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  Kazma Sakamoto (born 1 October 1982)[1] is a Japanese professional wrestler and manager, best known for his work in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as Sakamoto.[3][1] He originally started his career working for Kaientai Dojo in Japan, where he became a one-time Strongest-K Champion and a three-time Strongest-K Tag Team Champion alongside Ryota Chikuzen, Kengo Mashimo and Miyawaki. After his release from WWE, he returned to Japan as Kazma Sakamoto, working as a freelancer for Kaientai Dojo, Pro Wrestling Zero1 and Wrestle-1. In 2015, he signed with Wrestle-1 but he left Wrestle-1 in 2016. In 2018, Kazma joined Dragon Gate, joining the R.E.D stable.

Professional wrestling career[]

Kaientai Dojo (2003–2011)[]

Kazma was trained by Taka Michinoku at his Kaientai Dojo wrestling school and made his debut for the promotion on May 3, 2003.[4] In 2005, Kazma took on Taka Michinoku for the Strongest-K Championship and a few days later took part in the Strongest-K 2005 tournament and would lose both.[5]

In 2005, under the guidance of former Far East Connection manager, 296, Kazma formed a stable along with Kengo Mashimo called Kinnoutou and started to dominate, eventually taking on Ryota Chikuzen and Kunio Toshima as well.[5] Mashimo and KAZMA were very successful as a group, Mashimo and Kazma went on an undefeated streak since the formation of Kinnoutou and did not drop a fall until well after he left the group. Kengo Mashimo and KAZMA won the first Strongest-K Tag Team tournament and were crowned the first ever Strongest-K Tag Team Champions.[5] The two began dominating the tag team scene in K-DOJO as they also won the UWA and UWF Intercontinental Tag Team championships, absorbing them into the Strongest-K Tag Team championship. When K-DOJO split its roster into two, Kazma, along with the rest of his Kinnoutou allies were drafted to GET.[5] Early 2006 saw Mashimo and KAZMA lose their first ever tag match together, losing the STRONGEST-K Tag Team titles in February to Makoto Oishi and Shiori Asahi. After losing, signs of friction started to grow in Kinnoutou with Kunio Toshima's sense of justice saving TAKU Michinoku from a Kinnoutou attack.[5]

In the beginning of 2007, Kazma began teaming up with Taka Michinoku and together participated in Strongest-K Tag League 2007 and reached the finals before they were eliminated by Makoto Oishi and Shiori Asahi.[6] In March, Kazma defeated MIYAWAKI to become the number one contender for the Strongest-K Championship and a month later took on former Kinnotou member Kengo Mashimo for the championship and lost.[6] Kazma teamed up with Ryota Chikuzen to take on MIYAWAKI and YOSHIYA for the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship and lost. In summer 2007, Kazma participated in STRONGEST-K Tournament 2007 and reached the semifinals before being knocked out of the competition.[6] On 4 September 2007, Kazma and Chikuzen defeated MIYAWAKI and Naoki Tanizaki to become the Strongest-K Tag Team Champions and held the titles for about a month before losing them to Kengo Mashimo and Madoka.[6] KAZMA, Kengo Mashimo and Ryota Chikuzen teamed up to defeat JOE, TAKA Michinoku and Taishi Takizawa in Ryota Chikuzen K-DOJO retirement match and with Chikuzen leaving, Kinnotou was no more.[7]

In the beginning of 2008, Kazma teamed up with Taishi Takizawa and lost in the first round of the KAIENTAI DOJO Tag League 2008.[8] With this loss Kazma teamed up with Yuji Hino to take part in the same tournament and reached the final before being eliminated by Kengo Mashimo and Madoka. After the tournament, Kazma joined the stable OMEGA and for most of the first part of 2008 teamed up with members of OMEGA to take part in tag team matches against rivals Handsome and Slum.[6] On 20 June 2008, Kazma and MIYAWAKI defeated Handsome members, JOE and Taka Michinoku, for the Strongest-K Championship. After winning the championships, Kazma participated in the STRONGEST-K Tournament 2008 and in the first round, Michinoku would get his revenge by knocking Kazma out of the competition. In August, Kazma and MIYAWAKI lost the tag team championship to the former champions. He would eventually leave the stable to form a new one with former Kinnotou member, Kengo Masimo.[6]

