Booking Asuka's Raw Path of Destruction to WrestleMania 34 | Smark Out Moment

Booking Asuka's Raw Path of Destruction to WrestleMania 34

Posted by Callum Wiggins Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Kana Empress of Tomorrow Women's Wrestling Superstar ChampionIn case you are unaware, there is a Women's Revolution taking place in WWE right now. Not that you would be unaware, because the company has been beating fans over the head with that phrase for years now, whether it was justified or not.

Despite the empty branding and rhetoric of the 'Women's Revolution', there is no denying that 2017 has witnessed something of a turning point for its female superstars. This year had the first Women's Money in the Bank ladder match, the rise of Alexa Bliss as a figurehead on both Raw and SmackDown Live, and the heralded Mae Young Classic, won by Kairi Sane.

And the future is looking just as bright, with rumors that there will be a Women's Royal Rumble match in January, and a dream match between WWE's and UFC's versions of the Four Horsewomen. I am convinced that on current trajectory, we will have a women's exclusive wrestling show within the next two years.

However, the most highly anticipated event in the Women's Revolution so far will be taking place at TLC, when Asuka makes her debut on the main roster. The undefeated Empress of Tomorrow and former NXT Women's Champion has been drafted to the Raw brand, and will be competing against Emma at TLC.

Those who are keen viewers of WWE's developmental territory will know how important this moment could be if treated correctly. Asuka was arguably NXT's biggest star when she was forced to relinquish her championship to an injury, with her unbridled charisma, scary intensity and stellar ringwork making her a huge crowd favorite at Full Sail University and beyond.

Asuka's undefeated streak is already legendary, having surpassed Goldberg's record of matches without defeat. Along the way, she held the NXT Women's Championship for 523 days, and competed in excellent matches with the likes of Emma, Bayley, Mickie James, Nikki Cross and Ember Moon. The move to Raw opens up many more bouts for the 36-year-old grappler - Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss spring immediately to mind.

Yet, while the potential of Asuka to make a massive impression on WWE is certainly something to be excited about, the move to the main roster hits many with a feeling of dread. Put it this way - few that have graduated from NXT have experienced an upswing in their career when moved to the main roster. If Asuka becomes another Apollo Crews, Bo Dallas or Bayley, it would be a travesty.

So, this will require some forward-thinking in terms of booking Asuka. Above all else, her unbeaten streak should remain intact until the time is right and a right opponent is found. Most will understand how valuable this streak is, and it can't be wasted on some pointless match on Raw in their traditional 50-50 booking. Even if she just decimates jobbers on TV, Asuka needs to remain as dominant on Raw as she was in NXT.

In that vein, I have taken the liberty of fantasy booking Asuka's rise on Raw between her TLC debut and WrestleMania 34. You are more than welcome to disagree (and please leave any alternatives in the comments below), but this is how I would protect this once-in-a-lifetime performer in her new home. WWE, try to do it better.

TLC - Emma

The starting point has already been determined, and personally this was the ideal scenario in my head. Emma makes perfect sense to be Asuka's first opponent.

Because, while most fans at TLC will be richly aware of Asuka's exploits in NXT, there will be others in the arena and at home who don't watch it, and so will be unaware of how good she really is. So, it is vital to set the tone well and give Asuka a match-up that gets her over effectively to new fans and lives up to the high standards of those who have followed every step of her WWE career. In this situation, I can't think of a better sparring partner than Emma.

Emma was Asuka's second PPV opponent in NXT, the two squaring off at NXT Takeover: London. This was unquestionably my favorite match of the night, as both Asuka and Emma performed outstandingly to tell an unpredictable story, with many close calls before an impactful finish. Emma helped make Asuka a star in that match, and she could be trusted to do so again at TLC.

In fairness, there are few strong alternatives. Alexa Bliss is already defending the Raw Women's Championship against Mickie James. Nia Jax is being primarily protected, and should be built up for a match with Asuka down the line. Alicia Fox is irrelevant, Summer Rae is inactive and Dana Brooke has disappeared. Emma is not only the best option - in these circumstances, she's the only option.

