Antonio Inoki dead at 79

According to Yahoo Japan, Antonio Inoki, one of the most influential figures in professional wrestling history, died today at his home. He was 79 years old.

Inoki started his wrestling career in 1960 and quickly became a star, which would become a huge draw for decades.

He is widely known as the founder of New Japan Pro Wrestling and as the infamous fighter against the great Muhammad Ali in 1976. He also headlined shows in North Korea with Ric Flair drawing some of the highest attendance in the history of the game. professional wrestling.

Inoki was the first Japanese WWF heavyweight champion, a government that WWE does not officially recognize. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.

During Friday Night SmackDown shortly after the news broke, WWE announced his passing and paid tribute to his storied career.

Tributes pour in from around the wrestling world as he influenced a host of stars from yesterday and today.

May he rest in peace.

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