SmackDown Redux (October 31st, 2017): Times are changing, for the worse


It’s Halloween and tonight, the SmackDown Live women’s division are all planning on wearing the same outfit! It appears that they’re all dressing as ghosts this year, and are taking it so seriously that it’s literally impossible to see them in the ring. Gotta love dedicated cosplayers. Way to keep the revolution going, guys!

Anyway, onto the only segment of the night.

Backstage, Becky Lynch talks to the women on the SmackDown Live Survivor Series team, and Lana. She expresses how tired she is of SmackDown being referred to as “the B-show” whilst RAW is the “flagship.” She insists that “united we’re gonna concur, but divided, we will fall.”

After Lynch finishes her speech with “tea” clinks, the SmackDown Women’s champion Natalya joins the conversation. The Queen of Black Harts states how it is a “crying shame” that she isn’t the captain of the team, but it is still an “honor” that she will be defending her championship against Alexa Bliss – somebody that she “ran off” to RAW, apparently.

The champ then says that within every team, “there’s always a weak link.” She insists that this team’s “weak link” is Charlotte Flair, somebody that “fell short” against her. And if the team loses, they’ll know to blame her. Strong words, Natalya.

In a dark match that happened prior to the show, Charlotte, Naomi and Becky defeated Natalya, Lana and Tamina in a six-woman tag match.

Thoughts: It’s suddenly 2010 again and the women are getting less than three minutes of screen time.

Following a night in which a Woman’s title “main event” match as well as the Survivor Series team related match were both interrupted by men, this is a poor decision for WWE.

It is very clear that the women do not matter at all at Survivor Series. They have yet to have good booking for a single match, and this year feels far from different. The entire feud going into Survivor Series is about the men, whilst the two female oriented matches feel like after thoughts.

Throughout the night, we saw the men’s pay-per-view match receive far more attention than the women’s. We started the night off with Shane McMahon announcing his status in the team. We then saw Bobby Rhoode defeat Dolph Ziggler in a Two out of Three Falls contest to qualify for the team. We later saw Baron Corbin compete in a match. And then we saw Shinsuke Nakamura earn a spot at the show. Yet when it comes to the women, we were given a single backstage segment that lasted for a few minutes. SmackDown cares so little about the women that they gave Rhoode and Ziggler (essentially) three matches whilst the women didn’t even get put inside the squared circle. An entire division has two big matches coming up and we couldn’t even get a decent in-ring promo or match? We couldn’t have gotten a creative segment or even something that showed hints of something big?

The champion vs champion match isn’t looking too good. At all.

If the women’s titles are supposed to feel important, why aren’t Alexa and Natalya cutting promos on each other? Why does the upcoming fight feel like a forgetful contest? Does it even matter? Are we even supposed to care? Clearly, no. Clearly, neither championship is that important as they’re reduced to a few minutes or men interrupting them.

Even if either champion is to lose their title, is there a reason that we’re not seeing them on screen much? The pay-per-view is just under three weeks away, and for the women, it feels like they’re not even on the show.

This is the exact reason as to why ‘Talking Smack’ and ‘Total Divas’ are necessary. The post-show programme offers the underutilized talent to further their storylines, allowing us to care for them more. And the reality show gives the women an entire hour dedicated to just them, making the fans feel a better connection.

Tonight was a poor effort. The week itself was disastrous. There may have been three matches on RAW, but three matches in which two were interrupted by men and one was a squash match isn’t enough. And to follow that with absolutely no relevant or in-ring moments for the SmackDown women is a disgrace. Do better, WWE.

What do you think of this week’s “show”? Did the three minutes of talking make you squee with excitement? How happy are you to see WWE finally give their women the same respect as the men? Let us know your views on this exciting and groundbreaking episode below!