Kanako Urai is a Japanese professional wrestler signed with WWE. She is best known for her work as Kana in Japan and Asuka in WWE. She is a former grand slam champion and royal rumble winner.
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Asuka was born in Japan in the city of Osaka as Kanako Urai. She was born in 1981 on the 26th of September. In addition to her current work, Urai has experience as a freelance graphic designer and video game journalist. In 2019, Urai started her own YouTube channel called KanaChanTV, which primarily features gaming and lifestyle content.
She graduated from the Osaka University of Arts Junior College.
Urai began her wrestling career after being inspired by several Japanese legends. She was a former graphic designer before she became a full-time wrestler. Urai won several tournaments and championships and established herself as a dominant wrestler. Between 2004-2006, she took a hiatus and opened her own graphic designing company while she was fighting through chronic nephritis.
Urai wrestled for several top independent promotions in America and Japan, such as DDT Pro-Wrestling, Ice Ribbon, JWP, Smash, Chikara, Wrestling New Classic, Shimmer, and Reina Joshi Puroresu. After defeating several well-known names and winning championships, she signed with WWE.
After joining WWE, they renamed her Asuka. She quickly rose to prominence by defeating Dana Brooke and Emma at TakeOver Respect and TakeOver London, respectively. At TakeOver Dallas, she defeated Bayley to become the NXT Women's Champion.
Asuka defeated several NXT superstars and built an undefeated streak for over 500 days as the champion. After TakeOver Brooklyn III, Asuka broke her right collarbone, which forced her out of action for six to eight weeks. She relinquished her championship and moved to the main roster.
After debuting on RAW, Asuka stayed undefeated and won the inaugural Royal Rumble in 2018. She moved to SmackDown and challenged SmackDown Women's Champion, Charlotte. At WrestleMania 34, she faced Charlotte and lost. It was her first loss in the company. She stayed on SmackDown, and by the end of the year, she defeated Becky Lynch and Charlotte at TLC to win the WWE SmackDown Championship.
After losing her title to Charlotte on SmackDown, she teamed up with Kairi Sane. The duo turned heel when she attacked Paige by spitting green mist. At Hell in a Cell, The Kabuki Warriors defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross to win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships. The duo became the longest-reigning WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. At WrestleMania 37, they lost the titles back to Bliss and Cross.
After WrestleMania, Asuka entered the mixed person money in the bank ladder match where she won the match. On RAW, Becky Lynch handed the RAW Women's Championship and announced her pregnancy. Asuka lost the title to Sasha Banks on RAW two weeks after Extreme Rules. She defeated Banks at SummerSlam and won her second RAW Women's Championship. At TLC, she teamed up with Charlotte to win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship. However, the duo lost the title in less than 45 days. After 230 days, Asuka lost the title to Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania 37. She faced Ripley and Charlotte at Backlash and lost. She entered the money in the bank ladder match and lost. She is currently on a hiatus.
Return from Hiatus
She made her on the April 25th episode of RAW to a thunderous crowd reaction, interrupting Lynch's promo. At Survivor Series 2022, she was a part of Team Bayley in a losing effort where Team Bianca defeated Team Bayley in a War Games match after Becky Lynch scored the pin on Dakota Kai.
After a brief break, she sported a new look at Royal Rumble 2023. She entered third place and was eliminated by the eventual winner Rhea Ripley. As Ripley challenged Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship, the contender for the RAW Women's Championship was to be decided via an Elimination Chamber match at the eponymous contest.
Asuka defeated Carmella, Liv Morgan, Natalya, Nikki Cross, and Raquel Rodriguez in the aforesaid match to become the no. 1 contender for RAW Women's Championship and got a match against Bianca Belair for the gold at WrestleMania Hollywood. Her victory also made her the first-ever woman to win the Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank, and the Elimination Chamber match.
At the event, Asuka failed to grab the opportunity and was defeated by The EST of WWE. However, The Empress of Tomorrow did not accept the defeat and soon became the number 1 contender for the title once again. She is currently booked to face Bianca Belair for the gold at Night of Champions.
The winner of the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match, Asuka is worth around USD 1 Million in 2023. Do click here to read more about the net worth of WWE Superstar Asuka in detail.
Asuka has written for Microsoft's Xbox magazine and has also worked as a graphic designer with Nintendo DS and mobile applications. She also owns a salon in Yokohama which is named Another Heaven. As discussed by fellow superstars Becky Lynch and Naomi, Asuka is also a mother.
The real name of WWE Superstar Asuka is Kanako Urai.
Asuka has won a total of 7 titles in WWE including 3 world championships, 3 tag team championships and one NXT Women's Champioship reign.
Asuka was undefeated for a total of 914 days in WWE until her defeat at the hands of Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 34.
Asuka is billed at a height of 160 cm which is roughly 5 ft 3 in.
Yes, Asuka is a working mother as discussed by Becky Lynch during her interview with Sports Illustrated.