Kenta Kobayashi

is a Japanese professional wrestler, best known by his ring name Kenta (stylized in all capital letters). He is signed to the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, where he wrestles for its developmental territory NXT under the ring name Hideo Itami, but is currently on hiatus due to injury. A former amateur kickboxer, Kobayashi’s wrestling style is based upon strong kicks and strikes. He is best known for his time in Pro Wrestling Noah, however he started his career in All Japan Pro Wrestling, before moving to Pro Wrestling Noah; through Noah’s involvement in the Global Professional Wrestling Alliance, a global organization of cooperative promotions that allow their competitors to travel abroad to other companies, he has wrestled extensively in American promotion Ring of Honor (ROH). He initially wrestled under his real name, but due to potential confusion with his mentor Kenta Kobashi (in both English and Japanese), he dropped his surname and began only using his given name, which he spelled with Roman letters in all capitals. Kobayashi has won several professional wrestling championships in his career: he is a former one-time Global Honored Crown 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 was also the winner of the 2012 Global League and the 2013 Global Tag League tournaments.

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