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From the WWE Rumour Mill: Women's Royal Rumble came down to only two choices

ANALYST
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10.55K   //    01 Feb 2018, 20:15 IST

Asuka and Nakamura did Japan proud on Sunday night
Asuka and Nakamura did Japan proud on Sunday night

What's the story?

Asuka won the Women's Royal Rumble match on Sunday night and made history in the process, but it seems that there could have been more to Asuka's win than the fact that WWE wanting to preserve her undefeated streak.

In case you didn't know...

Auska and Shinsuke Nakamura are considered to be the biggest Japanese stars in the company right now, with Hideo Itami and Kairi Sane trying to climb the ranks to their level. It seems that WWE has been struggling to bring male Japanese stars to WWE and given the run that Nakamura has been on recently, it's easy to see why.

Nakamura won his Royal Rumble match as well in what was a fantastic night for Japan and could now be set to turn his slump around with the match of his career against AJ Styles at WrestleMania.

The heart of the matter

On the latest episode of The Wrestling Observer, it was revealed that the Women's Royal Rumble came down either Asuka or Nia Jax, but it seems that it was the Undefeated Japanese star that came out on top with Asuka's streak clearly being set up for Ronda Rousey at some point, even though it isn't clear when this will be.

It is hoped that the Japanese winners of the two matches will help to change perception of the company in Japan, since it is thought that there aren't many male wrestlers who have an interest in WWE and with Itami's WWE career not working out over the past few years and Namakura being in a slump, it wasn't a great advertisement for the talents of the country.

"It does change the perception in Japan. While many wrestlers from Japan would have an interest in WWE, most of the major male stars haven’t. Shinsuke Nakamura and Hideo Itami were really the first, and Itami hasn’t panned out. Nakamura was looking flat after a bad program with Jinder Mahal, but will come out of the Rumble strong. He’ll probably have his best match so far in WWE with Styles, given the great match they had at the Tokyo Dome in 2016 for the IC title. Asuka has been pushed as unbeaten for years, and Kairi Sane has also been pushed as a significant star. But it’s easier for WWE to get women stars from Japan since they work for independent level groups and not New Japan, and while some are paid decently well, not make very strong money."

That being said Nakamura's career seems to be turning around with his planned match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania.

What's next?

Nakamura will face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania in just over two months time, whilst it is rumoured that Asuka will make the decision to face SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte instead of Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss, who could be set to fight Nia Jax.

Author's take

Asuka was definitely the right choice to win the match at The Royal Rumble, she has been on a fantastic run as of late and it could be argued that she is one of the most talented women that WWE has at their disposal. The same could be said for Nakamura, unlike when WWE was pushing Jinder Mahal to promote themselves in India, it seems that these two superstars could genuinely win their scheduled matches at WrestleMania and if that opens doors for WWE in Japan, then surely that should only be considered to be a byproduct of two of their most talented stars making waves.

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