Io Shirai: Beautiful and Deadly
As in the USA, one aspect of women’s wrestling in Japan is the beauty that some wrestlers emphasize to enhance their wrestling characters or popularity. This is not a requirement of Joshi of course as the majority of wrestlers do not sexualize themselves in any way, but many wrestlers over the years have released gravure videos, photobooks, and other modeling-type media to show a different side than what fans see in the ring.
Io Shirai started her wrestling career in 2007, but it wasn’t until she joined World Wonder Ring Stardom in 2011 that her career really took off. Stardom is a promotion that not only has great in-ring wrestlers, but also wrestlers comfortable with doing photo shoots and DVDs that emphasize their beauty. This goes back to the “Idol” days from early Joshi, and Stardom is the main active Joshi promotion that still capitalizes on both the skill and the appearance of their wrestlers. Io Shirai, being the Ace of the promotion for the last several years, has done over a dozen magazines and photobooks for Stardom. She has also been featured in other magazines outside of Stardom, and is perhaps the most visible Joshi wrestler currently active in Japan.
The pictures below are just a very small sampling from Io’s career.
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