Ashura Hara Death – Pneumonia

ashura hara

Japanese wrestler Ashura Hara dies at 68.

1947-2015 (Age 68)

Professional wrestlers often come from different sports backgrounds but Ashura Hara competed in a multitude of sports, including amateur wrestling, sumo wrestling, football, and rugby.

Born Susumu Hara on January 8, 1947 in Moriyama, Nagasaki, Japan, Hara played rugby in high school and college before entering the pro ranks, playing with the Kintetsu Liners.

Hara’s time as a rugby player toughened him up, preparing him for professional wrestling’s physicality.

An International Competitor

The rugged rugby player excelled when he joined the pro ranks, debuting in 1978. Hara worked in various promotions, including Canada’s Stampede Wrestling, Otto Wanz’s Catch Wrestling Association in Europe, and later, in Japan. Ashura Hara competed in Japanese promotions ranging from International Wrestling Enterprise, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Super World of Sports, and Wrestling Association R (aka WAR).

Ashura Hara won singles and tag team gold, including a long partnership with Japanese legend Genichiro Tenryu and a successful team with the Mighty Inoue.

In All-Japan Pro Wrestling, he distinguished himself in tag team wrestling, winning the promotion’s All-Asia Tag Team Championship, the Pacific Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship, and the World Tag Team Championship.

Gambling Debts and What Might Have Been

While it is always tricky to play the “what might have been” game, Ashura Hara’s personal problems likely sabotaged his career. According to Dave Meltzer’s obituary in the May 4, 2015, Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Hara’s gambling problems put him behind the proverbial eight ball.

He owed more than $300,000 and collector types started showing up at All Japan house shows, and when they started showing up at the big shows when NTV production people and executives were also there, owner Giant Baba fired him in November 1988, right before that year’s tag team tournament was about to start.

According to Meltzer, Hara might have won the tag team tournament, which could have been a step out of the mid-card.

Hara continued wrestling but his career was not the same.

A Return to Rugby

Hara retired in 1994, returning to his rugby roots by coaching aspiring players at his alma mater, the Nagasaki Prefectural Isahaya Agricultural High School in his hometown at the Moriyama, Nagasaki Prefecture.

Ashura Hara’s Final Years and Death

Ashura’s later years saw him care for his father, who had passed away from a stroke.

On April 28, 2015, Ashura Hara died at a hospital in Isahaya, Nagasaki after battling pneumonia. He was 68.

Other pro wrestlers who died in 2015 include Buddy Landel, Dusty Rhodes, Nick Bockwinkel, Roddy Piper, Tommy Rogers, and Verne Gagne.

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