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WWE Smackdown: Asuka, Charlotte Flair get title match with Becky Lynch

By
Wade Sheridan

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Smackdown Women's Champion Becky Lynch returned to the blue brand and learned that she will be defending her title at TLC against Charlotte Flair and Asuka.

Smackdown general manager Paige kicked off the program on Tuesday by welcoming Lynch who was briefly sidelined with a broken nose and a severe concussion after being punched in the face by Raw's Nia Jax.

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Lynch then came face to face with her old rival Flair who was chosen to face Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey recently at Survivor Series in Lynch's place. Paige, following a war of words between the competitors, announced that Lynch would defend her title against Flair in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at TLC on Dec. 16.

Members of Smackdown's women's division including Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, The IIconics, Zelina Vega, Carmella, Lana, Naomi and Asuka, took issue with Flair receiving another title opportunity and began voicing their frustrations to Paige.

Paige responded by placing all of the women in a Battle Royal match to determine who would be the third person added to the Tables, Ladders and Chairs championship match.

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The Battle Royal, the main event of the night, eventually came down to Asuka and Deville after the other women had been thrown over the top rope.

Deville seemed poised to win after she sent Asuka outside the ropes, however, The Empress of Tomorrow would remain standing on the ring apron to avoid elimination. Asuka, who also dealt with interference from Rose, battled Deville on the ring apron and was able to win after she nailed Deville with a high knee.

Lynch and Flair looked on at ringside as Asuka celebrated in the ring. The TLC title bout will be the first-ever women's Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.

Also on Smackdown, Jeff Hardy celebrated his 20th anniversary as a WWE Superstar. The high-flyer was given special time to talk about his career and received a standing ovation from the Smackdown locker room. A video package highlighting Hardy's death-defying stunts was also presented.

Samoa Joe would interrupt the festivities and mention Hardy's issues with substance abuse, much to the disappointment of commissioner Shane McMahon.

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Hardy, undeterred by Joe's harsh comments, challenged The Samoan Submission Machine to a fight which Joe declined by walking back to the locker room.

Other moments from Smackdown included The Usos defeating Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Bar in a non-title match; AJ Styles promising victory against WWE Champion Daniel Bryan at TLC; United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura attacking Rusev before their match could begin; Kofi Kingston defeating The Miz which led to the A-lister complaining to McMahon that he wasn't in his corner; and Randy Orton once again viciously assaulting Rey Mysterio who was injured.

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