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Io Shirai will compete in the WWE Mae Young Classic

Io Shirai (NXT)

WWE officially announced that Io Shirai who’s globally considered as the best female wrestler in the world will compete in the upcoming WWE Mae Young Classic. 

Tokyo Sports reported on 5/28 that Shirai is headed to WWE. Shirai posted a blog confirming that she’s departing STARDOM. Shirai’s last match for the STARDOM took place on 6/17. Io Shirai made an appearance during the WWE Live Event on 6/30 in Tokyo at the Ryogoku Sumo Hall, and confirmed she will be joining WWE NXT in the summer. 

With the announcement, Io Shirai will be the second Japanese STARDOM sensation to compete in the Mae Young Classic. Last year, my favourite wrestler Kairi Sane who came won the Mae Young Classic when she defeated Shayna Baszler (the current NXT Women’s Champion) in the finals to win the inaugural Mae Young Classic in September 2017. In STARDOM, Sane and Shirai were the top two stars of the promotion. Io Shirai was considered the ace and Kairi Sane was the clear number two. 

The 28-year old Io Shirai, made her debut in 2007 alongside her sister Mio Shirai (who retired in 2015) due to injuries. Shirai’s breakout performance came in 2013 when she defeated Alpha Female (Jazzy Gabert) to win the Wonder of Stardom title which she held for over 15 months. Shirai’s second championship reign came in December 2015 when she defeated Meiko Satomura. 

Shirai’s matches with Meiko Satomura in 2016 and Mayu Iwatani in 2016 were awarded the Women’s match of the Year. Shirai also won the Japanese Women’s MVP in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

WWE announced the second annual Mae Young Classic will be taking place on 8/8 and 8/9 from Full Sail University. Just like Kairi Sane did last year, I would like to see Io Shirai win the Mae Young Classic this year. I would love to see Kairi Sane win the NXT Women’s Title at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in August and face Io Shirai during WrestleMania weekend in 2019.


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Image Credit – WWE

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