlers undoubtably have to retire due to injuries for our own health than by even supporting "healthy" (there is absolutely no such thing) young wrestlers we are supporting their eventual demise because the roots of destruction are being planted.

 

Which brings me to women's wrestling and the dangers of wrestling pregnant. Another reason for wrestling to be banned.

 

If wrestling should be banned, than do concussion sports like boxing, hockey or MMA get banned next?

 

 

Some stuff to think about.

 

Resident Evil -- Who thinks there are wrestlers that should not be allowed in the ring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If wrestlers want to destroy themselves for a paycheck and to continue chasing their glory days of years past, that's fine and it's their decision. I don't think anyone should be banned from wrestling. I just don't personally feel compelled to glorify people pushing themselves beyond realistic limits at this point. That's my choice.

 

You can argue that increased fan expectations are partially to blame for the path wrestling has taken in the past 10-15 years and be correct. But it's still the wrestler making the final decision to put fame and fortune ahead of quality of life. That's their choice, and that choice has nothing to do with fans "turning their backs".

 

I do think it's probably in some ways admirable that Kobashi beat cancer and then trained hard to get himself back in shape in the hopes of making a full-time comeback. And I think even just a few years ago, people would have been jumping at the chance to cheer him for it. But then Chris Benoit killed his son with his wrestling finisher.

 

Returning from severe injury used to seem like some heroic conquering of the odds. Now it just feels like a one-way ticket to self destruction. It's hard to get behind that.

 

And honestly, there's enough good wrestling that has happened in the past that was filmed that pretty much everyone could watch wrestling matches they haven't seen before for the next 50 years or so and probably not come close to running out of material. I'm not going to actively root for wrestling to die, but if it happened at this point, I can't say I'd be all that torn up about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If wrestlers want to destroy themselves for a paycheck and to continue chasing their glory days of years past, that's fine and it's their decision. I don't think anyone should be banned from wrestling. I just don't personally feel compelled to glorify people pushing themselves beyond realistic limits at this point. That's my choice.

 

You can argue that increased fan expectations are partially to blame for the path wrestling has taken in the past 10-15 years and be correct. But it's still the wrestler making the final decision to put fame and fortune ahead of quality of life. That's their choice, and that choice has nothing to do with fans "turning their backs".

 

I do think it's probably in some ways admirable that Kobashi beat cancer and then trained hard to get himself back in shape in the hopes of making a full-time comeback. And I think even just a few years ago, people would have been jumping at the chance to cheer him for it. But then Chris Benoit killed his son with his wrestling finisher.

 

Returning from severe injury used to seem like some heroic conquering of the odds. Now it just feels like a one-way ticket to self destruction. It's hard to get behind that.

 

And honestly, there's enough good wrestling that has happened in the past that was filmed that pretty much everyone could watch wrestling matches they haven't seen before for the next 50 years or so and probably not come close to running out of material. I'm not going to actively root for wrestling to die, but if it happened at this point, I can't say I'd be all that torn up about it.

Yeah, after Benoit, I agree with everything here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't think Chris Benoit should be the rule of thumb. That was an entirely unique situation.

Perhaps he shouldn't be the rule of thumb as Benoit pushed his body harder than anyone (until the water balloon bust ) but he is a humongous warning symbol to everyone in the wrestling world of what can happen.

 

I don't think it's an entirely unique situation. I think we've already seen drastic results of brain damage and drug use effecting wrestlers behaviors. Let's not forget about the football players either. Let's also not forget the behaviour of some wrestlers today due to brain damage. I can see more possible murders in the future and part of that will be no doubt partly due to brain damage along with drug use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If wrestlers want to destroy themselves for a paycheck and to continue chasing their glory days of years past, that's fine and it's their decision. I don't think anyone should be banned from wrestling. I just don't personally feel compelled to glorify people pushing themselves beyond realistic limits at this point. That's my choice.

 

You can argue that increased fan expectations are partially to blame for the path wrestling has taken in the past 10-15 years and be correct. But it's still the wrestler making the final decision to put fame and fortune ahead of quality of life. That's their choice, and that choice has nothing to do with fans "turning their backs".

 

I do think it's probably in some ways admirable that Kobashi beat cancer and then trained hard to get himself back in shape in the hopes of making a full-time comeback. And I think even just a few years ago, people would have been jumping at the chance to cheer him for it. But then Chris Benoit killed his son with his wrestling finisher.

