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The wrestling world remembers Antonio Inoki

It will take volumes to sum up the life of Antonio Inoki, which ended recently after 79 years. A hugely influential figure in the world of combat sports, his career is basically the story of professional wrestling in his native Japan. His 1976 mixed rules bout with Muhammed Ali is considering a precursor to what we now know as mixed martial arts.

Inoki was a major pop culture figure around the globe, and a near-deity in his home country. Stories about him (some of which are referenced in the tweets below) sound downright mythological — and like a true pro wrestler, that’s sometimes because he embellished them. It all adds up to a legacy the likes of which we may never see again.

His life certainly can’t be summed up in 256 characters. But that’s how we mourn public figures now, and these recollections & goodbyes from those he worked with and those he inspired at least give us the shape of his tremendous legacy.

The Road

What awaits ahead if I choose this road? Don’t be afraid, or there will be no road. Take one step, for it will start a road and it will become the road. Go on without hesitation. And you will find your destination.

- Antonio Inoki

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