In Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling, where idol culture is prevalent, Sayaka is the perfect fit. Though she’s fairly new to professional wrestling, the cosplayer in white has proven herself as a capable, charismatic performer. Armed with her signature dropkick and a competitive spirit, the latter likely to have been developed through her passion for gaming, Sayaka is one of the rising stars in the purple-and-yellow promotion. Here, we take a deep dive to learn more, from her background to where she stands in the wrestling world today.
Prior to becoming a professional wrestler, Sayaka was heavily involved in cosplaying. Defined as a type of performance art where participants dress as certain characters or personalities, it is prevalent across many countries, Japan included. In addition to cosplaying, Sayaka is an avid gamer. A scroll through her Twitter feed may yield an image or two of her playing her Nintendo Switch. Given how such hobbies as anime and gaming cross over into wrestling, she had tremendous appeal out of the gate.
In the summer of 2019, Sayaka began her wrestling career with Gatoh Move, headed by Emi Sakura. The newcomer would be in good hands, as Sakura not only founded Ice Ribbon years prior but possessed over two decades of experience in the business. Sayaka learned in the promotion’s training facility, Darejo Project, alongside other recruits. These included Sayuri, Chie Koishikawa, Tokiko Kirihara, Rin Rin, and Lulu Pencil.
Starting in July, Sayaka wrestled in a number of Gatoh Move exhibition matches.
The purpose of these matches was to introduce fans to the aforementioned recruits. In these exhibition matches, she faced Sakura, Mei Suruga, and Yuna Mizumori, just to name a few. In August, Sayaka had her first official match. Teaming with Gatoh Move stalwarts Mitsuru Konno and Sayaka Obihiro, she faced Mizumori, Suruga, and Sakura in a losing effort. The following September, Sayaka picked up her first victory when she teamed with Konno and Antonio Honda to defeat Kirihara, SAKI, and Masahiro Takanashi.
Throughout the remainder of 2019, Sayaka wrestled in various singles and tag team matches. Though she racked up more losses than wins, she picked up victories from time to time, specifically in tags. In January of 2020, she started the year by facing Suruga in singles competition. Though Sayaka proved herself as a formidable opponent against the Gatoh Move favorite, Suruga would prevail. The Gatoh Move rookie suffered an injury early in the year, though she was back in action by March.
Despite being less than a year into her professional wrestling career, Sayaka has shown tremendous potential. Her charisma is what one would expect from a Gatoh Move talent, but her work from bell to bell has only gotten better. The way that she can utilize fast-paced moves, such as the aforementioned dropkick, all the while display character can’t be denied. In the years to come, expect Sayaka to become a more featured competitor in Gatoh Move and Japanese professional wrestling as a whole.
Yuna Mizumori, Emi Sakura, & Mei Suruga vs. Mitsuru Konno, Sayaka, & Sayaka Obihiro (August 28, 2019)
It’s been said that first impressions matter, and in this debut match, Sayaka exhibited her capabilities. Early in the match, she squared off with Mei Suruga, attempting multiple roll-ups. This showed that the peppy newcomer wasn’t shy about squaring off against her more experienced peers. Even when she was on the defensive against her superiors, Sayaka remained in the match. She even executed a dropkick, which would become a signature move, on promotion founder Emi Sakura. The Gatoh Move newcomer had a solid showing in this six-person tag team match. This debut bout is worth checking out.
Mitsuru Konno vs. Sayaka (November 24, 2019)
This match marked Sayaka’s first singles encounter and what a tall task she had in front of her. On the other side of the Ichigaya Chocolate Square venue stood Mitsuru Konno, the “Leader” of Gatoh Move. Early on, the hoodie-wearing rookie attempted a dropkick. The more experienced Konno sidestepped it, causing her opponent to faceplant in comedic fashion. From there, Sayaka remained on the defensive, Konno executing various holds to get her to submit. However, a miscalculation on Konno’s part would allow the rookie to mount a spirited comeback. From her debut in August, this November match illustrated Sayaka’s continuous improvement and growth.
Sayaka & Mei Suruga vs. TAMURA and Mitsuru Konno (March 8, 2020)
Following an injury sustained during the beginning of 2020, Sayaka made her in-ring return in this match. Alongside Mei Suruga, she faced Mitsuru Konno and TAMURA, the latter being the head of Pro Wrestling HEAT UP. The crowd seemed to favor Sayaka, who exhibited initiative by first shoving TAMURA into the crowd. Her technical skill was also on display, such as with the bow and arrow lock she applied on TAMURA. It didn’t take long for Sayaka to work off any ring rust she had. Furthermore, it’s difficult not to include a match that includes the “Gatoh Move Train” maneuver. For those that enjoy Gatoh Move’s comedy, it’s all the more reason to check out this match.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch Sayaka at Gatoh Move on YouTube and via the Gatoh Move Experience.