The world of professional wrestling is full of talented stars but unfortunately, deaths can occur at any time in the industry no matter what. It is with a heavy heart that we report that former AJPW star Akebono has passed away at age 54.

Japanese media is reporting the passing of Chadwick Haheo Rowan, also known as Akebono, at the age of 54. Rowan was a former sumo wrestler and AJPW Triple Crown Champion. The report indicates that he died due to heart failure after battling illness for several years. Since 2017, Rowan had been struggling with heart complications, which led to his hospitalization and placement in a medically induced coma. His death marks the loss of a significant figure in the sumo wrestling and professional wrestling communities.

Akebono, also known as Chadwick Haheo Rowan, was a prominent figure in the world of sumo wrestling and professional wrestling. He achieved great success in sumo, reaching the prestigious Yokozuna rank in 1993, and continued to excel in the sport until his retirement in 2001.

After retiring from sumo, Akebono transitioned to professional wrestling, where he left his mark on the industry. He famously defeated The Big Show in a sumo match at WWE WrestleMania 21. His wrestling career included competing for various promotions such as NJPW, where he faced IWGP Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, as well as Zero-1 and Dragon Gate.


Akebono’s wrestling career also extended to All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he continued to achieve success. He won the AJPW Triple Crown Championship twice and emerged victorious in the Champion Carnival tournament. In addition to his in-ring achievements, Akebono founded the Odo promotion and served as its president until he was hospitalized in 2017. His last wrestling appearance was also in 2017.

His contributions to both sumo and wrestling have left a lasting impact, and his passing marks the loss of a respected and accomplished athlete. We here at Ringside News would like to offer our deepest condolences to Akebono’s loved ones and peers during this sad time.

What is your favorite memory concerning Akebono? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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