 

Returning from severe injury used to seem like some heroic conquering of the odds. Now it just feels like a one-way ticket to self destruction. It's hard to get behind that.

 

And honestly, there's enough good wrestling that has happened in the past that was filmed that pretty much everyone could watch wrestling matches they haven't seen before for the next 50 years or so and probably not come close to running out of material. I'm not going to actively root for wrestling to die, but if it happened at this point, I can't say I'd be all that torn up about it.

A lot of good points here. One thing I would like to point out is that there are a signifigant amount of people out there who have been jumping at the chance to cheer Kobashi for recovering from cancer and coming back from wrestling. See the youtube thread (please no jokes about youtube comments) or deathvalley thread for instance. Perhaps on the other side of the coin there aren't as many people cheering for a comeback now but to be honost, I don't remember reading negative comments anymore. Maybe it's where you look at.

 

But has Benoit stopped people from getting behind wrestlers who are trying to navigate down a dangerous path? If so, how much?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But has Benoit stopped people from getting behind wrestlers who are trying to navigate down a dangerous path? If so, how much?

Long term, I doubt it. Look at boxing, which has a periodic habit of having top boxers lapse into comas or death. Gerald McClellan being the most high-profile that comes to mind. A small percentage of fans turn away each time, but it does little long-term damage to the sport.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But has Benoit stopped people from getting behind wrestlers who are trying to navigate down a dangerous path? If so, how much?

Long term, I doubt it. Look at boxing, which has a periodic habit of having top boxers lapse into comas or death. Gerald McClellan being the most high-profile that comes to mind. A small percentage of fans turn away each time, but it does little long-term damage to the sport.

 

Interesting point.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But has Benoit stopped people from getting behind wrestlers who are trying to navigate down a dangerous path? If so, how much?

Yes to an extent. But it wasn't just Benoit. It was Benoit, combined with WWE's handling of the aftermath, combined with the Signature Pharmacy raid, combined with the fact that when thinking about Benoit, you then realize how many of the new wave of juniors from his era are now dead or crippled because of drugs.

 

I really don't think Chris Benoit should be the rule of thumb. That was an entirely unique situation.

I don't think anyone is expecting Kobashi to snap at any minute and murder a small child, but the point made with the Benoit tragedy, right or wrong, was that it's impossible to be successful in pro wrestling without being insane. When just six months ago, a wrestler did this, it's natural for people to make the correlation.

 

Long term, I doubt it. Look at boxing, which has a periodic habit of having top boxers lapse into comas or death. Gerald McClellan being the most high-profile that comes to mind. A small percentage of fans turn away each time, but it does little long-term damage to the sport.

Define damage. Maybe not to business, but what about reputation?

 

There's a reason that WWE draws some of the highest ratings on cable and has no bargaining power and also still can't attract advertisers.

 

Maintaining the status quo does not mean that no damage has been done.

 

For clarity, I'm not saying that's because of Benoit, because it was a problem long before he killed his wife and son. But wrestling has a horrible reputation, and having the reputation it has has caused long term damage, or at the very least prevented long term growth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't think Chris Benoit should be the rule of thumb. That was an entirely unique situation.

The thing about Benoit is that there was nothing unique about his situation except the outcome.

 

Obviously, it would be foolish to assume that every at risk wrestler (read: all of them, pretty much) is going to go on a killing spree. What should be a concern is that they're going to get to that point, that it's a requiremnet in a criminal culture with very abnormal moral standards, and there is no oversight from any concerned legal authority whatsoever. And while I'm not necessarily opposed to crazy idiots destroying themselves, I don't see why it has to be that way, and if it does pose a threat to the outside world - even if it is a very rare occurance - there should be some degree of regulation. Period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Define damage. Maybe not to business, but what about reputation?

 

There's a reason that WWE draws some of the highest ratings on cable and has no bargaining power and also still can't attract advertisers.

 

Maintaining the status quo does not mean that no damage has been done.

 

For clarity, I'm not saying that's because of Benoit, because it was a problem long before he killed his wife and son. But wrestling has a horrible reputation, and having the reputation it has has caused long term damage, or at the very least prevented long term growth.

