WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: History Made But Also Thwarted (April, 25th 2017)

While Monday Night RAW tried to put themselves front and center right before their anticipated Payback Pay Per View, Smackdown have Backlash waiting in the wings, and while their Women’s Title Match for the event is unclear, the fate of the Women’s Championship may be decided well before then, because as set up last week by Shane McMahon, a win for Charlotte over Naomi that was very much gained lead to the popular babyface being made to defend her recently won Smackdown Women’s Championship against the Genetically Superior One. Even More News, Naomi gets her first main event match in Smackdown History!

But before we can get to the said match, Becky Lynch gets to show her face on this weeks show after last weeks weird absence from the script. She is interviewed in the back by Dasha in which she comments on Charlotte’s move to Smackdown Live, but as she tries to show some respect over Charlotte rising in the ranks, she is confronted by another former rival of Charlotte’s, Natalya as well as her possible stable mates Carmella (with James Ellsworth) and Tamina. After a clear sarcastic greeting, Natalya has one thing to ask from Becky and thats whether she stands with them or with Charlotte. Carmella and Natalya menacingly warn Becky that she is either with them or against them before they trundle off, and the question remains very much unanswered for now. Will Becky stand with Charlotte despite her past betrayal or will she wish not to relieve it a second time and stand with the women wanting to dominate the women’s division?

And since Naomi and Charlotte take the main event, we need to get through other women’s matters, only one though as its just another vignette to hype the Sultry Lana’s arrival to Smackdown Live as a repackaged singles competitor.

Which leaves me with only the main event to discuss now, as Naomi, as mentioned, defends the Smackdown Women’s Championship for the first time since regaining it at WrestleMania against the proposed hottest selection for Smackdown in the Superstar Shake Up, Charlotte. Oddly the Champ Naomi enters first despite the tradition of defending champions being the last to enter, but the entrance of the dancey and courageous Naomi is followed indeed with the entrance of the 4x RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte. Once in the ring, the women’s championship bout can get underway…

And Charlotte is very quick to seize control on the opening bell with a take-down to Naomi. Naomi breaks off from the follow up side headlock by Charlotte, capturing the former RAW Women’s Champion in one of her own. Naomi reverses momentum early as the corner running bulldog connects, sending Charlotte head first into the middle turnbuckle. Naomi then clambers to the apron as Charlotte heads out for a possible timeout, but before she can unleash offense from behind, Charlotte turns and sweeps Naomi to the mat back first. If Naomi’s back didn’t suffer enough there, Charlotte then proceeds to drop her on her back on the ringside floor. Charlotte taunts to the WWE Universe as Naomi tries to pick herself up off the floor heading into the matches first commercial break.

We Return from the commercial break moments later to see a Cocky Charlotte working over Naomi back in the ring with a front face-lock applied. Naomi scores some fists to the midsection but its not enough to wear Charlotte out as Charlotte responds within moments with a knee strike. Charlotte tosses Naomi by her hair toward a nearby corner, even blocking Naomi’s attempted offense in that corner, then driving her knee into the lower back of the defending champion. Charlotte scores a single knee to Naomi’s throat, and after taking her somewhat away from the ropes, Charlotte goes for the very first pin attempt of the match, getting a near fall result on Naomi.

Charlotte sends Naomi back to the same corner, and as Naomi heads back towards her, she scores one of her traditional chops. After the one maneuver, Charlotte goes for the second pin, this time getting a one count. Charlotte has none of it, proceeding with her next pin attempt seconds later, only getting the same result. Charlotte makes it clear how furious she is at Naomi’s current resilience, firing one chop after another at Naomi as she heads back to the earlier corner to potentially regroup. Naomi knocks her back temporarily with a kick. Charlotte tries to drag Naomi out of the corner in retaliation but Naomi sorts her landing and fends off Charlotte with a sit out Jawbreaker. After a moment of separation, Naomi goes back to work as she fires knees at Charlotte, though Charlotte appears to have studied her offense, not taking the full lot by instead blocking and countering into a potential slam that Naomi slips free from. Naomi is back on the attack with a hurricanrana and back elbow, then planting Charlotte face first with her follow up wheelbarrow maneuver. Naomi tries to attack Charlotte in an opposite corner but is taken over the ropes and to the apron, but Naomi uses this to her advantage to execute her high kick from behind the ropes. Naomi Sunset Flips back into the squared circle, rolling Charlotte away from the ropes but only ending with Charlotte rolling through than being caught in a pin attempt. Naomi scores a kick to the midsection of Charlotte, followed with her GTS Variation, but Naomi begins to fight out about Charlotte’s own resilience here, shades of WWE Roadblock and Charlotte continuously fighting for survival, as she manages to only get a near fall on the former RAW Women’s Champion.

Once Charlotte gets back to her feet, she has a forearm exchange with the defending champion, and Naomi eventually seizes control by ducking under a potential clothesline from Charlotte to surprisingly bust out an Eat Defeat double foot variation. Charlotte stumbles back to the ropes then forwards following taking the move, stepping right into the rear view signature move. Unfortunately for Naomi, its again only so close as Charlotte kicks out at two once more. Naomi rebounds with a kick, attempting a hurricanrana that instead is reversed into a massive powerbomb. However Naomi is just as resilient as Charlotte, escaping the Genetically Superior Ones follow up pin attempt at two. Things get intense as Charlotte takes herself to the top rope to attempt her moonsault, only to meet with Naomi’s knees instead. The Two are split from each other, and neither manage to make it to their feet as Tamina, Natalya and Carmella come to the ring to take out the challenger as well as the champion. This leaves the match with no clear winner, as the hinted stable are left standing over Naomi and especially Charlotte to close Smackdown, and in turn while Charlotte has made history by being the only current female worker to main event RAW, Smackdown and a Pay Per View, the “Welcoming Committee” has prevented additional history, stopping Charlotte’s opening chance to become the first current performer to hold both the Smackdown and RAW Women’s Title.

(Becky Lynch, Tamina, James Ellsworth, Carmella and Natalya Backstage Segment)

(Lana Vignette #3)

(Charlotte vs Naomi; Smackdown Women’s Championship Match feat Carmella, Tamina, James Ellsworth and Natalya)

Thoughts On This Match:
This was edge of your seat intensity in comparison to last weeks match where the high octane maneuvers were more or less left out. A Part of me thought WWE weren’t going to shock by possibly forcing the title onto Charlotte, but im glad with the finish as it extends Naomi’s title reign and introduces her to additional alternative challengers. While Smackdown is about evolving its women’s division, the stable is made of not too strong mic workers so i wouldn’t be surprised if Ellsworth was the mic piece of the group just to gather needed heel heat for himself, but the women need to state their intentions. Ive been reading (though yet to be legit) that Charlotte vs Natalya will take place at Backlash, and while their past matches have been heated and/or extraordinary, the women’s evolution should mean multiple women’s matches like they’ve managed to do recently and Naomi shouldn’t be left off the card to extend her reign. If anything while its no surprise that they cant keep Charlotte off a Pay Per View as good as she is, i wouldn’t mind Natalya vs Naomi being the Women’s Title Match for Backlash, but its either leaning towards a women’s tag with Becky’s additional involvement on the babyface side, or Natalya vs Charlotte like rumored. But hey its not every day you see Tamina or Carmella standing tall to end a main roster programme. Plus Naomi having the main event slot is true confirmation of her evolution as a performer.

– Catherine

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