Antonio Inoki was a giant in the world of professional wrestling. Inoki revolutionized puroresu by putting New Japan Pro Wrestling on the map in the early seventies. The wrestling legend passed away in his home, but we have no confirmed cause of death at this time.
The wrestling world was shocked to learn about Inoki’s demise. Fans and wrestlers alike took to Twitter to pay tribute to one of Japan’s biggest showmen and crowd pullers.
WWE paid their respects to the deceased during tonight’s broadcast of SmackDown from Canada. Impact Wrestling honored Inoki’s larger than life career as well.
Inoki was trained by legendary pro wrestler Rikidōzan and made his debut alongside fellow puroresu legend Giant Baba in the sixties. The two went their separate ways but retained respect for each other.
Inoki was involved in a massive crossover fight with boxing legend and civil rights icon Muhammad Ali. The bout transpired in Tokyo, Japan, on June 26, 1976. The sanctioned bout ended in a draw.
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