Last night, Becky Lynch shocked the world when she announced that she was pregnant and vacated the Raw Women’s Championship. The new champion, Asuka, certainly has some big shoes to fill. So, WWE should take this opportunity to finally give “The Empress of Tomorrow” a meaningful title reign.
Asuka’s time on the main roster has been sort of a mixed bag. Monday, she became the second Grand Slam and the third Triple Crown Champion. She and Kairi Sane were the longest reigning WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.
In addition, the Japanese star was the first Women’s Royal Rumble winner, a Survivor Series Sole Survivor, Ms. Money in the Bank, NXT’s Female Competitor of the Year two years in a row, and the first woman to win Overall Competitor of the Year.
That’s quite a list of accomplishments for someone who is finishing up her fifth year with the company. With that said, she hasn’t exactly had a great run as a single competitor outside of NXT. Moreover, three of her biggest wins were immediately overshadowed by bigger headlines.
Her Royal Rumble win was a footnote next to Ronda Rousey‘s WWE debut. “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” also made a bigger impact at TLC 2018 when she interfered in the first Women’s TLC Match to help Asuka win the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
The opening segment of last night’s episode of Raw was poignant and heartwarming. However, Asuka won a single’s title for a second time without actually beating the champion. That surely wasn’t the plan and WWE made the best of the situation, but the pattern still exists.
Asuka was the best choice for Lynch’s successor as Raw Women’s Champion. For our money, she has been a highlight on Raw for months. Furthermore, this was a perfect way to cap off their year-long rivalry.
“The Empress of Tomorrow” was the first woman to humble “The Man” when she successfully defended the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble 2019. This year, Lynch avenged the loss in their rematch and cemented her legacy as the best women’s champion of this generation so far.
While Lynch doesn’t have much else to prove, Asuka never really regained the mystique she debut on Raw with. Even though she beat Becky when she was white-hot, Asuka never actually got a chance at redemption after Charlotte Flair broke her winning streak at WrestleMania 34.
To add insult to injury, she infamously dropped the SmackDown Women’s Championship to the “The Queen” to set up the Winner Take All Match at WrestleMania 35. Lynch ultimately won the match and headlined “Showcase of the Immortals.” Unfortunately, her time as the “champ champ” came at Asuka’s expense.
That’s another reason why last night’s events were so touching. In fact, it was fitting that Becky would crown Asuka as her successor.
Lynch acknowledged that she felt bad for her earlier this year on WWE Backstage. As she put it, “You go and be a warrior, ’cause I’m gonna go be a mother.” It was a memorable line that finally made things right. Sure, we didn’t get to see a dramatic Money in the Bank cash-in. Still, this was an incredible conclusion and a possible face turn.
Asuka finally has a reset as a singles competitor, but for now, she’s champion in name only. WWE has to allow her to pick up some strong title defenses or it will be all for naught. Becky Lynch’s exit has left a huge void in Raw’s women’s division. “The Empress of Tomorrow” can fill it, but she still has to prove herself as a champion.