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WWE News: Asuka to appear at Madison Square Garden house show

Harald Math
2.27K   //    24 Feb 2017, 12:39 IST
The most famous arena in the world beckons for the Empress of Tomorrow

What’s the story?

Current NXT Women’s Champion Asuka is going to replace Naomi on the March 12th house show at Madison Square Garden, at least according to the arena itself.

MSG has updated the card for the show following the former SmackDown Live Women’s Champion’s injury and the Empress of Tomorrow will join forces with Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Tamina to go up against SmackDown Live Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Mickie James and Carmella in eight-woman tag action.

The news will inevitably lead to rumours of Asuka moving up to the main roster, but for now, it seems as though this is simply a one-off. You can see the card below:

In case you didn’t know...

Just two weeks ago it seemed as though everything was right in Naomi’s world, but an injured knee has seen all of that come crashing down. The Glow was forced to relinquish the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship this past week on the blue brand and will be out of action for a few more weeks recovering from a knee injury.

Dave Meltzer reported on the Wrestling Observer Radio show that the injury is unlikely to mean Naomi will miss WrestleMania 33, but WWE felt it was severe enough to use as a storyline vehicle going forward. One woman’s tragedy is another’s opportunity, however, and Asuka will step into Naomi’s shoes inside Madison Square Garden on March 12.

The heart of the matter

Asuka has been so utterly dominant in NXT that there’s not much left for her to do on the developmental brand. The Japanese Superstar is fast closing in on one full year as Women’s Champion, and whilst the division does seem to be rebuilding in 2017 it is hard to see why Asuka will need to be a part of that.

The MSG house show is only likely to be a one-off for the time being, however, although it may clue fans in as to where Asuka will end up when she eventually joins the main roster.


What’s next?

The March 12th show in WWE’s spiritual home will be headlined by a WWE Championship between champion Bray Wyatt and John Cena, as well as a special attraction non-title match between Brock Lesnar and Kevin Owens.

Elsewhere, Dean Ambrose will defend the Intercontinental Championship in a Triple Threat match against The Miz and Baron Corbin, and Luke Harper will take on Randy Orton. As always the card is subject to change.

Sportskeeda’s take

It seems strange to think this due to NXT being WWE developmental, but getting to work with a performer as experienced as Asuka will be great for some of SmackDown’s younger talent such as Alexa Bliss and Carmella.

Asuka is destined for the main roster but the best things come to those who wait, and Madison Square Garden will get a small taste on March 12.

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Harald Math
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