• Carlos Astorga

Former New Japan Star Katsuya Kitamura Passes Away At 36


Unfortunate news is coming out of Japan this morning that former New Japan Pro-Wrestling star Katsuya Kitamura has passed away at the age of 36.


According to Tokyo Sports, Katsuya Kitamura passed away on October 12. His cause of death is currently unknown.


A former New Japan Young Lion, Kitamura began his professional wrestling career in 2015 and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the top young prospects in the company in just two short years.


In 2017, Kitamura captured the Young Lion Cup and was voted Rookie of the Year in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.


During a trial series in 2018 that consisted of seven matches, Kitamura was scheduled to face his final opponent in Manabu Nakanishi, but due to a cerebral concussion was pulled from the match. This would also mark the end of Kitamura’s career as he would depart New Japan the following year in 2019.


His last professional wrestling match took place on March 14, 2018, when he and Manabu Nakanishi lost a tag team match to Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii of CHAOS.


Despite his wrestling career coming to an end, Kitamura tried his hand at mixed martial arts with RIZIN, but lost his first and only fight to Bobby Ologun via rear naked choke in November 2021.


On behalf of everyone here at Indy Pro Wrestling, we want to send our condolences to Katsuya Kitamura’s friends and family during this sad time.