Update On Shinjiro Otani After Suffering Cervical Spinal Cord Injury Which Left Him Paralyzed

On Sunday April 10th, ZERO1 held a huge event at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. The event was headlined by the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship match between Takashi Sugiura (c) and Shinjiro Otani, who also serves as the company’s acting president.

However, tragedy struck when a serious injury occurred, as the match was stopped after Shinjiro Otani had to be stretchered out of the building after suffering a cervical spinal cord injury when he took a german suplex into the turnbuckles. Fans in the arena were urged to leave the building while Otani was being attended to, and initial reports at the time stated that, Otani was able to talk with the referee and medical professionals who were on the scene, but he was unable to move his limbs.

Surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, April 13th to prevent further damage to his cervical spine following the horrific injury he suffered in the main event of Sunday’s ZERO1 Anniversary show.

According to doctors, Shinjiro Otani’s surgery on Wednesday was successful, “completing everything they planned to get done.” Doctors have transferred Otani to another hospital today, so he can begin the next step of his treatment.

Shinjiro Otani’s wife, Eriko Otani issued a statement, which was translated from Japanese to English by POST Wrestling. You can read the statement below.

“I married a professional wrestler, Shinjiro Otani, so I was prepared to accept a situation like this, but when I think of Shinjiro’s disappointment, I cry. However, we will not look down, but forward, and with the help of pro wrestling, we will continue to support Mr. Shinjiro. We will do our best with your warm support. We hope that you will continue to watch over us warmly. Finally, I would like to ask for your continued support for Zero One and all the wrestlers that Mr. Shinjiro has been protecting.”

ZERO1 has stated that they are in discussions with Otani’s family, and related parties to confirm his wishes. ZERO1 hopes to make another announcement sometime next week.

Shinjiro Otani made his professional wrestling debut on June 25th, 1992 for New Japan Pro Wrestling in a match against Hiroyoshi Yamamoto. He is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, a two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion with his partner Tatsuhito Takaiwa, a two-time NWA World Welterweight Champion, NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, as well as a former J-Crown Champion. Additionally, Otani captured gold in America as he is a former WCW Cruiserweight Champion, and WWF Light Heavyweight Champion.

In addition to all his other championships collected throughout his 30 year pro wrestling career, Shinjiro Otani was ranked #125 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the “PWI Years” in 2003, and also ranked #42 of the 100 best tag teams of the “PWI Years” with Tatsuhito Takaiwa in 2003, by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.

We will keep you updated on the health and condition of wrestling legend Shinjiro Otani.

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