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[2019-01-27-WWE-Royal Rumble] Asuka vs Becky Lynch

paul sosnowski

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A perfect opener, if you ask me. A slow but steady start that led into a pretty hot finishing stretch that didn't burn out the crowd. Perfect pacing to get the crowd nice and riled up for the night of action to come. Great finish too with Asuka bridging on the Asuka Lock. Showed a real urgency to the match that she had to adjust her arsenal to take out Becky.


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  • GSR changed the title to [2019-01-27-WWE-Royal Rumble] Asuka vs Becky Lynch

This had a solid enough first five minutes and they had some nice ideas, though it felt a bit back and forth and didn't totally grab me. Asuka paintbrushing Becky and Becky looking at her like "okay we're doing this now?" was a cool moment. I'm definitely behind Becky getting the big push and think it's awesome how she's gotten herself mega over, but a bunch of her facial expressions can be pretty hokey and I think overall she's a step behind a few of the other women. Still, this picked up when she started going for the Disarm Her and I liked Asuka's sell of the arm for a while after that, especially from the armbar under the turnbuckle bolt. Asuka looked badass here, bunch of really snug strikes and she made those that missed look like she was trying to actually connect, really making Becky work for everything. She also had a few big hip attacks and took a couple nasty bumps, especially the neckbreaker/fisherman buster off the apron that both women crashed hard and awkward on. The struggles over each submission attempt towards the end looked appropriately ragged and Asuka doing a chickenwing Cattle Mutilation was a great finish. I probably wouldn't have had Becky tap clean, but I don't see it hurting her too much and if they're serious about building Asuka back up then fair fucks.

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This is the first Becky Lynch match I've seen from her current run. The work here was pretty good with a really nice build, so it overall I'd say it was a good to very good match. However, one thing that struck me is Becky Lynch's facial expressions and mannerisms to the crowd were terrible. Edge level bad. I know it's a total modern WWE thing to sell shock at opponent's kickouts, but they really need to stop with that. It always looks terribly forced and takes me out of the match.

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