Io Shirai got the attention of WWE for her work in Japanese and Mexican promotions. Triple H signed her to an NXT contract in 2017. Shirai became one of the mainstays in the black and gold brand. She went through a lot in NXT, including a nasty injury.
IYO SKY’s final appearance for NXT took place at the Stand and Deliver premium live event on April 2nd, 2022. Shirai participated in a fatal-four match for Mandy Rose’s NXT Women’s Championship.
Unfortunately, Shirai suffered nasty injury during the match and was forced to take a break from in-ring action for several months. She recently sat down with Tokyo Sports for an interview wherein she finally revealed what caused the injury.
“When I did the moonsault outside the ring [in the Fatal 4-Way at Stand & Deliver], I hit my foot on the announcer’s table and broke my right ankle and had to have surgery. I was referred to a ‘master ankle surgeon’ in Alabama, who is a WWE-affiliated doctor. Now I have one bolt in to hold the bone in place.
“I was unable to put any weight on my right leg for about a month, and I had to use a crutch and a wheelchair. It took me about three months to be able to put my full weight on it. I was very anxious. My style is to run and jump, so… The muscles in my right leg also got smaller, and I vaguely wondered if my career was going to be OK.”
Shirai made her return as Iyo Sky at the SummerSlam premium live event on July 30th, 2022. The former NXT Women’s Champion formed heel faction with Bayley and Dakota Kai.
The three are set to take on Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss in a six-woman tag team match at Clash at the Castle premium live event in Cardiff, Wales, on September 4th. You can check out the lineup for the event right here.
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