After weeks of speculation, World Wrestling Entertainment officially announced the signing of Japanese superstar Kana.
WWE issued a press release confirming the signing Monday night, with former WWE Champion Triple H also commented on the matter.
“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, Fla., 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. Last month, Kana made a surprise appearance at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, sitting in the audience ringside next to WWE Hall of Famer “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.”
“We are very excited to have Kana join the NXT roster,” said Triple H, 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.”
While Kana is certainly qualified, the move to sign her has surprised many people. At 33-years-old, many WWE Divas are already out of the business. The last few years has seen Kaitlyn, AJ Lee, Maryse, Eve Torres, and Kelly Kelly all leave the WWE in their 20s. Michelle McCool, Melina and Beth Phoenix were all also out of the company and largely out of the wrestling business by age 33 as well.
The WWE is in the middle of a “divas revolution” as they’re calling it. The past several months have seen highly touted prospects Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte all debut on the WWE roster after changing the landscape of women’s wrestling in NXT. The move has seen match times extended, as well as additional segments featuring the female talents on WWE programming each week.
Kana’s arrival is much needed in NXT, as reigning NXT women’s champion Bayley has a very limited cast to work with. Dana Brooke, Emma, Alexa Bliss, and Eva Marie are the only the only regulars featured on the show, and haven’t quite reached the level of the recent WWE call-ups.
Kana has been a pro for over 10 years, and announced in July she’d be taking a hiatus from the business. Rumors of a pregnancy ran rampant, which were quickly shot down.
[Image Via WWE Network]