For the first time since WrestleMania 39, Asuka will compete in the ring as she takes on Zelina Vega on WWE SmackDown. After losing to Bianca Belair at The Show of Shows, The Empress of Tomorrow didn’t appear on television for a while, three months to be precise. Last week, she made a comeback to ruin Belair’s homecoming by dousing her with her signature blue mist, which now had some extra spice. In the meanwhile, Rhea Ripley’s SmackDown Women’s Championship was unsuccessfully challenged by Vega at Backlash. She’s eager for another chance to return to the title race.
Asuka will face Vega on SmackDown tonight at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina, as revealed by WWE on Twitter. Asuka will also be competing for the first time on SmackDown since defeating Liv Morgan on February 17. In addition, there will likely be two tapings of tonight’s SmackDown by WWE. Prior to Night of Champions, they will record the go-home episode of the blue brand in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It’s a logistical step to reduce the workload and avoid issues before the Premium Live Event on May 27.
WWE Night of Champions will feature Asuka vs Bianca Belair
The WWE confirmed on Thursday that Bianca Belair will defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Asuka at Night of Champions. Belair will be aiming to extend her 400+ day reign as champion in the WrestleMania 39 rematch. Asuka, who was soundly defeated at WrestleMania 39, will attempt to make amends in the meantime. She may require a change in mindset after her altercation in persona during the Royal Rumble.
The previous week, the former RAW and SmackDown Women’s Champion attended Belair’s homecoming in Tennessee. She kicked the champion while spraying him with blue mist, causing him to scream in agony. Before their rematch at Night of Champions, it will be interesting to see if Belair manages to get her hands on Asuka.