Asuka (c) versus Mandy Rose
SmackDown Women’s Championship
Asuka is going to face Mandy Rose at Fastlane for the championship. Yes, you read that correctly.
The road to Fastlane
Not that you would know it from the way WWE creative has treated her, but Asuka is the SmackDown women’s champion. Since tapping out Becky in a controversial finish at the Royal Rumble the champ has been virtually MIA.
The big argument swirling around the Twitterverse as to why WWE allowed Asuka to win clean over our beloved Man was that it was the beginning of Asuka’s redemption. She once was the most feared competitor in the women’s division, but after losing to Charlotte at last year’s Mania, she became at best an afterthought, at worse a joke. This epic win over Becky was supposed to be her redemption! And it could’ve worked too...except that WWE apparently can’t write two cohesive women’s story lines simultaneously.
Because they couldn’t figure out what to do with her, they just kept her off TV. We went weeks without seeing the champ (aside from a few recycled hype packages). Asuka’s epic redemption was no where to be found.
To be fair to WWE (not really sure why I would, but I’m feeling charitable), they were in a bit of a tough spot. Becky and Charlotte - both competitors * technically * on the SmackDown roster - are embroiled in a convoluted story line on Raw and since SD Live’s top to stars are not there just who was Asuka supposed to face? Most of the women had been focused on tag team wrestling (rightly so) and it seemed like WWE wasn’t prepared to push their NXT newbies quite yet.
Personally, instead of keeping her off TV completely I think they should have fed her the roster to dominate. Have some brutal matches, rebuild her cred and have one of them almost win. The “almost” could have easily turned into the #1 contender and the woman she was to face at Mania.
Instead they brought Asuka back and let Mandy flippin’ Rose roll her up for a W.
Let me repeat that, Asuka tapped out Becky Lynch - the hottest thing in current WWE - only to randomly lose to Mandy Rose a month later.
<Insert White Guy Blinking Meme >
Obviously, this Sunday Asuka is going to retain her championship. Now, I don’t normally advocate for 30 second women’s matches, but I’d like to see Asuka DECIMATE Mandy to make up for that weak ass roll up.
My guess is she is going to quickly put away Mandy and immediately have to deal with Lacey Evans. Sure, WWE might not want to push their NXT women like they are pushing some of the men (ahem, Aleister Black & Ricochet are undefeated on the main roster), but something has to come from all the Lacey Evans random catwalk performances. And since Asuka is theoretically going to have a match at WrestleMania, an NXT performer makes a lot if sense as they are trying to rebuild the division. Sadly, it seems Vince loves all American blondes over mini psychotic Scots.
So that’s it. This is a match that is happening. But you know what? I’m just glad that Asuka is going to be on the PPV considering how they have treated her over the past month. Small miracles.
Who will win?
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