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Wrestling world mourning death of cult hero Masashi Ozawa, known as Killer Khan

The wrestling world is in mourning after the death of cult hero Masashi Ozawa, also known as Killer Khan, at age 76.

New Japan Pro Wrestling reports Ozawa collapsed in his bar in Tokyo last week. He was taken to hospital but died after suffering a ruptured artery.

Ozawa began his wrestling career in 1971 in Japan, but rose to prominence in the 1980s when he was signed by the WWE.

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He was involved in a number of high-profile fights against legends such as Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan.

After his career in the ring, Ozawa opened several restaurants and bars in Japan and also had a cameo in martial arts movie 3 Ninjas Kick Back.

The WWE paid tribute to Ozawa in a statement.

“The Japanese-born competitor was an imposing figure in the ring and highlighted his career with memorable rivalries against Legends such as Bob Backlund, Pedro Morales, Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan and more,” they said.

“After a brief return to WWE in 1987 with Mr. Fuji as his manager, Killer Khan would retire from sports-entertainment.

“WWE extends its condolences to Ozawa’s family, friends and fans.”

The WWE paid tribute to Ozawa. Credit: WWE
Killer Khan (right) in action against Andre the Giant. Credit: WWE

The news of Ozawa’s death came just 24 hours after rising UK star Kurtis Chapman died at just 26.

“We, at Revolution Pro Wrestling are absolutely heartbroken to report the loss of our dear friend Kurtis Chapman,” his promoters said in a statement.

“We watched Kurtis grow from a child to a young man who loved professional wrestling and continued to excel in all aspects of his life.

“One of the most gifted technical wrestlers, charismatic characters and magnetic personalities. He will never be forgotten.”

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