Kobayashi Kuniaki

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Kobayashi Kuniaki
Ring name(s) Kobayashi Kuniaki
Kid Koby
Real name Kobayashi Kuniaki
Nickname(s) Tiger Hunter
Billed height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Billed weight 108 kg (240 lb; 17.0 st)
Born 1956/1/11 (1956-01-11) (age 62)
Komoro, Nagano
Shishō Yamamoto Kotetsu
Masa Saitō
Debut 1973/2/1
Retired 2000/4/21

Kobayashi Kuniaki (小林邦昭) was a Japanese professional wrestler. He is famous for numerous acclaimed matches against the first two Tiger Masks: Sayama Satoru and Misawa Mitsuharu.


New Japan Pro-Wrestling (1972-1984)

Kobayashi joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1972 at the age of 16 and had his debut match against Kurisu Masanobu on 1973/2/1 in Saijō, Ehime.[1]

Like many rookies were, he was sent to Mexico in 1980.

In 1982, he went to the Los Angeles territory where he wrestled under the name Kid Koby and won the NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship.

After he returned to Japan in 1982/10, he had a feud with the original Tiger Mask. Because of his "antiheroic" actions in the ring, he was regarded as the "Tiger Hunter". Kobayashi also allied with Chōshū Riki, Masa Saitō, and Killer Khan as a part of the Kakumeigun and later Ishin Gundan.

All Japan Pro-Wrestling (1984-1987)

In 1984/9, Kobayashi, along with other Ishin Gundan members, left New Japan and formed Japan Pro-Wrestling which made a working agreement with All Japan Pro-Wrestling. While wrestling for All Japan, he feuded with the second version of Tiger Mask, Misawa Mitsuharu. He won NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship in 1985 and World Junior Heavyweight Championship in 1986.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (1987-2000)

Chōshū, Kobayashi, and some of the Japan Pro wrestlers returned to New Japan in 1987. He won IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in 1987/8. He also served as the first opponent for Jūshin Liger under this persona.

Later he moved up to the heavyweight division and joined Koshinaka Shirō to form the "Han-Senshukai Dōmei" (Alliance against the Wrestlers Association), which was renamed Heisei Ishingun in 1993.

Around this time, Kobayashi had two colorectal cancer surgeries. In 1999, he had surgery to battle liver cancer. The Heisei Ishingun dissolved in the same year, and Kobayashi had his last match on 2000/4/21 against Jūshin Thunder Liger. Sayama was one of the guests for the retirement ceremony, and Misawa also sent a message.

Since the retirement, Kobayashi has remained involved in puroresu, currently as caretaker of the New Japan Dōjō. He occasionally wrestles in legends matches.


  1. ^ "選手名鑑". 新日本プロレスオフィシャルWEBサイト.