WWE News

Update On Why Asuka Did Not Return At Royal Rumble


Despite heavy speculation linking her with a return to action, Asuka was absent from the Royal Rumble. A new report is now aiming to shed some light on the situation.

The build-up to the 2022 Royal Rumble was filled with the usual speculation regarding returns from injury and special appearances from WWE legends. This speculation has only increased in recent years, since the addition of the women’s Royal Rumble match in 2018.

One Superstar who had been linked with a return to action at the 2022 event was former Raw Women’s Champion Asuka. The Japanese star hasn’t competed since July 2021, with details on her recovery from injury few and far between.

However, in the lead-up to Royal Rumble it was reported that Asuka had been cleared for an in-ring return, and potentially an appearance in the women’s Royal Rumble match. Despite this, the event came and went without any sign of NXT’s longest reigning Women’s Champion.

A new report from Fightful Select has now offered an update on the situation. The report noted that WWE simply felt that the Empress of Tomorrow was “not physically ready” to return.

The report went on to suggest that a former women’s Superstar also turned down the opportunity to appear after it became clear that Tyson Kidd wouldn’t be involved in producing the match. Although still listed as working as a producer, Kidd hasn’t been involved in producing matches for a number of weeks. In his place Fit Finlay was brought up from NXT.

One of the participants later described the match as a mess, while another talent called it “complete chaos.”

Although Asuka remains away the ring, one star who did return was Drew McIntyre. However, his neck is still said to not be 100%, and the issue stems from an injury he initially suffered in 2016.

You can find more details surrounding the backstage controversy surrounding the Royal Rumble here.