Here we are ladies and gentleman, the week after WrestleMania. RAW saw the debut of Ember Moon and the retirement of Paige from in-ring action. Smackdown certainly did not disappoint, going full speed and giving the fans of women wrestling plenty to talk about. It made me proud as a women’s wrestling fan to see the entire first hour devoted to the women, minus the New Day match against the Usos. With that being said, let’s get to it:
Smackdown Live! kicked off with the commissioner Shane McMahon heading down to the ring. McMahon spoke briefly about his match from Sunday but then focused on the fact that his tag team partner Daniel Bryan, has returned to full time in-ring competition. Bryan returning to the ring has now left a void in the general manager position. McMahon then went on to explain that since Smackdown is the land of opportunity, and when one door closes, yet another one opens, the new general manager of the blue brand is: PAIGE!!
The crowd greeted Paige with a “this is your house” chant. She made her first match as general manager of Daniel Bryan against the WWE Champion Aj Styles. WWE posted on instagram the emotional exit of Paige from RAW and her entrance to Smackdown. This was an emotional week for the fans, family, and colleagues for Paige. Tweets from #ThisIsYourHouse to #ThankYouPaige flooded twitter.
Paige took to instagram to show how much she likes her new job:
After a tag team match between the Usos and the New Day, the women continued to steal the first hour of the show. In a backstage segment, Naomi was interrupted by Natalya who seemingly was jealous of Naomi’s WrestleMania victory. Naomi won the first ever Women’s Battle Royal trophy at the kick off show last Sunday. Naomi told Natalya she will see her in the ring, much to Natalya’s dismay.
The match itself was a back and forth with a good heel/babyface storyline dynamic. There were a couple moves that stood out during the match. Naomi executes a scorpion kick to the face of her opponent, only to have Natalya fight back with a spinning powerbomb. After a kick out, Natalya attempts to put her into a sharpshooter to which Naomi was not allowing herself to get stuck in that position. Natalya stayed on the offense with her signature discus clothesline. Her offense didn’t stay long as Naomi hit her with an enziguri and followed up with a split legged moonsault. Naomi picked up the win with the pinfall victory.
Naomi took to social media to show that she wasn’t going to back down to Natalya:
After all of this excitement from the women’s division so far, the best was yet to come. Charlotte Flair makes her way to the ring to address her victory against Asuka at WrestleMania. She stated how the match was special, magical, and that they laid everything out in the ring that night. Flair laid out the question of, who will she make magic with next? Within seconds she received an answer. The Iconic Duo, now dubbed as the IIconics, made their much anticipated Smackdown debut.
Peyton Royce declared that she and Billie Kay are wizards and could make Flair’s title “disappear”. They continue to mock Flair and her gratitude to those that have supported her. They told her to stop focusing on the past as Flair is looking at the future in front of her. It didn’t take long for Flair to stop hearing the IIconics continue to bad mouth her, so she made the first move by hitting Kay in the face. Kay and Royce then decimated Flair. Flair tried all she could, but the two on one attack was too much for her. After Flair was slammed into the ring post the crowd started chanting for Carmella. Flair was then driven into the steel steps. After the IIconics dragged Flair’s body into the ring, they celebrated the beat down. As they made their way up the ramp, Carmella’s music hits and the crowd erupts.
There were multiple referees out on the ramp in an attempt to help Flair out, so Carmella grabs senior referee Mike Chioda and brings him into the ring with her. I think it is safe to say that she picked the wrong referee. In what seemed like hours, Chioda took forever to ring the bell and start the match. Flair stumbles to her feet was all Carmella needed to kick her in the face and get the 1, 2, 3 victory. Carmella cashes in successfully and becomes the 6th woman to hold the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Carmella soaks in the moment and celebrates in the ring, around the ring, on the announce table, and on the stage.
The aftermath of this encounter was shown in WWE exclusives:
Carmella took to her twitter about her win:
Good morning, haters! Remember when y’all said I would fail my cash in, never be champ or have a successful career? Well, EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT! MELLA IS MONEY, BABY! ? pic.twitter.com/O92PIyMm5F
— MS Money in the BANK (@CarmellaWWE) April 11, 2018
Thoughts:Wow, what a night. The women were all over the show, something I could never had said a few years ago. Paige on RAW had me incredibly sad when she announced her retirement. They made it sound like she was gone all together and not just in-ring competition. The very next night my emotions went from sad to incredibly happy. After all the ups and downs of Paige’s career in the past year or so, I am glad she is still in the company and will be on Smackdown. With that in mind, the superstar shake up next week could be very interesting. With Paige being the new GM, will she bring Absolution over to the blue brand?? The Naomi and Natalya match was decent. Nothing was earth shattering, but this could either build the fuel to Nattie’s jealousy. Naomi could possibly make Nattie a better heel.
Let me now say how EXCITED I am that the IIconics are now on Smackdown. I have been waiting for so long for them to be moved up to the main roster. The possibilities with them are endless. I think they could have left the name as the Iconic Duo, but we all know how Vince likes to shorten every name!!! And FINALLY!!!! Carmella cashes in. It honestly to me is like a breath of fresh air. No disrespect to Charlotte, but I could go without her having a title for a while. Maybe she could go to RAW and feud with Asuka? At least finally we may know that Asuka could lose now. Carmella and Nia Jax being champions are a good sign and a fresh start to a lot of story lines. If we can keep Alexa and Charlotte away from the title picture for a little bit, I think the shows will be more interesting.
I am very excited for next weeks superstar shake up and I hope between that and the inter-branded pay per views, that we get new and exciting action.
What did everyone think of Smackdown? Were you excited to see the IIconics debut? How do you feel about Paige being the new GM? Were you happy that Carmella cashed in or no? Speak out in the comments below!!