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After the crowning of the first ever SmackDown Women’s champion, the ladies of the blue brand have a lot of eyes watching them this week – and what a week it is! With a new number one contender, and two exciting feuds being established, SmackDown is the place to be for mainstream women’s wrestling. So let’s quickly remind ourselves of what it is we saw on Tuesday night:
Halfway through the show our brand new SmackDown Women’s champion, Becky Lynch, enters the ring to discuss the upcoming Fatal 5-Way #1 Contender’s match with Charly Caruso. The Lass Kicker is still ever so ecstatic about her title win and encourages all of the competitors to bring it their A-game.
Quickly following Lynch’s in-ring interview, the rest of the women’s division enters the ring one by one. The match showcases a very fast pace and we see multiple impressive reversals and offensive moves. Some of the highlights include Nikki Bella spearing Carmella as soon as the match begins, an electric chair suplex on Naomi, the Rear-view, Natalya being smashed into the barricade, Naomi’s head hitting the steel steps, and more. In the end, just as Nikki is about to perform the TKO on Alexa Bliss, a sneaky Carmella boots the Wonder Woman straight to the face. Unfortunately for the Princess of Staten Island however, the Small but Fierce Alexa lives up to her nickname and shoves her out of the ring. She then quickly pins a knocked out Nikki Bella and steals the victory.
In the post show Talking Smack, the victor of tonight’s match shows up to talk with Renee Young and SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan. Bliss says that the reason that she didn’t win at Backlash was because she was “ganged up on.” She insists that she was eliminated first as they all wanted to remove the best competition. However, despite her loss, she believes that she is finally getting what she deserves – as exemplified during the Fatal 5-Way victory. Alexa believes that she deserves the SmackDown Women’s championship as she defeated the current champion on her debut match, as well as pinning the longest reigning Divas champion tonight.
Bliss’ size is then brought up and, despite Bryan attempting to say he has the same issue, Alexa insists that the two are nothing alike and that she is far superior.
Towards the end of the interview Young asks the #1 contender for her opinions on some of the women’s division members. Alexa reminds us of the fact that she fought Lynch a few times in NXT and knows how to counter her moves – so the title will be changing hands.
On the topic of Carmella, she believes that she is “insane” as throughout the numerous matches the two have shared against one another in NXT, Alexa has yet to be defeated – yet the Princess of Staten Island insists on using the same tactics again and again. She also calls her “delusional” and “the least of [her] worries.”
Naomi is then brought up and although she calls her “super athletic,” she states that “nobody is as athletic as [Bliss].”
When the Queen of Harts is discussed, Alexa says that though the two have been teaming up for a short while, “it’s time for the new era.”
Thoughts: Alexa Bliss has truly come a long way. From her good-girl glittery image she had back in NXT, to the fierce and competitive nature she currently holds, it really is brilliant seeing her come so far. During her initial time at NXT, it was really difficult to see her square off against some of the biggest competitors in the women’s division. But now, just like she said on Talking Smack, she’s defeated the current SmackDown Women’s champion AND the longest reigning Divas champion. And as far as scripting goes, this can happen to literally anyone, however the work of Bliss over the past few months has made this ever so believable – and I can’t help but applaud her path to get to where she is.
Having Alexa take home the win may be predictable, but tonight’s build is anything but. What we see is SmackDown, yet again, building multiple women at once and allowing more than one story to take place. Throughout the match it is Nikki that takes charge. With her electric chair suplex, Bella Buster, and smashing Natalya into the barricade, she manages to get the crowd on her side, believing that she, a standout and tough competitor, will take home the victory. However, it’s the newbies that overtake her as Carmella knocks her down and Alexa pins her.This booking is the perfect way to not only extend the feud between between Bella and the Princess of Staten Island, but it also allows the new #1 contender to look even stronger. As exemplified on Talking Smack, Bliss can now brag about pinning the longest reigning Divas champion in history as she heads to No Mercy to fight for the SmackDown Women’s championship. Coming off of the big victory, Bliss can now be a definitive and tough competitor for Lynch. And although Alexa will inevitably lose, the prestige and heat she has obtained from defeating Bella will give her the momentum to shine bright on October 9th.
Also, this Nikki and Carmella feud is really living up to be everything I didn’t know I needed! Carmella has potential to really be a cowardly yet dominant heel, and with this booking things are really going her way. Nikki Bella’s sudden fall at the end of the match has worked in Carmella’s favour as despite delivering all of those powerful moves throughout the match, it was Carmella that knocked her down. And this time, unlike most of the others, it wasn’t just a simple roll up and holding of the tights. In tonight’s match it’s a boot to the face that kept Nikki down for so long that another competitor successfully pinned her. Carmella is sneaky and cowardly, but, as showcased through her Code of Silence and overpowering of Nikki tonight, she’s also a tough fighter.
Now, regarding the other two members of the division: Naomi and Natalya. Personally, I don’t want to see them compete in a feud between one other. If this is the case it may feel like a filler feud to simply please a small group of fans, and that is not necessary. What I’d rather see is for either to compete against the likes of Bliss, Lynch, Bella and Carmella over the next few weeks and come out with an equal amount of wins and losses between them. And then, on the Kickoff for No Mercy, the two can face off against one another. Here, the winner will speak with Bryan and Shane McMahon about a potential title shot, as they have defeated a few of the stars and have obtained a pay-per-view win. This way, they can build on the other stories without it getting too stale, and can avoid being out of the spotlight for too long.
As of this episode of SmackDown, two feuds have been cleverly built. And even if one will (and should) have a predictable winner, they will no doubt have a great feud. Lynch, who though was seen to be above Bliss but is actually not too different from her, will definitely come across as the winner. However, this will not stunt Alexa’s growth as a competitor as if everything goes as astonishing as it has this time, then Alexa has a bright future on the blue brand.
Carmella and Nikki are building on their story very cleverly as in this episode we see Carmella coming across as a sneaky and strong heel, whilst Bella obtained loud “let’s go Nikki” chants from the crowd.
Overall, the women of SmackDown killed it – yet again!
What do you think of Alexa’s victory? Do you want to see her win the title at No Mercy? Will Nikki get her revenge on Carmella? How would you book Naomi and Natalya? Let us know your views in the comments below!