SmackDown Redux (October 17th, 2017): Old habits never die

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With last week’s brawl still fresh on everyone’s minds, Charlotte Flair is out for revenge. Will she take down the Women’s champion, or will Natalya reign supreme with more dirty tactics? Let’s find out!

After a look back at the brawl and a recap of Hell in a Cell, we take to ringside for a six women tag team contest! Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Naomi are set to take on Natalya, Tamina and Lana – with Miss Money In The Bank Carmella on commentary.

The match starts off with Naomi and the champ. Natalya quickly takes down her fellow ‘Total Divas’ star, but after a stomp to Naomi’s back, the Queen of Black Harts gets a dropkick to the face. As Naomi gains control over the match, the champ retires to the outside, seeking help from her partners. Unfortunately for Neidhart and co. the former Women’s champion jumps on all of them, knocking them to the ground – though, Lana doesn’t get hit but kind of pretends she does.

We then see Becky Lynch tagged in to continue the domination. She soon tries to attack Natalya, but the champ is seen leaving to retreat to the outside yet again. Is this her only strategy? The cracks are beginning to show for the Queen of Black Harts…

When we get back from the break, Tamina seems to be dominating Naomi, allowing Lana to take over. After Becky is taken down, Charlotte chases after Lana but is soon stopped by the referee. The Ravishing Russian then takes Naomi to her corner to be held by Natalya as she gets a few stomps in.

Flair is then tagged in and completely takes over the match. As she sets Lana up for a Figure Eight however, Natalya attacks her, sending her head-first into the middle turnbuckle. Becky then inserts the Bex-plex on the champ, followed by a Superkick from Tamina. Naomi then performs a Springboard dive on Snuka, leaving them both of out the ring. Lana attempts a roll-up on Charlotte but this only leads to a 2-count, a Figure Eight, and the Ravishing Russian tapping out. Poor Lana!

After the victory, Natalya drags Flair out of the ring, tossing her into the side of the announcers table. She then gets ahold of a chair, aiming to hit Charlotte with it. Unfortunately for the champ, her enemy is one step ahead and boots her down before she can attack. This then leads to Flair chasing Natalya to the point where she runs over the barricade for protection. It seems that Neidhart isn’t quite as confident as she wants us to think she is…

Thoughts: So, for yet another consecutive week, RAW kicks SmackDown Live’s ass when it comes to the women’s division.

As per usual, we’re better off not watching the show this week because not only would you save yourself some time, but you still wouldn’t be behind on anything, story wise. Natalya tries to show that she’s the toughest in the division, whilst Charlotte takes her down a few pegs. So basically the same as last week, and pretty much every week prior to it.

It’s a shame that WWE doesn’t push a Becky and Carmella feud a little more, as last week proves that they belong in the ring together. They don’t exactly put on a 5 star classic, but they exemplify their chemistry well – but we aren’t given the opportunity to see that again this week.

Instead, we see a six women tag-team contest in which almost nothing happens. Instead of seeing a side feud form, we see six women perform the same six person match they’ve performed time and time again, with no hints at anything new. Exactly what we need after weeks of dull contests.

Something that needs to change with the SmackDown women’s division is the use of Lana. As much as she may be trying, she’s just not cutting it. When she’s fighting the likes of Charlotte and Naomi, it’s almost impossible to take it seriously. Is it really believable that someone that wrestles like a kid trying to grab their friends in a game of Freeze Tag can take down these former Women’s champions? Naomi and Charlotte are top tier talent, whereas Lana is at the bottom of the pile, and a simple suplex doesn’t even look believable here. If we needed to have a three-on-three contest, Carmella was very much available. And her work on commentary didn’t exactly do anything for anybody anyway. So adding her to the match would have made it suck a little less.

If there’s anything we can gain from this night though, it is proof that Naomi is a star. She isn’t given a lot to do, nor is she the most important member of the match. Yet she still has the best moments and inserts the sharpest of moves. Her jump to the outside is definitely the highlight, and her springboard dive on Tamina was so well done that even something as small as that steals the match (or maybe the bar is just this low). Naomi needs to be in a feud. She doesn’t need to touch the title just yet, but her talent is far too great to be wasted on six women tag matches. Give her a side feud whilst Charlotte and Natalya have at it. She deserves it and SmackDown needs it.

Overall, this episode is very much missable. A match we’ve seen many times before with almost no relevance attached to it isn’t what we need to see. So if you’re contemplating watching the segment, don’t waste your time.

What do you think of this match? Who do you think should feature in a side feud? Let us know your views in the comments below!