Ryan Keiji Sakoda, who had a brief run with WWE on the SmackDown roster in the
mid-2000s, died earlier this month at the age of 48.
An obituary listed on Fukui Mortuary’s website reads: ‘Ryan Keiji Sakoda, age 48,
passed away on September 2, 2021.
‘Beloved son of Ronney and Colleen Sakoda; brother of Kelley (Cliff) Ikeda and Brett
(Shelly) Sakoda; uncle to Kaylee, Brendan, Cammy, and Nicholas.
‘He was the nephew of Jimmy and Akemi Sakoda, Gary and Irene Sumida, and Ray
and Carolyn Funatsu; and had many cousins.’
Earlier in his career, Sakoda worked for the likes of UPW, NWA Zero One and XWF,
before appearing for WWE as enhancement talent in 2003.
Later that year, he was signed and debuted alongside Akio (Jimmy Yang) as back-up
for Tajiri, which saw him work with the likes of Paul London and Brian Kendrick, The
Dudley Boyz, Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hoty, The FBI and The World’s Greatest Tag Team.
He was released in August 2004 and returned to UPW before becoming part of MTV’s
Wrestling Society X program.
His fans and fellow wrestlers have paid tribute to the late performer, with Paul
London remembering his ‘hysterical’ impressions.
Alongside a broken heart emoji, he tweeted: ‘Heart is hurting by the sudden passing of Ryan Sakoda.
‘From our time in OVW to Smackdown he was always able to make me laugh like none other. His impressions hysterical & his smile contagious.
‘Met Ryan in 2001 at UPW & he was always a friend. Grateful for the moments. R.I.P’