The impending arrival of Asuka, and her undefeated streak in WWE, looms like a shadow over Monday Night Raw’s women’s division.
How will things play out after her official debut on WWE’s main roster? We’ll begin to find out at TLC on October 22.
That leaves us with plenty of time to speculate on potential matches. Asuka laid waste to NXT’s women’s division and many in NXT and on WWE’s main roster now have the won-loss records to prove it.
Worst One-On-One Records vs. Asuka In WWE
- Peyton Royce: 0-19
- Ember Moon: 0-17
- Alexa Bliss: 0-16
- Billie Kay: 0-10
- Sonya Deville/Daria Berenato: 0-10
- Emma: 0-9
- Nikki Cross: 0-8
- Nia Jax: 0-7
So, who’s left to provide some credible competition for Asuka? After days of exhaustive research, we compiled a list of the 10 most compelling opponents WWE can call upon to face Asuka. Just about all of them have either beaten Asuka or can honestly say that they’ve never lost to her.
10) FUNAKI: Believe it. The former SmackDown #1 announcer turned legit WWE Japanese language commentator has not only faced Asuka one-on-one, he beat her. It happened in Japan’s short-lived Smash promotion back on March 31, 2011, when Asuka was still known as Kana.
Interestingly, Tajiiri also holds a one-on-one victory over Kana in Smash. If WWE can get past its aversion to intergender wrestling, what better way could there be to give Asuka an impactful debut on the main roster than to have her annihilate a male opponent?
9) Becky Lynch: Unlike everyone else on this list, Becky Lynch has a losing record one-on-one against Asuka. Their one and only meeting happened during a WWE tour of the Far East in February 2016.
It seems safe to say that almost no one stateside saw this match live, but it does leave Lynch outside the more tantalizing category of those who’ve never had a one-on-one match against Asuka.
8) Sara Amato: This is a long shot, but how can I resist when the woman formerly known as Sara Del Rey is currently receiving paychecks from WWE? When Del Rey defeated Kana at CHIKARA Klunk In Love on October 8, 2011 it was a coming-out party for Kana in North America.
It was also Del Rey’s second one-on-one win over Kana. Del Rey also beat Kana in Ultimo Dragon’s DragonDoor promotion in Chibi, Japan in July 2005. In all, these two have met three times, with the future Asuka winning just once. That’s right, she has a losing record against Del Rey. Again, this is a longshot, but it also may be our best chance at seeing Sara Del Rey perform in a WWE ring.
(WATCH: Wrestling Mayhem Show’s classic interview with Sara Del Rey)
7) Lana: I know what you’re thinking. This is absurd, but stay with me for a moment. I’m here to tell you that Lana – yes, Lana – is one of the few women in WWE that Asuka has faced, but never beaten. There’s one match involving these two in WWE history. It was a tag team match at an NXT live event in Cocoa Beach, Florida on May 27, 2016. Lana teamed with Nia Jax to defeat the team of Asuka and Daria Berenato (currently known as Sonya Deville). A win is a win. The rematch would probably be a massacre, but at least Lana has something unique to bring to the build-up.
6) Mercedes Martinez: Now, we’re getting into some prime candidates. Mercedes Martinez was a standout performer during the Mae Young Classic, reaching the semifinals before she was defeated by Shayna Baszler. She also has the distinction of holding a one-on-one victory over Asuka. Martinez defeated the woman then known as Kana at SHIMMER 46 on March 17, 2012.
Kana wasn’t unbeatable in SHIMMER, but she was far from a pushover. Her all-time one-on-one record in SHIMMER is 15-5.
5) Ruby Riot: This one was shocking to me. Asuka has never beaten Ruby Riot one-on-one. She never beat Heidi Lovelace either. In fact, these two have only met once one-on-one. It was at an NXT live event at the 2017 Download Festival in England where they fought to a no contest. Why? Because something happened during the match that severely busted open Ruby Riot’s head.
Hey, she didn’t lose! Not a bad feather in the cap of Ruby Riot. She remains in NXT for now, but it seems like only a matter of time before she arrives on the main roster.
4) Nikki Bella: Now, we’re getting into some big-time matches. It should come as no surprise that Asuka and Nikki Bella have never faced one another one-one-one. They did team up for an eight-woman tag match at a WWE live event at Madison Square Garden on March 12.
It’s not clear if Nikki Bella will ever wrestler again, but she’s been well-protected over recent years. Her status on-camera and behind the scenes makes her a real threat to Asuka’s undefeated streak.
3) Sasha Banks: Another fresh one-on-one opponent for Asuka. They did team up for a series of six-women tag matches during WWE’s tour of Asia in late June and early July.
As one of the key figures in WWE’s Women’s Revolution, Banks brings plenty of credibility into a match against Asuka.
2) Paige: Despite all the events surrounding Paige over the past couple years, she remains under contract with WWE and recently visited the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
WWE’s promotion of Paige’s visit suggests that an on-air return is possible, and the timing may be ideal for Paige. She and Asuka have never crossed paths in the ring – not even during a tag team match. Paige also holds a unique place in history as the first NXT Women’s Champion, and like Asuka, she was never beaten for the title.
1) Charlotte: This is the big one. While never being portrayed as a division killer on the level of Asuka, Charlotte has managed to maintain an air of superiority that has put her into the discussion of a possible opponent for Ronda Rousey in WWE. Charlotte and Asuka have never met in the ring, not even during a tag team match. They are probably the two most accomplished women in WWE over the past few years. This is a WrestleMania worthy dream match so obvious it even made it onto our Mayhem Mania card earlier this year.