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Mishal: Has NXT Lost Its Edge?

Mishal asks a very important question about WWE NXT: has it lost its edge? It’s a topic that needs to be explored.



Finn Balor WWE NXT Chairshot Edit

Mishal asks a very important question about WWE NXT: has it lost its edge? It’s a topic that needs to be explored.

A ‘brief’ recap.

Very few brands across the history of professional wrestling have managed to garner the praise, respect, quality talent & following that the modern-day brand known as NXT has since it’s reincarnation during the early 2010s in WWE.

Once upon a time, the brand of NXT was essentially a ‘reality television’ game show, shot in front of a live WWE audience on that given week that blended together the reality of wanting to be a WWE superstar with that very world to try and create something that fits into the category of shows like The Ultimate Fighter, where mentors try to drag out the best in their ‘pros’ or ‘rookies’. Like most expected, it accomplished very little. With the exception of a brilliant start to the Nexus vs WWE feud which lasted all of 5 minutes & the exposure of one of the company’s biggest current stars in Daniel Bryan, the initial NXT was a failure by all other measures.

It wasted its top talents, did nothing for the live crowd, reduced potentially immensely talented performers to competing in ‘obstacle courses’, added nothing of value once each season ended & was more or less a completely pointless venture once fans & those in charge lost interest in it.

However, that’s when Triple H came into the picture.

Since around 2012 the brand underwent substantial changes, being placed in the hands of WWE’s COO to take hold of and inject with newfound energy, passion & offer something alternative for the younger talent outside the ranks of FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) which garnered little to no exposure from most wrestling audiences. While its beginnings were certainly quiet compared to now, the brand introduced fans to something very different. Giving us the likes of Seth Rollins, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Big E, Bo Dallas, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Xavier Woods & a dozen others, it utilized many of the WWE talents being groomed for the main roster and produced a show that was about one thing; wrestling. It didn’t possess the spectacle of the main roster shows, the mainstream desires, the bigger names to draw huge audiences or worldwide appeal that could quite literally boost economies, it was all about wrestling’s roots & that changed the very nature of the company.

Instead of attempting to mimic the bigger brands surrounding them, NXT became its own thing entirely. It was about what the fans wanted & whom they fell behind, not what was ‘best for business’, as the company had so famously held up as their slogan for keeping many names down below the glass ceiling. This kind of product delivered energy, and a fanbase that instilled the passion in the likes of someone like myself for professional wrestling all over again, wrestling was cool for the first time in a very, very long time.

As the product grew, so did the NXT brands reach. Shows became larger in scale but still felt very contained & reserved, never straying away from what they were at their core, the fans & the squared circle. Newer talents came in from across the planet, many of whom we’d thought we’d likely never see with Finn Balor, Asuka, Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Bobby Roode, Drew McIntyre, Aleister Black, Matt Riddle, Ricochet, Ember Moon, Pete Dunne & too many others to name bringing a larger-than-life vibe to the brand that made this feel like the main roster product, but with booking & matches that catered to the interest of the paying audience first & foremost. It was almost surreal in a way, that a brand like this wasn’t just a wrestling fans dream but almost flawless, with every show receiving near-universal praise & always managing to give their audience something new to invest in.

It was (and for the most part, still is) an incredible time to be a fan of the business because even if what the WWE was doing on their headline shows such of RAW or SmackDown, NXT was the ideal counterbalance to your problems, generally offering solutions to a good chunk of the issues fans like myself had with the direction of their product. Despite it technically being under the WWE banner, the NXT brand felt very much detached from its actual ‘parent’ brand, embodying something that the main roster products could never realistically embrace due to the nature of the company & how it’s structured in the business world.

NXT was very much a wrestling fans biggest dream come true, but like any brand or company, it isn’t without slip-ups.

And as of late, something just doesn’t feel right to me.

In the midst of not just a pandemic that is shifting the entertainment business as a whole in a very different direction but a big creative change to the brand since late last year, the landscape of NXT looks a tad different. While it isn’t bad by any means, I wanted to look into why the NXT brand seems to have lost its ‘edge’ during these strange times we live in.

