Asuka winning the SmackDown Women’s Title at WWE TLC wasn’t a big surprise for people who realized that Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair were about to enter storylines where it would be difficult to carry the title.
Once known as Kana in Japan, Asuka came into NXT and never lost the NXT Women’s Title having to vacate her championship due to an injury that wasn’t as bad as they led on. However, this was a great way to keep her undefeated streak alive.
Charlotte Flair ended Asuka’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania 34 and since then, it’s been a climb back up to the top for Asuka. Now she is the champion and nobody was ready for it (except for the people who were).
She finally has side plates for her title so she doesn’t have to carry around The Man’s championship. They’re pretty cool too and fit with her character as all side plates do, especially Daniel Bryan’s who actually tore his own off when he went heel and demanded new ones. That storyline might have been lifted, but who’s to really know for sure?