Lana is the new No. 1 Contender to Asuka’s WWE Raw Women’s Championship, but what happens if she actually pulls off the upset?
When I thought of the women who were the most likely candidates to win the No. 1 Contender’s battle royal for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship last week, Lana wasn’t even one of the names that sprung to my mind. Like, at all.
So when she won the match to earn an opportunity to face the Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka, I was, like many wrestling fans, absolutely shocked.
But I’m here for it. Just like I was here for Zelina Vega vs. Asuka, which was a fun mini-feud before Zelina moved to SmackDown as an undrafted free agent, at Clash of Champions, I am here for Lana vs. Asuka at Hell in a Cell.
Lana has improved a lot in the ring over the last couple of years. I thought WWE were going to focus on her more as a singles competitor in 2018 after her strong performance at Money in the Bank, but as recently as this winter, she was mostly managing.
Asuka is expected to beat Lana easily in the WWE Raw Women’s Title match
On the same night as Natalya, her tag team partner who is now on SmackDown, ended their working relationship, Lana became the No. 1 Contender to the Raw Women’s Title. And she also achieved this while many fans were wondering if WWE was burying her by having her go through a table so often.
Turns out, they were building sympathy for Lana, who is poised for a babyface run, likely after this feud with Asuka.
Everyone expects Lana do lose against Asuka – and lose pretty handily, too. The match isn’t official for Hell in a Cell, but it makes sense for the upcoming episode of WWE Raw to set that up. Like Zelina, Lana would probably have a short-but-sweet match in which she gets over but loses, though WWE would likely give her even more shine in the ring than Zelina if they are really this high on her.
If Lana wins? That would be the upset of all upsets in 2020. Asuka was once the most dominant champion in WWE back in NXT, and she used to be the one person top star Becky Lynch could not beat. Even now, Bayley can’t even beat her despite being THE dominant champion on SmackDown, and even Sasha Banks needed blatant help to score a title win over Asuka.
Winning the WWE Raw Women’s Title wouldn’t help Lana as much right now
The Empress is the most talented wrestler on Raw and their top performer right now, even ahead of WWE Title opponents Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton.
So taking the title off her would be a huge vote of confidence in Lana, and it would lead to an awful lot of pressure. It would also prevent fans from having clear dream feuds for the Raw Women’s Title with Asuka. And if the goal is to make Lana a big babyface, she can’t win now. That massive win has to be built.
For these reasons, which answer the “What if?” question, we can see that Lana winning makes very little sense, except for shock value. Vince McMahon has been known to go that route, of course. But I don’t see it happening, since it’s not a good outcome for Asuka or Lana either.