Familiar Faces

NXT’s decision to bring back some former main roster talents they’d lost over the last 3-4 years was at first an exciting decision for many people. Bringing back certain names can infuse a lot of nostalgia into the brand that would remind fans of former days before the brand became the phenomenon that it is, it could open the door to dozens of dream matches that fans have been clamoring for that the main roster likely wouldn’t satisfy & depending on the talents, gives some misused names a chance to re-establish themselves.

We’ve seen the likes of Finn Balor, Tyler Breeze, Fandango & most recently, Charlotte Flair make their returns to their original home of NXT and involve themselves with a plethora of different talent across the US version of NXT, as well as stars from the more recent UK branch of NXT which doesn’t always get the attention it deserves in an overcrowded marketplace. And while in theory, the idea sounds like something that could benefit talent in the long-run, I’m not sure it played out how we’d imagined.

Much of the flatness of this angle falls on external circumstances, whether that be the creative direction or the circumstances the company might have to operate under for the foreseeable future, but the results haven’t been up to the usual level of excitement that the brand gives off. Finn Balor had a decent little feud with Johnny Gargano which worked but ended in a manner that divided many fans, Charlotte Flair’s victory of Rhea Ripley at Wrestlemania added nothing of real value to the brand & any other remaining talents haven’t done anything to really justify their moves back ‘down’ from the main roster.

If anything this transfer of talent has resulted in the brand losing a slight bit of its own identity, based around newer talents from around the globe in search of a new chapter in their careers, and while the number of main roster stars returning has been minimal, can give off the vibe that a slight change of pace has been made to a product that was really hitting its stride.

Stagnant Storylines

In terms of writing, NXT isn’t really at its apex at this very moment.

There’s actually a lot happening on the brand; Gargano’s heel turn, Velveteen Dream chasing Adam Cole for the NXT Title, Charlotte Flair reigning supreme with her NXT Women’s Title, Karrion Kross (the former Killer Kross) eyeing Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle making the most out of the situation with his NXT Tag Team Titles & an on-going Cruiserweight Tournament to boot.

On paper, all of this sounds plentiful, yet the only thing of genuine intrigue is the debut of Karrion Kross. Most of NXT’s remaining angles just don’t have the spark behind them that we’ve come to expect. Gargano’s heel turn came off a mostly panned performance against Ciampa which started that angle off on the wrong foot, Flair’s reign just doesn’t bode as well as you’d think despite starting off on NXT & the tag team scene across WWE hasn’t exactly been bursting with life as of late as it is. Even the chase for the brand’s main titleholder in Adam Cole just isn’t clicking despite the potential of Velveteen Dream finally claiming the brands biggest prize being a potential outcome, which shocks me watching the product every week.

Obviously the business is in a weird place at the moment, and with certain stars being limited on availability it does place products in a precarious position, NXT, however, has a general track record of making the most of that situations in the past.

Whether this is a transition period into a brand new era for NXT or just a period that’s taking its toll on the business entirely, it’s fairly clear that the volume might need to be ramped up on storylines with some fans beginning to display disinterest.

Have the ‘higher-ups’ spoken?

While I personally drift away from this theory, addressing it is worth some merit since it hasn’t only be mentioned by fans but some ex-WWE talent as of late. The issue being that the products current move over to the USA Network last year has somewhat sucked the product of its appeal to fans compared to what it once was, which in my opinion is a bit of a stretch.

NXT’s product, in spite of some structural changes to its overall airtime & distribution, has continued feel like it’s very much catering to the fans it once was prior to being moved against AEW Dynamite on the very same evening of its airtime. USA Network has granted the show more airtime (2 hours as opposed to the previous 60-minute version of the show that aired on the network) but if anything, this has helped flesh out more talent than in the past and grant more exposure to a number of stars not just on a writing level but to a whole new, more broad audience. It’s involvement in the Survivor Series show last year made things all the more fascinating for fans of every WWE show & it has made the show feel much more significant, even more than it was when it was being streamed.

Obviously, certain decisions have been made to satisfy some heads on the television network but none of them has necessarily wrecked what the product is supposed to be at its core. Most gripes with the product fall on how it’s being handled on a creative front, which I addressed earlier. If anything the move to the USA Network has been a tremendous gain for the brand & talent involved to truly strut their stuff in front of the world. We get more matches on a weekly basis, new characters more frequently & faith that others aside from just the WWE want the world to see what NXT has to offer.

