KAIRI Announced For IWGP Women’s Title Tournament, Receives First Round Bye

KAIRI Announced For IWGP Women’s Title Tournament, Receives First Round Bye

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KAIRI (aka Kairi Sane, Kairi Hojo) will compete in the upcoming tournament to crown the inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion.

NJPW and Stardom have announced that KAIRI is the third entrant to the tournament ahead of the International Bracket. She will participate in the semifinals after receiving a bye in the first round.

KAIRI will face the winner of Ava White vs. Alpha Female at the Stardom Tag League event. The winner will then advance to the tournament finals at the joint NJPW X STARDOM Historic X-Over event on Sunday, November 20 in Tokyo, Japan. The tournament winner will be crowned the inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion.

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Seven participants have been announced for the tournament. The Alpha Female vs. White will take place on Sunday, October 2 at Night 2 of the NJPW Royal Quest event in London, England. This will be part of the International Bracket. The first round entrants for the Stardom Class will be determined by the results of the Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix. They will compete on Saturday, October 22 at the Stardom event that evening.

KAIRI returned to Stardom in February of this year after her WWE contract expired in December 2021. She returned to Japan in July 2020 and began working as a WWE ambassador to the country until her contract expired at the end of last year.

For those who missed it, you can click here for a first look at the IWGP Women’s Title belt. NJPW and Stardom originally announced the new title in late July. It was then announced that the tournament will begin on Night 2 of Royal Quest II on October 2 in London, with the quarter-finals then continuing at the Stardom event on October 22, with the semi-finals on October 23 at the Stardom event. The finals of the tournament will be held in Tokyo on November 20 at the joint show of NJPW and Stardom’s Historic X-Over. The new IWGP women’s champion will then make her first title defense at Wrestle Kingdom 17 on Wednesday, January 4 at the Tokyo Dome.

The IWGP Women’s Title will be defended at events in Japan and the United States, primarily at NJPW shows, but also at top Stardom events. The new title will not replace the main titles used for Stardom: the World of Stardom title (the red belt) and the Wonder of Stardom title (the white belt). NJPW also announced earlier this summer how they will be showing Stardom women’s matches at NJPW events in the United States, while focusing on a “genderless and more integrated” scene in Japan.

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