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Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka is a Match of the Year Candidate

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Since Asuka won the first Women’s Royal Rumble match back in January, the WWE Universe waited with bated breath to see who she would challenge at Wrestlemania 34 in New Orleans.

Well, the WWE Universe finally received answer during last night’s WWE Fastlane event.

After Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair retained her title against Ruby Riott, the Empress of Tomorrow’s music blasted through the Nationwide Arena. Charlotte watched as the Empress of Tomorrow danced down the ramp and entered the ring.

Like many during Wrestlemania season, Asuka pointed to the Wrestlemania sign while slowly approaching Charlotte like a hungry wolf as the crowd chanted “Yes!” repeatedly. Fastlane is seen by many WWE fans a throwaway pay per view that sets the plate for Wrestlemania. But during the segment, Asuka didn’t say anything to Charlotte.

It wasn’t until during a backstage interview, when Asuka was asked if she indeed wanted to face The Queen at the Show of Shows. The undefeated superstar said only these words – “At Wrestlemania, Charlotte versus Asuka.”

One day after Asuka’s challenge, both the Smackdown Women’s Champion and her father, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, tweeted to hype up the match.

There were rumors WWE was heading down this route for Wrestlemania in regards to the Smackdown Women’s title picture. Even though Asuka had wins over numerous Raw superstars, including current Women’s titleholder Alexa Bliss, a contest between Asuka and Charlotte was bound to happen at some point, even though the Empress has only been on the main roster since October.

Some critics may believe WWE rushing Asuka and Charlotte into a program is too soon, but it makes sense on some levels. WWE has already built Asuka to be one of their top players – giving her a lengthy undefeated streak and having her pick up wins over numerous superstars.

As for Charlotte, she has pretty much wrestled every woman currently on the main roster.

The match has a big fight feel to it and if both Charlotte and Asuka are given the opportunity to display their skills, then their Smackdown Women’s title match at Wrestlemania could be a Match of the Year candidate.  

Both Charlotte and Asuka are great in the ring. Charlotte delivers a technical offense, much like her father, but she isn’t also afraid to fly from the top turnbuckle or take the fight to the outside.

Asuka’s offense consists of hard-hitting kicks and strikes, but she also has a good submission game. One attribute that both wrestlers share is their durability. Both Charlotte and Asuka have been in some great scraps during their time in WWE. With it being Wrestlemania season, both women will no doubt take their game to the next level.

As for the build up of this match, WWE can simply market it as a match between two of the best women’s wrestlers in the company. One of the differences between the two competitors is Charlotte is seen as the dominant force in WWE while Asuka is an underdog. The creative department can look at those attributes and keep the story simple.

What’s fun about this match is there is a level of uncertainty of who is going to win. This is Asuka’s first big shot at WWE gold, will she capture her first title or will Charlotte continue to reign supreme?

I guess we’ll have to wait until Wrestlemania to find out.

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? October 15, 2018

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The Good

For Raw, the segment between Ronda Rousey and the Bella Twins went a lot better than people probably expected. They traded insults back and forth and it eventually led to some fighting. The Bella Twins brought out security, which Rousey took out easily but the twins got away before Rousey could get to them. Hearing some of the insults they were throwing at each other made this feel more personal and that’s what helps make a solid rivalry.

For Smackdown, out of all the stars they had featured on their 1,000th episode, the reunion of Evolution was the most intriguing out of all of them. While they were listing off their accomplishments, Batista threw a little shade towards Triple H about how Triple H has yet to beat him. Batista did say that if he were to ever come back to WWE for one last run, he would want to have a rivalry with Triple H. So is this a sign of things to come?

The Bad

For Raw, the Finn Balor versus Jinder Mahal match wasn’t even worth watching. It was quick and was just there to promote the mixed match challenge. With the two PPV’s coming up, there isn’t much to really invest with the MMC.

For Smackdown, because of how big there show was this week, they did have to rush some things during the show and one of them was a World Cup qualifying match. The match was between The Miz and Rusev and the Miz won within a minute. Now, this was due to a distraction from Aiden English, which helps push that rivalry further, but this match did deserve to have more time.

