The entire wrestling world has come together to pay tribute to iconic Japanese star Antonio Inoki following his death at the age of 79.
Yahoo News broke the unfortunate news of Inoki’s passing in the early hours of October 1st following an extended battle with the rare disease systemic transthyretin amyloidosis also known as wild-type transthyretin amyloid. The news broke while WWE SmackDown was on the air with announcer Michael Cole announcing the death of the WWE Hall of Famer to those watching.
Antonio Inoki is one of the most influential wrestling figures of all time in his native Japan. The star was part of the Japanese Wrestling Association for many years but after a failed attempt to grab power led to a split Inoki founded New Japan Pro Wrestling – the biggest and most popular wrestling organisation in the country to this day.
Inoki also forged a career in politics in later life being elected to the House of Councillors on two occasions. The icon was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.
Now many stars from all over the wrestling world have taken to social media to pay tribute to the man who famously squared off with Muhammad Ali in 1976.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling is deeply saddened at the passing of our founder, Antonio Inoki.
His achievements, both in professional wrestling and the global community are without parallel and will never be forgotten.
Our thoughts are with Inoki’s family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/n8zA9hj78e
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) October 1, 2022
One of the most important figures in the history of our business, and a man who embodied the term “fighting spirit.” The legacy of WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki will live on forever.
— Triple H (@TripleH) October 1, 2022
WWE remembers Antonio Inoki.
— WWE (@WWE) October 1, 2022
RIP Antonio Inoki, a pioneer in the pro wrestling industry. Inoki’s influence and his achievements will live on forever in the wrestling world; he’s an inspiration to all of the dreamers. Thank you sir.
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) October 1, 2022
Very sad to hear the passing of a true icon of Professional Wrestling worldwide. Antonio Inoki inspired so many wrestlers for so many decades including me in my in ring days. I had the opportunity to wrestle on several tours for Inoki in NJPW – he truly changed the game. RIP 🙏 pic.twitter.com/WSyAKB9XCY
— taz (@OfficialTAZ) October 1, 2022
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Antonio Inoki, the legendary Japanese Pro https://t.co/eB0872a4FJ Inoki chose to Wrestle me in 1994 and then we became friends,kept in touch and was always very kind to https://t.co/jqwYii836k deepest condolences to his family & fans. pic.twitter.com/qqvk8j4Vak
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) October 1, 2022
RIP Antonio Inoki…a legend in every sense of the word. 🙏
— Adam Cole (@AdamColePro) October 1, 2022
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) October 1, 2022
RIP Antonio Inoki. I would listen to Kowalski tell Inoki stories for hours on end. Thank you for your immense contributions to our sport and the unrivaled legacy you leave behind. Honored to have met you. Godspeed sir.
— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) October 1, 2022
My grandfather had so much respect for Antonio Inoki and his passion for pro-wrestling.
(Gene Kiniski, Stu Hart, Antonio Inoki) pic.twitter.com/OlVPOklZ9K
— Nattie (@NatbyNature) October 1, 2022