The Return Of The Joshi Judas: Io Shirai

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Io Shirai
All Photos Courtesy Of WWE

NXT is a machine that keeps on going whether they lose a star via call-up, to injury, or perhaps as simple as a wrestling angle that keeps them out for a few weeks. They are stockpiled with talent that it seems they can replace one person with another and keep pushing on. But then there are those special talents who leave a hole in divisions and the brand itself when they miss time. Enter in “The Joshi Judas” herself, Io Shirai. Shirai returned on this past episode of NXT TV and instantly informed the world that she was back. This return not only made NXT feel like they got the push they were missing recently, but showed once again how great Shirai truly is.

In-Ring Excellence

When it comes to “The Joshi Judas,” you see the personification of in-ring excellence. NXT has plenty of talented performers inside the ring, but only a few can hold their own, man or woman, to Io Shirai. Formerly known as “The Genius of the Sky,” Shirai is one of the most gifted performers when utilizing the ropes to her advantage. Whether it sees her launching herself for a springboard missile dropkick or the best moonsault that wrestling has to offer. But what makes her even more excellent his ground attack is just nearly as good as her aerial arsenal.

Stiffness, beautiful flow inside the squared circle is what makes Io Shirai one of the best in professional wrestling. When Shirai took on “The Joshi Judas” persona, he in-ring style became nasty, unforgiving, and downright devastating. She stopped caring about dazzling and instead brought the pain through strikes and submission including the Koji Clutch that has found her a number of victories in the past year. Her rival Candice LeRae may know best, as these two put on one of NXT’s best matches last year where Shirai did what it took to walk out as the winner.

This in-ring excellence is what got her to the six women ladder match in NXT, but it’s her charisma that becomes unmatchable in terms of the NXT talent around her.

Untouchable Charisma

Io Shirai
Photo: Stardom

From the moment her entrance music hits, that charisma drips all the way through the television screens at home and into the hearts of the fans in the arena. Having charisma in the current day world of wrestling is not something that people are just born with in most cases. Io Shirai happens to be one of few that do have that. Babyface or heel, it really does not matter. She is going to make you believe in everything she does and instantly catch your eye from the start. Her current entrance catches your intention as she seemingly flips a switch and becomes twisted to show the world she is serious about what she is doing.

Promos are not the end all be all in professional wrestling and they never should be. Shirai’s natural presence makes her silence more intimidating than anything else. She can deliver some fire with the microphone in her hand, but what she does in her matches, entrances, and almost anything she does will do the talking for her. “The Joshi Judas” is named that for a reason and if she is to remain in NXT for years to come, she is going to be NXT Women’s Champion soon enough. It’s only right.

NXT’s Full Package

In-ring excellence and untouchable, unmatchable charisma are what sets Shirai ahead of the rest. If we are picking favorites for the six-women ladder match to decide the No. 1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship, that spot has to go to Io Shirai. She has been held from winning the championship long enough at this point and clearly her gimmick remains one of the best on the brand. She is the full package that any company would be happy to lead them into the present and future. Rhea Ripley is excellent and has a bright future, but “The Joshi Judas” is the top pedigree of the NXT brand. Her time is coming and her return from injury should be seen as the start of her dramatic rise to gold.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. WWE fan? Check out the WWE Network to view all the matches above!

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