Emi Sakura Joins AEW Full Time

The AEW women's division is about to get a boost. AEW star and Japanese joshi legend Emi Sakura announced on Twitter earlier this evening that she is returning to the US with a one way ticket, indicating she has made the decision to join AEW full time going forward.

"I decided to go to America with a one-way ticket," Sakura tweeted. "Please look forward to what happens to ChocoPro from now on. We are ChocoPro and we like a challenge. Now AEW Women's Division, you better be ready. Emi Sakura's looking at the top and Britt Baker looks very interesting."

Sakura signed with AEW when the promotion first formed back in 2019 and competed at AEW's inaugural event Double or Nothing, teaming with Aja Kong and Yuka Sakazaki to take on Hikaru Shida, Riho and Ryo Mizunami in a losing effort. She would split time between AEW and Japan until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, and notably challenged Riho for the AEW Women's World Championship at AEW Full Gear in November of 2019. Sakura's most recent appearance for AEW was during their Women's Eliminator Tournament earlier this year. She defeated VENY in Round One before losing to Yuka Sakazaki in Round 2, and later competed in a six women tag, where she, Maki Itoh and VENY were defeated by Mei Suruga, Rin Kadokura and then AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida.

A twenty six year veteran, Sakura is best known in Japan for founding the joshi promotions Ice Ribbon (which she left in December of 2011) and Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling, the latter of which she continues to operate as promoter and booker. The show's flagship show, ChocoPro, airs multiple times a week and in addition to Sakura features joshi stars such as Suruga, Chie Koishikawa, Yuna Mizumori and Lulu Pencil and male stars Baliyan Akki, Chris Brookes and Minoru Fujita. Sakura is also an accomplished trainer, with Riho, Shida and Suruga standing out among her most prized pupils.

You can see Sakura's tweet below.