WWE pulls contract for an international star, returns to Japan

Aug 3, 2017 - by Steve Gerweck

In a big surprise, at the 7/30 Stardom show, Io Shirai returned. Shirai who many considered the top woman wrestler in Japan, had done her farewell there and was Set to start here.
There was an issue with a neck injury when WWE did their testing of her several months back, which led to her announce she was taking time off for the neck injury and that was the reason she gave for leaving Stardom.

WWE hadn’t finalized the deal, and wrestlers are not allowed to say they publicly they are going to WWE until the company announces it first, so she couldn’t say at the time she was leaving for the U.S. even though most people in stardom knew it.

After a three-way main event, Shirai hit the ring and attacked Oedo Tai and asked Viper to join her as a tag team in the Queen’s Quest group. Viper agreed. Shirai announced her return on 8/13 at Korakuen Hall, and that she would also be in the upcoming Five Star Grand Prix tournament (which is their version of G-1) She also issued a challenge to Team Jungle for the Artist of Stardom championship.

This is because she’s not coming to WWE after all. She contacted Rossy Ogawa and Stardom on 7/28 and said that she was ready to return full-time. Nobody has publicly said WWE changed their minds on bringing her in, but obviously that is what happened.

The phraseology being used for Japan is that she got some bad news and told Ogawa she was ready to come back. Nobody has directly said that WWE decided against offering her a contract due to her neck issues they found in her physicals, but they had stalled on offering her a contract when they found out about the injury, while she did her medicals in the U.S. last month.

After she did her medicals, WWE wanted her to take time off to rehab her neck. She did that and was just cleared by doctors to return to the ring after her therapy. Then WWE seemingly decided against offering her the deal. While every case is different, WWE has had a general rule of not wanting to bring in new talent that either has concussion issues or neck problems. It also could be that with Kairi Hojo and Asuka they already have two very popular and over Japanese women.

Source: The Spotlight 2.0

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