Why I Love Wrestling: Kana
“Most Dangerous” may be selling her a bit short. Kana, real name Kanako Urai, has officially signed with WWE and should be making her debut on NXT. For those of you who have never heard of Kana I assure you that her signing is a big, BIG deal. It is at the very least equivalent to the influx of Indy superstars that have populated WWE airwaves and is probably more akin to their signing of Hideo Itami. (at the time of his signing KENTA was about as big a star as could be in Japan) She is an absolute monster in the ring. Kana earned the “Most Dangerous” nickname due to her incredibly stiff style. There may be no other wrestler working today, male or female, that kicks harder than Kana. She is a mega-star waiting to happen and should help to further legitimize and revolutionize women’s wrestling in WWE.
Kana began her career in 2004. She spent two years in the AtoZ promotion before retiring due to medical reasons. In the interim, Kana began working more diligently on her other passion, video games. (could there be a more perfect women, other than Candice LeRae of course, for this website to get behind?) She has done design work on a few different Nintendo titles and mobile games, none of which have released in America, and currently writes for various video game publications. (She also owns a hair salon called Another Heaven in Japan) She is a hardcore gamer and collector having a ton of systems and over 3000 games in her collection. Upon her return to the ring she started to let her geek flag fly a bit more going as far as to have video game inspired tights and using the theme song to Okami as her entrance music. She has been an active freelance performer since 2006 competing for Wave, DDT, Shimmer, Chikara, Smash and various other promotions. She has competed both as a heel and face, against women and men, in singles matches and as a part of teams/stables. She has won numerous championships throughout her career and has continued to get better each and every year. She has never been afraid to push the envelope during her matches both in terms of the expected level of physicality of women’s matches and the use of sexuality in a “realistic” manner. (We aren’t talking about bra and panties matches here but dominance in totality, check the match below against Lin Bairon for an example) She is a proverbial lightning rod; there is always talk around a Kana match. She has had some fantastic feuds with the likes of Cheerleader Melissa, Sara Del Rey, and Syuri. She is often described as the future of women’s wrestling and while she won’t do it alone, her signing to WWE puts her in a phenomenal position to be able to move the perception of women wrestlers from vapid eye candy to legit, bad-ass women.
Now, as for how she is going to fare in WWE, that’s a bit unclear. She will obviously have to tone down the brutality of her in-ring style. WWE simply will not allow its workers to be that stiff. (and they really shouldn’t, that shit shortens careers) If she can successfully adapt though, WWE has an international superstar on their hands. She has everything you could possibly want in a female performer. She has a great, varied, look. She changes her ring gear frequently and each one has an element of familiar to it. She has gone with and without face paint, long hair and short, the whole gamut. (she is usually without shoes though, just kick pads which I usually do not like but it works for her) Her character has gone through multiple iterations as well from face to heel. The important thing is that she has been able to get each iteration over with the crowd in the appropriate way. (Cheers when a face, boos when a heel… not the easiest to do when you are as popular as she is) Her moveset is diverse but focuses on strikes and submissions. That alone will help her stand out among the other WWE women wrestlers. She has very good in-ring psychology and is able to tell a story. She has Indy cred and brings in a wide audience due to her work outside of the ring. The only area I’m unsure of is her mic skills. I do not speak Japanese and I do not know how much English she is able to speak. Language can be learned and I have no doubt Kana will be able to cut a promo with the best of them. She has the it factor and I honestly cannot wait to see her in NXT. Kana vs Bayley, Kana vs Charlotte, Kana vs Becky Lynch, Kana vs Sasha Banks… main event caliber matches just waiting to be made. Each of those potential matches could headline a major event, the talent is there. Given the fact that WWE is always looking to bring in additional talent and that there are plenty of women on the independent circuit ready to be signed (please give me Candice LeRae vs Kana, please) the sky is the limit. The main roster “Divas” need to step it up. Kana represents a change in women’s wrestling for WWE. Check out her matches below and hit me up on twitter and instagram, @geekadedan, to let me know what you think. As always, thanks for reading and make sure to check out the rest of the Geekade Nation of Domination (Geekation of Domination, Nation of Geekation?) Ring the Bell and Tiger Driver ’91.
Kana vs Serena Deeb (Joshi Wrestling Japan… by Cutresky
03. Kana vs Syuri – (Toryumon 05/12/12) by SenorLARIATO
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