Former WWE and Wrestling Society X star Ryan Keiji Sakoda has passed away at the age of 46.
There are no details on Sakoda’s cause of death as of this writing, but PWInsider reports that he passed away on Thursday, September 2. He was recently working for Disney at their Grand California Hotel.
Sakoda began training for Rick Bassman’s UPW promotion in California, with names like John Cena, Samoa Joe and Frankie Kazarian. He worked as Vapor for Jimmy Hart’s XWF promotion in 2001, and then went to Japan to work for Zero-One, where he and Joe held the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Titles.
Sakoda began working as a WWE enhancement talent in 2003 and was signed that fall. He briefly worked the SmackDown brand and was paired with Jimmy Yang and Tajiri. Sakoda was released from his WWE contract in August 2004. After WWE, Sakoda went back to Japan to work for Zero-One and HUSTLE. He also worked for MTV’s Wrestling Society X promotion that aired for one season.
Sakoda continued to work the California indie scene until September 2017. He was involved in a 2015 lawsuit against WWE, alongside Luther Reigns and Russ McCullough, where they alleged that they were seriously injured while working for the company. It was later dismissed.
An online obituary for Sakoda can be viewed at this link.