Natalya reigned supreme last Sunday at Hell in a Cell with the help of a chair. But is she still standing tall in tonight’s fallout? Or will Charlotte Flair take her down a few pegs? Let’s see what happened this week on SmackDown Live!
Before the night’s events, Carmella is seen drinking some water with James Ellsworth by her side – in which, he’s holding the water bottle in his mouth. After some barking from Ellsworth, Carmella allows him to have some too, but his water is in a dog bowl. Riveting stuff!
The Queen of Black Harts is patting herself on the back, expressing just how “good” it feels for her to still be champion. Although in a somewhat agreement, the Ravishing Lana says that the championship will look “much, much better” on Tamina. Carmella then adds her two cents and says that unlike Tamina, her fantasy is a lot more “real.” Get her!
The champ then decides to get everyone on the same page by saying that although they disagree about the current champion, they all know that Charlotte doesn’t deserve to hold it. And speak of the Devil and she shall arrive…
Before Flair can say anything, Natalya asks: “why the long boo boo face?” Weird, but okay. “Did you break your pathetic father’s heart again?” Ouch.
Charlotte, without much hesitation, punches the champ across the face, sending her to the ground. Carmella and Tamina attempt to stop the attack, but Becky Lynch and Naomi chase them away. As the referees then pull Flair away, Natalya crawls for freedom. She really upset the lion here.
Let’s move on to the match!
Becky, feeling furious from the previous encounter, goes straight to Carmella to take her down. Miss Money On The Bank scrambles to safety, screaming her way away from the Lass Kicker. However, each time she attempts an escape, the former Women’s champion stops her. At one point, the Princess of Staten Island rushes outside and gets behind Ellsworth, whom is blocking Lynch. Taking advantage of this, ‘Mella kicks Becky’s legs to damager her a little.
Fortunately for Becky, she takes advantage. And pretty soon, she has Carmella tapping to the Dis-Arm-Her. Good for Becky! Finally she gets a win, and it only took her 84 years to get it!
Thoughts: So it’s a quiet night for the SmackDown ladies. Not a lot happens, and it’s hard to tell what direction we’re going in. But at least it’s something.
A year ago, a night like this would be seen as a huge disappointment. It’d be frustrating to see the women have a passable match with no development. Whereas in the current state, it’s almost a treat. It’s not the best, as it’s so dull. But with how repetitive and monotone SmackDown has felt, seeing a different match makes the division feel a little more unique for once. Lynch and Carmella have good chemistry, and as two women on the opposite ends of the heel/face spectrum, it’s nice to see that play out.
If only the two would have a feud so that we could have something extra on the side…
What’s frustrating about the title picture is that it’s the only source of women’s action we see on the blue brand. The last set of women were allowed to have two or three feuds at once. So when it came to the title picture, it didn’t feel as though the other ladies were being robbed, and thus allowing everybody to join the entire division. Now we have to settle for two women to be in the spotlight whilst everybody else is left waiting for backstage brawls so that they can jump on camera for a hot second.
There’s a briefcase holder that openly admits to never needing a title shot, so why is she constantly surrounding the champion? Carmella should be as far away from the title picture as possible so that her inevitable cash-in can be a surprise. Seth Rollins had one of the (arguably) greatest cash-ins of all time, and that’s for multiple reasons. One of them is the fact that on the night of his cash-in, he was involved in a completely different feud, thus diverging the attention from his briefcase. Carmella has Becky, Naomi, Lana and Tamina to feud with yet is hardly interacting with any of them. So hopefully tonight’s match is a sign of things changing. Or so I hope.
Sticking to the topic of Carmella, I would be eve so delighted if the Ellsworth story would be dropped. Him acting like a dog is far from funny and forces a cringe every time either one of the two come out. There are other ways to humiliate a character, but making them act like a dog is not one of them.
One positive from this is the aggression from Charlotte is really helping her face run. Flair is a good competitor, but something about her just doesn’t allow the talent to be the true babyface she needs to be right now. And after years of build-up and praise, it’s practically impossible to make her an underdog. So to see her use her strength and frame to be dominant is what we need. She can be a good guy, but she shouldn’t be a weakling. And allowing her relationship with Ric to be involved is a wonderful way of giving her a connection with the audience. Fans love Ric, so to see him being disrespected is going to get them riled up. And it’ll definitely get them to stand behind whomever is sticking up for him.
This episode isn’t the best. But in comparison to the repetitive promos and matches of the previous weeks, it’s not the worst we’ve seen. We need to see more effort put into the entire division. Natalya is a great champion, but not allowing the other women to do their own thing makes her reign look dull. Use the women, but allow them to be in their own non-title feuds so things can feel fresh and diverse.
What do you think of this episode? What feuds would you like to see? Let us know your views in the comments below!