Why Asuka’s Streak Has Ruined WWE’s Women’s Evolution

Someone had to say it.

One of the greatest talking points about WWE currently has been Asuka’s undefeated streak. Ever since she debuted in NXT back in mid-late 2015, Asuka has won every match thrown her way, and has defeated very formidable opponents like Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax, and Eva Marie. That’s right. I said it. Eva Marie was a formidable opponent, but more on that later.

A Goldberg-like run through the women’s division should be a breath of fresh air, right?

Well it isn’t. I’ll repeat myself: Asuka’s undefeated streak has ruined not only the WWE women’s division, but the entire women’s revolution in general.

“I was saying boo-Asuka”.

If you want to compare Goldberg’s streak to Asuka’s, the main difference is that Goldberg had a lot of other male superstars to go through, so fresh new match-ups could be made on the reg, and it didn’t really feel like his dominance was becoming outdated or boring. On the other hand, the WWE women’s division – taking into consideration both Raw and Smackdown Live – has around 20 active superstars, give or take. That doesn’t leave Asuka with much variety of matches. Her run on Raw has been lacklustre as she has cleaned through every woman on the division, and has had several match repetitions which should’ve been heralded, but had the opposite effect, against the likes of Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss. Granted, her move to Smackdown will lead her to new match-ups, but it’ll be the same thing, and shortly after, it will become stale again.

In regards to the booking of it, at first it was cool, thinking “Ooohhh I wonder if this chick is finally going to beat Asuka’s streak” kept the matches interesting; now, it’s just boring and predictable, and that predictability has ruined the WWE product. Every time you see Asuka come out for a match, whether it be a singles, tag-team or even a Bra and Panties gauntlet match, you just groan because you know that Asuka’s going to win, regardless of whom she is facing, or if she’s squashed by a piano falling from the sky. Take the Mixed Match Challenge for example: this fun and interactive form of wrestling that has made dream mixed teams like Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss, or Finn Balor and Sasha Banks, has now basically become a laughing stock, as you know that all these teams will be fed to the Miz and Asuka, and then eventually, the Miz and Asuka will win the entire thing, solely because Asuka is on the team, and if she is going to have her streak broken, it won’t be on the Mixed Match Challenge.

I respect Asuka as a wrestler and a performer, but she isn’t my favourite. And you think that would play into my disliking of her booking, but it actually isn’t. If you know me well enough, you know that I identify a lot with the pretty model-esque girls of wrestling, like Sable, Stacy Keibler, Eva Marie, and currently, Mandy Rose. But do I want to see Mandy Rose bulldoze through the competition and go nearly three whole damn years undefeated? Hell no. And you can say “That’s because Mandy Rose isn’t a believable threat to the other women”; while that may or may not be true depending on your opinion, why the hell hasn’t Nia Jax gone nearly three whole years undefeated? She is a way more credible threat to the other female superstars. Additionally, using Nia as an example, she has been solidly booked since her main roster debut – give or take a few questionable decisions (like that strange storyline she had with Enzo Amore) – and she has taken clean losses, but her dominance has remained the same. If Jax can be booked to lose but still keep her momentum, then the same could’ve worked for Asuka.

If WWE want to add a much needed breath of fresh air to their women’s division, they need to let Asuka lose to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. What better place to lose your first match in WWE than on the grandest stage of them all, and against a name like Charlotte Flair. If Asuka goes on to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship, and then successfully defends it time and time again in predictable matches, then I will have no choice but to bash my own head with a brick.

If Asuka doesn’t lose to Charlotte at ‘Mania, then at least have Carmella come in and cash in on her and beat her. Done. I would be happy with that.

Now back to Eva Marie. While Asuka hasn’t technically lost a match in WWE, let me just take you on a history lesson back to the NXT women’s battle royal to determine a #1 contender at the beginning of January 2016. Asuka eliminated Billie Kay and Peyton Royce and appeared to be the last woman standing… but then Eva Marie ran in and eliminated her.

Eva Marie is ready for Asuka!

So, as of writing, the person to come the closest to actually defeating Asuka… is the Red Queen, Eva Marie.

You’re welcome.

– by Noah La’ulu

AJ Lee vs. the World

Inspired by a recent comment made by the longest reigning Divas Champion AJ Lee, I decided to take a look at the potential rivalries that AJ could be a part of that could be huge. Like, Trish vs. Lita huge. Hopefully.

Whether you like her or not, AJ Lee’s presence in the WWE Divas division today has been a breath of fresh air (click here for extra reference). It’s been a while since a character like hers has been seen in WWE’s women’s division, and her success has been shown in her lengthy tenure as Divas Champion. So far, no one has been able to dethrone the Divas Champ, but here’s me thinking that she hasn’t quite gone through all the Divas yet…

She knows they're after her... look at that fear in her eyes. (SOURCE: Sean Kimmel's Flickr photostream)

She knows they’re after her… look at that fear in her eyes. (SOURCE: Sean Kimmel’s Flickr photostream)

Idea #1: vs. Paige
Also known as the IWC’s women’s wrestling wet dream, every wrestling fan is waiting for NXT Women’s Champion Paige to be called up to put CrayJ in her place. Besides Natalya who’s already had several shots for AJ’s title, the only other woman signed by WWE currently who could put on a wrestling clinic as well as AJ is Paige (as well as Emma, but more about that later). Paige was born and raised in the wrestling business and, if not made apparent by her flawless Scorpion Cross Lock, is a wrestling sensation. Her intensity is shown both in the ring and on the mic and while some claim her to be “stale” as a person, I disagree; she’s one of my favourite talents in WWE and I’m usually the type to like the Summer Rae’s in wrestling. Paige could make her main roster debut as the Anti-Diva who will finally put AJ in her place by capturing the Divas title.

