WWE has become notorious among pro wrestling fans for offloading superstars since the global pandemic began, which has inevitably led to some of their performers not deciding to re-sign with the company.
Prolific pro wrestling insider Dave Meltzer reported on the latest episode of the Wrestling Observer Radio (WOR) that NXT star Io Shirai is “pretty much gone from WWE.”
This was in line with what Meltzer reported on the July 4 edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON), where he noted that Shirai has not signed her extension with WWE and will become a free agent in August.
“She had told people in Japan that when her contract was up she wanted to return to Japan and be closer with her family,” Meltzer later added.
However, Shirai took to Twitter to dismiss the rumor hounding her with a simple tweet featuring a puking emoji.
Shirai’s WWE departure has been a hot topic among pro wrestling fans for what seems to be forever now since the company began releasing superstars from its roster.
Since joining NXT in 2017, Shirai has become a major fan favorite thanks to her high-flying style of wrestling and charisma.
She would be turned heel by the company two years later after seeing the potential that she has as a force for babyfaces to contend with in the ring.
Shirai later became the queen of NXT’s women’s division when she won the title in a triple threat match that included Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair at NXT TakeOver: In Your House in 2020.
Her reign would last for 304 days until Raquel Gonzalez took the title at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, making Shirai the fourth-longest titleholder.
The return of Triple H to NXT may be incentive enough for Shirai to stay with the organization since her best body of work came under his guidance when he had complete control of the brand prior to his life-threatening surgery.
While it is unclear if Shirai is directly responding to Meltzer’s words or not, fans of the Japanese superstar are certainly hopeful that she will be staying with the company in the years to come.