Io Shirai def. Xia Brookside in a First-Round Match

Io Shirai vs. Xia Brookside - First-Round Match: Mae Young Classic, Sept. 26, 2018

Io Shirai, one of the most lauded prospects in WWE history, debuts in the Mae Young Classic against England's Xia Brookside. Video courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

Pegged by many as the top female wrestler on the planet, “The Genius of the Sky” Io Shirai soared past even the highest expectations in her First-Round Match against 19-year-old Xia Brookside.

That’s not to suggest that Brookside didn’t put up a fight. The plucky Brit — who was not only facing one of the tournament favorites, but also competing in front of her father, U.K. legend Robbie Brookside, for the first time in her career — raced out of the gate with an attack on Shirai. Shirai was momentarily stunned, but she soon gained her composure. Kipping out of a flying headscissors attempt seconds later, Shirai drove her knees into Brookside and spun the tournament’s youngest wrestler into a crossface submission hold, eliciting a huge response from the WWE Universe.

Shirai’s clinical onslaught continued from there, as she battered Brookside with kicks and smothered her with a Meteora in the corner, before finishing her off with a top-rope moonsault that, in one glorious arc, revealed why Shirai is called The Genius of the Sky. Now that her WWE Network debut ended in triumph, can Shirai keep up the momentum in round two, where she faces Zeuxis?

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