Survivor Series - Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown

Hopefully, Survivor Series 2017 follows last year's concept of Raw vs. SmackDown. It helped make the event feel meaningful again, and it allows a blockbuster card to be built without much creative thought. For the women's elimination tag, I would have Asuka, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss represent Raw, while Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi and Natalya are Team SmackDown.

Keeping this short and sweet, Asuka is sole survivor for Team Raw. Establish her dominance with a couple of eliminations, and present her as the force to be reckoned with on Raw.

Royal Rumble - Women's Royal Rumble Match

Building from her Survivor Series dominance, Asuka can continue to gain momentum on Raw in decisive victories over Dana Brooke, Alicia Fox, Mickie James and more. Then, at the Royal Rumble, we witness the first-ever Women's Royal Rumble Match, which has be rumored for some time now. 15 women compete from Raw and SmackDown, including some surprise appearances from the past or NXT, to determine a challenger at WrestleMania 34.

Now, I wouldn't go overboard by having Asuka enter No. 1 and outlast all opponents. But, I'd make her entrance into the match feel like a big deal - the other superstars stop fighting and turn their attention to her as she struts to the ring. Then, she wins, last eliminating someone impressive like a Charlotte or Nia Jax.

Fastlane - Nia Jax

The ending of the Royal Rumble could have a bearing on this match at Fastlane. Have Asuka eliminate Nia Jax single-handedly, making her the target of the Amazon's fury. With Alexa Bliss also close to Nia Jax in storyline, Bliss can try to coach her to destroy Asuka, meaning she doesn't have to face her at WrestleMania. In my mind, Bliss would be ducking any confrontation with Asuka between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.

Despite the power of Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss lurking at ringside pushing Asuka to her limits, she rallies to defeat Jax with several roundhouse kicks to the head. Bliss leaves looking terrified about what's in store for her on the Grandest Stage of Them All.

WrestleMania 34 - Alexa Bliss (Raw Women's Championship)

A one-on-one Women's Championship match at WrestleMania? I know, it sounds crazy, but it just might work. Alexa Bliss definitely deserves a marquee match at WrestleMania after the impact she's made in the last 18 months - her character work is arguably the best across the entire women's roster. So she'll get the big match she deserves here, but there isn't a chance she walks out victorious here.

While I wouldn't necessarily make this a squash match, I would have Asuka in control for the majority of it. Bliss starts out trying to run from Asuka or find a cheap way to win, but it doesn't work. Then, Asuka could miss a high-risk move and go crashing down, giving Bliss a gap to sneak some offense in. She beats Asuka down, becoming increasingly more confident with every passing moment. Use this time to inflate her ego as the self-proclaimed Goddess of WWE.

Unbelievably cocky by this point, Alexa Bliss slaps Asuka in the face. From that mistake on, Bliss doesn't get another shot in. Asuka pummels her with kicks and punches, hip attacks and violent suplexes. Bliss takes every ounce of punishment and is forced to tap out to the Asuka Lock. The new champion is crowned and remains undefeated beyond her WrestleMania debut.

From that point on, you can start booking Asuka as a dominant babyface champion and line up the challengers. Alexa Bliss would have a rematch clause, Nia Jax could return for more, Natalya or Tamina Snuka could be drafted to Raw as a fresh opponent. However, I see the biggest money-making match being when Sasha Banks completes her long-awaited heel turn and uses that to springboard herself into the title picture. Only then could we be in a position where Asuka might suffer her first defeat…

So, there's how I would book the Empress of Tomorrow's rise on Raw between now and WrestleMania 34. Would you do it differently? Please leave your comments below on how you would cement Asuka's position on the red brand. Or, you can just let me know how awesome my ideas are and leave it at that. Either works for me!

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Callum Wiggins hails from Essex in the United Kingdom. He recently graduated from the University of York with a degree in History and has been a fan of professional wrestling since 2002. Outside of wrestling, he is also a fan of Arsenal FC and enjoys video games, darts, and Formula One. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter.


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