1943 - 2022
One of the most talented and influential figures in the history of professional wrestling and martial arts has passed away at the age of 79.
The founder of New Japan Pro Wrestling was one of the most recognized athletes across the globe who worked matches with thousands of opponents, including Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Andre The Giant in their prime. In 1976, Mr. Inoki took part in a high profile exhibition match against Muhammad Ali. The Inoki vs. Ali contest is still being analyzed and discussed to this day and is regarded as one of the influences of mixed martial arts as a professional sport. In addition to his athletic career, Mr. Inoki served two terms in the House of Councillors, during which time he successfully negotiated with Saddam Hussein for the release of Japanese hostages prior.
He lived a truly a remarkable life. Rest in peace, Mr. Inoki.