As we continue down the “Road to Wrestlemania” we currently are without a contender for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship. We are consistently told that “No one is ready for Asuka?” And presently that statement has never been truer. So in this piece, we will examine three potential opponents for Asuka at Wrestlemania.
Legendary Longshot: Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus is arguably the greatest to ever compete in WWE’s Women’s Division. And when Trish was apart of the first Women’s Royal Rumble match she was phenomenal. And her performance at WWE Evolution was almost as if she hadn’t missed a step. But there was one thing that we did not see during Trish’s recent return. And if you go back through the rumors it was something we were supposed to see at NXT Takeover: Toronto way back in November of 2016. The idea was for Asuka to squaring off with Trish Stratus. However, Trish would announce that she was pregnant with her second child in October of that year. So the returning legend that night was Mickie James. (Returning for a one night showcase. Before returning full time later.) So in another one off type showcase at the Grandest Stage of them All, Trish could have that one-on-one matchup with Asuka.
There wouldn’t even need to be a long drawn out build to set the match up. Asuka could come out to the ring and say “No one is ready for Asuka. I beat everyone.” And out comes the WWE Hall of Famer, Trish Stratus.
Vince’s Vote: Alexa Bliss
When trying to decide who Vince would likely choose to face off with Asuka at Wrestlemania, three names came to mind. Lacey Evans, Mandy Rose, and Alexa Bliss. Vince McMahon has a prototype of the type of “Superstars” he likes to push. But when it comes to building towards a spectacle like Mania, Vince will want someone to carry the promos. Thus putting Alexa Bliss, one of the best talkers in WWE altogether ahead of the other two women. And when you breakdown the potential of a good contest with Asuka, Alexa gives the highest likelihood of a good match. Lacey is still very green in the ring. There was also a rumor that she was initially pegged for this very match. But it is being reconsidered. Mandy’s ring work has developed in spades since her arrival. As evidenced by that V Trigger, she still would need some time to progress further. Alexa Bliss, however, is polished and her character work is equally as impressive.
And in terms of building towards that match, it’s easy. Alexa Bliss can go to Mr. McMahon’s office and say something along the lines of “Hey a Smackdown Live Superstar is challenging for the Raw Women’s Championship. And I think a Raw Superstar should then face off with the Smackdown Live Women’s Champion.” And she would say should be that Superstar. Vince would long the idea of throwing “chaos” into the mix and approve Alexa heading over to battle the Smackdown Live Women’s Champion.
Sleeper Selection: Sonya Deville
The idea of adding Sonya Deville to a marquee matchup at the biggest event in the WWE calendar may not come right away. But when you look at the landscape in WWE it is changing. The biggest character in WWE right now is Becky Lynch. And its when Becky went next level aggressive with her character that she elevated the business. Superstars like Lynch, Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, and Charlotte Flair have taken over the top spots in WWE and NXT. Sonya Deville can easily move up to that next level. Having the legitimate MMA background gives Deville a level of credibility that she shares with Ronda and Shayna. And someone with that pedigree would be an ideal candidate for a match with Asuka.
The build for this match could be very easy to book as well. Sonya Deville would begin to dominate everyone on the Smackdown Live Women’s Division roster. Deville would start to target Asuka by taking out opponents with the “Asuka Lock.” Sonya could then tell Asuka that she is not ready for Sonya. Then tag team matches could be set up with Deville and Mandy Rose versus Asuka and a partner of her choosing. And in those matches, Deville and Rose would cut off Asuka’s partner and make them tap out while looking at Asuka. Sonya Deville may not have been your initial first thought. (Although she was my first thought.) This matchup could take an overlooked Championship title match and deliver something incredible. Pushing Sonya Deville to the top of the Smackdown Live’s Women’s Division also brings an added level of diversity to the WWE. Thus adding Sonya Deville is an all-around winning choice for Asuka’s Wrestlemania opponent.