One of the most highly anticipated matches for WWE TLC 2018 was the triple threat Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship between Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Asuka.
Asuka had out of the title picture for months and has finally gotten to show her streak-era badassery again since being added to this storyline, Flair was effectively revamped with her heel turn at Survivor Series, and the blue brand’s Women’s Champion Becky “The Man” Lynch has been the hottest act in the company since SummerSlam and believes she’ll main event WrestleMania 35. Oh, AND this match would be Lynch’s first since the injury that took her off the last PPV.
At TLC, all three women pulled out all the stops and had moments of support from the crowd, though Lynch was unsurprisingly the clear favorite. The leg drop from Lynch on a ladder to Flair and Asuka on the German announce table was a true “Holy shit!” moment.
The match briefly turned into a slugfest between the Empress and the Man at the top of the ladder. Both traded blows and came close to grabbing the title belt. Flair was able to knock both women off the ladder with a kendo stick beatdown, this time with no possibility of a DQ, to both women. Like on the SmackDown before TLC, Asuka got the better of the kendo stick attack… only to eat an aggressive spear into the barricade.
With both opponents occupied outside the ring, Lynch got close to grabbing her title, only for Flair to pull her down from the ladder. After a brawl between the two former best friends, Flair was able to climb the ladder unimpeded and even touch it a few times. But Asuka met her on the top of the ladder, and it looked like it could be anyone’s match or anyone’s fall to the canvas. Lynch set up another ladder next to the one under the championship belt, and when Asuka fell to the mat, Flair and Lynch started fighting.
The surprising appearance of Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey was this match’s game-changing moment and the PPV’s second moment of inter-brand feuding between women. Rousey entered, pushed over the ladder on which Flair and Lynch, with whom she had unresolved beef from Survivor Series and who had continuously brought her up on SmackDown since then, were fighting. After this, Asuka was able to climb the ladder under the title uninterrupted and win the SmackDown Women’s Championship for the first time.
With Lynch and/or Flair be looking for revenge on Rousey? The official WWE Twitter account sure thinks so!