Asuka Injury Update; Paul Wight Talks Vince McMahon; Adam Cole Eyes EdgeMarch 12, 2021
Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE and All Elite Wrestling.
Asuka Reportedly Out with Concussion
Raw women's champion Asuka's absence from Monday night television over the past couple of weeks has reportedly been because of a concussion.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), Asuka suffered the injury when she was kicked in the face by Shayna Baszler during a tag team match pitting Asuka and Charlotte Flair against Baszler and Nia Jax.
The Empress of Tomorrow also lost a tooth as a result of the vicious kick, which WWE has since showed in slow motion on Raw.
Meltzer added that it is unknown when Asuka will return to action because of the unpredictability of concussions and getting cleared from them.
Asuka has held the Raw Women's Championship for 200 days, and she has been the champion for most of the past year.
She was first awarded the title in May after winning Money in the Bank, as Becky Lynch had to surrender the Raw Women's Championship because of her pregnancy.
Asuka dropped the title to Sasha Banks 78 days later but then recaptured it in less than a month. Heading toward WrestleMania 37, Asuka figures to put the title on the line on The Grandest Stage of Them All if she is healthy enough to do so.
Charlotte recently announced that she wants to face Asuka for the title, which would be a reprisal of their match from WrestleMania 34, which is when Asuka suffered her first singles loss in WWE.
Rhea Ripley is also being advertised for a Raw debut, though, and it is easy to envision her being part of the equation as well.
If Asuka is able to compete at WrestleMania, a match against Charlotte and Ripley would undoubtedly have show-stealing potential.
Wight Says Vince McMahon 'Wants Confrontation'
Paul Wight recently signed with AEW after 22 years in WWE as Big Show, and he is sharing some of what he learned and observed during his two-plus decades in WWE.
During an appearance on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette (h/t Upton), Wight offered some insight into WWE Chairman Vince McMahon's mentality:
"At the same time, I learned so much by working [in WWE] like how to do things and how to be an entertainer and psychology and all that stuff. These are tools I can help younger guys with, not necessarily that style of philosophy, because the environment over there is created to be a very competitive shark tank environment.
"It's done that way by design because the guy at the top [McMahon] is a fighter. That's what he does. He wants confrontation. He wants people thinking about the product as much as he is and he wants to make sure all the dogs running in his pack are going the same way starving for every scrap. 'You can't be afraid to step on toes!' That's a great environment, but sometimes it isn't conducive for being as creative as you want it to be, because when that one man has the vision that's the one vision that's mandated and followed, you know you'll have different insight, even if it's not about yourself, if it's about a different talent and you want to help him."
Wight's comments come as little surprise since many former WWE Superstars have described McMahon and WWE as a whole in a similar way.
McMahon is known for being as competitive and committed as they come, and it is a big reason why he took WWE from being a Northeastern product to the biggest wrestling company of all time.
With McMahon at the helm, WWE essentially destroyed the territory concept and became both a national and global brand. A big reason for that was the creation of WrestleMania, which remains the Super Bowl of pro wrestling to this day.
The competitive environment created by McMahon is one many have thrived in, but not everyone is cut out for it, and some would prefer to be in a more relaxed environment, which is apparently what AEW provides.
It is fair to say that Wight did well under McMahon's leadership, as he remained in WWE for two decades and won four world titles as well as the United States, Intercontinental and Tag Team Championships.
Now, Wight could be immensely valuable to AEW, as he will bring a different perspective to the table and could aid in the development of younger wrestlers.
Cole Wants to Wrestle Edge
Adam Cole is in the midst of a heated feud with former Undisputed Era teammate Kyle O'Reilly in NXT, but Cole has his sights set on a dream match in the future.
In an interview with Ryan Satin of Fox Sports, Cole said he wants to wrestle Edge "so, so, so, so badly."
"Edge is one of the greatest heels of all time. His run, no matter where he was—as a tag team wrestler, as a World Champion, as a heel, as a babyface—it didn't matter. He was just so fantastic. And the fact that Edge, indeed, does want to come back and not just wrestle every now and then but is excited at the idea of wanting to come and wrestle guys in NXT. ... He's one of my all-time favorites. His body of work speaks for itself. Yeah. If I had the opportunity to get in the ring with Edge, I wouldn't pass that up for anything. I would love the chance."
Edge shocked the wrestling world last year by returning as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble after missing nine years because of a neck injury. He then went on to win the 2021 Royal Rumble men's match, and he is set to face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 37.
Before officially choosing Reigns as his opponent, Edge appeared on NXT and teased the possibility of challenging NXT champion Finn Balor.
While he didn't pick Balor, Edge has not been shy about his desire to do some work with NXT and wrestle some of the talented performers of the black and gold brand at some point.
If that happens, one can only assume that Cole would be near the top of the list given his status as one of the biggest stars in NXT for the past few years.
Cole reestablished himself as a dastardly heel by turning his back on O'Reilly and Roderick Strong, and after O'Reilly attacked him this week on NXT, it seems likely that Cole and O'Reilly are set to face off at NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver next month.
Although Cole has his hands full for now, a match against Edge could be a realistic goal whether it happens in NXT or if Cole eventually moves up to the main roster and challenges him.
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