With the Mae Young Classic tournament taking place later on this summer, a whole bevy of new female athletes will be taking part in the 32-woman tournament. One of the participants who has been rumored for this year’s show is Japanese wrestling sensation Io Shirai. She had been scheduled to sign with WWE and take part in last year’s Mae Young Classic tournament, but it was eventually reported that WWE decided against signing Shirai due to a medical issue that was detected. Although Io Shirai went back to the Stardom promotion in Japan, recent rumors have suggested that the previous medical issue has been taken care of and that WWE would be signing Shirai to a contract very soon.
Welcome #WWE’s newest signee, #IoShirai! #WWETokyo
A post shared by WWE (@wwe) on
— ?????Io Shirai (@shirai_io) June 30, 2018
.@WWE has announced that it has signed Io Shirai, one of the most decorated women’s wrestlers in the world, as its newest Superstar. https://t.co/vlHkV2YG1c
— WWE (@WWE) June 30, 2018
After months of speculation and rumors, it has just been confirmed that Shirai is indeed WWE’s newest signee. In fact, Shirai has already made her first appearance for the company. Shirai appeared in the ring during WWE’s recent live event in Tokyo over the weekend to confirm that she has signed a deal with the company and will be reporting to the Performance Center to begin working on the NXT roster. With names such as Nikki Cross, Shayna Baszler, Kairi Sane, and Bianca Belair all already working in NXT right now, there is no shortage of women for Shirai to work with when she arrives in Full Sail University. She is also still rumored to be joining the Mae Young Classic tournament in August.
Wow!!! Io Shirai! #WWETokyo pic.twitter.com/ywwvK65CQ0
— Brian The Guppie (@briantheguppie) June 30, 2018
?????????NXT?? #WWETokyo pic.twitter.com/mfvUs7T73K
— yukio hayashi (@pon_de_rin) June 30, 2018
As mentioned earlier, Shirai originally had a tryout for WWE last year but was disqualified from signing a contract due to a reported medical issue. Shirai went back to Japan to compete for the Stardom promotion, but after it was confirmed that she left the promotion last month, increased talk and speculation of a possible WWE run had begun to circulate. Shirai accomplished a lot during her run with Stardom, including two different reigns as the Wonder of Stardom Champion, but she will soon be competing on NXT, and possibly even on Raw or Smackdown in the future. Shirai is one of the most celebrated female wrestlers in Japan, so expect her to make an enormous impact upon arriving to NXT later this year.
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