From the start, Cobra Kai has been a show about rivalries and rivalries. Johnny is reopening the Cobra Kai dojo because he’s still not over losing to Daniel in The Karate Kid. Daniel, in turn, begins training new Miyagi-do students due to the same rivalry. As the show progresses, numerous other storylines along the same lines emerge, from Miguel and Robby’s mutual hatred to Sam and Tory’s falling out.
By the end of Cobra Kai season five, pretty much all of those rivalries have melted away. Daniel and Johnny are friends, Miguel and Robby make amends, Tory and Sam bond, and even the Dojo War itself appears to end with Terry Silver’s arrest. Even the minor rivalries, like that between Robby and Kenny Payne, are crushed by the end of the season. With Kreese escaping prison, there’s still a potentially villainous force at large, but “Cobra Kai” might be better off exploring a different kind of rivalry in the future.
The main story that is still open at the end of Season 5 is the international karate tournament Sekai Taikai, to which all three major “Cobra Kai” dojos are invited. For a while it looked like the show’s main rivalries would take place out there, but now that they’re all friends again, the tournament could get even more interesting. A friendly rivalry can be just as compelling as a hateful one, and characters now have a chance to learn from each other and grow even stronger.