On the 25th April edition of the red brand, ‘The Empress Of Tomorrow’ interrupted Becky Lynch to continue their storied rivalry. In one of the most memorable moments on Raw, ‘The Man’ handed Asuka the Raw Women’s Championship in May 2020 when she announced that she was stepping away from action as she was pregnant.
After eight months out due to injury, Asuka returned to confront the former Raw Women’s Champion, just under two years from the point she was given the belt.
Whilst Becky Lynch was explaining how she’d fallen on hard times since losing the belt to Bianca Belair at WrestleMania 38, Asuka returned and ended up flicking Lynch’s nose before they almost came to blows before Lynch escaped.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Bully Ray explained the reasons why he hated the interaction with the pair and how he would have reacted in a similar situation.
I will give you an example of how much I hated the flicking of the nose. First of all, it got no reaction. They had no reaction; people didn’t even realize what was happening. Whenever I see two men in the ring and they are within enough distance to touch each other, if you are close enough to touch me, I am close enough to hit you. Roll my hand up in a fist and punch you in the mouth. I hate it when guys push each other.
Bully Ray went on to explain how the live audience would have little comprehension of what was going on, and commented on how the segment fell flat.
Why did you flick her nose? Just give her a back kick. I don’t know what that did; I don’t know why it was a good idea. I don’t know who thought of it. I am trying to put myself in that moment like somebody would have said, ‘Hey, how about Asuka flicks Becky in the nose?’ I would’ve just sat there and gone, ‘What, why, what are we getting out of this?’
First of all, it’s small. Nobody in the arena saw it. They are not playing to the people in the arena, and they are playing to the 2 million people watching at home. But I can guarantee you that 2 million people watching back at home didn’t go like, ‘Oh my god, Asuka just flicked Becky in the nose.’ To me, everything about the segment was flat.
Asuka’s last appearance had been at Money In The Bank 2021, where she was part of the signature ladder match eventually won by Nikki A.S.H. Although there was never official confirmation, reports claimed that she took time off to recovery from an injury.