Haruka Eigen, an Executive Director of Pro Wrestling NOAH that was also as a full-time wrestler for 40 years, passed away at 8 p.m. Japanese team at his home. He was 70.
Little information is out on the death at this point other than the promotion reporting it and Great Kojika, a contemporary, also releasing the information.
Eigen (pictured in the center above) was a preliminary wrestler best known in the glory days of All Japan Pro Wrestling for the “spit spot” where he’d be chopped hard in the chest and would spit in the crowd.
As part of the comedy match on those shows (a six-man tag that usually involved a past-his-prime Giant Baba and Rusher Kimura), fans seated at ringside knew to bring the newspaper you’d pick up at the train station (usually Tokyo Sports) to the matches. In those six-man tags, people would then shield themselves using the newspaper like an umbrella as they did the carefully set up spot.
Eigen wrestled from 1966 until a retirement series in Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2006. He started with the old Tokyo Pro Wrestling promotion under Antonio Inoki, and then moved to the JWA upon the folding of Tokyo Pro in 1967. He was wrestling in the United States as part of a heel Japanese tag team when the JWA folded, and signed with New Japan in 1974.
He made the switch to All Japan in late 1984 as part of Choshu’s Army where he became a mid-card fixture.