About Akio Sato
February 13, 1953
|Place of Birth||:||Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan|
|Also Known As||:||Akio Sato, Sato, Mr. Rising Sun Shima, Shima, Shinja|
is a retired professional wrestler, best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation as Sato, a member of The Orient Express Sato's next move is the one that got him the most media attention as he signed with the World Wrestling Federation for the first time in his career. In early 1990 Sato along with former rival Pat Tanaka were introduced to the WWF as The Orient Express by manager Mr. Fuji. During this run, Sato introduced the Sitout Powerbomb to mainstream American wrestling for the first time. The Orient Express kicked off a prolonged feud with The Rockers that started at WrestleMania VI and continued off and on for well over a year. The Orient Express got involved in the Legion of Doom / Demolition feud because Mr. Fuji managed both teams. Demolition was being phased out and the Orient Express took on the Legion of Doom instead. The Legion of Doom / Orient Express feud was extremely onesided due to the Legion of Doom's massive size advantage. After WrestleMania VI Tanaka and Sato only made three Pay Per View appearances while in the WWF. Firstly at SummerSlam 1990 where the team were defeated by ”Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Nikolai Volkoff. Secondly as part of the Sgt. Slaughter led team “The Mercenaries” (that also included Boris Zhukov). Sato was pinned by Butch Miller 1:46 into the match and Tanaka was pinned by Tito Santana only moments later, 2:13 into the match. Their third and final WWF PPV appearance was at the 1991 Royal Rumble where they lost to The Rockers in a WrestleMania VI rematch. When Akio Sato decided to focus on foreign markets for the WWF in the latter days of 1990, they decided to reunite the team known as Badd Company, only this time with Paul Diamond wearing a mask to hide the fact that he's not Asian and using the name of Kato. Sato wrestled his last WWF Match in 1991 to team with Tanaka and “Kato" for a 6-man tag-team match at a house show.He would also wrestle a match for WAR in 1992. In 1993, Sato made an appearance at SummerSlam as Yokozuna's flag bearer prior to his match against Lex Luger. Sato did return to the WWF in late 1994 as the white faced manager Shinja who advised Hakushi during his heel run with the company. When Hakushi turned face, Shinja was quietly written out of the storyline and Sato retired to focus on non-wrestling ventures. His last TV appearance was on the July 24, 1995, edition of Raw, when he was piledriven by Bret Hart. Sato now resides in Kansas City, Missouri. He retired in 1996 after a tour in Japan, mainly wrestling for WAR. In 1976, Sato married Betty Niccoli, whom he met in Bob Geigel's promotion in the United States. The couple had two daughters.