Before the WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, a SmackDown-exclusive show, the WWE’s original plans for the Women’s Division at WrestleMania were to feature a tag team match between the babyface team of Naomi and Becky Lynch against the heel team of Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. That even appeared to be the plan after Naomi won the championship from Alexa on February 12.
So, that meant that WWE officials considered not putting the SmackDown Women’s Championship on display at the show in Orlando on April 2. The reason for the title change at the time was to have Naomi enter WrestleMania as the champion because she is from the Orlando area, and they thought her reign might add some extra buzz.
That idea, however, was scrapped as it was revealed that Naomi suffered an injury in that title match at WWE Elimination Chamber. Her status for WrestleMania became uncertain, which is why WWE officials scripted her to relinquish the belt a week later. Alexa would recapture the championship the same night Naomi was forced to give it up, and two weeks later, plans were changed again but confirmed in front of the WWE Universe.
SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan informed Alexa that she’d be defending her WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania against every available woman on the blue-branded roster. The ambiguity was scripted to allow Naomi to return if she was cleared and to permit the addition of other female performers, who would be kept under wraps until the day of the show, where they would be unveiled as surprises.
It’s been no secret that the WWE has been reaching out to women wrestlers over the past few months. For one, the company is planning an all-female tournament, similar to the Cruiserweight Classic and United Kingdom Championship Tournament, to air exclusively on the WWE Network. But they’re also contacting women who used to work for the WWE to come back for one final run. Maryse and Mickie James returned to the company in 2016 and could be joined by others soon.
Kelly Kelly will also return to the WWE after a recent backstage visit to RAW. She has teased a WrestleMania appearance on numerous promotional appearances, which could lead her into the SmackDown Women’s Championship match. She was a leading candidate to induct Beth Phoenix into the WWE Hall of Fame, but that honor was just confirmed on Wednesday to go to Natalya instead.
Kelly Kelly has also been rumored to take the Emmalina character that Emma dropped several weeks ago. The WWE teased the arrival of Emmalina for months, but Emma wasn’t able to commit to what the WWE writers wanted, thus dropping the angle, reversing course, and repackaging her back to Emma. Ironically, the Emmalina debut was the same night Kelly Kelly visited. More ironically, Emma may be one of the surprise participants in the WrestleMania bout, according to a new report.
Emma, along with Summer Rae, is being considered for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match in less than two weeks. Though their inclusion would fall under the “every available woman” stipulation, both were drafted to the RAW brand. Summer has not appeared on television since last summer, which makes it easier for her to be added, but as noted, Emma has had a presence on Monday nights.
Emma was impressing WWE officials going back to before her injury last spring, which might explain why Vince McMahon wanted to explore putting her in the match in question. Tamina Snuka’s name came up ever-so-briefly last month when she was cleared and returned to house shows. However, the closer we’ve gotten to WrestleMania, the fewer whispers we’ve heard about her involvement.
Right now, there are five women confirmed for the match: Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Mickie James, Natalya, and Carmella. Naomi’s father tweeted that his daughter would be back in time, with no fewer than four more women being considered. The two most prominent at the moment are Emma and Summer Rae.
[Featured Image by WWE]