Last week at “Extreme” Rules, Asuka had a match with Carmella (and saying “match” may be a stretch). It was honestly one of the worst excuses for a match I have ever seen, even by the increasingly nonsensical standards WWE have started to set for themselves. The reason why I said calling it a match would be a stretch is that the match barely featured any in-ring action, and it resembled more of a segment than an actual match. Basically, the idea was that James Ellsworth, Carmella’s stooge and personal lackey, was locked in a shark cage above the ring in order to prevent him from interfering. Of course, SmackDown LIVE General Manager, Paige, could have literally banned him from the arena and didn’t consider that James Ellsworth could still potentially make his presence felt from above the ring. Almost immediately after the match started, James Ellsworth already began interfering by dropping weapons from the cage. And, you guessed it, James Ellsworth managed to escape by literally just picking the lock. However, the numerous logic-breaking moments in the match was usurped only by Asuka’s lack of awareness.
Asuka literally spent the majority of the match fighting someone who was supposed to be trapped in the cage and bodying ring personnel. She didn’t even once bother to locate where her real opponent was, and it wasn’t until she was shoved into the cage that was supposed to be above the ring where she realized her error. That has pretty much described Asuka this summer, and how WWE has ruined the aura behind Asuka. When Asuka was signed over to WWE, she was undefeated for two and a half years. Her first singles loss came at WrestleMania, in a hard-fought match against Charlotte Flair. The loss initially shocked me, but if Asuka was going to lose her first match, it had to be a barn-burner, and Charlotte Flair/Asuka was probably the best well-wrestled match on the entire WrestleMania card. Asuka couldn’t stay undefeated forever, and if there was any woman that you could conceivably believe can beta Asuka straight up in a wrestling match, look no further than Charlotte Flair. Carmella, however, is a different story.
Upon entering her feud with Carmella, I knew WWE was going to ruin her. In theory, Asuka should be able to run right through Carmella, because if we are being honest with each other, Carmella has little ring talent. However, the reason why WWE has ruined her (at least for the moment) is that WWE made her into something she shouldn’t ever be. And that is a dumbass. All in this feud, Asuka has made countless mental lapses and has slipped on numerous banana peels. The moment faces start to act stupid is the moment they lose credibility and people begin to root for heels.
Take a look at Asuka’s feud against Carmella. At Money in the Bank, she has Carmella beat and all she has to do is finish her off and pin her in order to win the match. Instead, what does she do? A figure in a mask appears at ringside. It doesn’t charge her or provoke her. It just stands there. And instead of getting the win like an idiot and ignoring it, she decides to stare at it until the figure is revealed as James Ellsworth, and Asuka gets superkicked from behind. In the SmackDown LIVE’s after, she would consistently allow James Ellsworth to distract Asuka from attacking Carmella, whether James Ellsworth was literally shielding Carmella in the ring or a full on chase throughout the arena. Then, you top it off with her blunder at Extreme Rules and you have a certified bonehead.
You’d think a character like Asuka would be easy to book. She doesn’t speak well, so just have her kick ass in the ring and not make her look like an incompetent fool, and you’re good. She doesn’t have to go out there and win every match she’s in, but to go from having a classic against Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania to getting shoved into a shark cage by Carmella is inconsistent booking at its finest. Now is Asuka ruined permanently? Absolutely not. I’d scoff at the notion that two straight PPV losses to Carmella are something that she can never recover from. If Charlotte Flair can lose twice to Carmella, so can Asuka. But the way that she’s been losing and how she’s been portrayed has been beyond pathetic.
Asuka is a woman of many talents, but evidently, using her brain hasn’t been one of them, and this just goes into a deeper issue that WWE has with booking people. And it hasn’t been getting better, as it appears Asuka is out of the title picture for now. When she makes her return, she doesn’t have to always win, but can she at least also realize that 2+2 does not equal fish? Asuka says no one is ready for her, but evidently, if you can easily distract her, you are. And that has to change immediately.