She Made Her Wrestling Debut In 2004
Whilst a portion of the WWE Universe may believe that a performer’s career doesn’t begin until they show up on WWE programming, Asuka has been performing in the squared circle for over 10 years now.
She made her debut as Kana on June 16, 2004 in a promotion called AtoZ, AtoZ was an all-female promotion, that doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Asuka’s debut match was against a performer called Leo-Na, a masked superstar from Japan.
She Retired In 2006
Just 18 months after making her debut in AtoZ, Asuka shockingly announced her retirement with immediate effect. The date was March 19th 2006, and the reason was chronic nephritis.
Chronic what, I hear you cry? Well, nephritis is basically an inflammation of the kidneys, and is caused by infections, toxins and other such issues that can cause bother for the major organs, in this case the kidneys.
Asuka’s retirement wouldn’t last long though, and on September 22nd 2007 she returned to the ring and is obviously still going strong today.
She Was A Freelance Graphic Designer
Before becoming a professional wrestler, Asuka was actually a freelance graphic designer. She graduated from Osaka University of Arts Junior College, and would go on to design graphics for the Nintendo DS and various mobile applications.
The jump from graphic design to pro graps is a large one to say the least, although Asuka’s skills in the design world have been brought to the fore in her wrestling career too, in everything from gear to graphics.
She Owns A Hair Salon In Yokohama
Along with being a professional wrestler and a graphic designer, Asuka also finds the time to run a hair salon in the Japanese city of Yokohama. Called ‘Another Heaven’, the salon primarily works with those who are looking for alternative styles.
Despite carrying the nickname ‘Most Dangerous’, it is clear that Asuka takes her style very seriously indeed. Japan is an incredibly style-conscious country, and radical hairstyles can almost seem like the norm. I can only assume Another Heaven does pretty good business.
She Has Released Four Gravure DVDs
Honest to god, I had no idea what gravure was until researching this article. It turns out that gravure is a strange mix of softcore glamour photography and video, generally playful but with sexual overtones the entire time.
Asuka has released four such DVDs, three in the ‘Manyufesto’ (Manifest) series and one with Mio Shirai, titled ‘Sadistic Tails’. Tajiri actually makes an appearance in the latter, albeit thankfully in a wrestling capacity.
I watched all four, for research purposes.
She Loves Rock Music
Like many in the crazy world of professional wrestling, Asuka’s favourite genre of music is rock. She likes her rock to be on the meatier side as well, none of that kiddy pop-punk stuff.
No, she has professed that her favourite bands are Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi. Actually, remove that comment about ‘meatier’ rock, it would seem Asuka is a fan of overblown American stadium rock.
Triple H Is Her Favourite WWE Performer
The Great Muta, Minoru Suzuki, Antonio Inoki and Yoshiaki Fujiwara may have given Asuka the inspiration to enter the world of professional wrestling, but who is her favourite performer in World Wrestling Entertainment?
Luckily for her, the answer to that question is Triple H. Yes, ‘The King of Kings’ himself it the former Kana’s favourite WWE performer. This stands her in pretty good stead going forward, what with Triple H being the guy that books the show she on and all that jazz.
She Is A Video Game Journalist
It is clear that Asuka is a woman of many talents. Wrestler, graphic designer, entrepreneur and model, but you can also add journalist to that list. She is a video game journalist, mostly working for the XBox360 magazine.
She is definitely a games geek. She has confessed in the past to owning around 3000 games (for a variety of consoles), with Red Dead Redemption and OKAMI being two of her favourite games. I have no idea what either of those are. She actually used the OKAMI theme as her entrance music before joining NXT. (source: pwpix.net)