How bad does Becky Lynch want a match with Asuka? She not only staked the Raw Women’s Championship on it, but in many ways, her reputation and her future as well.

As Lynch revealed on Raw, she was so hellbent on getting a one-on-one match with The Empress of Tomorrow — the last remaining Superstar to hold an unanswered win over Lynch since her 2018 reinvention — that she refused to even negotiate her upcoming contract unless the bout was sanctioned. The hardball tactic got The Man her match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but here’s where the uncertainty begins.

More than anyone else Lynch has faced, Asuka seems to hold a space in the Irishwoman’s typically impenetrable head. Becky never seems quite as flustered as when she’s in the ring with the Japanese striker, as evidenced by the fact that Asuka simply keeps winning. Most recently, Asuka and her tag team partner Kairi Sane retained the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles against Lynch & Charlotte Flair in a brutal TLC Match, but there have been other instances of one-upsmanship as well on the part of Asuka over these last couple of months.

It got to the point that Asuka was confident enough to utter the phrase “Asuka Two Belts” in English when The Man made it clear she wanted some, a clear indicator that at least one of these Superstars is confident in the outcome, and it’s not the one it usually is. So, as Becky prepares to wager her coin, her pride, and the last remaining piece of the history she made at WrestleMania 35, she walks into Royal Rumble, for the first time in a long time, with everything to lose. Usually, that’s just the way she likes it. But as has been made clear, there’s nothing usual about this.

Tune in to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Sunday, Jan. 26, at 7 ET/4 PT, streaming live on the award-winning WWE Network.

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How bad does Becky Lynch want a match with Asuka? She not only staked the Raw Women’s Championship on it, but in many ways, her reputation and her future as well.

As Lynch revealed on Raw, she was so hellbent on getting a one-on-one match with The Empress of Tomorrow — the last remaining Superstar to hold an unanswered win over Lynch since her 2018 reinvention — that she refused to even negotiate her upcoming contract unless the bout was sanctioned. The hardball tactic got The Man her match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but here’s where the uncertainty begins.

More than anyone else Lynch has faced, Asuka seems to hold a space in the Irishwoman’s typically impenetrable head. Becky never seems quite as flustered as when she’s in the ring with the Japanese striker, as evidenced by the fact that Asuka simply keeps winning. Most recently, Asuka and her tag team partner Kairi Sane retained the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles against Lynch & Charlotte Flair in a brutal TLC Match, but there have been other instances of one-upsmanship as well on the part of Asuka over these last couple of months.

It got to the point that Asuka was confident enough to utter the phrase “Asuka Two Belts” in English when The Man made it clear she wanted some, a clear indicator that at least one of these Superstars is confident in the outcome, and it’s not the one it usually is. So, as Becky prepares to wager her coin, her pride, and the last remaining piece of the history she made at WrestleMania 35, she walks into Royal Rumble, for the first time in a long time, with everything to lose. Usually, that’s just the way she likes it. But as has been made clear, there’s nothing usual about this.

Tune in to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Sunday, Jan. 26, at 7 ET/4 PT, streaming live on the award-winning WWE Network.