Following the tragic passing of the legendary Antonio Inoki, Sting – a former foe of Inoki – has paid tribute to the fallen star.
The wrestling world was rocked when Yahoo Japan reported the news of Antonio Inoki’s passing. Inoki, a veteran of 38 years, was responsible for founding New Japan Pro-Wrestling, as well as becoming one of the first wrestlers to enter the world of politics.
Several pro wrestling personalities have since shared their own messages of condolence to Antonio Inoki’s family at this time, with NJPW hosting a 10-bell salute to the one-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion prior to their Royal Quest II event.
Now, Sting has added his name to the list, taking to Twitter to express his gratitude for having had the honour of wrestling Inoki:
“It was an honor and a privilege to share the ring with Antonio Inoki. A true legend and a great loss.”
It was an honor and a privilege to share the ring with Antonio Inoki. A true legend and a great loss. pic.twitter.com/63Vqy2h2Ng
— Sting (@Sting) October 1, 2022
Antonio Inoki ultimately defeated Sting in their only singles encounter, doing so during New Japan’s 1995 4 January supershow – then known as BATTLE 7 – to win the BVD Cup Martial Arts Tournament.
First lacing up his boots in the 1960s, Antonio Inoki enjoyed a career like no other, holding a total of twelve World Championships, wrestling Muhammad Ali in the critically-acclaimed ‘boxer vs. wrestler’ contest, and headlining the Collision In Korea cards that drew 165,000 and 190,000 fans – the highest recorded attendance in wrestling history.