Carmella (C) vs. Asuka
The Reality: Asuka as world champion is a dream unto itself, but given that it’s highly unlikely they’d knock Money Mella off her pedestal this early, one assumes that a little chinless bird is going to show up and take all of our joy away from us.
The overwhelming majority of this match was somewhere between very good and the best Carmella has looked so far as champion in any capacity, up until what might be the single worst moment of the entire show: the reappearance of the Coward James Ellsworth. Or, I should back up, as the reveal of the Chinless Wonder was absolutely wonderful.
But whatever the fuck happened in the minute or so before it — at best, they trying to say that Asuka is haunted by the end of her winning streak and at worst, she has literally the worst case of ADHD in wrestling history — was an atrocity. Bordering on “yellowface,” considering the cultural significance in Japan of Asuka’s entrance attire (and mask in particular,) it also took far too long to come together and made Asuka look like a total goober.
If you have a match in which Asuka looks like a total goober, you should probably get out of the Asuka business sooner rather than later.
Match Before Ellsworth +.6, After Ellsworth +.1 | PPV +1.8