Various: Killer Khan Passes Away at Age 76, Aramis Announces Departure from AAA, Indies

Killer Khan Passes Away at Age 76

Former New Japan Pro Wrestling and WWF wrestler Killer Khan, real name Masashi Ozawa, passed away this past Friday at the age of 76.

Ozawa’s passing was first announced by NJPW, who stated that Khan passed following him collapsing in his bar in Tokyo, Japan this past Friday.

In Memoriam: Killer Khan (1947-2023)

Former wrestler Masashi Ozawa, better known to wrestling fans as Killer Khan passed away on December 29 after collapsing in his bar in Tokyo. He was 76.

After training in sumo in the famed Kasukano stable, Ozawa joined the JWA in January 1971. Standing at an imposing 195 cm (6’6”), hopes were high for him as a prospect when he joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1973. In 1978 on excursion to Mexico he transformed himself into a Mongolian inspired persona that sparked a hugely successful campaign in America in 1979 as Killer Khan.

Khan transitioned into the WWF in 1980, and after a famous knee drop that put Andre the Giant on the injured list with an injured right leg, instantly found himself the top heel in the organization, with big matches against Hulk Hogan ensuing.

On his return to NJPW he was in the top flight as he had been overseas, with an influence felt today- particuarly in the Mongolian Chops used in the years to come by Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Great-O-Khan and others.

In April 1982, the fifth MSG Series saw Antonio Inoki forced to withdraw with a right knee injury. Inoki nominated Khan to take his place in the final with Andre, and the result was a thrilling match that saw Khan advanced in status even in defeat.

In 1983, Khan joined Riki Choshu in Choshu’s influential Ishingun faction. From there, he would follow Choshu to Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1985, wrestling in the All Japan ring as a result as well as back in the WWF. Khan retired from pro-wrestling in November 1987 in New Jersey before running numerous bars and restaurants in Tokyo.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling sends it’s deepest sympathies to Killer Khan’s family, friends and fans.

Tokyo Sports reported that Ozawa’s cause of death was stated to be due to a ruptured artery. It was reported that Ozawa’s health condition suddenly deteriorated while serving customers and collapsed onto the floor. It was also reported that Ozawa was rushed to the hospital but never regained consciousness and passed away.

Ozawa’s career in wrestling spanned from 1971 to 1987 and was most known for his time in NJPW and WWF under the ring name of “Killer Khan.” During his time in WWF, Ozawa was most known for his feud with Andre The Giant in the early 1980s.

Ozawa’s career notable accolades and achievements included being a one-time Stampede North American Champion, one-time WCCW Television Champion, and being the recipient of Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s 1981 Feud of the Year awards for his feud with Andre The Giant.

Aramis Announces Departure from AAA

Lucha Libre AAA talent Aramis recently announced on Twitter that he has departed from the company.

Aramis stated that the reason was due to him wanting to focus more on his international career and work with International Ventures going forward.

“I want to thank Lucha Libre AAA for the time I worked under contract. Especially to Konnan for believing in me and opening the doors to work in the company. My departure and request for my release is because I want to focus my time on my international career. On December 12th I had my last TV shoot. I have nothing but gratitude and thanks to the directors, staff, and partners, I can say that they helped me grow as a professional and as a person, I never had conflicts. I was always treated in the best way. Still, it’s time to take the next step. I will continue as an independent wrestler. As I mentioned, I will strive to represent Mexico and Mexican wrestling, focusing on meeting international goals that I have for 2024 with Masked Republic & Lucha Agency.”

Prior to his departure, Aramis had been with AAA since 2018.

Misc. Wrestling News & Notes

Mercedes Mone filed two trademarks for “Mone Wear” and “Time Is Mone” on December 22nd for merchandise-related purposes to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mone also filed a trademark for “Mone Talks” on the same day for wrestling and entertainment-related purposes.

Former wrestling personality Jason Sensation announced on Twitter that he had recently underwent successful heart surgery. Sensation is notable in wrestling history for his impersonation of Owen Hart during the infamous D-Generation X parody of the Nation of Domination segment on the July 6, 1998 episode of WWF RAW.

Friday’s Dream Queendom 2023 event for Stardom in Tokyo, Japan featured two championships changing hands. The first was Saori Anou defeating Mirai to become the new Wonder of Stardom Champion. The other was Maika defeating Suzu Suzuki to become the new World of Stardom Champion.

Impact Wrestling recently released on their YouTube channel the full match between Will Ospreay and “Speedball” Mike Bailey from this past October’s Bound For Glory 2023 that won the award for Impact’s Match of the Year.

H20 Wrestling announced that they will be holding a set of events called The Anthology 2 on April 1-7, 2024 in Williamstown, New Jersey.

WrestleCon recently announced that former WCW wrestler Ernest “The Cat” Miller will be making an appearance for the company at their WrestleCon 2024 on April 4-7, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Andrade El Idolo worked an indie event on December 21st in Mexico that featured both AAA talent and CMLL talent working at the show. Meltzer reported that the reason why Andrade was able to work at this event despite CMLL’s current restrictions when it comes to their talent being booked for the same shows as AAA talents was due to CMLL officials looking the other way over this issue. Meltzer reported that as part of CMLL’s deal to get Andrade, they allowed him to work at this event despite him being booked in a four-way match that involved Penta El Zero Miedo who is an AAA contracted talent in Mexico.

In a recent interview with Fightful, Deonna Purrazzo stated that Impact’s locker room was the best locker room she has ever been a part of during her career. Purrazzo stated “Absolutely. Even just to know that I could be leaving has been really sad for me because I do feel like I have a family, I do feel like the locker room is the best locker room I’ve ever been a part of. What you see behind the scenes is genuine. We are having fun doing TikToks, they threw me like a little pre-wedding celebration. We throw birthday parties, we throw baby showers. At Bound For Glory, we put together a whole grazing table just for fun to show each other that we appreciate each other and love each other. That definitely is something that has to weigh on where you go and what you do next because you’re not going to always have that. I think what IMPACT has been able to cultivate is really special.” (Transcript h/t:

All Japan Pro Wrestling announced one new match for the card of their MANIAx event on December 31st in Tokyo, Japan:

  • Tatsumi Fujinami & LEONA vs. Yuma Anazi & Charlie Dempsey

New Japan Pro Wrestling announced one new match for the card of their Battle In The Valley 2024 event on January 13, 2024 in San Jose, California:

  • NJPW Strong Women’s Championship – Trish Adora vs. Giulia (c)