In terms of wrestling, what comes to mind when I say the word “Superman”? A seemingly endless winning streak? Freakishly short recovery time after an injury? The ability to flip over a production truck with their hands?
Satoshi Kojima has none of these qualities. And yet, he might be the hero wrestling needs
Let’s talk about comics for a second. What defines Superman? It’s not the superpowers. Since there are characters with similar skillsets that use these powers for evil or personal gain. What defines Superman is that he uses these powers for good. Everything he does is has the goal of making the world a better place, or just making sure the world continues to be a place that exists.
How could you apply this set of values to professional wrestling? Well, the first step is to make sure the business has a future. And this is why you often seen Kojima working with Young Lions, or taking the pin in a match against some of the more popular members of the roster. He’s won the belts, he’s been on top, and his legacy as a one of the all-time greats is secure. Plenty of wrestlers have refused to let go of that top spot, despite being past their prime. Kojima has become a selfless legend that’s willing to take a step aside and help build both the present and future of NJPW.
Of course he’s not only a charitable man inside the squared circle. He also contributes to causes that extend way beyond it. I’m Mexican, and I was a bit devastated after an earthquake took out a sizable chunk of Mexico City last year. I was watching the news one day and I spotted a familiar figure in the middle of the disaster relief efforts. It was Kojima. He was on tour with CMLL when the tragedy happened. He was a guest in our country, and had no real obligation to help. And yet, there he was, being a superhero. Of course, he’s also helped raise funds for causes such as Takayamania and other philanthropic efforts.
In the ring, outside of it and even on social media. Kojima is a force of positivity and kindness. He’s a wrestler that feels human in a way very few of them do. Satoshi is currently on NJPW’s injury reserve list, and on his social media he’s sharing more than the usual updates. Some people will limit themselves to saying “I’ll be back soon, to kick ass and take names” or something along lines. Kojima drops the posturing and talks about frustration, pain, the loss of his dog. He’s somehow managed to be both a larger than life figure and a regular guy at the nice time.
You know who’s also a larger than life figure and a regular guy at the same time? Superman!
And of course, every superhero needs a weakness. Sometimes it’s Kryptonite, and in Kojima’s case…it’s bread.
I’d say Kojima is definitively the hero we need.