A couple of days ago, I wrote an article about the line-up for the upcoming Wrestlemania and my thoughts behind it. They mainly centred on the omission of the Smackdown Women’s Championship and the Cruiserweight Championship from the main card. I ranted about how insulting it was to both the brands and the participants in being relegated to the kick-off show. It was a column of anger, sarcasm and questioned the wisdom behind WWE’s decision making. Fast forward a couple of hours after I’d submitted the column and (our illustrious leader) John Canton informed me that the Smackdown Women’s match had been bumped onto the main show.
Was it due to support from the fans? Becky Lynch seemed to think so.
You spoke up. You're awesome. Thank you . #WrestleMania
— Becky Lynch (@BeckyLynchWWE) March 31, 2017
Tail between legs and humble pie crust falling from my lips, I sheepishly started up my PC and began writing this in place of my previous rant. Then I thought, shouldn’t I be happy about that change? Shouldn’t I be cheering the decision? Well, even though the Cruiserweight Title match hasn’t been bumped up (yet) I still feel happier about WWE changing their mind than anger about their initial place for the matches. WWE deserves some credit here, so I owe it to them to speak about it.
They practiced what they preached.
Alright, it may have taken a lot of WWE fans to complain about the Smackdown Women’s Title match being dropped to the kick-off show to do it, but WWE finally endorsed their female competitors on the biggest stage of them all by putting their matches on the main card. WWE has long told us of the women’s revolution, their work with women in the community and how they want to change the old culture of how some women were portrayed on TV. To make the decision to put the Smackdown Women’s match in its rightful place shows they will back up what they say, albeit with a little encouragement from fans from time to time.
That being said, to the average fan, it seems like a no-brainer to have the title match on the main card. It’s Wrestlemania. It should have ALL titles on the main show. Just because some storylines aren’t as hot as others doesn’t mean the gold should have to be downgraded? The reason to why the Cruiserweight Title also isn’t on the main card bemuses me.
I’ll confess to not being a religious fan of the 205 Live show and I’m not up to speed with every star on that roster. But I do know who Neville is and I know who Austin Aries is. If WWE want to grow the fan base of the 205, then isn’t the biggest PPV of the year with the biggest audience a way to do that? For that match you have two of the best wrestlers vying for the title, so why not give them the opportunity to shine in front of a larger audience, rather than a smaller one during the kick-off? I’m not saying it should be at the top of the card, or in place of Owens/Jericho, but you get the point.
Maybe WWE aren’t there with the Cruiserweight Division just yet in the way they are with the Women’s Division. Maybe the online backlash to dropping the 205 to the kick-off wasn’t loud enough or strong enough to persuade the powers that be to change their minds. That’s a shame if that is really the case. The top brass in Titan Tower obviously believe the fans and viewers want to see Pitbull sing live over a Neville/Aries title match. That sucks.
Back to the women and I’m very happy we’re getting both matches at Wrestlemania. The Smackdown match may be a bit disjointed and not quite what we expected, but in all fairness to WWE, they’re allowing us to see all the female talent they have and they should be applauded for that. I suppose not every match at Wrestlemania should be a one on one, but their booking for the Smackdown Women’s Title should prove to be entertaining. I’m a huge fan of the talent on the blue brand there. Alexa Bliss is a great heel champion, Naomi has improved leaps and bounds in the last year. Natalya is super-talented and Carmella should be a good addition. Mickie James has returned and looks as if she’s never been away and Becky Lynch is awesome. Awesome.
The Raw Women’s Championship match looks similar in the setup, but brings a different dynamic. Limited to just the four entrants, I’m happy to see Sasha involved with Bayley once again. I’d rather Sunday was the day Bayley won her first Raw Women’s Title, but that ship has sailed. Charlotte is one of the best heels on the roster right now, and fully deserves a spot. Nia Jax has steamrollered her way into the title picture and I’m intrigued to see her in the ring with three supremely talented individuals. I want her to hold her own in there and not be restricted to pushing and barging her opponents onto the mat. Let her wrestle.
In closing, I’m happy I had to rewrite my angry column on the women being dropped from the main show. Mainly because WWE actually showed they listen to people. Some more of that would be appreciated. For the women on the blue brand: you fully deserve to be on the big stage at Wrestlemania. All of you. Us fans love watching you work week in week out and I sincerely hope you have a great match that everyone enjoys. As for the 205 guys, perhaps next year, but I’ll be watching you on the pre-show. Just like many other wrestling fans out there.
What do you think? Were you incensed as I was that the Smackdown Women’s match was dropped? Do you think WWE listened to the fans and put it where it belonged? Isn’t Becky Lynch awesome? Who will leave their respective title matches with the gold? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, thanks for reading.
Enjoy Wrestlemania everyone.