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WWF Veteran Passes Away

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We are saddened to report that WWF Veteran Killer Khan (Masashi Ozawa) has passed away at the age of 76.

The sad news follows his collapse at his Tokyo restaurant, Jinjo Sakaba, where he was urgently taken to the hospital due to a ruptured artery.

Masashi Ozawa, a Japanese wrestling icon who entered the professional wrestling scene in 1971, left an indelible mark on the world of sports entertainment under his renowned ring name, Killer Khan. Throughout his career, Khan engaged in epic battles with wrestling legends such as Hulk Hogan and André the Giant, capturing the attention and admiration of fans worldwide.

Ozawa’s early wrestling days saw him adopt the persona of Kim Chang while wrestling in the Toronto area in 1977 before returning to Japan. It was during this time that his Mongolian giant character, a creation of the legendary Karl Gotch, began to take shape, setting the stage for Khan’s later successes.

In 1979, Killer Khan embarked on a journey to the United States to showcase his wrestling prowess. The following year, he stepped into the ring for Georgia Championship Wrestling, engaging in a memorable tag team match against André the Giant. This encounter marked the beginning of a compelling feud that would continue to capture the imagination of wrestling enthusiasts.

The year 1980 proved pivotal for Khan as he joined the ranks of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he initially feuded with WWF Champion Bob Backlund and the WWF Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales. However, it was his feud with André the Giant that truly defined this chapter of Khan’s career.

A significant moment occurred in May 1981 when a kayfabe incident involving Killer Khan’s kneedrop off the top turnbuckle led to speculation about André the Giant suffering a legitimate injury. The incident, later revealed as part of the storyline to elevate Khan’s character, added a layer of intrigue to their ongoing feud.

Upon André’s return from the supposed injury, the two continued their rivalry into the next year, culminating in a memorable “Mongolian Stretcher match” in November 1981 in Philadelphia, which André won.

In 1984, Killer Khan ventured to Canada’s Stampede Wrestling, where he engaged in a series of intense matches with Archie “The Stomper” Gouldie. On January 20, 1984, Khan achieved further success by winning the Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship in a street fight against Gouldie. Despite a brief title reign, Khan continued to make an impact in various promotions, including Mid-South Wrestling and NWA World Class Championship Wrestling, where he played the role of a formidable heel, often managed by Skandor Akbar.

Khan briefly returned to the WWF in 1987 under the management of Mr. Fuji, engaging in feuds with the likes of Outback Jack and challenging WWF Champion Hulk Hogan in limited house show appearances. However, this marked the final chapter of Killer Khan’s wrestling career as he chose to retire later that year.

Masashi Ozawa’s contribution to the world of professional wrestling remains etched in the memories of fans who witnessed his larger-than-life performances. From his early days in Japan to his international exploits, Killer Khan’s legacy continues to resonate, reminding us of a bygone era in the captivating world of sports entertainment.

RIP Killer Khan

March 6, 1947 – December 29, 2023


        
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