KAIRI will put her newly-won IWGP Women’s Championship on the line for the first time at January’s Wrestle Kingdom against a star she knows very well.
The tournament to crown the first IWGP Women’s Championship made history in NJPW for a number of reasons. The first quarter-final match between Ava White and Jazzy Gabert at Royal Quest in the United Kingdom, was the first time a women’s singles match had taken place on a New Japan event.
With KAIRI picking up the title during the Historic X-Over event held between STARDOM and NJPW this weekend after victory over Mayu Iwatani, she was quickly challenged to a defence by Tam Nakano. The pair know each other very well, and are both former Wonder Of STARDOM Champions.
NJPW have now confirmed that this match has been signed for Wrestle Kingdom, with the full release about the match as follows:
The first ever IWGP Women’s Champion KAIRI will have her first defence in the Tokyo Dome opposite Cosmic Angels’ Tam Nakano. After KAIRI’s historic victory November 20 in Ariake over Mayu Iwatani, Nakano answered the call for a first challenger, and though the ‘Cutest in the Cosmos’ issued her challenge with characteristic zeal, there were daggers in her words as she promised a ‘special hell’.
Tam’s ability to undercut her colourful demeanour with a vicious aggression underscored her 301 day run with the Wonder of STARDOM Championship in 2021, a title that KAIRI had helped mould in her earlier years. Indeed, mutual respect was evident when KAIRI teamed with Tam in one of her earliest matches back in STARDOM this spring opposite Miyu Amazaki and Utami Hayashishita. That match showed how brutal both women could be as a team, and now that violence will be turned on one another January 4.
This wasn’t the only match signed during the event, after ‘The Best Bout Machine’ appeared on screen after Will Ospreay’s successful defence of the IWGP United States Championship against Shota Umino, to challenge Ospreay to a match at Wrestle Kingdom.