In wrestling, nothing is for sure and plans can always change. That is apparently what happened with Io Shirai, who many people consider to be one of the top women’s wrestlers in Japan and perhaps one of the best in the world.
Shirai, who was expected to sign with WWE, returned to Stardom at their 7/30 show. Several months ago, she was about to sign with WWE but there was an issue with a neck injury that came up after she went through the standard WWE medicals and she took time off to heal, at WWE’s request. Although most people knew it at the time, she was not allowed to say that she was going to WWE so the cover story on her departure from Stardom was that she was taking time off to rehab her neck. Shiari finished her rehab and she was cleared to return to the ring but, for whatever reason, WWE decided against offering her a deal.
At the 7/30 show, she issued a challenge to Team Jungle for the Artist of Stardom Championship. That pretty much confirms that she is not headed to WWE. On 7/28, she contacted Stardom management to let them know that she was ready to return full-time. Nobody had confirmed publicly that WWE changed their minds on her but obviously, that is what happened. In Japan, the word going around is that she got some bad news and that’s when she called Stardom founder Rossy Ogawa about returning.
It’s not known why WWE changed their minds but in previous cases where they’ve changed their minds on signing someone, it was due to neck and/or concussion issues and they are generally are against bringing in new talent with those kinds of health issues. Another possible reason could be because they already have Kairi Hojo and Asuka on the roster. The funny thing is that many people would argue that Shirai is a better worker than both of them.
Hopefully, sometime in the near future, she’ll get a call from WWE with a new offer.
— 紫雷イオ、Io Shirai (@shirai_io) August 4, 2017
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