Hello everyone. I’d like to start a mini series highlighting Asuka’s career up til this point, to decide if she is overrated like some claim after only seeing two matches on the main roster. I’m not sure how many volumes there will be, but if possible .. I would like to restrict it to two. The first volume will focus heavily on her NXT career, and what she did during her record-breaking NXT Women’s Championship reign.
For those with little spare time I suggest you watch the following video which highlights Asuka’s NXT career in under four minutes. While it is very well done .. I do not believe it’s enough. If you still think she’s overrated after seeing it, you need to look deeper and watch some of her matches.
Her debut was heavily hyped, yet no one really knew what to expect as she signed a contract. Her first feud was with Emma & Dana Brooke as they interrupted her while being welcomed to NXT by William Regal. The next two years was filled with success, and it all started here.
While feuding with Emma & Dana, Asuka defeated other women such as Cameron, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, and an inexperienced Alexa Bliss. The first big match of her NXT days came when she met Emma at NXT Takeover: London. And yes .. it was way, way better than what they did just recently before Emma was released. The match was highly praised by critics, and Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer called it “fantastic”.
While Asuka’s been called undefeated, she did lose a battle royale and some house show matches. She entered in to a brief feud with Eva Marie & Nia Jax before turning her attention to Bayley and the NXT Women’s Championship. At NXT Takeover: Dallas (Wrestlemania weekend), Bayley gave her best effort but she simply was not ready for Asuka. It was the beginning of a legendary reign which may never be broken.
At NXT Takeover: The End, Asuka’s first challenger was the bigger Nia Jax. The match showed how she can adapt to different types of opponents. She used speed, submissions, and smarts to chop down the larger number #1 contender.
During the summer 2016 draft, Vince McMahon initially wanted to draft Asuka away from NXT. Triple H pleaded with Vince not to make this decision as she was one of NXT’s biggest draws, and said she was their “anchor”. Vince accepted his advice and decided she would stay in NXT.
Bayley earned the right to a rematch with Asuka for the NXT Women’s title. Bayley stated she needed to be the first to beat her, and take back the championship she’d worked so hard for. They fought in a highly praised match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II.
Asuka started displaying heel tendencies as she refused to shake the hand of Mickie James. Despite this, she generally played the face in her feud with Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, and Sanity’s Nikki Cross. In her feud with Ember Moon, she cheated to retain the title. She had a classic, brutal fight with Nikki Cross in a Last Women Standing. She also came out victorious in several triple threats and fatal four ways before being forced to vacate the title due to injury.
With every opponent defeated, and needing 6-8 weeks to recover from a broken right collarbone, it was decided to have Asuka vacate the title before moving up to the main roster. As we know, she made her debut for the Raw brand at the TLC PPV.
However, before leaving, Asuka made her last appearance giving a heartfelt speech about loving NXT, and how she will take the spirit of NXT wherever she goes. It was genuine, and it showed how much she loves the fans, and how she’ll continue to do what she does best. It’s only a matter of time til we see what she’s capable of on Raw, and whoever holds the Women’s championship? They are simply .. not ready .. for Asuka!
(The second and third videos get quite loud)
Thanks for reading! I hope you managed to watch most of the videos. See you again soon .. as I bring you the second volume which will look in to Asuka’s career before signing with NXT. Is she overrated? I’ll answer it when we get to the end. Cheers for your time.
PS: The article would’ve been too big if I included her whole career, and my thoughts in one article. This is why I broke it up, and while I didn’t answer the question here, I hope this serves as a good starting point for fans who did not get to see her previous work before debuting on Raw.