Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Joshi Watch: Sayaka Obihiro

When taking a look across the landscape of Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling, few possess the level of experience of “Sprint” Sayaka Obihiro. At 33 years old, Obihiro boasts close to 10 years of wrestling experience. The lady in blue has seen success across different promotions, including REINA and Ice Ribbon, but her home remains Gatoh Move. This tag team specialist possesses a wealth of knowledge, and to get a better understanding of said knowledge, fans must look back to 2010.

Sayaka Obihiro began her wrestling training under the tutelage of Ice Ribbon founder Emi Sakura, who would go on to form Gatoh Move in the coming years. Obihiro had her first official match with Ice Ribbon on April 29, 2010. In the show’s opening match, she faced Kazumi Shimouma in a losing effort. From there, Obihiro wrestled the likes of Sakura, Hamuko Hoshi, and Makoto, struggling to pick up wins in singles competition. In June, Obihiro first appeared for NEO Ladies, competing in a 13-person battle royal that was ultimately won by Tanny Mouse.

Photo / Wikidata
Back in Ice Ribbon, Obihiro participated in the Captain’s Fall Tournament in August.

Alongside Miyako Matsumoto and captain Tsukasa Fujimoto, Obihiro made it through the finals. The same month, Obihiro made her debut for Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling Project, teaming with Command Bolshoi in a losing effort against Hikari Minami and Kaori Yoneyama. In the months that followed, Obihoro challenged for the JWP Openweight and International Ribbon Tag Team Championships. December saw Obihiro debut for SMASH, where she teamed with fellow Ice Ribbon talents Fujimoto and Hikaru Shida against Toshie Uematsu, Tomoka Nakagawa, and Cherry.

Throughout 2011, Obihiro continued to wrestle primarily in Ice Ribbon. In September, she secured her first singles victory against Dorami Nagano. The same month, she competed in the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship Tournament. The team of Obihiro and Yoneyama would lose to Fujimoto and Shida in the first round. December saw Obihiro return to JWP for a few appearances, though Ice Ribbon remained her priority.

In February of 2012, Obihiro faced Aio Kizuki in singles competition. They would form a tag team in the months that followed, which would prove fruitful. February also saw Obihiro make her KAIENTAI DOJO debut, facing Marines Mask in an opening contest. Following an unsuccessful attempt at the Triangle Ribbon Championship in March, Obihiro teamed with Kizuki to vie for the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship. They accomplished this feat in May by unseating Fujimoto and Tsukshi, Obihiro securing her first title in her career.

Photo / Twitter @obi_gtmv
This reign was short-lived, as Obihiro and Kizuki dropped the straps back to the previous champions in June.

In December, however, Obihiro captured tag team gold with a new partner. Alongside Kyoko Kimura, Obihiro captured the International Ribbon and REINA X World Tag Team Championships from Hoshi and Hailey Hatred. By the end of the year, Obihiro would be without the straps, as she and Kimura dropped them to Kizuki and Tsukushi. This would also mark Obihiro’s final match for Ice Ribbon.

At the start of 2013, Obihiro worked alongside her mentor Sakura once more, this time under the banner of Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling. In her debut match, she teamed with fellow Ice Ribbon alumnus Yoneyama with a victory over Sakura and her protege, Riho. In addition to her work in Gatoh Move, as one of the pillars of the promotion in its early days, Obihiro worked dark matches for Pro Wrestling HEAT UP. June saw Obihiro make her debut for Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) alongside other Gatoh Move talents. Teaming with Sakura and Tetsuya Endo, Obihiro lost a six-person tag team match. In November, Obihiro made her official Pro Wrestling HEAT UP debut at their March Forward in Nagoya event. Alongside Kengo Takai, Obihiro lost to the duo of Sakura and Konaka.

Obihiro continued to work for Gatoh Move in 2014, including a collaboration event with Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling-X in March. In April, Obihiro first appeared for YMZ Pro Wrestling, besting Hatsuhinode Kamen. The month after, Obihiro contested for the Artist of Stardom Championship, the promotion’s three-person tag team title. She teamed with Yoneyama and Kamen, but the trio emerged unsuccessful. Despite continuing to appear for promotions including LLPW-X and YMZ, Obihiro’s focus remained on Gatoh Move.

Photo / Twitter @obi_gtmv
In addition to continued work in Gatoh Move, Sayaka Obihiro appeared for other promotions throughout 2015.

Case and point, she made her Pro Wrestling WAVE debut in April, competing in a gauntlet match. In June, Obihiro debuted for WRESTLE-1, competing against future inaugural Asia Dream Tag Team Champion SAKI. Obihiro would set her sights on IWA Triple Crown Champion DJ Nira in October; this title was initially brought to Gatoh Move by Sakura. Despite a valiant near 11-minute encounter, Obihiro fell short in winning singles gold. Nonetheless, as one of the regular performers for Gatoh Move, her contributions as a talent couldn’t be overlooked.

Though Obihiro fell short of winning a singles title in 2015, her luck turned around in mid-2016. In May of the latter year, Gatoh Move held its Riho 10th Anniversary event to celebrate her time in the business. While Riho won the IWA Triple Crown Championship on that night, Obihiro teamed with former partner Kizuki to best MIZUKI and SAKI for the Asia Dream Tag Team Championship. Obihiro and Kizuki held the championship until December, being defeated by Kotori and Riho.

In 2017, Obihiro remained a pillar of Gatoh Move, working with not only the rising talent but outside stars including Rocky Kawamura and Antonio Honda. She also made a few appearances for DDT during the year. For example, in March, she was part of a five-way match that was won by Joey Ryan. Obihiro was out of action for most of 2018 but returned to Gatoh Move in October of that year. She continued to wrestle for the promotion in question until the end of the year.

Photo / Twitter @obi_gtmv
In January of 2019, Sayaka Obihiro challenged for the 3 Count Wrestling Women’s Championship, held by Sakura.

Despite her best efforts, Obihiro fell short. She continued to wrestle for Gatoh Move throughout the year and even made appearances for YMZ. She had her last official match, as of this writing, on October 31st. In an eight-person tag team match, Obihiro teamed with Honda and relative newcomers Chie Koishikawa and Lulu Pencil in a losing effort against Sayuri, Makoto, Chon Shiryu, and Hagane Shinnou. This past November, Obihiro took to Twitter to announce she would be taking a break. She also stated that she would be back in the spring before thanking the fans for their support. Living up to her nickname, the return of “Sprint” fast approaches.

When discussing the pillars of Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling, discussion should be made for the contributions of Sayaka Obihiro. Her expertise has not only afforded her tremendous success, particularly as a tag team wrestler, but allowed her to help build the future. Obihiro’s contributions to the violet and yellow promotion can’t be overlooked. Expect her to continue fostering the future of joshi puroresu for years to come.

Check out past Joshi Watches and discover more stars from Japan!

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch Sayaka Obihiro at Gatoh Move on YouTube and via the Gatoh Move Experience.


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