Japanese pro wrestling legend Mitsuharu Misawa, regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time, was declared dead at 10:10 p.m. Saturday night after suffering an apparent heart attack during a tag team title match in Hiroshima, Japan. He was going to turn 47 years old on June 18th.
According to a report from The Wrestling Observer, Misawa, the president of Pro Wrestling NOAH, was teaming with Go Shiozaki in a match against Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito for the GHC tag team championship in Hiroshima, Japan. Misawa took a backdrop about 27 minutes into the match, and was knocked unconscious. The referee immediately stopped the match, and Misawa was given CPR. He apparently turned purple and his heart stopped beating in the ring, and he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
The wrestlers were told on the bus that he had passed away. The Observer article notes that while it is being reported that he passed away at the hospital, he may have actually passed away in the ring.
Chris Jericho: "Misawa was a true warrior and one of my all time favorite performers. His fighting spirit and superb psychology will be remembered as long exists..."
Awesome Kong: "RIP Mitsuharu Misawa-san"
Matt Hardy: "Just read that Mitsuharu Misawa passed away while performing in Japan on Saturday night. A very sad thing to hear."
Jeremy Borash: "Shocked to hear of the passing of Mitsuharu Misawa. Was lucky enough to meet him at last years Tokyo Dome show. What a sad tragedy. R.I.P."
Matt Morgan: "Horrible news today guys. Just heard Japanese legendary wrestler Mitsuharu Misawa passed away. If some of u younger fans don't know how important he was to the Japanese wrestling landscape, check him out on YouTube."
For more on Misawa's legendary career, you can view the article from the Wrestling Observer by clicking here. Here is a video report in Japan of Misawa's death: