Over the past couple years, NXT lucked into an exceptionally talented crop of young female wrestlers, but will NXT be able to maintain its reputation as a home for quality women’s wrestling once the likes of Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Bayley are all on the main roster? There are always going to be new women to step up to the plate, but fans are rightfully concerned that NXT women’s wrestling may not be what it once was, with Dana Brooke and Eva Marie as the new focus. Well, thankfully, WWE just shored up their NXT women’s division in a big way with the signing of veteran Japanese badass, Kana.
I could rattle off the standard bio, but instead, here’s a fine tribute video courtesy of the awesomely-named YouTuber, KENTAkicksheads…
There has been plenty of hints that Kana was making her way to WWE. She appeared in the audience at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn alongside Ric Flair and Sgt. Slaughter (now that’s a trios team I never expected to see), and there was plenty of hubbub in Japan that she’d be making the jump. Well, after leaving fans hanging for a bit, Triple H officially announced Kana’s signing on Twitter.
WWE also issued a press release…
“WWE announced today the signing of international superstar Kanako Urai, aka Kana, to the NXT® division. Kana will officially report to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, in late September. Over the course of her 11-year career, Kana has become one of the most exciting women ever to compete in Japan. She has appeared in many organizations throughout the country and has held multiple championships.
‘We are very excited to have Kana join the NXT roster,’ said Paul Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Creative and Live Events. ‘Her exciting in-ring style will make an immediate impact on the already impressive NXT women’s division.’ ”
It will certainly be interesting to see how Kana is used in NXT/WWE. I don’t think it’s talking out of school to say most (if not all) Japanese stars who have made the jump to WWE have not fared well. Her background aside, Kana is also just not your typical WWE female talent. She’s in her mid-30s, doesn’t have a fitness model body and has a ton of prior experience, which isn’t always a good thing in WWE. If the company won’t let Sara Del Rey on TV, them bringing in Kana as a performer is somewhat surprising. But, hey, Kana is fantastic in the ring, and maybe this is the beginning of NXT pushing women with more diverse looks and backgrounds. Let’s hope.