Monday, March 25, 2013

Io Shirai gets the chance to be STARDOM's ace

Alpha Female vs Io Shirai staredown
When STARDOM opened a couple of years ago, the idea was to turn bikini model Yuzuki Aikawa into the company's ace. The other part of this was to create their own stars from scratch. They even had an eight year old on their roster. She is currently inactive. This put a lot of pressure on veteran wrestler and head trainer Nanae Takahashi. It's her job to take these greenhorns and turn them into quality performers. Not surprisingly, this hasn't been successful. It was about a year ago that STARDOM started bringing in experienced wrestlers to carry the weight. The plan was still to make Aikawa the ace. But her modelling agency forced her to quit wrestling. Most of the other greenhorns have not improved enough to rise above the midcard. So STARDOM needs a new ace other than Takahashi. When Io Shirai first started out with her sister Mio, they worked for a company that was perceived as sleazy. When the company owner was tossed in jail for criminal activity, the sisters eventually took different directions. Mio is not a great wrestler and depends mostly on her sex appeal working for Ice Ribbon and other companies. On the other hand, Io decided to improve her wrestling skills and this led to being hired by STARDOM. Now it looks like she will get the chance to be STARDOM's ace. On yesterday's Osaka show, STARDOM held a tournament to determine the number one contender for Alpha Female's World Of STARDOM Championship. The wrestlers in the tournament were Dark Angel, Hiroyo Matsumoto, Io Shirai and Kaori Yoneyama. If you look at the size matchup, Matsumoto is almost as big as Takahashi and has the power to match up well with Alpha Female. But she's a freelancer and so is Yoneyama. Dark Angel beat Matsumoto in the first match with a rollup pin. In the other match Io beat Yoneyama with a moonsault diving foot stomp. So in the final you have two wrestlers who have worked frequently as tag team partners. With her big match experience edge, Dark Angel should be the favourite. But after 15 minutes of back and forth athleticism, Io wins with the moonsault diving foot stomp. Io Shirai will challenge Alpha Female for the World Of STARDOM Championship on the big Apr. 29 show. Io had quite the staredown with Alpha Female and even called her a gorilla. You can see the size difference in the picture. Can Io Shirai win? Of course she could win. This is pro wrestling. But she doesn't have to win to be STARDOM's ace. All she needs is a strong performance and show she is ready to step up to main event. Her challenge is she has never faced anyone as large as Alpha Female. Dark Angel should help her train for that. This could be a defining moment in Io Shirai's pro wrestling career.

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