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Cup of coffee in the big time: RIP Asuka’s killer persona

WWE.com

When Asuka lost to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 34, a lot of people were bothered by the death of “the streak.”

I was fine with it. A superstar has to have the ability to still seem relevant even when they pick up a loss.

Then Asuka picked up a few losses to Carmella.

Again, I tried to tell myself it wasn’t a sign they simply didn’t know what to do with Asuka, but rather they were telling Carmella’s story and it had to have a long-term payoff.

But since her second loss to Carmella at the July 15 Extreme Rules pay-per-view (PPV), Asuka has been MIA, with her only televised match a win over Billie Kay. Then, last week, we saw Asuka return to help Naomi, which became this last night:

I could talk about the fact WWE falls back on the same “jokes” for Japanese wrestlers for a few paragraphs.

But instead, let’s mourn the official death of Asuka the Killer.

It’s not that they can’t pull that card or even have her continue to wrestle as she always had. But once you blow up the mystique, you don’t get it back.

And I am not arguing against performers having multiple gears to shift to. Austin, Rock, Angle, Guerrero, the list goes on of performers who went against type — or leaned heavy into stereotypes to the point of becoming effective parody — and gained much in their careers.

But WWE fans never really got the chance to bond with main roster Asuka before she became Naomi’s goofy friend to take on the IIconics.

For months I tried convincing myself it was ok Asuka was a bit player in everyone else’s story. Last night, my optimism died.

Halfway through the week, here’s a cool thing: