Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (July 14th, 2016): Charlotte sets the rules

[media-credit name=”WWE” align=”alignnone” width=”620″]Charlotte-throws-Sasha-over-the-commentators-table[/media-credit]

So, it’s official. This is our final ever edition of Thursday Night SmackDown! Gone are the days of spoiling the show on a Tuesday night and forcing ourselves to be angry at a show that has almost no impact on the general storylines. After tonight, SmackDown is live and we may finally see some genuine progression for the ladies of WWE on the blue brand. However, Thursday nights aren’t leaving us empty handed, as this week we actually see a pretty good match and backstage segment take place. So, before we get onto that, let’s remind ourselves of what happened this past Thursday night.

We start things off with a clip of Charlotte and Dana leaving a limousine to enter the arena.  Both ladies promise that “lightening won’t strike twice” as Dana will overcome Sasha Banks in tonight’s match.

The match then kicks off the show and ends up being a pretty good fight. Both competitors give some great back and forth action and deliver  some good moves throughout. As Charlotte tries to distract Banks, she receives a punch straight to the face. Brooke then tries to capitalize on this with a roll up but is quickly seen tapping to the Bank Statement.

Unfortunately, before Sasha can celebrate her win she receives a boot to the face by the Women’s Champion. As Sasha is lead fleeting outside of the ring, Flair thrusts the Boss over the announce table, defenseless. To end the segment, Charlotte holds her title over her head and yells “I’M THE BOSS” at a vulnerable Sasha Banks.

Later on in the night Sasha is being aided by a medic before she’s interrupted by Charlotte and Dana. Flair states to Banks that she will be getting her match at Battleground, but before her hopes (and ours) are set too high, the Women’s champion confirms that it will be a tag team match. This now leaves Sasha on the look-out for a tag team partner for next week’s pay-per-view.

Lana is also seen accompanying Rusev to his losing effort against Dolph Ziggler as Zack Ryder causes a distraction. Maryse also introduces The Miz TV segment featuring Bob BacklundDarren Young and The Miz.

Thoughts: THIS is the kind of segment we needed for this feud. Though it was short, it showed progression and – more importantly – involvement from the actual champ. Charlotte aggressively attacking Sasha from behind and capitalizing on it connotes everything that her character has been built up as; a cowardly individual, yet a force to be reckoned with.

It’s worth noting that the poignant moment of this segment is the part in which only Banks and Flair are present. Charlotte has the aggression and the skill to carry herself and Banks to a brilliant feud. This whole thing really should never have included Brooke to begin with. It’s clearly exemplified through the fact that once she is taken out of the equation, the story escalates. Once we see Charlotte fighting for herself – yet still in her cowardly fashion – it’s clear that there is chemistry between the two. Charlotte and Sasha are capable of pulling off a brilliant feud, and if their time at NXT isn’t good enough to prove that, then this one moment should be. This feud can be a lot better than it has been, all we need to do is place Dana in a lower card storyline and keep this one between Charlotte and Sasha.

Now, for the Battleground match… Firstly, this is a poor way of extending the feud. At the last pay-per-view we just saw the champ and Dana compete in a tag team match, and now we’re seeing that again!? After teasing us with how great Charlotte and Sasha can be in a singles feud, Battleground may be the worst time for a tag team match. We don’t need to keep seeing Dana and Charlotte try to fool us into thinking they have any type of chemistry. What we need is for Charlotte to finally break out into a solo star and give us a convincingly good story.

But, this could be a good thing, depending on who shows up.

Firstly, there is the route of reuniting Team B.A.D. by bringing in Naomi… This could be an interesting one as the chemistry between Sasha and Naomi is undeniable. The two could possibly reunite, overcome the odds at Battleground, and then we can witness Sasha’s inevitable SummerSlam title win. Following this, the feud we’ve all been deprived from between Naomi and Sasha can finally take place later on this year. After months of a genuine friendship being built on television (and not on Twitter), it would be great to see two of the most athletic competitors with incredible chemistry battle it out for the Women’s Championship.

Then, there is the predictable route of bringing in NXT’s Bayley… Bayley is a great talent, and has given Banks her two greatest wrestling matches. Their history is phenomenal and pretty much any fan of the women will tell you that. However, this may not be the best way to bring in the former NXT Women’s champion to the main roster. Bayley and Sasha have two completely different characters. One is fabulous and sassy whilst the other is child-like and resembles a children’s show character. Whilst either competitor is worthy of being the champ, placing them as a tag team makes almost no sense. There is no positive bond between them as they are complete opposites. It’s not as if Charlotte has been targeting the women and they both want revenge. The last time we saw Bayley and Charlotte in a ring together they were crying, hugging and holding up the “four horsewomen” symbol… So, it really makes no sense for this partner to be her.

And finally, we may see the Boss team up with Nikki Bella. This option makes the most sense out of the three. Bella lost her title to Charlotte back in September and is undoubtedly out for revenge. The last time we saw her in a ring she was defeated by Charlotte and then sent away to mend her injury. Both of these factors can easily make Nikki want to come back for revenge, and what better way to do it than to team up with another driving force in the division? Bella and Banks are two of the most popular women on the roster, and, unlike Sasha’s relationship with Bayley, their personalities are very similar. They both embody beautiful, outgoing and fearless women, whilst each having a justifiable reason to dethrone the champ. They don’t necessarily have to be the best of friends, but as the saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy, is my friend.”

So, now that the Battleground match is set, and Charlotte is leading the charge, next Sunday may be an explosive one for the women’s division…

Did you like the match? Who do you think should be Sasha’s partner? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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