8 Great is our extremely original listicle series where we take a break from snark and negativity to focus on the positive, and list eight of our favorite examples of something great from pro wrestling. Matches, performers, shows – whatever is helping us enjoy wrestling in a particular week, that’s what this feature is all about.
KanaChanTV is the personal YouTube channel of WWE Superstar Asuka, one half of Women’s Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors. You may recognize Kana as her pre-WWE ring name. When she first launched the channel, we reported on it as a gaming channel, because that’s what everyone expected it to be. And certainly there was some of that, but it’s gone far beyond that premise, becoming a bizarre and intoxicating mix of weird food and backyard camping, approaching Slow TV from a distinctly absurdist and Japan-inflected direction.
The One Where Asuka Puts Together A Chair
This was only the second video, but it’s the one where it first became clear that KanaChanTV wasn’t just going to be a gaming channel. This is literally five minutes of Asuka putting together a gaming chair. She struggles with the instructions a bit, not to mention with the act of setting the huge chair down onto the rollers, but ultimately she succeeds. It only adds to the absurdity that the final gag — the reclined chair popping up to hit Asuka in the back — is spoiled repeatedly at the very beginning of the video. Why would anyone watch this? I may not have an answer for that, but I’ve watched it at least four times.
The One Where Kikutaro Helps Make Sumo Wrestler Stew
If you know comedy wrestling legend Kikutaro at all, you know how much fun he is. So it’s no surprise that he brings a lot to the table in his KanaChanTV appearances. Here he’s showing Asuka how to make Chanko, also known as Sumo Wrestler Stew. Knowing how sumo wrestlers tend to be built (not that differently from Kikutaro, actually) you might expect a giant, dense pile of food, and you wouldn’t be wrong. As in all of Asuka’s cooking videos, they use a camp stove in her backyard. A backyard, by the way, that’s pretty much just a walled-in gravel pit, which I guess is a Las Vegas thing?
Before they can cook, they head to the grocery store for supplies. Several people recognize Asuka (hard to go incognito with half-pink/half-blue hair) and want photos, and Kikutaro proudly announces to all of them that he’s her husband, before immediately admitting that he’s lying. It really emphasizes how little anybody seems to know about Asuka’s personal life, which might be why she never shoots in her kitchen.
The One Where Asuka Has Her Hair Done
Speaking of the half-pink/half-blue hair, this video, shot at a Las Vegas salon, show us what goes into maintaining that flawless color. Once again, there’s not a lot of action, just Asuka casually eating dinner while her hairdresser carefully bleaches her roots and applies two colors at once with impressive precision. This is the kind of content the Network should be investing in, if you ask me.
The One With The Cabbage-Cutting Machine
A celebration of Japanese technology! Still in her backyard, Asuka has acquired a machine designed specifically for spiral-cutting cabbage into extra thin strips, and she uses it to cut up two heads of cabbage. That’s it. That’s the video. There’s a bit where she struggles to put the metal spike through the cabbage head, but that’s about the extent of the plot. I’m just saying, 153 thousand people have watched nine minutes of Asuka cutting up some cabbage, and meanwhile WWE is still struggling to figure out how to make her a main roster star.
The One Where Asuka Eats Bugs
Look, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. Asuka has a whole package of edible grasshoppers, and she struggles to make herself eat them. She initially tries one by biting off its tiny little leg, which is the most ridiculous part, and then she finally pairs them with rice, which seems to help. At the end she offers her thanks to the grasshoppers who gave their lives, and a cartoon grasshopper appears to say “You’re welcome.” How could you want to watch anything but this?
The One Where Asuka Cooks And Eats All That Cabbage
This is the sequel to the cabbage-cutter video, in which Asuka has an immense amount of cabbage, so she makes a bunch of food to go with it (in her backyard, of course). Then she eats a bunch of that food. Then she goes to sleep in a tent. This video is 22 minutes long. There are extended moments where Asuka is silent and thoughtful, in between the “I’m so hungry” and the “Mmmm, yummy.” What does Asuka contemplate in these moments? I don’t know, nobody does, but we do know that she’s happy with the fluffiness of the egg dish, and the thickness of the pork belly. For now, that will have to do.
The One Where She Makes Gummies From A Kit In A Hotel Room
This isn’t cooking so much as chemistry, but Asuka makes gummies from a Japanese gummy-making kit in a Boston hotel room, and that’s pretty great. My favorite part is when she mixes the yellow, red, and blue dyes to make purple, orange, and green, and then excitedly announces “Next I’ll make brown!” Great work all around.
The One Where Kikutaro Returns For Ramen
For his second KanaChanTV appearance, Kikutaro and Asuka leave the rocky backyard behind to go out to a Las Vegas ramen restaurant. The food looks great, but the best part is watching Asuka react to the masked man lifting his mask to eat. If you’ve read Emily’s interview with Kikutaro, you know Kikutaro’s pretty casual about showing his face, but Asuka finds it shocking. It stops her in her tracks every time he lifts the mask. I don’t know what she expected when they went for ramen — watching him slurp noodles through that little mouth hole would be much worse.
That’s all the KanaChanTV we have time for today. I didn’t even go into the little cartoon characters who frequently appear, like the “wow” ninja and the little sarcastic Asuka in ring gear. I don’t want to spoil the mysteries to be unlocked in KanaChanTV for those of you who have yet to give yourself over to it. It’s the holidays, so just sit back, relax, and let the magic of KanaChanTV wash over you.