NXT Women’s Champion Asuka relinquished her title to NXT General Manager William Regal tonight at Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla. After her dominant performance and historic 500-plus day reign as NXT Women’s Champion, The Empress of Tomorrow looks to her future for new opportunities in WWE, though no specific details are known at this time. Her reign will officially end on the date that her historic announcement airs.
NXT Women’s Champion Asuka broke her right collarbone during her successful title defense against Ember Moon Saturday at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, WWE.com has learned.
Due to the injury, The Empress of Tomorrow is not medically cleared to compete, and no official timetable has been given for her return. The typical recovery time for a broken collarbone is 6-8 weeks, according to ringside physician Dr. Jeffrey Westerfield, who tended to Asuka in Brooklyn.
“During the match, she landed awkwardly from a throw from Ember Moon and was able to complete the match, but had notable pain and discomfort,” Dr. Westerfield said. “We performed an initial ultrasound backstage that was highly suspicious of a break that was later confirmed by an X-ray.”
News of the injury comes as Asuka approaches the 507-day mark of her historic NXT Women’s Title reign. She has yet to be defeated in NXT since debuting in October 2015.
Stay with WWE.com as more details on Asuka’s condition become available.
Asuka defeated Ember Moon to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
Asuka’s historic reign over NXT’s women’s division …. remains intact. The Empress of Tomorrow prevailed over Ember Moon in arguably her greatest challenge to date.
Moon looked like she was shot out of a cannon with a lightning-quick start against the undefeated Asuka. However, after withstanding Moon’s initial onslaught, Asuka would pounce before taking control of the bout. The titleholder slowed the pace of the match as she bent Moon’s arm like a pretzel.
Asuka’s methodical attack would only hold for so long though, as this championship contest eventually turned into an all-out slugfest. Both champion and challenger took turns unleashing high-impact maneuvers to the delight of the NXT Universe.
Moon would gain the advantage as she climbed the tope rope and hit her Eclipse finishing maneuver. The crowd erupted in anticipation of a three-count, only to watch in shock as The Empress of Tomorrow kicked out at two!
Moon climbed back to the top rope, but Asuka pulled the referee in front of her. Instead, Moon soared over the referee, hitting the titleholder with a crossbody. The NXT Women’s Champion reversed the move into a pin attempt, but before the referee counted to three he noticed Asuka was holding Moon’s tights.
This dramatic championship showdown reached an absolute frenzied pace as the NXT Universe could feel the end was near for one of these competitors. After escaping another near-fall, Asuka caught her challenger in the Asuka Lock.
Moon fought with all her might, but had to tap out as the submission maneuver became overwhelming.
In what is becoming NXT: TakeOver’s version of “Groundhog Day,” the NXT Universe will once again wake up Sunday morning with Asuka as its NXT Women’s Champion and the question of who is worthy of challenging her.
NXT Women’s Champion Asuka crossed an incredible threshold last weekend.
With her victory last Saturday at TakeOver: Chicago, The Empress of Tomorrow reached a milestone of 174 wins. Since making her debut inside the yellow ropes on Oct. 7, 2015, Asuka has yet to be beaten in singles competition, and she has never been pinned or made to submit.
Asuka acknowledged her incredible feat on Twitter, and former Universal Champion Goldberg — whose legendary 173-0 streak propelled him to the main event of WCW in the late 1990s — offered his own congratulations:
Not only did Asuka topple Goldberg’s streak, but she did so emphatically. In her title defense at Takeover: Chicago, Asuka pinned not one, but two challengers at once: Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross. Her title reign stands at 419 days and counting.
The Empress of Tomorrow’s performance at TakeOver: Chicago was so dominant that it prompted Triple H to ask if any Superstar in WWE, regardless of brand affiliation, could stop Asuka.
Asuka’s reign of dominance over the NXT’s Women’s locker room continued in a stunning defeat of Ember Moon, who many had pegged as the strongest candidate to snap The Empress of Tomorrow’s seemingly unstoppable reign thanks to her ironclad Eclipse maneuver, which has yet to be kicked out of.
Alas, Ember didn’t even get to hit the maneuver, though the circumstances were somewhat controversial. Moon realized early that he best way to hit the Eclipse was to leave Asuka out on her feet, and after breaking free of the Asuka Lock and administering an exploder suplex to the champion, it seemed as though Moon had The Empress of Tomorrow finally in her sights for the Eclipse … so Asuka shoved the official into the ropes, knocking Moon off the turnbuckle.
Perhaps it was intentional. Perhaps, as Nigel McGuinness suggested on commentary, Asuka was still loopy from Moon’s offense and didn’t have full control of her body. But while the referee, Moon and the NXT Universe all struggled to comprehend what had just happened, Asuka moved fast: The champion quickly uncorked a kick to her challenger’s head, and it was goodnight, Moon.
Asuka can now add longest reigning NXT Women’s Champion to her growing list of accomplishments inside the squared circle. The Empress of Tomorrow, who has dominated the rest of the Women’s division since arriving to NXT has held the coveted title since April 1, 2016 when she defeated Bayley at TakeOver: Dallas.
As of Jan. 4, 2017, Asuka’s historic reign stands at 277 days and counting, passing the previous record-holder, Paige. This accomplishment is even more impressive when considering the list of previous NXT Women’s titleholders also includes the likes of Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks.
While anything is possible when it comes to sports-entertainment, Asuka’s record title reign looks to have no end in sight. Most recently, she successfully defended her title against Raw Superstar Nia Jax in Osaka, Japan, and before that, she thwarted the returning Mickie James at TakeOver: Toronto.
Competition among rising young Superstars such as Liv Morgan, Ember Moon and Billie Kay could bring forth Asuka’s next challenger, but can any of them overthrow NXT’s empress? Will it take a Superstar from Raw or SmackDown LIVE, or even a former Superstar to dethrone Asuka?
Either way, it could be a long time (if ever) before anyone comes close to conquering Asuka’s record-breaking championship reign.
Marching to the ring in a traditional noh mask and kaleidoscopic battle gear and looking every bit the victor before the opening bell even rings, Asuka has trounced every Superstar thrown her way, using her perfect technique and wicked intentions to take down everybody from Nia Jax to Bayley (whom Asuka unseated as NXT Women’s Champion) to Ember Moon. All the while, the fierce Japanese Superstar has worn an intimidating smile on her face, seemingly finding joy in stretching out her overmatched challengers.
After repeatedly declaring that nobody can touch her inside the ring, Asuka relinquished the NXT Women’s Title in September 2017, ending her historic, record-breaking title reign on day No. 523. Though her immediate future is uncertain, Asuka indicated that she will explore other opportunities in WWE and is in negotiations with both Raw and SmackDown LIVE.
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