KAIRI and Mayu Iwatani set for Historic Main Event

LEC to present IWGP Women’s Championship match

Order Historic X-Over on NJPW World PPV NOW (separate purchase required. No subscription necessary)

On November 20 in Ariake Arena, the first IWGP Women’s Champion will be decided as LEC presents the main event at Historic X-Over between KAIRI and Mayu Iwatani. November 8 saw a special press conference where both women gave their thoughts on this momentous match. 

Mayu Iwatani

Good evening. I am the Icon of STARDOM, Mayu Iwatani. I made it through to the finals of this IWGP Women’s Championship tournament, and to the main event of this joint card. There’s some amazing matches and amazing wrestlers on this amazing event, and I definitely feel some pressure and anxiety in being at the top of this card. But I have confidence in wrestling the way I always do, and taking the belt with me. 

I’ve been a Grand Slam champion in STARDOM, but I haven’t been the ‘first’ anything. As the first women’s champion, I want Mayu Iwatani’s name to go down in history, and against KAIRI… I won’t let this be the KAIRI show!



I am the world travelling pirate princess, KAIRI. This is the first time for NJPW and STARDOM to be crossing over like this, and to be in the main event with the IWGP Women’s Championship at stake is something I’m grateful for from the bottom of my heart. I’ve been wrestling for ten years, and in a lot of main events in Japan and America, but this might be the most nervous I’ve ever been. 

That’s not just because of the spot I’m in, but because Mayu Iwatani is my opponent. That’s one that really hits me. Mayu and I did a lot together for five and a half years with STARDOM, and for the last five and a half years, we’ve walked our own paths. Now, I’ve wrestled a lot of great opponents in my time in America, but I’ve never met anyone that can bump as well as Mayu. 

If you can bump well, you mitigate damage, you protect yourself and you get stronger. People always talk about ‘Zombie Mayu’, which shows how tough she is. She takes a ton of punishment and always keeps coming back. But I’m just as tenacious, enough to take down a zombie like her. I don’t know who’ll be the last standing after this match, but I will put everything I have, everything I’ve experienced in my career into this. I want to have an incredible match, and I want to win. 

–What do the letters IWGP mean to you?

KAIRI: Antonio Inoki was the first to carry that IWGP standard, and then the efforts of some tremendous wrestlers putting on tremendous matches have made the history and legacy of that brand so important. For us to bear that mark as well is pressure for sure, and it’s something new, but I don’t plan to let down the IWGP name, and I think we can bring it into a new era. 

–You’re wrestling Saya Kamitani for the Wonder of STARDOM Championship the day before Historic X-Over. How do you feel about heading into back to back title matches. 

KAIRI: It’s tough, but there’s an opportunity there. I think I can create some momentum that will carry over into the next night. If I can make the most of it, then it’ll be huge for me, so I want to make the most of that chance. 

–What message do you have for NJPW fans that have never seen STARDOM?

Iwatani: There’s probably a lot of fans who haven’t seen us before. But when we have had showcase matches on NJPW cards before, there have always been a lot of fans who got involved and started coming to our events afterward. I’m certain that if they see these matches, they’ll be hooked on women’s wrestling and on STARDOM. We’ve put a lot into what we’ve done so far, and we’ll make ourselves proud on the night. Everyone that hasn’t seen women’s wrestling, or doesn’t think they’re interested should come and check it out, see how great STARDOM is and get hooked. That’s what I plan to do with our match. 

KAIRI: I feel the same as Iwatani. When I was with WWE, that was always a mixed environment. On a card full of men, there might be one or two women’s matches. But us women were determined to not lose out to the men. We were working to have the best matches we could. We were in the ring training on off days and doing all we could until we were in that main event spot. I think that STARDOM has the same mentality. 

It isn’t about mixed wrestling, women’s wrestling, men’s wrestling. It’s about pro-wrestling. That’s what we love, and that’s what we’ll present. I don’t want anyone leaving after the semi-main! Make sure you stay through the main event!