Along with Kazma and Kengo Masimo, Kaji Yamato, Daigoro Kashiwa and Hiro Tonai were also part of Monster Plant. For most of 2009, Kazma would take on members of other stables and factions in both singles and tag team match ups.[6] In the STRONGEST-K Tournament 2009 he would lose to Daigoro Kashiwa in the semi finals. Kazma would take part in two tournaments in quick succession, the first being a one-day three-way tournament, which was won by Yuji Hino, and Strongest-K Tournament 2009, where he was eliminated by Kashiwa in the semi finals.[6] On 17 October 2009, Kazma would finally defeated Taka Michinoku to become Strongest-K Champion.[6] He went on to team up with Tonai in the KAIENTAI DOJO Tag League 2010 and earned four points which two other teams in block A had also and therefore took part in a decision three-way won by Shiori Asahi and Yuji Hino.[9] Throughout 2009 and 2010 Kazma would defend his championship on multiple occasions and always retaining it until 15 August 2010, where he lost it to Yuji Hino. With the loss of his title Monster Plant would disintegrate, leaving Kazma on his own.[9]

With no stable or faction Kazma would be alone and his prospects would suffer as a result. Throughout 2011, Kazma had multiple opportunities to become a champion or the number one contender and lost all of them. Kazma and HARASHIMA would lose to Hiroki & Kengo Mashimo for the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship. Kazma also lost his rematch for the Strongest-K Championship.[9] In the summer of 2011, he participated in number one contendership for the Strongest-K Championship in battle royals and other types of match ups.[9] In the Strongest-K tournament Kazma would gain a total of six points in block B which was not enough to progress to the semi finals. Kazma's last match for Kaientai Dojo came on 10 September 2011, he teamed with Shiori Asahi and lost to Hiro Tonai and Taishi Takizawa.[9]

Freelance (2013)[]

On 11 June 2013, Kazma, billed under the ring name Kazma Sakamoto, returned to Japan at a Pro Wrestling Zero1 event, where he announced that he would be taking part in the 2013 Fire Festival.[2] On 15 July, Sakamoto wrestled his first match since his WWE release, when he defeated Tank Nagai at a Kaientai Dojo event.[10] Sakamoto finished his Fire Festival on 4 August with a record of two wins, one draw and two losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament.[11] Back in Kaientai Dojo the following day, Sakamoto and Kengo Mashimo defeated Daigoro Kashiwa and Ricky Fuji to win the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship.[12] They lost the title in their first defense on 10 November to the team of Kaji Tomato and Taka Michinoku.[13] On 11 January 2014, Sakamoto made his debut for Wrestling New Classic (WNC), defeating Masaya Takahashi, after which he challenged and attacked WNC Champion Tajiri.[14] This led to a title match between the two on 30 January, where Tajiri retained his title.[15]

Wrestle-1 (2013-2016)[]

On 15 September, Sakamoto made his debut for Wrestle-1, teaming with Ryoji Sai in a tag team match, where they defeated Ryota Hama and Yasufumi Nakanoue.[16] Sakamoto replaced an injured Kohei Sato as a member of a heel stable named Desperado, led by Masayuki Kono, and later in the event helped Kono defeat Masakatsu Funaki.[17] Through Wrestle-1's working relationship with American promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), Sakamoto worked TNA's Bound for Glory event in Tokyo on 12 October, losing to MVP.[18] On 30 January 2015, Sakamoto received his first title shot in Wrestle-1, when he and Desperado's newest member Koji Doi unsuccessfully challenged Kaz Hayashi and Shuji Kondo for the Wrestle-1 Tag Team Championship.[19] On 26 June 2015, it was announced that Sakamoto had signed with Wrestle-1, officially ending his days as a freelancer.[20] Shortly afterwards, Sakamoto became the new leader of Desperado, after kicking Kono out of the group.[21] Under the new leadership, the stable was renamed "Real Desperado" on October 13.[22] On November 3, Sakamoto, Koji Doi and Nosawa Rongai defeated Jackets (Jiro Kuroshio, Seiki Yoshioka and Yasufumi Nakanoue) for the UWA World Trios Championship.[23] They lost the title back to Jackets on November 27.[24] On March 6, 2016, Sakamoto and Real Desperado's newest member, Yuji Hino defeated Masayuki Kono and Shuji Kondo for the Wrestle-1 Tag Team Championship.[25] They lost the title to Yasufumi Nakanoue and Yuji Okabayashi on June 8.[26] On August 31, Sakamoto's contract with Wrestle-1 expired and he became a freelancer once again.[27]

Dragon Gate (2018-Present)[]

On September 28, 2018 at Dangerous Gate, Kazma was revealed to be the newest member of Eita's stable R.E.D. On December 23 at Final Gate, Sakamoto along with Takashi Yoshida and Yasushi Kanda defeated Kzy, Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka to win the Open The Triangle Gate Championship. They lost the titles to Strong Machines (Strong Machine J, Strong Machine F and Strong Machine G) on July 21, 2019, at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival.

