Former WWE Superstar Ryan Keiji Sakoda passed away at the age of 46 on Sept. 2, according to a report from PWInsider Monday.
There is no word yet on the cause of death. Sakoda had been recently working for Disney at their Grand California Hotel.
After spending several years in promotions such as UPW and XWF, Sakoda was brought in as an enhancement talent by WWE in 2003. By the fall of that year, he was signed to a contract.
During his WWE career, Sakoda had a brief run on the Smackdown brand paired with Akio (James Yun aka Jimmy Yang) and Yoshihiro Taiji. As a team, he and Akio worked with the likes of The Dudley Boyz, Rikishi & Scott 2 Hotty, Paul London & Spanky, The World’s Greatest Tag Team and The FBI (Nunzio and Johnny Stamboli).
Sakoda was eventually released by WWE in August 2004.
Sakoda was also part of MTV’s Wrestling Society X series for a single season.
After WWE and WSX, Sakoda continued to wrestle on the California indie scene until Sept. 2007.
In 2015, Sakoda, Luther Reigns and Russ McCullough filed a lawsuit against WWE, alleging they were seriously injured during their time working for the company. They claimed that WWE had known for years that their talents suffered brutal and debilitating injuries but were only interested in “selling violence.” The case was eventually moved to the Supreme Court after several other cases revolving around CTE-related allegations against WWE were all combined into one massive case. In 2020, the cases were permanently dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Wrestling Inc. sends our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Ryan Sakoda.