For several months, it’s been speculated Kairi Sane will be leaving WWE, for one reason or another. Some outlets focus on the injuries she’s suffered from Nia Jax. Others point more in the direction of her marriage and interests in simply moving back to Japan.
Whatever the case may be, these reports keep coming out and seem to be in full-swing as of late. In fact, this past episode of Raw was supposed to be Kairi’s last appearance, according to some.
No indication of that was given on this episode, though. Nothing at all was hinted that Sane would be leaving, retiring, out of action for a while or anything of the sort. It was a regular, run-of-the-mill edition of Raw, for all intents and purposes—outside of Sane scoring a pin on Bayley.
As suspicious as that is that WWE might have given her a win on her way out, in a sense, my wheels started turning regarding Kairi’s future.
Let me be frank: I don’t know. This isn’t a post about confirming anything or spreading any more water cooler talk. I haven’t heard anything that you haven’t read, most likely. Instead, this is just a breakdown of some possible things that may happen if some or all of these reports are true.
How to Write Her Out of WWE
Kairi Sane is not the absolute most important superstar in WWE today, but she’s certainly not some nameless jobber who should just be pushed aside. Some people WWE released earlier this year didn’t require an excuse for their absence, as I’m sure there are fans who haven’t even realized a handful of those names are gone to begin with.
Sane is someone who had a rather prominent role in NXT. She won the women’s title, the inaugural Mae Young Classic tournament in 2017, was dubbed Female and Overall Competitor of the Year for the 2018 NXT Year-End Awards, won the 2019 WWE Year-End Award for Women’s Tag Team of the Year and, alongside Asuka, captured the women’s tag team titles.
If Kairi is going to take her bow without an actual storyline or sendoff that is more on the “thank you Kairi” side of things, she should be taken out of WWE by force.
By that, I don’t mean she should be booked into another match with Jax and injured. Of course not. WWE shouldn’t draw more attention to that.
Instead, that honor should go to Shayna Baszler.
She and Sane have much history together from NXT and Mae Young Classic. I’d go so far as to say she’s Kairi’s archenemy, if she were to have one. Plus, The Queen of Spades is prime to be the one who takes her out as far as deserving a push, pulling off the feat and being set up for the job.
This week on Raw, Charly Caruso spoke to Baszler backstage, asking her if she had a vested interest in the Asuka vs. Sasha Banks feud and next week’s title match. Baszler talked about how she’s a shark swimming in the water, waiting for her prey.
The way I’d book this, if I were on WWE Creative, would be that Bayley is offset ringside by Sane, allowing Asuka to retain the Raw Women’s Championship by beating The Boss. After Bayley and Sasha storm off in disappointment, The Kabuki Warriors will be celebrating in the ring. Then, Baszler would attack, incapacitating Asuka (maybe belting her in the head with a kick that sends her to the outside). To send a message to The Empress of Tomorrow that she’s the next in line for the title, Shayna would then target Kairi and really lay it in on her.
After being separated by officials and possibly even some of the others in the women’s division (Ruby Riott, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, some NXT folk), it would be clear Kairi is in bad shape and Shayna did what she came there to do.
It’s a pessimistic way to go out, but that’s the business. You put someone over when you leave, more often than not. And I’m pretty sure Sane would have no issues making Baszler look strong as her exit.
That way, we’re off to the races with Asuka against Baszler for the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam and there’s no other Kabuki Warrior in the champ’s corner.
Future Roles within WWE
It may seem harsh to write her off like that, but I’m assuming she doesn’t completely leave the WWE family. That way, it’s not as if she was crapped on, kicked out the door and erased from history or anything like that.
I could see this going down in a number of different ways:
1) This isn’t an actual exit. It’s just an extended time off. Kairi takes however many months off and comes back in a year or something, or possibly only works a limited schedule and moves back to Japan, flies out when they need her. — unlikely.
2) NXT Japan. WWE expands with a territory into that market and Kairi becomes the featured star in the women’s division responsible for being a familiar face as well as someone who helps with negotiations, training the newer talent and so on. — I think the only reason this hasn’t happened yet is because of the pandemic.
3) Ambassador. We’re hearing that she could be employed in that kind of capacity as a spokesperson for WWE to help with relations for Japan going forward. Perhaps she could even be instrumental in bringing NXT Japan into the fold, even if she doesn’t necessarily compete for the show.
But What if She Leaves WWE Entirely or Retires?
Of course, one aspect of this is the speculation she might be done in WWE and want to wrestle for the Japanese promotions, either outright, or for some time before retiring. That, or she might just retire 100% and not wrestle anywhere else.
If her plan is to wrestle outside WWE for any amount of time, there’s no negative to beating her on the way out. At that point, WWE is looking out for its own roster. They don’t have to embarrass her, by any means, but there’s no need to make her seem like she’s the best thing ever and leaving the company. That just hurts WWE’s image in favor of a competitor.
If she’s full-blown retiring, that’s the worst case scenario. That means there’s more validity to the idea she may be too banged up to want to keep doing this, and I’d have to imagine a good amount of what’s been weighing on her would be the recent injuries she’s suffered from Jax.