According to The Wrestling Observer (via 411 Mania), Io Shirai is no longer heading to the WWE and will be returning to Japan’s STARDOM.

Word of Shirai, who is considered one of the biggest names in women’s wrestling, coming to the WWE first surfaced in May when it was reported that she had accepted an offer from the WWE. She had bid her farewell to STARDOM with plans of starting with the WWE but those plans were delayed due to a neck injury.

She took some time off to treat the injury and was cleared by doctors to make a ring-return but the contract offer was since revoked over concerns of long-term health problems as the WWE has been avoiding signing talent with concussion or neck issues.

After contacting STARDOM owner Rossy Ogawa a few days prior to inform him that she was ready to return full-time, Shirai made her return STARDOM on July 30th. She will compete in the Queen’s Quest Group alongside Viper and will also compete in the Five Star Grand Prix tournament.

What are your thoughts on this latest update? Would you like to have seen Io Shirai in the WWE? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Crazy. #RIPMae

    Wowww. I was excited to see her in NXT along with Kairi Sane. I wish her nothing but the best with Stardom again.

  • So sad :(

  • PYM #TakeoverSmackdown

    Aw this is sad. I know people were looking forward to her. But we do have Kairi Sane to look forward to as well. They have the same type of wrestling background both being from Japan. Maybe one day Io will come around again.

  • Well I’m glad Nixon survived since she got injured right after she got signed. Best of luck to Io and hopefully we will see her in WWE later down the road.

  • Bryan Christopher

    Daaaamn it. :(

  • wysna

    GODDAMMIT! And I was hoping to see her and Asuka/Charlotte/Sasha/Becky tear it up for the the children. Sigh. Well, I do wish her the best.

  • Aye Mate

    A huge shame in many ways, in other ways not so much. It’s doubtable that WWE would utilise Io in the same capacity of which she’s allowed full rein of her talents in STARDOM. At the same time, having Io Shirai and Kairi Hojo in WWE instantly excites the mainstream women’s wrestling landscape. What’s important, obviously, is that Shirai is healthy enough to continue doing what she does best.

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  • YonceLuvsDivas

    I was really getting ready to see her in the WWE. I didn’t know anything about her but I’ve been doing my research. Ugh now I’m pissed.

  • Kvngbalor

    Im so let down she is amazing she would of easily become the best female in WWE i knew she wasn’t signing when she returned to Stardom but im confused ive saw other girls who was in the MYC who has WWE in their usernane like Dakota being promoted for indie shows this weekend ?

    • Guilherme Soares

      i think Dakota is out…

      • ABC_1990

        WWE/NXT is allowing Dakota Kai to work events with indie promotions they have working relationships with

      • A?.

        Dakota has been signed since last year, she just came here on April.

        • Guilherme Soares

          I know, by Io Shirai got dispensed… all the other girls that get contract signing already done with her other contracts and stuff…

    • A?.

      Because WWE and Progress have a deal, they had people from Progress wrestle at WM Axxess as well.

  • Noooo! Bad news, I’ve watched her wrestling moves and matches to feel more familiar with her, just to read this. So dissapointed, she could be easily one of the greatest.

  • Bryskers

    I was ready to see her make waves in the WWE, but I’m happy that I get to see her keep raising the bar in STARDOM for the foreseeable future. So It’s not really that bad of a news.

  • George

    She’s really good but knowing WWE booking.. I think is for the best :/
    They really need a new creative team so badly actual professionals

  • Jouey

    So happy! We have enough Japanese divas wannabe!

    • Seraphina Rosenhart

      Why are you happy!? She would have been one of the most athletically talented woman on the roster! So what if she’s Japanese?

      • Aye Mate

        They have Eva Marie in their avi. Question asked, question answered.

        • YonceLuvsDivas

          Leave Eva out of this

          • Almarpar

            Eva’s just been released.. just announced on wwe.com

          • YonceLuvsDivas

            My heart is broken now

  • Chargemander

    Aw this stinks. Sad to see this but WWE will have a lot of great talents coming up and I hope Kari doesn’t end up leaving as well due to her concussion.

    • Guilherme Soares

      Kairi is a huge star, pretty and talented the great combination!

  • PoisonFelino#Watermelondrea

    I was looking forward for Io to showcase her talent in WWE thus bringing more attention to japanese women’s wrestling in general.

  • I was looking forward to seeing her in WWE, but oh well. There is already a pretty stacked women’s roster.

  • Jesus’s brother

    Buuuuuuhhhhhhhhh, her vs Asuka vs Kairi Sane was foi to be a 6 star PPV main event!

