WWE officials went back and forth over which brand to put Asuka on, according to reports by The Wrestling Observer.
On the Observer's radio show, it was revealed that WWE deliberated over the injured former NXT Women's Champion's future before finally settling on Raw as her brand of choice. Once the Japanese star recovers from a collar bone injury, she'll make her home on Mondays.
This past Monday's Raw featured a vignette announcing that Kurt Angle had signed Asuka to a contract. Once healthy, she's now expected to make her debut on the brand at some point in October, and it turns out there's a reason Raw was eventually chosen over SmackDown.
The Observer noted that the general feeling backstage in the creative team is that Raw's female division needed strengthened more than SmackDown's. Depth was an issue for WWE, and that's something they hope Asuka will be able to help with.
Coming in as a big star from the off, she will likely also be presented as an immediate challenger for the Raw Women's Title. That would have been the same on SmackDown, but the company believe Raw needs more star power right now.