We learned that former WWE Superstar and Zero-One wrestler, Ryan Sakoda, passed away on September 2nd at the age of 46. No cause of death has been announced at this time. PWInsider reported the news earlier this afternoon.
Sakoda worked with WWE starting in January 2003 as an “extra” during a pose-down segment between Triple H and Scott Steiner on an episode of WWE Monday Night RAW. He would go on to sign a developmental deal with the company and make his official on-screen debut working alongside Akio (Jimmy Wang Yang) at No Mercy (2003). Sakoda would go on to work alongside Akio and Yoshihiro Tajiri as the faction, “Kyo Dai” in late 2003. He would eventually be released from his WWE contract in August 2004.
Prior to WWE, Sakoda was a regular on the Indy circuit, working in UPW in California and later Zero-One as part of “Team Emblem”, alongside Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka. He also had an NWA run, teaming with Samoa Joe to capture the Intercontinental Tag Team Championships. In his post WWE career, he returned to UPE as a part-time trainer and returned to the ring for Wrestling Society X in 2007.
Sakoda was one of the plaintiffs (along with Luther Reigns and Russ McCullough) in a 2015 class-action suit against WWE regarding alleged traumatic brain injuries suffered while working there. The lawsuit was one of many handled by Konstantine Kyros and, like all of Kyros’ other lawsuits, was eventually dismissed.
On behalf of everyone here at eWrestlingNews, we would like to send out our most sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Ryan Sakoda during this tragic time.