Io Shirai Reveals She Was Supposed To Compete In The WWE Royal Rumble Match

Io Shirai was supposed to compete in this year's women's Royal Rumble match but an MCL injury forced her out of the match.

Shirai spoke with Tokyo Sports where she revealed she picked up the injury in a match with Toni Storm prior to the event this year.

"I had a match with Toni Storm before Royal Rumble, when Storm hit a tope to me at outside of the ring, my knee had bent to the wrong direction," Shirai said. "I was scheduled to participate (in the) Royal Rumble, but I was so frustrated that I (couldn't) participate."

The injury didn't keep Shirai out long, though, as she returned from the injury in March. She then became the number one contender to Charlotte Flair's NXT Women's Championship in April after winning a ladder match also involving Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, Mia Yim, Dakota Kai and Chelsea Green. Shirai wrestled for the championship twice previously, not counting house shows, losing to Shayna Baszler both times.

Shirai joined the company in 2018 after spending the previous seven years in World Wonder Ring Stardom. She debuted for the company wrestling in the second Mae Young Classic, losing to Toni Storm in the finals.

Hiroaki Kawafuji contributed to this article.