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Io Shirai to face Zoey Stark on this week's WWE NXT


Io Shirai will be facing one of the NXT women's division's newest additions this week.

WWE has announced that Shirai vs. Zoey Stark is set for this Wednesday's episode of NXT. Shirai's NXT Women's Championship won't be on the line in the match.

Stark (Lacey Ryan) made her WWE debut in the women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. She teamed with Marina Shafir in the tournament, with them losing to Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon in a first round match that aired on 205 Live. Stark made her NXT debut by defeating Valentina Feroz last week.

WWE posted a video on Wednesday night with NXT general manager William Regal praising Stark's performance in her debut and informing her of the opportunity to face Shirai in a non-title match on NXT this week. Regal said that -- after Stark's debut -- there's nothing he'd like to see more than Shirai vs. Stark.

Shirai retained her NXT Women's Championship by defeating Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm in a triple threat match at TakeOver: Vengeance Day earlier this month. As Storm was about to pin Martinez, Shirai flew in with a moonsault and pinned Martinez to retain her title. There was then an angle on NXT last week where Storm attacked Shirai while Shirai was taking part in a photoshoot.

Here's the updated lineup for this week's NXT:

  • After turning against Kyle O'Reilly and attacking NXT Champion Finn Balor, Adam Cole will explain his actions
  • Non-title no DQ match: Karrion Kross vs. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar
  • Non-title match: NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai vs. Zoey Stark
  • Non-title match: NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano vs. Dexter Lumis
  • Xia Li vs. Kacy Catanzaro
  • The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) vs. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain