KAIRI Felt 'Goosebumps' When She Wrestled Mercedes Mone In NJPW

KAIRI has become a world-renowned star due to her tenures in STARDOM, WWE, and now New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where she became the inaugural IWGP Women's Champion by defeating Mayu Iwatani last November. Since then, however, Mercedes Mone arrived on the scene, defeating KAIRI for the IWGP Women's Title in the Yamaguchi native's second defense of the title at NJPW Battle in the Valley in San Jose, California.

In an interview with WrestlingNewsCo, KAIRI explained how it felt to wrestle against Mercedes again for the first time outside of WWE. "[I] was feeling goosebumps when [I] saw Mercedes Mone," KAIRI said with the assistance of an interpreter. "To be able to have a match against Mercedes Mone for the IWGP Women's Belt was very monumental."

Despite losing her bout against Mercedes, KAIRI looks back at both Mone's appearance inside the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom 17 and their match against one another with fondness. "Mercedes Mone and [KAIRI] are very close friends both on-screen and off-screen, and she respects Mone as a wrestler and as a woman," KAIRI's interpreter explained, "To see her at the Tokyo Dome and the challenge before they fought again in the U.S., KAIRI might've lost the match, but it could've been one of the best moments of her entire career so far."

After losing her title in February, KAIRI has sought to regroup in her role as a recurring freelancer in STARDOM. She recently teased bringing a new wrestler into the company and plans to unveil that person at the April 2 STARDOM show inside Korakuen Hall.