On Saturday, reports suggested that Asuka had quit WWE due to her apparent frustration with her unsatisfactory main roster booking and the subsequent loss of a “big payday” for the company’s upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view. Fortunately for fans of the “Empress of Tomorrow,” there doesn’t appear to be any truth to those rumors, as they weren’t even written by the purported source.
According to WrestlingNews.co, the rumors first circulated earlier on Saturday, when a report cited PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, claiming that Asuka “walked out” during Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live after having a “heated” meeting with WWE officials over her prospective payday at SummerSlam. After allegedly leaving in a huff, the Japanese standout, who enjoyed a long undefeated streak and held the NXT Women’s Championship for over 500 days, then stopped returning calls from the WWE, the report further suggested.
As it turns out, the above claims that Asuka quit WWE don’t appear to be true after all, as WrestlingNews.co noted that Johnson never published such rumors. While she was kept off television on Tuesday and is likely to remain offscreen as she competes in another dark match on next week’s episode of SmackDown Live, the publication stressed that Asuka is likely not getting a chance to appear on TV because of the brand’s “overcrowded” women’s roster. This, according to WrestlingNews.co’s Robert Schillaci, is a situation that has its share of advantages and disadvantages.
“It’s a good thing in the sense that it keeps some wrestlers from getting stale but not so great because it also means that some wrestlers are left off big pay-per-views.”
When Asuka first joined WWE’s main roster last year, many fans and wrestling experts had high expectations for her, due to her undefeated streak and record-setting NXT Women’s Championship reign. While she was consistently booked as a top championship contender on the main roster, she suffered her first loss as a WWE superstar at WrestleMania 34 during a match against Charlotte Flair, and later on, failed multiple times to defeat Carmella for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Though fans have often criticized WWE for failing to book Asuka as an actual main roster champion, WWE Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross recently defended the company’s creative decisions, predicting she will “be whole once again” and is too good to be consistently booked as an also-ran, according to Give Me Sport.
Prior to the rumors of Asuka quitting WWE breaking out, reports had suggested that the company might have some plans for her at SummerSlam. Last week, WrestlingNews.co reported that Asuka was advertised for a match against current SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella, though the details of that match, aside from its being advertised in Orlando, weren’t elaborated on further. It was speculated that the match would be Asuka’s chance to get back into the SmackDown Women’s title picture, as Carmella is scheduled to defend her title at SummerSlam against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.