Monday, August 24, 2015

WWE Has Apparently Signed Kana

Kana's coming, but will she bring her sword?
Photo Credit:
Several luminaries showed up Saturday night for NXT's Takeover: Brooklyn event. Nearly everyone who was shown, from music mogul/professional homeless guy Rick Rubin to Seth Rollins, was expected to be there except for one. Kana, the indomitable joshi terminator, was shown in the front row with Ric Flair and Sgt. Slaughter. Not only that, she was identified, and her status as an icon in Japan was noted. One small error was noted in that her name was seemingly misspelled as "Kanna."

Or was it? Observers on Twitter made the offhand observation that perhaps the extra "n" was WWE's way of saying that it had signed her to a developmental deal. Among the people throwing fuel to the fire was the person behind the SHIMMER Twitter account (most probably booker Dave Prazak), who cryptically tweeted this gem:
If anyone knew that a wrestler was getting signed, it would be a promotion that booked said wrestler for years on end. Obviously, SHIMMER has to be cryptic as a professional courtesy, but the extra "rs" and the hashtag are dead giveaways. But the press has no such obligation to keep things to itself. Japanese reporter Enuhito seemingly confirmed the news on Twitter:
Of course, it would explain Kana's recent "hiatus" from the ring in Japan, which will now last for as long as she's in a WWE contract. It's a huge loss to the joshi scene as few wrestlers have the name cache, track record for quality, and freelancer status as Kana had. It's also a huge loss to SHIMMER, as it loses yet another joshi visiting regular. Tomoka Nakagawa and Ayumi Kurihara have both retired in the last couple of years. Others will eventually step up, but it's a hard short-term loss to take.

However, this signing redoubles WWE's intentions of beefing up its women's wrestling bona fides. She will come into NXT with the same enormous expectations as Hideo Itami and Finn Bálor did, and already, she will have dream matches lined up upon her arrival. It's a bittersweet day for wrestling in general, but it's exciting for people who've enjoyed WWE and NXT in particular. I'll be watching with great interest, because Kana can be the most transformative wrestler to be brought into the company yet.