Another blast from the wXw past now, as we continue our look at wXw’s top 15 matches of 2005.

Andy Jackson’s hosting again as he introduces match number 14: Ares vs. Kenta Kobashi. Yep, Kenta Kobashi. In wXw. Earlier in the year, wXw had booked Mitsuharu Misawa for a tag match, and this was Kobashi coming in six weeks after THAT match with Samoa Joe in ROH. Much more recently, Kobashi had worked the Universal Uproar supercard in Coventry, England the night before heading to Germany…

Andy tells us how impressed he was with Kobashi’s studying of Ares going in, before telling us that this match comes from the Roxy in Essen. Huh… Cagematch listed it as coming from the Turock in Essen, a venue that wXw used in 2005 and 2006.

Ares vs. Kenta Kobashi
Ares’ wXw World Heavyweight Championship wasn’t on the line here. Kobashi gets absolutely showered with streamers, as is tradition, and I’ll just warn you now – if you’re sensitive to flashing lights, his intro is absolutely not for you.

Ares offers a handshake as the Essen crowd boomed out Kobashi’s name. Of course the offer’s rescinded as Kobashi backs Ares into the ropes, with Ares playing the braggard to a tee here. There’s another handshake offer, but this time Ares suckers Kenta with a kick to the gut… and gets CHOPPED in response. Eseen loved that.

Referee Tassilo Jung tucks in Ares’ shirt as they get going again, but Kobashi just lights him up with chops before Ares raked and bit away at Kobashi’s face. A sidewalk slam dropped Kobashi for barely a one-count, following up with an elbow drop for another one-count. Chops from Kobashi offered a way back in, but Ares goes to the eye again before he followed in with a shoulder charge in the corner. The crowd’s heavily on Ares’ back as he slammed Kobashi once more, this time getting a two-count, before he choked Kobashi with his tie. Ares blames Kobashi for “stealing his tie,” before Kobashi fired up with a series of chops, knocking the Swissman down. Kobashi’s quickly taken to a knee as Ares followed in with a camel-ish clutch, before he mocked the crowd by hitting the ropes… so he could trap Kobashi in a chinlock.

Kobashi gets to the rope to force a break, but Ares stays on him before Kobashi got free and took him into the ropes for some knees to the gut. A chop to the throat took down Ares, with a second on the mat getting Kobashi a two-count as he then proceeded to strip Ares of his shirt. You know what that means. More chops. Enough to leave Ares hunched over the ropes for safety… but Kobashi just chops the back of the neck instead.

MORE CHOPS. Then an elbow drop/neckbreaker that gets Kobashi a two-count as I dare not call that an Eye of the Hurricane. We then go to the Cobra twist, but it’s right by the ropes as Ares forces a break, only to get caught with a back suplex for a two-count. They head outside the ring, into the unlit void of the crowd as we see some more chops from Kobashi before he took Ares back into the ring for more chops to the neck. A Boston crab followed as Ares again needed the ropes to save him, before more chops drew another near-fall.

Ares hit back with a spinning back suplex for a two-count, then with a regular suplex for a similar result, before a Tiger Bomb almost got Ares the win. He looks for a second one, but Kobashi back body drops out, before a spinning chop took Ares into the corner for the Machine Gun chops. Essen were loving every second of this, so of course, Kobashi gives Ares a second dose, before another spinning chop and a half and half suplex dropped Ares for a near-fall. From there, a stiff lariat from Kobashi drops Ares… and that’s your win!

On the surface, this was a match that couldn’t really go wrong: the hated Ares up against Kenta who was playing the hits – but at this stage in his career, he was down to what’d be his final dozen singles matches as a variety of injuries took their toll, alongside a fight with cancer that Kobashi would beat. At this point though, it really didn’t matter – by 2005, Kobashi’s career had long since earned the reverence that he still has today, almost eight years after his retirement.

Result: Kenta Kobashi pinned Ares in 17:44 (***½)