Kanji has explained why she was “honoured” to face Millie McKenzie in a PROGRESS ring and discussed the idea that the NXT UK star has passed the torch onto her!
Speaking to Inside The Ropes‘ own Innes McVey, ‘The Asian Sensation’ was asked about her recent matches with McKenzie at Chapters 105 & 107 and what it was like to defeat such an established name in the promotion twice. Kanji detailed how she was honoured to face the young star in her response due to how credited and respected she is across the UK.
“I was honoured really to even be given the opportunity to wrestle Millie at PROGRESS. She’s had such a successful history in PROGRESS, not just PROGRESS actually, in British wrestling altogether. She’s been very successful and she’s such a respectable and respectful talent. So for me to actually have the honour of wrestling her in the main event at PROGRESS was incredible. Passing of the torch… I understand why people would say that with her being so credited and so respected at PROGRESS, in British wrestling and with her moving on to NXT UK.”
The 26-year-old went on to refute the idea that the now-Emilia McKenzie passed the torch to her through her victories as she’s hopeful this isn’t the end of the Coventry-native’s time in PROGRESS!
“I think ‘passing of the torch’ makes it seem like she’s gone and I don’t want to see it like that, you know what I mean? Because I think we should always just be hopeful for her to come back and for us to have her back so we can always have those competitive matches again. But I understand the term passing of the torch, and I do respect it. I’m very hopeful that she’ll be back with us sooner or later.”
Later, Kanji revealed that she looks up to McKenzie for her ability to come across as a legitimate fighter as well as her advanced ring presence at just 20 years old.
“Yeah, 100 percent. Millie, I’ve looked up to for a long time with her attitude in the ring and the way she comes across as a proper fighter. […] She’s so young, yet she comes across like she’s a lot older than she really is. You look at her in the ring and you can see it in her eyes and in her whole ring presence that she’s really there for a fight and I love that. I love that aesthetic about her.”
She then went on to discuss who else influences her in the British wrestling scene, specifically naming Jinny and Emilia’s Medusa Complex partner Charli Evans.
“In terms of other influences in the British scene, Jinny, obviously, is someone I’ve looked up to ever since I came across her from the very beginning. Also, Charli Evans is someone that I really am always inspired by – always. Every single time I see her wrestle, I’m inspired.”
In the same interview, Kanji also explained why she believes she will become the next PROGRESS Women’s Champion and recalled thinking she’d “made it” when she stepped into a PROGRESS ring for the first time.
You can check out our interview with Kanji in full here.
Photo credit: Rob Brazier / Head Drop Photography