Last night on Smackdown Live, Naomi relinquished her Smackdown Women’s title due to injury. Alexa Bliss, the former champ, won a match to claim the vacant title.
WWE loves a big title win in a hometown. With Wrestlemania 33 being just 30 minutes from Naomi’s home town, it makes sense that if she is healthy enough to compete for (and possibly win) the title in front of her friends and family. It’s good storytelling. If that is the plan, though, then why did WWE have her win the title only to have it taken away?
The long-running joke among fans is that WWE is playing hot potato with the Raw Women‘s championship. Smackdown is starting to look the same way. Since Becky Lynch first became the inaugural champion, no woman has successfully defended the title on a PPV event. Lynch lost it to Alexa Bliss at TLC, who lost it to Naomi at Elimination Chamber. Now that Bliss has the title again, the question is, “Why did she lose it in the first place?”
— WWE (@WWE) February 23, 2017
— WWE (@WWE) February 22, 2017
A title defense makes the champion look strong. Even if a heel like Bliss cheats to win, she still remains champion and her reign looks more legitimate. Sure, you can say that it attempts to get the crowd behind Namoi more by making her vacate the title, but it appears the crowd is already behind her.
In both post title win appearances Naomi has received “you deserve it” chants from the WWE universe. She clearly has support. In her hometown, it will be even bigger. Wrestlemania 33 is already looking like a car wreck, due to injuries, and matches no one wants to see.
Fans sure hope WWE know what they are doing, or else no amount of loud music will save them from the boo birds . . . again.