Kairi NJPW
Image Credit: NJPW

KAIRI: Asuka And Other WWE Stars Congratulated Me After I Won The IWGP Women’s Title

KAIRI, formerly known as Kairi Sane in WWE, has made history, and she is gearing up for a major match at the Tokyo Dome.

During her WWE run, KAIRI won the NXT Women’s Championship, and she held the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship with Asuka. She also won the Mae Young Classic in 2017. KAIRI left WWE at the end of 2021 and subsequently returned to STARDOM.

At NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over, KAIRI defeated Mayu Iwatani to become the inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion.  In an interview with NJPW’s website, KAIRI was asked to share her thoughts on becoming the first woman to win titles with NJPW and WWE. The interviewer noted that Bull Nakano and Lioness Asuka wrestled for the two companies, but KAIRI was the first to become a champion in both. KAIRI responded by making it clear that she was honored, and she expressed her gratitude.

“It’s a real honor,” KAIRI said. “Timing is everything as well- I just have to thank the god of pro-wrestling for giving me that chance. I’ve never been first in anything in my wrestling career, so it’s huge.”

The interviewer brought up the success of NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over and noted that it generated buzz in the United States. KAIRI stated that she got positive feedback from fans and some of her former colleagues in WWE, including Asuka, Io Shirai (now known as IYO SKY), and Shayna Baszler.

“You might be right,” KAIRI said. “Not just from fans, but from the WWE locker room as well. ASUKA, Io, Shayna Baszler all sent congratulations, so it was great to have that reception even after I’d left that company. ”

KAIRI also discussed her match at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17, where she will defend the title against Tam Nakano. She expressed that competing at the Tokyo Dome once seemed impossible, but she’ll have the chance to do so on a major stage.

“It wasn’t long ago at all that seemed impossible,” KAIRI said. “I used to say to Io and Mayu that I wanted to wrestle in the Nippon Budokan one day and now here I am in a title match on the biggest possible stage.”

WrestleZone will have coverage of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4.