Japanese wrestler Tarzan Goto passed away at the age of 58 this Sunday evening.
Goto kicked off his wrestling career with a four-year stint in New Japan Pro-Wrestling starting in 1981. He was best known for his time at Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, where he wrestled for six years. During his time in the promotion, the Japanese star captured the FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship with a win over Big Titan.
The reason for Goto's death has not been revealed, but Greg Oliver of Slam Wrestling stated that he was battling liver cancer.
In an interview with Tokyo Sports, Mr. Gannosuke, Goto's colleague at FMW, said he was shocked to learn about the tragic news.
“I still can’t believe it, and I can’t really feel it. It is an asset that I have been able to do for many years thanks to Mr. Goto’s strict teaching. I have nothing but gratitude. I pray for his soul to rest in peace.” [H/T WrestlingInc.]
Tarzan Goto had enthralling matches against Atsushi Onita in FMW
Goto and Atsushi Onita were great friends from their All Japan days, and the latter convinced Tarzan to return to the country. The two soon became top stars in FMW, a wrestling company formed by Onita. The promotion went on to enjoy enormous success in the coming years and was able to rival the crowds of both All Japan and New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Tarzan Goto, who was initially a sumo wrestler, had the biggest moment of his career on August 4, 1990. He locked horns with his good friend Onita in the first-ever Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch at FMW's Summer Spectacular.
The encounter went on to become a highlight of both men's careers and elevated the FMW's popularity, taking them to new heights. Later in his career, Goto fought in two other Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatches. One of them was a rematch with Onita in an Exploding Barbed Wire cage match back in 1991.
We offer our strength and condolences to his friends and family for their loss.