He was a special one. There are all kinds of wrestlers throughout history but only a small handful reach that highest level. Some people completely change an industry and take part of it in a new direction and unfortunately we have lost another one of those few names. Now the wrestling world is reacting by pouring out the tributes and condolences that you might have expected.
On Friday, news broke of Antonio Inoki’s passing at the age of 79. The news was mentioned during this week’s SmackDown, with Michael Cole talking about some of Inoki’s accomplishments in the ring. Since then, several wrestlers and wrestling personalities have paid tribute to Inoki on Twitter. Here are some of the reactions to the news of Inoki’s passing:
One of the most important figures in the history of our business, and a man who embodied the term “fighting spirit.” The legacy of WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki will live on forever.
— Triple H (@TripleH) October 1, 2022
RIP Antonio Inoki, a pioneer in the pro wrestling industry. Inoki’s influence and his achievements will live on forever in the wrestling world; he’s an inspiration to all of the dreamers. Thank you sir.
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) October 1, 2022
WWE remembers Antonio Inoki.
— WWE (@WWE) October 1, 2022
WWE pays their respects to Antonio Inoki on Smackdown. pic.twitter.com/kEt2f71TAk
— Denise 'Hollywood Superstar' Salcedo (@_denisesalcedo) October 1, 2022
.@IMPACTWrestling would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Antonio Inoki. We are saddened to learn of his passing and know his legacy will live forever. pic.twitter.com/acCxKxDNK7
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 1, 2022
The National Wrestling Alliance sends its condolences to the friends and family of pro wrestling pioneer Antonio Inoki.
An NWA Tag Team and United National Champion and most importantly, a legend that will forever be remembered in our business and beyond. pic.twitter.com/sqyG8Y26QC
— NWA (@nwa) October 1, 2022
I found my road… Thank you for everything Inoki-sama Rest in Power.
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) October 1, 2022
Very sad to hear the passing of a true icon of Professional Wrestling worldwide. Antonio Inoki inspired so many wrestlers for so many decades including me in my in ring days. I had the opportunity to wrestle on several tours for Inoki in NJPW – he truly changed the game. RIP ? pic.twitter.com/WSyAKB9XCY
— taz (@OfficialTAZ) October 1, 2022
RIP Antonio Inoki. I would listen to Kowalski tell Inoki stories for hours on end. Thank you for your immense contributions to our sport and the unrivaled legacy you leave behind. Honored to have met you. Godspeed sir.
— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) October 1, 2022
New Japan Pro-Wrestling is deeply saddened at the passing of our founder, Antonio Inoki.
His achievements, both in professional wrestling and the global community are without parallel and will never be forgotten.
Our thoughts are with Inoki’s family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/n8zA9hj78e
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) October 1, 2022
Antonio Inoki, a combat sports trailblazer, influential politician and larger-than-life figure in his native Japan, died Friday at the age of 79.
He fought Muhammad Ali in perhaps the highest-profile mixed-rules bout ever.
Read more about his life: https://t.co/qlWgflEEDi pic.twitter.com/HkeJCbuotm
— ESPN (@espn) October 1, 2022
Rest In Peace Antonio Inoki! Thank You For The Great Matches & Memories My Friend! ?????? pic.twitter.com/ocHcqf7bvZ
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) October 1, 2022
Opinion: There is never going to be another one like Inoki and it is sad to know that he is gone. Inoki is one of the few people who actually changed the wrestling industry and he did so in a positive way. Some of the stories about things Inoki did are legendary and I could always go for more of them. This is a big loss for wrestling and as always, it happened too soon.
What is your favorite Inoki moment? What was his biggest contribution to wrestling? Let us know in the comments below.
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You can find more from Thomas Hall at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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