If Asuka hasn’t already won over your heart in the first three months of her NXT tenure, don’t worry; in 2016, Asuka will not only blow your mind, but she’ll also do so en route to becoming NXT’s most valuable competitor, regardless of gender.
The exodus of Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch from NXT to WWE in 2015 created opportunities for other women to make a name for themselves in NXT’s acclaimed division, and Asuka took the greatest advantage. Whether Bayley makes a similar transition to WWE in 2016, expect Asuka to establish herself as the new standard-bearer. As vibrant as she is vicious, she will continue slaughtering opponents, lassoing them into her Asuka Lock and knocking out the most overwhelmed foes. (Are you awake yet, Deonna Purazzo?). At this rate, don’t be surprised if Asuka main events an NXT TakeOver special in the New Year. — JOHN CLAPP