Emi Sakura recently announced that she was heading to the United States with a one-way ticket and doesn’t know when, or if, she’ll return to Japan. This provides All Elite Wrestling with unrestricted access to a talent who could become invaluable to the company in many ways. Let’s run through exactly what AEW can provide for AEW.
Emi Sakura Could Be an Ace in the Hole for AEW
The most obvious bonus of having someone like Emi Sakura on board is the boost she can provide in the ring for the women’s division. While AEW has talented women like Thunder Rosa, Riho, and Hikaru Shida on their roster they are still short on TV-ready wrestlers who can work a variety of matches. Emi Sakura, with 26 years of experience and over 2000 matches under her belt, is the kind of versatile talent that can instantly add experience to the women’s division and be a ring general. While some people weren’t initially high on Emi Sakura’s work in AEW her work as a heel in the women’s tournament earlier this year was nothing short of excellent. With a newer attitude and a take no prisoners in-ring style Emi Sakura could instantly become a highlight of the division in the ring.
For those unaware Emi Sakura is considered one of the greatest trainers in Joshi wrestling today. Tsukasa Fujimoto, Riho, Hikaru Shida, Mei Suruga, and many more are credited as trainees of Sakura. With someone of this pedigree on hand AEW should make use of Sakura’s skills and allow her to help train, be that alongside Dustin Rhodes or at either the Nightmare Factory or the Rhodes Wrestling Academy. Sakura has a history of molding trainees into great wrestlers from day one and AEW should make use of that. Even less experienced wrestlers will be able to gain something from leaning under Sakura who has twice trained up rosters from scratch.
Mentoring & In-Ring Coaching
At the very least AEW could benefit from allowing Emi Sakura to wrestle some of their less experienced talents so she can help them “learn on the job” for lack of a better phrase. Talent like KiLynn King, Dani Jordyn, the Renegade Twins, and any other Dark regulars could learn a lot just by sharing the ring with someone as experienced as Emi Sakura. The in-ring coach is a position that fans never consider but having an experienced and versatile wrestler to learn from can be a massive bonus for the development of wrestlers. As mentioned before Sakura has trained rosters for two different companies in the past so she clearly has the ability to disseminate knowledge both as a trainer and when wrestling her students.
Outside of the ring, Sakura can still perform a similar role as a mentor to other wrestlers. Advice from Emi Sakura should be invaluable for any wrestler and it’s likely that Sakura’s feedback would help lead to some direct improvements for some talents.
Emi Sakura has a track record of creativity, from her ideas in Ice Ribbon‘s formative years to the unique Gatoh Move and now on to her completely different ChocoPro series she has shown an eye for innovation time and time again. Not only that but she has experience putting together shows with limited resources and excels at maximizing what she has. This is another aspect that AEW can, and should, take advantage of. She doesn’t need to be the sole booker of the women’s division or anything but it couldn’t hurt to get some insight from Sakura and allow her to provide ideas that could help set the division apart.
In conclusion, Emi Sakura is a once-in-a-generation mind, ask anyone that’s followed her career closely and they will be able to point to a number of moments at which she was ahead of the curve. AEW now has full-time access to Sakura and it would be silly if they let her go to waste, whether it’s on-screen or off, they need to make the most of Sakura while she is available