Tuesday, January 21, 2020

They’ve buried her again you hear everyone cry from every podcast and social media platform after Charlotte had relieved Asuka of her SmackDown Championship. 

Why are they always burying her? 

Why does she always lose?

Asuka should never lose!

Just some of the questions and comments I’ve seen on social media. But I’m here to play Devils advocate and ask another question has Asuka really been buried on the main roster? Let’s take a look…..

After been brought up to the main roster Asuka picked up wins against the likes of Emma and Nia Jax continuing her winning streak from NXT which the likes of Michael Cole and Corey Graves would put over Strongly on commentary. In January Asuka was given the huge honour of been booked to win the first ever women’s Royal Rumble, something that will be talked about for decades to come.

That victory would also guarantee Asuka a shot at a women’s title of her choosing either Raw or SDL. In storyline Asuka would challenge Charlotte for the SDL championship setting up a huge match at WrestleMania 34, so far so good. Now we get to where things started to go wrong. In what was touted as one of the matches of the night Charlotte defeated Asuka cleanly and by submission. Now should Asuka have lost this bout? many people believe she shouldn’t have. But this writer disagrees, what better stage and competitor to lose your first match to. I mean everyone has to lose at some point especially in a world where results are predetermined and even more so if championships are involved. The problem was how she lost however, tapping out to the figure eight far too quickly especially considering Charlotte hadn’t even worked on Asukas legs during the match. Maybe Asuka could of been booked to pass out from the pain rather than submit keeping her strong and “protecting” her to a point. 

So while the lose wasn’t ideal it still doesn’t constitute a burial in my book. 

Asuka continued to pick up wins on television until been announced as challenger for New SDL Champion Carmella. Yes Asuka would loose these matches but only due to outside interference and cheating. Though it can be argued the lose at Money in the Bank made Asuka look stupid as she stopped and stared at James Ellsworth dressed in one of her robes for a good thirty seconds…

Asuka would be taken off TV for a while before teaming with Naomi in a largely uninspired pairing. Admittedly this was a dark period for Asuka as it looked as if she wouldn’t get back into the title picture for a long long time. 

But then came the rise of The Man and that punch by Nia Jax, taken out of her hotly anticipated match against Ronda Rousey Becky Lynch was asked to pick a replacement. All the women from SmackDown stood in the ring while Becky teased who she would pick, the crowd reacting loudest for Asuka. Although Becky picked Charlotte in the end Vince McMahon was paying attention and was said to be pleasantly surprised by Asuka’s crowd reaction. In fact Vince was so impressed he even changed plans for the following PPV, inserting Asuka into the main event of TLC. Where in a triple threat TLC match Asuka would face Charlotte Flair and the companies biggest star Becky Lynch. 

Asuka would even be booked to win the match and become the New SDL Champion arguably winning the hottest Championship in the company at that point in time. At the following PPV Royal Rumble Asuka would tap out Becky Lynch defeating WWE’s hottest star clean as a whistle in the middle of the ring. But it was from here things started to go wrong once again. With both Charlotte and Becky feuding with Ronda over at Raw this left SmackDown live thin on the ground on credible challengers for Asuka and her title.

Not wanting to book their champion in pointless throw away matches they kept her off TV while they came up with a plan. Unfortunately their plan wasn’t great, Asuka was brought back to TV to lose to Mandy Rose in a non championship match, It should be noted that Asuka only lost due to distractions made by Sonya DeVile and she got her revenge by easily dispatching Rose at Fastlane. Though far from a burial it wasn’t an ideal situation Rose was far from ready to be challenging Asuka and should not of been beating her in any situation. 

Then came one of the biggest talking points in the pre Wrestlemania Build up as just ten days before the event Asuka dropped the SDL title to Charlotte in an impromptu match. Asuka had been “buried” yet again. The word from inside WWE is that Asuka wasn’t the problem they just didn’t have a viable WM opponent ready for her. (A problem of WWE’s own making and covered in another article.) So instead of having the Championship on the sidelines or in a Nothing bout they transitioned it to Charlotte so it could be inserted into the main event which would become an All or Nothing match for both the Raw and SDL Titles. 

So let’s review: Asuka won the first ever women’s  Royal Rumble, had a high profile match at Wrestlemania, won the SmackDown live women’s championship when it was the hottest title going, defeated the company’s top star clean and via tap out, has only lost cleanly to Charlotte Flair in one on one competition and still remains one of the companies hottest stars today. So while at times her booking has been far from ideal I think tales of her burial have been grossly premature, but let’s see what the future brings….

Head writer for Rope Break magazine. @Carlos_Fire89

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