Ryan Sakoda: Former WWE wrestler dies, aged 48 as Chris Masters and Adam Pearce lead tributes

Sakoda had filed a class-action lawsuit against Vince McMahon’s company which was dismissed in 2016

Harry Latham-Coyle
Tuesday 28 September 2021 14:02
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<p>Former WWE wrestler Ryan Sakoda has died </p>

Former WWE wrestler Ryan Sakoda has died

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Former WWE wrestler Ryan Sakoda has died at the age of 48.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Sakoda also appeared in Zero1, Ultimate Pro Wrestling and MTV’s Wrestling Society X.

He spent time on the WWE’s roster on a developmental contract in 2003 and 2004, and appeared as a henchman of fellow Japanese wrestler Tajiri.

Sakoda filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, alleging that WWE had concealed that wrestlers suffered traumatic brain injuries while wrestling for them.

The case was brought by lawyer Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in several similar lawsuits, but was dismissed as frivolous by a judge in March 2016.

WWE producer and former five-time National Wrestling Alliance world champion Adam Pearce led tributes to Sakoda, who died on September 2.

“Godspeed, Ryan “Keiji” Sakoda,” Pearce tweeted.

“Always a good brother to me and one of the first to welcome me when I first moved to [California]. Rest well, my friend.”

Long-time independent and WWE wrestler Paul London meanwhile paid tribute to his “hysterical” friend.

“Heart is hurting by the sudden passing of Ryan Sakoda.

“From our time in OVW to Smackdown he was always able to make me laugh like none other. His impressions hysterical & his smile contagious.

“Met Ryan in 2001 at UPW & he was always a friend. Grateful for the moments.”

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