The zero-sum gain of jobbing Asuka

Because I was out of town during Wrestlemania, I didn’t get home until the show was pretty much over.  Miraculously, I was able to stay away from the shitshow cancer of social media and somehow avoid all of the shitty live posting that people I know tend to do, but at mythical gf’s advice, I decided to watch some of the matches that I really wanted to see and not get spoiled to, instead of going to bed immediately after getting home.  There wouldn’t have really been any way to have avoided spoilers the following day, considering aside from the wasteland of social media commentating on everything, mainstream outlets like ESPN now like to cover wrestling as well these days.

Needless to say, among the two matches I was most intrigued about going into Wrestlemania, one was the AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match, and the other was Charlotte vs. Asuka.  Those were the only two matches I bothered watching immediately when I got home; and although I am glad to have gotten through both of the matches without getting spoiled, when the night was over I was disappointed in both, for slightly differing reasons.

Styles and Nakamura completely failed to capture the magic of Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Japan from just two years ago, leading to a fairly uninspired and lackluster match that makes me feel like both have aged past their primes and it was painfully apparent and/or the fact that WWE has the miraculous ability to hinder and suppress the talents of even the most capable wrestlers on the planet.

But obviously, the bigger objection I had from the entire show was the [spoiler alert] decision to have Charlotte defeat Asuka, thus ending her undefeated streak, the single most valuable commodity that the WWE as a whole had left.  As silly as it sounds to be willing to wager on a fake sport with predetermined outcomes, I would have wagered money that Asuka was going to defeat Charlotte, take the blue Women’s Championship, and then held the belt for at least another year, before her streak would have come to an end.  Along the way, they would do some shitty technicalities like having her lose in a tag team match, lose via countout or disqualification, before she would eventually have the last bastion of claiming that she had never been pinned or forced to tap out, preferably sometime in 2019, where she would eventually lose to someone completely deserving or qualified.

However, WWE seemed to have different plans in mind, and just like that, Asuka’s streak is over, and she’s now just another member of the women’s roster with nothing special except superior workrate, deep arsenal and international flair.

It’s not that I’m disappointed that the streak is over, it’s that I’m disappointed because the manner in which it happened served absolutely zero purpose or benefit to absolutely anyone involved.  Charlotte Flair will never need a rub or push or any sort of benefit that snapping Asuka’s streak would have provided to anyone else, because aside from the fact that she’s Ric Flair’s daughter, she has proven to be an extremely capable worker and athlete in her own right, and she’s already cemented her position as one of the most successful female wrestlers in the industry’s history.  Breaking Asuka’s streak doesn’t benefit her one bit, aside from a Kevin Nash-ego like notch on a belt, where an undefeated force of nature was built up for years, only to be stricken down by the champion without much resistance.

Had Asuka defeated Charlotte, it would have fulfilled the continuous rise, and with a championship in tow, the blue Women’s Championship would have been the penultimate Women’s championship in the industry, and the gold standard for any aspiring female superstar to strive for.  Anyone afterward who would then dethrone Asuka would also be the instant giant-slayer star in the making that would be catapulted in the ranks of female wrestlers, and everyone would win, from Asuka to have cemented such a legendary streak, the person who beats her, to the women’s division as a whole.

Asuka’s defeat simply cements my opinion that WWE’s creative pretty much lives to troll the universe, and operate in manners that is most contrarian to the opinions of the fans.  I highly doubt that I’m the only person who would have been willing to bet money that Asuka was going to beat Charlotte, and in that regard that’s exactly why the WWE decided to flip the script and go in the other direction.  They can’t possibly have the fans seem like they know what’s going on, even if it means tanking a valuable commodity like Asuka’s streak in the process.

The desire to remain unpredictable at the expensive of logic and long-term execution is laughable.  To make matters worse, the WWE doubled-down on the tank job of Asuka’s successes, by having Charlotte immediately job the blue Women’s Championship on the very first Smackdown after Wrestlemania, to of all people, Carmella, via cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase.

I guess the question is, who did Asuka piss off backstage?  Because a legacy that’s been over two years in the making has pretty much been destroyed and immolated in just two days.

gg WWE creative.

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