Okinawa Impact rumbles to the island Feb. 23rd

Akebono masters pro-wrestling moves as well as he used to dominate the sumo ring.

Professional wrestling’s heavyweight Triple Crown Champion headlines the card next month as one of the biggest pro-wrestling promotions in Japan comes to the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan.

Former sumo great Akebono.

The highlight of the Okinawa Impact, the pro-wrestling program organized by All Japan Pro Wrestling, is the 60-minute title fight between Akebono, the 47th heavyweight champion, and challenger Go Shiozaki.  The February 23rd program begins at 4 p.m.

Akebono Taro, who was born Chad Rowan in Hawaii, is a former sumo wrestler who started as a professional in 1988, and eventually rose to sumo’s highest rank of Yokozuna in 1993, becoming the first foreign born wrestler ever to reach the rank. He became a Japanese citizen in 1996, and retired from sumo in 2001.

After retiring he worked as a sumo coach. The 203-cm-tall Akebono left the Sumo Association in 2003, and tried a career as a K-1 fighter, finally moving into pro-wrestling. Currently he is performing in the All Japan Pro Wrestling Association bouts. He holds the Zero 1 World Heavyweight Champion title.

Tickets are now on sale for the Okinawa Impact fights, at ImpactInfoOkinawa@gmail.com or by calling 090-1946-7593.  Special ringside seats costing ¥7,000 at door, are on sale for ¥6,000 in advance; ¥5,000 ringside seats are selling for ¥4,000 in advance; first floor reserved seats regular price ¥4,000 are now ¥3,500 and non-reserved seats on the second floor are discounted ¥500 costing now ¥2,500. Tickets for elementary and junior high school students are available only at the door for ¥1,000.