Wrestling News: Former Hart Dungeon trainer Yukihiro Sakda passes away at 75
What’s the story?
Earlier this week, one of the most influential pro wrestling trainers of all time, Yukihiro Sakada, passed away at the age of 75 in the city of Calgary, Canada.
In case you didn’t know…
Yukihiro Sakada was better known as “Tokyo Joe” and “Joe Daigo” and was a former wrestler and agent for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He wrestled for IWE in the 70’s and also worked for many promotions in Canada.
In 1974 he suffered a deadly vehicle accident that cost him his right leg. However, even after losing his leg. Sakada worked as a trainer at Stu Hart’s Hart Dungeon where he also trained the likes of current Smackdown Live Women’s Champion Natalya Neidhart, Tyson Kidd, and Harry Smith.
The heart of the matter
This past Saturday, Yukihiro Sakada passed away in Calgary due to him suffering from colon cancer. Sakada has been living in Calgary for over 40 years and was restricted to a wheelchair following his accident in 1974.
However, despite the accident, he helped a lot of wrestlers to train and develop in the Hart Dungeon and also trained many notable Japanese stars such as the likes of Jushin Liger Thunder, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kensuke Sasaki, Shinya Hashimoto, Super Strong Machine, George Takano and much more.
One half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions, Harry Smith aka Davey Boy Smith Jr., recently said that Tokyo Joe is someone who has taught him a lot throughout his life.
"He had a sixth sense, second sight or maybe a bit psychic. I’m not sure if anything with his leg injury had to do with that, but he was always right about everything,” Smith stated.
Sakada was also a trainer for Stampede Wrestling back in the day and was also the head of the Hart Dungeon when Stu Hart himself was physically unable to continue.
Following the tragic death of Sakada, many superstars such as Tyson Kidd, Natalya, David Hart Smith, Viktor from The Ascension, Bobby Roode, Sumie Sakai and many others showed their appreciation towards their former mentor.
We here at Sportskeeda would like to send our condolences towards Sakada’s family and would like to pay respect to one of the greatest trainers in professional wrestling history.