Late in the day of August 24, 2017 big news hit the wrestling world. It has been reported the undefeated NXT Women’s Champion Asuka has given up her championship belt! The NXT superstar suffered a broken collarbone during her match against Amber Moon at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III and was reported to be expecting to miss 6 to 8 weeks of action. However the injury it seems is not the reason for the forfeiture of the title. According to NXT General Manager William Regal the reason is that after negotiating with both major WWE brands (Raw and SmackDown) Asuka is going to “pursue other options in the WWE”.
This is huge news for Asuka, the wrestling world, the WWE, and especially for NXT itself! In the last week NXT has loss both the now former NXT Champion Bobby Roode and now the now former NXT Women’s Champion Asuka! After losing both those champion caliber superstars how will NXT recover and respond? Those are two very big losses for the NXT brand and they likely won’t be replaced easily.
But back to the point here, what does this mean for Asuka and the now vacant NXT Women’s Championship? Well let’s start with what it means for Asuka. It appears that for Asuka this means a move to either Raw or SmackDown in the very near future. I think Asuka will likely end up on Raw considering SmackDown just acquired Bobby Roode. Plus putting Asuka on Raw would put her up against other NXT move ups like Bayley, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, and Sasha Banks.
But now what does that mean for the now vacant NXT Women’s Championship? It likely means that a tournament or match will take place to name the new champ. Names like Amber Moon, Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay and even the recently debuted Sarah Logan come to mind when you think of who might claim the title next. No doubt though it would be near impossible to replace the undefeated wrestling phenom Asuka. But her being gone may lead to a more competitive Women’s Division on NXT honestly.
We’ll all be watching both what happens to Asuka and what will happen to NXT now without Bobby Roode and Asuka. The first ever Mae Young Classic will likely bring in fresh talent to the NXT Women’s Division and the winner may even end up receiving a title shot. The big questions to ask still are, will Asuka go to Raw or SmackDown and who will be the next NXT Women’s Champion? Will Asuka be able to keep her undefeated streak alive and how soon will she return to action? Again only time will tell with these questions and others we might have. One thing is for sure, we’ll all be watching and eager to see when and where Asuka will return.