Wrestling fans are pretty excited about the news that WWE has signed joshi great Kana (real name Kanako Urai) to a NXT contract. Whether its because they're familiar with her work, or are just encouraged that not all of the company's plans for women's wrestling involve models who've just started learning the craft two years into their WWE career , the buzz is loud...especially considering that most didn't know it was even a possibility when she appeared at TakeOver: Brooklyn.
Helping us get to know the 33 year strong style practicioner is The Sporting News' Brian Fritz, who got to chat with Kana through an interpreter following the big announcement yesterday.
Her reasons for joining WWE after a long career outside of the biggest wrestling company in the world sound similar to those given by Hideo Itami and Finn Bálor:
I have been in this business for 10 years and have accomplished almost everything there is to accomplish. I was looking for a new challenge and when the opportunity came up with WWE, the timing just felt right.
Kana says she's been inspired by the NXT women and the Divas Revolution as a fan over the past year, and she's excited to work with all of the members of the roster. She did, however, single out two...for different reasons:
After witnessing Bayley win the NXT Divas Championship at NXT: TakeOver in Brooklyn, I knew she was somebody I would want to compete with. I want to be Divas Champion, so she is an obvious answer. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for Charlotte, and would love to get in the ring with her eventually also.
Maybe she was talking trash to Ric Flair when they were hanging out in Barclays Center together?
One guy Kana isn't trash-talking is her new boss, Triple H. NXT's top man has already been very supportive of her:
.@WWE brings in the best talent from around the world to compete...It is my pleasure to welcome Kana to @WWENXT. pic.twitter.com/WxotKEmP9Q— Triple H (@TripleH) September 8, 2015
And she's both looking forward to and feeling some pressure about working for The Game, not only because he's her employer, but also because she's a huge fan:
He has been my favorite WWE Superstar of all time, so it has been amazing to interact with him and get his feedback. He told me he was expecting a lot from me, and I want to make him proud.
Check out Fritz' full interview here for more from the WWE's newest international Superstar, including what she's most looking forward to doing after she moves to the States later this month.
And here's a greatest hits video to help you get ready for a woman who kicks like Itami and takes arms like Becky Lynch.
Share your highlights, or your excitement, below.