Asuka's Key to Long-Term Success on WWE Raw Is Ronda Rousey

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2017

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - Ronda Rousey celebrates the Mae Young Classic at the Thomas & Mack Center on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP Images for WWE)
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Associated Press

After arguably the most dominant start to a WWE career in history, Asuka’s formula for long-term achievement on Raw is former UFC champion Ronda Rousey.

WWE announced that former NXT women’s champion Asuka will make her main-roster debut at the Raw-exclusive Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view in October, but it was not revealed who she would be stepping in the ring against.

Regardless of who Asuka fights first, Rousey should be her challenger at WrestleMania 34.

The first step to the potential superfight is allowing Asuka to dominate the women’s division on WWE’s flagship show. Right off the bat, the Empress of Tomorrow should continue her undefeated streak on Raw by picking off each member of the division one by one.

Initially, Asuka should run through the likes of Dana Brooke—who was the first woman she fought in NXT—Emma and Alicia Fox. After defeating the Superstars at the bottom, Asuka must move up to heel challengers like Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax.

Asuka should eventually defeat Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship and begin to show signs of arrogance and overconfidence just as she did in NXT. With more of a heel edge to her character, Asuka could then square off against Sasha Banks and Bayley in storylines that would draw the biggest ratings and the most interest.

As great as Banks and Bayley are in the ring, Asuka should be portrayed as the queen of the division and should beat both top face challengers in singles feuds to continue her undefeated streak into WrestleMania season.

After dominating the division for months, Raw will be forced to find a new challenger for the now overly cocky Empress of Tomorrow—and that’s where Rousey’s debut would turn the wrestling world on its ear.

Some people have speculated that if Rousey were to join WWE, it would be as part of a storyline to lead her four horsewomen against the four horsewomen of wrestling: Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Bayley. With both the social media accounts of WWE and UFC teasing a potential matchup between Charlotte and Rousey, that would likely mean the feud would take place on the SmackDown brand, but that wouldn’t make much sense for WWE.

Rousey is a main-event caliber talent and should be part of WWE’s flagship show to expose her to the widest possible audience. As great as it would be to see Rousey take on Charlotte and Becky on the blue brand, WWE Creative can revisit the four horsewomen storyline in the future.

For WrestleMania 34, Rousey needs to fight Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship.

If and when Rousey eventually makes her WWE debut, she should make her first television appearance around the Royal Rumble to start planting the seeds for a potential WrestleMania matchup. While she could first appear in the crowd as just a guest of WWE officials, Asuka should eventually cross a line as she verbally and then physically attacks the MMA Superstar.

Rousey is a household name, even after her lackluster run in UFC over the last few fights. Just as Brock Lesnar has transcended MMA and WWE to become a mainstream star, Rousey is a major public figure and would add so much hype to WrestleMania season.

Asuka has taken the wrestling world by storm, but she does not have the mainstream clout Rousey has earned over the years. By putting the two women together, Asuka could help carry Rousey to a memorable matchup, while the challenger’s notoriety could open the champion to a whole new audience through the coverage of the matchup in the mainstream media.

While letting a part-time wrestler like Rousey come in and take Asuka’s undefeated streak is a bit unorthodox, it would generate so much buzz that it would actually help Asuka’s popularity in the long run.

The rematch for the Raw Women’s Championship would also help generate even more attention for WWE, and bringing Rousey in to challenge for the title would help cement Asuka as one of the true cornerstones of the Raw brand.

Asuka is the most talented female wrestler on the roster today, and the best way to maximize her long-term potential would be to match her against Rousey in what would become the biggest women’s wrestling match in history.

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