Tokyo Sports is reporting that Meiko Satomura is signing with WWE and joining the NXT UK brand. WWE fans will remember Satomura from the 2018 Mae Young Classic, particularly her match with Mercedes Martinez in Round Two of that tournament, which stood out as one of the best matches of the year, despite featuring nobody who was signed with WWE at the time.
Fans of Japanese wrestling or British and American indie wrestling will know Satomura as one of the best living wrestlers of any nationality or gender, and as the founder of Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling, an all-female promotion she co-founded in 2005, where she has trained some of the best of the next generation of female wrestlers.
Satomura recently announced that she’ll be stepping back from Sendai Girls, making only limited appearances going forward. According to the Tokyo Sports story, that’s because next month she’ll be traveling to England, to work as both an onscreen performer at NXT UK and a trainer at the WWE UK Performance Center.
Meiko’s worked with British indies such as Progress, EVE, and Fight Club Pro in the past, which means much of the NXT UK roster already knows her. She’s previously fought NXT UK Champion Kay Lee Ray, as well as Piper Niven, Jinny, and others. She’s also had a few matches with Pete Dunne, who speaks of her with great reverence.
In 2012, 2016, and 2017, Satomura led teams from Sendai Girls in Chikara’s King of Trios tournament. In 2016, they won the entire tournament, the only all-female team to do so in the twelve year run of the now defunct event. In 2017, the Sendai Girls made it to the finals again, but lost to British Strong Style, the trio of Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven, all of whom are now in NXT UK.
During Sasha Banks’ 2019 leave of absence from WWE, she trained with Meiko in Japan. Since then, Sasha has repeatedly tweeted about wanting to wrestle the legend:
— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) December 6, 2019
Meiko responded in kind just last month:
I also want a wrestle @SashaBanksWWE
It will be the intense match🌏
I hope this passion to reach the U.S🌈
Arigatou !! https://t.co/i4Ubn2W3si
— 里村明衣子 meiko satomura (@satomurameiko) September 3, 2020
Even if Satomura’s main focus in WWE is going to be the UK brand, that dream match becomes a whole lot more possible with her arrival in the company. Sasha will certainly be pushing for it. Once international travel to the U.S. becomes easier, we might see Meiko Satomura show up on Smackdown demanding a title match, or at least facing Sasha at some kind of “Worlds Collide” event.
In the meantime, we’ll look forward to seeing Meiko on NXT UK, not to mention her positive impact on the wrestlers who train there.