Asuka won a Battle Royal to secure her place in the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC Match against Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. Elsewhere, Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton engaged in a wild brawl one week after The Viper stole Mysterio’s mask.
After two weeks away due to a broken face and a severe concussion, SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch returned to SmackDown LIVE for the first time since selecting Charlotte Flair to replace her against Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. Lynch picked up right where she left off, calling Flair out to the ring and verbally sparring with The Queen over who’s straight fire was hotter. The two nearly came to blows, but SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige intervened and announced that they would face off again at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on Sunday, Dec. 16, in a TLC Match!
This announcement drew the ire of the rest of the SmackDown women, who all hit the scene to claim that they were deserving of the same opportunity, and Mandy Rose even insinuated that Paige was playing favorites. The General Manager responded with a blockbuster announcement: A Battle Royal would take place tonight, and the winner would be added to the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC Match!
Showing no remorse after wrapping a steel chair around the throat of Rey Mysterio, ramming him into the ring post and unmasking him last week, Randy Orton arrived on SmackDown LIVE (with mask in hand) to insult The Biggest Little Man. Mysterio hit the scene looking for a fight, despite sporting a neck brace. Before The Biggest Little Man could reach the ring, Orton met Mysterio and began raining down haymakers on the injured Superstar.
Mysterio battled back, drilled Orton with a 619 and grabbed a chair, ready to pulverize his nemesis as payback from last week. Orton, however, took advantage of Mysterio’s uncharacteristic moment of rage, catching him with a hanging DDT and brutalizing him by putting the chair to Mysterio’s throat and smashing it onto the steps before WWE officials pulled him away.
With every woman on SmackDown LIVE clamoring for an opportunity, they all clashed in a massive Battle Royal for the right to be added to the TLC Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.
With Flair and Lynch watching from ringside, an absolute melee ensued, as all nine women attempted to stake their claim to the blue brand’s ultimate prize. The contest saw everything from The IIconics using their numbers advantage to eliminate Lana, only to each be dumped out by Asuka. That would become a theme, as The Empress of Tomorrow also took out Carmella, which brought the contest down to her, Naomi, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. Deville and God’s Greatest Creation attempted to work together to decimate their competition, but when Naomi eliminated Mandy with some nifty maneuvering on the apron, Sonya got a running start and drove her knee into Naomi’s back to eliminate her.
With the bout down to two of the hardest hitters, Asuka and Sonya, Deville got an assist from the already eliminated Rose, who tried to hold Asuka in place on the ring apron for an easy Deville elimination, but The Empress of Tomorrow would have none of it. Asuka booted Mandy in the face and dropped an overzealous Deville with a knee that landed her squarely on the ringside floor and placed Asuka squarely in the first-ever Women’s TLC Match in less than two weeks at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.
In other action … The Usos def. The Bar … AJ Styles returned to SmackDown LIVE with impassioned words … Shinsuke Nakamura attacked Rusev before their match began … Samoa Joe crashed Jeff Hardy’s 20th Anniversary Celebration … Kofi Kingston def. The Miz … and Asuka won the Nine-Woman Battle Royal to be added to the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC Match.