Superstar Stock Market: Undefeated Asuka Ready for Main Roster? | Smark Out Moment

Superstar Stock Market: Undefeated Asuka Ready for Main Roster?

Posted by Wes Keefer Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Thanks to some generous investors, Superstar Stock Market is back! This is the series where Smark Out Moment's resident financial advisor guides you on the future of the WWE's upcoming talent. Examining details from booking to backstage, ring skills to crowd reaction, we analyze if a superstar is worth investing in, or if they'll leave you in emotional debt.

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The subject of this article is the international sensation and current NXT women's champion Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow has been the top female in NXT since coming to WWE at the end of 2015. She has since won the NXT Women's Championship and has even beaten Goldberg's undefeated streak. Although NXT's female roster is quite impressive and Asuka has run through them all up to this point, can she keep her streak going once she makes the leap to either Raw or SmackDown?

Background:


Asuka may still be fresh in WWE, but she is no rookie in wrestling. Real name Kanako Urai and born September 26, 1981 in Osaka, Japan, she started out as most superstars: a fan. Originally a graphic designer, she was inspired by fellow international talent such as Akira Maeda, Minoru Suzuki, and Keiji Mutoh. Her original ring name was Kana and debuted in 2004 for an all-female promotion AtoZ. She retired in 2006 due to chronic nephritis and came back in 2007 as a freelancer. She bounced around international promotions such as Smash, Pro Wrestling Wave, JWP Joshi Puroresu, and Wrestling New Classic. In 2015, WWE saw Urai as an international star that could bring new culture and talent to the roster.

Intro to nxt

The Last 12 Months...


Asuka has dominated the scene in NXT for the last year. She has been the reigning NXT Women's Champion for over 419 days. While she is bound to get the bump up to the main roster soon, Asuka's run in NXT will not be soon forgotten.

Funny face champ

It was just over a year ago today actually that Asuka defeated Bayley for the NXT Women's Championship (Bayley was getting bumped up to the main roster soon). Her feud was Bayley was the perfect fairwell for Bayley and the perfect introduction of Asuka to NXT. Once Bayley moved on, Asuka was turned as a heel, which she has thrived as since then.

In February of 2017, Asuka became the longest reigning single champion in NXT. She has defended her title nearly ten times successfully and has been victorious in everything thrown at her. Most recently, she has been in a feud with five of NXT's newest additions: Peyton Royce, Nikki Cross, Ruby Riot, Ember Moon, and Billie Kay. Her last two defenses were in Triple Threat Matches with Cross and Riot. So far, Asuka has proven that no one on the roster can compete at her level.

Impact:


If Asuka would decide today that she no longer wants to wrestle for WWE, her legacy would remain long after she is gone. There hasn't been an international superstar in WWE that has been as successful as Asuka in quite some time; male or female. Being the longest reigning holder of the NXT Women's Championship and breaking Goldberg's undefeated record is already an impressive resume.

beating goldberg streak

Asuka's current stance in NXT is that she feels no one on the roster is ready to face her for her title. She hasn't lost via pin or submission since debuting and is becoming the one person every other female in NXT is focusing on. She has helped put over new talents while putting herself over as well and that is what WWE looks for in the next big star.

Win-Loss Record (NXT TV tapings and TakeOver events since October 7, 2015 debut)


23 Wins — 1 Loss — 2 Draws

NXT TakeOver Results:


NXT TakeOver: Respect - defeated Dana Brooke (Submission, 3,25*)

NXT TakeOver: London - defeated Emma (Pin, 4*)

NXT TakeOver: Dallas - defeated Bayley (NXT Women's Championship, Submission, 3.75*)

NXT TakeOver: The End - defeated Nia Jax (NXT Women's Championship, Pin, 2.75*)

NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II - defeated Bayley (NXT Women's Championship, Pin, 4*)

NXT TakeOver: Toronto - defeated Mickie James (NXT Women's Championship, Submission, 3.5*)

NXT TakeOver: San Antonio - defeated Billie Kay, Nikki Cross, and Peyton Royce (NXT Women's Championship, Pin, 2.25*)

NXT TakeOver: Orlando - defeated Ember Moon (NXT Women's Championship, Pin, 4.25*)

NXT TakeOver: Chicago - defeated Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot (NXT Women's Championship, Pin, 3.5*)

Gimmick Potential & Look:


In the ring, Asuka is representing her Japanese heritage as a proud international wrestler. Upon her initial arrival to NXT, she was immediately greeted with open arms by the WWE Universe (as most

popular indie stars are when they arrive to WWE). She played the babyface newcomer against heels such as Nia Jax and Nikki Cross. Her English is much better than most international superstars, but her promos and speaking roles are usual short. However, she still delivers with what little mic time she gives. As her undefeated streak continues, Asuka has seemingly started to evolve. The fans are still behind her, but her attitude and cockiness has her starting to become a heel. It will be interesting as to how Asuka is portrayed once she moves to the main roster.


