Joshi Watch: SAKI

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SAKI
Photo / Twitter @sakipopo29

With a colorful presentation and a love for entertaining, SAKI is one of the most eye-catching figures in the world of joshi puroresu. Her reputation spans numerous promotions, from Pro Wrestling WAVE to Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling to her current home in Actwres girl’Z. In addition to being a solid singles and tag team wrestler, she gained fame as the leader of Actwres girl’Z Color’s leader. With introductions out of the way, let’s take a deep dive into the career of the “Battle Girl of Love and Justice.”

Hailing from Kisarazu, Chiba, Japan, SAKI began her professional wrestling career in 2012. She learned under Tomoka Nakagawa, Takako Inoue, and Gatoh Move founder Emi Sakura. SAKI made her in-ring debut in December of that year for Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling X. In the second match of the show, she teamed with MIZUKI in a losing effort against Inoue and Shinobu Kandori. Despite this loss, SAKI would continue to team with MIZUKI and even saw success with her in the years that followed.

In 2013, SAKI started to build a reputation across different Japanese promotions. In addition to Gatoh Move, where she debuted in August, she worked matches for LLPW-X and WAVE. 2014 saw SAKI work more shows for Gatoh Move, often teaming with MIZUKI to face the likes of Sakura, Sayaka Obihiro, and Kaori Yoneyama. In May, the Kisarazu native debuted for WRESTLE-1 during a tour, working with her partner in a singles match. Throughout the rest of 2014, SAKI was largely focused on Gatoh Move, specifically tag team matches. It would be these matches that hinted toward future success.

SAKI
Photo / Twitter @sakipopo29

Throughout 2015, SAKI remained a prominent figure in Gatoh Move. Alongside MIZUKI, she faced the likes of Obihiro, Kotori, and future inaugural AEW Women’s World Champion Riho. In April, SAKI debuted for Marvelous, where she and MIZUKI faced Inoue and KAORU in a losing effort. SAKI would go on to work for Pro Wrestling ZERO1, Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling Project, and Ice Ribbon in the months that followed.

It was in 2016 that gold was finally achieved. Though they failed to secure the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship in January, MIZUKI and SAKI’s luck would turn around the following March. Defeating Sakura and Masahiro Takanashi, the joshi duo became the inaugural Asia Dream Tag Team Champions in Gatoh Move. They would hold onto the championship until May, when Obihiro and Aoi Kizuki were declared the new titleholders. SAKI’s last appearance of the year would take place in July.

Having missed the remainder of 2016, SAKI returned to active competition in January of 2017. She spent the first several months in Pro Wrestling WAVE, even competing in the promotion’s Catch the WAVE tournament. The following summer, she entered a Gatoh Move tournament to crown the first Super Asia Champion. In the first round, SAKI lost to eventual winner Riho. It was also during the summer that she debuted for All Japan Pro Wrestling, where she would make appearances in the future. October saw her make her debut in PURE-J, where she worked with the likes of Command Bolshoi and Dump Matsumoto.

Tropikawild
Photo / Twitter @sakipopo29

In the spring of 2018, SAKI wrestled a series of singles matches against Gatoh Move newcomer Yuna Mizumori. Little did fans know that they would go on to become one of the premier teams in the purple-and-yellow promotion. Following a Dramatic Dream Team debut in March, SAKI began to team with the “Pineapple Girl” on a regular basis. Together, they formed Tropikawild. They had their first match, as a team, in May when they faced Hagane Shinnou and future AEW star Hikaru Shida. The following August, Tropikawild took part in the Asia Dream Tag Team League, which they won to become number one contenders. That same month, they bested Sakura and Takanashi. With this victory, SAKI became the first two-time Asia Dream Tag Team Champion.

SAKI’s tag team endeavors were just one part of her career. In September, she competed in a tournament to determine the first Actwres girl’Z Champion. Though SAKI fought valiantly, she ultimately lost to Saori Anou in the finals. Tropikawild remained a solid tag team throughout the remainder of 2018, too. Despite losing the Asia Dream Tag Team Championship in December, this wouldn’t be the final time that Tropikawild held gold.

Tropikawild
Photo / Twitter @sakipopo29

Always moving forward, SAKI continued her efforts across Gatoh Move, Actwres girl’Z, and other Japanese promotions in 2019. In March, Tropikawild would avenge their loss the year prior, when they bested Makoto and Riho to regain the Asia Dream Tag Team Championship. As the only twosome to hold this title multiple times, Tropikawild solidified themselves as the top team to beat in Gatoh Move. They secured victories over names including Rin Rin, Mitsuru Konno and Mei Suruga, further elevating their stock. Ultimately, Tropikawild closed out 2019 as the reigning Asia Dream Tag Team Champions.

Along with Mizumori, SAKI entered 2020 as a champion. It is unknown if she will close out the year as such. In March, Tropikawild dropped the Asia Dream Tag Team Championship to Yoneyama and Sakura at Gatoh Move’s Day of Happiness event. This hasn’t deterred SAKI, as she remains busy across different platforms. Those that would like to see more of her work can catch her at Actwres girl’Z, but don’t be surprised to see her pop up elsewhere. Featuring an entrepreneurial spirit and roughly eight years of professional wrestling experience, SAKI is a star to keep an eye on.

Recommended Matches:

Hikaru Shida vs. SAKI (March 28, 2017)

Still relatively early into her professional wrestling career, SAKI faced Hikaru Shida in 2017. Regardless, SAKI exhibited ample toughness in this match, holding her own against the future AEW star. This match started with a quick exchange, the pace becoming more methodical afterward. Shida was the more experienced star going into this match, but the Actwres girl’Z star seemed to have the support of the fans at Shin Kiba 1st Ring. SAKI developed a reputation as a tag team specialist, but she had multiple singles encounters that illustrated her talents. This showdown with Shida is just one example.

Riho and Makoto vs. Tropikawild (December 11, 2018)

By December, SAKI was regularly teaming with Yuna Mizumori. Though Tropikawild became a popular team, this showdown with Riho and Makoto for the Asia Dream Tag Team Championship would be their greatest challenge up to that point. This match illustrated the contrast of Tropikawild. While Yunamon lived up to her reputation as a “Power Fighter,” SAKI executed nimbler offense. Speaking of, SAKI didn’t hold back on Makoto and vice versa, resulting in intense encounters. Tropikawild would go on to have many more matches, especially in Gatoh Move’s home of Ichigaya Chocolate Square. Check this out for a primer on the tag team in question.

Lulu Pencil vs. SAKI (December 29, 2019)

While the previous matches were played relatively straight, this 2019 encounter with Lulu Pencil allowed SAKI to exercise her comedic chops. Fans that are familiar with Lulu Pencil’s work know what to expect; for everyone else, prepare to experience offense unlike anything else. SAKI was the stronger wrestler going into this match. However, the unorthodox techniques of Gatoh Move’s freelance writer would keep one half of the Asia Dream Tag Team Champions on her toes. Don’t go into this match expecting a technical clinic. Rather, watch this match with the expectation that you will be entertained all the same.

Check out past Joshi Watches and discover more stars from Japan!

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.

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