Io Shirai suffered a crushing defeat on Night 1 of NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver, where she lost to a determined Raquel Gonzalez and in turn, dropped her NXT Women’s Championship.
When the third count hit, Gonzalez was crowned the new Champion, ending Shirai’s massive 304-day reign on the throne. Gonzalez received a massive ovation as she made history at the event.
However, through the shadows of defeat, the former Champion assured us she wasn’t done yet. In a recent post on Twitter, Io Shirai promised to carry on in her fight despite losing the NXT Women’s Championship.
Io Shirai is one of the biggest names in NXT right now. Her promising talent made WWE place its faith in her as Champion, and her long reign was reflective of that.
WWE COO Triple H himself has placed her amongst the top talents for the future and if things go her way, we may be looking at the next Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Like Asuka before her, Shirai is conquering the NXT Women’s roster and has already done well as Champion. However, it doesn’t seem as if she will immediately move up to the main roster.
Io Shirai will most probably continue on NXT
Given the fact that one big NXT name in Rhea Ripley has already moved up, we may not see another steal the momentum unless Shirai is sent to SmackDown to add to the Women’s Division there.
Now that fans are done seeing babyface Io Shirai, we may see a short heel run. As a heel, we will find out just how diverse Shirai’s skill range is and how she can be used in the future.
Asuka has proved to be a great babyface, heel, and anti-hero. If Io Shirai is to follow in her footsteps, we may see some incredible talent for years to come.
The question now is, are all bridges burned for Io Shirai in NXT? Generally, losing the Championship signifies a ticket to the main roster. However, Shirai could appeal for a rematch and attempt to retake the Championship. It is unlikely that she will head straight to the main roster now.
We will probably see a lot more of Io Shirai in NXT until WWE decided its time to unleash this supreme talent on the main roster.