Awards and Recognition
Tokyo Sports Grand Prix:
Most Valuable Player (2005)
Fighting Spirit Award (2010)
Pro Wrestling Illustrated:
Highest Rank was #3 in 2005
Puroresu Central Awards:
Second Place Wrestler of the Year (2010)
Comeback Wrestler of the Year (2010)
Wrestling Observer Awards:
Tag Team of the Year (2010)
May 3rd, 1997 with Nakanishi vs. Riki Choshu and Kensuke Sasaki
December 11th, 2001 with Tenzan vs. Mike Barton and Jim Steele
March 28th, 2003 vs. Arashi
February 16th, 2005 vs. Toshiaki Kawada
February 20th, 2005 vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
The Koji Cutter
A lariat on Suzuki
Satoshi Kojima was born on September 14th, 1970, in Katsuyama City, Japan. He was pretty active in high school, and immediately sought out to enter the New Japan Pro Wrestling dojo in February of 1991. He would be trained by Animal Hamaguchi and he would be taught by Stan Hansen to utilize the Lariat as his primary finisher. He would make his debut on July 16th, 1991, when he would face Hiroyoshi Yamamoto who you would now know as Hiroyoshi Tenzan. He would find only minor success, but during the 1994 Young Lion's Cup he would win the tournament when he defeated Manabu Nakanishi. Kojima would leave Japan for a while and pursue wrestling in Germany to hone in on his skills. He would return in January of 1996 with a bigger physique and more of an attitude. He would maintain a presence in New Japan and a little over a year later he would win his first title when he, and Manabu Nakanishi, would win the IWGP Tag Team Titles from Riki Choshu and Kensuke Sasaki. They would hold the titles till August 10th, 1997, when they would lose to Kensuke Sasaki and Kazuo Yamazaki. He would eventually brake away from Nakanishi and at the end of 1998 he would turn heel and join NWO Japan.
He would then partner with his old rival Tenzan, and they would call themselves TenKoji, and on January 4th, 1999, they would win the IWGP Tag Team Title against Genichiro Tenryu and Shiro Koshinaka. They would only hold the titles for two months when Kensuke Sasaki and Shiro Koshinaka would defeat them. There would be a no success in their title hunt for a while, but on July 20th, 2000, they would defeat Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata for their second run as IWGP Tag Team Champions. They would go on to dominate New Japan and signify themselves as one of the greatest tag teams of all time. They would even win the G1 Tag League of 2001 when they defeated Mike Barton and Jim Steele. It would not be till September 23, 2001, that they would lose the titles to Tatsumi Fujinami and Osamu Nishimura. At the start of 2002 Kojima would defect, with his mentor Keiji Mutoh and Kendo KaShin, to rival company All Japan Pro Wrestling. The move was in part do to the way New Japan was leaning towards making the company more shoot-style oriented.
The move only seemed to create even more success for him as a wrestler. On September 26th, 2002, during an oversees trip to the U.S., he would defeat Jerry Lynn to win his first Singles Heavyweight Championship the MLW World Heavyweight Title. Back in Japan he would find success back in the tag division as he, along with Taiyo Kea, would go on to win the Real World Tag League and the AJPW World Tag Team Titles on December 6th, 2002. Kojima would use around this time his other persona known as the Great Koji to take on Mutoh's other persona the Great Muta. In 2003, he would win the Champion Carnival 2003 when he defeated Arashi. He would then win The BAPE STA!! Tag Tournament when he and the APEMAN, defeated Arashi and Kendo Kashin in the finals. He would then go to ZERO-ONE-MAX to defeat Shinjiro Otani and win the 2003 Fire Festival. Lastly, he would win the 2003 Real World Tag League when he, and Kaz Hayashi, would defeat Jamal and Justin Credible. On January 2nd, 2004, Kojima would win the All Asia Tag Team Titles, with Shiryu, as the Great Kosuke, his persona based off of The Great Sasuke. Then only sixteen days later he would go on to win the AJPW World Tag Team Title, with Kaz Hayashi, against Keiji Muto and Arashi. He would hold onto both tag titles for around four months when he would lose them both less than a month apart from each another.
On February 16th, 2005, he won his first Heavyweight Title in Japan when he defeated Toshiaki Kawada. Then on February 20th, 2005, just four days after winning the Triple Crown, Kojima defeated former rival and ex-tag partner Hiroyoshi Tenzan for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He would wear New Japan's title till May 14th when Tenzan would finally win it back. Kojima would continue though to carry the Triple Crown and it was not till over a year later on July 3rd, 2006, that he would lose the title to Taiyo Kea. After the lose he would go to wrestle in New Japan's G-1 Climax Tournament, where he would make it to the finals and lose against Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Kojima then announced that he would reform TenKoji, with Tenzan, and that they would compete in the 2006 Real World Tag League. At the end of the year TenKoji won the Tag League when they defeated Kohei Suwama and RO'Z during the finals.
2007 saw a major change in Kojima as he went from a crowd favorite to a member of the hated Voodoo Murderers. Before going to the dark side, on February 17th he went for Suzuki's Triple Crown Championship but Suzuki would come out victorious. At the Champion Carnival he defeated Minoru Suzuki and RO'Z but did not reach the finals. During the summer TARU began to recruit Kojima and after several weeks he finally succeeded as Kojima turned on Kensuke Sasaki and joined the Voodoo Murderers. After feuding with Sasaki, on August 26th he teamed with TARU to win the All Japan World Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against Kea and Kawada. In the Real World Tag League he teamed with Suwama and they reached the finals before falling to Mutoh and Doering.
After wrestling for the Voodoo Murderers for the last half of 2007, in 2008 Kojima turned his back on their evil ways and created his own faction. In the Champion Carnival, Kojima defeated Toshiaki Kawada but he came in 4th place in his bracket. Kojima missed the next few months due to injury, and made his return on July 20th. His time away gave him time to think and he decided he didn't want to be in the Voodoo Murderers any longer. His war on the Voodoo Murderers began in August, as he defeated TARU on August 22nd and battled TARU & Togi Makabe with Tenzan at the August Sumo Hall event. He also began teaming with Yamato and KAI, and he formed a faction called F4. At the November Sumo Hall event F4 would take on New Japan, but the New Japan wrestlers would come out victorious. Kojima and Tenzan participated in the Real World Tag League, and the pair would win the tournament for the second time.
Leading F4 throughout the year, Kojima had a great year in 2009 as he won back the Triple Crown Championship. In the Champion Carnival in March, Kojima did well as he won his Block (including wins over Suwama and Minoru Suzuki)
but he fell in the semi-finals to Kaz Hayashi. During the summer his feud with GURENTAI stepped up as he also feuded with the Voodoo Murders. In September he picked up a big victory for his team as Zodiac left the Voodoo Murderers and joined F4. On September 26th, Kojima challenged Takayama for the Triple Crown and won after a Lariat, giving Kojima his second reign with the championship. In the Real World Tag League, Kojima teamed with Zodiac and the team was doing very well (including wins over Suwama & Masayuki Kono and Yoshihiro Takayama & NOSAWA Rongai) when Kojima got the flu and they were forced to forfeit the remainder of their matches.