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Masami Odate (8 May 1990) is a female Japanese wrestler better known by her ring name Io Shirai. She is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where she is assigned on its development territory NXT.

Making her debut in March 2007, Shirai spent several years working as a tag team wrestler, teaming with her older sister Mio, with whom she would wrestle for various promotions across Japan and Mexico, winning the TLW World Young Women's Tag Team Championship in the process. In June 2010, the Shirai sisters came together with fellow freelance wrestler, Kana to form the Triple Tails stable. The group lasted for fifteen months, before Io left an embarked on a singles career with the World Wonder Ring Stardom promotion. In April 2013, she won the promotion's top title, the World Of Stardom Championship.

Professional wrestling career

Team Makehen (2007–2010)

Odate made her professional wrestling debut on 4 March 2007, alongside her older sister, with the two adopting the ring names Io and Mio Shirai, respectively ("Shirai" being Japanese for "Purple Thunder"). In their debut match, the Shirai sisters teamed with Toshie Uematsu to face the trio of Erika Ura, Nozomi Takesako and Yuri Urai. Starting their careers as freelancers, the Shirai sisters represented Team Makehen, a stable made up of wrestlers trained by Tomohiko Hashimoto, in several independent promotions during their first year in the business, including Ibuki, Pro Wrestling Wave, JWP Joshi Puroresu, and Sendai Girls' Pro Wrestling.

On 19 October, 2008, Io and Mio made their debuts for one of Japan's largest professional wrestling promotions, All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), wrestling in a match, where they defeated the team of Kyoko Kimura and Mikado. From January to March 2009, the Shirai sisters also made several appearances for another large promotion not usually known for female wrestling, Pro Wrestling Zero1.

On 29 April, the Shirai sisters won their first championship by defeating Moeka Haruhi and Tomoka Nakagawa in a tournament final to become the first Totally Lethal Wrestling TLW World Young Women's Tag Team Champions, a championship that, despite its name, was owned and promoted by Pro Wrestling Wave. On 12 July, Io received her first singles title opportunity, when she unsuccessfully challenged Misaki Ohata for the JWP Junior Championship and Princess of Pro-Wrestling Championship at Ibuki 30. From July to November of that year, Io spent time working for the Ice Ribbon promotion along with her sister.

On 12 November 2009, the Shirais entered Pro Wrestling Wave's Captain's Fall Six Person Tag Team Tournament, teaming with Gami, but the trio was defeated in their first round match by the team of Ran Yu-Yu, Ryo Mizunami and Toshie Uematsu. Later that same day Shirai's team was able to earn their way back into the tournament by defeating Misaki Ohata, Moeka Haruhi and Yumi Ohka in a consolation match. On 25 November, the Shirai sisters and Gami first defeated Bullfight Sora, Cherry and Kaoru in the semifinals and then Ayumi Kurihara, Kana and Shuu Shibutani in the finals to win the tournament, with Io, as the captain, scoring the deciding pinfall over Shibutani.

On 23 December, the Io and Mio lost the TLW World Young Women's Tag Team Championship to Misaki Ohata and Moeka Haruhi. On 30 May 2010, Io entered the 2010 Catch the Wave tournament. After three wins and one loss, Shirai finished tied at the top of her block, but was eliminated from the tournament, after being defeated in a tiebreaker match by Ryo Mizunami on 10 August.

Triple Tails (2010–2011)

On 19 June 2010, the Shirai sisters formed the Triple Tails stable with fellow freelancer wrestler, Kana. The trio defeated Ayumi Kurihara, Hikaru Shida and Yoshiko Tamura in their first match together at a NEO Japan Ladies Pro Wrestling event. As a result of this victory, the Shirai sisters received a shot at Kurihara's and Tamura's NEO Tag Team Championship on 4 July, but were defeated by the defending champions. On August 1, Io teamed with Kana for another shot at title, but they were once again defeated by Kurihara and Tamura.

Triple Tails returned to its winning ways on 29 August, by defeating Asami Kawasaki, Hikaru Shida and Nagisa Nozaki in a six-woman tag team match. On 19 December, Triple Tails made its debut as a unit for Pro Wrestling Wave, defeating Cherry, Gami and Tomoka Nakagawa in a six-woman tag team main event.

