The Superstar Shake Up provided plenty of surprises for both WWE rosters this week, but one that was not so shocking was the addition of The Queen, Charlotte Flair to the SmackDown LIVE brand. Well, I read up on the internet spoilers, so it may have provided a bit of shock value to those who don’t.
Still, it is an interesting move by the WWE and one that will undeniably help elevate the Women’s division on SmackDown LIVE. Charlotte was part of the WWE’s women’s revolution and evolution for that matter, and has not only been a part of many women’s wrestling “first” she really has helped change the perception of how women are viewed in that squared circle.
Post-brand extension, both RAW and SD LIVE have had solid storylines and entertainment come from their women. The huge gap, however? RAW, despite a slimming women’s division due to injuries and such, offered their female talent more opportunities (and when I say “female” talent, I really just mean Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks). These two ladies had an incredible feud that saw them in the first-ever women’s Hell in a Cell match (which closed the show), they main evented RAW, has a Falls Count Anywhere match … and so on and so on. Many people can argue that it wasn’t fair that these two talents were consistently given these types of opportunities and things were not ‘spread out’ a little more evenly amongst the other women, but I also say: opportunities are given to those talents that WWE Officials know will deliver … and Banks and Charlotte consistently delivered.
So, despite the fact that Charlotte has only really been on the roster for about two years now, she’s earned a reputation as a solid superstar; in the ring, on the mic, character confidence, and strong work ethic. With someone who has that rep behind her, she’ll be able to undoubtedly elevate the SD LIVE women’s roster. While they have done well post-brand, the SD Live group has been missing something. Perhaps it was the inequality of the ‘Four Horsewomen’, with Becky Lynch on her own at SD LIVE and Bayley, Banks, and Charlotte on RAW. Regardless, it felt like all the SD LIVE women needed was a small step to take them to the next level.
Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss had a solid title race feud and did some pretty incredible things, including their Steel Cage match on the January 17th edition of SD LIVE. I also like the Luchadora story angle that brought Mick James back to the WWE. Still, Charlotte will undeniably help the division bring it up a notch. She already has the experience closing a show, closing a pay-per-view match. She also has the mic skills to help elevate a program. I hope to see more ground-breaking matches now that Charlotte is in the mix. I hope to see bigger and better things come out of the SD LIVE women’s division, now that the Queen has arrived. I hope to see a mix up of programs, that includes different sets of women, versus them being lumped into one match. I also hope to see the women continue to be trailblazer; trying new things with programs, being booked in groundbreaking matches, and an overall heightening of division. I think Charlotte can help achieve this for SD LIVE.