Idea #2: vs. Summer Rae
Yes, AJ Lee has run through every Total Diva… except Summer Rae. Okay, so technically she hasn’t beaten Eva Marie or Jojo in a one-on-one environment, but I don’t think the E are too confident in putting either one in a singles match. Regardless, Summer Rae’s recent inclusion to the hit reality series has no doubt put her on AJ’s radar. Even if both of them are heel at the moment, a smart baby face turn for AJ (since she’s cheered out of the building all the time anyway) could work well against super heel Summer, who plays her bitchy role on NXT to perfection. Face AJ vs. Heel Summer could be taken in a Kelly vs. Beth kind of way, except the serious wrestler would be face and the model would be heel. If any of the “newbie” Divas have shown that they can work in the ring, it’s Summer bloody Rae. The thought of this rivalry is just… fantastic.

Idea #3: vs. Emma
Now, if AJ were to stay heel, then why not go against the new main roster babyface in Emma? AJ has steamrolled through most if not all of the face Divas on the main roster except for Emma. Emma’s infectious personality and character could definitely get the fans behind her, and AJ’s crazy prima donna personality would clash against Emma’s bubbly Strayan character. Like I said before with Paige, Emma is one of the Divas who could put on a clinic with the likes of Resthold Lee. Her wrestling move set is phenomenal and clearly inspired by the handsome Lance Storm. If you ignore all her Emma dance gestures in between her moves, she’s a solid wrestler. Put her and AJ Lee in a singles match together, and the greatness that was Paige vs. Emma at NXT aRrival or however you spell it could be re-created on the main stage.

Idea #4: vs. Tamina
The storyline that they’ve been teasing for the past few weeks and keep dropping because all of a sudden they’re friends again, Tamina turning on AJ Lee is inevitable; the deciding factor on how well it’s received, however, depends on how the ‘E make it. As much as I love Tamina as a person, character and wrestler, I don’t see wrestling fans getting behind her if she was to become the babyface of the tandem, so like #2, AJ Lee would have to turn babyface for this idea to work well. Tamina could get sick of all the crap she’s had to deal with regarding AJ and could brutally attack her, thus creating sympathy for AJ and effectively making her the face. Tamina has shown that she can put on a good match and with AJ Lee guiding her, the storyline and result of this could be fantastic.

Well, there are my predictions for your crazy-ass Divas Champion. If someone could do me a solid and message WWE Creative and be like “You should check out SolSat’s latest post. LOL.”, that would be great.

– by Noah La’ulu

The Black Widow’s Bite of Life

Don’t let the heading fool you – this isn’t about the actual spider black widow.  No, this is in reference to the Black Widow of the WWE, AKA AJ Lee.

AJ_Natalya_nologo_original_crop_650

Don’t get caught in the Black Widow’s web…

Many wrestling critics have praised the crazy-ass woman for resurrecting the WWE women’s division and, to an extent, I have to agree with them; AJ Lee is probably the most over Diva since, I’d say, Kelly Kelly, and both women were popular with the crowd for two very different reasons. Kelly was the beautiful girl-next-door underdog that you couldn’t help but to root for (unless you’re an IWC troll) while AJ is just great at her craft and no matter heel or face, she will always be appreciated. It doesn’t hurt that she’s so down-to-earth and lovely out-of-character.

Women’s wrestling, especially in WWE, had been in a period of stale for a while. The fans were sick of seeing Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix at every PPV and it seemed as if creative had no fresh ideas for the smart, sexy and powerful women. And then AJ was knocked out cold by the Big Show. This was, in my opinion, when the Rise of AJ begun.

AJ began to show personality and flare when tensions between her and then on-screen boyfriend Daniel Bryan began to rise. Nekk minnit, she’s steamrolled over him, CM Punk, Kane, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and is now the Divas Champion and will probably break Maryse’s previous record for longest title reign with the Divas Championship.

Throughout her course of failed relationships and bad slut puns courtesy of Jerry Lawler, AJ was pushed to the stars, and she took the ball and ran with it. She has pulled off what would be a difficult character for your every day woman to successfully capture and made it almost a second skin to herself, and she’s shown that she is a damn good wrestler at the same time, creating some solid storylines and matches with the likes of Kaitlyn and Natalya.

Oh, and do you hear the pops she gets when she simply tags into a match? Incredible.

AJ is definitely the Diva of today, but is she the “sole” reason why the Divas division of today is as great as it is?

Yes and no.

With all due respect to Miss Lee, if WWE focused all of the attention they gave to her as they did to, say, Aksana, I’d guess that even Aksana would be as over as AJ Lee is. Aksana has a great character going for her at the moment and she has shown that she has enough charisma and personality to make it on her own, but what she didn’t have to push her to that next Diva level is the amount of push and air time that AJ had. So, in a sense, the success of AJ was bound to happen.

However, the Divas of WWE have been getting a lot more attention and a lot less ignorant “piss break” comments because of the hype the name “AJ Lee” carries. She is probably one of the few women in the WWE today that have a firmly established character that isn’t “happy babyface gal” or “snobby bitch heel”. That reason alone is why Miss AJ will probably hold the record for longest reign as Divas Champion. People tune in to see AJ and, dare I say, a lot less would tune in to see the Funkadactyls.

AJ Lee is currently sitting atop the mountain that is the WWE’s womens division, yes, but with new young and upcoming Divas like Paige and Summer Rae, I’d like to see her try and keep her throne away from the claws of these hungry Divas.

If I may say; AJ, watch out for Summer Rae. She’s over as hell and she hasn’t even hit her peak in WWE yet.

– by Noah La’ulu