Asuka Teases a Persona Change Ahead of Her SummerSlam Match With Sasha Banks

Asuka defeated Bayley on this week's Monday Night Raw to earn a Raw Women's Championship match with Sasha Banks at SummerSlam. "The Empress" has had issues with "The Golden Role Models" for months, which culminated in her losing her title to Banks via count-out several weeks back after Bayley attacked Kairi Sane backstage. On Tuesday morning Asuka took to social media to post a photo of herself back when she was known as Kana on the independent wrestling scene. The photo started up speculation that the former champ might be going back to her older, significantly darker persona to get revenge.

Prior to joining WWE, Asuka wrestled for various Japanese promotions such as Pro Wrestling Wave, Smash, Wrestling New Classic and Reina Joshi Puroresu.

Asuka picked up her victory over the SmackDown Women's Champion after Bayley decided to mock Kairi Sane by using her "Walk The Plank" taunt. Asuka used that opening to apply the Asuka Lock, then rolled out of the ring before Banks could launch a sneak attack.

In her five years with the company, Asuka has become one of the most decorated women's wrestlers on the roster. She's one of only two women to achieve the level of Grand Slam Champion (winning the Raw, SmackDown, NXT and WWE Women's Tag Team Championships) and has won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, The Royal Rumble, the Mixed-Match Challenge and been the sole survivor in a traditional Survivor Series match. She finally won the Raw Women's Championship earlier this year when Becky Lynch vacated the title due to her pregnancy. Asuka was then awarded the title, as Lynch had secretly placed her vacated championship in the MITB briefcase.

WWE's next pay-per-view, SummerSlam, will take place on Aug. 23 at a yet-to-be-named location. Check out the full card (so far) below:

  • WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
  • WWE Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
  • Raw Women's Championship: Sasha Banks vs. Asuka
  • SmackDown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. TBD
  • United States Championship: Apollo Crews vs. MVP
  • Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits vs. Andrade & Angel Garza
  • Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins