2018 was an eventful year for the WWE, with several notable events taking place all year long. Additionally, the year started with some incredible bookings that were optimistic but ended up being a letdown. Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura were some prime examples of how well the Stamford-based promotion treated their international superstars at the start of 2018.
WWE came with some huge momentum coming from 2017 after giving some unforgettable rivalries and moments. It was a tough task for the company to top itself after having such a phenomenal year. Women were also headlining various events, creating some unforgettable rivalries and moments throughout the year. With 2018 around the horizon, fans were given a lot of hope at the start of the year.
The Royal Rumble match kicked off WWE’s 2018 PPV extravaganza, which shocked a lot of fans with excitement. Japanese Superstars Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura won their respective Royal Rumble matches and shocked the world. Fans were thrilled with joy to see two international veterans get the main event place they deserved. Nakamura eliminated the highly-pushed Roman Reigns to win the rumble.
Name one match that you were excited for only to be disappointed in the end.
— Shino The True Phoenix (@ShinoDPhoenix) September 5, 2019
While Shinsuke created history by winning the match, Asuka went on to win the very first Women’s Royal Rumble match. She eliminated Nikki Bella to win the inaugural bout and shocked the WWE Universe with her unexpected win. Despite having such good momentum, both of them eventually lost their respective matches at WrestleMania and were the victims of bad WWE bookings.
With heavy support from the WWE Universe, both the Japanese Superstars came up short and gave disappointing performances. Fans were devastated by the aftermath, as they were really happy with the push Asuka and Shinsuke got during the start. Nakamura came up short against WWE Champion AJ Styles, whereas Asuka lost to Charlotte Flair, hence ending her undefeated streak.
Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura booked again in World Title feuds in 2023
2023 has been a very good year for the WWE, as Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura are currently on a roll. As for the former Royal Rumble winners, both have been booked in a fiery world title feud this year. Asuka made her triumphant return at the Royal Rumble 2023 and also won the Women’s Championship earlier in 2023. She is currently feuding with Charlotte Flair and Iyo Sky for the Women’s title.
— SixToTenPercent (@6To10_Percent) September 9, 2023
Whereas The King of Strong Style had an intense rivalry with World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. They had two brutal matches, with one of them being a Last Man Standing Match for the title. Rollins successfully retained the title in a hard-hitting bout twice. Nakamura decimated Rollins and showed that he could easily hang up in the main event scene.
Fans are still behind the Japanese icons and want them to showcase their skills in the main event of any show. Nakamura and Asuka are two top-tier talents and can make a good match at any slot in the card. With such good ongoing momentum and bookings, they might have their time anytime soon in the company.