WWE NXT Superstar Io Shirai recently spoke with Justin Barrasso to promote Sunday’s “Takeover: In Your House” event, which will feature her Triple Threat with Rhea Ripley and NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair.
Shirai, who found success before joining WWE, was asked why WWE is the right decision for her, and what she wants to accomplish in NXT and WWE.
“A few years ago, many people started saying I was one of the best wrestlers in the world,” she said. “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.
“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 had nothing but praise for Ripley, but also talked about how she respects Flair.
“I know how hard it is to be on top and remain in that spot,” she said of what she respects most about Flair. “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.”
Shirai was friends with Japanese wrestler Hana Kimura, who committed suicide on May 23 at the age of 22. She was asked how she wants the world to remember Kimura.
“Hana was one of the most talented female wrestlers in the world, and I was looking forward to watching her grow to see how far she could go,” Shirai said. “I will always remember her smile that would brighten up any room she walked into. It is so important that we all love and treat each other with respect.”