After a successful title defense at G1 Supercard: San Antonio a couple weeks ago, Women of Honor World Champion Kelly Klein called out Mayu Iwatani and demanded to face the Japanese star with the title at stake at Bound By Honor in Miami Feb. 10.
Klein asked for it, and she got it. And now she is an ex-champion.
Iwatani pinned Klein to become the third WOH World Champion, ending Klein’s reign at 58 days.
Klein controlled the first half of the 10-minute match with her size and strength advantage, but Iwatani proved resilient. Iwatani hit two Tiger suplexes followed by a kick to the head for a near fall. Then she hit a Shining Wizard and a moonsault for another near fall. Finally, Iwatani executed another moonsault, and that one kept Klein down for the three count.
After the match, the new champion celebrated with former champion Sumie Sakai, who acted as Iwatani’s second for the bout.
Iwatani, an eight-year veteran despite being just 25, is no stranger to championships. She has won a number of titles in Stardom, the Japanese-based promotion that is the premier women’s wrestling organization in the world, including the prestigious World of Stardom Title. Iwatani is currently one-third of the Artist of Stardom Championship.
She had wrestled Klein twice previously -- in Stardom’s 5STAR Grand Prix in Tokyo in August and in the WOH Title Tournament semifinals in New Orleans in April -- and lost both times. Perhaps that’s why Klein was so confident that she could defeat Iwatani in Miami.
Klein had been a dominant champion since dethroning Sakai at Final Battle this past December in a Four-Way Elimination Match in which Klein beat Karen Q, Madison Rayne and Sakai in succession.
After winning the title, she made the bold pronouncement that her championship would be on the line every time she competed in a one-on-one match. She successfully defended the title seven times, including against former champion Sakai, Dr. Britt Baker and Jenny Rose (in a Street Fight).
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