As first revealed by Byron Saxton in an exclusive video from SmackDown LIVE’s tour through Mexico and Peru, Natalya will look to recapture the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Charlotte Flair at WWE Clash of Champions, a night where every title will be on the line. WWE.com has since learned that showdown will be a Lumberjack Match!
Standing firmly at the top of Team Blue since winning the title from Naomi at SummerSlam, Natalya assumed there was no Superstar capable of dethroning her, but Charlotte disproved her rival’s theory in a big way when she knocked the crown off the head of The Queen of Hart(less) on the final SmackDown LIVE before Survivor Series to become a six-time Women’s Champion.
Charlotte claimed the title in her hometown, where her father, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, was on hand to surprise The Queen after her moment of triumph, making for one of the most emotional victories in blue brand history. Five days later, Charlotte followed up her incredible title win by taking down Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss in a classic showdown at Survivor Series, the one night of the year when Raw and SmackDown Superstars meet in head-to-head competition for brand supremacy.
In the wake of Survivor Series, Natalya wasted little time reengaging the Queen City titleholder on an episode of SmackDown LIVE in her contractually obligated rematch. However, before a winner could be decided in what was shaping up as another epic title bout between the two, NXT Superstars Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan suddenly appeared from the crowd and executed a surprise attack on both Superstars, leaving Charlotte and Natalya down on the canvas.
Though the titleholder and the former champion appeared to put their differences aside to form a temporary alliance alongside Naomi to combat The Riott Squad in a Six-Woman Tag Team Match, things went south in a hurry when Natalya suddenly hopped off the apron and walked out on her partners, leaving Charlotte and Naomi high and dry. As a result, it now it appears that all groves are off for the last pay-per-view of 2017.
As if the situation was not volatile enough, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan decided to make the highly-anticipated title rematch into a Lumberjack Match, opening the door for the likes of The Riott Squad, Carmella, Lana and Tamina to play a crucial role in the pay-per-view equation.