The Final Verdict

Both shows were pretty solid this week. They were able to build up both Crown Jewel and Evolution effectively. But, because Smackdown had its 1,000th episode, fans knew that WWE was going to go all out for it. With that being said, Smackdown had the better show this week. Smackdown did a really great job of integrating the legends they brought back for the show into the rivalries they have going on currently. Along with that, they had a great match for the returning Rey Mysterio! Overall, if WWE follows through with Crown Jewel, it truly is looking to be a special event along with Evolution too.

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? October 8, 2018

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The Good

For Raw, there were many returns they had on their show this week. But, out of all of them, I would have to say that Kurt Angle’s was the best. When Baron Corbin decided to host a 10-man global battle royal, Kurt Angle decided to dress up as the Conquistador and eliminate Corbin in the end. When he unveiled his mask, the crowd was going nuts and during this segment, you could tell Kurt was having fun with it too.

For Smackdown, the rematch between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair opened up the show and this got a lot of TV time and ended up being a good match. While it did finish in a double count out, there was a crazy ending to this as Charlotte speared Becky through the LED board lights on the entrance ramp. These two will settle everything at Evolution as they will face off in the first ever last women standing match.

The Bad

For Raw, I still do not understand what WWE is trying to go with Bobby Lashley. Recently, they have tried to pair him with Lio Rush. This week, during Lashley’s match against Kevin Owens, Rush was on the microphone the entire match. This became very annoying after a while and the crowd showed their displeasure as well. I cannot determine whether this means that they are trying to have Lashley turn into a bad guy with Rush at his side, or if they are trying to have the crowd embrace this?

For Smackdown, the Rusev and Aiden English story line has taken a sour turn.  The whole video ended up being English making a move on Lana, only to get turned down. This part makes sense. Where it started to get sour was when English said “the offer is still on the table.” That point in the story line started to make things awkward. Anytime Lana has been involved in Rusev’s story line, they end up being bad and this has the potential to go in that direction.

The Final Verdict

Both shows were really good this week. They both had great matches throughout the show and helped progress their story lines. I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week. A solid main event and some returns we didn’t see coming made this show great from start to finish. It looks like WWE is  going all out for Crown Jewel so hopefully WWE makes it more than just a glorified house show such as the Greatest Royal Rumble, which also took place in Saudi Arabia.

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? October 1, 2018

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The Good

For Raw, the ending segment to build up the Triple H versus the Undertaker match was awesome. It started off with Shawn Michaels emphasizing that he thinks Triple H will win and that if Kane interferes, then he will step in and take care of that. This led to the Brothers of Destruction coming out to attack Michaels, only for Triple H to come out to save him. This led to a brawl that left the Brothers of Destruction standing tall after a double chokeslam. Segments like this are simple, but really help build up this fight and fans should soak this in as this will be the last time these two legends go at it.

For Smackdown, the brawl between Randy Orton and Tye Dillinger was quick, entertaining, and got a point across. Dillinger wanted revenge after Orton attacked Dillinger during his United States Championship match against Shinsuke Nakamura last week. Paige gave in and gave Dillinger a match against Orton. The fight between these two only lasted a few minutes, but they beat the heck out of each other. Orton ended up winning this brawl by going to his sadistic ways and put Dillinger’s finger between the turnbuckles, and bent it backwards. Not only does it question where this goes from here, but it’s a great story having Orton break one of Dillinger’s fingers considering he always uses his 10 fingers for his 10 gimmick.

The Bad

For Raw, the whole the Shield vs. Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre has ran its course and isn’t really intriguing as it once was. Each member of the Shield faced off against a member of the other trio and two out of the three matches involved interference in the match. Having these teams brawl a few times before their match is entertaining. But, when this happens every week, it starts to get stale.

For Smackdown, the lack of programming for the United States Championship doesn’t make any sense. Since Shinsuke Nakamura has won it, he has only defended it twice and has only been on Smackdown maybe three or four times total. I was hoping that maybe they would give off the possibility of an open challenge at Super Showdown, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

The Final Verdict

With this begin the go home show before Super Showdown, but brands had to advertise a lot for this PPV and get the last build up for it. Both shows were really good this week and should’ve gotten fans excited for the PPV. But, between these two, I will have to say that Raw had the better show this week.  Raw had a great closing segment, a great promo with Elias that had some of the loudest booing I have heard in a while, and actually put the Authors of Pain to smart usage! Smackdown had a great show this week, but the lack of the United States championship hurts them week by week. Overall, Super Showdown should be a solid PPV because all of the matches on this card got the proper buildup.

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