March to WrestleMania 35: Exploring the Raw & SmackDown Women’s Championship Scenes

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Welcome another edition of the March to WrestleMania 35, breaking down the environment around all the championships heading into the biggest show of the year to set the tone for 1) recapping how we got to this point, 2) discussing possible plans for WrestleMania and 3) guessing where this all going to end up once WrestleMania has concluded.

For this post, I’ll be doubling it up by talking about both of the top titles for the women’s division by breaking down the Raw Women’s Championship situation briefly before getting into the more up in the air SmackDown Women’s Championship scene.

Without further ado, let’s get the more obvious one out of the way first…


THE RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Who is the current champion?

Ronda Rousey fulfilled her obligatory and obvious destiny of winning the Raw Women’s Championship at SummerSlam last year by defeating Alexa Bliss, who had previously stolen her chances to win the title the month prior at Money in the Bank by cashing in on Nia Jax.


Since then and even beforehand, Rousey has been unstoppable. In fact, she only lost one match so far in her WWE career, which was a tag team match and she wasn’t responsible for the loss, so it essentially doesn’t even count.

By the time WrestleMania 35 rolls along, Rousey will be at the top of the list for having the longest single reign with the Raw Women’s Championship and not too far off from Charlotte Flair’s record of combined days (Flair stands at 242 total for 4 reigns, Rousey would pass that record on April 19th)

There is absolutely no way Rousey drops the title before April 7th, so let’s move on.


Who will challenge for the title at WrestleMania?

Right now, Charlotte Flair is the advertised opponent. Becky Lynch won the Royal Rumble after being inserted into the match by taking Lana’s spot, who was too injured to compete. However, Lynch has had the same problem with an “injury” as well as a suspension that has ballooned into problem after problem.


We don’t need to spend much time on this, as everyone has known for months that it will be a Triple Threat match between both Flair and Lynch challenging Rousey and at some point over the next few weeks, Lynch will be officially reinstated in the match.

This has been the most likely plan since Lynch’s injury prevented her from wrestling at Survivor Series, especially when WWE failed to book Lynch vs. Rousey at Royal Rumble or any other alternative. Now, it’s just a waiting period before they execute the finalized version of this match.

What happens at and after WrestleMania?

The cynic in me says while WWE knows and understands that fans are 100% behind Lynch, they aren’t going to want to go full-fledged with her beating Rousey. History has shown far too many times that WWE plays the waiting game and stalls as much as possible, even if it means killing someone in the future rather than truly maximizing potential.

I’m much more confident in saying a prediction that Lynch will win the title by beating Flair, not Rousey. That way, they can “save” the singles confrontation between Lynch and Rousey for another event further down the line and tell the fans that they still got what they wanted with Lynch winning. Essentially, “shut up, don’t nitpick, Becky won and now we’ve protected Ronda so it’s win/win, stop complaining and tune in to Backlash.”

Alternatively, WWE officials might still be so disconnected that they could play favorites and have Flair win the match, thinking it will only rile fans up even more to see Becky beat Charlotte at Money in the Bank to follow. That would give Flair the victory for the first-ever women’s main event of WrestleMania, and they love giving her accolades.


I’m hoping Lynch beats Rousey and that’s the end of it, but I think Flair’s insertion in the match is going to get in the way of that in some fashion, even if the end result is still Lynch as champion after the Superstar Shake-up.

THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Who is the current champion?

It took nearly a full year after the point that she probably should have won the title, but Asuka eventually did capture the SmackDown Women’s Championship at TLC last December by beating both Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a match that was largely fast-forwarded and forgotten about while WWE pushed Asuka to the side.


Sadly, that has been the case for the entirety of her 77+ day run. She’s been afterthought that has only popped up a few times on SmackDown since then, with little to no effort to even get her involved in the bare minimum of a storyline.

WWE is focused so much on Rousey/Lynch/Flair that apparently, they can’t multitask and The Empress of Tomorrow has been left out in the cold with nothing to work with.

At Fastlane, she’ll be facing Mandy Rose just because Rose happened to steal a victory over her on SmackDown—again, the simplest, easiest way to book a match that they didn’t even bother making official on SmackDown (as they announced it online instead).


Who will challenge for the title at WrestleMania?

To be honest, I don’t think they’ve even decided on that yet. I actually think they’re leaving that up to their future selves to figure out, and they just keep pushing that further and further away until the point where they’ll panic and have only two weeks to do the entirety of a build for setting up a challenger to Asuka’s title.

The only thing I can think of that maybe has been in the works is for Lacey Evans to be the one who fights Asuka, but even that is so lazy and uninspired that I’m hoping there’s a bigger and better plan in place I’m completely unaware of.

The entire build for Evans so far has been just putting her in front of the audience for 10 seconds doing nothing. If the writers think that’s good enough to set up a challenger for what is supposed to be one of the top titles in the company for the biggest show of the year, they need to be fired.

Alternatively, WWE will do the usual backup plan of throwing a bunch of people in a match and hoping having more superstars involved will make up for the lack of story, even if the SmackDown landscape is very weak.

Whether it’s Asuka vs. Evans or Asuka defends against a random collective, I don’t think people are going to really care and this is going to be one of the filler matches that gets inserted onto the lineup between two more important things and rushed to maybe 7 minutes or so.

What happens at and after WrestleMania?

If the rumors are true that WWE officials are super high on Evans and want to make her one of the top women in the company, they could’ve fooled me with that horrible start and push that they’ve been giving her, but that would mean she has a strong chance of beating Asuka at WrestleMania.

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