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Sumie Sakai (坂井 澄江, Sakai Sumie, born November 24, 1971) is a Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. She currently resides in the United States, appearing with professional wrestling promotions in the northeastern United States, such as Women's Extreme Wrestling and Chikara, as well as a regular performer in Ring of Honor, where she was the inaugural and longest reigning Women of Honor Champion.

Sumie Sakai
Sumie Sakai.jpg
Born (1971-11-24) November 24, 1971 (age 47)[1]
Suzuka, Mie, Japan
ResidencePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Sumie Sakai
Yellow Michinoku Ranger
Billed height1.55 m (5 ft 1 in)
Billed weight54 kg (119 lb)
Billed fromOsaka
Tokyo
Yokkaichi
Trained byJaguar Yokota
Lioness Asuka
Cooga
Bison Kimura
Steve Bradley
Killer Kowalski
Slyck Wagner Brown
Bill Scott
DebutApril 20, 1997

Contents

Early lifeEdit

As a young woman, Sakai practiced judo. From 1995 to 1997, she halted her practice of judo to work with senior citizens at the Kasugamachi Care Center in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.

Professional wrestling careerEdit

JapanEdit

Sakai became involved in wrestling when her friend and fellow judo practitioner, Megumi Yabushita, invited her to join the wrestling sport. Sakai trained under Jaguar Yokota and made her debut on April 20, 1997 with the Yoshimoto Ladies Pro Wrestling promotion, facing Yabushita in the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. She went on to form a tag team with Yabushita named Yabusaka (ヤブサカ).

Later in 1997, Sakai began wrestling for Yokota's JDStar promotion, where she won both the JDStar Junior Championship and the JDStar Queen of the Ring Championship. She also won the Women's Championship of the affiliated American Wrestling Federation and the Tag Team Championship of the affiliated Trans-World Wrestling Federation. In 1999, she suffered a broken leg while wrestling Lioness Asuka. While rehabilitating, Sakai became enamored of American professional wrestling, and resolved to one day wrestle in the United States.

While in Japan, Sakai faced several prominent male Japanese wrestlers, including Dick Togo, The Great Sasuke and Jinsei Shinzaki. She furthered her training under Bison Kimura, Cooga and Lioness Asuka.

United StatesEdit

Independent wrestling (2002-present)Edit

Sakai wrestled her first match in the United States in 2002. In May 2002, she began a three-month tour of the US, where she feuded with Mercedes Martinez in New England Championship Wrestling.[2] While in the promotion, she and Martinez traded the New England Championship Wrestling North American Women's Championship, but Sakai was champion when she returned to Japan.[2] In 2003, she left JDStar and relocated to the United States.

On April 17, 2005, Sakai organised "WE LOVE SABU", a pair of shows held at the Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo. "WE LOVE SABU" was organised in support of Terry "Sabu" Brunk, an American wrestler who had been afflicted with a serious virus in the summer of 2004, with the proceeds of the show going towards paying Sabu's medical bills. The show featured Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling alumni such as Masato Tanaka and Extreme Championship Wrestling alumni such as The Sandman. Sabu eventually made a complete recovery, returning to the ring on May 21, 2005.

In 2009, Sakai began training with Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Bill Scott. She currently holds a blue belt.

In 2012, Sakai joined Kurt Pellegrino's Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Belmar, NJ to better her BJJ and pursue her MMA career.

Ring of Honor (2002–2005, 2015–present)Edit

Sakai first appeared in Ring of Honor in June 2002 and defeated Simply Luscious in the very first women's match on an ROH card. She returned in December 2003 and January 2004, defeating Alison Danger and losing to April Hunter. She returned to Ring of Honor on August 20, 2005, losing to Lacey at Do or Die 5. Because of these appearances, she is considered to be one of the original Women of Honor

She has also been performing regularly for Ring of Honor since 2015 for its Women of Honor division. Since 2018 she is participating in the tournament to crown the inaugural ROH Women of Honor World champion, where she won in the first round (at ROH 16th Anniversary Show) against Hana Kimura.[3] Sakai became the inaugural Women of Honor champion at Supercard of Honor XII after defeating Kelly Klein.[4] During her reign, Sakai was able to retain her title against various competitors such as Madison Rayne[5] and Tenille Dashwood[6]. On Finale Battle, Sakai lost the championship to Klein in a Four Corner Survival match which also involved Karen Q and Rayne.[7]

