5 dream matches for Asuka
After beating quite literally everyone in WWE NXT (and at least one Superstar who wasn’t), Asuka has bid farewell to Full Sail, relinquishing her NXT Women’s Championship and heading to Raw or SmackDown LIVE with an unprecedented undefeated record to her name. Once The Empress of Tomorrow arrives on Team Red or Blue, there’s no shortage of Superstars who’ll be willing to tango. Still, as for now, where she’ll end up and whom she’ll face is a matter of pure speculation. That’s where we come in. Here are WWE.com’s five dream opponents for Asuka.
The Queen rules SmackDown LIVE these days, but the undefeated Empress of Tomorrow is ascending, making a dream bout between Charlotte Flair and Asuka something the WWE Universe needs to see very soon.
The second-generation Charlotte — armed with a formidable arsenal of strikes and submission holds — could counter the unpredictable offense that led Asuka to an unprecedented 510-day NXT Women’s Championship reign. Charlotte, however, held the Raw Women’s Title four times for a combined 246 days, more than anyone else in Team Red’s competitive Women’s division. If Asuka comes for Charlotte’s crown, The Queen will be ready (and so will we). — JAMES WORTMAN
Few Superstars match up better with The Empress of Tomorrow than SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya. The veteran Superstar has three generations of grappling knowledge at her disposal, which could allow her to keep Asuka grounded and unable to land her devastating strikes. Plus, the thought of a battle pitting two of sports-entertainment’s most revered (and feared) submission holds — the Sharpshooter and the Asuka Lock — should have the WWE Universe begging Daniel Bryan to bring Asuka to SmackDown LIVE. — BOBBY MELOK
Unique among all these prospective matches is the fact that this one isn’t entirely based on conjecture. Granted, Asuka and Becky Lynch have never locked up in earnest, but The Empress of Tomorrow totally jacked the Dis-arm-her in what would turn out to be her last NXT match, locking the move in on Ember Moon while grinning maniacally at someone in the crowd that the camera never caught.
A quick Twitter search, however, will reveal Becky Lynch, who was in the front row, as the recipient of Asuka’s mean-mug. The affronted former SmackDown Women’s Champion all but dared the then-NXT Women’s Champion to fight with the “come-at-me-bro” gesture Lynch has made her own. Ask, and you might yet receive. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
Like Asuka, Sasha Banks has swagger for days, boasts a versatile attack and isn’t afraid to scrap and get down and dirty when the situation calls for it. You can almost picture the intense opening-bell scene, whenever it happens, with The Empress of Tomorrow flashing her knowing grin and the ever-plucky Boss begging her to bring it on.
Don’t forget that Sasha was among the first to welcome Asuka to WWE two years ago, tweeting a photo with the newly arrived Empress and using the hashtag #StrongStyleEdges. Something tells us The Boss would like to see this match happen as much as we do. — JOHN CLAPP
Alexa Bliss possesses something that the likes of a Sasha Banks or a Charlotte do not — the mind game factor. The Raw Women’s Champion has become an expert craftswoman at demoralizing her opponent long before the bell rings. Just look at what she did to Bayley last spring as proof positive. Asuka may hold the experience and strength advantages (and arguably a few more skills that give her the upper hand), but Bliss could have The Empress of Tomorrow doing the one thing she never has: doubting herself. — RYAN PAPPOLLA