Io Shirai, current champion of Japanese PuroReso Women promotion World Wonder Ring Stardom, attended WWE tryouts this week at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Even if her name was quickly removed from WWE website report.
Io Shirai was already offered a contract by WWE last november, alongside fellow Stardom star Kairi Hojo. But both women turned down the offer to stay in Japan. The news spread last week that, thanks to Shinsuke Nakamura push, Hojo had signed a three-year deal with WWE and was supposed to debut with NXT in April. Io Shirai, who worked with NXT Women Champion Asuka in Japan, was expected to follow the footsteps of her Stardom partner.
This mini international try-out reunited 6 women and 2 men. Jaime Espinal, Puerto Rico freestyle wrestler who attended 2012 and 2016 Olympic games, and Wes Brisco, former FCW developmental talent (NXT predecessor), former TNA and NJPW Superstar, and also son of WWE talent scout Gerald Brisco.
Women present at the try-out were Shirai, Norway independent wrestlers Ingrid “Kira” Hoftun and Kamilla “Natasja” Tjöstland, Mexican luchadora Chik Tormenta, Belarus MMA-fighter Katsiaryna Kavaleva, and American independent wrestler Delilah Doom.
They may be apart of the forthcoming WWE Women’s Tournament. Triple H confirmed earlier this year that it would take place, possibly this summer, and expose international wrestling female talents to WWE audience. The same way CruiserWeight Classic and UK Championship tournament did before.