It’s been a whirlwind of a week for the first Mae Young Classic winner. After being crowned the inaugural tourney winner, Kairi Sane is entering a high stakes match for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Houston in November. NBC Sports interviewed the Pirate Princess about her MYC win, her message for women, her diving elbow, and more.

On what went through her mind after winning the MYC: “I was very proud of myself to be there as one of the finalists. It was surprising that I made it so far. I felt nervous, but it was such a happy day for me.”

On how her fans have impacted her on her journey to become a wrestler: “To help become a professional athlete, what’s been very important for me is my audience. They are there for me, watching me perform and I want to give them courage, challenge and then my vitality if possible, especially in this tournament. My female fans, they touch my heart all of the time and I want to give them the message that women are strong.”

On how special her diving elbow is: “I’ve been doing this for about six years now and at first the diving elbow drop did not work. I got injured and it wasn’t my finisher at first, but the move was important to me. I wanted to win using my elbow, so now it has become my form. It’s my favorite thing to do when I perform.”

She also talked about the differences between Japanese and American audiences and how she uses her body language to communicate in the ring.

Read the full interview here.

Are you happy Kairi won the MYC? Are you excited to see her perform on upcoming episodes of NXT? How do you think she will be booked? Sound off in the comments below.

  • HOLLA

    She’s so stinkin cute!!!!!

    • John Young

      Yes she is.

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    • PYM #TakeoverSmackdown

      Kairi and Asuka are beautiful

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    • Milly

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  • shumiley

    We love, stan and support this legend

  • Kelly/Asuka???RainbowGoddess!

    Kairi is another upcoming star in the making! I can’t wait to see what she’s gonna do on NXT and sooner after the main roster. She is star and championship material!!!

  • Aye Mate

    Kairi wrestles with a lot of heart and much of that is effortlessly conveyed. She’ll be a huge asset to the women’s division and her pirate princess gimmick screams merch money to me. Love her.

  • Exotic

    Queen, I love her!! She so cute lol

  • Rosanna

    She’s adorable she could be a mega baby face in the company.

  • Match of Year Maker

    I love Kairi to be honest but I hope Hunter doesn’t make her a new Asuka, because she’s special

    • Michael Max

      I hope she doesn’t go undefeated for a long time, like as much as I stan and love her I don’t want her to win the NXT women’s title just yet.

      • Match of Year Maker

        Same kind of thoughts bro

    • wysna

      I agree. The thing about Kairi is that she’s at her best when she is prevailing after being bullied for a sizeable duration in a match up. She doesn’t really come across as someone dominant because of her size, her moveset and her look unlike Asuka who is very good at coming across as this hard hitting terminator.

  • Michael Max

    Absolutely gorgeous, and a class act. While also being extremely talented and passionate, she will go far. She definitely brings something different to the table than Asuka does.

  • wysna

    I wonder what would’ve happened had Io Shirai actually competed. Would Kairi still be getting the top spot or would Shirai be there instead. Personally, I favor Shirai over Kairi but Kairi would’ve been a better choice since Shirai’s in-ring presence is a little too similar to Asuka.

  • #BrieForPeace ?

    Not only is she an empowered woman she empowers women and has also doing this in homage of her best friend who passed away. Sign my stan card I’m stanning this japanese soulful groundbreaker!

  • A?.

    Queen of women empowerement, phony Stephanie was found jobless