WWE’s Asuka on Fighting Bayley and Sasha Banks at SummerSlam and Kairi Sane’s Departure

WWE superstar Asuka will be pulling double duty at this year’s SummerSlam pay per view event streaming live Sunday, Aug. 23 at 7/6c on the WWE Network. The event will take place at the WWE ThunderDome, an elaborate set at the Amway Center in Orlando boasting huge pyrotechnics and hundreds of shiny LED screens.

After beating Bayley on Monday Night Raw and winning a battle royal on Friday Night SmackDown, the mask-wearing, green mist-spitting wrestler — also known as the Empress of Tomorrow — will be taking on both Sasha Banks and Bayley for the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championship, respectively. If Asuka wins both matches, she would become a double champion which would be a major career highlight. However, that potential win would also bring on a whole new set of challenges. After all, she’d be defending her titles from two different rosters of extremely hungry competitors. But before Asuka can even begin to prepare for that challenge, she must first defeat two members of the famed Four Horsewomen of NXT.

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“Sasha Banks and Bayley are great athletes,” Asuka told TV Guide with help from Funaki, who translated the interview. “[Sasha Banks is] technically great. Every single match with [her] is different so I have to be careful. And Bayley with Sasha, they’re so foolish. [But] remember, I won the NXT’s Women’s Championship from Bayley so I think I can beat her again to regain the SmackDown Women’s Championship.”

Asuka will have to face both threats without any backup now that her former tag team partner Kairie Sane is no longer in the WWE. Sane departed the company in July to be with her family in Japan. As the Kabuka Warriors, the pair tore it up in the women’s tag team division, winning the Tag Team titles at last year’s Hell in a Cell pay per view. Without Sane around, Asuka admits that things are “sad for now.”

“I was just by myself before Kairi, and when she came to the WWE, I had a powerful partner, inside and outside of the ring,” she said.  

As Asuka forges ahead as a singles competitor, she hasn’t ruled out the possibility of teaming with another partner. One wrestler who stands out for the colorful competitor is Shayna Baszler, who she teamed with to successfully defeat Bayley and Sasha Banks on the Aug. 17 episode of Raw.

“I’m comfortable with her, and we won the tag team match so maybe Shayna is the one,” Asuka said.  

Catch Asuka in action at SummerSlam which takes place Sunday, Aug. 23 at 7/6c on the WWE Network.


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