WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: The Queen Enlists the Highest Competition (April, 18th 2017)

A New week of wrestling presents to us the follow up to the Superstar Shake Up and what exactly is in store for Smackdowns respective competitors post roster switch over. Last week Smackdown Live acquired RAWs multi time women’s champion Charlotte and a Returning Tamina, and moving forward seven days the Women’s Title Plans appear to have been structured, all hinted through a heated opening. Lets get right to it…

Opening up Smackdown this week is interestingly Smackdowns Noted Biggest Acquisition, Indeed the 4x RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. Charlotte reflects once in the ring on being brought to Smackdown Live, but shes already furious, angry and hungry, because seven days have cleared through and for some odd reason to her, she hasn’t been granted a Women’s Title Opportunity. The Furious self professed “Queen” directly faces the camera to ask the Authority surely watching what is taking so long with her title opportunity but rather than get a response from them, instead out comes Smackdowns Women’s Champion, Naomi. Stepping out from the back, Naomi addresses Charlotte, reminding her that theres certainly no Kings nor Queens around Smackdown Live, but there are Champions, one shes looking at. Naomi has been watching her fellow performer for a very long time and since she cant help but hate seeing her beg, she doesn’t want to waste anymore time and grants Charlotte an opportunity to face her. Upon Proclaiming this, Naomi sucker punches Charlotte in the face and a brawl kicks off from there, until Shane McMahon shows up from the back…

McMahon, having seen the cattiness unfold, asks the Live Audience if they want to see Charlotte and Naomi fight, receiving a very forward and obvious answer. Yes. Hearing this, he grants the fans what they want, only on Smackdown Live its a little different, as opportunities have to be earned. He credits very much Charlotte’s Pedigree but the idea of earning future shots still stands, therefore Shane makes it so that she has to actually beat Naomi One on One to Get a Title Opportunity. That will be later tonight. Having heard this, just as Shane is about to head off, Charlotte goes after Naomi in revenge for the earlier assault, snatching her title after beating her down. However Naomi shows fearlessness and resilience and fights back against the Genetically Superior One, leaving the rest of the physicality to later.

However, Charlotte’s demanding doesn’t stand well with other members of the Smackdown Women’s Division, Natalya to begin with. She shouts at Shane backstage over Charlotte getting a massive entrance for her introduction to the roster last week and how a week later shes given a number one contenders match, but Shane makes it clear that while Smackdown is the insisted Land of Opportunity, Natalya’s chance came at WrestleMania in the Six Pack Challenge, and in that match she failed to capture the title. Natalya doesn’t class the Mania match as an opportunity to which Shane responds that if she wanted a singles match instead she could have asked. As Natalya further vents, also stepping into Shane’s office is Carmella with James by her side. Carmella couldn’t help but overhear Natalya’s fury and she has to be honest and agree with it. Carmella finds the fact that the “Opportunity Stealing” Charlotte is getting what she wants unfair, and James butters up for Carmella by insisting that Carmella is the deserving face of Smackdown Live. As Natalya vents towards Mella and Ellsworth, Tamina steps in to simmer her fellow women, before also declaring her frustration at Charlotte’s match taking place. When James mocks Tamina, he gets threatened by the veteran and Natalya is the one to do the simmering down as she stops Tamina and Carmella from arguing, insisting they discuss where they can take things elsewhere.

This Possible Hinted Stable is seen in the backstage area later in the show interrupting Charlotte’s walk to the ring for a brief period as Natalya and Ellsworth give Charlotte a sarcastic welcome to Smackdown Live. Charlotte wants none of it and brushes past Natalya, giving her a mocking look before heading to her one on one showdown with the Smackdown Women’s Champion.

We next head to the ring and out comes Charlotte for her non title match against Naomi. The Smackdown Women’s Champion enters second for this high stakes match, that being because a win for Charlotte means Ascension into the Smackdown Women’s Title Picture. When the bell rings, Charlotte has already overpowered Naomi by forcing her into a corner, giving her a discus elbow and multiple kicks to follow before the champ can even regroup. Charlotte tosses Naomi with ease to the opposite side of the ring, then proceeding with the first pin attempt of the match and only getting a one count. Charlotte proceeds to snapmare Naomi, capturing her in a rear chokehold as the envious Tamina, Natalya, Carmella and Ellsworth look on from the backstage area, eyeing the monitor. Charlotte releases her hold to try and pin Naomi again, but another one count follows for the newest Smackdown Acquisition, and thus she reverts back to the hold. Naomi manages a reversal into an eventual arm wringer, but Charlotte rolls her way out and when back on her feet, she shoves at the champ. Naomi barely takes kindly to this and takes Charlotte down using her legs, bridging into her own pin attempt which gets her a near fall, no further per Naomi and Charlotte raising themselves off the mat. Naomi reverses into a backslide for another near fall.

