Asuka's road to WrestleMania 35 took a massive detour Tuesday night on SmackDown Live.
In a previously unannounced match, Charlotte Flair defeated The Empress of Tomorrow for the SmackDown Women's Championship. She forced Asuka to submit in the Figure Eight Leglock.
With WrestleMania less than two weeks away, many fans were left puzzled by the fact WWE had still to announce whether Asuka would be defending the SmackDown title. Now, it would appear that was all part of the plan.
Of course, the obvious question is how this impacts the Triple Threat match between Flair, Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship.
The Irish Lass Kicker offered her two cents about The Queen's victory:
Perhaps WWE envisions building the SmackDown Live women's division around Flair after WrestleMania and wants to accelerate that process. And should she fail to win the Triple Threat match, she'll have her newly won belt as a consolation prize.
Title unification could be an option as well. However, presenting that storyline so close to The Show of Shows seems unlikely, and the women's division as a whole is too good to have only one championship—unless the promotion plans to do the same with the universal and world titles, too.
There's no question Flair's victory adds another dimension to the main event of WrestleMania 35.