Pro wrestling star Yutaka Yoshie dead at 50 after match


Yutaka Yoshie, a Japanese pro wrestling star who performed in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and other promotions around the world, died after a match on Sunday, officials said. He was 50.

Yoshie was involved in a tag-team match with partner Ryo Inoue in All Japan Pro Wrestling. The two faced off against Hokuto Omori and Ryoji Choi. 

There did not appear to be anything wrong with Yoshie during the match, according to the New York Post.

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Yutaka Yoshie in February 2020

Yutaka Yoshie looks on during the Pro-Wrestling Masters at the Korakuen Hall on Feb. 28, 2020 in Tokyo. (Masashi Hara/Getty images)

The pro wrestler returned backstage and his “condition suddenly deteriorated,” according to All Japan Pro Wrestling on X. He was rushed to a hospital where he later died, the company said.

“We would like to remember Yutaka Yoshie’s achievements during his lifetime and pray for his soul to rest in peace,” All Japan Pro Wrestling added.

Fellow pro wrestler Kohei Suwama suggested to Tokyo Sports on Monday that Yoshie suffered from arteriosclerosis.

Yutaka Yoshie attacks Masaaki Mochizuki in 2021

Yutaka Yoshie attacks Masaaki Mochizuki during the Pro-Wrestling “Dradition” - Tatsumi Fujinami 50th Anniversary at Korakuen Hall on Nov. 9, 2021. (Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

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“At 180 cm (5-foot-10) and 160kg (352 pounds), Yoshie was a true gentle giant whose bright disposition, contrasted with powerful in-ring offense made him a popular figure wherever he went,” New Japan Pro-Wrestling said in a statement.

The deepest sympathies of all at New Japan Pro-Wrestling go to Yoshie’s family, friends and fans.

Yoshie got his start in New Japan in 1994 and performed there until 2006, when he decided to go independent. In New Japan, he was a tag-team champion with Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Shinjiro Otani and Yutaka Yoshie

Shinjiro Otani, right, and Yutaka Yoshie compete during the Pro-Wrestling Masters at the Korakuen Hall on Feb. 28, 2020 in Tokyo. (Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

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He was also a tag-team champion in All Japan Pro Wrestling with Akebono and the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion with Steve Corino and Masayuki while in Pro Wrestling Zero1.

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