The first defence of the brand new IWGP Women’s Championship has been officially set for NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 event.
At last weekend’s NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over event, KAIRI (former WWE star Kairi Sane) defeated Mayu Iwatani to become the inaugural champion.
After the match, Tam Nakano came to the ring, issuing a challenge to KAIRI for the title.
New Japan Pro Wrestling has now officially announced that the match between the two will take place at Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4.
The first ever IWGP Women’s Champion KAIRI will have her first defence in the Tokyo Dome opposite Cosmic Angels’ Tam Nakano.
After KAIRI’s historic victory November 20 in Ariake over Mayu Iwatani, Nakano answered the call for a first challenger, and though the ‘Cutest in the Cosmos’ issued her challenge with characteristic zeal, there were daggers in her words as she promised a ‘special hell’.
Tam’s ability to undercut her colourful demeanour with a vicious aggression underscored her 301 day run with the Wonder of STARDOM Championship in 2021, a title that KAIRI had helped mould in her earlier years. Indeed, mutual respect was evident when KAIRI teamed with Tam in one of her earliest matches back in STARDOM this spring opposite Miyu Amazaki and Utami Hayashishita.
That match showed how brutal both women could be as a team, and now that violence will be turned on one another January 4.
Tam Nakano teamed with Cosmic Angels stablemate Natsupoi, as well as NJPW’s Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru on the show, defeating El Desperado, Douki, Starlight Kid and Momo Watanabe.
Tam is the leader of Cosmic Angels, cosisting of Natsupoi, Mina Shirakawa, Unagi Sakaya, Waka Tsukiyama, Saki, Hikari Shimizu, Rina Amikura and Yuko Sakurai.
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