After months of reports and speculation, former Stardom Ace Io Shirai has announced she is joining the WWE. She appeared at a SmackdownLive house show in Japan to make the announcement and posted a tweet to her personal Twitter featuring Red, Blue, and a WWE logo
— 紫雷イオ、Io Shirai (@shirai_io) June 30, 2018
Io Shirai is officially coming to #WWENXT, folks!
it’s hype o’clock pic.twitter.com/lS25JZBjgO
— Tag Me In, Bro! (@TagMeInBro) June 30, 2018
With the announcement of a second Mae Young Classic tournament later this summer it would be perfect for Shirai to follow in the footsteps of fellow Stardom alumni Kairi Sane (formerly Kairi Hojo). A win could launch her into a potential rematch with NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler whom Shirai previously had a classic match with for the World Of Stardom title.
Who is Io Shirai?
Io Shirai is often considered one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world where she was the ace of Stardom during their most popular period. A member of the Stardom Trinity with Sane and Mayu Iwatani, the three helped popularise Joshi wrestling at a time when Joshi was on a real down period. The three women put on many a classic match as Stardom gained more and more attention both in Japan and with an international audience. If there is any WWE comparison to be made Io Shirai is Charlotte. Highly decorated, never afraid to put her body on the line and a charismatic star. Shirai joins WWE as one of the most decorated Joshi wrestlers ever. Shirai is a 6 x Artist of Stardom, was Goddesses Of Stardom champion for 407 days, had two World of Stardom reigns, one of 468 days and another of 546 days, 2 x Wonder of Stardom champion and a former High Speed Champion. She leaves Stardom as the first ever Grand Slam champion. It is clear that the WWE has signed one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world and Shirai will open many fans eyes to just how good talented and badass a women’s wrestler can be.