WWE Confirms Kairi Sane Is Leaving The Company, Sane’s Pro Wrestling Legacy

Written by Shannon Walsh

As expected, Kairi Sane was written out of WWE on Raw last night in an injury angle.

She was attacked backstage by WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion/WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Bayley while Asuka was in the ring in a match against WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Sasha Banks to decide the “held up” WWE Raw Women’s Title.

Bayley was shown on the Titan Tron repeatedly ramming  Sane’s head into the garage door to cause Asuka to be distracted. Asuka was conflicted between trying to win the match and helping Sane. Sane screamed out in pain in an emotional moment for Asuka’s help. Asuka finally left the ring to go backstage to help her. The referee counted Asuka out and declared Banks the winner of the match and the champion.

Banks and Bayley now hold all of the WWE Women’s Titles. In a WWE.com exclusive interview after the match, Banks teased the idea of going after the NXT Women’s Title currently held by Io Shirai next.

Stephanie McMahon announced last night’s title match special stipulation on last week’s episode of Raw. If Banks or Asuka were pinned, submitted, disqualified, counted out, or had anyone directly interfering on their behalf, they would lose the match and the title.

The title was held up by McMahon after The Horror Show at Extreme Rules pay-per-view on 7/19/20. That match ended in controversy as Asuka, who was the champion going in, accidentally spit green mist in the referee’s face while aiming for Banks. With the referee temporarily blinded, Bayley interfered and attacked her to help Banks. Bayley then put on a referee’s shirt and counted the three count on Asuka to make it appear as if Banks won the title. Banks grabbed the title belt and ran away thinking the ruling would stand with Bayley as the impromptu referee. McMahon declared that neither Banks or Asuka actually won and they would have the rematch on Raw on 7/27/20.

Sane released a couple of statements last night on Twitter thanking the NXT and WWE locker rooms, staff, and fans for three years of support in the company. She said she will forever love and respect everyone she has worked with. Later in the evening, WWE’s website posted an article acknowledging her tweets. It included reactions from some WWE personalities thanking her in return. WWE said they wish her the best on her “next voyage”. 

There was also love and support from others in pro wrestling like ROH’s Sumie Sakai and Japan’s Hiroyo Matsumoto on Twitter.

Sane won the Mae Young Classic over Shayna Baszler on 9/12/17. She also defeated Baszler to become NXT Women’s Champion on 8/18/18 at NXT Takeover. She and Asuka formed a tag team called The Kabuki Warriors on the WWE roster. The popular duo won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles by defeating Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross on 10/6/19 at the Hell In A Cell pay-per-view.


Sane’s departure is sad for her WWE Universe fans but her move isn’t a surprise. It was talked about and planned for a while. She had been home sick for Japan and got married back in February. She openly talked about being a newlywed and wanting to have children at some point.

Last year, there were stories that she would return to STARDOM to have one last run and then retire. She has remained in contact with STARDOM Executive Producer Rossy Ogawa and other members of the company since leaving them for NXT in 2017. When Bushiroad bought STARDOM in October 2019, owner Takaai Kidani did interviews saying he wanted Sane and Io Shirai to come back if they were interested after their current WWE deals were done.

Sane has had a history of injuries over the last several months.

There was the scary situation in December at WWE TLC. She and Asuka defeated Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch to retain the tag titles, but Flair accidentally hit her in the head during the match with a TV monitor wildly tossed around from out of the announcers desk. Flair didn’t realize what happened and the match kept on going for several more minutes. Sane was knocked silly and Lynch ended up protecting her by rolling her under the ring to keep her out of the rest of the action.

Nia Jax injured her on the ring steps during a taped match on Raw last month which caused a cut on her head. WWE edited the footage down because it was too bloody to be shown on USA Network.

Sane was doing some acting in Japan in the early 2010s when she was discovered by STARDOM General Manager and trainer Fuka Kakimoto. She was trained by Fuka and made her STARDOM debut on 1/7/12 as Kairi Hojo (her name was changed to Kairi Sane by WWE NXT) in a loss to Yuzuki Aikawa. She quickly became a fan favorite and showed impressive atheism. She eventually won every major title in the company. Here is her STARDOM title history: 

Goddesses of STARDOM Champion with Natsumi Showzuki defeating Kyoko Kimura and Hailey Hatred on 4/29/13, with Nanae Takahashi defeating Kyoko Kimura and Alpha Female on 8/10/14, with Yoko Bito defeating Kyoko Kimura and Kagetsu on 12/22/16.

Artists of STARDOM Championship with Kaori Yoneyama and Yuhi defeating Kyoko Kimura, Hailey Hatred, and Christina Von Eerie for the vacant titles on 6/23/13, with Chelsea and Koguma defeating Io Shirai, Mayu Iwatani, and Reo Hazuki for the vacant titles on 5/3/15, with Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani defeating Hiroyo Matsumoto, Evie, and Kellie Skater on 2/28/16, with Hiromi Mimura and Konami defeating Io Shirai, HZK, and AZM on 5/6/17.

Wonder of STARDOM Champion defeating Santana Garrett on 5/15/16.

World of STARDOM Champion defeating Io Shirai for the vacant title on 3/29/15.

STARDOM 5-Star Grand Prix Tournament Winner defeating Hudson Envy on 9/23/15.

STARDOM Tag League Tournament Winner with Yoko Bito defeating Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani on 11/11/16


In 2016, Sane appeared in Lucha Underground under the name Doku with Io Shirai (as Hitokiri) and Mayu Iwatani (as Yurei). They were known as The Black Lotus Triad with Angela Fong as the Black Lotus character.

About the author

Shannon Walsh

Inspired by the late Michigan insider hotline host “Coach” Kurt Schneider and his “just the facts” style of reporting pro wrestling news and results from around the world.