Io Shirai update
Io Shirai is reportedly “pretty much gone” from WWE NXT.
As noted, it was reported a few weeks back that Shirai was to become a free agent next month if she did not sign her new contract offer, and the last word was that she had not re-signed.
In an update, a new report from Wrestling Observer Radio notes that Shirai is said to be “pretty much gone” from the company, with one foot out the door.
Shirai reportedly told people in Japan that when her WWE contract was up she wanted to return to Japan to be closer with her family. Unlike Kairi Sane, who had to wait until the end of her deal because she left mid-contract and agreed to work as a WWE Ambassador in Japan so she could move back home, Shirai would be free and clear to do what she wants.
It was reported in late June that Shirai was expected to return to in-ring action “relatively soon,” but no timeframe was given. Shirai has not wrestled since the NXT Stand & Deliver event during WrestleMania 38 Weekend, where she worked the Fatal 4 Way that saw NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose retain her title over Shirai, Alba Fyre and new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion Cora Jade.
Shirai’s injury was never announced, and the severity and nature of the injury have not been confirmed, but WWE officials have been hopeful that Shirai would be back for the summer. This new report indicates that she may not return to in-ring action after all.