Asuka's record reign ends as she vacates NXT women's title: Where to go from here

Asuka can still be considered the best active women's wrestler in WWE, but you can no longer call her champion. Five days after breaking her collarbone during NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, Asuka vacated her NXT women's championship after a record-setting reign of more than 500 days.

"The Empress of Tomorrow," who remains undefeated since making her WWE debut in September 2015, won the title at NXT TakeOver: Dallas on April 1, 2016. She has held it, as of press time, for 510 days with her undefeated streak breaking Bill Goldberg's record and her continuous title reign surpassing Rockin' Robin's 502-day reign to set a modern-day mark.

There is no official end point for her reign at this time as WWE has said it will not be stopped until the pre-taped episode airs on WWE Network at a yet-to-be-announced date.

Though Asuka is only expected out 6-8 weeks with the injury, it appears as if WWE has used this unexpected development as an opportunity to create something with her in lieu of losing a match and ending her still-active undefeated streak.

There are a couple ways WWE can move on from here.

The one that makes the most sense, since Asuka has dispatched of all NXT competition, is to move her to the main roster upon her return, making her the only undefeated superstar in NXT history. Asuka would be able to continue her streak -- probably on Raw -- and work her way towards a potential championship dream match against Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 34.

With a slew of new women likely to debut in NXT following the Mae Young Classic, which begins on Monday, there will be plenty of fresh faces (including a couple of big names) that could combine to fill her spot on the roster and mitigate her loss ever so slightly. It would make sense for Ember Moon, Nikki Cross and potentially Ruby Riot to fight for the vacant title.

WWE could also crown a new champion through a match with the three aforementioned women but keep Asuka in NXT to contend for the title upon her return, likely at NXT TakeOver: Houston on Nov. 18, 2017, prior to Survivor Series. One would assume that Asuka would win the championship back, remaining in NXT until after WrestleMania 34.

No matter what happens, the developments will be interesting. Asuka is a unique talent who was the face of NXT -- regardless of gender -- prior to her injury, and her return will be highly anticipated.

CBS Sports Staff

Adam Silverstein joined CBS Sports in 2014 as college football and golf editor. He also helps lead pro wrestling, boxing and mixed martial arts coverage. Adam still maintains that Tim Tebow could have... Full Bio

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