Saki Akai Announces Retirement From Wrestling

For nearly 12 years, wrestler, model, and idol Saki Akai has been a staple of Japanese promotion DDT. Along the way, she's won the Iron Man Heavymetalweight Championship an astounding 23 times, while also fitting in a KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship reign and a run in DDT's sister promotion, Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. But all good things must come to an end eventually, and with Akai now entering her 10th year with DDT, she's decided now is the time to walk away.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Akai announced she will be retiring on November 23, after the conclusion of DDT's Ultimate Party 2023 event. She would later clarify that her final match would take place on November 12 from Sumo Hall.

"The joys of DDT is that wrestling isn't only in the ring so I hope to show the best style of DDT wrestling with the wrestlers in DDT," Akai said. "I want to give a chance to everyone whose helped me and those who I have yet to face. If anyone wants to face me, please come to DDT."

The 36-year-old would further reveal she planned to continue her modeling career post-wrestling and hopes that her retirement match comes in mixed tag form. Akai also took time to pay tribute to her fans, crediting them for her longevity and success.

"I'm not strong and I'm not perfect," Akai said. "Ever since I joined the industry I was surprised. The fans are just like me fighting. Enjoying, crying, feeling frustrated. There's a difference between the ring and the seats. But if it wasn't for you, I'd never be here. All of my success are all thanks to you. Thank you to all of my fans who made me into a wrestler."