Kanako Urai

Actress

Personal Info

  • Height: 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Biography

Kanako Urai (born September 26, 1981) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to WWE under the ring name Asuka. She started her professional wrestling career in the AtoZ promotion in June 2004 under the ring name Kana. She remained there until retiring in March 2006. She returned to the ring a year and a half later, starting to work as a freelancer for promotions such as JWP Joshi Puroresu, NEO Japan Ladies Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Wave, Reina Joshi Puroresu, Smash and Wrestling New Classic. Her achievements include winning the JWP Openweight Championship, NEO Tag Team Championship, Reina World Women’s Championship, Smash Diva Championship and Wave Tag Team Championship. In August 2015, Urai signed a developmental deal with WWE. After spending two years in WWE’s developmental branch NXT, where she is a former NXT Women’s Champion (with her reign of 510 days being the longest of any title in WWE’s post-national expansion era) as well as the Female Competitor of the Year (2016, 2017) and Overall Competitor of the Year (2017) NXT Year-End Award winner, Asuka was moved to the promotion’s main roster in September 2017. In addition, the company has billed her as having the “longest undefeated streak in WWE history” at 914 days. In January 2018, she was the inaugural winner of the women’s Royal Rumble match. In December 2015, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter stated that Urai “may be the best worker in WWE, man or woman”. In 2017, Asuka became the first Japanese female wrestler to top Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s (PWI) annual PWI Female 50 list. Her techniques include various kicks and submission holds, leading to a reputation for a stiff wrestling style. Urai has also worked as a freelance graphic designer and video game journalist and through her work with Microsoft she has been sponsored by the company, wearing an Xbox 360 logo on her gear.

Filmography

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