Ex-NJPW Young Lion Katsuya Kitamura Passes Away

NJPW Katsuya Kitamura

Katsuya Kitamura, a former Young Lion in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, has tragically passed away at the young age of 36-years-old.

Katsuya Kitamura has sadly passed away, reports Tokyo Sports.

The 36-year-old is reported as having called an ambulance on Tuesday, 11 October after feeling unwell, with his health status dropping drastically following this. His cause of death is unknown as of this publication.

Dubbed ‘The Wrestling Monster’, Katsuya Kitamura was once a hot prospect in the world of NJPW following an amateur wrestling career, beginning his training in the New Japan Dojo in 2015. Making his professional debut a year later vs. Tomoyuki Oka, he was featured regularly on main NJPW cards in lower-card positions throughout the late 2010s.

2017 is perhaps Kitamura’s most acclaimed. He won that year’s Young Lion Cup in NJPW, which has previously seen such future IWGP Heavyweight Champion winners like Satoshi Kojima and Masahiro Chono, and was subsequently named the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Rookie of the Year.

Katsuya Kitamura later became a mixed martial artist following his January 2019 NJPW exit, making his debut in 2021 and losing to Bobby Ologun via rear naked choke in round two. This ultimately was the final bit of activity for the late Kitamura.