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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Winners & Losers: SmackDown 07.10.20

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Money in the Bank, Shocking Pregnancy Jumpstart’s Asuka’s Renewed Dominance in WWE

Since Asuka has made her way onto the main roster, the dominance she left in her wake at NXT would not last.  Her first WWE loss to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 34 would start a rollercoaster pattern. 

While she can add accolades such as the first Women’s Royal Rumble Winner, and has main evented a PPV (TLC), it seemed as if Asuka lost her way a little bit.

While she did win the Smackdown Women’s Championship for a short time, she was not granted a rematch clause.  Instances like this left fans starting to feel frustrated for the Empress of Tomorrow.

Asuka’s impact on the main roster wasn’t lost, however.  Asuka and tag team partner Kairi Sane became the longest reigning WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions through much of 2019 into the new year.  The two would terrorize any opponent that came their way.

Photo: WWE

There was a silver lining with their Championship reign. It was then that fans started seeing a more obnoxious side to Asuka and Sane.  Asuka has always had this silliness to her personality, and this time she is shining through.

Asuka has been experiencing a revival of sorts in the last couple of months.  She has been front and center on the microphone and in the ring.  What exactly is Asuka saying, after all?  It doesn’t matter what she is saying, all we know is that with her facial expressions it is entertaining and a light in this COVID-19 pandemic. 

Asuka’s talent in the ring doesn’t need to be discussed – her reputation from NXT precedes her.  With her performance at Money in the Bank on Sunday, Asuka came into Titan Towers with a game plan and succeeded in capturing the Women’s briefcase, essentially becoming Raw Women’s Champion.  More on her new reign in a moment. 

Photo: WWE

Asuka’s obnoxiousness was the key to throw the other female competitors off guard as she rode on the elevator towards the top floor.  With opponents in Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, and former MITB winner Carmella in the fold, Asuka played smart, and evaded her MITB competitors throughout the course of the match. 

Photo: WWE

There have been highs and lows for the Empress of Tomorrow, but with the shocking news of Becky Lynch’s pregnancy comes a new chapter for Asuka.  Lynch made the point on Monday that Asuka has taken her to her limits – that Asuka pretty much had her number in most of their meetings in the ring.  Lynch is right, and Asuka showed up to those matches when it mattered the most.  Now, Asuka can enjoy the payoff that is well deserved.

Asuka’s multiple reactions to the Championship and pregnancy news was the highlight of the segment.    Two groundbreaking announcements could only be more memorable with Asuka congratulating her rival.  With sweet moments aside, Asuka now knows it’s time for business.  With Baszler, Jax, and others eyeing the prize, Asuka knows the defenses of the Championship won’t come easy. 

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