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Mitsuharu Misawa has died

Well this was a fucking horrible thing to wake up to this morning  🙁


Mitsuharu Misawa, one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all-time, was declared dead at 10:10 p.m. Saturday night at a hospital in Hiroshima after being dropped on his head in a tag team title match.

Misawa would have turned 47 on June 18th.

Misawa & Go Shiozaki were challening Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito for the GHC tag team championship in Hiroshima and Misawa was dropped on his head at about 8:45 p.m. and knocked unconscious.

According to eye witness reports, Saito gave Misawa a “routine” back suplex that was described as a “7” in danger on a scale of one-to-ten. He did not get up. It was chaos in the ring as they attempted to revive him using CPR and the crowd was hushed for a while, and began a “Misawa” chant. He turned purple in the ring and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

The wrestlers were told on the bus that he had passed away.

While it is being reported that he passed away at the hospital, he may have actually passed away in the ring.

Misawa was the Japanese high school national wrestling champion at 187 pounds in 1980, and was recruited by Giant Baba into All Japan Pro Wrestling. He gained his first taste of stardom in 1984 when he was chosen to be the second Tiger Mask. After unmasking in 1990, he became an even bigger star after a series of singles matches with Jumbo Tsuruta.

He was Japan’s biggest pro wrestling star of the 90s, and one could make a strong case for him as the top wrestler of the decade. He was the Wrestler of the Year in 1995, 1997 and 1999.

After the death of Shohei “Giant” Baba, Misawa wrestled a little over one more year for All Japan Pro Wrestling, while working as company president. After consistently butting heads with owner Motoko Baba, the widow of Shohei Baba, he and 90% of the All Japan roster quit the company to form Pro Wrestling NOAH.

Misawa and his childhood friend Kenta Kobashi (who recently overcame a bout of cancer) are my two favourite Japanese wrestlers.  I still can’t quite believe this happened.  It’s right up there with the Chris Benoit death in terms of how shocking it was to hear about (although for completely different reasons).  Dude was only 46 and has a family.

The reports suggest he may have actually died in the ring, following a routine bump.  If thats the case, its possible that he died in the middle of the ring with the whole crowd chanting his name.  It’s pretty much the ending of the film The Wrestler.

I hate wrestling sometimes.


R.I.P - Mitsuharu Misawa

About Edo

Edo currently lives in Australia where he spends his time playing video games and enjoying his wife's cooking.


  1. I just read Bret Hart’s book and its shocking to read how many pre-mature deaths happened in the wrestling business. Bret himself had a stroke in his late 30’s after Goldburg kicked him in the head..

  2. How was the book? I finally found a copy of it in Sydney but its hardcover and over $50 so I held off.

    And yes, the level of wrestling deaths is shockingly high. This was the first one since Owen Hart (that I can remember) where they actually died in-ring. I’m curious to see what the fallout is (if any) in Japan. I’m pretty sure if Vince had a wrestler die in-ring from taking a move, he’d have a serious problem getting his show back on the air.

  3. This was the first since Owen Hart in ring – the rest of pre-mature deathes have happened outside of the ring. But mostly caused by drugs, drinking and painkillers that the wrestlers take whilst on the road which is constant.

    Imagine being on a business trip for over 300 days of the year. Staying in hotels and all that.

    Not to mention the injuries from moves gone wrong….

    Looking back its pretty shocking!!

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