We still have to get to the actual showing-up-live-on-camera part, but heading into Asuka’s main roster debut this Sunday, Oct. 22 at TLC, WWE has been doing a bang up job getting fans excited for The Empress of Tomorrow.
Not that it should take much. The Japanese Superstar received Shield-like booking in NXT, with the longest title reign in the brand’s history and an undefeated streak put over by Goldberg, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and others. But not everyone who watches Raw subscribes to WWE Network and/or pulls up its Wednesday night offering on a regular basis, so introductions were in order.
Starting with shorter videos built around quotes from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War to the longer hype piece which aired last night (Oct. 16) on Raw, the company’s creative and production teams have done an amazing job with those. My favorite part is how they leave in Asuka’s victims cries and the sound of her strikes, even amplifying those noises above the music. There are plenty of images which establish her scary/sexy charm, too.
This groundwork is important, too, because mystique is a huge part of the gimmick - especially since Asuka’s English (while improving) doesn’t lend itself to the kind of talking segments main roster WWE is usually built around.
So we’ll see how it goes. They’ve chosen an opponent she’s familiar with in Emma, even if they seem to be glossing over the number of times The Empress laid out the Aussie in NXT (continuity between Developmental and the bigger shows has always been... malleable).
And Asuka may not be a great promo, but she knows how to get her character over with a glance, a smirk or a Tweet:
I just stood there and watched the girls fight— ASUKA / 明日華 (@WWEAsuka) October 17, 2017
Easy... Very easy...
Piece of cake
Chuckle chuckle Chuckle chuckle https://t.co/qcqCsiSJYX
Is the greater WWE Universe ready for Asuka?
We’ll start finding out this weekend. But so far, credit to WWE for doing a great job getting fans excited.