Blaming the ‘higher-ups’ is a constant thing in many communities, particularly wrestling ones, and for good reason. Seeing NXT manage to continue to be what it was created to is extremely satisfying to a fan like me though, as it gives faith that this is a product that won’t be trifled with in the way the very first incarnation of NXT was back in the day. If anything, let’s be happy what we have now isn’t near what it was back in 2010.


NXT isn’t at its peak right now, as myself and obviously a few others have aired throughout the media.  Most of its current gripes, however, fall on the shoulders of creative direction more than anything external to the product itself.

Having a platform like the USA Network is the least of the brand’s worries for the moment, and our concerns should lay where stories are being handled or aimed towards in the future. As the summer season has more or less began for the WWE it’s this transition period that concerns me the most, because the potential that the brand has on its hands right now isn’t reaching the levels of excitement I’m used to.

The current situation is a blend of a few things that have gotten us to this point, and while my flare for NXT isn’t as positive as I generally am, that doesn’t mean in any way that NXT won’t rebound from a small hiccup and knock it out of the park with what they do next.

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Greg DeMarco’s 2023 WWE SummerSlam Review

The biggest party of the summer comes to Detroit, when WWE SummerSlam 2023 delivers an action packed event that easily exceeds expectations.



Cody Lesnar SummerSlam

The biggest party of the summer comes to Detroit, when WWE SummerSlam 2023 delivers an action packed event that easily exceeds expectations.

WWE presents SummerSlam 2023 live from ford field in Detroit in front of over 59k fans–who provided an electric atmosphere. Overall the card featured either matches, many of them delivering at or above expectations.

Read on for my thoughts, and even some ratings!

How I am rating segments:

I am using “The Line of DeMarco-cation,” which is for entertainment. the line is if I was entertained. You can have three main results:

  • ABOVE the Line of DeMarco-cation
  • AT the Line of DeMarco-cation
  • BELOW the Line of DeMarco-cation

If necessary, i reserve the right to go WAY ABOVE or WAY BELOW. Significant segments can be rated. individual and overall ratings are totally subjective.

It’s simple: ENTERTAIN ME!

Logan Paul vs. Ricochet

  • Welcome to the biggest match of Ricochet’s career.
  • Samantha Irvin’s outfit matches Logan Paul, not Ricochet — SWERVE, BRO!
  • Ricochet is a star, and I love seeing him treated like one.
  • Rocket Mortgage is donating $5k for every move off the top rope? This match alone might accumulate half a million.
  • I know Logan Paul needs to catch a private jet to Dallas and that’s why this is on first, but this is the perfect opener.
  • If you didn’t know who Logan Paul was, you’d think he was just another member of the roster–and that’s the biggest compliment you can give to him. He’s a damn good heel, too.
  • Paul using Braun Strowman’s powerslam–will we get Logan vs Braun?
  • This might be the best match either have had in a LONG time.
  • Logan Paul just hit a Buckshot Lariat over the top rope and to the floor. Sorry Hangman.
  • I love that refs continue to have names – like former Greg DeMarco Show guest Eddie Orengo (as El Bandido Jr).
  • I’d love to know Ricochet’s powerlifting numbers. Dude is deceptively strong.
  • Logan Paul flew two-thirds of the way across the ring on the Springboard Froggy Splash
  • This match is spotty–yes–but watch and learn Young Bucks. They are strung together by psychology and it all makes sense,
  • LOVE that finish. Logan Paul wins (as expected), but Ricochet is protected.
  • Think about that – RICOCHET IS PROTECTED.
  • Hell of a match.

Winner: Logan Paul (pinfall brass knucks shot)

WAY ABOVE The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes

  • That video package–amazing. It likely telegraphed Cody’s win, but I don’t think many expect Cody to lose.
  • I love when people question Brock’s presence. Did you hear that pop?
  • Cody got a hell of a pop, too.
  • You can tell how much Brock Lesnar respects Cody Rhodes, as he opens up the arsenal for him.
  • I love that Brock simply stands center ring as the ref counts Cody out. Brock wants to win–doesn’t care how. That’s a little detail that shows how brilliant of a character Brock Lesnar is.
  • This is the fifth time Brock has gone for the count-out–and I love the psychology.
  • Now Brock does care how he wins–he wants to break Cody’s will.
  • Wait, is this Cody Rhodes’ mystery twin brother Cory Rhodes?
  • That top rope Cody Cutter was fantastic.
  • Not sure when Brock’s shorts got ripped, but it adds to this fight.
  • That’s what this is, a fight. And that is Brock Lesnar at his finest.
  • It might have been a happy accident, but Cody’s hand bouncing off the bottom rope before he finally grabs it to break the Kimura is another amazing little thing.
  • Brock is so slow and methodical, but snatches people up for the F5 in a flash. So good.
  • Cody Rhodes wins, after THREE Cross Rhodes. Good shit.
  • Interesting that the show of respect from Brock to Cody is considered Cody’s arrival.
  • Or maybe it’s just the arrival of “The American Nightmare.”
  • I will be very interested–as will all of you–to see what’s next for both men.

Winner: Cody Rhodes (pinfall, three Cross Rhodes)

WAY ABOVE The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

NOTE: Very interesting that Roman Reigns was featured in the PayBack promo, as well as Logan Paul. I wouldn’t expect either to be on that card.

Slim Jim SummerSlam Battle Royal

  • I have to admit, it just feels right to have Slim Jim back in my wrestling.
  • This better be good since it cost us Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus.
  • I hope Sheamus got a full entrance for the crowd.
  • Oh look, Omos still works here!
  • Chad Gable is so damn good.
  • Austin Theory is in this match? And didn’t get an entrance?
  • At WrestleMania 30, Big E was in the Andre The Royal Giant Memorial Battle Rumble, didn’t get an entrance, and didn’t even get to carry his Intercontinental Champion. And I don’t even think his elimination was mentioned by commentary (I’d have to go back and check).
  • Santos Escobar eliminating Austin Theory at least makes sense.
  • LA Knight barely breathes and the crowd gets ELECTRIC.
  • I haven’t made as many bullet points because this has actually been a really good battle royal!
  • I’d love to know who the agent was–fantastically done.

Winner: LA Knight (last eliminates Sheamus)

AT The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

MMA Rules Match – Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler

  • Some of the shots during the entrance make me want WWE to get rid of stages altogether, and stick with this type of entrance.
  • Also, it’s a reminder that I hate major wrestling events in daylight.
  • This being an MMA Rules Match seems to be a missed opportunity at having a special guest referee.
  • The fans DO NOT CARE About this match, and I see why.
  • I am all for Ronda being able to go out how she wants to go out, and the talent pushing their own idea forward. But sometimes, you gotta say no.
  • Some matches also play much better in an arena instead of a stadium (Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair from WrestleMania comes to mind). This is one of those matches.
  • Whenever NXT had an “unsanctioned match,” the ref wore all black. That’s what we should have done here.
  • Now we have doctors checking on Shayna? Really? I know we want to put over how tough she is, but…..
  • The crowd pops out of relief when it’s over.
  • Do this on Raw, not here. Give Becky and Trish this spot.

Winner: Shayna Baszler (technical submission, Kirifuda Clutch)

BELOW The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

Intercontinental Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. GUNTHER (c) 

  • My Peacock membership doesn’t let me see the video package here, and I am fine with that–it’s been a while since I’ve seen that AFLAC Duck, though.
  • Ludwig Kaiser must love doing the entrance, but honestly the act might be getting stale?
  • Corey Graves very poetic in pointing out that “records are meant to be broken.” That’s one of the core values of WWE at this point.
  • It does appear GUNTHER will be going it alone tonight as Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci are headed to the back. Let’s see if they stay there.
  • Interesting placement for this match, right after the ill-received MMA Rules Match.
  • Didn’t the internet tell us Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor was going on fourth?
  • Btw, this match is brought to you by Rocket Mortgage. Money talks, BAYBAY!
  • GUNTHER truly lives the “Ring General” gimmick.
  • As the match progresses, I honestly can’t see Drew winning here.
  • The simplicity of the finishing sequence really adds to GUNTHER: top rope slap fest, McIntyre crotched on the ropes, splash, lariat, powerbomb. Nothing fancy–trademark GUNTHER.

