Book or Cook? The Booking of Asuka

Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Benjamin Trecroci

The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Asuka.

Craig: This has been requested, all, so let’s tackle the booking of Asuka. After dominating for so long on NXT, and being portrayed as unstoppable and unbeatable, should we actually be that surprised that her main roster run has been a bit ‘meh’?

I mean, in NXT there was a great deal of focus on her and energies spent on getting her over and establishing her as a performer. Can the same be said for on the main roster? Sure, there’ll be a lot of overlap between those who watch Raw and Smackdown and those who watch NXT but I don’t believe they did enough to hype her arrival and since then she’s absolutely been overshadowed by the debut and run of Ronda Rousey. And let’s face it, a programme with James Ellsworth isn’t going to help her much, is it?

So troops, is it a book or a cook for Asuka?

Brian: Asuka has not been quite the same since losing her undefeated streak at Wrestlemania 34. I would dare to even say that she hasn’t been the same since leaving NXT. She is still an exceptional wrestler and she oozes personality.

I think if she loses again to Carmella…even in some screw job finish…Asuka might not ever recover. She needs to win the Smackdown women’s title. She is too good to throw away and give up on. My vote is to book her and book her like a champion.

Craig: Yeah, the loss of her defeated streak didn’t make sense and was always going to hurt her. It’s fair to say that the journey she has been on since hasn’t helped her in the slightest. I do think the WWE can save the situation, am loathed to say salvage but it’s not far from it, but that needs to happen quickly. I think making quick work of Carmella and dispatching her en route to winning the Smackdown women’s title is the start of that process. Then a strong run with the title, dispatching foes left, right and centre, and then we’ll be back, quite rightly, to talking about Asuka as a dominating and important part of the WWE female roster.

Benjamin: Why that we are even having this discussion is sad because Asuka is a star on top of the Christmas Tree. But thus has been the story for far too many stars that make their way from NXT to the main roster.

She has international appeal as well as merchandise for days if they played it right. Could just see tons of different Asuka masks throughout the crowd, much like the Sting masks in WCW, etc.
Then as far as her booking goes, her loss at Wrestlemania was beyond shocking and really didn’t make sense. Would’ve rather seen her cashed in on by Carmella instead of losing clean as a whistle.
Figured she would’ve won the title back from Carmella on her first shot but she didn’t. Now she’s in a silly feud with Ellsworth. Asuka is one of those people that make the title bigger and she needs it around her waist sooner than later. Would love to see an Asuka and Becky Lynch feud and neither one of them need to be a heel either. And as far as her promo goes, she can talk and has a presence on the mic that people seem to be into.


Craig: Yeah, I’m of the same mindset. It’s a book but, right now, she can’t take much more in the way of damage to her character. But, as you say Benjamin, not only is the top in-ring worker she does have that international appeal that the WWE could, and should, really be cashing in on.

What do you think? Should we be booking or cooking Asuka? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.

4 thoughts on “Book or Cook? The Booking of Asuka

  1. If you had told me a year or so ago that we would even be having this discussion, I would have called you absolutely insane. How has WWE managed to screw up both Asuka AND Nakamura…not to mention a bunch of other superstars? Mind boggling…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Because that’s all they know what to do. Bungle things from “creative’s” end and then the damage is done. Sports Entertainment is clearly not for every wrestler, although even the ones who do fit within those broad strokes are getting wasted and washed up after being chewed up and spat out by the machine. I say book, but if Asuka’s facing the same exact situation this time next year, she needs to head back to Japan.


  2. Hmmm. I think Asuka was adequately hyped coming into the main roster. They booked her very strongly and ran a bunch of video packages on her for people who were previously unaware.

    The real problem was *how* they presented her. They failed to give Asuka any storylines, character depth, or interesting feuds. It was just “She’s undefeated!” over and over again. This is in sharp contrast to the excellent way in which NXT presented Asuka. So, now that they’ve ended her undefeated streak (for whatever reason), it seems like they have no idea what to do with her and they’re just letting her die on the vine. I’m guessing she loses in humiliating fashion once more at Extreme Rules.

    And I can already see this pattern happening again with another recent NXT call-up, Ember Moon. Sure, she’s winning a ton of matches, but that’s it. They’ve done nothing interesting with her character to make the audience care.


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