Hot Dog Champs Chestnut, Kobayashi Revive Rivalry for Netflix Showdown


In the early morning stillness, a most unexpected announcement shrouded the air. Joey Chestnut, the titan of the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, was suddenly disqualified from the annual July 4th event held at Coney Island. Chestnut had emerged victorious in the contest an unprecedented 16 times, and his unexpected bow out from the competition left many perplexed.

However, as the news shocked the world, a twist waited in the wings. Netflix broke their silence, unveiling an all-new competitive eating show, slated to air on Labor Day. The titanic gastronomic event would star not only Joey Chestnut but also his former arch-rival, Takeru Kobayashi.

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This Labor Day, while most will delight in backyards with sizzling grills and charred, smokey hot dogs, Netflix aims to enthrall the nation with its live spectacle, “Chestnut vs. Kobayashi: Unfinished Beef.” The two goliaths of the competitive eating realm are scheduled to reignite their long-dormant rivalry before the eyes of the nation.

While the specifics of the upcoming Monday, Sept. 2 culinary extravaganza remain a mystery, it is expected to echo the rules of the infamous Nathan’s contest. Participants, under duress of a ticking clock, will strive to consume as many hot dogs and buns as their bellies can accommodate within a nail-biting 10-minute time frame.

Earlier this week, Nathan’s and Major League Eating, the governing body of the annual Independence Day spectacle, stunned the world by declaring Chestnut ineligible to compete in the upcoming contest. They cited that Chestnut’s newly inked sponsorship deal with Impossible Foods, a renowned manufacturer of plant-based hot dogs, had violated Nathan’s competition terms.

Among the competitive eaters, Kobayashi, at 46, is a trailblazer, credited with transforming competitive eating into a much-beloved novelty sport. The stalwart competitor from Japan, with his slender 5’8″ frame, dominated the July 4 hot dog eating contest with consecutive victories from 2001 through 2006, leaving millions in awe.

Chestnut, though, managed to be the David to Kobayashi’s Goliath. After studying at San Jose State University, Chestnut, a Kentucky native, took the competitive eating world by storm. Since his introduction, he’s blazed a trail of victories, earning the reputation of being the most successful competitor in the sport’s history. Despite an upset defeat in 2015 to Matthew Stonie, Chestnut has consistently trounced the competition in every Nathan’s hot dog contest since 2007.

On the culinary battlefield of “Unfinished Beef,” the initial odds favor Chestnut, boosted by offshore bookmakers. A winning $100 bet on Chestnut stands to net $10, while the same bet on the underdog Kobayashi could bring home a remarkable $550. However, no legal, regulated sportsbook in the U.S. is currently accepting bets for this historic event pending further details and official sanctioning from a governing body like Major League Eating.

Chestnut, in his announcement of the Netflix event, lauded Kobayashi for his contributions towards making competitive eating a mainstream attraction during the Independence Day celebrations. Their riveting final face-off in 2009 ended in a 68-64.5 victory in favor of Chestnut.

Recalling that heated contest, Chestnut paid homage to Kobayashi, stating, “Competing against him pushed me to be so much better. I know that fans have waited a long time for another chapter of our rivalry and I can’t wait for our massive showdown live on Netflix! It’s time to give the people what they want!”

Despite his long hiatus from the scene, Kobayashi, who has yet to officially announce his retirement, asserts his readiness for one last epic battle. “Retiring for me will only happen after I take him down one last time,” he declared, oozing confidence. The stage is now set for a much-anticipated, high-energy gastronomic showdown between the two titans on Netflix.