WrestleMania 33 is expected to have 13 matches on the card. Obviously, that is a lot of matches, and there is not enough time on the main card for all of them. WWE officially announced that the “Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal,” the Cruiserweight Championship match between Austin Aries and Neville, and the Smackdown Women’s Championship match would all be held on the pre-show. However, plans changed, as one match was bumped up onto the main card.
While the Women’s Title match was initially set to take place on the pre-show, they seemingly and silently adjusted the card to accommodate the Smackdown Women’s Championship match. One tweet mentioned that the WWE App removed the “kickoff match” tag from the match.
— WWE Harrison (@WWE_Harrison) March 30, 2017
Aside from this, WWE Superstar Becky Lynch, who will be in the match at WrestleMania 33, tweeted earlier today, saying the fans “spoke up.”
You spoke up. You're awesome. Thank you . #WrestleMania
— Becky Lynch (@BeckyLynchWWE) March 31, 2017
If the match is indeed taking place on the main card, then that will give more time for the “Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal” and the Cruiserweight Championship match. Many are expecting the contest between Austin Aries and Neville to be a great match that will not be hampered by the usual micromanagement, as it is taking place on the pre-show.
There are many possible reasons as to why WWE moved the Smackdown Women’s Title match onto the main card. If the Raw Women’s Championship, which will be defended by Bayley against Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Nia Jax in a fatal four-way elimination match, will be contested on the main show, then it would make the Smackdown Women’s Championship seem inferior if it was only defended on the pre-show. Many initially criticized the decision to place the match on the pre-show, saying that it was unfair to the Smackdown women, especially to Becky Lynch, who many claim “carried the division” since the brand split last July. It would be in WWE’s best interests to present both brands as equals.
Another possible reason for the move is due to the return of Naomi. She won the title from Alexa Bliss at Elimination Chamber in February but was forced to relinquish the title two weeks later due to an injury she suffered during the match against Alexa Bliss. Perhaps WWE plans to have Naomi reclaim her title in her hometown of Orlando. Others suspect that WWE wishes to use Naomi’s signature entrance at dark. It would look less impressive in broad daylight, and by moving the match up to the main show, WWE gets the chance to show off Naomi’s light-show entrance in front of a live crowd at night time.
Naomi is able to join the match, as Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan purposefully kept his words vague to allow for Naomi to rejoin if she recovered in time. Bryan claimed that “every available woman” would compete for Alexa Bliss’s Smackdown Women’s Championship, but it is still unclear just exactly what type of match it will be.
“Shane and I have been listening to your ‘Blissertation’ backstage, and if we were grading it, we would have probably given you an ‘F.’ But, then you said something that sparked our interest. You claimed to be the greatest female superstar on the entire ‘Smackdown’ women’s roster, and as surprising as this may be, we thought, ‘hmm, maybe she’s right,’ but there’s only one way to really find out, and that’s by having you defend your title at Wrestlemania against every available woman on the ‘Smackdown’ roster.”
Right now, many are expecting either Naomi or Becky Lynch to walk away victorious and as the new Smackdown Women’s Champion.
[Featured Image by WWE]