August 3, 2017

Update on Io Shirai's WWE Status

Io Shirai returned to Stardom at their July 30, 2017 show when she was believed to be headed to WWE.

Shirai had already done her farewell for the promotion and had begun the process of signing with WWE. However, as we noted in June, a neck injury was discovered during her physical several months back. After the injury was found, she announced she was taking time off and it was believed she would still be joining WWE.

Because WWE had not finalized her contract, she wasn't allowed to say she was going to the company, even though it was widely known. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports she contacted Rossy Ogawa, who owns Stardom, at the end of last month and said that she was ready to return full-time.

It's believed WWE discovered the injury and reneged on their contract offer but the story going around publicly in Japan is that she got some bad news and informed Stardom she was ready to return. WWE delayed their contract offer after her physical revealed the injury and informed her they wanted her to take time off to rehabilitate the injury.

Shirai rehabbed the injury and was recently medically cleared to return but she no longer had an offer from WWE. WWE has generally been against bringing in new talent with concussion and/or neck issues. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter also speculates WWE may not have signed her because they already have Kairi Hojo and Asuka and discovered women of other nationalities they want to sign from the Mae Young Classic.


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