Mayu Iwatani provides update on dislocated finger injury, wants to see how it heals ahead of 1/4 STARDOM show

Originally published at Mayu Iwatani provides update on dislocated finger injury, wants to see how it heals ahead of 1/4 STARDOM show

Iwatani speaks candidly about the injury. 

After successfully defending the IWGP Women’s Championship in early November at NJPW STRONG Lonestar Shootout, the champion Mayu Iwatani had to pull out of STARDOM events due to a dislocated pinky. 

On December 29th, she’ll be returning to in-ring action as a part of an eight-person tag at STARDOM Dream Queendom. KAKUTOLOG caught up with Iwatani and she provided an update on her injury and the severity of it. Her hand or finger was in a cast until December 5th. Mayu is still doing rehabilitation to increase range of motion in her finger. 

Before those rehabilitation sessions, Mayu struggled to move her finger but now it bends. She added that despite the progress, she’s not able to full on stretch her pinky finger. She is curious to see how it progresses going into STARDOM’s Tokyo Dome City Hall show on January 4th

It hurts so much! I was in a cast until December 5th, so it’s only been a week since I took the cast off. I’m still doing rehabilitation to increase the range of motion of my finger.

My pinky finger really started to look like a tsuchinoko (wide body snake-like being from Japanese folklore). I don’t even know if it will ever regain its shape. For the time being, I’ve been instructed to rehabilitate it and increase its range of motion, so now I’m really just undergoing treatment and receiving electric therapy.

Before, I couldn’t move it at all, but now I can bend it a little, but on the other hand, I can’t stretch it at all. I’m just wondering how much it will heal in the next two weeks or so… Well, I have the IWGP (Women’s) belt and a title match scheduled for January 4th, so I want to make it in time for that. I definitely think that is my big stage. I have dislocated my elbow and injured my medial ligament in the past, but if I don’t set a goal, I won’t do anything.

Iwatani was informed by doctors that her finger is in a condition where it’ll easily dislocate and if it happens again, she’ll have to continue getting it taped and her finger will bend in strange directions and become stiff. 

The doctors tell me that it is in a condition where it easily dislocates, and if it dislocates again, I will have to be taped for the rest of my life. My finger will also bend in strange directions and become stiff.

Going into her return match at Dream Queendom, initially, Mayu wanted to do a singles match but she was concerned about her finger. To ensure she’d be able to defend the IWGP Women’s Title on 1/4, she thought it was best to do a tag match.

I was ready to do a singles match (for my first match back)… but I said, ‘I’m a little scared if it stays the way it is.’ At the very least, in order to have an injury-free match on January 4th, I said, ‘Let’s have a tag team match on the 29th.’

At All-Star Grand Queendom in April, Iwatani defeated Mercedes Moné to become IWGP Women’s Champion. Since then, Iwatani has had two defenses of the title. 

‘Runaway Wrestler’, the film about Mayu’s life is in production. There was filming that took place in July at Korakuen Hall and Shinjuku FACE. Current WWE talent Kairi Sane is appearing in the film