Mixed martial artsEdit

Sakai made her mixed martial arts debut on October 14, 2006, fighting American kickboxer Amy Davis in a bout promoted by Tom Supnet of the "Primal Tribe Fighting Club" as part of the Xtreme Fight Series II event. The bout ended in a no contest at the end of the first three-minute long round after Davis suffered an arm injury and was unable to continue as a result of an armbar applied by Sakai.

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 2-4 Jamie Lowe TKO (punches) Cage Fury Fighting Championships 19 February 2, 2013 3 3:32 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 2-3 Iman Achhal TKO (punches) Ultimate Warrior Challenge 7 October 3, 2009 2 2:30 Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Loss 2-2 Jessica Penne Submission (armbar) Fatal Femmes Fighting 2 July 14, 2007 3 0:33 Compton, California, United States
Win 2-1 Amber McCoy Submission (rear-naked choke) Brawl at Bourbon Street May 25, 2007 1 0:18 Illinois, United States
Loss 1-1 Jessica Aguilar Decision (unanimous) Combat Fighting Championship 3 February 17, 2007 3 5:00 Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 1-0 Melissa Vasquez Submission (armbar) Freestyle Combat Challenge 25 January 13, 2007 1 N/A Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
NC 0-0 Amy Davis NC (confusion over rules) Xtreme Fight Series 2 October 14, 2006 1 3:0 Boise, Idaho, United States

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

  • American Wrestling Federation
  • AWF Women's Championship (2 times)
  • JDStar Junior Championship (1 time)
  • JDStar Queen of the Ring Championship (1 time)
  • NECW North American Women's Championship (1 time)[2][8]
  • PWU Women's Championship (1 time)
  • Pro Wrestling World-1
  • Pro Wrestling World-1 Women's Championship (1 time)[10]
  • Trans-World Wrestling Federation
  • TWWF Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Cooga (1), Hiroyo Mutoh (1) and Megumi Yabushita (1)
  • Valkyrie Women's Professional Wrestling
  • International Joshi Grand Prix (2014)
  • Women's Extreme Wrestling
  • WEW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Annie Social [13]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Sumie Sakai at Sherdog.com". Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Clapp, John (December 13, 2006). "Mercedes Martinez: Unlike any other". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
  3. ^ "3/9 ROH 16th Anniversary PPV report: Live coverage including Castle vs. Lethal for world title, Briscoes vs. Machine Guns for tag titles, current Impact Wrestli". pwtorch.com. 2018-03-09. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  4. ^ Rose, Bryan. "ROH SUPERCARD OF HONOR XII LIVE RESULTS: KENNY OMEGA VS. CODY". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Engstrom, Anders. "ROH Episode 363 Recap: Bully Ray In Action, Sumie Sakai Vs. Madison Rayne For WOH Title". Wrestling Inc. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Powell, Jason. "9/28 Powell's ROH Death Before Dishonor review: Jay Lethal vs. Will Ospreay for the ROH Title, Bullet Club vs. Chaos, Sumie Sakai vs. Tenille Dashwood for the WOH Title, The Briscoes vs. The Addiction for the ROH Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  7. ^ Powell, Jason. "12/14 Powell's ROH Final Battle 2018 live review: Jay Lethal vs. Cody for the ROH Title, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks in a Ladder War for the ROH Tag Titles, Jeff Cobb vs. Adam Page for the ROH TV Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Independent Wrestling Results - June 2002". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  9. ^ "PWI escoge a Ronda Rousey como la mejor luchadora del año 2018". cagematch.net. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "Pro Wrestling WORLD-1 Women's Championship". titlehistories.com. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  11. ^ "WOH WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: SUMIE SAKAI". Ring of Honor.
  12. ^ Rose, Bryan. "ROH SUPERCARD OF HONOR XII LIVE RESULTS: KENNY OMEGA VS. CODY". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  13. ^ "Independent Wrestling Results - May 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-07-04.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit