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I Miss The ‘Scary’ NXT Asuka Says Corey Graves


Corey Graves misses ‘scary’ Asuka, sharing a common sentiment about the reigning WWE Raw Women’s Champion.

Asuka (real name Kanako Urai) has held the Raw Women’s Title since she beat Sasha Banks at SummerSlam 2020 in which Sasha had already competed that night against Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Title.

Since SummerSlam, Asuka has only defended her Title four times, the last being back in November on an episode of RAW where she retained against Lana.

Speaking on his After The Bell podcast, Corey Graves has suggested that even though the dancing, and screaming is all good and funny with what we see now in Asuka’s character – he wants her to go back to her former, more dominant NXT version of herself.

I miss NXT Asuka.

I got to call her rise to…the undefeated streak. She was terrifying. I used to talk about it on commentary and I would make jokes about how Asuka scared me, but I wasn’t fully joking.

She had this aura and magic about her. You heard her music and someone was about to get beat up. It was really cool.

Over the past several weeks, and it sucks I’m saying this as [she is] Raw Women’s Champion and I don’t mean to diminish that accomplishment, I think this is an opportunity for the Empress of Tomorrow to recapture that dominance and persona that inspired fear as opposed to ‘she has good matches, she likes to dance, and it’s funny when she screams in Japanese.’ I want that woman who terrifies people.

In September 2017, Asuka was drafted to RAW. This also marked the end to her dominant 510 day reign as NXT Women’s Champion. In NXT, Asuka was undefeated, a scary threat to anyone who chose to face her. This aura remained when she landed on RAW, but since, has become a slight comedy act who shows fear rather than instil it.

Whilst she is the Raw Women’s Champion, Asuka is not currently scheduled for a match at WWE Elimination Chamber – however this is highly likely to change as the PPV draws closer.