Toni Storm Is Proud To Have Grown As A Person And As A Performer In The Ring With Io Shirai

Toni Storm is ready for her biggest match yet in NXT against someone who may be her greatest rival.

On tonight's NXT, Toni Storm will challenge Io Shirai for the NXT Women's Championship. For Toni, this is the realization of many changes in her career, including her recent heel turn and move to America.

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Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Storm talked about this being an important moment for her and how she has grown in the ring with her.

“This is the opportunity I’ve waited for,” Storm says. “I have wrestled Io so many times, and every one of those matches means a lot to me. I’ve grown so much since our first match, even from our past matches, and I have a chance to show that against her in NXT.”

Storm's first match against Shirai took place for Stardom in Barcelona half-a-decade ago. Storm considers herself lucky to work so closely with Shirai.

“That was the very first time we wrestled, which was during a European tour in Stardom,” Storm says. “Hands down, she’s the best I’ve ever been in the ring with. Even now, still, I try to learn more about Io every day. I’m so lucky to have trained with her in Japan, back when I pretended to know what I was doing. I was so fortunate to be in her dojo, and I am grateful to have learned from someone so insanely talented.”

She concluded, "A lot has happened since we first wrestled. I was 20 in our first match. If you watch all our matches in order, it’s almost like you see me grow up.”

Recently, Storm commented on the potential debut of women's Tag Titles for NXT. Learn more here.

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