Now, this quote is from a couple different answers Asuka gave on an international media call to promote Extreme Rules and WWE’s celebration of the anniversary of their Women’s Evolution. The questions and her response were translated by Funaki, and it’s entirely possible something was lost in the process.
Still, I think her point is valid.
“[My] coming to WWE totally changed the whole women’s division. [I’m] so proud of that... any other women’s wrestlers were kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s coming, so we have to change.”
When Asuka signed with WWE in 2015 after a decade working internationally as Kana, she was considered one of the best pro wrestlers in the world. It sent a sign that what had started to happen in NXT wasn’t an aberration, but could actually mean the company would move away from treating its women’s division as a salacious way to kill time between men’s matches.
That she first appeared on camera the night Sasha Banks & Bayley electrified the wrestling world at TakeOver: Brooklyn was a nice bit of symbolism, too.
Let us know how much you think Asuka’s arrival changed the game in the comments below, and be sure to join us Sunday night when she defends her Raw Women’s title against Banks at Extreme Rules!