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YMMV / Kanako Urai

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: It's quite possible to interpret her becoming Darker and Edgier on NXT and eventually turning heel to be a response to the bullying she got from Emma, Dana Brooke, Nia Jax and Eva Marie when she first arrived. It's as if she went Then Let Me Be Evil — either getting sick and tired of the crap way she was treated or realizing after going through it so flawlessly that nobody can touch her.
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  • Arc Fatigue: Asuka's title reign grew tiring very quickly because it coincided with the WWE Draft calling up several women from the NXT roster. Among those were Alexa Bliss, Carmella and Nia Jax - who were on the verge of becoming title contenders on NXT. This left Asuka without any developed characters to feud with, and resulted in weeks of her squashing women from the indies and talking about how no one was ready to face her. It kicked into gear again around the time Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, and to a smaller extent Ruby Riot debuted and gave her competition again.
  • Awesome Ego: She's very good, and very, very aware of it.
  • Awesome Music:
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  • Base-Breaking Character: She has slipped into this as her title reign has continued; she's either a great example of a dominant champion or she's a Spotlight-Stealing Squad who causes the entire NXT women's division to stagnate. Some fans Take a Third Option and enjoy her title reign but wish more of the female competitors would get development so they could feel like legitimate threats to Asuka (which eventually did happen towards the end of her reign with wrestlers such as Ember Moon and Nikki Cross).
  • Badass Decay: Her feud with Carmella and James Ellisworth over the Smackdown Women’s Championship pretty much ruined Asuka’s character. It took her winning the Smackdown Women's Championship at TLC 2018 and retaining it against Becky Lynch at the Royal Rumble to reverse this.
  • Crazy Awesome: Asuka is crazy violent and yet awesome. She established herself as such in her debut, where she signed her NXT contract and seemingly left the ring after being taunted by Emma and Dana Brooke — before shooting them a massive Slasher Smile. Then there's the last match before she defended the title against Bayley — where she set up a chair at ringside, so Bayley could watch her brutalise Aliyah. This all resulted in her not only having the longest NXT Women's Championship reign, but becoming the longest reigning champion in modern WWE ever.
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  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: She was young and notoriously stiff to begin with, so didn't do herself too many favors in the joshi community. Then she did that manifesto and her name became mud in Japan, hence her being stuck as a heel there for so long. In America, however, she is immensely popular, to the point fan demand was ultimately what got her booked in SHIMMER, CHIKARA, and finally WWE NXT and Raw, where her cute-but-deadly persona and wrestling skills have made her a massive babyface.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: In a match at TakeOver, a roundhouse kick from her came out of nowhere and knocked Emma out cold.
  • Memetic Mutation: Her Cool Mask has led to "Oh Noh" being used a lot Just for Pun.
  • Moe: Not her in-ring persona, but her OOC appearances on Up Up Down Down and her own Kana-Chan TV YouTube channel have garnered this reaction for her enthusiasm and Adorkable charisma.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: To some, "The Future" can be reminiscent of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A major criticism of her title reign is that she herself gets barely featured on TV. She's usually in a Squash Match or gets a quick promo claiming she has no competition. It gives the impression that once WWE put the title on her, they had no clue what to actually do with her.
    • It seems 2018 has been the year WWE finally has figured out how to book Asuka. She's still undefeated, but two things have happened: she won the first-ever women's Royal Rumble, proving her dominance, and she's been put into lengthy matches with wrestlers like Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Nia Jax.
    • However, this came back hard after being drafted to the Smackdown brand. Fans were outraged that Carmella (already on the verge of gaining a considerable amount of heat) gave Asuka her first (and eventually second) pin fall loss. While Charlotte had been seen as being the proper woman to defeat her, many disliked that an inexperienced wrestler like Carmella would be the next opponent to defeat her. Though she luckily managed to shake this off by the end of the year, this has arguably left a black mark on her career.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The much hyped title match between her and Ember Moon was attacked by critics for its lacklustre build-up, where it seemed as if WWE were treating the match as a formality rather than a heated contest between rivals.
    • This was all but forgotten come their match at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, however. It was widely praised as one of the best women's matches in NXT and WWE.

Alternative Title(s): Asuka

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