Professional wrestling's reputation has been in the toilet for a long time. I think of David Schulz on 20/20, that's the public's image of most wrestlers. I've commented before that the Congressional hearings will lead to nothing. Already the talk is that they will center entirely on baseball (which is because of the Mitchell Report hitting the newswire). The problem is that the public simply does not care either way about the general plight of professional wrestlers. They can't unionize because they are utterly replaceable. The initials WWE mean 10x more than the name power of any individual wrestler.

 

Please keep in mind that I do not dispute that changes are needed in professional wrestling. I think Benoit was largely the result of a domestic dispute and that wrestling played a minimal role in it. But it is a problem when guys like Benoit and Eddie Guerrero sacrifice their lives to become successes. Benoit had his neck fused together, pumped himself full of steroids to become big enough to hold the world's championship. It was obvious looking at him in 2004 compared to 1996 that he was not the same person. Same with Eddie Guerrero. But we ignored it because we were happy to see them with world championships. Benoit perhaps should not have been in the ring, and he definitely should not have been doing the same moves.

 

Wrestling needs to take better care of its workers. I think WWE has done a good job lately of cutting out serious recreational drugs such as cocaine. That was a major problem and I honestly think the #1 killer of this generation of professional wrestlers. I'd like to see wrestlers get better health care after retirement. It seems to me that they are ok while active, but when the money stops rolling in, they can not take care of themselves and that is when the problems really set in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that the public simply does not care either way about the general plight of professional wrestlers.

They do care about (possibly) mentally retarded seven year olds.

 

Benoit had his neck fused together, pumped himself full of steroids to become big enough to hold the world's championship. It was obvious looking at him in 2004 compared to 1996 that he was not the same person. Same with Eddie Guerrero.

What? Benoit was much bigger in the mid '90s then he was the last several years of his life. He was still immensely juiced up, but he was smaller.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They do care about (possibly) mentally retarded seven year olds.

Not so much that they demand government intervention.

 

What? Benoit was much bigger in the mid '90s then he was the last several years of his life. He was still immensely juiced up, but he was smaller.

Maybe I'm wrong. I think he looked more muscled and less flexible? Or maybe the hair loss just made him look like crap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that the public simply does not care either way about the general plight of professional wrestlers.

They do care about (possibly) mentally retarded seven year olds.

 

Benoit had his neck fused together, pumped himself full of steroids to become big enough to hold the world's championship. It was obvious looking at him in 2004 compared to 1996 that he was not the same person. Same with Eddie Guerrero.

What? Benoit was much bigger in the mid '90s then he was the last several years of his life. He was still immensely juiced up, but he was smaller.

 

No he wasn't bigger in the mid 90s. He was bigger by a good margin in the WWF/WWE. Mid 90s he was humongous for his size and extremely cut (low bodyfat percentage) but he kept on adding weight after that. At the end of his WCW reign he was already bigger than when he got there (mid 90s). Than after he went to the WWF/WWE he got even bigger. I knew he was on more juice at the time to accomplish that. Initially, back in 2000 it was one of the reasons why I didn't want him to go the WWF. I'd knew he eventually get bigger due to them wanting everyone big and that'd probably be due to more outside help. I was right.

 

IIRC, you can really notice this if you watch a few of Benoit's NJPW matches in 1999/2000 compared to years past.

 

Same thing with Eddie too. Eddie was unbelievably cut in 97 (cut meaning low body percentage, to be like that all the time when even bodybuilders can't really do it is incredible) and muscular but smaller in the WCW. In the WWF/WWE he grew similar to Benoit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He had a much bigger upper body (at least relative to the rest of his body) in the mid '90s. OWW doesn't have any pics from early in his 2nd WCW run but they have these from ECW & NJPW:

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

I guess it's possible it's more of an optical illusion and he got a GH gut later on that made him look more even, but he looks less hulkingly massive here:

 

Posted Image

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He had a much bigger upper body (at least relative to the rest of his body) in the mid '90s. OWW doesn't have any pics from early in his 2nd WCW run but they have these from ECW & NJPW:

 

Posted Image

 

Posted Image

 

I guess it's possible it's more of an optical illusion and he got a GH gut later on that made him look more even, but he looks less hulkingly massive here:

 

Posted Image

As someone who has read tons of bodybuilding mags and seen lots of pictures over the years -- It's very decieving and tricky at times to accurately figure stuff like this out. I've always had trouble with it myself. Lighting, angles, posing, bodyfat percentage can all be tricky.

Look at the size of Benoit compared to his oppenents in NJPW 99/2000 compared to 1995. There are a few matches of his there and you can really tell the difference.

