This week’s SmackDown may have ended Dana Brooke‘s short lived winning streak, but that’s as exciting as it gets. What we see in this episode is virtually what we’ve seen in every other segment the women have had for the past month.The ladies give us their all, but unfortunately when the material they have to work with is as redundant as a Wyatts feud, it’s difficult to be excited… Now before we get onto anything, let’s take a look back at what happened:
Lana is seen alongside the United States Champion Rusev speaking to Renee Young as they are questioned about avoiding the upcoming battle against Titus O’Neil. The Ravishing Russian refers to this statement as “ridiculous” as Rusev is the “greatest United Stated Champion of all time,” and he as a champion, does not back down from a fight. Rusev then says that he is an even greater champion than the recently deceased Muhammad Ali. The segment then ends as O’Neil shows up, and with a few references to Ali, insinuates that the championship will be coming home with him.
This week’s match is between Becky Lynch (accompanied by Natalya) and Dana Brooke (accompanied by Women’s Champion Charlotte). The match is fairly back and forth with both competitors interacting with the crowd well and gaining momentum throughout. Things take a little turn as Dana is confronted by Natalya, to only lead her to a (fairly bad) spear by the Women’s Champion. As the referee notices the potential for distraction, he sends both managers backstage so that only the two competitors are left in the ring.
As this is happening Becky is watching Natalya leave her, and is soon rolled up into a pin by Dana that only manages to reach the two count. As the Predator tries to insert her finisher, the Lass Kicker places her Dis-Arm-Her first, forcing Brooke to submit, and thus ending her very short undefeated streak.
Thoughts: Firstly, let’s discuss Lana. During the summer of last year, and even around Wrestlemania season this year, the Ravishing Russian was really on the rise as a solo performer. Though I definitely understand that there is a big need for her to only show up in the ring when she is ready, it’d be great if she could actually become a valuable part of the storyline, and not just there because she needs to work for a pay check. Everything Lana is doing right now could easily be done by Rusev, as everything she says, he basically repeats, making her useless. Prior to this new chapter in their WWE life, Lana would be the only speaking voice or even on the opposing side of Rusev. Now, I’m not saying that Rusev should never be given the mic, because really, he is brilliant on it, but if Lana could actually impact the storyline to an extent that makes her seem valuable, then it’d be funner to watch. The Ravishing Russian hardly ever cheats or even bothers to instruct Rusev on what to do, nor does she get under the crowd’s skin as much as she used to with her lines on the mic, so, what is the point of having her out there? She is capable of so much more than just serving as Rusev’s eye candy, and it’s be lovely to see her role alter from that in the future.
The problem with this week’s women’s match is that it takes almost ever convention of predictable Singles matches and combines it into one, making the whole thing a lousy, foreseeable mess. From the annoying interaction from Charlotte going unseen by the referee, to both managers being escorted out for “drama”, it’s difficult to get into the match at all because not only have we seen it before, but based on the predictability of this storyline already, it’s exactly what is expected from the match anyway. Though it’s pretty obvious that this is a feud to just prolong Flair’s reign as champion, it would be nice to see some effort put into it so that her beyond-its-sell-by-date reign can feel less tacky.
Whilst Charlotte’s time as champion has definitely been a great one to watch, this sour feud is epitomizing the fact that there’s not much left to gain from it. This storyline feels like a lump of procrastination, and instead of seeing this I’d much rather the next title holder show up than be saved for a later date.
But although the booking is at the worst it’s been for a while now, the work of the women should not be blamed. Both Becky and Dana put in a good fight, whilst Natalya and Charlotte play their roles well (despite the outside spear from Flair). The women are good at their jobs, but the product that they’re dealing with is not doing them any favours,
Do you like this week’s match? How do you feel about the current storyline? Would you like to see Lana’s position change? Let us know your views in the comments below!