Kairi Hojo, who is one of the top women’s wrestlers in the world, announced Friday that she has signed with NXT and will compete in WWE’s Mae Young Classic.
She will be wrestling under the name Kairi Sane in WWE.
Sane broke the news via a video message that played on the big screen inside Ryōgoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall, the site of Friday’s WWE Live Event in Tokyo, Japan.
— WWE (@WWE) June 30, 2017
Sane has wrestled for five years and was a multi-time champion in the Japanese women’s wrestling promotion Stardom. Nicknamed “The Pirate Princess” in her home country of Japan, her pirate persona is inspired by her background in yachting: Before entering wrestling, Sane competed in the yachting world championship and was considered an Olympic hopeful.
Joining her are two other international wrestlers, Dakota Kai (aka Evie) of New Zealand and Piper Niven (aka Viper) of Scotland, as well as NXT Superstar Bianca Belair, who won a Qualifying Match to earn her berth in the Mae Young Classic.
Today’s additions bring the total number of confirmed Mae Young Classic entrants to 14. The other names are Tessa Blanchard, WWE NXT Superstar Sarah Logan, Toni Storm, WWE NXT Superstar Abbey Laith (aka Kimber Lee), WWE NXT Superstar Taynara Conti, Princesa Sugehit, WWE NXT Superstar Vanessa Borne, Jazzy Gabert, Kavita Devi and WWE NXT Superstar Lacey Evans.
The tournament, which will be announced by WWE Hall of Famers Jim Ross and Lita, debuts on WWE Network on Monday, August 28.