On 29 January 2011, the Shirai sisters made their debut in SMASH, when the Triple Tails stable attacked Yusuke Kodama and Makoto after their matches, with the trio being chased out of the ring by Tajiri after both incidents. On 13 February, Triple Tails held its first self-produced event, during which the Shirai sisters wrestled the male tag team Momo no Seishun Tag (Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada) in a losing effort. On 25 February, the Shirais made their in-ring debuts at SMASH 14, where they teamed with Kana to defeat Ken Ohka, Tajiri and Yoshiaki Yago in an intergender six person tag team match. In March, Triple Tails took part in Osaka Pro Wrestling's Spring Samba Series, going undefeated in six person tag team matches for the duration of the tour.

On 30 April at SMASH 16, Triple Tails was defeated in a six-woman tag team match by Makoto, Serena and Syuri. At SMASH 17, the Shirai sisters were defeated in a tag team match by Hikaru Shida and Syuri. Triple Tails' second event took place on 8 May and saw Io, Mio and Kana defeat Akino, Kagetsu and Syuri in a main event six woman tag team match.

On 23 July, Triple Tails held a press conference to announce that, following the group's third self-produced event on September 18, Io was leaving the stable in order to pursue a singles career. On 21 August, Triple Tails made its debut for Oz Academy, defeating the trio of Ayumi Kurihara, Hiren and Yumi Ohka. On 14 September, Triple Tails defeated Cherry, Moeka Haruhi and Shuu Shibutani in the group's final Pro Wrestling Wave appearance. Four days later, Triple Tails defeated Dash Chisako, Ryo Mizunami and Sendai Sachiko at their third self-produced event in the group's final appearance together.

Mexico (2010–2012, 2014)

On 14 October, 2010, Shirai, working under the ring name Biba Kasai, made her debut for International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG) at an event in Naucalpan, Mexico, where she teamed with Mini Abismo Negro, Monster Clown and Yuriko to defeat El Hijo de Cien Caras, Mari Apache, Mascarita Divina and Pasión Cristal via disqualification in an eight-person tag team match.

In Mexico, both Shirais worked under cat-like masks they would only wear for their entrances in Japan. On 31 October, both of the Shirai sisters were brought over to Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), which had a working relationship with IWRG, and repackaged, with Io adopting the ring name Oyuki and Mio becoming Kaguya. In their first AAA match, Oyuki and Kaguya teamed with Yuriko in a six-person tag team match, where they were defeated by Cynthia Moreno, Gato Eveready and Mari Apache. During their stay in AAA, Oyuki and Kaguya became associates of the La Legión Extranjera (Foreign Legion) stable. On 7 November, Oyuki and Kaguya defeated Faby and Mari Apache in a tag team match and afterwards stole Faby's AAA World Mixed Tag Team Championship and Mari's AAA Reina de Reinas Championship belts. On 15 November, the Apaches and Cynthia Moreno defeated Oyuki, Kaguya and Sexy Star in a six-woman tag team match. A week later, Oyuki, Kaguya and Jennifer Blake defeated Moreno and the Apaches in another six woman tag team match. This would turn out to be Oyuki's and Kaguya's final AAA appearance, which resulted in the storyline with the Apaches being dropped without a conclusion.

Shirai, now working without her mask and under the ring name Io Shirai, returned to Mexico on 15 May 2011, at Lucha Fan Fest 4, where she teamed with Nosawa to defeat Chica Tormenta and Mike Segura for the vacant Americas World Mixed Tag Team Championship. In November 2011, Shirai returned to Mexico with Wrestling All-Star Pros (WASP) for another two-week tour. On 1 November, Shirai put her hair on the line in her first Lucha de Apuestas Hair vs. Mask match, a four-way elimination match, where she faced Ángel o Demonio, La Maléfica and Shitara. Eventually, the match came down to Shirai and La Maléfica, ending with Shirai submitting her opponent for the win, forcing her to unmask herself. Shirai and Nosawa defended the Americas World Mixed Tag Team Championship back in Japan on 3 January, 2012, defeating Ken Ohka and Mio Shirai at an Union Pro event.

Shirai returned to Mexico on 16 May 2012, to take part in Lucha Expo in Mexico City, where she teamed with Keira to defeat Chica Tormenta and La Vaquerita in a tag team match. Upon Shirai's return to Japan, she was arrested under suspicion of marijuana smuggling. This resulted in a two-year break from her regular trips to Mexico, before, on 27 January 2014, Shirai announced that she would return to wrestle in the country the following May.

