Date of Birth
March 12, 1981
Place of Birth
After winning fans over in Japan with his hardcore style, Masato Tanaka has decided to see if he can become a star in the United States. He has signed on with Paul Heyman and made his ECW debut tonight at Living Dangerously 1998. He defeated former WCW star Doug Furnas in a singles match after hitting a running elbow.
March 1, 1998
Reports have surfaced that WWE intends on having Prince Devitt and Kenta Kobayashi continue working as a tag team. A possible tag title run is being discussed. However, this might lead to some problems, as one of the things that Devitt reportedly requested when he signed his contract was that he not be forced to stay in developmental for too long of a period. Devitt feels that he has enough international experience to be qualified for the main roster.
November 22, 2014
Those that watch WWE NXT saw a character named Finn Balor making his debut this week by being the mystery partner for Hideo Itami in his feud against the Ascension. That is pretty big news for fans of international wrestling. Balor was formerly known as Prince Devitt, a star in New Japan for a very long time. Itami is Kenta Kobayashi, one of the better performers in all of Asia.
November 7, 2014
Since he had spent many years utilizing the stiffer style of wrestling in Japan, there were concerns in WWE about Kenta Kobayashi being able to adapt to their more moderate style. Reports have surfaced that the newly named Hideo Itami is indeed having some trouble making the adjustments. A match he did was recently filmed again because officials felt that his kicks were too light and off the mark. It is a sign that he is trying to hold back on the realism.
October 29, 2014
Reports have surfaced that Prince Devitt and Kenta Kobayashi are going to be promoted to the main roster very soon. The two of them are established international stars, and management is not going to have them languishing in the developmental program. WWE knows that the promotion might upset some of the guys that have been in WWE NXT for a while, but it is a move that they want to do.
September 30, 2014
When he finally signed a developmental contract with WWE, many fans were under the impression that Kenta Kobayashi might be one of the rare exceptions who get to keep using their names. However, management opted against that and changed his name to Hideo Itami. The reason fro WWE doing this is because they want to be able to own the rights to the name in case he becomes a big star and leaves someday.
September 12, 2014
It has now been revealed that WWE pays their developmental wrestlers approximately $25000 a year. There's usually a two or three year commitment involved as well. An established guy like Kenta Kobayashi may be receiving a higher salary, however. The average amount is definitely less than what some of these guys with name value can make on the independent wrestling circuit.
September 11, 2014
Originally, Ric Flair was scheduled to make an appearance at WWE NXT tonight at the Takeover 2 event. The former world heavyweight champion was supposed to introduce Kenta Kobayashi to the fans as a way to accelerate the fan support for the Japanese star. However, it has now been revealed that Flair has canceled on the appearance due to some sort of personal issue.
September 11, 2014
The widespread assumption among wrestling fans is that Triple H is the one responsible for bringing in Prince Devitt, Kenta Kobayashi and Kevin Steen into WWE. However, during a recent interview, Kevin Nash specifically stated that HHH was against the idea of bringing in performers who have worked a good amount of time elsewhere. Nash stated that HHH preferred to produce talent in house instead. That has caused people to wonder who was behind the decision to bring in Devitt, Steen and Kobayashi.
September 5, 2014
One the things that made Kenta Kobayashi so famous in Japan was his diverse moves set. Unfortunately, though, a lot of his signature maneuvers cannot e utilized in WWE. His Go 2 Sleep finisher is commonly associated with CM Punk nowadays. His knee finisher and submission move are both being used by Daniel Bryan. The belief is that WWE will have him come up with new moves in developmental.
July 20, 2014
Triple H might be downplaying his arrival to the developmental program, but Kenta Kobayashi is far from a regular new performer joining WWE. Internally, he is being viewed as a major marketing asset as the company is hoping to expand its reaches in Japan. A television network has already agreed to air WWE NXT since Kobayashi will be featured on those shows. The Japanese star is also set to help promote the WWE Network when it expands overseas.
July 17, 2014
"He just signed with us. I was there when he had his tryout at the WWE Performance Center and I met with him there. We've been working on this for a while. His training will start when he gets here. The thing is, you can be a big star anyplace else in the world. That gets you in the door. What you do once you get here is a whole different ballgame. He's no different than anybody else once he walks through the door of the Performance Center." - Triple H on how Kenta Kobayashi will be treated in WWE
July 17, 2014
Even though he had already established himself as one of the top performers overseas, Kenta Kobayashi is actually being sent to the developmental program by WWE. Management wants him to change up his style a bit and adopt the slower pace style that the company prefers. No word yet on how long Kobayashi will be required to stay down at the WWE Performance Center.
July 12, 2014
WWE has a very big announcement being set up in Tokyo this week. It's such a major move in Japan that they even have Hulk Hogan making an appearance at the event. The belief is that this is where the company will reveal that they have signed Kenta Kobayashi, one of the better performers in the country, to a contract to join the WWE roster.
July 11, 2014
Next month, WWE is heading over to Japan for a quick tour, and local media has been announcing that the company will hold a press conference to reveal that they have signed Kenta Kobayashi to a contract. WWE has been wanting to increase their presence in the country, and they can greatly improve their chances of doing that by bringing on board one of the more known performers in Japan.
June 28, 2014
Rumors have it that WWE has been signing some of the best international talent to their developmental program. Names like Kevin Steen, Prince Devitt and Kenta Kobayashi have surfaced as potential candidates to join the company later on this year. Unfortunately, though, WWE will not be bringing in Sarita, long considered one of the best international female performers in the business. She received a tryout with the company back in March but no contract has been offered.
June 4, 2014
If things go as planned, WWE could have themselves three new stars on the main roster by 2015. Prince Devitt, Kevin Steen and Kenta Kobayashi are rumored to have been signed to developmental contracts with the company. All three need work visas to be completed, but they're expected to start training before the summer ends. Devitt, Steen and Kobayashi are viewed as three of the top international stars available.
May 31, 2014
With rumors swirling like crazy that he is set to join WWE, Kenta Kobayashi, one of the top stars in Japan, released a simple statement to his fans. He basically stated that an announcement about his future in professional wrestling was coming up soon. The belief is that he is waiting for his work visa to clear before revealing his intentions to join WWE.
May 19, 2014
Earlier this year, the hot rumors were that Kenta Kobayashi was going to be signing with WWE after the Japanese star came to the United States and did a tryout for the company. The industry was a bit shocked recently when it was announced that Kobayashi was leaving Pro Wrestling NOAH, his longtime home. The belief is that he no longer wants to work the physically demanding style in Japan.
May 8, 2014
While a lot of fans in the United States are hoping that he ends up joining WWE, there are rumors floating around that Kenta Kobayashi could be signing with New Japan instead. A lot of speculation has arisen since his contract with Pro Wrestling NOAH expired earlier this week. Kobayashi did do a tryout for WWE earlier in the year.
May 1, 2014
Back in January, a buzz was created when it appears that Kenta Kobayashi was going to be signing with WWE since he worked a tryout for the company. However, the company never gave him a contract, and he Kobayashi returned to Japan. Pro Wrestling NOAH has just announced, however, that their longtime star is leaving the promotion, which has started rumors about Kobayashi finally joining WWE.
April 30, 2014