Wrestlemania 34 is upon us and for the first time in a long time, I do not care. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns as the main event does absolutely nothing for me. Brock Lesnar doesn’t want to be there. He is clearly in it for the huge paychecks and Roman Reigns has the personality of construction paper.
Speaking of paychecks, Ronda Rousey had a meltdown last week during her ESPN interviews and I’m honestly concerned for her mental health. She too, has no desire to be in a wrestling ring. She’s a fighter who has the yips and can’t get in the ring again because she’s afraid she’ll get her head kicked off her shoulders so now she’s pretending to hurt Stephanie McMahon in the ultimate ‘canary bird pours tea for Wilma Flinstone and looks into the camera to say “eh, it’s a living”.
Bryan Danielson [1. know his name is Daniel Bryan now but it’s still 2009 in my heart.] has been medically cleared to compete in the ring and technically he will be at Wrestlemania 34 but it’s in a dumb gimmick match and his tag team partner is Shane McMahon. Danielson is known for actually wrestling out there. Better than pretty much everyone on the roster. Anddd he’s essentially in a cute pretend match with his boss’s son.
You get the point I’m making here. This is a very underwhelming match card. There is nothing that stands out here as special. Nothing that makes this event separates it from all of the other previous pay per views this year.
But there is ONE event on Sunday night that everyone on planet Earth should be tuning into. No, it’s not the lame ass John Cena vs. The Undertaker match that’s about an entire decade too late that no one asked for.
Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka for the belt.
Two of the biggest titans facing off. This is the equivalent of Hulk Hogan vs. Macho Man Randy Savage or The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin.
A few years ago, the WWF decided that they were going to actually take women’s wrestling seriously. Sure, there were women like Lita, Molly Holly and Beth Phoenix who were skilled in the ring but were ultimately pushed to the side for women like Torrie Wilson who existed solely to keep men’s attention over the course of a two-hour broadcast.
“Guys like boobs” -Vince McMahon waking up in the middle of the night with an epiphany that would lead to the rise of Sable.
In order to truly develop this new generation of female stars, WWF hired one of most decorated underground wrestlers of our time.
Enter Sara Del Rey.
Sara Del Rey has wrestled all over the world and has been a champion everywhere she’s landed including Shimmer, New Japan and Ring of Honor. She’s essentially the Bryan Danielson of women’s wrestling, minus ya know, the career-ending concussions and such.
In 2012, WWF hired her to become the first ever female trainer for the company where she groomed women like Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss and of course, Charlotte Flair and if you notice her opponent in the match above, Sara Del Rey also has a history wrestling Asuka in the past.
So the woman who trained Charlotte Flair is an old rival of Asuka? There’s level to this shit.
Charlotte Flair is a legacy. Daughter of the greatest professional wrestler of all time and after the unfortunate death of her brother, she decided that she’d take the baton and continue on with the Flair family name and she’s taken that baton and lapped everyone else on that track.
Nearly 6 feet tall, Charlotte looks like a champion. This isn’t just a case of nepotism and Triple H doing his ol’ pal Ric a favor. She is a 6-time world champion and might be the most athletic woman on the roster given her size. She’s earned this spot at the top of the mountain.
I’ve written about this is the past but she is my favorite wrestler at the moment. She is magnetic. She manages to stumble out to the ring with goofy dance moves while simultaneously wearing a mask that scares the hell out of me.
She’s covered head to toe with every color on the spectrum and is impossible to look away from. Asuka looks NOTHING like the other women in the company from her attire to her physique. She isn’t a jacked fitness model turned professional wrestler. She’s 5’2 yet somehow wrestles as if she’s a foot taller than her opponents.
Asuka started as a graphic designer and an artist and her creativity shows in the ring. She started from the bottom in Japan and rose to the top of the mountain before coming to the WWF where she has yet to lose a single match.
I LOVE that she has no idea how to speak English. A decade ago, male or female, a Japanese wrestler that didn’t know how to speak English would never get the push that Asuka has received. They’d be a gimmick wrestler who spits ‘poison mist’ out of their mouths. She’d be run out of the company after 6 months.
Her inability to speak makes you sit on the edge of your seat and examine her body language for meaning. Every move she makes is captivating. From her deranged smile to her yelling like a maniac after a massive kick to the chest.
Two monsters are battling at Wrestlemania 34 and it’s not John Cena or any of those bums. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka is MUST-SEE TV.