Killer Khan Dies At 76

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Dana Abizaid Contributor
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Famous 1980s wrestling star Killer Khan has died at the age of 76, World Wrestling Entertainment announced.

Khan, whose real name was Masashi Ozawa, collapsed and died Friday night in a Tokyo bar that he owned, New Japan Pro-Wrestling reported.

Ozawa began his wrestling career in Japan under his real name in the early 1970s but then created the Killer Khan character, a villain supposedly from Mongolia, according to Bleacher Report. (RELATED: WWE Star Bray Wyatt ‘Unexpectedly’ Dead At 36)


In 1979, Khan began wrestling in the United States, sparking a memorable feud with Andre the Giant in Georgia Championship Wrestling which led to a deal with the WWE, Bleacher Report reported.

Khan soon became a top WWE villain, targeting popular fan favorites like Andre the Giant, WWE Champion Bob Backlund, and Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales, according to the outlet. During his career, Khan was managed by “Classy” Freddie Blassie and Mr. Fugi, Kron4 reported.

One of Khan’s most famous matches saw him lose to Andre the Giant in a Mongolian Stretcher match in 1981, according to Bleacher Report.

“If I went loose on Andre, he’d get mad and give me a good hard one, and say, ‘Come on! What are you doing? Let’s go!'” Slam Wrestling quotes Khan saying in Blassie’s book. “There’s one episode I remember where I was really exhausted and lying on the mat, flat out, straight up, looking at the ceiling. And here comes Andre with this humongous ass, and he just sat on my face. At that moment, I actually thought that I was going to die.”

During his career, Khan wrestled in many territories and won numerous titles, including the World Class Championship Wrestling title, Bleacher Report reported.

After heading back to Japan and working in All Japan Pro Wrestling, Khan returned to the WWE in 1987 for a short but remarkable run that saw him grapple with Hulk Hogan on several occasions, according to Bleacher Report.

In 1987, Khan retired from wrestling, moved back to Japan, and went into the restaurant and bar business, according to Bleacher Report.

On its website, WWE extended condolences to Khan’s family, friends and fans.