June 17th could not come soon enough for Io Shirai.
That’s because that date will mark Shirai’s final show with STARDOM as she prepares to join with WWE. It will be an emotional night for many STARDOM fans and wrestlers alike, but perhaps none may be more emotional than Io, who debuted in the promotion in August 2011 and made it her own home promotion since then.
Adding to the sentimental night, it has been announced per STARDOM’s Twitter, that ticket sales for Io’s final show (located in Korauken Hall) has officially reached 1,200. Putting this into perspective, a normal Korauken Hall show for STARDOM draws an average of 800, which is a clear indicator that the support for Io will be very high. The main event of the show features Thunder Rock (Io & Mayu Iwatani) vs. Oedo Tai (Kagetsu and Hazuki).
Io Shirai is hailed by many wrestling purists and journalists alike as one of the best female wrestlers in the world today. Considered to be STARDOM’s “Ace”, she is a former two-time World of Stardom Champion (the promotion’s top championship), as well as a former two-time Wonder of Stardom Champion (the promotion’s second-best championship) and former Goddess of Stardom (Tag-Team) and High-Speed (Cruiserweight) Champion. She is also the recipient of Tokyo Sports‘ Joshi Puroresu award (equivalent to Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Best Female Wrestler Award) for three consecutive years (2015-2017).
Io has also been linked to WWE Superstar Asuka (then known as Kana) very early on in her career, as well as NXT Superstar Kairi Sane. She was set to enter WWE along with Sane in 2017 (even receiving a contract) before medical issues with both her neck and her heart forced WWE to rescind Io’s offer and resulted in Io remaining in Stardom.
Now that Io’s medical issues seem to be in the clear, the sky is the limit for the fearless Io Shirai as she prepares for perhaps her biggest career shift ever.
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Image Credit: STARDOM