There’s no other way to put it: the women’s divisions on both “Monday Night Raw” and “Smackdown Live” are both a horrible mess right now. At the moment, things are looking about as terrible as I can remember them being in a good while and it’s hardly a surprise. At the end of the day, the direction of the division really needs some work and that’s not a good thing with a single week of shows left before “Summerslam 2017”. Today we’re going to look at what’s wrong with them and how these problems can (hopefully at least) be fixed in the shortest time possible.
That being said, neither of them are really treated as the stars of their respective divisions. On Mondays you have Bayley and Sasha Banks as the top stars with Nia Jax as the monster that everyone fears and tries to stop while Bliss is just kind of there, waiting on one of them to beat her. The same is pretty much true of Naomi. Charlotte is well on her way to becoming the best of all time and that doesn’t help Naomi, who is only starting to become a big deal. Throw in the very popular Becky Lynch and Carmella as Ms. Money in the Bank and it’s really hard to see Naomi being head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the pack.
Remember Carmella winning Money in the Bank? Here’s how she did it.
Speaking of the rest of the pack, let’s take a look at the rest of both rosters. In addition to the names already listed, you have the following on the two shows
Monday Night Raw
Out of those eight names (one of whom is only a manager at this point), how many of them feel like they’re important at the moment? On Monday, Fox is best known as a crazy manager, Brooke is just a warm body, Emma is apparently in the dog house for wanting more time and James is talented but really there more just as the veteran presence. Tuesday has someone who needs a LONG time in developmental, one of the least charismatic wrestlers in WWE today and Tamina, who hasn’t done anything interesting in her entire WWE career.
The problem is that’s not even the top half of the divisions. Those names are the entire list of active wrestlers for both divisions and it’s really not enough. Think about it for a second. On “Monday Night Raw”, you have four people (counting the injured Bayley) fighting over a title and on “Smackdown Live”, it’s a total of course (not counting Natalya, who is #1 contender in case you’ve forgotten that thrilling story). What are you supposed to do with that many people fighting over two titles?
This brings us to one of the obvious issues: there’s no need for two Women’s Titles. If you put all of these women together (and send some of them either into being full time managers, down to NXT or into unemployment), you have a heck of a division, especially with some of the names that could either be returning (Paige, Nikki Bella) or being called up soon (Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Asuka). What you don’t have are two different divisions, which is almost always an issue with WWE. There just isn’t enough talent to support that kind of structure and it’s showing more and more every week.
Here’s what you’re missing if you haven’t been watching the NXT women’s division.
Those same people can’t fight each other forever, but it kind of feels that way. How many times can you shuffle in four people to fight each other over a title? I know the Brand Split helped things a lot and the Superstar Shakeup did so again but that’s only going to work so often. At some point you need either some fresh blood or a big change for some of your older talent. WWE doesn’t seem too willing to do something like that and it’s becoming a major issue with the booking.
Of course we’ll talk about the booking a bit as you have the mess that is the title picture over on “Smackdown Live” at the moment. Natalya is currently #1 contender to Naomi’s title and will get a shot at “Summerslam 2017”. That being said….why? She won another messy elimination match to earn the shot and that doesn’t give me much of a reason to care about either of the people. They don’t have any kind of a personal issue and Natalya isn’t an interesting character at all. Why is this the best they have?
At the same time, Charlotte seems ready to feud with Lana and Tamina while Lynch continues to feud with a UFC fighter on Twitter despite no real indication that Cyborg Santos will be coming to WWE anytime soon. I get the idea of waiting for a bigger show, but I was under the impression that Summerslam is the second biggest show of the year and therefore a pretty worthy night for a major match. You would think Lynch or Charlotte would get the shot here but instead we’re getting Natalya. As soon as she won the title shot, most of my interest in the match went right through the floor.
Bliss has been a big help for the division, including outside of the ring.
It’s slightly better over on the red show but that’s not exactly saying much. Over there you have Bliss defending her title against either Banks or Jax due to Bayley getting injured. That’s still not exactly thrilling as I’m not exactly over Bayley’s complete destruction earlier this year. It takes more than winning a few matches to get over losses like that but WWE seems perfectly content to give Bayley a rushed build back up, which isn’t much of a story heading into this show.
With Bayley injured though, we have what might actually be an upgrade with Bliss’s friend Jax vs. Banks, who beat Bliss via countout earlier in the summer. Either of those make for a more interesting match, but neither really gives you all that much. Really, the whole thing is dying for a Banks heel turn so Bayley can come back and fight off all of the combined forces of evil, but who knows how long that might take with her separated shoulder.
All in all though, the divisions feel like they have no direction. There’s no top name and very little in the way of a top story on either show. I need more than someone winning a big elimination match and then getting the title shot. That feels like something out of the dying days of the cruiserweight division and it doesn’t do much for me as we come up on “Summerslam 2017”. Give me more than this, especially when I know WWE is capable of doing so much better. The talent is there, but they’re completely lost at the moment and it seems to be getting much worse rather than any better.
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