Freddie Prinze Jr. Recalls How Iyo Sky Reacted To Racist WWE NXT Fan

Foreign-born wrestlers, especially of the Asian persuasion, have dealt with their fair share of racist fans over the years. While reflecting on Iyo Sky's main roster debut at last weekend's SummerSlam, former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr. recalled details of an appalling incident that the former Io Shirai had to deal with a few years back.

"It was a great way to open SummerSlam [with the debut of the Bayley, Io Sky, Dakota Kai stable]," Prinze Jr. said on his "Wrestling with Freddie" podcast. "It just reminded me of one of the coolest Io Shirai stories ever. There was an episode of NXT, and I don't think it was a TV show, it was just a house show because this [incident] was recorded on someone's phone. And Io Shirai's in a tag match, and she's waiting for the hot tag to go in. Just then, some racist pr–k in the crowd yells 'go back to China.' And she throws a look over her shoulder, and she goes, 'I'm Japanese, b—h.' And she takes the tag and the whole crowd just storms this racist guy verbally. They own him and begin to clown him. It was great to see."

For what it's worth, Prinze Jr. might have gotten some of the details wrong. The incident actually occurred on a televised "NXT" episode on December 18, 2019. Ahead of her singles match against Santana Garrett, a fan in the audience yelled out a racist slur, which Sky responded to like a boss. A video of the incident, which went viral on social media at the time, can be seen below.

The idea of Sky, Kai and Bayley debuting a stable at SummerSlam was reportedly a last-minute decision made by Triple H, WWE's new Head of Creative. According to PWInsider, the name "Iyo Sky" wasn't trademarked until the day after SummerSlam, a rather uncharacteristic move for a promotion that likes to trademark Superstar names in advance. Furthermore, Sky was still referred to her by her old NXT name in the SummerSlam video graphics, even though Corey Graves made a mention of her new name on commentary.