Kairi Sane Returns To STARDOM, First Post-WWE Match Announced

Kairi Sane STARDOM

Kairi Sane has returned to the world of wrestling, but she’s not landed back in WWE.

“The Pirate Princess” has returned to her old stomping grounds of World Wonder Ring STARDOM, as was confirmed in a press conference on Friday, 18 February. Going forward, she’ll be going under the simpler moniker of KAIRI, stylised in all capitals.

During the press conference, the now-former Kairi Sane would be interrupted by Tam Nakano and Unagi Sayaka, two members of STARDOM’s Cosmic Angels group. Expressing interest in facing Nakano and Sayaka, KAIRI also revealed she wanted to team with Mayu Iwatani in the bout, which has now been confirmed for 26 March in Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Furthermore, upon posing for photos at the end of the press conference, KAIRI would be ambushed by the Oedo Tai faction, alluding to another match in the former WWE Superstar’s future. Though nothing has been formally confirmed, KAIRI has been announced to be competing on 27 March in Ryogoku, too.

Signing with WWE in March 2017 and winning that year’s Mae Young Classic, the renamed Kairi Sane became one of the most popular NXT Superstars, holding the NXT Women’s Championship for a couple of months in 2018. She transitioned to the main roster in April 2019, forming The Kabuki Warriors with Asuka as they enjoyed one reign with the Women’s Tag Team Championships.

Having last wrestled in July 2020, it was reported as recently as January that Kairi Sane was still under WWE contract, with her contract due for expiration in February. In her absence from television, Sane worked as an ambassador for WWE, while also occasionally providing Japanese-language commentary for the company as well.

Now that she’s returning to STARDOM, Kairi Sane picks up where she left off. She’s a former World of Stardom Champion, Wonder of Stardom Champion, three-time Goddess of Stardom Champion (a record she holds with Kyoko Kimura), and four-time Artist of Stardom Champion.