Thursday, September 29, 2022

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The Pirate Princess: KAIRI

KAIRI Sane has been wrestling since 2011 when she started training with Stardom, an all-women’s wrestling promotion in Japan. She made her debut for the company in 2012 as KAIRI Hojo where she wrestled as a “pirate princess”. KAIRI was very successful in Stardom where she won multiple championships. She is a one-time Wonder of Stardom Champion, a one-time World of Stardom Champion, a three-time Goddess of Stardom Champion, and a four-time Artist of Stardom Champion. Her accolades eventually caught the attention of the WWE, who called her to offer her a spot in the inaugural Mae Young Classic.

KAIRI Sane was announced as a competitor for the Mae Young Classic in June of 2017. Sane defeated Tessa Blanchard, Bianca Belair, Dakota Kai, and Toni Storm to reach the finals against Shayna Baszler. She would go on to defeat Baszler to become the first-ever winner of the Mae Young Classic. Another huge moment came for her when she was selected to be in the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble in 2018. She would enter at number six to a huge ovation. She would have another chance to showcase her skills in the Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 34.

KAIRI would eventually get her shot at the NXT Women’s Championship when she defeated Candice LeRae and Nikki Cross in a triple threat match to determine the number one contender for the title. KAIRI would be facing her old rival, Shayna Baszler, for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV on August 18th, 2018. Sane had defeated Baszler in the Mae Young Classic finals, and Baszler had defeated Sane in an NXT episode. The match was an instant classic and saw Kairi Sane become the new NXT Women’s Champion.

At the October 28th WWE Evolution pay-per-view, she lost the belt to Basler 71 days later. Sane would face Baszler again at NXT Takeover: War Games, with Baszler winning in a two-out-of-three falls match. With two NXT Year-End Awards under her belt, KAIRI Sane had a stellar 2018. In early 2019, KAIRI would team with Io Shirai as the Sky Pirates. We are disappointed that the Sky Pirates were never given the opportunity to compete in the Women’s Tag Team Championships.

On April 16th, Paige stated on Smackdown that she will be managing KAIRI Sane and Asuka. The team would eventually be known as the Kabuki Warriors and they made an impact almost immediately. The Kabuki Warriors eventually earned their shot for the Women’s Tag Team Championships against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross at Hell in a Cell 2019. The Kabuki Warriors were victorious and had an excellent title reign where they beat the likes of Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, Dakota Kai, and Tegan Nox, among others on the Raw, Smackdown, and NXT brands. The team would lose their tag team championships to Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross at Wrestlemania 36. At 181 days, the Kabuki Warriors hold the record for the longest reign in the title’s history.

In July 2020, KAIRI Sane confirmed her departure from WWE to rejoin her spouse in Japan. Her contract with WWE expired in December 2021, and she would return to Stardom in February of 2022. She, unfortunately, suffered a ruptured eardrum during her return to singles competition in a match against Starlight Kid. Although it is not known when she will be returning from injury, one thing is for certain and that is KAIRI Sane is an absolute star in whatever she does and wherever she goes.

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