Kanji has discussed her heartbreak over Jinny relinquishing the PROGRESS Women’s Championship before she could challenge her and revealed her intentions to win the title herself to give Jinny the match they never had!
Speaking to Inside The Ropes‘ own Innes McVey, the PROGRESS Wrestling star was asked about what challenging Jinny for the women’s title would have meant given their history. Kanji responded by describing her elation when she realised that becoming number one contender meant she would be challenging the NXT UK star, revealing that she “could have cried.”
“When I realised, by winning the Thunderbastard and winning that number one contender’s match, I was going to wrestle Jinny for the belt at PROGRESS, I could have cried. I was so happy and so excited that that was going to happen and in my mind, it was going to happen. I had this crazy expectation of what it was going to be like and how I’m going to feel on that day. I was so excited.”
Unfortunately, the match never came to fruition as Jinny vacated the belt at Chapter 108 as she was unable to appear in PROGRESS as much as she’d have liked to due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘The Asian Sensation’ revealed how the announcement was “heartbreaking” for her and that she’s still “gutted” about it today.
“So to have that just taken away from me, just like that because of circumstances that no one can control, was heartbreaking. Not only have we not seen each other for so long but it’s also still not certain when we’ll be able to wrestle each other again. So it was honestly heartbreaking and I was absolutely gutted. I still am when I think back to it, I’m so gutted.”
Later, the 26-year-old was asked if being both a former Defiant Women’s Champion as well as the current Southside Women’s Champion made her more confident prior to her match against Gisele Shaw to determine the new PROGRESS Women’s Champion.
“Yeah, I think so. [Having a title] gives me that feeling like I’ve got something to defend and something to to protect, like I’ve had that feeling of defending and protecting a title that is already mine. So I think walking into a match and fighting for something to have that feeling again, to protect something that shows you’re at the top or protect something that you really want, is already there. So I know what I’m fighting for, I know exactly what I’m fighting for. I know exactly what I need to do.”
If she were to reach the top of the PROGRESS women’s division at Chapter 111, Kanji revealed that her main goal as champion would be to keep hold of the belt until Jinny was able to make he return to the promotion so the two could finally have their long-overdue title bout!
“Yeah, 100 percent. If I was to win, I would fight so hard to make sure I keep the belt until Jinny comes so I can give her the match that I wanted in the beginning after winning that Thunderbastard. Because that feeling I had after winning the Thunderbastard knowing that I would wrestle Jinny for the belt, I still want that. So if I was to win, that is the one thing I would do. I would be a fighting champion to make sure I held it until Jinny came back.”
In the same interview, Kanji also explained why she believes she will become the next PROGRESS Women’s Champion and discussed why winning the first-ever women’s Thunderbastard was “an incredible opportunity.”
You can check out our interview with Kanji in full here.