Japanese wrestling superstar KAIRI (Kairi Sane in WWE) recently spoke with Entame Next about her decision to leave WWE and why she decided to return to the popular all-female promotion, STARDOM. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Said she kept a promise she made to a friend and accomplished everything she wanted in WWE:
“When I left Japan in 2017, I promised my fans that I would take a long trip, but that I would come back as an adult. I told the president Rossy Ogawa (now executive producer). First, my goal was to learn high-level pro wrestling, and I had no real intention of living permanently in the United States. I thought about retiring from wrestling. It’s a personal story, but I lost my best friend to illness. I made a wish at his grave and promised to make it come true: I was going to compete in WrestleMania. I wanted this to happen for sure. Thanks to that, I was able to participate in three WrestleManias, I had a title match with Asuka as Kabuki Warriors, I became champion in both NXT and WWE, and I even received an award for Overall NXT Competitor of the Year.
How the pandemic has put things into perspective for her:
“After moving to the United States, my personal life was secondary to my professional life, and I was flying and competing four times a week non-stop, but the pandemic hit and I suddenly had time for myself. Then I took the time to do some introspection. I thought, ‘Where do I go from here? I had a sense of accomplishment in keeping my promise to my best friend and doing everything I could in my three years with WWE, and after several consultations with WWE, I decided to leave.
On his decision to return to STARDOM:
“After returning to Japan, I hadn’t looked at pro wrestling with much enthusiasm. But when I went to Stardom’s Budokan last year, the feeling of ‘I want to fight with everyone one day’ came from my heart. However, even if I were to return, it would be the first time in about two years that I had been in the ring. The pace of matches and the rules were different from those of WWE, and I was not not sure I could adapt quickly. However, I was training in the gym even when I was not competing, so I was in good physical condition. Another aspect of my decision to come back was that I was confident in my three years of learning and wrestling experience in WWE I’m proud of the fact that I once protected Stardom during a period of stagnation as player president, and I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been at the forefront of WWE women’s wrestling during its reform period, e I’m proud of the fact that I overcame both challenges.
(Thanks to Reddit user DamieN62 for the transcription)