Io Shirai has been a standout in NXT’s women’s division since her debut and wants to prove that WWE has the best women's wrestling roster in the world.
The Mauro Ranallo-dubbed “Joshi Judas” recently spoke with Sports Illustrated and revealed that her main goal when coming to WWE was to help accelerate their women's division while also facing the best competition in the world.
“A few years ago, many people started saying I was one of the best wrestlers in the world. I was competing in Japan and had received every award and accolade possible for a female in the industry. That was when I really started thinking about competing and proving myself on WWE’s global stage, which is the biggest in our profession,” said Shirai. “My main goal is to let the world know WWE has the best and most competitive women’s division in professional wrestling. We are just as dedicated, athletic and talented as the men, and I think what we can do with our platform is a beautiful thing. I have a very special opportunity to change how fans view women’s wrestling and I plan to use my abilities to do so.”
Shirai has had numerous opportunities at the NXT Women's Championship, but the belt has always eluded her. To her, becoming NXT Champion would be a recognition that she is one of the best in the world.
She stated, “It’s hard to fully explain what the NXT Women’s Championship means to me personally. It is proof that you are one of the best performers in the world, and after I win the title, the world will know who I am.”
Io Shirai will get yet another opportunity when she faces both Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver: In Your House on Sunday, June 7. She offered heavy praise for both of her opponents ahead of their match.
“I know how hard it is to be on top and remain in that spot. It may look glamorous from the outside, but it is a huge responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. I have nothing but respect for Charlotte, and for the mental toughness she has shown throughout her career in WWE to remain as one of the top female performers,” she said regarding Flair.
Concerning Rhea Rhipley, Shirai praised their contrast in in-ring style, “The great thing about Rhea is that our in-ring styles are so different that it almost feels like a chemical reaction every time we get in the ring together. She raises my game and is able to push me to limits I did not know I was capable of. I am excited to think about all the possibilities when we face off this Sunday.”
Fightful will have live coverage of NXT TakeOver: In Your House beginning this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.