The Women’s Division of WWE is in the middle of a very odd phase. Considering the attention that it is being given at the moment (look no further than the adoration of Sasha Banks and Bayley since the Raw/SmackDown talent draft), things have never been better. In fact, just today Daniel Bryan appeared on the Bear Hug it Out podcast, and mentioned what might be in store for the women of SmackDown.
“I am not against [Raw] creating a title. We are going to do that for the women.”
This might sound brilliant, but I argue that as of the moment, this might not be a good idea, at least yet. But why?
1. A mid-card would be more valuable to the Women’s Division than a second ‘singles match’ title
It is possible that the new division between franchises means that there is one thing that WWE will have a difficulty in creating with too few women in each half – a mid-card. I argue that a solid mid-card would be more valuable to the Women’s Division. WWE are currently in danger of creating too many titles. For a belt to be attached to each and every feud would ironically dilute the importance of the titles themselves.
To be able to engage an audience with a secondary feud amongst the women would be far more representative of success, quality and the importance of the division. NXT managed this beautifully at NXT TakeOver: London, as the secondary women’s match (Asuka vs Emma) stole the show, in spite of being simply down to a feud, as opposed to being for a championship. It is a chain of events that could repeated again between a spiteful diva (Emma, Alexa Bliss) and a ruthless athlete (Becky Lynch).
For a short while, SmackDown should perhaps be home to that mid-card. Wrestlers with massive character and emotion, if utilised properly, can make a fan favourite feud. Look no further than feuds like Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens. It was easy to forget that their show-stealing match at Battleground was based solely on them hating each other. Becky Lynch is ideal for this, considering how she has been regularly victimised and bullied in spite of being an amazing wrestler.
2. It would be a waste of a massive plot for SmackDown not to try and claim Raw‘s Women’s Championship first
Let’s face it. Sooner or later, Raw and SmackDown wrestlers will collide in a feud, with just as much focus on the victory of franchises as the victory of the wrestlers. We’ve seen it many times, and it can be argued that The ‘New Era’ saw this happen already . WWE made a big deal of Dean Ambrose taking the World Heavyweight Championship with him to SmackDown. The fate of the Women’s Championship should not be treated unceremoniously by comparison. The fact that there is only one women’s title needs to be exploited at least once before the creation of a second title. As there are so many men’s titles at the moment,the Women’s Championship is bizarrely the most elusive in WWE.
This status must be put to use, especially as the draft was disappointingly under-utilised in separating singles feuds to increase hype. However, the revered ‘Four Horsewomen of NXT‘ have been separated, and it is a connection that is waiting to be reignited. Similarly there is the fantastic feud between Sasha Banks and Bayley. Ever since their Iron Man Match at NXT TakeOver: Respect, their next fight has been hypothetically discussed amongst fans as ‘Banks vs Bayley III’. Banks/Charlotte representing Raw and Lynch/Bayley representing Smackdown is an incredible opportunity that must not be wasted. Even is WWE decide against being so intricate, there is also Survivor Series to come – another potential place for the women of Raw and SmackDown to collide.
I agree that there eventually should be a second women’s title if WWE manage the division of Raw and SmackDown effectively, with few enough overlaps that their paths cross seem very important. However, there is a little left to do in the build-up of the women in the main roster, otherwise their importance will be quickly diluted and brilliant opportunities will be thrown away.