From the WWE rumor mill: Segment nixed from this week's episode of Raw
This would have been an interesting swerve
What's the story?
Shinsuke Nakamura announced that he would fight for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania as soon as he won the 2018 men's Royal Rumble, but Asuka has so far kept her WrestleMania plans to herself, even though the original plan for Raw was to finally have Asuka reveal which Championship she was going to challenge for.
In case you didn't know...
When Asuka won the first-ever Women's Royal Rumble match last month, she won the right to challenge for either the SmackDown or the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania in April.
Ronda Rousey's shocking arrival meant that Asuka was unable to announce who she would face after she won the match and so far she has kept the WWE Universe in the dark. It has been rumored that Asuka could be the one to step up to Charlotte Flair over on SmackDown, even though the recent build-up has made it seem as though Asuka will be in a triple threat match which includes Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax.
The heart of the matter
Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez discussed the Women's Division on the most recent episode of The Wrestling Observer and claimed that the original plan was for Asuka to finally announce who she would go after at WrestleMania this week on Raw but this was nixed from the show at the last minute. (transcript via RingsideNews)
“…there was scheduled also to be Asuka making her announcement about WrestleMania, which did not happen on this show. That was another thing that got changed.”
It seems that WWE wants to wait until after FastLane when Charlotte defends her Women's Championship against Ruby Riott, before Asuka finally decides to reveal who she will face on The Grandest Stage of Them All. It is thought that this will also leave Nia Jax to face her friend Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship at the same event.
It has already been announced that Asuka will face Nia Jax on next week's episode of Raw which is the final episode of Raw before SmackDown presents Fastlane and Asuka could then reveal that Charlotte is the woman that she has in her sights.
Asuka versus Charlotte has been building for a while and was one of the reasons why Charlotte won the Women's Championship from Natalya ahead of Survivor Series last year so that Asuka and Charlotte didn't go head to head in the women's match and it could then be saved for WrestleMania. Charlotte is one of the best female wrestlers WWE has ever had and the SmackDown Women's Championship up against Asuka's undefeated streak would definitely be interesting.