In just her second televised match since submitting Becky Lynch at Royal Rumble, SmackDown Women’s champion Asuka headed into Quicken Loans Arena on Sun., Mar. 10 to defend her belt against Mandy Rose.
Rose defeated the Empress of Tomorrow in non-title action (Asuka’s only other televised match since January) thanks to some distractions, and her Fire & Desire tag partner Sonya Deville tried to get the same result using the same methods at Fastlane.
Even with Sonya’s help, the champ controlled the action. Asuka used an ankle lock and an octopus stretch to almost prompt submission from Mandy, and got nearfalls of her array of hip and knee strikes.
Mandy evaded a hip attack and landed a knee of her own to turn the tide, but she wasn’t able to hit her finisher.
It was Sonya’s attempts to help that ended up costing Rose as much as Asuka’s greatness, though. Deville lifted the ring skirt to get a kendo stick, Mandy ended up tripping on it and turning into a kick, and that was it.
Asuka’s back on TV, but it seems like she was a plot device to set-up a Rose vs. Deville feud.
Maybe WrestleMania 35 will bring her a big match...
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