In December, Sakamoto became part of a "Generation War" against Dragon Gate and Toryumon. On December 22, YAMATO forfeited his half of the Open The Twin Gate Championship, leading to Hulk protest against the decision. Afterwards, General Manager Takayuki Yagi declared the titles vacated, with the new champions being crown in a tournament in January. On December 26, Dragon Gate announced the participating teams in a tournament to crown the new Open The Twin Gate Champions. In the tournament, Hulk and Sakamoto defeated Ben-K and YAMATO in the finals on January 15 to win the Open The Twin Gate Championship. Afterwards, YAMATO attempted to get a rematch for the titles, but Hulk initially rejected, he only accepted when he announced that Eita would be his partner, leading Masato Yoshino and Toryumon's newest member Shuji Kondo to be involved in the match, due to R.E.D attacking Yoshino earlier that night. Later that month, Sakamoto took part in the 2020 Ashiyanikki Cup 6 Man Tag Team Tournament, with Hulk and Takashi Yoshida. In the first round, Hulk helped Eita, Ishida, and Shimizu to defeat the Dragon Gate trio of YAMATO, KAI, and Kzy, leading KAI to get his revenge and cost Hulk, Sakamoto and Yoshida's match against Ben-K, Machine, and Dragon Dia. On August 2, at Memorial Gate in Wakayama, Hulk and Sakamoto lost the Open Twin Gate Championship to Dragon Gate's Jason Lee and Kota Minoura. On September 21, at Dangerous Gate, Diamante, Sakamoto and Yoshida defeated Dragon Gate's (Ben-K, Dragon Dia, and Strong Machine J to win the Open The Triangle Gate Championship. On November 1, Diamante, Yoshida, and Sakamoto were forced to vacate the Open The Triangle Gate Championship, due to Diamante being sidelined with an injury. Two days later, at Gate of Destiny, Kento Kobune was revealed to be R.E.D's newest member, and alongside Yoshida, and Sakamoto defeated Team Boku (Naruki Doi, Punch Tominaga and Ryotsu Shimizu) to win the vacant Open The Triangle Gate Championship. On December 20, at Final Gate, R.E.D forced Toryumon to disband, after defeating them in a No Disqualification Losing Unit Disbands match. Shortly after, Dragon Gate also decided to disband, leading R.E.D to stand victorious in the "Generation War".

On January 13, 2021, Sakamoto, Yoshida and KENTo, lost the Open The Triangle Gate Championship against to the newly reunited Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi, Kzy, and Susumu Yokosuka). On March 7 at Champion Gate in Osaka, Skywalker successfully defended the Open The Dream Gate Championship against Kaito Ishida. Afterwards, Sakamoto challenged Skywalker to a title match, with the match being confirmed to be on March 27. On March 13, Skywalker and Sakamoto faced each other in a eight-man tag team match, where Sakamoto picked up the win for R.E.D. Afterwards, Sakamoto warned Skywalker to watch his back, before Sakamoto and R.E.D attacked Skywalker and Masquerade. On March 27, at at Memorial Gate in Wakayama, Sakamoto unsuccessfully challenged Skywalker for the Open The Dream Gate Champion. On May 5, at Dead or Alive, Sakamoto and Ishida defeated Takashi Yoshida and Masaaki Mochizuki to win the Open The Twin Gate Champions.

Other media[]

Sakamoto appeared on the 81st episode of Zack Ryder's YouTube show, Z! True Long Island Story, in a segment called "Where's Trent?".

