In-ring veteran Shinjiro Otani suffered what is believed to be a cervical spine injury at a ZERO-ONE event in Tokyo, Japan earlier today. His match against Takashi Sugiura was immediately stopped and fans were asked to leave the arena as Otani was stretchered out of the building.

The injury occurred when Shinjiro Otani took a German suplex into the turnbuckles as the bout progressed. He was able to communicate with the referee and medical personnel but was reportedly unable to move his extremities.

Otani spent his life dedicated to the art of professional wrestling, moving out of his parents’ home with only 60,000 yen in his pocket when he graduated high school. He traveled to Tokyo to train at Animal Hamaguchi’s dojo but spent his early years struggling with homelessness and uncertainties of his career in wrestling. Hamaguchi eventually got him a job at a liquor store where he gained enough money to find a decent place to live and finish training for his June 25, 1992 debut.

During his time with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Otani accomplished numerous feats such as becoming the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles twice with partner Tatsuhito Takaiwa, and even capturing the WCW Cruiserweight Championship during their cross-promotion shows.

When he moved on to Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE, Otani continued his success in the ring and eventually became the promotion’s World Heavyweight Champion. During his time with the promotion, he also reigned as the AWA Superstars of Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, among several other titles.

Stay tuned for updates on Shinjiro Otani.

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