 

From the tights and face, it looks like the middle picture is from 93 where video footage tells us Benoit was smaller and not as ripped. Benoit was obviously not taking as much stuff than before he started getting bigger again in 94. Yet, that is an awesome picture and he looks as big as he ever has looked in it. But there's no way that Benoit was bigger or more cut in 93 than he was in the WWE/WWF. Just look at him against the heavies than compared to the heavies in the WWF. Just an example of how a picture can fool you.

 

One other thing is that we're just looking at the upperbody which is only part of the body. Benoit is known for having an upper body and legs that aren't as proportionately big looking. (Please note that tights or other clothes that stick close to your body make your legs look extra skinny). Still, legs are the biggest muscle and the foundation for muscles in your body. Once your legs are bigger, your upper body can become bigger too. You can see the extra thickness in Benoit's legs in the WWF/WWE compared to earlier in his career meaning he's holding more weight and muscle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I've joked over the years about Meltzer and I seeing Benoit jogging around an arena hours before a New Japan show in March 1995. Chris was extremely "stiff" in his running, in an over muscled, harder to move way. Meltzer's comment while watching him was that he looking like "Little Hawk" - an juiced out of his mind junior heavyweight. Chris stopped after he was done doing laps to talk to us, so it wasn't just a distant observation of him, but up close. It was the biggest Dave had ever seen him up to that point, and frankly Dave had been watching his career longer than just about anyone at that point and across every promotion and country he worked in. "Alarmed" would be the way I would describe Dave's reaction to the size.

 

Chris didn't seem quite as big for most of his WCW career. It was as if he was putting on size to get a gig with the Big 2, knowing how things were at the time specifically with WCW through that Sullivan pipeline that was going on.

 

Bodies change as you get older. It takes more and more effort to keep weight off, and you just naturally carry more weight. His time in the WWF/WWE was half a decade after that, and he died this year more than a decade after we watched him. There are a lot of times in the WWF, and even WCW, where I think we'd all agree that Chris looked alarmingly juiced out of his mind. And I'm not going to pretend that Chris hadn't been taking juice for years prior to 1995... could be as long as a decade as he might have been taking something when trying to break in. He took ridiculous amounts of juiced for decades.

 

I don't recall ever being more alarmed by just how insanely huge he looked relative to his body frame than I was in March 1995 watching him do those laps. Dave and I joked about people doing juice throughout that whole trip, including the longtime joke "Good Diet" coming out of it from a response by St. Clair on why his body had drastically changed. But Chris... there wasn't any joking on his size. It worried the shit out of us.

 

Chris worked so well for so long... came back from so many injuries to work hard again... you sort of mentally doped yourself up as a fan into ignoring the impact.

 

Anyway, while I agree with Bix on how huge Chris was in 1995 and it's something that will always stick with me until I drop dead... debating when Chris was at his most massive misses the point. Chris abused shit for ages. I think that's Bix's point. He didn't suddenly start accellerating in the WWE. He had for years. It's *possible* that if we had full documentation of everything Chris took from 1985 to 2007 we would see an increase over the years. It *is* tougher to maintain a look as the body ages, so he might have increased over the years.

 

I also think there's little doubt he was increasing abusing the non-performance enhancers as time went by. I'm confident that he had a long history of those as well - it's rare for people who worked like he did in the era he did to not have taken painkillers. He had a number of serious injuries as the years passed, and probably had countless ones prior to that which we know little of because he "Worked through Them" with the help of painkillers.

 

If we had what he took throughout his career, it's likely our heads would spin. We simply hear about the levels, but to date there's nothing akin to Dr. Nick for Elvis or the Tawny Kitean list for a pro wrestler.

 

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems like Austin was the only guy in wrestling who had a major injury and then adapted his style to do the most he could with as little strain on injured parts as possible.

During Austin's last heel run (when Helmsley went down) Austin was doing the opponent reverses a suplex and Austin eats a suplex on the ramp spot in every match. Also was the guy who turned the three rolling suplexes spot into the count along equivalent of Hase's giant swing "EIGHT! NINE! TEN!".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah... I don't think Austin was toning much down after either the injury from Owen or after coming back from the longer stretch off for the short face run and longer heel run. I use to cringe at what Austin was willing to eat.

 

Massive amounts of painkillers will help you get through shit... :/

 

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...