Women Of Honor Champion Sumie Sakai spoke to ProWrestling.com about her upcoming match at ROH Final Battle, competing in ROH in the promotion’s infancy, why she gives credit to WWE Hall Of Famer Beth Phoenix, and more. Below are some highlights:
Sumie Sakai On Her Favorite Opponent:
I am so honored to have wrestled so many great wrestlers in the world! I appreciate great opportunities from each of the wrestlers and companies. I wrestled Leilani Kai. It was such an honor to wrestle her, and I heard about her from other Japanese female wrestlers. My favorite opponents were Lioness Asuka, Fang Suzuki, The Bloody [aka Bloody Phoenix]and Momoe Nakanishi. They have already retired, but I learned so much from them. I love to wrestle the other WOH wrestlers. They are making me humble and realize how much I love pro wrestling.
Sumie Sakai On Mercedes Martinez:
I learned American wrestling from [Mercedes], April Hunter, Nikki Roxx, Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Traci Brooks, Rain and more American female wrestlers in the U.S. I am so honored to have learned pro wrestling in Japan, but I wanted to wrestle with my Japanese wrestling skills in the U.S. Beth Pheonix was my first opponent where I could do that. I still appreciate her so much. If I didn’t wrestle her I wouldn’t be here now.”
I love Mercedes Martinez of course! I would hang out with her again more than I want to wrestle her again, but if I have a chance I would love to wrestle her!
Sumie Sakai On Being With ROH At The Beginning Of The Promotion:
I loved to wrestle at the Murphy Recreation Center for ROH. That place and those fans made me realize how happy that I am to be a pro wrestler. I am the first Japanese wrestler to wrestle for ROH. Their name was getting popular in Japan in 2002, and I was so honored that could wrestle for them. ROH is a great company. Great wrestlers, people, fans and team. I really wanted ROH to be my home!
Sumie Sakai On Being The First Women Of Honor Champion & Final Battle:
It’s such an honor to be the first WOH World Champion. I appreciate and respect the other wrestlers. I am always feeling like a challenger in every single match. A long time ago my dream was to become a champion in Japan, and I wanted to be an Olympian. I had to quit my dream and my judo team because of personal issues. I thought [that] following dreams was so stupid at the time, but this is a great opportunity to be the first WOH World Champion! It made me realize following dreams is awesome.
Who would ever go into the ring with a losing mindset? I have been fighting for over 30 years of my life. My coach never taught me that way. I love challenging myself. These girls are making me amped to compete against them! But I don’t care about them, I care to win. I will also enjoy having fun with them for the fans, and I want this match to be the best match at Final Battle! I would love to wrestle Brandi Rhodes and others for this title, so I have to win!
Sumie Sakai Gives Credit To Beth Phoenix & Talks Final Battle