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If you don’t know who Io Shirai is, then just wait until after the Mae Young Classic this year and you will probably be very familiar with her.

Reports are she’s leaving Stardom and is finally on her way to WWE. She should have been with WWE for a year now but they discovered a heart issue during a medical checkup. She was okay and still wrestled for a while in Japan where she recently dropped her Wonder Of Stardom title.

But there were a couple very good reasons why it took Io Shirai so long to make a jump to WWE and her physical issue might have only been a small part of that.

“She was learning what they do and she didn’t like it,” Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio. “So that kind of stalled her going because she didn’t have a great experience there. But in May, two months later she decided she was going to go. Then she went through medicals and they found the heart issue so hey rescinded the offer.”

“She got checked out by the doctors in Japan and wrestled there and now she’s fine and she’s wrestled there since August. She lost her title on Wednesday and it was funny as soon as she lost her title I had people saying, ‘is she coming to WWE? Is she coming to WWE?’ What I could tell you is she was saying kinda no-ish.”

“I knew about the title change a ways back and it wasn’t about taking the belt off Io, it was about putting the belt on Momo Watanabe cause they’re very, very high on her. They felt her beating Io it was the time to make the move.”

“Her losing had nothing to do with it either. I mean she wanted to go the whole time to test herself. It’s a lot less money because she made a killing on merchandise in Japan. Which is another aspect of what she is going to lose in WWE. Her deal was she sold her merchandise and kept her merchandise it wasn’t like in WWE where she gets a cut and all this so she did very, very well there.”

Therefore, it looks like WWE’s newest huge international signing might be risking a lot more than reputation when she makes the leap across the ocean. Becuase Io Shirai is a perfect instance of someone who probably doesn’t have to come to WWE but she wants to.  Hopefully, it will turn out well for her because I’m sure she will arrive looking to impress.

If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit Wrestling Observer Radio with a H/T to Still Real To Us for the transcription

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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble