Top WWE NXT Superstar Reportedly A Free Agent Soon

Io Shirai could be on her way out of WWE imminently.

In the latest issue of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that Shirai has not put pen to paper on a new WWE contract offer, and will become a free agent in August if she doesn't sign the deal.

Shirai has reportedly informed people in Japan that she plans on returning home to be closer to family once her WWE contract expires. Unlike Kairi Sane, who returned to Japan midway through her contract and agreed to work as a WWE Ambassador in her home country, Shirai would be free of all obligations once her contract runs out next month. Kairi joined World Wonder Ring Stardom earlier this year once her WWE deal expired nearly two years after her final WWE match.

Meltzer added that there is no expectation in Stardom that Shirai will return to her old stomping grounds. That said, Shirai would be eligible to sign with Stardom next month unless she agrees to an extension with WWE.

The Observer's report made no mention of Shirai's potential interest in AEW, IMPACT Wrestling or any other promotion.

Shirai hasn't wrestled since the "NXT Stand And Deliver" event in April where she lost a Fatal 4-Way for the NXT Women's Title. Last month, Fightful Select reported that Shirai "has been dealing with an undisclosed injury." While there was no mention of the severity of the injury, the report noted that Shirai was not factored into any of NXT's plans for the summer. The report added that Shirai is "very well liked" backstage in WWE and company officials had no plans to rush her back from injury.

Shirai signed with WWE in May 2017 after spending seven years in Stardom.

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