  • MK126

    Sucks shes not headed to WWE but I can see why they didn’t sign her. Almost like DB they don’t want to have something happen to someone so talented even if she got cleared from non WWE doctors. She’ll definitely be back if shes already jumping into a STARDOM tournament. Give WWE a year and they’ll call her back for a tryout to see how her neck is

  • Miguel Orona Rodríguez

    This is WWE’s loss. Thank God we still have Kairi Sane. Hopefully Santana Garrett, Candice LaRae, Mercedes Martinez, Serena Deeb, Toni Storm and Mia Yim get WWE contracts. Well in reality I hope more than that get contracts but at the same time, only if they are going to use it. If not, they will be missed in the wrestling word while WWE have them backstage…

    • A?.

      Candice? Lol

      • Buffyrocks

        Candice LeRae, not Candice Michelle ;)

        • YonceLuvsDivas

          Don’t disrespect Queen Candice Michelle! #Icon

          • Buffyrocks

            LOL. I wasn’t. In fact, I was an ardent supporter of hers back in 07! If it were not for her untimely injury, I really think people might be talking about Candice Michelle just as much as they talk about Trish and Lita. She was seriously on her way to becoming something really wonderful. Just hoping that people know the difference between Michelle and LeRae :)

          • YonceLuvsDivas

            Lol ok you redeemed yourself. I actually like both Candice’s. I hope Larae I hope get signs and slay.

      • Miguel Orona Rodríguez

        My bad, I think Candice LaRae already has a contract. She’s the cute blond chick from Canada that participated in the Mae Young Classic, she got to the quarterfinals.

    • LaurenYorkStan

      it’s not their loss they got plenty other talents they aren’t using

      • Miguel Orona Rodríguez

        This girl is one of the biggest name in the world. Not just U.S.A., it’s their loss.

    • Windyhawaii

      Isn’t Kairi sane Io?

  • YonceLuvsDivas

    Isn’t home girl in the finals of the Mae Young tournament though?

    • MK126

      LMFAO nah that’s Kairi Sane the pirate princess… the other STARDOM girl that got signed

      • YonceLuvsDivas

        The picture sent me off. I thought that was Kairi Sane by the way her hair looks.

  • Almarpar

    Gutted. I watch Io’s matches all the time. Especially the ones with kairi … Noo hopefully in a year she’ll be back on the radar

  • Bon’Sha’Quita’La’Fan’Drea

    when ya’ll gonna cover Eva quitting WWE???

  • Matthaniel Johnson

    Is this the one that botched the elbow drop on Bianca belair? To be honest we don’t need more overrated Japanese people coming in WWE getting mega pushes over people who worked their ass off in WWE. Asuka ruined the nxt women’s division with her super power push. And Nakamura beats John Cena on his first try. This is why WWE is failing they keep pushing these Indy people because of the iwc likes them, completely forgetting the paying fans that support their company with the dollars. You all say the 4hw are the best women to ever wrestle for WWE and that they outsell the guys. But the past 3 years the four horses have been advertised more than main event guys. And lookey here WWE have record low monies Coming in, and they had to cut out pyros. Don’t say it’s not the horses fault, along with Indy darlings like Seth, Dean,Zayn,KO they have all contributed to the now fast descent of WWE. WWE also buries itself by having MMA fighters on their show. Ronda rousey slamming HHH and Stephanie at wrestlemania was the start of it all falling down. Now they’re obsessed with NJPW not realizing only a small fraction of the WWE fan base even knows about it. Even less watch it. Now in NXT we have Asuka who CAN BARELY SPEAK ENGLISH! burying promising young talents for close to two years now. All because ‘She’s from new Japan DURRRR’. I’m happy WWE let her loose. But it’s already too late for WWE, they’re goners. MMA,ROH,CZW NEW Japan Indy darlings destroyed both women’s and men’s division. And all of the actual great independent talents get signed and wasted see Neville, Peyton Royce, or they don’t get signed see Ricochet and a plethora of other talents in the Indies. Now we have SHAYNA a former MMA fighter beating the likes of MIA yim who’s an Asian woman that speaks perfect English BTW ASUKA!

    I’m so over this company I HOPE THEY GO BANKRUPT!

  • ShaAsa Twain

    ugh

  • Jonny

    This is such a shame :(

  • PhiPhiBanks

    Did anybody actually expect that WWE would ever push three Japanese women?

    With the amount of women on RAW, SD, NXT and at the PC it is likely to be harder than ever for all of the women to be featured.

  • Maddox

    Literally know nothing about her. Is she better than Asuka and Kairi Sane?

    • Seraphina Rosenhart

      In my opinion, yes. She has less experience than them, but wrestles on the same level, if not an even greater level. She’s amazing.

  • Gerry Tim

    if Stardom has a brain they will long term sign Io so the WWE doesn’t gobble her up at a later date!