Winner, #ANDSTILL the Intercontinental Champion: GUNTHER (pinfall, powerbomb)

ABOVE The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

World Heavyweight Championship: Finn Balor vs. Seth “Freakin'” Rollins (c) 

  • I presume we will get a bunch of Judgment Day shenanigans here, but I really needed Seth to go on last to further establish his championship. Instead, we are smack in the middle of the event (according to the Peacock slider, anyways)
  • Seth Rollins’ entrance + 58k people = a beautiful sight
  • The worst thing about this, to me, will be when Balor and Rollins are partners after Balor turns babyface.
  • Love Rollins tossing the vest at Balor.
  • Love the more unique start to the match.
  • Interesting that Rollins, with a win, moves to 5th all time for SummerSlam wins? I had no clue! Mr. SummerSlam anyone?
  • We keep naming refs, and I love it,
  • If you want an “inside look” at a match, start paying really close attention for a few minutes starting with the triplicate of dives from Seth Rollins. You’ll see a few things that the cameras picked up.
  • LOVE LOVE LOVE the Buckle Bomb into the barrier from Balor to Rollins. Should have known they’d do that, but it never crossed my mind. Brilliant.
  • Decent amount of overlap in the offense of this match and the one prior–in hindsight, they may have wanted to put GUNTHER/McIntyre on before Rousey/Baszler.
  • Fans boo’d the crap out of Damian Priest when he came down–but popped like hell for Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley.
  • I really enjoyed the story told with the Judgment Day. When Priest called for the briefcase to be used, it would have worked. When Balor called for it, it wasn’t going to work, and Damian Priest knew it. But he let Finn Balor sink himself anyway. That will definitely play again later when they fully implode.

Winner AND STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Freakin’ Rollins (pinfall, Stomp on the Money In The Bank Briefcase)

WAY ABOVE The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

WWE Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (c) Bianca Belair

  • Very odd having Asuka enter second.
  • Charlotte Flair with the ode to Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 35 (IYKYK)
  • Did I miss the C4 ad read? I saw that Bianca Belair entered with some, which made me thing THAT was why she came in last, and now the C4 branding is around the ring, but no real mention? Or did I miss it? Was it only for Peacock Premium subscribers?
  • Very choppy match so far–and Charlotte has to basically stop the match to have Jessika Carr fix her outfit, leaving Belair and Asuka in the corner waiting until Asuka realized what was happening and tried to cover. The Double Natural Selection that followed was quite clunky.
  • Bianca nowhere near Charlotte Flair when the moonsault hit–is Bianca really that good? I seem to ask myself this during every big time Bianca match, dating back to WrestleMania 37 when I felt like Sasha Banks had to carry her.
  • I find myself wanting to fast forward to the finish, here. I’m not, but I kinda want to.
  • ANOTHER REF NAMED! Thank you, Michael Cole.
  • If IYO SKY cashes in here (which is easy to expect), I really hope it’s not right after Charlotte wins, getting her to #15. Granted, she could cash in DURING the match and make it a 4-way. But of everyone, I think Charlotte needs to eat the pin tonight.
  • We have now had medical personnel tending to one of the participants in the middle of each women’s match tonight–first Shayna Baszler, now Bianca Belair. Seems like a misstep on someone’s part.
  • Bianca with the heroic comeback, and a beautiful 450 Splash on Charlotte during the Figure Eight.
  • Charlotte gets misted but Bianca gets the pin???
  • Makes sense if we do the cash in here. as Bianca is hurt.

Winner, AND NEW WWE Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair (pinfall, small package)

  • Aaaaaaaand here comes IYO SKY.
  • I love Corey Graves telling Bianca to get the hell out of dodge.
  • IYO and Bayley take out everyone, and she is indeed cashing in.
  • Over The Moonsault, new champion, and the crowd goes nuts. Women’s Money In The Bank briefcase is still undefeated.
  • Nice World Of Stardom reference by Michael Cole, too.

Winner, AND NEW WWE Women’s Champion: IYO SKY (CMITB cash-in, pinfall, Over The Moonsault)

AT The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

There were some rough spots, but the cash in saved it for me.

