Killer Khan Passes Away At Age 76

Killer Khan has passed away.

Masashi Ozawa, better known as Killer Khan to the wrestling world, has passed away at the age of 76.

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His death was confirmed by New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

From NJPW:

Former wrestler Masashi Ozawa, better known to wrestling fans as Killer Khan passed away on December 29 after collapsing in his bar in Tokyo. He was 76.

After training in sumo in the famed Kasukano stable, Ozawa joined the JWA in January 1971. Standing at an imposing 195 cm (6’6”), hopes were high for him as a prospect when he joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1973. In 1978 on excursion to Mexico he transformed himself into a Mongolian inspired persona that sparked a hugely successful campaign in America in 1979 as Killer Khan.

Khan transitioned into the WWF in 1980, and after a famous knee drop that put Andre the Giant on the injured list with an injured right leg, instantly found himself the top heel in the organization, with big matches against Hulk Hogan ensuing.

On his return to NJPW he was in the top flight as he had been overseas, with an influence felt today- particuarly in the Mongolian Chops used in the years to come by Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Great-O-Khan and others.

In April 1982, the fifth MSG Series saw Antonio Inoki forced to withdraw with a right knee injury. Inoki nominated Khan to take his place in the final with Andre, and the result was a thrilling match that saw Khan advanced in status even in defeat.

In 1983, Khan joined Riki Choshu in Choshu’s influential Ishingun faction. From there, he would follow Choshu to Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1985, wrestling in the All Japan ring as a result as well as back in the WWF. Khan retired from pro-wrestling in November 1987 in New Jersey before running numerous bars and restaurants in Tokyo.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling sends it’s deepest sympathies to Killer Khan’s family, friends, and fans.

Throughout his career, Khan wrestled in multiple territories including Stampede Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling, and the WWE. He also had a noted Feud with Andre the Giant in 1981 which culminated in a Stretcher Match.

Fightful sends its condolences to Killer Khan's family, friends, and fans.

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