|Ring name(s)||Jackie Satō|
October 30, 1957|
Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
|Died||August 9, 1999(aged 41)|
|Debut||April 27, 1975|
|Retired||March 20, 1988|
Naoko Satō (佐藤尚子 Satō Naoko?, October 30, 1957 – August 9, 1999), better known as Jackie Satō (ジャッキー佐藤 Jakkī Satō?) was a professional wrestler from Yokohama, Japan. In the 1970s, while wrestling for All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW), she formed the tag team, the Beauty Pair, with Maki Ueda. Following in the steps of Mach Fumiake, the Beauty Pair was part of an important shift in the culture of Japanese women's wrestling, attracting more female fans by becoming pop icons. In their mainstream success, Satō and Ueda paved the way for the even more popular team, the Crush Gals, of the 1980s.
Though she had played basketball in high school, Jackie Satō became a professional wrestler after graduation. She joined AJW in 1975, and had her debut match against her future tag team partner, Maki Ueda, on April 27 of that year. On February 24, 1976 the Beauty Pair was formed, and they won the WWWA World Tag Team Championship that night. During their championship reign throughout most of 1976, the Pair created excitement by using their top ten hit single to announce their entrance, and were regularly feted by their adoring fans who threw confetti and streamers into the ring.
Satō also had success as a singles wrestler. She won the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship on November 1, 1977 from Maki Ueda in a Beauty Pair showdown, and held it twice more during the late 1970s, defeating Monster Ripper and Nancy Kumi. She lost the title the final time to the younger Jaguar Yokota on February 25, 1981. On February 27, 1979, Satō defeated her former partner, Ueda, in a "loser retires" match. Satō's own retirement ceremony was held on May 21, 1981.
On August 17, 1986, inspired by the current boom in interest in women's wrestling in Japan due to the success of the Crush Gals, Satō, along with wrestler Nancy Kumi, boxer Rumi Kazama, and others, formed the first women's promotion to compete against the AJW monopoly, Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (JWP). Satō herself returned to active wrestling and competed for nearly two years before retiring a second and final time on March 20, 1988. Under Sato's influence, JWP did not offer the "mandatory retirement" policy common in AJW, allowing female wrestlers to compete until they wished to retire, rather than until the promoters ordered them to retire. AJW eventually dropped the mandatory retirement policy in the 1990s.
Satō attended the AJW thirtieth anniversary show in 1998. She died on August 9, 1999 due to stomach cancer.
Championships and accomplishments
- "All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-10-09.