A few weeks ago, it was reported that Eva Marie was finishing up with WWE. Most people weren’t surprised to see her leave the company since she wasn’t featured on WWE programming since last August. Eva Marie was suspended for violating WWE’s Wellness Policy. Before that, she was expected to receive a major push to the top of the Women’s division. Almost a year later, WWE officials have finally found her replacement.
The opening segment of this week’s edition of SmackDown Live revealed the Women’s Money in the Bank briefcase was revealed. A lot of people were surprised it wasn’t pink, but more fans were surprised to see the return of Lana to WWE television with her dancing gimmick. Shane McMahon turned her done for a spot in the Ladder Match, but The Ravishing Russian will have a chance at the SmackDown Women’s Title instead.
A lot of people are questioning if WWE officials are making a huge mistake by giving Lana a title shot in her first match on SmackDown Live. The WWE Universe loves Lana, so it’s only a matter of time before she has an established spot on “the blue brand.” However, a title match is an intense way to begin her push because her new gimmick will have only two weeks to get over, and she’s in a situation where Lana needs a big win.
It’s being reported that Lana will be receiving the push that was originally intended for Eva Marie. There are going to be some noticeable differences. For instance, Lana will have a Women’s Title match immediately. It is just an indication that whatever WWE officials were planning for Eva Marie being given to Lana, but a lot of the creative plans need to be reworked because WWE fans gave her a unique reaction on SmackDown.
There is also a report going around that WWE officials were planning for The Ravishing Russian to be a top heel on SmackDown Live. Eva Marie was a natural heel, and the pairing of Lana with Naomi is an indication that she was ready for a run as a heel. However, the WWE Universe gave a surprising babyface reaction for Lana, which means she will most likely be booked as a face instead heading into WWE Money in the Bank.
Clearly, the powers that be have huge plans for Lana going forward. She arrived, received a strong reaction, and was given a SmackDown Women’s Title match at WWE Money in the Bank. It’s a huge push to get this quickly, but the bigger issue for everyone is it could put The Ravishing Russian in an unwinnable situation.
The Women’s division on SmackDown Live has received a lot of praise for its depth and for utilizing the full roster on since the brand split. Lana adds another strong personality to the division, but WWE officials are also throwing her right into the middle of the fire. Typically, a new character wins a lot of matches to get the new gimmick over, especially for someone like Lana who wasn’t featured as an active wrestler until recently.
A SmackDown Women’s Title match puts a ton of pressure on Lana to perform immediately at the highest level of the division. Not only that, but a clean loss doesn’t do her any favors out of the gate. However, there is the possibility of WWE officials putting the title on Lana at WWE Money in the Bank. On paper, that may create the most buzz but put too much onto Lana’s shoulders too quickly. However, the WWE Universe has no idea what to expect from her in the ring. Heading into the PPV, all eyes will be on Lana no matter what.
[Featured Image by WWE]