Natalya came up short on Smackdown when she was the victim of a sneak attack by the Women’s Champion and her new associate. Here on Raw, she’s getting another crack at Dana Brooke – but unfortunately she’ll have to keep looking over her shoulder to see if Charlotte is still there too.
Charlotte shocked the world on Monday when she broke off all ties with Ric Flair – and disowned her father in front of thousands of fans. But she’s still got help in her corner – in the form of Dana Brooke. That alliance is going to be put to the test on Smackdown; Dana will be facing the woman she cheated out of the title at Extreme Rules. It’s Natalya vs Dana Brooke on Smackdown.
We’re shown an extended video package of Charlotte’s win at Extreme Rules, and then her disowning her father the next night on Raw. It features interviews with other members of the roster, getting their thoughts on the Flair family drama. Charlotte is all smiles as she comes down to the ring. Dana Brooke enters separately, but gets caught in a headlock takeover as soon as the bell rings. She throws Natalya into the corner and clotheslines her as she bounces out. Natalya dodges a cartwheel elbow and locks the Sharpshooter in. But Charlotte interferes!
Winner (via DQ): Natalya
Charlotte and Dana try to double team Natalya, but she fights them off. Until Charlotte gets her from behind and slams her by her hair. She hits Nattie with an Exploder Suplex and kicks her out of the ring. Charlotte and Dana stand tall.
So that is that. I wasn’t hopeful when I read the spoilers and saw that the match lasted just one minute. Thankfully, there was a little more to the match, but it’s still not great. I didn’t really see the point of having a match at all if it were going to last just a minute. For example, could we not have had a backstage segment instead? How about Natalya being interviewed about her thoughts on the Flair drama – only for Charlotte and Dana to attack her there? It would have served the story a whole lot more than going to the trouble of having video packages and entrances for a match that wasn’t really going to happen. Unless of course the match was meant to run longer but its time got cut at the last minute. Even so, a short segment can still work if it gives us everything we need. This one did at least reaffirm that Charlotte and Dana are an alliance now – but we’re still left with plenty of questions. Why has Charlotte decided to recruit Dana instead of relying on her father? Why is Dana now antagonising Natalya instead of Becky Lynch? Speaking of Natalya, I was hoping we would see her disappearing from the spotlight for a while. I seriously hope they’re not going to keep half-assing a feud with her until Sasha’s cleared to go. There are plenty of other women out there who deserve some spotlight. Becky Lynch for one has been criminally underused since WrestleMania. Push her. Give her something to do on TV. Link her to this budding Dana/Charlotte stuff.
Alexa Bliss vs Carmella vs Nia Jax [#1 Contender’s Match]
We’re in a bit of a bind here on NXT. Asuka is the new Women’s Champion, and the former champ Bayley was guaranteed a rematch automatically. However, she was severely injured in a bout with Nia Jax last week, and her rematch with Asuka has unfortunately been post-poned. That doesn’t mean there won’t be women’s action at Takeover; Nia Jax will face both Carmella and the newly solo Alexa Bliss in a triple threat match to determine a new #1 contender for Asuka.
Extreme Rules is over and Charlotte is still our WWE Women’s Champion. She made Natalya tap out in a Submission Match – although maybe not quite fair and square. She appears to have formed a new alliance or at least a partnership with Dana Brooke. It was Dana’s help that led to Charlotte keeping her title. One person’s help the Women’s Champion didn’t need however, was Ric Flair’s. And Charlotte has some choice words for her father on Raw.
Charlotte* vs Natalya in a Submission Match [WWE Women’s Championship]
For the third time, Charlotte has to put her WWE Women’s Championship on the line against Natalya. This time, there are no count-outs, no disqualifications and no pinfalls. It’s a Submission Match – and whoever wants to leave with the title has to make their opponent tap out. There’s another thing that’s missing from the match – Charlotte’s father Ric Flair. If he should appear at ringside at all then the title will go to Natalya.
Dana Brooke debuted with a vengeance two weeks ago – and she has been the proverbial thorn in the side of Becky Lynch ever since. Dana has picked up not one but two victories over Becky both on Raw and Smackdown. Now on this week’s Smackdown, she has to face the first ever NXT Women’s Champion – not to mention a two-time Divas’ Champion. We’ll have to see how much of a challenge Paige gives her, especially with Emma not there for support.
As was announced last week, we have a big women’s match to look forward to on NXT. The former Women’s Champion Bayley is going to be stepping into the ring with a woman she defeated months ago in London – and who has been out for revenge ever since. Nia Jax hopes to prove that she deserves a shot at Asuka. We can also look forward to Carmella getting in the ring with the little-seen Venus Flytrap of NXT – Peyton Royce. Also look out for some developments between Alexa Bliss and her two boys.
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