Naomi goes right into a hammerlock, also pulling with much might to try keep Charlotte away from the ropes. Charlotte cartwheels with Naomi’s hammerlock still intact, but she manages to force the release by tripping Naomi over. Charlotte attempts a pin on Naomi, leading to another near fall. Afterwards, Charlotte continues to power over Naomi with her headscissor stomps. She applies pressure to the headscissor, coaxes the ref into counting the seemed pin attempt then instead rolls Naomi over after the count of one to instead launch Naomi around the ring while still maintaining grip. After loosening, Charlotte kicks away at Naomi in a corner, followed with a brief choke. Charlotte then showboats over her continual dominant performance but it proves near costly as Naomi swoops over and rolls up Charlotte surprisingly, but only getting a near fall. Charlotte breaks Naomi’s momentum right away with a knee straight into the midsection followed by sweeping her to the mat by her hair. Charlotte goes back to the rear chokehold from before, but Naomi manages to break free and she tilts Charlotte to the opposite side of the ring per the headscissor followed by a leg drop. However like past attempts, its another near fall on Charlotte for Naomi.

Charlotte fires back with a chop in retaliation, and after a second kick, Naomi responds with retaliation of her own, in the form of hard kicks and a fast flurry of knees. Naomi completes this with a kick to the side of Charlotte’s head, only enough however to get a near fall. Naomi leaps upward when back on her feet, dangling into a possible headscissor position, but it instead ends with both women plummeting to the floor at ringside. Both Naomi and Charlotte are down on the floor with Naomi worryingly clenching her knee as we come to a commercial break.

When we return, its the similar pattern from before as Charlotte is back to working over Naomi. Charlotte targets the lower back of Naomi while having her seized in a stretch hold, and again Natalya and Crew are seen studying Charlotte’s Match. Charlotte connects with the Summer Crush for a near fall. She drives Naomi to the mat for yet another near fall right after. Charlotte reverts to a new strategy, rolling down one of her wrestling boots to leave her own knee exposed, utilizing it by driving it multiple times into the Jaw of the champ. However, to the dismay of Charlotte, the champ stays fighting as Naomi kicks out again at two. Charlotte smacks the head of Naomi against the earlier corner turnbuckle before elevating her upward for the next move, with Naomi breaking free by whirling over and landing on both feet. Naomi springboards off the ropes into a possible pin attempt, to no avail as Charlotte remains standing. Instead Charlotte proceeds to drive her knee right into the back of Naomi’s neck, again only enough to get a near fall. Charlotte tries to execute her singular knee drop but Naomi moves away, but Naomi is still feeling earlier effects thus Charlotte is the first up. Naomi manages to get up before Charlotte can connect with offense, throwing a back elbow at her then connecting with an inziguiri while hanging on the ropes. Naomi rolls over Charlotte to follow, getting a one count as Charlotte rolls through fairly quickly.

However Charlotte doesn’t get chance to respond to the switch in momentum as she instantly has forearms hurled at her by Naomi. Naomi takes the lead with a double kick and hurricanrana, adding a clothesline and split leg stunner to bring Charlotte to the mat. A Fired Up Naomi charges to the corner but Charlotte brings her to the apron. Naomi responds with the high kick to Charlotte from the outside, and she looks to possibly finish with a top rope crossbody, stunned when Charlotte kicks out of the instant pin attempt at two. Naomi lifts Charlotte onto her shoulders and brings her down for her own GTS variation, only her kick doesn’t connect and instead Charlotte has begun her retaliation with her signature Flair chop. Charlotte misses the follow up clothesline but makes up for it by booting Naomi in the rear mid rear view, taking advantage then of Naomi’s tumbled position to connect with the Natural Selection finisher. Charlotte pins Naomi and wins the match, becoming the Number One Contender to the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Its clear the victory for Charlotte on her second night on the Secondary brand has got to Carmella, Natalya, Tamina and Ellsworth as they stare down Charlotte in the back following her match. Charlotte only lets her victory sink in more, giving mocking face gestures to the displeased members of the division as she heads away.

And Lastly, we get the second vignette to hype Lana’s new dancing gimmick. Again the once manager of Rusev is said to be coming to Smackdown soon.

(Charlotte, Naomi and Shane McMahon Segment)

(Charlotte, James Ellsworth, Carmella, Tamina Snuka and Natalya Backstage Segment)

(Naomi vs Charlotte; Non Title Match)

(Charlotte, James Ellsworth, Carmella, Tamina Snuka and Natalya Backstage Segment #2)

Thoughts On This Match:
Id say a slow but physical effort, an opposite to what we could see in an eventual rematch at Backlash where the bigger spots may be executed. Theres no doubt that this match is the lengthier affair compared to back in the day where it’d be short few minutes matches with an obvious result and the evolution of the Smackdown Women’s Division also means more development for both through them getting a championship angle you wouldn’t have expected in the early days of the Revolution angle. Now where is this going? Well there’s two paths to be taken, either Naomi has her run disappointingly and sadly ended after all she has done to come so far to even obtain the championship, overlooked and booked incorrectly in the times where championship splendor may have been her path. The Second would more approvingly be the teased Nattie/Mella/Tamina stable interfering in next weeks match to assure no victor and a DQ, due to the developed tension in the locker room over Charlotte’s quick ascension. This would also lead to Charlotte toning down her obnoxiousness and heelishness to revert back to a babyface, only still victory driven. If the fact she won clean means anything, she may be taking this route, neutralizing the need for dirty finishes, and with Becky M.I.A this week, she may definitely be brought into the fold as a babyface to help out her best friend against Natalya’s possible stable, with Natalya and Charlotte eventually fighting for the contention. If headed that route, its safe to say that a heel turn for Becky is still far away. I’m also expecting for James to turn against Carmella for favoring her women and helping them over him but that all depends on whether this supposed stable is affirmative.

– Catherine

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