Date and location

Sunday, Dec 16 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT


Where to watch

Get the WWE Network

When to watch

Sunday, Dec 16 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT

Asuka def. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to become the new SmackDown Women’s Champion (TLC Match)

Asuka def. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to become the new SmackDown Women’s Champion (TLC Match)

SAN JOSE — Asuka is the new SmackDown Women’s Champion, and Ronda Rousey made it happen.

Not because she wants to be friends with Asuka, of course. The Empress of Tomorrow’s two opponents just happened to be reigning champion Becky Lynch and perennial contender Charlotte Flair — the same two Superstars who humiliated The Baddest Woman on the Planet within the same week, which made them marked women the second they set foot in San Jose. On a night where Becky walked in promising “receipts” for the Superstars who contributed to her stint in doctor jail, it was Rousey instead who delivered the biggest one of all.

It was also, in some ways, the only way the first ever Women's TLC Match could have ended. Throughout the title fight, Becky and Charlotte seemed like they were battling just as much for personal pride as they were for the championship. With Lynch competing in her first match back from injury and Charlotte somewhat lost in a haze of ruthlessness, the two Horsewomen could most often be seen brutalizing each other with, yes, tables, ladders and chairs. Lynch delivered a leg drop off the top of a ladder to Charlotte. The Queen returned the favor with a senton bomb that drove The Man through a table. And, in one crucial moment, they disregarded Asuka entirely and threw hands in the center of the ring, letting months of tension boil over into a full-on fistfight.

Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka trade punishing blows in thrilling TLC Match: WWE TLC 2018 (WWE Network Exclusive)

In the first-ever Women's TLC Match, SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka take things to the extreme in WWE's final pay-per-view of 2018: Courtesy of WWE Network.

Asuka, on the other hand, never lost sight of what she was there for: the title that she came to SmackDown LIVE to challenge for earlier in the year and fell short of on numerous occasions. Each of The Empress’ maneuvers was calculated and precise, and she made a point to either avoid big moves (that Becky leg drop was initially meant for her as well) or take time to recover while her two opponents slugged it out.

It was an expert long-game; nonetheless, she appeared to have been taken out of contention when Rousey reared her head, having tumbled off a ladder following a brawl atop the rungs between all three competitors. But Becky and Charlotte were ripe pickings for The Baddest Woman on the Planet as they grasped for the title atop a ladder. The Raw Women’s Champion marched down to the ring and tipped over their ladder to send them plummeting down to earth before making her exit without a word.

With Becky and Charlotte both down, Asuka made her move, climbing the ladder and unhooking the SmackDown Women’s Championship to finally — finally — complete her journey to the mountaintop. She had a hand, sure, but the record books don’t count assists. What they will say is this: Rousey got her payback. Becky and Charlotte left empty-handed. And Asuka won the title for the simplest of reasons. Not because she wanted it, but because she was finally ready for it.

SAN JOSE — Asuka is the new SmackDown Women’s Champion, and Ronda Rousey made it happen.

Not because she wants to be friends with Asuka, of course. The Empress of Tomorrow’s two opponents just happened to be reigning champion Becky Lynch and perennial contender Charlotte Flair — the same two Superstars who humiliated The Baddest Woman on the Planet within the same week, which made them marked women the second they set foot in San Jose. On a night where Becky walked in promising “receipts” for the Superstars who contributed to her stint in doctor jail, it was Rousey instead who delivered the biggest one of all.

It was also, in some ways, the only way the first ever Women's TLC Match could have ended. Throughout the title fight, Becky and Charlotte seemed like they were battling just as much for personal pride as they were for the championship. With Lynch competing in her first match back from injury and Charlotte somewhat lost in a haze of ruthlessness, the two Horsewomen could most often be seen brutalizing each other with, yes, tables, ladders and chairs. Lynch delivered a leg drop off the top of a ladder to Charlotte. The Queen returned the favor with a senton bomb that drove The Man through a table. And, in one crucial moment, they disregarded Asuka entirely and threw hands in the center of the ring, letting months of tension boil over into a full-on fistfight.

Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka trade punishing blows in thrilling TLC Match: WWE TLC 2018 (WWE Network Exclusive)

In the first-ever Women's TLC Match, SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka take things to the extreme in WWE's final pay-per-view of 2018: Courtesy of WWE Network.

Asuka, on the other hand, never lost sight of what she was there for: the title that she came to SmackDown LIVE to challenge for earlier in the year and fell short of on numerous occasions. Each of The Empress’ maneuvers was calculated and precise, and she made a point to either avoid big moves (that Becky leg drop was initially meant for her as well) or take time to recover while her two opponents slugged it out.

It was an expert long-game; nonetheless, she appeared to have been taken out of contention when Rousey reared her head, having tumbled off a ladder following a brawl atop the rungs between all three competitors. But Becky and Charlotte were ripe pickings for The Baddest Woman on the Planet as they grasped for the title atop a ladder. The Raw Women’s Champion marched down to the ring and tipped over their ladder to send them plummeting down to earth before making her exit without a word.

With Becky and Charlotte both down, Asuka made her move, climbing the ladder and unhooking the SmackDown Women’s Championship to finally — finally — complete her journey to the mountaintop. She had a hand, sure, but the record books don’t count assists. What they will say is this: Rousey got her payback. Becky and Charlotte left empty-handed. And Asuka won the title for the simplest of reasons. Not because she wanted it, but because she was finally ready for it.