Standing just 4 feet tall, and weighing 97 pounds, Shigeru Akabane was a popular professional wrestler in the Midget Class. Born in Japan, Akabane died in 2011 in St. Joseph.

Once wrestling before a crowd of 93,000, Akabane held the NWA World Midget’s Championship on three occasions.

He competed in North American promotions from the 1970s into the 1990s, including appearances for American Wrestling Association (AWA), National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the WWE, most notably appearing at WrestleMania III.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Photo credit: Mattias Lemm, Pixabay