To celebrate his role as the company’s founder and career there as a wrestler, as part of their 50th Anniversary celebrations this year, New Japan Pro-Wrestling planned to announce Antonio Inoki as their “Honorary Lifetime Chairman’ at their Oct. 10 Declaration of Power show.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling wishes once again to express profound grief at the passing of founder Antonio Inoki, and our deepest sympathies to fans, family and friends.
As part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations, and to celebrate Antonio Inoki’s role as a founder, wrestler and beyond, NJPW had planned to name Mr. Inoki the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. After Antonio Inoki graciously accepted the invitation, he was officially named Honorary Lifetime Chairman on September 1 2022.
This information was due to be made public on October 10 at Declaration of Power in Ryogoku Sumo Hall. It is to our deep sadness that this announcement cannot take place as previously planned. However, in accordance with Mr. Inoki’s wishes, all of us at New Japan Pro-Wrestling will continue to move forward and lead the professional wrestling world to the utmost of our abilities.
Inoki founded New Japan in 1972 after his attempt to takeover his previous promotion the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance (JWA) failed and resulted in his firing. He wrestled for NJPW until his retirement in 2003, and was the controlling owner until selling his stake to Yuke’s in 2005.