SmackDown: 03/13/18 – Streak versus Title

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As we head into Wrestlemania, the next few weeks will be building up and fine tuning those storylines. Asuka comes to Smackdown to shed light on her appearance at Fastline and why she chose Charlotte Flair as her opponent.

On this week’s SmackDown Live, Asuka appears for the first time ever and Charlotte Flair was very welcoming. Flair comes to the ring first. She immediately states, “When you’re a champion, you’re always a target”. Flair knew she was an option for Asuka ever since Asuka won the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match back in January.

Asuka then makes her way to the ring. As she gets settled in the ring, Flair welcomes her the Smackdown. Asuka replies with a simple, “Thank You”. Flair makes two points about what people always say to her for being the champion.

1. Congratulations Charlotte.

2. What would happen if you faced Asuka?

Flair said that she hasn’t faced anyone like Asuka, but also wanted Asuka to know that she has faced no one like the Queen. Asuka agreed that Flair is a Queen but countered with saying that she is an Empress. Asuka agreed that she wanted to go for Flair because she wanted a challenge.

The segment ended with both ladies smiling at each other with mutual respect. This match will be iconic as they have never faced off against each other.

Later in the show, Naomi faced Carmella. Before the match, Carmella had announced via Instagram earlier in the day, that she was entering the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal match at Wrestlemania.

The match started up with both ladies locked up in the center of the ring and Naomi quickly gets Carmella in the corner by her hair. After the referee breaks up the action, Carmella attacks Naomi in the midsection. Carmella takes on the offense by throwing Naomi back and forth in the ring by her head. She starts taunting the crowd by screaming at Naomi that she is a nobody, and yelling at the crowd that she is Ms. Money in the Bank.

Carmella continues her offense by knocking her opponent face first into
the middle turnbuckle and continued to wrap her hair up in the ropes. After the hold was broken up by the referee, Carmella taunted the crowd some more.

Naomi fired out of the corner and pounded away at Carmella’s face. The two exchanged some slaps and Naomi gets the advantage by many repeated shots to her face. Naomi stays on offense and clotheslines her several times to which she kept getting back up off the mat. Naomi attempted to connect with Carmella’s head by 3 roundhouse kicks, but the Princess of Staten Island kept ducking from the massive kicks. Naomi was finally able to knee Carmella in the face, which knocked her down for just a moment.

The match ended with Naomi attempting to use the ropes to her advantage but Carmella knocked her down and pinned her for the win.

Naomi tweeted after the match:

Thoughts:

The build up to Wrestlemania is becoming solid. I am enjoying the fact that Asuka picked Flair. Despite the fact they are both baby faces, this may lead to what most the fans want, and that is a heel turn for Flair. This match should be great. I feel like the fact they have never faced each other is awesome. The unknown is so rare nowadays. Now on the other side of things, if Sasha and Bayley would finally get announced I would be extremely happy. That is slightly off topic, so I digress.

I think Carmella has great potential, but as like a lot of other talent, she is not used properly. In my opinion, one can’t get better and fine tune their craft if they are not participating in it. Before Carmella appeared, the week before the Fastlane Pay Per View, the last time we saw her was when she attempted the cash in on Flair on the Smackdown after the Royal Rumble.

For myself, when her music hit after the Riott Squad attacked Flair, I didn’t immediatley think about a cash in. Maybe i was tired that day? Regardless, it shows that they have not utilized her right with this Money in the Bank opportunity. When I realized what she was doing, I got really excited as did the crowd that night. The reaction she received was great, and what was that followed up with? Carmella was off television for several weeks after that. Now, maybe something happened in her life that she had to step away for a few weeks? I mean Brock Lesnar get’s special treatment, so why not? Right?

My hope and thoughts for Wrestlemania is that they use Carmella, as she should have already been used to this point. My Wrestlemania prediction as of now, Asuka beats Flair, and Carmella cashes in successfully on Asuka and defeats the streak. One way to fully get Carmella cemented in this division is to let her do what no one else has done, and that is to be ready for Asuka.

What do you think about the encounter between the Queen and the Empress? Are you happy for Carmella’s second win in a row? Sound off in the comments.