Saturday will be a rare treat for this wrestling fan. The woman who competed for the World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship at WrestleManias I and X against Wendi Richter and Alundra Blayze respectively and ostensibly vanished from the wrestling world for the better part of a decade is stepping into the ring on her first iPPV – and it all came about because of another wrestler withdrawing.
Former WWF and NWA Women’s Champion Leilani Kai landed a match against Sumie Sakai at Pro Wrestling Syndicate Bombshells 7 (formerly Bombshell Ladies Of Wrestling) after Amy Lee had to pull out – but for me, that makes things more interesting, as I (like many) have not have seen Kai wrestle in quite some time. However, just because she was out of the spotlight, it does not mean that the former 2-time WWF Women’s Tag Team Champion has had nothing to do with wrestling.
Just before stepping away, Kai was working with the Women Of Wrestling promotion – a company which we coincidentally talked about yesterday – as a trainer, and followed that up with tutoring other names like Amber O’Neal – who discussed learning her craft under Kai and her first ever match against her trainer as part of episode 33 of the Women Of Wrestling Podcast. More recently, she has mentored Tatevik The Gamer, who competes for the revived version of WOW, and has also been working with Lexie Fyfe’s Slammin’ Ladies customs company in Florida, where she managed to squeeze in a match against Sara Del Rey before the Queen Of Wrestling took up her current job as a trainer for WWE.
As she explained in an interview with Slam Wrestling earlier this year, she isn’t living in the past when it comes to wrestling: “I do follow the current product. I have to keep up with the style of what’s happening in the ring, so that I can train students for that,” she said. “There are some tremendous female wrestlers involved in the sport today. I encourage everyone to support ladies wrestling and take a look out there. There is some great talent wrestling.” She also pointed out that “[p]ro wrestling is always changing. That’s a great thing. You can be the best today, but by tomorrow, you may have to change your style to adapt. That’s one of the greatest things about wresting; it’s always a challenge.”
The question is: can Leilani Kai adapt to the modern indie scene, or does she have to? She was honoured at SHINE 3 for her past achievements and has dipped her toe in the water at a couple of shows in the last year, though didn’t have to leave her home state of Florida to do so. For this show in Iselin, NJ on Saturday, she’s travelling, doing signings and then stepping into the ring. While I would not say that being 53 is considered that old anymore, what sort of Kai will we see? Either way, I’m intrigued to see her match against Sakai for PWS Bombshells on Saturday. I’ll be watching – will you?
Here’s the full card:
Angelina Love v Riot
The Backseat Girlz (Annie Social & Missy Sampson) v La Rosa Negra & Amazing Kong
S.I.N. (Alexis Nevaeh & Jessie Kaye) v Freaks & Geeks (Mistress Belmont & Veda Scott)
Melissa Coates & Craig Steele v Silvie Silver & Lucifer Darksyde
Sumie Sakai v Leilani Kai
Jennifer Cruz v Amber Rodriguez
Luscious Latasha v Vanity
Interested? You can order the show and see it for yourself for a mere $10 by clicking here.
– Lee Burton