WWE news: Io Shirai appears at WWE Tokyo show
What's the story?
WWE held two live events in Tokyo this weekend. It's at these annual June shows that the company often announces Japanese talent acquisitions, and it was the same this year, with a very notable name. Io Shirai, the "Ace of Stardom" and long considered the best female wrestler in the world, ended rumours and appeared at the event, officially announcing her arrival.
In case you didn't know...
Io Shirai signed a deal with the company last year but had her offer pulled after failing medicals. She was evidently in a cleaner state of health this year, and WWE gave her the go-ahead this time.
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After dropping her Stardom title last month, Tokyo Sports reported that Shirai would be making her way to WWE. After announcing her departure from her home promotion, World Wonder Ring Stardom, Shirai didn't mention WWE but has now confirmed her arrival.
The heart of the matter
Io Shirai made an appearance in the ring at WWE's Tokyo event to announce her signing. Addressing the Japanese crowd, she had this to say:
I have kept you waiting, this summer I will join WWE. I will shine from this world stage ring. Please share this dream with me, everyone! Thank you & see you soon!
She also tweeted a picture of a new mask with the WWE logo, saying simply, "a new step."
Io Shirai is expected to report to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando on July 17th, joining a class of recruits that includes Keith Lee, who made an appearance in the crowd at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II a couple of weeks ago. She'll take her place alongside him as one of the newest members of the NXT roster.
She's also expected to be one of the key attractions in the second annual Mae Young Classic tournament later this summer, with tapings scheduled for August 7th and 8th. Shirai was rumoured to be the one slated to win the contest last year until medical issues intervened. She must be considered a favourite, if not the favourite, this time around.
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