Tokyo Sports has reported on the passing of former New Japan Pro Wrestling star Katsuya Kitamura. Kitamura was just 36 at the time of his passing. Kitamura only wrestled for one year, ending his career abruptly in March of 2018 and had resurfaced fighting in Rizin MMA but didn’t make a successful transition.
Katsuya Kitamura Passes Away At Age 36
One of Kitamura’s fellow dojo graduates Great O-Khan paid a quick tribute to the former wrestler during a New Japan show on October 14.
.@Great_O_Khan "Muscle Pose💪🏿"
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) October 14, 2022
Despite his wrestling career being so short Kitamura managed to make quite the splash. His physique and charisma led to him being pegged as a future top star from day one. NJPW saw this potential and had him win the Young Lion Cup in 2017 over fellow young lions Shota Umino, Master Wato, Ren Narita, and O-Khan. The Young Lion cup is an infrequently held tournament but it has been won by legends like Satoshi Kojima, Masahiro Chono, and Jyushin Liger. For Kitamura’s name to be alongside such legends within 12 months of debuting says enough about his potential.
This potential was never realised as Kitamura last wrestled on March 4, 2018 in a losing effort against Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano. Kitamura’s mysterious disappearance has never been explained although the leading theory is he suffered a leg injury in a scooter accident that cost him his career.
Whatever the reasoning, pro wrestling was robbed of a potential megastar, one whose name will be remembered for a while despite his short stint in the ring.
Last Word on Sports sends our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Katsuya Kitamura.
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