The biggest winners and losers of last night's SmackDown (December 18)
Asuka came out to great fanfare. She also seemingly got Vince McMahon's approval, since the commentary team tried hard to put her over and McMahon himself did his best to do so as well. Though it wasn't executed perfectly, the segment was fairly clear in its direction - Charlotte and Becky should go after Ronda Rousey, Vince said, more or less leaving Asuka to dominate the blue brand in the months ahead.
To boost Asuka further, she had a successful title defense last night against old pal Naomi. Though the match wasn't very good, it was nevertheless good for Asuka that she has now successfully defended her championship, avoiding Sasha Banks Syndrome in the process.
WWE looks like it's trying to capitalize on Asuka's popularity and erase some doubts about her winning thanks to Rousey's interference, even if this wasn't executed in the best way.
After the year Asuka has had from April to November, the company at least appears like it's trying to make amends.