NXT’s Kairi Sane Appears at Stardom for Yoko Bito Retirement

Photo: WWE

At Stardom‘s event to honor the retirement of Yoko Bito, NXT Superstars Kairi Sane appeared as part of the ceremony to pay respects to her former tag team partner.

Kairi Sane, who, as Kairi Hojo was one of Stardom’s most beloved and decorated champions, left Japan early in 2017 to join WWE, where she became the darling of the Mae Young Classic, taking the tournament in a gripping finale against new NXT Superstar Shayna Baszler. She left a World of Stardom Champion (their top title), Wonder of Stardom Champion (the equivalent of their Intercontinental Champion), a 3x Goddesses of Stardom Champion (tag team titles) and 4x Artist of Stardom Champion (6-woman tag). One of her Goddesses of Stardom title reigns was beside Yoko Bito.

Yoko Bito was part of Stardom’s first graduating class of students in 2010, alongside Sane Mayu Iwatani, but was forced to retire just two years later due to neck and back injuries. She took four years off to heal and made a surprise return in April of 2016, capturing the Wonder of Stardom title as well as teaming with Kairi Sane for tag team gold as well. Sadly, following her Wonder of Stardom title loss to Io Shirai this past November, Bito announced she would have to retire once again, this time for good, at the end of the year.

Sane’s appearance for Bito’s retirement marked the second early Christmas present for international fans from NXT, following the surprise appearance of former wXw wrestlers Alexander Wolfe and Axel Dieter Jr. at wXw‘s 17th Anniversary event last night, ahead of the announced appearances of Apollo Crews in the UK with PCW and Oney Lorcan‘s appearance with Beyond Wrestling.

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Jamie Greer is the Managing Editor and lead writer for Last Word on Pro Wrestling. A lifelong wrestling fan who started with the WWF in the early 80's, he now follows everything from the smallest indie to WWE. He's also written for WrestleZone, The Windsor Star, Windsor Independent and other publications. He lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and son.