According to a new report, a major star on one of WWE’s brands could be on their way out of the company with their contract set to expire soon.
Io Shirai joined WWE in the summer of 2018 after spending 7 years in STARDOM, going on to reach the final of the second Mae Young Classic tournament. That final took place at WWE’s historic all-female Evolution pay-per-view where Shirai lost to Toni Storm.
Since then, Io Shirai has become a key part of the NXT women’s roster, winning the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship, the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and ascending to the top of the brand when she captured the NXT Women’s Championship from Charlotte Flair in June 2020.
But according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Shirai’s time in WWE might be coming to an end. Dave Meltzer has reported that the Japanese star has not signed her newest contract offer from WWE and if she doesn’t do so then she will be a free agent next month.
The report says that Io Shirai told friends in Japan that she wanted to return to her native country when her deal was up to be closer to family. There is said to be no expectation in STARDOM that she will return to that promotion but it is made clear that she could as her contract expiring means no non-compete clause that is usually triggered when talent is released.