Former NJPW Star Katsuya Kitamura Passes Away Aged 36

Katsuya Kitamura

Former New Japan Pro Wrestling young lion Katsuya Kitamura has sadly passed away.

As first reported by Tokyo Sports Katsuya Kitamura has passed away after being taken to hospital on Tuesday. (October 11th) Kitamura complained of feeling unwell before an ambulance was called, and the report states that his condition then “changed dramatically.”

At time of writing a cause of death is unknown.

Kitamura began his career as a standout amateur wrestler and was under consideration for a spot the Japanese 2012 Olympic team. However, the three-time national champion received a two-year ban in 2011 after testing positive for anabolic steroids.

“The Wrestling Monster” entered the New Japan Pro Wrestling dojo in 2015 and had his first match a year later where he wrestled Great-O-Khan to a time limit draw. In late 2017 Kitamura took part in the Young Lion Cup which he eventually won, remaining undefeated.

Early in 2018 Kitamura entered a trial series where he would face seven different wrestlers in singles action. However, before he was able to complete the series he suffered a cerebral concussion which meant he was unable to compete. The star was released by NJPW in January 2019.

Kitamura made his MMA debut in November 2021 for RIZIN but he was defeated in the second round by Bobby Ologun. He also ran a successful YouTube channel with his last video being posted on October 9th.