Saturday, June 22, 2024
NewsOTHERSumo Legend & WrestleMania 21 Competitor Akebono Taro Passes Away At 54

Sumo Legend & WrestleMania 21 Competitor Akebono Taro Passes Away At 54



Akebono Taro, the sumo-turned-pro wrestler who competed against The Big Show at WrestleMania 21, has passed away at the age of 54.

The Japan Times is reporting that Akebono died of heart failure. He was less than a month away from his 55th birthday.

Akebono was the first foreign-born sumo wrestler to reach the rank of Yokozuna, a status he achieved in 1993.

Born in Hawaii as Chadwick Haheo Rowan, he was the 64th Yokozuna and became incredibly popular during his sumo career.

Akebono retired from sumo in 2001 after suffering an injury and transitioned into kickboxing, competing for K-1, and MMA.

Akebono transitioned into pro wrestling in 2005 when he was brought in to face The Big Show at WrestleMania 21 in a sumo match.

He scored the victory over Big Show and moved to AJPW, where he debuted at AJPW’s Wrestle-1 event in August of 2005.

Akebono worked for several Japanese promotions including NJPW, Hustle, Dragon Gate, and ZERO-1 before returning to AJPW for a seven-year run from 2008 through 2015.

He had two runs with the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, two with the All Asia Tag Team Championships alongside Ryota Hama, and the World Tag Team Championships twice — one with Taiyo Kea and one with Yutaka Yoshie.

On behalf of everyone here at eWn, we send our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Akebono.

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