Mae Young Classic 2018 Adds Japanese Wrestling Legend Meiko Satomura

Meiko Satomura

Meiko Satomura, a 23-year veteran who is considered the final boss in Japan — the one opponent that every starry-eyed wrestler strives to defeat — is now confirmed for Mae Young Classic.

WWE confirmed reports from Japan in an announcement this morning.

“A living legend in the Far East, Satomura began training for the ring in 1994 at age 14. She made her professional debut the following year and stands as one of the few active competitors whose origin dates to Japan’s thunderous women’s wrestling boom in the 1990s. Viewed as a top prospect from day one, Satomura even competed in WCW early in her career. Mentored by Chigusa Nagayo (one-half of the famous Crush Girls tag team), she also trained under catch-wrestling icon Billy Robinson.

“Known for her debilitating Death Valley Bomb and explosive Scorpion Rising axe kick, Satomura is a master of Joshi Strong Style (the hard-hitting in-ring style associated with Japanese female wrestlers). As the founder of Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling, she has been a formidable advocate for women’s wrestling.”

Before Asuka and Kairi Sane joined WWE, they both wrestled Satomura in Japan.

Satomura was among a group of Japanese female wrestlers to work matches on WCW television during the late 1990s.

After only wrestling for one year, Satomura began appearing for World Championship Wrestling in 1996 through Gaea Japan’s working relationship with WCW, which was attempting to establish a women’s division. Satomura participated in an eight-woman tournament to crown the inaugural WCW Women’s Champion but was eliminated in the first round by eventual winner Akira Hokuto.

Here is footage of that match, which aired on WCW Pro on December 8, 1996.

Satomura also once wrestled on a live episode of WCW Monday Nitro. In 1997, WCW held a four-woman tournament for the WCW Women’s Cruiserweight Championship, a short-lived singles title for female wrestlers who weighed no more than 130 pounds. The tournament began on Nitro on March 31, 1997, and concluded on April 7, 1997. Satomura worked the first match of the tournament, losing to Toshie Uematsu.

Here is footage of that match, which was her final appearance in WCW.

Satomura also made two appearances on WCW Worldwide in February 1997 (filmed in November 1996). She lost to Malia Hosaka in a singles match and teamed with Madusa in a loss to Hokuto and Kaoru. She worked four matches altogether in WCW and lost them all.

Since Satomura was 17 years old when these matches took place, it’s quite possible that she’s the youngest person ever to wrestle in WCW. Alex Wright was 18 when he started wrestling in WCW, so she would top him.

Mae Young Classic 2018 will be taped at Full Sail Live in Winter Park, Florida on August 8 and 9 before the finals are held at WWE’s Evolution pay-per-view event in Uniondale, New York on October 28. Twenty of the 32 participants for the tournament have officially been announced.

  • Kaitlyn
  • Rhea Ripley
  • Io Shirai
  • Nicole Matthews
  • Jinny
  • Kacy Catanzaro
  • Deonna Purrazzo
  • Tegan Nox (formerly known as Nixon Newell)
  • Jessica Elaban
  • Reina Gonzalez
  • Mia Yim
  • Mercedes Martinez
  • Kavita Devi
  • Killer Kelly
  • Zeuxis
  • Isla Dawn
  • Lacey Lane
  • Karen Q
  • Toni Storm
  • Meiko Satomura

A Mae Young Classic Qualifying Match was held at the July 18 NXT television tapings at Full Sail Live in Winter Park, Florida. Click here for the spoiler result of the match.