There have been a lot of rumors floating around about Io Shirai’s status with WWE. The Japanese superstar has been one of the most exciting talents in NXT during her developmental run. Many believed that she already had one foot out the door for a return to Japan, but the situation is more complex than that.

Shirai’s contract with WWE still has not expired. The company has offered her a new deal to stay. While Io Shirai has expressed interest in returning to Japan to work for Stardom, she still has ambitions of making the main roster in WWE.

Dave Meltzer attempted to clarify the situation in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It was noted that Shirai would re-sign with WWE if she gets a deal where she can work on the main roster. Japan is still not off the table, but there is a chance that Io could stick with WWE.

“Io Shirai, on Twitter, in response to last week’s issue just wrote “rumors” regarding her not signing a new contract and potentially leaving. Those at NXT said last week that at the time Shirai had not signed a new contract that had been offered. They believed she was returning to Japan and Stardom now that Stardom has stronger financial backing from Bushiroad. Those close to Stardom did not indicate she was coming back, although did believe she would be moving back to Japan if she wasn’t on the main roster.


As noted, if she lets her contract expire without renewing she could work anywhere, whether it be Japan or the U.S., immediately. Still, she disputed this report. She had been injured and not been used in months but has been back training at the PC lately. Those who know her from Japan said she went to WWE with the goal of making the main roster and believe she would stay with a main roster deal. We haven’t heard about her signing a new deal this week after checking but there is an offer on the table and her current deal hasn’t expired yet. And at this point, she really should be on the main roster as she’s better than most on it right now.”

WWE could use some experienced talent to help the depth of their women’s roster on Raw and SmackDown. Io Shirai fits the bill perfectly. It will be interesting to see if the company is willing to bring her up to the main roster to keep her around.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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