Along with her unorthodox sporting background, Kairi Hojo also took a relatively unusual pathway into the wrestling business. She left most of her athletic pursuits behind after graduating from university, and decided to pursue an acting career instead. Hojo took on some theatre roles during this time, and that’s when she first caught Stardom’s eye.
One of Hojo’s acting jobs saw her literally perform the role of a professional wrestling heel, and she was so convincing in her performance that Stardom pursued her there and then. Fuka, Stardom’s general manager, invited Hojo to one of the promotion’s shows, and Hojo immediately fell in love with the business. She started training as a wrestler in 2011, and eventually made her debut in January 2012.
It’s hard to tell how Hojo’s acting experience will prepare her for life in WWE given the language barrier. Still, her acting skills are what drew Stardom’s attention in a country that generally favours in-ring performances over character work. Her charisma and inherent likeability have seen Hojo stand-out among Stardom’s other wrestlers, and if she can channel this while working through WWE’s lens, her transition from joshi to sports entertainment should be a whole lot easier.