Today’s Wrestling New Classic card was already newsworthy as Kana was defeated by Nagisa Nozaki in the Women’s Championship tournament – but the real drama took place in the dressing room after the match, where the “World Famous” star announced that she was quitting the promotion and choosing to wrestle as a freelancer instead.

Speaking to Ringstars (and with the aid of a shoddy translator as well as intelligent human beings Chris Carpenter and Matt Nordstrom), the former SMASH Divas Champion explained that her decision to go was based around money. She alleges that she has not been paid by WNC for four months, and received no reply when she emailed the promotion’s President Tsutomu Takashima about it. As a result, she made the decision to walk away, insinuating that she had lost trust in the company, though was very careful to not say it outright.

Ringstars also asked Kana why she didn’t announce her leaving in the ring, and it’s down to courtesy. She said it would be rude to do it in public and drag up the company’s dirty laundry on the microphone. Instead, she elected to do it quietly backstage – she also confirmed that she had spoken to WNC founder TAJIRI but would not elaborate on the details of the conversation.

It seems that this is not a decision that Kana came to lightly. As she pointed out during the interview, she waited for four months before choosing to leave, and emailed President Takashima on a number of occasions. By her account, she had given the promotion every opportunity to sort out the money allegedly owed to her, and when things looked unlikely to reach a satisfactory conclusion in her eyes, she chose to quit. Quite frankly, if everything she is saying is the truth, I don’t blame her. Be honest – if you hadn’t been paid for two months at your job, you’d be pissed off. You wouldn’t expect anyone to work for free, especially when they are putting their body on the line when they step into the ring.

Considering how carefully Kana handles her business (and she really does treat wrestling as a business) it was a surprise for her to align herself with a promotion – similarly so with WNC’s forefunner SMASH – but it seemed that the relationship was going well. Despite being tied with WNC, she was free to wrestle elsewhere – Pro Wrestling WAVE being a prime example, though she has also competed in Ice Ribbon this year, not to mention her trips to the US for SHIMMER – so her decision to control all her own bookings again isn’t a step into the unknown for her, but may determine her longevity in promotions. After all, promoters tend to have titles on, or give pushes to wrestlers who aren’t going anywhere. However, Kana is a draw as well as one of the world’s top wrestlers, and can be used to attract fans to shows, so she will never be short of work.

– Lee Burton