Three Key Points about Killer Khan’s Legacy
- Legendary wrestler Killer Khan, known for his Mongolian inspired character, passes away at 76.
- Khan made significant contributions to NJPW, WWF and influenced the wrestling styles of future generations.
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling expresses condolences to Khan’s loved ones and recognizes his impact on the sport.
Wrestling Community Pays Tribute to Killer Khan
The world of professional wrestling has lost a towering figure, as Masashi Ozawa, who fans around the globe cheers and jeer as Killer Khan, leaves behind an indelible mark on the industry. On December 29, news emerged from New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) that Khan, at 76 years of age, had died following a sudden collapse in his Tokyo bar.
The Formidable Career of Killer Khan
Khan’s journey in the pro wrestling realm began after his time in sumo wrestling. His transition to the wrestling ring was marked by remarkable growth, as he quickly gained prominence in NJPW during the early ’70s. Khan’s iconic Mongolian character emerged while on an excursion to Mexico, leading him to achieve star status in America by 1979.
Khan’s Impact in WWF
By 1980, Khan’s talents brought him into the spotlight of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he engaged in epic battles against the likes of Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. His feuds, particularly the knee drop incident that sidelined Andre, positioned Khan as one of the top villains in the organization.
Legacy and Influence in Pro Wrestling
Khan’s move back to NJPW reinforced his top-tier status in the industry, with his Mongolian Chops style setting a standard, inspiring wrestlers such as Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Great-O-Khan. Despite a memorable defeat in the MSG Series final of 1982, his role in wrestling history and as part of Riki Choshu’s Ishingun faction cemented his legendary stature.
Killer Khan’s Lasting Legacy
After his retirement in November 1987, Khan pursued a life away from the ring, running establishments in Tokyo. NJPW has extended its deepest condolences to Khan’s family, friends, and admirers, acknowledging the profound influence and the void his passing leaves in the sport. As the wrestling community reflects on Khan’s exceptional career, we too express our sympathies to those mourning the loss of this larger-than-life figure, Killer Khan.