On Tuesday’s edition of SmackDown Live, Charlotte Flair won the SmackDown Women’s Championship after defeating Asuka, leaving many to wonder why Flair, who, along with Becky Lynch, will be facing Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 35, picked up the victory. However, a new report suggests that there were some reasons behind this move, including one that relates to the importance of Charlotte’s participation in the first-ever WrestleMania main event to feature female wrestlers.
Citing a report from Wrestling Observer Radio, WrestlingNews.co wrote that WWE had been considering having Flair win the SmackDown Women’s Championship for some time. However, this didn’t amount to any actual plans, as there “were no signs” that WWE chairman Vince McMahon, who has the final word on many of the company’s booking decisions, would move in that creative path for SmackDown Live’s women’s division.
As noted by Sportskeeda, the original plan was for Carmella, Naomi, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville to compete on Tuesday in a No. 1 contenders match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. However, this match was canceled when WWE instead decided to have Charlotte Flair directly challenge Asuka for the title. Likewise, Sportskeeda cited Wrestling Observer Radio, adding in its report that McMahon didn’t think fans would pay much attention to a title match with Asuka defending her belt against the winner of the four-way No. 1 contenders match.
Aside from McMahon supposedly thinking the original plan for the next SmackDown Women’s Championship match wouldn’t be a big draw, WrestlingNews.co’s report added that Flair was booked to win in order to raise her profile ahead of WrestleMania 35. The publication’s Paul Davis wrote that he was told McMahon gave Charlotte the victory because he didn’t want her to be seen as the “third wheel” in her WrestleMania match against Rousey and Lynch.
At the moment, it’s not clear what WWE has planned for Asuka at WrestleMania 35, which takes place on Sunday, April 7, at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. WrestlingNews.co wrote that she could be included in the women’s battle royal, while Comic Book noted that this match, which made its debut last year at WrestleMania 34, has not yet been confirmed by WWE. The latter outlet added that several members of WWE’s women’s roster took to Twitter to express their unhappiness over Charlotte Flair’s SmackDown Women’s Championship win, though it’s also highly likely that a lot of these comments were made in character.