Injuries come with the territory in professional wrestling. The sport is incredibly dangerous and highly taxing on the human body. Not only do pro-wrestlers have to worry about ensuring they don’t hurt their opponents but they also have to do whatever it takes so that they don’t injure themselves.
Unfortunately, some wrestlers suffer either frequent injuries, severe injuries, or both. One Japanese wrestler suffered such a serious injury during a match that he ended up being quadriplegic.
This wrestler’s injury led to help and donations from all over the pro-wrestling fandom and all over the business, including from this wrestlers’ former employer.
Shinjiro Otani receives charitable donation from NJPW to help him deal with his spinal injury
On April 12th, 2022, Shinjiro Otani took on NOAH’s Takashi Sugiura at a Pro Wrestling Zero1 event for the Zero1 world title. During that match, Sugiura hit a German suplex and in the process threw Otani head-and-neck-first into a corner.
That move caused Otani to suffer a severe cervical spine injury which has left him unable to move any of his limbs.
In response, NJPW, his former employer, ran a charity campaign to help raise funds to help Otani deal with rehabilitation and other expenses related to his injury.
Through their Strong Spirits mobile game, NJPW was able to amass a total of ¥3,000,000, which converts to roughly $23,000 USD. After the campaign was over, NJPW,s Hiroshi Tanahashi gave a cheque for the donated amount to the Zero1 manager, who was acting on behalf of Otani and his family.
Shinjiro Otani was a NJPW mainstay throughout the 1990s. As one of their bigger cruiserweight stars, Otani was brought to the US through the company’s partnership with WCW.
His career boasts many championships and accolades. He was the first-ever WCW Cruiserweight Champion and was one the last wrestler to hold the J-Crown, which was a collection of eight junior heavyweight title belts defended simultaneously.
An update provided recently indicates that Otani is still unable to move any of his limbs; however, he no longer has any respiratory difficulties and he’s able to use a smartphone via a device connected to his chin.