Tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw will see Roman Reigns face Bobby Lashley to determine who faces Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, as well as I’m sure a variety of content both good and bad, but the most interesting story going into this edition is the vague promotion that Stephanie McMahon will make an appearance to “deliver a historic announcement”.
Patience is a virtue, and the answer to what that announcement is will be most likely answered in just a few hours, but as wrestling fans, screw that. Let’s speculate, worry about things, jump to conclusions, get our hopes up, boost our anxiety levels and sit on the edge of our seats waiting for the news of what this all means.
Before we find out, I figured it would be worthwhile to address some of the scuttlebutt I’ve seen surrounding this story and invite everyone to chime in with their opinions on the five possible options I feel have been tossed out there the most (from my experience, at least) regarding what this could all entail.
Option A: An All-Women’s Pay-Per-View Event
When the Greatest Royal Rumble event happened and not a single woman was on the card, it caused an uproar, as it flew in the face of all the efforts WWE has been making with trying to build the women’s division as an equal to the men’s.
“Some Women’s Revolution” was the thought process, and it’s hard not to see why that criticism came about. Putting aside cultural differences, this was a show where no woman was allowed to participate, which just felt wrong in multiple ways.
Since then, there has consistently been buzz about how WWE would make it up to the women on the roster, either by giving them a random payday or doing something special to counterbalance this event.
With TLC moving from October to December, kicking Clash of Champions out of the event schedule and leaving an open gap, there’s a very strong chance Stephanie’s announcement will be news that that there will be a pay-per-view coming up that will feature only women.
This would ideally take place after the Mae Young Classic, set to go down August 8th and 9th, and if so, we can presume it would be a co-branded event that would also feature women from NXT, the WWE Performance Center, and possibly a return of legends and people from both the 2017 and 2018 Mae Young Classic tournaments.
My point of view is very positive about this. I think it’s not only fair, but it’s also a sign of good faith for the future, as well as a good test to see just how popular the women in WWE are.
If the event draws a high attendance and viewership, more opportunities will be awarded to the women’s division. If it comes up short, WWE will at least have put on a show for good faith and will get quality test info back on what was received well and what wasn’t, so they can tweak things going forward, or possibly even slow down on the push if need be.
Outside of the logistics behind booking the event like finding the arena and the time to do it and such, I think this would be nothing but a positive, and I’m hoping this is the announcement.
Option B: Women’s Tag Team Championship Titles
This rumor seems to be getting just as much, if not more buzz, than the pay-per-view concept.
Frankly, I absolutely hate it, and I hope it’s not the truth.
I can’t see how this would make any sense, for multiple reasons, not the least of which being how WWE can’t find the focus to put all of the current titles on every pay-per-view, as the tag team and cruiserweight divisions have been ignored here and there recently.
How is another set of titles going to make that situation better?
Also, you JUST got rid of Clash of Champions—the event that was billed as being “special” because it was where every title would be defended on the card!
The brand split makes this a bad idea, too, as it means Raw will have a champion, SmackDown will have a champion, and there will be a set of tag team champions that either go between the shows—blurring the lines between brands—or only one of the shows will have tag champions.
Or, God forbid, there will be a Raw Women’s Tag Team Championship and a SmackDown Women’s Tag Team Championship, which is even bigger of a mistake, as there aren’t anywhere close to as many women as needed to pull that off.
Even worse, I’ve heard people clamoring for a Women’s Intercontinental / United States Championship creation—and, believe it or not, some people talking about how there should be a women’s world champion on one brand, a women’s midcard champion on another brand, and women’s tag team champions co-branded.
That is a mess that negates the purpose of a Raw/SmackDown distinction for no good reason whatsoever.
If there is a tag team championship created for the women in WWE, I fear it will be a dead idea very soon after its inception.
Option C: An Women-Only Brand
Not too long ago, we had Raw and SmackDown as two shows that were one unified entity, but WWE has not only split them up, but also added NXT, 205 Live, and now NXT UK to the mix.
At some point, it seems almost inevitable that there will be a brand that focuses solely on the women’s division and nothing more.
Don’t ask me to think of what that brand would be called. I have no ideas in mind of what would be a good title for that show that wouldn’t sound ridiculous, derogatory, contrived or just downright stupid, like Roar or Revolution or whatever.
However, I’m not entirely opposed to the idea, if the right elements combine.
I don’t think now is the right timing—especially since the Fox deal doesn’t go into effect until next year, and that would be a better option for launching a new program on FS1 or something—nor do I think this is the best idea when it comes to utilizing talent.
If the women are put onto a separate brand, it would stand to make sense that they wouldn’t be on Raw or SmackDown, as that’s what happened with 205 Live. However, that doesn’t make sense as far as viewership, as it alienates audiences from seeing any women unless they watch that specific show, which will be hard to get them to do.
Then again, if women are pulling double-duty, when do you record the episodes? How do you bring in talent on flights and balance out schedules? What happens when this speeds up the injury timetable and more women get injured from working more dates?