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As a fan of women’s wrestling in WWE, you get used to seeing either phenomenal work or complete nonsense. That is, except for this week. The work we see this week isn’t exactly going to be remembered years from now as the “glory days”, but it isn’t entirely something we should forget either. Because for once in this God awful feud, something actually happens, believe it or not…
So before we get into that, let’s take a little look at what the women did this past week on SmackDown!
Our first sighting of the night is when Renee Young is speaking to Natalya and Becky Lynch as they discuss this Sunday’s tag match as well as the upcoming singles match. Natalya tells Renee that she is lucky to have “a true friend” like Becky by her side, and if anyone knows what it is like to be used by Charlotte, it’s Becky. Becky then goes on to say that her and Natalya are like Mulder and Skully from The X-Files, and Charlotte can’t win a fair fight on her own, or even with Dana Brooke by her side. As Natalya goes on to say how the two of them helped Dana to see the light, the Women’s Champion butts in and states how Dana does see the light, and that’s why she’s with the champion and not a couple of “wannabe champions”.
Dana then gives her two cents by telling the women that her relationship with Charlotte is established, and that herself and the champ need to go prepare for the upcoming match. This then somehow turns into an almost brawl and then everybody leaves.
Before our women’s match can go ahead, Lana enters the ring to introduce our “true American hero” and the “current and all time greatest United Stated Champion” Rusev for his match against Kalisto. As Kalisto jumps into the ring, the Bulgarian Brute catches him and superplexes the Lucha Dragon in the ring. Whilst hitting his opponent before the bell can ring, Kalisto’s partner Sin Cara shows up to his defense, but is soon found in the Accolade. Fortunately, Titus O’Neil runs down the ramp to attack Rusev, leaving the champion running defenseless out of the arena.
Later on we see our women’s division match as Natalya faces Charlotte. Natalya dominates most of the contest whilst Charlotte finds herself running to cover a few times. After a bit of action Dana starts shouting at Natalya about how Charlotte is “still the champ”. Becky decides to take matters into her own hands so starts a little fight with Brooke outside of the ring before being thrown into the squared circle. As the referee is distracted by these two, Charlotte tosses her title towards Natalya to get the referee’s attention. As he is putting the championship back where it belongs Flair attacks Nattie’s leg and forces her to tap out to the Figure Eight.
Thoughts: It looks like this feud is finally serving something watchable. The entire time this story has felt like a filler feud so that Charlotte’s reign as champion can be extended without her having to cheat in another title match. Whilst it probably is exactly that, it’s nice to see some development finally take place – even if it is a few days before the pay-per-view.
Something this feud was lacking was a unique motive behind it. We’ve been through the whole Charlotte’s a cheater thing time and time again, but it isn’t until this week’s show that something interesting has taken place. Of course, this is most likely going to lead to a Dana vs Charlotte feud in which Flair will be victorious, but the alternate motive may be hinting towards a heel turn from none other than Natalya Neidhart. Watching the end of the match, it’s clear that the Queen of Harts was not pleased with what her “good friend” Becky did by causing her to lose. And when we compare Natalya’s frustrations at the end of the match to the pride and happiness she felt when speaking about her friend in the backstage interview, it only makes sense for her to feel anger, especially after all of the unfairness sent her way.
Unfortunately, though, the delivery could be better. I’m not sure if the ladies just aren’t feeling the story or were just off this week, but the performances felt messy. The chemistry between Charlotte and Natalya doesn’t feel right, and the constant yelling of “SHE’S STILL CHAMP” by Dana feels way too forced and unnecessary. This week’s work really could be improved if the women slowed things down a little and thought before they did a few things. Even the ending was a little odd as it felt as though neither woman knew what they were doing and just went with the flow.
But I don’t want a bit of sloppy work to make this week’s effort seem poor, because it wasn’t. The storytelling is great (better late than never) whilst over the past few weeks we have seen the women give it their all. It’s hard to find motivation in the last effort when throughout the entire time all they were made to do was basically repeat a mundane story that absolutely nobody was invested in. Though it wasn’t great while it lasted, it’s nice to see that we aren’t left on a sour note on the penultimate part of the story.
How do you feel about this week’s work? Are the ladies sloppy? How do you think the end result will turn out?