Hey, Remember When WWE Was Pushing Asuka?
By now, you’ve probably heard the news. During last night’s SmackDown Live, Asuka lost the #SDLive Women’s title to Ric Flair’s daughter, Charlotte. This has, unsurprisingly, caused an uproar online. Call it nepotism, call it Vince being out of touch with what “the authority” wants, but at the end of the day — it sucks.
To be fair to Flair, she is a talented performer who can carry her opponents in the ring. She cuts great promos, and she can fit very well as a face or a heel. It’s obvious WWE is going to have her beat her father’s 16 title streak, tho it will be at the expense of other talented superstars. But I’m not here to talk about Flair. I’m here to talk about someone the WWE pushed hard, and then dropped like hot garbage.
Remember in #NXT when she was terrifying? She had one of the longest win streaks in the companies history. When WWE brought her up, we were under the impression everyone should be terrified of Asuka. And for a solid 6 months her trajectory was just going up. But then at WrestleMania 34, she tapped out to Flair (in a solid match, don’t get me wrong). Now, that loss could have helped the character develop. She could have started a year long feud with Flair, but instead she was basically written out of existence.
After that, it felt like all Asuka could do was job out to other performers. The character lost her threatening aura. When she finally did win the SmackDown title, it honestly felt too little too late. Of course, we then rarely saw her defend the title. And as we all know, she didn’t have an opponent lined up for WrestleMania 35, which should have been out one and only indicator that she wasn’t carrying the title to Mania.
But it’s not only #Asuka who suffers here. It’s the other female superstars who were supposed to have a fatal four way for a shot at the title at Mania. Or really, any of the female superstars whose last names aren’t #CharlotteFlair or #RondaRousey. One could argue that the #RAW and SmackDown titles will be combined (which I’m not entirely on board with), and that Lynch will have her moment in the sun when she wins them both.
I have seldom, if ever, said this. But I feel like she would fare better in another wrestling promotion. As much as WWE is bragging about leading the way in women’s wrestling (they’re not), it’s still only paved for those who fit the standard WWE mold. And frankly, the Empress of Tomorrow deserves better.
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