Asuka Didn't Return At WWE Royal Rumble 2022 Because...

Asuka's six-month WWE absence did NOT end at Royal Rumble 2022. Here's why...

Asuka Raw
WWE.com

Asuka was a hot favourite to return at WWE Royal Rumble 2022 on 29 January, having been out of action since July, but the event came and went without an appearance from the multi-time Women's Champion.

This was despite reports that the Japanese star should have been good to go again.

In an update on the situation, Fightful Select state that while Asuka's name had been brought up as a potential Rumble returnee, the promotion didn't feel that she was ready for it, physically. Hence the lack of 'Empress' in the women's Royal Rumble.

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Asuka has been absent from WWE since Money in the Bank 2021. Taking place on 18 July, that was the promotion's first show with a full live crowd since the COVID-19 pandemic's onset in March 2020, with Asuka competing in the titular women's bout. She took some time off to undergo dental surgery afterwards, having lost at least one tooth while wrestling Shayna Baszler in February. At the same time, Asuka was photographed with her arm in a sling, suggesting further issues.

There is currently no word on when, exactly, WWE plans on bringing the Japanese star back.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.