Io Shirai is a huge star in Japanese pro wrestling and she will soon be known all over the world as well. To be fair, plenty of people already know all about Shirai’s amazing talents in the ring but with WWE’s machine pushing her out to the masses, she could quickly become a household name on a global scale.
Some Superstars coming from non-English language speaking countries have a slight disadvantage when they make the leap to WWE because they can’t verbally communicate with the US fans. They have to let their wrestling do the talking for them on a nightly basis and while their in-ring work can translate into a universal language it’s still nice to be able to cut a promo to the fans as well.
Shinsuke Nakamura adopted the “no speak English” catchphrase for a short time which is a genius move especially because he does speak English. But just like Asuka, even though they might comprehend the language and can speak it their pronunciation sometimes gets in the way.
This issue is especially evident when they’re on the microphone in a big arena and the television audience can understand what they’re saying because they’re hearing the audio from the microphone but the crowd in attendance is sometimes left behind because the acoustics of the arena coupled with a bilingual speaker sometimes makes things hard to understand for someone who bought a ticket for the show.
But as noted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Io Shirai won’t seem to have those issues when she comes into WWE. Her English is said to be very good and she won’t have to learn anything. So a little brushing up is all she really needs. Asuka had to learn a lot of what she knows upon signing with WWE so Shirai has that advantage. Io’s mother is an English language teacher so that really helped her out growing up and learning the language.