The matches KAIRI had with Saya Kamitani and Mayu Iwatani last month are all the more impressive knowing the injury she was dealing with heading into them.
The IWGP Women’s World Champion recently sat down with New Japan Pro-Wrestling to discuss a wide variety of subjects. When asked about her back-to-back matches with Saya Kamitani and Mayu Iwatani last month, KAIRI revealed she went into those matches with a sprained ankle while training before the matches.
“I thought I was fully prepared for the two nights, mentally and physically. But then as I was training right before Osaka, I sprained my foot. My ankle was swollen up really badly, and the doctor told me not to wrestle. I got through the Osaka match which really helped me from a mental standpoint, but with Mayu the next day I was definitely worried.”
The interviewer stated they believe the reaction to KAIRI’s title win might have received an even bigger reaction in the United States than it did in Japan. KAIRI revealed she heard from several women in the WWE locker room congratulating her on the historic title win.
“You might be right. Not just from fans, but from the WWE locker room as well,” KAIRI revealed. “ASUKA, Io, Shayna Baszler all sent congratulations, so it was great to have that reception even after I’d left that company.”
When asked if she felt any additional pressure going into the main event following Kenny Omega’s video announcement that he’d be facing Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom for the IWGP United States Championship, KAIRI admitted that was something she had gotten used to experiencing while in WWE.
“I’d get that in WWE a whole lot,” KAIRI admitted. “Right before my match on a PPV there might be something big happening and the crowd being really hyped up. But I think I’ve been able to get over that from a mental perspective, I’m used to it. So I was able to focus on the match itself just fine.”
What do you make of KAIRI’s comments? Are you surprised she wrestle two back-to-back matches of that caliber with a sprained ankle? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.