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE

Second Annual Mae Young Classic

Shirai debuted on 8 August 2018, competing in the second annual Mae Young Classic, advancing in the first rounds after eliminating Xia Brookside. The following night on 9 August, Shirai advanced in the second rounds after eliminating Zeuxis. Later that night, Shirai advanced in the quarter finals after eliminating Deonna Purrazzo. Afterwards, Shirai successfully prevailed through the semi finals after eliminating Rhea Ripley. The tournament final was held at the first annual all-women pay-per-view Evolution, during which Shirai was defeated by Toni Storm.

NXT (2018-present)

Shirai debuted at the 25 August house show, teaming with Deonna Purrazzo & Kairi Sane in a tag match lost to Shayna Baszler and newcomers Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir. She won her first singles match during the 31 August house show, defeating Aliyah. Returning the following month during the 7 September house show, Shirai won her second singles match defeating Bianca Belair. She would spend the remaining course of September in tag matches until the 28 September house show, during which Shirai competed in a No. 1 Contendership Battle Royal for the NXT UK Women's Championship. She returned the following month at the 5 October house show teaming with Nikki Cross in defeating Lacey Evans & Reina Gonzalez in a tag match. She began the following month with a victory at the 8 November house show teaming with Kairi Sane in a tag match defeating Chelsea Green & Lacey Evans. During the 28 November NXT-Tapings, Shirai teamed with Dakota Kai in defeating Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir in a tag match. She later wrestled in a No. 1 Contendership fatal four-way match for the NXT Women's Championship against Mia Yim, Bianca Belair and Lacey Evans. Returning the following month, Shirai wrestled at the 7 December house show in a triple threat match against Lacey Evans and Mia Yim.

The following year in 2019, Shirai made her televised return on the 23 January episode of NXT, teaming with Kairi Sane in defeating Amber Nova & Tanea Brooks in a tag match. Two months later, Shirai returned to television on the 13 March episode of NXT, during which she competed in a Women's title No. 1 Contendership match against Bianca Belair, ending in no-contest. The following month at NXT TakeOver: New York, Shirai competed in a Fatal Four-Way match for the NXT Women's Championship against Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane and the reigning champion Shayna Baszler. Two months later at NXT TakeOver: XXV, Shirai competed in a singles match challenging the Women's Champion Shayna Baszler but did not succeed in winning the title. Later that month, during the 26 June episode of NXT, Shirai competed in a rematch against Baszler but did not succeed in winning the title on that occasion.

Wrestling facts

  • Finishers and Signature Moves
  • Moonsault
  • STO
  • Koji Clutch
  • Arcoiris de Io / Suplex de Io (Shutdown German Suplex Hold)
  • Thunder Splash (Frog Splash)
  • Far East Destroyer
  • One Woman Spanish Fly
  • Trifecta (moonsault off each rope in sequence)
  • Moonsault Double Stomp
  • Rider Kick
  • Shinkanesen Attack-Corner Double Knee Attack
  • Io Galaxy Meteor-Running SSP
  • Magica de Io- Magistral comboed to Japanese Legroll clutch
  • Io de Janerio- Magistral comboed to Gannosuke Clutch
  • Tombstone Piledriver
  • Top Rope Frankensteiner
  • Tag Teams and Stables

Championships and Accomplishments

External links

2017 PWI Top 50 Females
AsukaCharlotte FlairAlexa BlissSasha BanksBayleyIo ShiraiNatalyaSiennaNaomiKairi SaneMercedes MartinezShayna BaszlerRosemaryLuFistoMayu IwantaniMia YimAllieEmber MoonBecky LynchMadison EaglesNicole SavoyNia JaxCandice LeRaeToni StormHiroyo MatsumotoChelsea GreenSaraya KnightShazza McKenzieKay Lee RayMickie JamesDakota KaiNicole MatthewsAlex WindsorDeonna PurrazzoAbbey LaithRisa SeraViperCarmellaRuby RiotNikki CrossVanessa KravenSantana GarrettTessa BlanchardArisa NakajimaLady LoryShotzi BlackheartVeda ScottAlpha FemaleMarti BelleZoey Skye
2018 PWI Top 100 Females
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NXT

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Referees

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NXT Trainers

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General Managers

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