Killer Khan, who once feuded with Hulk Hogan and famously broke Andre the Giant’s leg (in kayfabe), died after collapsing in his bar in Tokyo. Media in Japan are reporting he suffered a ruptured artery. Khan was 76.
New Japan Pro Wrestling also covered the story, providing more information about Khan’s training and background. Khan, whose real name was Masashi Ozawa, got into wrestling after training in sumo. He joined New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1978. During an excursion to Mexico, Ozawa adopted a Mongolia-inspired gimmick that led to a successful career in the United States.
After Andre the Giant broke his ankle in 1981 while getting out of bed, the injury was attributed to Killer Khan to further his push as a monster heel. In the storyline, Khan reportedly jumped off the ropes and onto Andre’s leg. The angle led to big business and high-profile matches with the Giant upon Andre’s return.
In 1987, Khan returned to WWE under the management of Mr. Fuji. During his run, he used illegal tactics such as spewing green mist into his opponent’s eyes. Along with Fuji, Khan confronted Hogan during an episode of Jake Roberts’ talk segment, “The Snake Pit.” There, he blew mist into Hogan’s face. The two went on to feud for the World Championship at several house show events before Khan retired from pro wrestling later that year.
In retirement, Khan owned several businesses yet remained close to the entertainment industry. He portrayed a bodyguard in the 1994 film 3 Ninjas Kick Back. In 2005, Khan made his debut as a singer with Furusato Makaka (Japan Crown) and released songs such as Shinjuku Sanhyakugoya, according to The Sun.
Please join us in sending condolences to Khan’s family & friends. May he rest in peace.