Contributed by Scott Brown
Earlier today, on February 4th , 2019, NJPW commentator, Chris Charlton reported on Twitter that Young Lion, "Wrestling Monster" Katsuya Kitamura is done with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Kitamura was unusual among the Young Lions due to his size. Standing six feet tall he weighed in at 265 pounds and had a background in bodybuilding and amateur wrestling being a 3 time national champion in Japan and a favorite to make the 2012 Olympic team before failing a PED test.
Kitamura joined the NJPW dojo in 2015. His first match was an amateur exhibition against Tomoyuki Oka at Lions Gate Project 1. The two went on to form a tag team known as Monster Rage.
In 2017 he competed in World Tag League with David Findlay and won the 2017 Young Lions Cup. Wrestling Observer named him the 2017 Rookie of the Year.
He was injured while training and spent a year recieving medical treatment and doing rehab. NJPW offered him a new contract this year, but after talking with them he decided to leave. His last match was in March of 2018 and it is rumored that his injury was a cerebral concussion.
Kitamura expressed gratitude to his fans on Twitter, saying "... hope that you continue to support Katsuya Kitamura when he goes to a new stage." Despite the hopefulnesshopeful tone of his message rumors have spread that on February 5th he announced his retirement from pro wrestling. As of this writing they are unconfirmed.
Wishing you the best, on your future endeavors.
Keeping up with the ever changing world of professional wrestling...