Asuka successfully defended her SmackDown Women's Championship on Sunday by forcing Becky Lynch to tap out at the Royal Rumble event on Sunday.
Late in the match Asuka managed to apply the Asuka Lock onto Lynch, but had to break the hold as both women were tied up in the ropes. Moments later Lynch returned the favor by applying the Disarmer while standing on the second turnbuckle.
Don't turn your back on @WWEAsuka!January 28, 2019
Minutes later both women found themselves on the apron. Asuka initially a german suplex but Lynch held onto the second rope. Lynch then attempted a Bexploder but Asuka countered. Eventually both women wound up falling to the floor. Asuka rolled back into the ring first, hit Lynch with a big kick but only got a two-count.
.@WWEAsuka going all out! ?January 28, 2019
Lynch finally connected with a Bexploder with Asuka on the top rope, but only got a two count for it. She then made her way to the top rope, tried for a leg drop, but Asuka dodged it and applied an Asuka Lock, followed by a Disarmer.
Lynch managed to roll out and nearly forced Asuka to tap to the Asuka lock but she escaped. The Irish native tried for the Disarmer again on for Asuka to escape again. The champ applied the Asuka Lock, then transitioned into a modified Last Chancery for the win.
"The Man" has been tied to the hip with the SmackDown Women's Championship ever since she competed in a triple threat match with then-champion Carmella and Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam. Lynch appeared to turn on Flair after the match, but that turn was pulled back after still receiving support from the fans each week. Lynch won the title in a match against Flair at Hell in a Cell, and held onto it all the way until TLC.
In that match, a triple threat Tables, Ladders and Chairs match with Flair and Asuka, Lynch wound up losing after Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey made her way out to the ring and tipped over a ladder with Lynch and Flair both on it. The rivalry between those three women leads back to the buildup to Survivor Series, where Lynch was supposed to fight Rousey in a Champion vs. Champion match but wound up getting injured in a brawl with the Raw Women's locker room.
Even though she lost that match, it's still very possible Lynch competes in the Women's Royal Rumble match later in the evening.