Pro Wrestling Legend Jinsei Shinzaki Reflects On Meeting Kenoh For The First Time And Giving Him His Name
On December 2nd at Pro Wrestling NOAH’s NOAH THE BEST 2023 event at the Yokohama Budokan, pro wrestling legend Jinsei Shinzaki is set to team with the GHC Heavyweight Champion Kenoh as they face another pro wrestling legend Tatsumi Fujinami and his partner Manabu Soya in the featured match of the show.
In a recent interview now available on NOAH’s YouTube channel, Jinsei Shinzaki talked about Kenoh who Shinzaki refers to as his favorite disciple.
Jinsei Shinzaki was asked how he and Kenoh met for the first time:
We have been holding the Michinoku Pro Wrestling event in TokushimaJinsei Shinzaki
every March for almost 30 years now, and I go back every January or February to prepare for it. And how many years ago was it when we met? I think it was when KENOH was in junior high school, so it was a long time ago. That was the first time I met him. I heard that he was strong. He was big, so I was very impressed.
Jinsei Shinzaki then explained how Kenoh came to join Michinoku Pro Wrestling:
I was first introduced to Mr. Fukuda of Fukuda Records in Tokushima, andJinsei Shinzaki
he called me. At that time, KENOH was the best in Japan and the best in the world at Nippon Kempo at Meiji University. After he graduated, he told me, “I’ve heard that you want to join Michi Pro. I thought that if KENOH was going to be a wrestler, it would be better for him to join a major organization like New Japan, or All Japan or NOAH, I don’t remember at that time, but not Michinoku Pro Wrestling. I don’t remember if it was All Japan or NOAH at the time, but I think it would be better for him to be with a major organization. He was like an Olympic gold medalist, so, of course, I thought it would be better for me to show his ability in such a place [like a major organization]. I thought it would be a place that would give KENOH a better chance to advance. [After that,] he said that he really wanted to be in Michinoku Pro, so I thought, “Well, if that’s the case, I’ll start him in Michinoku,” and I accepted.
Jinsei Shizaki was the one to give Kenoh his name and explained why he chose it:
I chose the name ‘KENOH’ because I really view him to be the king ofJinsei Shinzaki
Nippon Kempo. I read somewhere that he said he was very uncomfortable and embarrassed at first, though he did not tell me that directly.
Jinsei Shinzaki is currently signed to Michinoku Pro Wrestling where he serves as the promotion’s president in addition to being an in ring competitor. He has held the position of president for Michinoku Pro Wrestling since 2003.
Many fans may remember his run in the WWF as Hakushi. He was with the WWF from 1994 though 1996. He feuded with Bret Hart while in the WWF and the two had many memorable matches that fans still talk about today.
Fans can watch his upcoming match with Kenoh against Tatsumi Fujinami and Manabu Soya LIVE on Wrestle Universe streaming service on December 2nd.
You can follow Lewis Carlan on Twitter @ShootingUpNorth