DDT Pro Wrestling have today confirmed that legendary Japanese grappler Kenta Kobashi will serve as ‘Special Observer’ to the main event of Kawasaki Strong, which will see KO-D Openweight Champion Tetsuya Endo attempt to repel the surging Jun Akiyama.
Endo, who has held the promotion’s top title since June 2020, sought the assistance of the former NOAH and All Japan great as he continued preparations for his upcoming title defense.
Earlier this month, it was reported by Tokyo Sports that Endo had visited the Kobashi owned Anytime Fitness gym branch in Todoroki, Tokyo, to speak to Kobashi directly, with the pair reportedly in consultation for around an hour.
Kobashi would seem an ideal candidate from which to mine knowledge on Akiyama.
The pair have a storied history, with Kobashi having been Akiyama’s debut opponent before going on to have multiple battles across All Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Following the announcement of Kobashi’s participation at the Kawasaki Strong press conference, Akiyama attempted to shrug off the news, remarking:
I’ve won most of my title matches that had Kobashi-san in the venue as observer. Did Endo know that when he asked Kobashi-san?
For Endo, the leader of the Damnation stable, the advice received has only strengthened his resolve ahead of what will surely be his biggest challenge to date:
I know I can beat Akiyama now; this time the goal will crossover appeal. I won the Tokyo Sports Technique Award, but there’s another one above that (the MVP). After this match, it will feel natural that my name is up there among the nominees.
The full press conference for the show was held today in Nagoya and has been summarised in the below Twitter thread:
— DDT/TJPW English Update (D/TEU) (@ddtpro_eng) February 8, 2021
The card, which will emanate from the historic Korakuen Hall, is set to feature several choice matches including DDT Universal Champion Yuki Ueno defending against Yukio Sakaguchi, as well as appearances from Sanshiro Takagi, Konosuke Takeshita, Chris Brookes and more.