Report: Io Shirai "Pretty Much Gone" From WWE
Could Io Shirai be leaving WWE?
After reports circulated earlier this month that Io Shirai has yet to sign a new WWE deal, rumours suggest that Shirai is all but done with WWE.
Per a report from Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer, Shirai is expected to leave the company at the expiration of her current contract, with Meltzer saying, “Io Shirai’s pretty much got her foot out of the door. Pretty much gone.”
A former NXT Women’s Champion, Shirai was one of the most popular stars of NXT at the end of the ‘black and gold’ era, with many fans expecting it to only be a matter of time before Shirai was called up to WWE’s main roster after she dropped the NXT Women’s Championship in April 2021. However, Shirai was kept in NXT, holding the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships with Zoey Stark for several months in late 2021.
Shirai wrestled a couple of dark matches before SmackDown tapings in early 2022, before being sidelined with an injury in the Spring.
If Shirai does in fact leave WWE, it is widely expected that she will return to Japan, where she was a draw for Stardom before leaving for WWE in 2017/2018.