Signature Moves & Ring Work:

Asuka look
You do not become NXT's top female competitor, the longest reigning NXT Women's Championship holder, and the third highest ranked female wrestler in the world by being mediocre in the ring. Asuka is a veteran, having wrestled for over 12 years now. She is most likely the best female submission specialist in WWE right now. The Asuka Lock has won her many matches, including her NXT Women's Championship. She has also mastered the ankle lock and flying crossarm bar. She is no slouch as a brawler either, having brawled with Nia Jax in the past and having a killer spin kick as well. She may not be the biggest, but she sure does have the speed and power to keep up with the likes of Jax. Hands down, Asuka has some of the best ringwork in WWE right now, male or female.


Mic Skills & Charisma:


Asuka has been able to hold her own on a mic thus far, even though she is a woman of few words. She is a master compared to the likes of The Great Khali. However, she isn't on the same level as Hideo Itami either. Nonetheless, Asuka has proven with her promos that the few words that she does say packs quite a punch. She is over quite well with the WWE Universe, whether she speaks at all or not. While her ringwork is quite impressive, her mic skills still lack behind.

little words

She is 35 and most wrestlers who are in NXT at the age of 35 probably won't be looked at as a long-term prospect for the main roster. Her mic skills will end up hurting her credibility if she was to be bumped up to the main roster, but she doesn't have to be. She is thriving in NXT and while a run on Raw or SmackDown would be awesome, she can stay in NXT and do just fine.

Championship Credentials:


As said before, Asuka does not need a good run on the main roster to become successful. Holding the NXT Women's Championship is doing that for her. She is the longest reigning titleholder since the belt first debuted and she doesn't show signs of giving it up anytime soon. Ever since winning the belt from Bayley upon her call-up to the big leagues, Asuka has not looked back, getting better and better as the champ each week. While this is her only title run in WWE, it is quite a memorable one thus far.

The NXT Women's Championship is probably the most prestigious belt in all of NXT. From Charlotte to Paige to Sasha Banks and Bayley, even women to win the belt has gone on to dominate NXT and become one of the best female talents in WWE today.


Highest Peak:


TakeOver: Dallas (4/1/2016)- Asuka's reign as champ begins

The build up to this match was beneficial to both women. Bayley was rumored to be getting the push up to the main roster and was due to pass the torch. Asuka was quickly running her way up the ladder and becoming quite the prospect. Both women were babyfaces who were skyrocketing to the top, yet this match worked out in the end. Bayley lost her title by passing out from the Asuka Lock, but she never tapped so it helped keep her looking strong. Asuka ended up being the new champion, which has been very successful for her. She has since become the longest reigning champion.

Asuka reign begins

Lowest Valley:


TakeOver: The End (6/8/2016) - Bringing down the giant

Before moving on here, it needs to be said that Asuka hasn't necessarily hit a low point yet in her WWE career. Ever since debuting, her stock just keeps rising after every match. If there was to be a low point at this point in her career, it would be her title defense against Nia Jax at TakeOver: The End. Asuka did win the match, but it was the most vulnerable she has looked. Jax dominated her, literally throwing her around the ring. It was the closest she came to losing in a long time.

Nia Jax dominates asuka

Advantages:


  • Over well with WWE Universe, as a heel or a face
  • International presence
  • Inspirational character
  • Excellent in-ring skills
  • WWE backs her up and believes in her

Disadvantages:


  • Minimal mic work/skills
  • 35 years old already
  • May have already reached her ceiling in WWE

Conclusion:


The conclusion is that Asuka is one of the most passionate and talented wrestlers on the roster right now. WWE obviously has trust in her, as do the fans. The issue is that her mic skills do not match the level of her in-ring abilities and the fact that she is already 35. She may reached her ceiling in NXT, but that does not mean that she is done for. Whenever her streak does end, she will either be called-up for a shorter run on the main roster spot and can have some compelling storylines. There is also the possibility that she stays in NXT to draw the crowd in.

Stock Advisement: Future NXT Hall of Famer (if there was one). She will at least be a major showcase in NXT for a long run, if not called up to the main roster. Asuka can help take NXT to the next step. She is showing her age, but can help put over new talent when the time comes.

Undefeated champ

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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: WES KEEFER

Wes Keefer is a student studying sports journalism. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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