Kobashi in 2007
Mitsuharu Misawa and Go Shiozaki

Kobashi left All Japan in June 2000, taking part in a mass exodus led by Mitsuharu Misawa, which led to the formation of Pro Wrestling Noah.

- Kenta Kobashi

On December 3, 2012, Noah released Kenta Kobashi from his contract, reportedly leading to Atsushi Aoki, Go Shiozaki, Jun Akiyama, Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru all announcing that they were not going to re-sign with the promotion after their own contracts expired in January 2013.

- Pro Wrestling Noah

17 related topics with Alpha

Overall

All Japan Pro Wrestling

13 links

Japanese professional wrestling promotion established on October 21, 1972 when Giant Baba split away from the Japanese Wrestling Association and created his own promotion.

Japanese professional wrestling promotion established on October 21, 1972 when Giant Baba split away from the Japanese Wrestling Association and created his own promotion.

Steve Williams became one of AJPW's most successful gaijins after winning the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship in 1994
Mutoh in 2008 during the Pro Wrestling Love era. This was also his main attire in the era's early days.
Giant Baba, the founder of All Japan and owner until his death in January 1999.
Misawa left All Japan in June 2000 to form Pro Wrestling NOAH.

As the 1990s began, aging stars gave way to a younger generation including Mitsuharu Misawa, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, Kenta Kobashi, Gary Albright, Toshiaki Kawada, Mike Barton (Bart Gunn) and Akira Taue, leading to perhaps AJPW's most profitable period in the 1990s.

Misawa created Pro Wrestling NOAH and every single native wrestler besides Masanobu Fuchi and Toshiaki Kawada left All Japan.

Misawa making his entrance at a Ring of Honor event in 2007

Mitsuharu Misawa

12 links

Japanese amateur and professional wrestler and promoter.

Japanese amateur and professional wrestler and promoter.

Misawa making his entrance at a Ring of Honor event in 2007
Misawa with Go Shiozaki (right) in May 2009

He is primarily known for his time in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), and also for forming the Pro Wrestling Noah promotion in 2000.

In the early 1990s, Misawa gained fame alongside Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi, and Akira Taue, who came to be nicknamed AJPW's "Four Pillars of Heaven", and whose matches developed the ōdō (王道, "King's Road") style of puroresu and received significant critical acclaim.

Akiyama in October 2019

Jun Akiyama

12 links

Japanese professional wrestler signed to DDT Pro-Wrestling, where he is a former KO-D Openweight Champion.

Japanese professional wrestler signed to DDT Pro-Wrestling, where he is a former KO-D Openweight Champion.

Akiyama in October 2019

Akiyama is close friends with fellow AJPW alumni Kenta Kobashi, with whom he has a sarcastic backstage relationship.

His last match happened on July 20, where he and Jun Izumida lost to Takao Omori and Yoshihiro Takayama, and after that, he and other 25 wrestlers left to follow-up Misawa to form Pro Wrestling Noah.

Marufuji in August 2016

Naomichi Marufuji

10 links

Marufuji in August 2016
Marufuji in November 2007

Naomichi Marufuji (丸藤正道) (born September 26, 1979) is a Japanese professional wrestler who competes for Pro Wrestling Noah, with occasional appearances in other professional wrestling promotions including New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), Ring of Honor (ROH), and Impact Wrestling.

On July 5, 2009, Marufuji was appointed to the position of Noah's Vice President alongside Kenta Kobashi by Noah's current President Akira Taue in the wake of Misawa's death.

Shiozaki in January 2020

Go Shiozaki

10 links

Shiozaki in January 2020
Shiozaki in 2011

Go Shiozaki (潮﨑 豪) is a Japanese professional wrestler, currently signed to the Pro Wrestling Noah promotion where he is the former GHC Heavyweight Champion in a record breaking fifth reign.

Following his debut, Shiozaki became a protégé of the legendary Kenta Kobashi.

Kobayashi as Hideo Itami in March 2016

Kenta Kobayashi

9 links

Japanese professional wrestler signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he performs under the mononymous ring name Kenta (stylised in all capital letters), and is a member of the Bullet Club stable.

Japanese professional wrestler signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he performs under the mononymous ring name Kenta (stylised in all capital letters), and is a member of the Bullet Club stable.

Kobayashi as Hideo Itami in March 2016
Kenta (far left) with Samoa Joe and Katsuhiko Nakajima
Kenta at an ROH event, September 2008
Itami at WrestleMania Axxess, March 2015
Itami in April 2018
Kenta as the NEVER Openweight Champion in December 2019

He is known for his time in Pro Wrestling Noah where he was a one-time Global Honored Crown (GHC) Heavyweight Champion, three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, and one-time GHC Tag Team Champion; once was the inaugural reign with longtime partner and rival, Naomichi Marufuji, which saw the two hold the title for almost two years, as well as a reign with protégé Taiji Ishimori.

He trained under Kenta Kobashi and Yoshihiro Takayama.

Kanemaru in March 2017

Yoshinobu Kanemaru

9 links

Japanese professional wrestler, currently signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he also works as a backstage producer.

Japanese professional wrestler, currently signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he also works as a backstage producer.

Kanemaru in March 2017
Kanemaru in 2007
Kanemaru in February 2017

Kanemaru is best known for his work in Pro Wrestling Noah, where he holds the records for the most reigns with the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship.

On December 19, 2012, Noah announced that Kanemaru would be leaving the promotion, after refusing to re-sign following the firing of Kenta Kobashi.

Suzuki in 2017

Kotaro Suzuki

9 links

Japanese professional wrestler better known by the ring name Kotaro Suzuki (鈴木 鼓太郎).

Japanese professional wrestler better known by the ring name Kotaro Suzuki (鈴木 鼓太郎).

Suzuki in 2017

He is currently working as a freelancer, mainly for promotion Pro Wrestling Noah.

On December 19, 2012, Noah announced that Suzuki would be leaving the promotion, after refusing to re-sign after Kenta Kobashi was fired.

Aoki in 2017

Atsushi Aoki

9 links

Japanese professional wrestler who worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) as a wrestler, president of talent relations and head trainer at their dojo.

Japanese professional wrestler who worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) as a wrestler, president of talent relations and head trainer at their dojo.

Aoki in 2017
Aoki in 2018, as AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Champion

Aoki began his career in Pro Wrestling Noah in 2005, where he went on to become a two time winner of the Global Junior Heavyweight Tag League and hold the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship twice during his 7 year run with the promotion.

On December 19, Noah announced that Aoki would be leaving the promotion, after refusing to re-sign following the firing of Kenta Kobashi.

Kawada in 2008

Toshiaki Kawada

5 links

Japanese semi-retired professional wrestler best known for his work in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), whom he worked for from his debut in 1982 up until 2008.

Japanese semi-retired professional wrestler best known for his work in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), whom he worked for from his debut in 1982 up until 2008.

Kawada in 2008
Kawada performing an abdominal stretch on Zeus.
Kawada (right) and Bob Sapp (left) look at their opponents during a match in HUSTLE.

Widely considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, his matches against Mitsuharu Misawa, Jun Akiyama, and Kenta Kobashi in the 1990s are argued by many fans and experts in the industry as some of the greatest professional wrestling matches of all time.

Following the June 2000 series, Misawa and all but two native talent in All Japan resigned from their positions and defected to the newly formed Pro Wrestling Noah promotion; Toshiaki Kawada and Masanobu Fuchi were the only two native talent to stay with All Japan Pro Wrestling.