In wrestling[]

  • Finishing moves
    • Chokeslam[28]
    • Kazmax (Side slam)[28][29]
    • Rydeen Bomb (Sitout spinebuster)[28]
    • Plus Driver (Half-and-half package piledriver)
    • Shin Toraoh - Agata (Double armlock transitioned into a bicycle knee) – adopted from Naomichi Marufuji
    • Shotei (Running palm thrust) – adopted from Jushin Thunder Liger
    • Pop-up sitout powerbomb
  • Signature moves
    • Axe Bomber (Crooked arm lariat)[28][29]
    • Kazlock (Crossface chickenwing)[29]
    • Kazrock (Arm triangle choke)[28]
    • Running knee strike
    • Superkick to a kneeling opponent
    • Throat thrust[30]
  • Nicknames
    • "Desperado"
  • Entrance themes
    • "Mass Destruction" by ACMA feat. Yusuke Sakai

Championships and accomplishments[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 FCW profile . Florida Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2012-01-09. Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zero1「Evolution」 (in Japanese). Sports Navi. Yahoo! (2013-06-11). Retrieved on 2013-06-11.
  3. 3.0 3.1 WWE profile . WWE.
  4. Kazma profile (in japanese). Kaientai Dojo.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 CAGEMATCH » Wrestlers Database » KAZMA SAKAMOTO » Matches . Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 CAGEMATCH » Wrestlers Database » KAZMA SAKAMOTO » Matches . Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  7. ja:試合結果 (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  8. ja:試合結果 (in Japanese). Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 CAGEMATCH » Wrestlers Database » KAZMA SAKAMOTO » Matches . Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  10. 2013年7月15日(月・祝)Club-K Super in 千葉ポートアリーナ(千葉・千葉ポートアリーナ サブアリーナ) (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  11. ja:8月4日(日) 東京 後楽園ホール ~決勝戦~ 直前情報 (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Zero1 (2013-08-04). Retrieved on 2013-08-04.
  12. 2013年9月16日(月・祝)Club-K Super in Blue Field[千葉・Blue Field] (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2013-09-17.
  13. 2013年11月10日(日)Club-K Tour in Osaka(大阪・道頓堀アリーナ) (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2013-11-10.
  14. 1・30新宿大会はTajiri vs Kazma Sakamotoの元WWEスーパースター対決!! (in Japanese). Wrestling New Classic (2014-01-12). Archived from the original on 2014-01-30. Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  15. 2014-01-30 WNC新宿Face大会 試合結果 (in Japanese). Wrestling New Classic (2014-01-30). Archived from the original on 2014-01-30. Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  16. W-1旗揚げツアー (in Japanese). Wrestle-1. Retrieved on 2013-09-15.
  17. ja:船木が河野一派に屈辱リンチ負け (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2013-09-16). Retrieved on 2013-09-16.
  18. McNeish, Greg 2014-10-12. TNA Bound for Glory PPV Results - 10/12/14 (From Tokyo, Japan) . Wrestleview. Retrieved on 2014-10-13.
  19. Wrestle-1 Sunrise Tour 2015 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2015-01-30). Retrieved on 2015-01-30.
  20. ja:契約選手に関するお知らせ (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2015-06-26). Retrieved on 2015-06-27.
  21. ja:新生Desperado始動!「この3人が本物。リアルの『Desperado』です」―2015.9.7記者会見 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2015-09-07). Retrieved on 2015-09-10.
  22. ja:『Real Desperado』本格始動!手始めにUWA世界6人タッグに照準! (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2015-10-13). Retrieved on 2015-10-13.
  23. 23.0 23.1 「Wrestle-1 Tour 2015 Autumn Bout」 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2015-11-03). Retrieved on 2015-11-03.
  24. Wrestle-1 Tour 2015 Autumn Bout (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2015-11-27). Retrieved on 2015-11-27.
  25. 25.0 25.1 「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 Trans Magic」 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2016-03-06). Retrieved on 2016-03-06.
  26. 「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 Outbreak」 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2016-06-08). Retrieved on 2016-06-08.
  27. 契約選手に関するお知らせ (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2016-08-17). Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Profile at Puroresu Central . Puroresu Central. Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 wrestlingdata profile . Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  30. Trionfo, Richard. WWE NXT REPORT: A DEBUT THAT DEFIES GRAVITY; THE NEW CHAMP SPEAKS AND WRESTLES; HERE'S TRENT (FOR NOW); KIDD AND GABRIEL FACE CESARO AND SANDOW IN THE MAIN EVENT . PWInsider. Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  31. K-Dojo News (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Archived from the original on 2014-01-06. Retrieved on 2014-06-17.

External links[]

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