Io Shirai has been one of the top stars in WWE NXT’s Women’s division over the years.
The former NXT Women’s Champion has been off television since April due to an injury as her last match occurred at NXT Stand & Deliver. It was reported last week that Shirai was expected to return “relatively soon.”
Dave Meltzer reported in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that she will become a free agent next month if she doesn’t sign a new WWE deal. Io had reportedly told people in Japan that when her contract was up, she wanted to return to Japan and be closer to her family.
This is a different situation from what Kairi Sane went through, as Sane had to wait until the end of her contract to go to Stardom because she left mid-contract and agreed to work as a representative for WWE in Japan.
There is no expectation in Stardom that she will return at that point, but legally she could once her deal expires.
Shirai first signed with WWE in 2017. In addition to her run as NXT Women's Champion, she's also a former NXT Women's Tag Team Champion.