The name Mitsuharu Misawa might not mean a lot to the majority of wrestling fans in the United States and other parts of the world, but in Japan he is considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
Tragically, Misawa died Saturday in Hiroshima after being given a back suplex in a tag team match, according to wrestlingobserver.com. He was several days away from his 47th birthday.
According to the Web site, Misawa suffered an apparent heart attack after being knocked unconscious from taking the suplex. The match was stopped immediately and CPR was administered in the ring before he was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance. It is unclear whether he died in the ring or at the hospital.
I am not going to pretend that I have seen many Misawa matches, because I have only watched a handful on tape and YouTube. However, I certainly know of his reputation for being a great worker and a huge star in Japan from reading The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Misawa was voted by Observer readers as Wrestler of the Year in 1995, 1997 and 1999.