#AndNEW: Sumie Sakai Crowned Inaugural WOH Champion

Photo: twitter.com/UltraLiger

Last night at Ring of Honor‘s Supercard of Honor XII, ROH crowned their first ever Women of Honor Champion, with Sumie Sakai pinning Kelly Klein in the finals of the tournament that started in late 2017. In a field that included such emerging stars as Deonna Purrazzo, Brandi Rhodes, Mandy Leon, Tenille Dashwood, Karen Q and Stardom‘s Maya Iwatani, Kagetsu, HZK and Hana Kimura, many expected WOH to crown one of the new stars as it’s inaugural champion. But it went to the locker room leader and veteran Sumie Sakai, and well deserved. Sakai has been wrestling since 1997, originally trained by Japanese women’s legends Jaguar Yokota and Lioness Asuka. In the early 2000s, she moved to the United States and continued her training with Killer Kowalski. In 2002, she was the very first woman to compete for Ring of Honor, defeating Simply Luscious, on Ring of Honor’s fourth ever event,ย ROH Road to the Title,ย on June 22, 2002 (ROH’s first event was in February of 2002). Sumie Sakai has been not only a Women of Honor original, but a Ring of Honor original, wrestling for ROH for it’s entire history. It’s only fitting that the woman who made women’s wrestling possible and inspired and mentored so many wear the crown first.






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