Mio Shirai held a press conference today to announce she will be retiring from pro wrestling in September. Shirai was accompanied by representatives from the four companies she is under contract with. There was Naomi Susan from Union, Mayumi Ozaki from Oz Academy, Tsukasa Fujimoto from Ice Ribbon and Yumi Ohka from Pro Wrestling WAVE. All four gave Mio a lot of praise for her match with her sister Io Shirai from Saturday’s “M.I.O 2” event. There will be three more “M.I.O” shows. “M.I.O 3” takes place in Osaka Ikuno Kumin Center on 9t May, “M.I.O 4” will be in Shunjuku FACE on 19th June and the final “M.I.O” show will be in Korakuen Hall on 20th September. That show will be the destination of Mio Shirai’s retirement match.
Mio made her decision to retire due to neck problems. She has suffered from numbness in her neck for over two years but was still able to wrestle thanks to her training. Her doctor said there is no official name for her condition but explained the bones in her neck sometimes become slippery which causes the numbness. Mio spent a good amount of time thinking about her decision. She and Susan joked about putting her in a singles match with Shuji Ishikawa and taking the Splash Mountain last year. Mio said she will face Ishikawa again without hesitation if she gets the opportunity.
When asked what she is going to do after wrestling, Mio said she’d like to start doing four panel manga strips about what happens in joshi waiting rooms. For her retirement match Mio hasn’t decided who she wants to wrestle or team with. However she squashed any ideas of teaming with Io again. She doesn’t think it will happen, at least right now.
Mio ended the conference with an appeal to the entire women’s wrestling world. Wrestling does not offer long careers for women. Their bodies take a lot of abuse in a short amount of time and the effects can be long lasting for them. Mio wants every joshi to wrestle because it is what they want to do and also to have no regrets when the time comes for them to leave the business. Mio was only able to show a little part of her dream to her fans but she was still able to live her dream.