HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Japanese professional wrestler Mitsuharu Misawa died Saturday night after receiving a blow to his head when he was backdropped by his opponent during a match in Hiroshima. He was 46.
Misawa was confirmed dead at a local hospital, where he was taken to in an ambulance after losing consciousness following the maneuver shortly after 8:30 p.m. in a tag team match at Hiroshima Green Arena, according to police and event organizers.
According to one spectator, the referee stopped the match after Misawa collapsed, and fellow wrestlers and emergency personnel performed cardiac massage and used an automated external defibrillator to try to resuscitate him.
Misawa, hailing from Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, debuted as a pro wrestler in 1981 and served as the second “Tiger Mask” before becoming a key wrestler in the All Japan Pro-Wrestling group during the 1990s. He went on to launch a new group, the Pro-Wrestling Noah, and was its president.
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