Sumie Sakai (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.
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 career
Sakai became involved in wrestling when her friend and fellow judo practitioner, Megumi Yabushita, invited her to join the wrestling industry. 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.
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.
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. While in the promotion, she and Martinez traded the North American Women's Championship, but Sakai was champion when she returned to Japan. In 2003, she left JDStar and relocated to the United States.
In December 2003 and January 2004, Sakai appeared with Ring of Honor, 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.
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.
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 Champion, where she won in the first round (at ROH 16th Anniversary Show) against Hana Kimura.
Mixed martial arts
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.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- "Pune Tang" (WEW)
Championships and accomplishments
- AWF Women's Championship (2 times)
- PWI ranked her #20 of the best 50 female singles wrestlers in the PWI Female 50 in 2008.
- PWU Unified Women's Championship (1 time)
- ROH Women of Honor Championship (1 time, Inaugural)
- International Joshi Grand Prix (2014)
|2008 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Amazing Kong • Beth Phoenix • Gail Kim • Mickie James • MsChif • Sara Del Rey • Roxxi Laveaux • Melina • Michelle McCool • Candice Michelle • Mercedes Martinez • Victoria • Taylor Wilde • ODB • Daizee Haze • Angelina Love • Jacqueline • April Hunter • Nattie Neidhart • Sumie Sakai • Allison Danger • Tracy Brooks • Velvet Sky • Sarah Stock • Mickie Knuckles • Katie Lea Burchill • Cherry • Cheerleader Melissa • Maria Kanellis • Amber O'Neal • Lexie Fyfe • Kelly Kelly • Cindy Rogers • Jillian Hall • Malia Hosaka • Christie Ricci • Becky Bayless • Alere Little Feather • Layla El • Kelly Couture • Jaime D • Christy Hemme • Milena Roucka • Annie Social • LuFisto • Trenesha Biggers • Danyah • Jennifer Blake • Daffney • Portia Perez|
|Ring of Honor|
|Adam Page • Alex Shelley • Beretta • Beer City Bruiser • BJ Whitmer • Caprice Coleman • Cheeseburger • Chris Sabin • Christopher Daniels • Cody • Colt Cabana • Dalton Castle • Deonna Purrazzo • Flip Gordon • Frankie Kazarian • Jay Briscoe • Jay Lethal • Jenny Rose • Joey Daddiego • Jonathan Gresham • Karen Q • Kenny King • Mandy Leon • Mark Briscoe • Marty Scurll • Matt Jackson • Matt Taven • Nick Jackson • Punishment Martinez • Rhett Titus • Shaheem Ali • Shane Taylor • Silas Young • Stella Grey • Sumie Sakai • TK O'Ryan • Vinny Marseglia • Will Ferrara|