We were Not Ready for Asuka

On a recent edition of Monday Night RAW, we saw Becky Lynch concede the RAW Women’s title to the 2020 Women’s Money in The Bank winner Asuka after announcing that she will take some time off due to her pregnancy.

Not only did this end the longest RAW Women’s title reign, but also made Asuka the second Women’s Grand Slam Champion. What makes Asuka’s Grand Slam unique is that fact that she didn’t just win the NXT, Raw and Smackdown Championships.

She has accomplished the rare feat of being a Royal Rumble Winner and a Money in The Bank Winner. No one else can say they have won every major achievement in the WWE.

Despite this achievement, there were times in her WWE run that felt like she would not have reached this point in her career. Let’s take a look back at her WWE run and see how she accomplished this feat.

NXT (2015-2018)

Upon arriving in NXT, Asuka became one of the most dominant superstars in the entire WWE roster.

Asuka dominated as NXT Women’s Champion (WWE YouTube Channel)

Her 510-day reign as NXT women’s champion remains one of the longest title reigns in the past two decades. She dominated competition at every turn, and only an injury would end her reign before setting sights on moving to the main roster.

Royal Rumble & Wrestlemania (2018)

Upon arriving to the main roster, she was able to show the same dominant form she had on NXT, going on an undefeated streak on the main roster and winning the 2018 Women’s Royal Rumble. The Rumble win was supposed to lead up to her crowning moment in Wrestlemania, but WWE had other plans, and looked to keep Charlotte Flair as their top star.

Asuka defeated Nikki Bella to win the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble.

Her Mania loss was big, as this not only ended her undefeated streak, but also somewhat hurt her dominant image. This led to people doubting if WWE will let her win a major title, or is the Rumble win her highest point.

It would take a while before Asuka got another decent shot at the title. She would go to Smackdown and face Carmella for the blue brand’s women’s title, and end up losing on two occasions.

TLC (2018)

Asuka’s inability to win a main roster title against beatable competition continued to hurt her imposing image. Despite those loses, things looked up. She was the last woman standing at Survivor Series 2018, and won a battle royal to challenge Charlotte and Becky Lynch in the first-ever Women’s TLC match.

Asuka won the Smackdown Women’s Championship in TLC 2018.

After a crazy turn of events, Asuka ended up climbing up the ladder and finally claiming her first main roster title. She was able to hold her title until she would lose to Charlotte Flair (again) in the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania 35. This denied her a chance to defend her title at the biggest show of the year. Things would take a turn soon after.

Kabuki Warriors (2019-Present)

After losing her Women’s title, Asuka teamed up with main roster newcomer Kairi Sane to form the Kabuki Warriors.

Asuka won the Women’s Tag Team Champisonhip with Kairi Sane

Asuka & Kairi were initally managed by Paige as a babyface team. The duo would later on take a heel persona. Asuka now used her own version of the mist as one of her moves, and began dominating the rest of the division.

The duo eventually won the Women’s tag team championship from Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss. They would become the longest reigning tag team champions, taking care of the competition effectively. Asuka would also get a shot at the RAW Women’s Championship, losing to Becky Lynch in the Royal Rumble.

After an unsuccessful second challenge, the Kabuki Warriors defended the Women’s Tag Team Championship at Wrestlemania 36, losing to Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss.

Money in The Bank (2020)

Although Asuka lost another title, she would have another shot by qualifying in the Women’s Money in The Bank. She would then beat Dana Brooke, Carmella, Lacey Evans, Nia Jax, and Shayna Baszler in Money in the Bank to win the briefcase.

Asuka won the 2020 Women’s Money in The Bank.

While you would expect Asuka to pounce on the opportunity to take the title, she didn’t need to. The Raw after MITB saw Becky Lynch drop the RAW Women’s Championship after announcing her pregnancy.

As we said earlier, this made Asuka the second Women’s Grand Slam Champion, and the only one to win the Royal Rumble and MITB.

Despite the questionable booking during her tenure, Asuka was able to carve out a good degree of success. In an era of misused and underutilized talent, Asuka somehow got a way to win a good amount of gold, while remaining one of WWE’s most solid performers.

This not only made her one of the most decorated women in wrestling, but arguably the most decorated Asian WWE superstar.

Overall, she might have had an up and down run with the WWE, but she was able to rise up and find ways to remain successful and competitive.

(Images are from WWE.com and the WWE YouTube Channel)

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