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Sonoko Kato (加藤 園子, Katō Sonoko, born June 11, 1976)[1][2] is a Japanese professional wrestler. She made her debut in April 1995, working for Gaea Japan, where she became one half of the inaugural AAAW Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. After becoming a two-time winner of the High Spurt 600 Tournament, Kato's career came to a halt following multiple injuries. After being sidelined for five years, Kato returned to the ring in October 2006, following the folding of Gaea Japan, and found a new home in the Oz Academy promotion, where she is a former two-time Oz Academy Openweight Champion and a four-time Oz Academy Tag Team Champion. Kato has also wrestled in the United States for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and in Mexico for Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA).

Sonoko Kato
Sonoko Kato 2016.JPG
Kato in April 2016
Birth nameSonoko Kato[1][2]
Born (1976-06-11) June 11, 1976 (age 43)[1][2]
Kasugai, Aichi[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Sonoko Kato
Billed height1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)[1][2]
Billed weight65 kg (143 lb)[1]
Trained byChigusa Nagayo
DebutApril 15, 1995[1][2]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Gaea Japan (1994–2005)Edit

Kato had an excessive sports history in her childhood, practising track and field and volleyball in elementary school, handball in junior high school and javelin in high school, before deciding to follow her childhood dream and, despite her father's objections, took part in a professional wrestling audition held by Chigusa Nagayo.[2] After passing the audition, Kato began training with Nagayo in October 1994.[2] She made her debut on April 15, 1995, facing fellow debutante Meiko Satomura at the first ever event held by Nagayo's Gaea Japan promotion.[1][2][3] Just before the debut match, Kato's father, whom Nagayo had managed to convince to support his daughter's dream of becoming a professional wrestler, died in a traffic accident.[2] On November 2, 1996, Kato and Satomura became the inaugural AAAW Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.[1][4] Through Gaea Japan's working relationship with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Kato made her American debut on November 29, 1996, in Wheeling, West Virginia, losing to Kaoru in a WCW Women's Championship tournament match.[5] Kato returned to WCW in April 1997 to take part in a tournament to determine the inaugural WCW Women's Cruiserweight Champion, losing to Malia Hosaka in her semifinal match.[6] On December 27, 1997, Kato won the High Spurt 600 Tournament, defeating Chikayo Nagashima in the finals.[7] After a sixteen-month reign, Kato and Satomura lost the AAAW Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Chikayo Nagashima and Sugar Sato on March 29, 1998.[8] After winning the High Spurt 600 Tournament for a second time in 1999,[9] Kato began suffering from various injuries which sidelined her from late 1999 to July 2000 and again from February 2001 to 2006.[2] During the time, Kato kept making non-wrestling appearances for Gaea Japan, including getting attacked and having her hair cut by the villainous D-Fix stable in late 2002.[10] When Gaea Japan went out of business in 2005, Kato was uncertain whether she would ever wrestle again.[2]

