On Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown, WWE delivered a major booking swerve when Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka in a match that was not previously announced, shockingly winning the SmackDown Women’s Title.
This was a last minute change of plans, as previously a four-way between Carmella, Naomi, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose was advertised, with the winner set to challenge Asuka for the title at WrestleMania.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the decision to put the title on Charlotte was only made very recently but it is something that has been floated around for several weeks.
Meltzer suggests that the decision was made in order to give Charlotte more steam going into WrestleMania, with Becky Lynch’s babyface act and Ronda Rousey’s aggressive new heel persona leaving her as the third wheel. It was even brought up in a promo recently that Charlotte brought nothing to the match, which is one of the reasons the change was made.
Another factor is the sheer number of matches already confirmed for WrestleMania, with Meltzer suggesting that Vince McMahon looked at the card and decided that the proposed SmackDown Women’s Title was expendable and had little build.
There is also the consideration that WWE already has 11 women wrestling on the show and needs bodies for the second annual WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal, which one would assume Asuka and co. will now be a part of.
Following the title switch there was talk amongst fans that Asuka might be added to the three-way main event in order to have another person get the rub from being in such a blockbuster matches but Meltzer flat out states that this is not the plan.
What did you think of the decision to switch the title to Charlotte? Let us know in the comments below.