Asuka didn’t walk away with any Slammys, and there have been long stretches of the year where it seemed WWE creative forgot about her (or at least forgot she was the Raw Women’s champion).
But most of us saw the fact she was picked to follow-up Becky Lynch’s historic reign as a sign of how they company saw the 39 year old Japanese Superstar. This list of which wrestlers worked the most matches in 2020 confirms that.
Using data from Cagematch, redditor omgitzjay28 posted the Top 10. There’s a few surprising names on here, but #1 isn’t one of them:
1. Asuka - 64 matches
2. Angel Garza - 58 matches
3. Ricochet - 55 matches
4. Drew McIntyre - 54 matches
5. Seth Rollins - 53 matches
6. (tie) Bayley - 52 matches
6. (tie) Bobby Lashley - 52 matches
6. (tie) The Miz - 52 matches
9. Keith Lee - 51 matches
10. King Corbin - 49 matches
It was a year like none other, to be sure. Without house shows for nine-and-a-half months, these totals are lower than usual. Kofi Kingston topped the same list in 2019 with 140. Without non-televised live events, most only had one shot per week for a match. Even with “Wild Card Rules” and other brand-hopping loopholes, there were 8 - 10 opportunities per month max.
This says to me that while Vince McMahon may not always know exactly what to do with Asuka, he & his team know to put her to work. In a year with so much uncertainty, she was someone he could rely on to hold together the women’s division on their flagship brand.
And look, a lot of us may not be crazy about how Asuka was booked this year - or for most of her WWE career. But she won roughly 60% of her 2020 matches, with most of the losses coming pre-pandemic and on house shows. She’s cementing her legacy as one of the most important women in the history of pro wrestling, and the company’s assisted in building that legacy more often than they’ve hindered it.
Whatever the circumstances, her being the first woman to work more matches than anyone else is in a calendar year is another bullet point on her Hall of Fame resumé.