Wrestler Shinjiro Otani Hospitalized, Unable to Move After Mid-Match Injury

Professional wrestling veteran Shinjiro Otani suffered a serious injury during the match in Tokyo, Japan where he was unable to move, according to multiple reports. His match against Takashi Sugiura stopped right after the injury, and fans were asked the leave the arena as Otana was stretchered out of the arena, according to Wrestling Inc. The injury occurred when Otani took a German suplex into the turnbuckles as the match was going on. He was able to talk to the referee and medical personnel but was not able to move his extremities. 

Katasumi Sasazaki, the referee in the match, spoke to Tokyo Sports about Otani. "He was conscious," Sasazaki said. "He could hear [his own] voice and he could clearly see where he was. However, he complained that he couldn't move his hands and that he couldn't move, and he said, 'I can't feel my hands.'"

Otani made his professional wrestling debut in 1992. He started his career in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and then launched his own promotion with Shinya Hashimoto called Pro Wrestling Zero-1. During his time with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Otani became the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion,  IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles twice with partner Tatsuhito Takaiwa the WCW Cruiserweight Championship during their cross-promotion shows. While competing in Pro Wrestling Zero-1, Otani became the promotion's World Heavyweight Champion. 

Many pro wrestling fans on social media sent messages to Otani. One person wrote: "Rooting for Shinjiro Ohtani! A pioneer of 90s Jr Heavyweight wrestling, the first WCW Cruiserweight champion, with an insanely high quality body of work. His matches with Liger, Ultimo, Black Tiger are unforgettable. Consistently knew you were getting a banger from Ohtani!"

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"The coolest thing about Shinjiro Ohtani is that EVERYBODY (with no exceptions) who sees his post-match slipping on the ropes spot for the first time thinks it's a real slip," another fan noted. " As great a goofy entertainer as he is a hard nosed wrestler." Along with being the co-founder of Pro Wrestling Zero-1, Otani has company's president since 2007.