Kanako Urai, better known by her ring name Asuka, is a Japanese professional wrestler with a
number of titles and accomplishments under her belt and a background in badminton and figure
skating as well. While working as a graphic designer, wrestlers like Keiji Mutoh, Saturo Sayama and
Minoru Suzuki inspired her to take up wrestling as a career. She trained under Yuki Ishikawa and
debuted on all-female promotion AtoZ against Leo-na in 2004. Chronic nephritis kept her away from
the ring for a while, but she came back in 2007 working as a freelance wrestler for various
Before coming to WWE, Asuka wrestled under the name Kana in Pro Wrestling Wave, WNC, Smash,
Reina Joshi Puroresu and Japanese and American independent circuits. Her arrival to WWE was
confirmed in August, 2015 as she joined the development territory, NXT. She won the NXT Women’s
Championship by defeating Bayley through technical submission, after which Vince McMahon
thought of moving her to the main roster. But Triple H discouraged him by calling Asuka the
“anchor” of NXT.
She continued her feud with Bayley in NXT and held her title reign for 510 days, which is the longest
of any WWE title in post-national expansion era.
When she came to the main roster Asuka continued her ubdefeated run in the company on Raw. She
woul defeat Nia Jax, and every other star quite a few times. She then went on to win the first ever
Women,s Royal Rumble. Unfortunately for her she challenged Charlotte and this would signal the
end of her undefeated run after WrestleMania.
Since then she has performed and lost several matches, not really being included in any big storyline,
while also being simultaneously drafted to SmackDown Live. Finally at the last WWE payperview of
the year, TLC, Asuka won the SmackDown Women's Championship, thanks to the interference by
Ronda Rousey in the Triple Threat TLC match, also including Becky Lynch and Charlotte.