Oz Academy (2006–present)Edit

 
Kato in July 2010

Kato finally returned to the ring at an independent event produced by Chigusa Nagayo on October 1, 2006.[11] Kato then began working regularly for the Oz Academy promotion, which featured many other former Gaea Japan wrestlers.[1] On May 25, 2008, Kato made her Mexican debut for Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA), taking part in a five-way elimination Reina de Reinas Tournament match, from which she was eliminated by Martha Villalobos.[12] The following July, Kato and Chikayo Nagashima made it to the finals of a tournament to determine the inaugural Oz Academy Tag Team Champions, before losing to Carlos Amano and Dynamite Kansai.[13] Kato and Nagashima eventually won the title from Aja Kong and Hiroyo Matsumoto on February 22, 2009.[14] During the next eighteen months, Kato and Nagashima won the title two more times, becoming three-time champions together.[15][16] Kato won the title for the fourth time on January 15, 2012, this time teaming with Aja Kong.[17] After a seven-month reign, they lost the title to Akino and Ayumi Kurihara.[18] On January 12, 2014, Kato received a shot at the Oz Academy Openweight Championship, but was defeated by the defending champion, Akino.[19] The following June, Kato underwent a shoulder surgery, which would sideline her for an estimated six months.[20][21] She returned to the ring on January 11, 2015.[22] On February 8, Kato formed a new stable with Akino, Kagetsu and Kaho Kobayashi,[23] which was on April 15 named "Mission K4" (MK4).[24][25] On August 23, Kato won the first singles title of her twenty-year career, when she defeated Hiroyo Matsumoto in a Last Woman Standing match to win the vacant Oz Academy Openweight Championship.[26][27] On October 10, Kato returned to the United States, when she made her debut for Shimmer Women Athletes, taking part in their two-day tenth anniversary weekend.[28][29] After four successful title defenses, Kato was stripped of the Oz Academy Openweight Championship on April 24, 2016, when her defense against Hiroyo Matsumoto ended in a no contest.[30] On July 18, Kato defeated Mayumi Ozaki to regain the vacant Oz Academy Openweight Championship.[31][32] On November 13 at Oz Academy's 20th anniversary event, Kato lost the Oz Academy Openweight Championship to Hiroyo Matsumoto in her second defense.[33][34]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 加藤園子. Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 加藤園子. Gaea Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  3. ^ 里村 異種格闘技戦に初挑戦も. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). September 20, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  4. ^ "AAAW tag championship". Gaea Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 28, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  5. ^ "WCW Saturday Night Taping (November '96 #4)". Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  6. ^ "NWA/WCW The Main Event". The History of WWE. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Level the Ground". Gaea Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on June 28, 2006. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  8. ^ Woodward, Buck; Martinez, Ryan (March 29, 2011). "This day in history: WWWF becomes WWF, WrestleManias III and XIV, Benjamin defeats The Game and more". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "God Only Knows". Gaea Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  10. ^ "2002". Gaea Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  11. ^ Nagayo, Chigusa. 長与千種プロフィール. MarvelCompany (in Japanese). Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Hernandez, Xavier. "AAA on Galavision TV report featuring new Hart Foundation and great Reina de Reinas". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  13. ^ "2008/7/13(日) Oz新宿大会 12:30~ 「 Oz-Double Wizard 」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  14. ^ a b "2009/2/22(日) Oz後楽園大会 12:00~ 「魔性の花咲くOzの国」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  15. ^ a b "2009/8/02(日) Oz新宿大会 12:30~「 Oz-antiheroine 」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 7, 2009. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "2010/08/22(日) Oz後楽園大会 12:00~ 「プラムの花咲くOzの国2010」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "1/15 試合結果". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Livedoor. January 16, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  18. ^ 8/19 試合結果. Oz Academy (in Japanese). Livedoor. August 20, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  19. ^ "2014/01/12(日) 12:00~ 「~The Wezerd of Oz 2014~」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  20. ^ 【結果】OZアカデミー6・4後楽園. Ringstars (in Japanese). Ameba. June 7, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  21. ^ "2014/06/04(水) 18:30~ 「 ~決戦は水曜日 Vol.2~ 」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  22. ^ "2015/01/11(日) 12:00~ 「 The Wizard of Oz 2015 」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  23. ^ "2015/02/08(日) 18:00~ 「 feels just like it should 」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  24. ^ "2015/04/15(水) 18:30~ 「 look back;and tomorrow 」". Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  25. ^ "Ozアカデミー出場のMK4が怪気炎!". Daily Sports Online (in Japanese). Kobe Shimbun. August 20, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  26. ^ a b 2015/08/23(日) 16:00~ 「~プラムの花咲くOzの国2015~ Yokohama Drams Park 3」. Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  27. ^ 【結果】Ozアカデミー8・23横浜. Ringstars (in Japanese). Ameba. August 26, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  28. ^ Bentley, Martin (October 10, 2015). "Shimmer results from Berwyn, IL". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  29. ^ Namako, Jason (October 12, 2015). "Results from the 10th Anniversary weekend of Shimmer". Wrestleview. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  30. ^ 2016/04/24(日) 12:00~  Oz新宿大会 「 ~The Artist~ 」. Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  31. ^ 7・18 アジャコング30周年記年興行 後楽園ホール大会 アジャコング&アメージング・コング&浜田文子vs松本浩代&山下りな&橋本千紘. Battle News (in Japanese). July 18, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  32. ^ a b 2016/07/18(月) 12:00~ 「アジャ・コングデビュー30周年記念興行 ~Summer Jumbo 寿~」. Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  33. ^ 「Ozアカデミー結成20周年記念興行~Yokohama Drams Park DK~」. Oz Academy (in Japanese). Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  34. ^ 【Ozアカデミー】松本浩代 Oz無差別級王座 涙の奪取. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). November 14, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.

External linksEdit