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Legendary Wrestler Reportedly Died At 79 On Friday

A general view of a wrestling match.

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Antonio Inoki, an iconic Japanese pro wrestler and influential politician, passed away on Friday at the age of 79. 

Inoki's death was confirmed by New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the promotion he founded. 

Throughout his career in wrestling and politics, Inoki promoted peace. He was actually elected into the Japanese House of Councillors in 1989. Additionally, he was an elected politician from 2013-2019. 

As for his wrestling career, Inoki was the first Japanese wrestler to win the WWF championship. The WWE inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2010. 

During this Friday's edition of SmackDown, WWE held a moment of silence to pay their respects to Inoki. 

Inoki was also known for his bout with Muhammad Ali. That epic fight took place in 1976. 

Crossover fights that take place today were actually inspired by Ali and Inoki's fight. 

"Ali tried to reach down and punch and he ended up getting swept," Conor McGregor said, via ESPN. "Inoki ended up on top and the referee separated it straight away. If that moment in time was to let go for five more seconds, 10 more seconds, Inoki would have wrapped around his neck or his arm or a limb and the whole face of the combat world would have changed right there and then."

Our thoughts are with Inoki's loved ones.