WWE fans are still buzzing over SummerSlam and rightfully so. The August 19 event saw Brock Lesnar perhaps make his last WWE appearance for the foreseeable future. Finn Balor surprisingly returned as The Demon and Braun Strowman crushed Kevin Owens to retain his Money in the Bank briefcase.
But two other highlights from the night include both of the women’s titles. Ronda Rousey became the Raw women’s champion and Charlotte Flair became the SmackDown women’s champion. Both of WWE’s top female Superstars are now wearing the gold for their respective brands. But how long before they face off against each other?
It’s the dream match that so many pro wrestling fans want to see. But there is still some doubt as to whether or not WWE can get the two Superstars into position to make the bout happen. Of course there was even some doubt initially as to Rousey’s ability to deliver in the ring and if she could successfully make the transition from MMA. But Ronda is a natural in the ring and everyone sees that now.
Watch Rousey destroy Bliss at SummerSlam:
In fact Rousey is much better than anyone ever believed possible. She is fully in character when she’s in the ring and she always seems to possess a razor focus on the match itself. Ronda takes the business seriously and it shows in every aspect of her game. She wants to be in the ring because she loves it and that’s clearly evident as well.
Ronda’s work in WWE thus far makes her a legitimate women’s champion, which is a great plus for the company. This is not a scenario in which the crossover media sensation wins a title because of her name. Rousey arguably didn’t earn the championship either. But in terms of what the company needs from her and what she can do to hold up her end of the deal, the timing was pitch perfect.
Ronda Rousey is the Raw women’s champion because she can carry it. She didn’t win it because she did just enough to wear it. It’s the best fit for WWE’s flagship show right now. It’s also the best fit for Rousey, who will hopefully continue surpassing expectations.
On the other side of the dream match is Charlotte Flair, who proved herself a long time ago. The SmackDown Women’s Championship is the seventh world title for Flair, who is now over the halfway mark of matching her famous father’s championship reigns. But Charlotte stands on her own and that is certainly the case now.
Watch Charlotte in the SummerSlam Triple Threat:
Charlotte has been established as the Alpha of the women’s division. It’s a distinction that she has held for nearly three years and whether fans love her or hate her, she has earned her spot. Charlotte is the measuring stick for every female Superstar that came after her and there is no denying that she is one of WWE’s top stars, regardless of her gender.
Crowning her as the new SmackDown women’s champion felt like the right move for many fans. It’s not as though Carmella wasn’t giving a good effort as champion. But there is something about her title reign that ultimately feels less than stellar. Perhaps it was her booking or maybe it was because of Charlotte’s shadow, which does loom large over any woman working on the blue brand. Either way, Charlotte is really the right choice to reign as SmackDown women’s champion.
The stage has been set for both women. Rousey and Flair are both champions. WWE’s first all-women’s event Evolution, is coming up on October 28. Timing has been the key for both Ronda and Charlotte, that much is clear. But what isn’t clear is whether or not the timing is right for their dream match. Is Evolution too soon for Rousey versus Flair?
Watch Rousey put Stephanie in an armbar on Raw:
Ronda doesn’t really have an immediate threat for her championship at the moment. Former champion Alexa Bliss is still in the equation of course and she will likely get a rematch at some point but it’s not likely that she will get her title back. No other contenders have stepped forward as of yet, though that could happen at any moment.
But Rousey’s primary obstacle in the meantime is Stephanie McMahon. Ronda once again laid her hands on the Raw Commissioner, putting Stephanie in the armbar in the middle of the ring. Though that spot was surely intended to put over Ronda as a humble babyface champion, the act may have also sparked a new storyline between her and the boss’s daughter.
What are the chances that Stephanie McMahon will simply just forget what Ronda did to her on August 20? Stephanie is a vindictive character and she will surely not just roll over and play dead, not even for The Baddest Woman on the Planet. McMahon may now come at Ronda full-force, which means that Rousey could be in for the fight of her life over the two months.
Charlotte however does have an immediate threat for her championship. That threat is Becky Lynch, who turned on Flair after their Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam. The move is a heel turn of course but fans are cheering Becky for it. Fans are also applauding Becky’s promo on Charlotte two nights later on Smackdown Live.
Watch Becky explain her actions on SmackDown Live:
Flair is getting booed for being herself. Becky is just so popular and so likable that many fans really have a hard time hating her. WWE should perhaps change things up and heel out Charlotte while restoring Lynch to her babyface persona. But as of now, it looks as though that’s not going to happen. Charlotte has enough to keep her busy over the next two months, just as her Raw counterpart does.
WWE has them this far, but can the company move the pieces into place over the next couple of months to realistically book Charlotte versus Ronda at Evolution? If so, then what about WrestleMania 35? Many fans believe that Rousey and Flair could believably headline WWE’s biggest event of the year in 2019. Would that headlining match mean as much or be as historic if it was a rematch from Evolution?
It will be interesting to see what WWE does with both Charlotte and Ronda from this point on. Both women are big name, naturally gifted athletes and both are perfect for the brands they represent. But whether or not this match will happen at Evolution or WrestleMania, is anyone’s guess.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcst, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live