Japan's 28-year-old pro wrestler Kairi Sane (also known as Kairi Hojo) made history on Tuesday in Las Vegas by becoming the inaugural winner of WWE's unique Mae Young Classic tournament, defeating former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Shayna Baszler.
The Mae Young Classic tournament is dedicated to pro-wrestling legend and one of WWF/WWE's greatest ever female wrestlers, Mae Young (1923-2014). 32 of the best female pro wrestler from across the world competed in the competition, and the Japanese sensation prevailed in the end.
What an year it's been for Japanese pro wrestlers in the WWE. Shinsuke Nakamura made his much-anticipated debut in the famed American pro wrestling promotion, Asuka -- the former WWE NxT champion -- enjoyed the biggest winning streak in the history of WWF/WCW/WWE. She is now set for her WWE main roster debut on Monday Night Raw.
And now, Kairi Sane has made Japan proud again. She is now getting a direct title shot at the vacant WWE NxT Championship.
Kairi has been a Goddess as well as a Wonder Woman
The 28-year-old ventured into pro wrestling from 2011 with Japanese promotion World Wonder Ring Stardom. There, she held the following championship titles: Artist of Stardom Championship (4 times), Goddess of Stardom Championship (3 times), Wonder of Stardom Championship, World of Stardom Championship (once each).
Host of pro wrestling moves up her arsenal
Kairi's finishing move is termed as Insane Elbow, which is basically a diving elbow drop on her opponent. She also loves using the Interceptor -- the running spear. Other notable moves include the double leg slam, a cross-leg Boston crab, the forearm smash as well as 4173 -- an interesting maneuver to pinfall your opponent with the geto clutch.
The Fuka Kakimoto influence
Kairi has been trained by another Japanese sensation Fuka, who has been one of the veterans of World Wonder Ring Stardom, as well as a MMA fighter. It is said that Fuka discovered Kairi's talent while the latter was doing a theatre show in Japan, playing the role of a heel pro wrestler.
Career as an actor and TV personality
The 28-year-old has acted in a host of TV shows as well as one Japanese movie スープ～生まれ変わりの物語～ (Sūpu～Umarekawari no Monogatari～).
Next fight in the WWE
Kairi, after making history via winning the inaugural Mae Young Classic tournament, is slated to fight for the vacant NXT Women's Championship at NXT Takeover: Houston in November, on the same weekend of Survivor Series 2017 (November 19). Her opponent is unnamed as yet.