IYO SKY is part of one of WWE’s most dominant factions after returning at Summerslam with Bayley and Dakota Kai to face Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch. With a new look and a new name, fans have wondered about the sudden change.
SKY explained that she changed her name because she felt that it would appeal more to American audiences.
“I think the image of the previous “Shirai” can be conveyed in kanji to Japanese people, but that is not the case in the United States,” SKY said while speaking to Corey Graves on After The Bell. “I think it is a good name because the “sky” in it conveys the image. The first letter of “Io” was capitalized, and the second letter was lower-case “Io. So, it looked like a lowercase L and O (lo), or like a number, and some people misread it. Now it’s all capitalized “IYO,” which I think makes it easier to understand.” (h/t Fighftul)
SKY also discussed the ankle injury she sustained in April of this year during a triple threat match against Mandy Rose and Kay Lee Ray for the NXT Women’s Championship at Stand and Deliver.
“When I flew in a moonsault outside the ring against Kay Lee Ray, I hit my foot on the announcer’s table and broke my right ankle and had to have surgery. I was referred to a “master ankle surgeon” in Alabama, who is a WWE official. Now I have one bolt in to hold the bone in place. I was unable to put any weight on my right leg for about a month, and I had to use a crutch and a wheelchair. It took me about three months to be able to put my full weight on it.” (h/t Fighftul)
SKY also revealed that she contemplated returning to Japan after she picked up the injury.
“Yeah. I’ve been here four years. I came here by myself. I don’t have family here and that time is so tough. Tried to think, should I stay here more or not. Got injured and after surgery, that time was thinking about my life again.” (h/t Fighftul)
SKY has been wrestling since 2007 and signed with WWE in 2017. She debuted in NXT in November 2015 at Takeover: War Games, where she and Dakota Kai saved Kairi Sane from Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir. In June 2020, she defeated Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley to capture the NXT Women’s Title before losing it to Raquel Rodriguez the following year.
SKY, Bayley, and Kai will face Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka this Saturday in Cardiff, Wales.