Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Asuka: The Empress of NXT

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Now that Asuka’s historic title reign has come to a close and it is only a matter of time until she makes her main roster debut, we thought we’d take a look back on her epic NXT career.

A 13-year veteran, Asuka appeared on the NXT scene in September 2015 and had her first match shortly after at NXT TakeOver: Respect against Dana Brooke. Her entrance felt huge, there was no denying she was an instant star. “Asuka’s gonna kill you” quickly became the go-to chant for The Empress, as she dominated the division and enchanted the crowd with her high-level skill, intensity, and charisma. We watched her perform and thought, “wow. this girl moves at a completely different speed than the rest of them.”

A couple TakeOvers later, in Dallas, Asuka was already in a championship match against Bayley and it was there, in front of thousands of fans chanting her name, that her legendary title run began.

Asuka makes her entrance before her match against Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II.
(Photo Credit:

Asuka is the best booked WWE talent in recent memory. Her character was always evolving to better suit her surroundings, which is something I think can be said for many of the all-time greatest wrestlers. She was built up to be unstoppable, with a streak surpassing both current and past NXT champions across every division. After the four horsewomen were called up and before ladies like Ember Moon and Nikki Cross stepped into the picture, Asuka carried the entire NXT women’s division on her back. And I feel that sometimes when a performer has that intense of a spotlight, they can get a little stale, but I honestly never grew tired of watching her.

As she slowly made the transition into heel-ish territory, her catchphrase became “nobody is ready for Asuka!” (which I can tell you I yelled along with her in my living room every time she said it) and I can’t think of anything more fitting for such a dominant character.

The next time we see Asuka, it will be in front of the main roster audience. Relinquishing the title rather than losing it in a farewell match makes her one of only a few NXT superstars in history to go out on top and I think it’s perfect for her. I have no doubt that she will take her undefeated streak to the main roster and turn the entire division on its head, just as she did for NXT.

What are your thoughts on Asuka? Let us know on Twitter, @TheRumbleRamble.

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Caitlin Cole
Co-Editor-in-Chief. Writer. Web Designer. Brains of the operation. Let me know if you're feeling my dad vibes right now.

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