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match: Jey Uso vs. Roman Reigns (c) with Paul Heyman

  • I am timing this from the second Jey Uso’s theme hits through the end.
  • Man, Mike Rome is on one, and I am not sure if that’s a good thing. He doesn’t sound as fantastic as he usually does.
  • 12:34 from Jey’s music hitting to the bell ringing.
  • Roman is so slow and methodical, I don’t know if he realized Jey was going to dive so soon. Jey connected with Roman’s back, but that could have been really really bad.
  • I know this is Tribal Combat, but given the use of stairs earlier tonight, we might as well consider the stairs legal.
  • You know it’s an important match when Roman Reigns hits The Drive By, as he did on Jey Uso.
  • Table, Kendo Stick, and more early.
  • Jey clotheslining Roman over the top rope (with the Kendo Stick) and hitting the dive makes me think Jey got slightly lost earlier when he did the dive to a kneeling Roman’s back.
  • That was a MASSIVE powerbomb onto the chairs!
  • 35 minutes in (remember, since the start of Jey’s entrance, so 23 minutes into the match) and this is definitely just a touch slow. The story is amazing, so that’s my only complaint so far.
  • I have to wonder if Roman knew he was bleeding when he hopped the barricade to go into the crowd.
  • Aaaaaaaaaaaand here’s Solo Sikoa. That should surprise no one. We gotta get the whole family involved, right? At least the whole Bloodline.
  • Solo declining to help Roman up might be starting Solo’s arc in the story, but it wasn’t apparent enough and commentary had to fill in the blanks.
  • 50:22 since Jey’s entrance is the point where Jimmy shows up (pulling Jey out of the ring).
  • Jimmy hits the Superkick and leaves.
  • Spear through the table that was set-up about a week ago and Roman Reigns pins Jey Uso at 52:09 (from th estart of Jey’s entrance).

Winner AND STILL Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns (pinfall, spear through the table)

AT The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

“At” might surprise you, but this was WAY too slow. Bell-to-bell it was roughly 40 minutes, and that was about 10 minutes too long. But the story is worth it in the end.

WWE SummerSlam 2023

Total Matches: 8

  • ABOVE the Line of DeMarco-cation – 4 matches (3 WAY ABOVE)
  • AT the Line of DeMarco-cation – 3 matches
  • BELOW the Line of DeMarco-cation – 1 match

One “bad” match and seven “good ones, four of those I’d call “great.” Three of the great ones I labeled as “WAY ABOVE” the line, which easily makes up for one match that was lacking. Hell, when even the Battle Royal is good, you know you watched a damn good show.

Overall Rating for WWE SummerSlam 2023: 9/10

Let me know your thoughts! Drop a comment and tell me your ratings, and what you think of the Line Of DeMarco-cation.

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King’s WrestleMania Rewind: Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka from WrestleMania 34

Chris king is back with one of the most underrated matches in WrestleMania history–Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka!



WWE WrestleMania 34 Charlotte Flair Asuka

Chris king is back with one of the most underrated matches in WrestleMania history–Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka!

We look back at Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka at WWE WrestleMania 34. ‘The Empress of Tomorrow’ put her unprecedented and historic undefeated streak of 914 days on the line against ‘The Queen’s’ SmackDown Women’s Championship.

For years, this was considered a dream match while Asuka dominated the roster in NXT, while Flair won numerous championships on the main roster on both Raw and SmackDown. The Empress made her long-awaited debut on the September 11th episode of Raw and began to tear through the competition.

Asuka outlasted all twenty-nine other women in the historic first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match to challenge for the title of her choosing. At Fastlane, she made her choice.

The WWE Universe was so excited for this match myself included. Both superstars delivered a fantastic performance on the Grandest Stage of Them All executing counter after counter. Asuka showed off some nasty-looking kicks to her opponent, and Flair hit a thunderous Spanish Fly off the top rope. Flair was seconds away from defeat at the hands of The Empress but she locked in Figure Eight and Asuka was forced to tap out.

I can’t even begin to explain how shocked I was at this outcome, as nearly everyone expected The Empress to continue her undefeated streak and walk away with the women’s title. This controversial decision was the downfall of Asuka’s momentum. She would ultimately win the SmackDown Women’s Championship at the 2018 TLC pay-per-view in the triple-threat ladder match.

Fast forward to this year when Asuka has recently returned with her Japanese-inspired persona Kana. Kana is dangerous and ruthless and is heading into a championship with Bianca Belair at WrestleMania 39. The Empress has regained all her momentum and is highly favored to walk away with the Raw Women’s Championship. Let’s hope that Asuka and Belair can tear the house down and deliver an A+ grade match both women are fully capable of.

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