Kobe might be Kobashi. Think about that one a bit.
The only real difference is that most everyone hates Kobe, including some Lakers Fans like myself who thank him for Five More Rings. In contrast, I think most people in the business liked Kobashi.
But the other parallels run far and deep.
I actually thought about Kobe-Kenta. But I recently read Meltzer's big Kobashi retrospective from a couple of years ago and I decided against that comp because Kobashi wasn't a star athlete in high school like Misawa and Kawada. Obviously Kenta was great from the start. I went with Terry Funk leaning on 2nd generation stars, great work, and just having totally unique and bizarre lives even within their profession which is full of people with unique and bizarre lives.
Kobashi had "it" right from the start, and got a push beyond his level really early: those 1989 TV matches in his second year are similar to Kobe making the All Star Game push in his second season.
I think Kobashi had a natural gift for pro wrestling, similar to Kobe for basketball. There isn't pro wrestling in jr high and high school, or Kobashi would have been eating up the Nike Puoresu Camps and been a McDonalds High School All-Nippon member.
There are some dissimilar things, such as Kobe being an utter dick. But the similarities, right down to them both "playing through injuries" that hardly anyone else would and then breaking down body part by body part. They also both were more insanely driven than any player of their generation... kind of pathological in each case.