Asuka Turns Heel On WWE SmackDown, Joins Damage CTRL Alongside Ex-Partner Kairi Sane

A six-woman tag match ended prematurely Friday night on "WWE Smackdown" when Asuka spit blue mist into the face of her tag team partner, Bianca Belair, reuniting her with her previous tag partner in the Kabuki Warriors, the recently returning Kairi Sane, and aligning with the rest of Damage CTRL — IYO Sky, Bayley, and the still-hobbled Dakota Kai.

The match came about following a Bayley promo in which she said she'd always had a plan for her faction ever since it first began and so far, everything she envisioned has happened. After Bayley expressed concern about having Sane in the group (on account of the fact that it was a Bayley attack that wrote "The Pirate Princess" off TV back in 2020) Kai explained that Sane is around to make the faction stronger than ever, and Sane backed that up, stating that she respected Bayley and forgives her for her prior indiscretions. The pair fell short of a hug, however, with Bayley making it clear that she "doesn't do that anymore."

The lovefest ended when Belair's music hit and ultimately, a match was made for the main event between her, Charlotte Flair, and Asuka, versus the newly-reinforced Damage CTRL. It was during that match that Asuka made her true intentions clear, refusing to accept a tag from Belair and spitting mist in her face instead. The subsequent post-match brawl ultimately involved Shotzi hitting the ring to (vainly) attempt to even the sides, potentially setting up the women's WarGames match at Survivor Series — though the numbers will need addressing before that can happen.