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HOUSTON — It’s almost a cliché at this point to say that nobody is ready for Asuka. Yet in the Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match, nobody, especially Team SmackDown, was ready for Asuka.
The Empress of Tomorrow scored three eliminations against Team Blue at WWE’s fall classic, including two without a safety net after SmackDown whittled away at Raw’s ranks to leave Asuka as the last woman standing.
Before Asuka faced the odds, however, Team Red landed the first blow when Bayley eliminated SmackDown captain Becky Lynch with a rollup. The blue brand answered with two consecutive eliminations on the back of their powerhouse, Tamina — Bayley with a Superfly Splash and Nia Jax via count-out when a flurry of superkicks and assists from Lana and Naomi sent Raw’s resident muscle to the outside.
With Nia taken out of the running, SmackDown continued its onslaught with Naomi pinning Raw captain Alicia Fox with a roll-up of her own. Sasha Banks answered immediately, though, by submitting the former SmackDown Women’s Champion with the Bank Statement only seconds later.
At that point, Carmella decided to try her luck by going toe-to-toe with Asuka, but Ms. Money in the Bank tempted fate a bit too recklessly by slapping the undefeated Superstar. Asuka answered with a kick to the face, leading to a swift exit for The Princess of Staten Island.
The match quickly turned to a battle of submissions when Natalya and Sasha faced off. Tamina’s presence again proved to be a momentum shifter as she freed The Queen of Harts from a Bank Statement and bulldozed Asuka off the apron, allowing Natalya to submit Sasha with a Sharpshooter.
Left by her lonesome, The Empress of Tomorrow seized her moment accordingly, utilizing her lightning speed and killer instinct to submit both her remaining foes in short order. First, Tamina fell to an armbar after she missed on a Superfly Splash. Natalya tapped to an Asuka Lock moments later, leaving Asuka as the sole survivor.
Before Survivor Series, the members of Team SmackDown could take consolation that they’d only have to face Asuka once. Coming out of it, they’re likely to think that once was plenty.