This Sunday at TLC, Asuka will be making her official WWE debut. The Empress of Tomorrow is indisputably the most hyped call-up to ever come from NXT as expectations have inflated to a point where disappointment may be inevitable. However, there are already a couple broken hearts in WWE, and they all lie in the RAW women's division.
To make sure Asuka's debut is impactful, WWE has essentially cleared the runway to guarantee her safe landing. In their efforts to build Asuka, they've all but neglected some of their top women.
Sadly, the women of WWE may be used to being ignored, but getting the cold shoulder in the name of establishing a replacement is a new thing. From top to bottom WWE has frozen all stories and character development in the name of getting Asuka the brightest spotlight possible.
That said, there 3 Superstars in particular who have seen their arcs halted by Vince McMahon's tyrannical preoccupation with Asuka.
Let's break it down!
Look, we don't know Sasha Banks personally, but it didn't take long for us to deduce that she's feisty. Banks has been tied to real-life beef with Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair, and has already proven to be territorial about the possibility of Ronda Rousey in WWE.
If we had to draw a parallel to Banks, her career, her quest for greatness, in-ring execution, and competitive cattiness most closely resembles that of Bret Hart.
Banks has had an odd 2017; a year that originally looked like it would belong to her. When Charlotte left for SmackDown, it seemed like Sasha would be the queen of RAW. However, the emergence of Alexa Bliss derailed that momentum.
So now, Banks is fighting her way back up WWE's ladder, but Asuka is ready to push it over.
With Asuka coming, Banks takes yet another step back on WWE's card. This can't sit well with the Boss and perhaps the only way out of this funk is by a vicious heel turn.
Before the Asuka vignettes started Nia Jax was the hottest thing in RAW's Women's Divison. Things were so good that Jax looked like she was being groomed for a Championship opportunity and WWE even had her turn on her best friend and RAW Champion, Alexa Bliss. So one would think that WWE had just laid the foundation for a big title feud, right?
Well, maybe they were setting things up for 2018, or even 2019. Regardless, the plug was pulled inexplicably and the two actually have been acting friendly again during backstage segments.
Clearly, WWE realized that they had to shelf that program because Asuka is coming and needs to be a focal point. After she dismantles Emma, the Empress of Tomorrow will soon be coming after Bliss and her belt. This is why Jax got the boot.
Even more, Jax would give herself the boot by asking for a leave of absence.
It's easy to imagine Jax being salty on the situation and saying "You know what, I'm out."
We can't blame her as she was in the middle an organic rise to the top of WWE - a task that's nearly impossible in 2017.
We're not sure when, but at some point, a match with Asuka became more important that the RAW Women's Championship.
WWE essentially hosted a tournament for the right to get executed by Asuka at TLC. 5 Superstars desperately fought for the right to die publicly, and in the end, Emma emerged as the martyr. All of this happened as Corey Graves and Michael Cole fed us propaganda about how important this Asuka match would be for women's wrestling.
Now we have to applaud WWE for trying to galvanize interest for their new toy, but their priorities may be a little out of whack.
In the midst of AsukaMania, Alexa Bliss has been embroiled in a mostly forgettable feud with Mickie James. While this story was almost good, the two have been trading childish insults about age which ironically ended up making them both look like children.
While it's probably a rule to make sure titles are defended at pay-per-views, maybe WWE was better off making an exception here. Bliss and James will be a footnote on Sunday so why not just have the Champ sit out TLC?
Barring a further outbreak of viral meningitis, these two will have their match and championship belt will depreciate in the process.