NXT Takeover: Mickie James Submits to Asuka, Still Wins
The Mickie James vs Asuka match-up was probably the most anticipated NXT women's match of the last year - one that few people saw coming just a couple of months ago. Even as it looked like the Japanese superstar was running out of opponents in WWE's "minor" leagues, commissioner William Regal shocked everyone, announcing the return of one of the best-known and most decorated female wrestlers in the history of WWE, the now 37-year old Mickie James.
Though she hadn't set foot in a WWE ring since 2010, James looked great, appeared to be a great shape and she exhibited little to no "ring rust". She obviously came to win, but Asuka's agility and skills proved too much for her to handle. Forced to tap out in a creative and well set-up submission hold, she was still the winner of the night, having proved ring-worthy and possibly on her way back to wrestling's top stage, after a hiatus of close to 7 years.
At the end of the bout, Asuka refused to shake the hand of her vanquished foe, not showing her due respect, a move which might indeed be a setup for a longer future feud between the two competitors.
After the match, an emotional James struggled to hold back her tears, failing for the most part. She said she had found the energy conveyed by the crowd truly extraordinary, and despite the loss, she felt like a true winner, being able to do what she does best at the top level again.
Are WWE looking to find Asuka a worthy successor at the top of the NXT pops before she's moved onto the main roster? If that is indeed the case, one will hardly find a better candidate than Mickie James.