KAIRI Comments On Upcoming Mercedes Mone Bout

KAIRI will be defending her IWGP Women's Championship for the second time in history when she takes on Mercedes Mone at Battle In The Valley 2023 on February 18. In an interview with Dark Puroresu Flowsion, former WWE Women's Tag Team Champion KAIRI recalled Mone's treatment of her backstage over the years and discussed her thoughts on their upcoming bout.

"I respect her very much," KAIRI said. "She has always been kind to me in private, and when I returned to Japan from America, she gave me many wonderful gifts. I still cherish them. I believe Mone and I can make a great match that people will remember forever." Mone and KAIRI spent time together while both were in WWE — with them facing off in televised singles action only one time. KAIRI, then known as Kairi Sane, defeated Mone, then known as Sasha Banks, by disqualification on an episode of "WWE Raw" in July 2020. Both women are wrestling in Japan now, with Mone making her debut in NJPW by attacking KAIRI earlier this month at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17.

While KAIRI remains focused on defending her IWGP Women's Championship, facing off against other champions from various promotions is not off the table for the "Pirate Princess." When the idea of a match against AEW Women's World Champion Jamie Hayter was brought up, KAIRI revealed if she is interested in that match. "Of course! In fact, I never met her," KAIRI said. "But I often hear that she was very active in the stardom ring. Hello Jamie, I'm KAIRI! I hope you read this." Like KAIRI, Hayter spent time in STARDOM — wrestling 87 matches for the promotion and she has held the Goddesses of STARDOM Championship alongside Bea Priestley.