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5 theories on why WWE split up Kairi Sane & Io Shirai

Danny Hart
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
19.25K   //    21 Apr 2019, 19:11 IST

The Sky Pirates have been separated
The Sky Pirates have been separated

One of the most surprising moments of the 2019 WWE Superstar Shake-Up came when Paige introduced Kairi Sane & Asuka as her new secret tag team on SmackDown Live.

The Japanese duo immediately made an impression by joining forces with Bayley and Ember Moon to defeat Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in an eight-woman tag match, with Sane pinning Royce to pick up the win for her team.

Over the last 18 months, Sane has been one of the most prominent female Superstars in NXT, having followed up her 2017 Mae Young Classic triumph by winning the NXT Women’s Championship from Shayna Baszler in August 2018.

After losing the title back to Baszler at WWE Evolution in October 2018, “The Pirate Princess” joined forces with her Sky Pirate tag partner, Io Shirai, and it looked as though the duo would be called up to the main roster together during the recent Shake-Up. However, Paige only recruited Sane, which means Shirai will remain in NXT for the foreseeable future.

In this article, let’s take a look at five theories why WWE decided to split up the popular Sky Pirates.


#5 Kairi Sane had achieved everything in NXT

Although she had the shortest reign of any NXT Women’s champion in the brand’s history (71 days), Kairi Sane is still one of the most accomplished female Superstars to come through WWE’s developmental system.

Why? Because not only did she win the inaugural Mae Young Classic tournament, but she is also one of the few Superstars who has made multiple main-roster appearances (Royal Rumble x2, WrestleMania x2, Evolution x1) at the same time that she has been climbing the ranks in NXT.

From a storyline perspective, Sane had reached the end of the line in her pursuit to reclaim the NXT Women’s Championship from Shayna Baszler. She was unable to win the Fatal 4-Way, also involving Bianca Belair and Io Shirai, at TakeOver: New York and she was defeated by Baszler in a one-on-one title match on the latest episode of NXT.

The next natural progression for the Sane character is for her to join the main roster.

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