It may seem like a sense of deja vu, but last night Tokyo Sports reported that Stardom star Io Shirai is heading to the WWE. Originally reported by Tokyo Sports, Io Shirai informed Stardon officials yesterday of her intent to depart Stardom, with June 17 being her final show with the promotion before she heads to the United States. Her recent defeat to emerging Stardom star Momo Watanabe for the Wonder of Stardom title was planned to elevate Watanabe and was not due to Shirai’s impending move, as it was booked prior to Stardom’s knowlege of Io leaving the company.
— 東スポ (@tospo_prores) May 28, 2018
Io Shirai Heading to WWE
Io Shirai went down this route around this time last year, when she signed a preliminary deal with the WWE last May around the same time as another Stardom star Kairi Hojo also signed. During her WWE medical, a heart issue was discovered and her deal was withdrawn while Hojo went on to win the inaugural Mae Young Classic as Kairi Sane. Shirai returned to Japan and Stardom, where she’s spent the last year, as well as getting full medical clearance.
Io Shirai has long been regarded as one of the top women’s wrestlers in the world, and a staple of Stardom since arriving in 2011. Prior to that, along with her sister Mio Shirai, she worked for multiple companies, including All-Japan and ZERO-1. Prior to signing with Stardom, she was a part of the Triple Tails stable, a group lead by current WWE Superstar Asuka (then Kana), that also featured Ayumi Kurihara, Hikaru Shida and Yoshiko Tamura, as well as her sister, Mio. In Stardom, she leads the Queen’s Quest stable, that features such stars as Momo Watanabe, Viper (Piper Niven), AZM, HZK, Konami, Bea Priestley and Chardonnay.
Io Shirai is expected to debut in the Mae Young Classic II this summer and leaves Stardom as one of their most decorated champions ever, a former 2x World of Stardom Champion, 2x Wonder of Stardom Champion, SWA Champion, Highspeed Champion, Goddess of Stardom Champion (Stardom’s tag team titles), and 6x Artist of Stardom Champion (Stardom’s trios titles).
According to last night’s report by Dave Meltzer, the WWE has also approached other Stardom talents for the Mae Young Classic II (including World of Stardom Champion Toni Storm, who recently signed a WWE UK deal), which is causing some issues with Stardom’s own upcoming 5-Star Grand Prix tournament around the same time.