Asuka Shocks Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair to Win Women's Title at WWE TLC 2018

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

Asuka beat Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in the first-ever women's Tables, Ladders & Chairs match to win the SmackDown Women's Championship at WWE TLC on Sunday.

The Empress of Tomorrow owes part of her win to Ronda Rousey. Lynch and Flair were battling atop one of the ladders when the Raw women's champion showed up. She pushed the ladder over, sending The Irish Lass Kicker and The Queen out of the ring.

That gave Asuka a clear path to the title.

While the Japanese Superstar had a record-setting reign as NXT women's champion, Sunday's win marked the first time she secured a title on the main roster.

Sunday was also Lynch's in-ring return after suffering a broken face and concussion at the hands of Nia Jax prior to Survivor Series, and she was faced with perhaps the biggest challenge of her career.

Flair took Lynch's place at Survivor Series and pushed Rousey to the limit before getting disqualified when she attacked the former UFC star with a kendo stick.

Rousey clearly saw the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone by thwarting both rivals as they attempted to collect the title.

Flair's Survivor Series performance led to SmackDown Live general manager Paige giving her another shot at the title, but the rest of the women's roster on the blue brand felt they deserved a chance as well.

In the interest of fairness, Paige booked a Battle Royal with the winner going on to join the TLC match, and Asuka prevailed by last eliminating Sonya Deville.

Lynch, Flair and the Japanese Superstar are three of the best WWE has to offer, and the fact they have history made the match feel even more important.

Lynch and Flair were previously best friends, but they engaged in a bitter feud after the former turned on the latter at SummerSlam.

The Irish Lass Kicker went on to beat The Queen for the SmackDown Women's Championship, and they also had a memorable Last Woman Standing match at the all-women's Evolution pay-per-view on October 28.

Flair and Asuka also faced off before when they clashed at WrestleMania 34 in April in a SmackDown women's title match.

Asuka entered that bout off a Royal Rumble win and with an undefeated record to her credit, but The Queen was undeterred and handed The Empress her first loss in shocking fashion via submission.

Flair reminded Asuka of that victory leading up to TLC, but Lynch also wouldn't let The Queen forget she fell short at Evolution, and The Lass Kicker even went so far as to suggest her former friend didn't deserve another title opportunity.

It can be argued Lynch, Flair and Asuka are the three most talented women in all of WWE, so it was fitting they were given the chance to make history at TLC.

The anticipation for Sunday's match was through the roof given how significant it was, and the impressive trio of performers didn't disappoint.

While Asuka is set to enter the Royal Rumble as SmackDown women's champion, Lynch is in line for a rematch and Flair is a strong contender to win the Royal Rumble, meaning The Empress' title reign is far from safe.

Flair and Lynch obviously have unfinished business with Rousey, though, which adds a different dynamic since they are on a separate show from the Raw champion.

            

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